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

Advance Going

  • Good

Current Weather

Forecast: Light showers

Temperature: 9.4° - 17.3°

Rainfall: 0.58cm

Wind: 8.1mph SE

Last Update: 30/03/2017 17:00

Forecast: Sunny spells

Temperature: 8.0° - 14.3°

Rainfall: None

Wind: 12.8mph S

Last Update: 30/03/2017 17:00

Replays & Results

13:40 E.B.F. Mares' 'national Hunt' Novices' Hurdle

(Class 4) (2m 5f 139y)
Emerald green, orange stars, emerald green cap, orange star (Mr M R Chapman)
  • Winner: Ms Parfois
  • Jockey: Harry Cobden
  • Trainer: A J Honeyball
  • Owner: Mr M R Chapman

14:15 Handicap Chase

(Class 5) (2m 1f 96y)
Primrose, green hoop and armlets, black cap (Mrs C A Wyatt)
  • Winner: Bertenbar
  • Jockey: Mr S Davies-Thomas
  • Trainer: D Skelton
  • Owner: Mrs C A Wyatt

14:50 Ian Vass 60th Birthday Celebration Mares' Handicap Hurdle

(Class 3) (2m 5f 139y)
White, royal blue cross of lorraine, royal blue sleeves, white armlets and star on royal blue cap (Chris Gordon Racing Club)
  • Winner: Loves Destination
  • Jockey: Harry Teal
  • Trainer: C Gordon
  • Owner: Chris Gordon Racing Club

15:25 Casino Guide UK Handicap Hurdle

(Class 3) (2m 1f 145y)
Black, grey disc, armlets and cap (Norte Sur Partnership)
  • Winner: Cool Sky
  • Jockey: David Noonan
  • Trainer: Ian Williams
  • Owner: Norte Sur Partnership

16:00 Battle Of Malta By Pokerlistings Handicap Chase

(Class 4) (3m 1f 106y)
Royal blue, white stars, red and white striped sleeves, red cap (Mr Michael Fennessy)
  • Winner: Magic Money
  • Jockey: Harry Bannister
  • Trainer: W Greatrex
  • Owner: Mr Michael Fennessy

16:35 Porto Racing Specialist Horse Racing Saddlery Handicap Hurdle

(Class 4) (2m 3f 33y)
Orange, black triple diamond, chevrons on sleeves (John And Heather Snook)
  • Winner: Bound Hill
  • Jockey: Ian Popham
  • Trainer: Mrs Fiona Shaw
  • Owner: John And Heather Snook

17:10 Gofest Family Sports Festival Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle

(Class 5) (3m 1f 142y)
Yellow, dark blue seams, striped sleeves, yellow cap (Mr O S Harris)
  • Winner: William Money
  • Jockey: George Blackwell
  • Trainer: Tim Vaughan
  • Owner: Mr O S Harris
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Address & Contact

Fontwell Park Racecourse
West Sussex
BN18 0SX
01243 543335
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