Fontwell Racecourse is located in Fontwell Village, West Sussex, England. It is the only racing course in the country that features an oval hurdle racing course and a figure of eight chase racing course.
History of the Course
Alfred Day Fontwell Park’s original founder first came to the south coast in 1887 to train horses. He settled there and while researching about the area, he came across reference on an old map to Fontwell. The Romans originally called it ons’ while passing monks added the ell’ to the name.
Alfred settled there and with time he was able to buy enough land so that by 1924 with the help of the local gentry he was able to obtain a license to create the racecourse.
The steeplechase course was architected as a figure 8 to fully utilize the limited space and the hurdles track was oval in shape. It is also the racecourse where Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth the 2nd) had her first ever win as an owner in 1949 when Monaveen bagged the Chichester Chase.
As mentioned earlier, Fontwell racecourse is both a hurdle and chase course .It is also the only figure of 8 jumps in England and the hurdle is a 1 mille convectional oval circuit.The race course is left handed and no flat races take place there only National Hunt fixtures .
Run in is about 250 yards with a small uphill finish.A new Grandstand that includes a panoramic lounge with a 350 seat capacity in the middle floor, a ground floor suite with betting and catering outlets was also build in 2010.
Fontwell hosts 25 race meetings every year including Boxing Day meet. But the race of the season at the park is usually the Grade 2 National Spirit Hurdle that features a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs in February.It is commonly referred to as Cheltenham Festival trial. Solzen trained by Alan King bagged the competition in 2006 before going on to win the World Hurdle.