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

  • Heavy

Current Weather

Forecast: Rain

Temperature: 8.0° - 10.6°

Rainfall: 5.40cm

Wind: 12.1mph SW

Last Update: 21/01/2018 17:00

Forecast: Sunny spells

Temperature: 5.2° - 10.3°

Rainfall: None

Wind: 8.6mph W

Last Update: 21/01/2018 17:00

Upcoming Races

Replays & Results

13:10 Call Star Sports On 08000 521321 Novices' Hurdle

(Class 4) (2m 1f 162y)
Grey, white epaulets (Mr & Mrs R Kelvin-hughes)
  • Winner: Lisp
  • Jockey: Wayne Hutchinson
  • Trainer: A King
  • Owner: Mr & Mrs R Kelvin-hughes

13:40 Handicap Chase

(Class 4) (2m 3f 104y)
White, red triple diamond, diamonds on sleeves and cap (The Punchestown Syndicate)
  • Winner: Native Robin
  • Jockey: Nick Scholfield
  • Trainer: J Scott
  • Owner: The Punchestown Syndicate

14:10 'Marigold Somerset At 90' Handicap Hurdle

(Class 3) (2m 5f 164y)
Purple, pink stars, purple sleeves, purple cap, pink star (Wendy & Malcolm Hezel)
  • Winner: Fourth Act
  • Jockey: Harry Cobden
  • Trainer: C L Tizzard
  • Owner: Wendy & Malcolm Hezel

14:40 Happy Birthday Mike/Moira Darvill Remembrance Handicap Chase

(Class 5) (3m 1f 210y)
Yellow, royal blue chevron, diabolo on sleeves, red cap (Mr C Hallahan)
  • Winner: Mount Oliver
  • Jockey: T Scudamore
  • Trainer: N P Mulholland
  • Owner: Mr C Hallahan

15:10 Injured Jockeys Fund Novices' Hurdle

(Class 4) (2m 5f 164y)
Dark blue and yellow (quartered), striped sleeves (Paul & Clare Rooney)
  • Winner: Melrose Boy
  • Jockey: N D Fehily
  • Trainer: Harry Fry
  • Owner: Paul & Clare Rooney

15:40 Racing Welfare Handicap Chase

(Class 4) (2m 1f 165y)
Emerald green, dark blue stars, emerald green sleeves, emerald green cap, dark blue star (Mr D S Dennis)
  • Winner: Atlantic Roller
  • Jockey: James Bowen
  • Trainer: C Gordon
  • Owner: Mr D S Dennis

16:10 Spode, Mole, Twiglet & Dibbler Standard Open NH Flat Race

(Class 5) (1m 5f 159y)
Red and white check, white cap (Tim Syder)
  • Winner: Fontsanta
  • Jockey: L P Aspell
  • Trainer: Miss E C Lavelle
  • Owner: Tim Syder
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Address & Contact

Fontwell Park Racecourse
West Sussex
BN18 0SX
01243 543335
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