Fontwell Course Guide

Located in West Sussex, Fontwell Park stages National Hunt racing all year round but the highlight of its calendar is the Grade2 National Spirit Handicap Hurdle in late February. The contest is named after National Spirit, a dual winner of the Champion Hurdle in the 1940s, who won five times at Fontwell Park during his illustrious career.

The race was initially run over two miles and two furlongs as a Champion Hurdle Trial, with dual Champion Hurdle hero Comedy of Errors amongst previous winners. It is now run over two miles and four furlongs as a handicap and the David Pipe-trained Lough Derg won the race in both 2008 and 2009. The National Spirit is seen as a World Hurdle Trial and in 2006 My Way De Solzen became the first winner of the National Spirit to go onto win the World Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Star stayer Baracouda also won both races, albeit in different campaigns.

Jumps Racing

Fontwell Jumps RacingTimeform

Left handed, sharp; the chase course is a figure of eight circuit, whilst the hurdles track is oval. The stiff finish is testing on heavy ground, races often developing from far out. The fences are easy but, given the nature of the track, course specialists abound. On the chase course, the lead rarely changes hands on the run in but often looks as though it might. The paddock exit is situated halfway up the run-in on the hurdles course and can lead to horses idling/ducking out on seeing it. On soft/heavy going the hurdles course favours those who race wide.

Having a figure-of-eight configuration on the chase track, Fontwell can suit quirky horses. I don’t know if that’s because it disorientates them, or simply keeps them interested, but it does seem to help a few ‘thinkers’. It puts a premium on jumping, too, and, if you’re on a novice that’s slick over the fences, you can get away from the others thanks to wasting little time in the air. If you are behind, though, but still within shouting distance of a faster one, the stiff finish gives you a chance to get back up.

View from the saddle: Mick FitzgeraldMick Fitzgerald

Current Going

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Current Weather

Forecast: Hail shower

Temperature: -0.2° - 10.5°

Rainfall: 1.04cm

Wind: 11.5mph N

Last Update: 26/04/2017 17:00

Forecast: Sunny spells

Temperature: 5.2° - 11.6°

Rainfall: 0.53cm

Wind: 12.5mph W

Last Update: 26/04/2017 17:00

Replays & Results

13:50 Road Plate Hire Handicap Hurdle

(Class 4) (2m 1f 145y)
Royal blue, white star, white sleeves, royal blue spots, white cap (Cocktail Racing Partnership)
  • Winner: Bad Boy Du Pouldu
  • Jockey: Joshua Moore
  • Trainer: G L Moore
  • Owner: Cocktail Racing Partnership

14:20 Godwins Solicitors LLP Novices' Chase

(Class 4) (3m 1f 106y)
White, dark blue cross belts, red and white check sleeves, red cap (Mrs Angela Yeoman)
  • Winner: Southfield Vic
  • Jockey: Mr L Williams
  • Trainer: P F Nicholls
  • Owner: Mrs Angela Yeoman

14:55 Butler & Co Consultancy Equine Tax Specialists Novices' Hurdle

(Class 4) (2m 5f 139y)
Red, emerald green cross of lorraine and sleeves (Martin Broughton & Friends 3)
  • Winner: Pilansberg
  • Jockey: Harry Cobden
  • Trainer: P F Nicholls
  • Owner: Martin Broughton & Friends 3

15:30 Neil Madgwick Memorial Handicap Chase

(Class 3) (2m 5f 31y)
Purple, white chevron, emerald green sleeves, white cap, purple star (The Twelfth Man Partnership)
  • Winner: Opening Batsman
  • Jockey: Mr M Legg
  • Trainer: Harry Fry
  • Owner: The Twelfth Man Partnership

16:00 Rabbit Skips Handicap Hurdle

(Class 5) (2m 5f 139y)
BLACK, GREY diamond, diabolo on sleeves and diamond on cap (Mr D C O'Brien)
  • Winner: Bostin
  • Jockey: Thomas Garner
  • Trainer: D C O'Brien
  • Owner: Mr D C O'Brien

16:30 Butler & Co Equine Accounts Specialists Handicap Chase

(Class 5) (2m 1f 96y)
Brown, white chevrons, brown sleeves, white cap (The Bear Necessities)
  • Winner: Brown Bear
  • Jockey: L P Aspell
  • Trainer: N J Gifford
  • Owner: The Bear Necessities

17:05 Rabbit And Dowling Plant Hire Standard Open NH Flat Race

(Class 6) (1m 5f 143y)
Royal blue, dark blue cap (Bruce Atkinson & John Berry)
  • Winner: White Valiant
  • Jockey: T Scudamore
  • Trainer: John Berry
  • Owner: Bruce Atkinson & John Berry
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Address & Contact

Fontwell Park Racecourse
West Sussex
BN18 0SX
01243 543335
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