Fontwell Races – The Racecourse Where Queen Elizabeth II Had Her First Winner

Fontwell races date back to 1924 when trainer Alfred Day had obtained sufficient land to acquire a licence to build a racecourse from the Jockey Club. Today, Fontwell Park Racecourse hosts a number of thrilling jump races, and it is the only course in the UK that has a figure of eight chase circuit. It is also the racecourse where Queen Elizabeth II, who was Princess at the time, had her first winner. This happened in October 1949, when Monaveen was victorious in the Chichester Handicap Chase. With that being said, continue reading to discover all you need to know about this course.

Fontwell Park Racecourse is quite literally one of a kind. While the hurdles track is oval, the chase course is a figure of eight circuit. Quirky horses tend to do well at this track and good jumpers stand out. If you have a horse that is slick over the fences, you can find yourself getting ahead of the pack. You will find that the lead does not change hands regularly on the run-in of the chase course. In regards to the hurdles course, those who race wide tend to do better when the ground is soft or heavy.

Races That Take Place Throughout The Year At Fontwell Park Racecourse

There are 24 Fontwell races per year, including a Boxing Day meet, but the one that really stands out is the National Sprint Hurdle. This takes place every February and is a Grade 2 hurdle race that is run over two miles and four furlongs. It is open to horses that are aged four years old and above. The race is named after National Spirit, who is a dual Champion Hurdle winner and has won five times at Fontwell Racecourse. A lot of people deem this race a trial for Cheltenham Festival’s World Hurdle.

Another significant race is The Southern National, which is the second richest race at Fontwell Park Racecourse. This takes place in November and is a Grade 3 hurdle for those aged four years old and above. The race is run over a distance of three miles and four furlongs. Paul Nicholls and Gary Moore are two trainers with good records in Fontwell races. Moore is based just over 30 miles from Fontwell. A P McCoy, Richard Johnson, and Jamie Moore lead the jockey’s table here while the leading owner is J P McManus.