Fontwell Park Racecourse
Fontwell Park is a National Hunt racecourse set amongst the Sussex countryside. It is most notable for being the course where Queen Elizabeth II had her first win as owner. It has also been named the Best Small Racecourse in the South East for the last 12 consecutive years.
Racing at Fontwell Park first began in 1924 when the course was opened on May 21st with the Walberton Chase, the first of two fixtures, which was won by Dick Lees on Gem. History was made when Queen Elizabeth II’s horse Monaveen, trained by Peter Cazalet and ridden by Tony Grantham, won the Chichester Handicap Chase;
Fontwell Park Racecourse
the Queen’s first win as owner.
The champion hurdler National Spirit won five of his 85 starts at Fontwell, he won 32 overall. In his honour a hurdle race has been run at Fontwell Park every year since 1965. This race has brought many of horseracing’s biggest stars to the venue, including dual Champion Hurdler Comedy of Errors in 1970, triple Champion Hurdler See You Then in 1980 and Baracouda in 2001. The 2007 winner was My Way de Solzen, trained by Alan King. The course was taken over by the Northern Racing group in 2002 and many improvements have been made to the establishment, including a new grandstand. In 2005, Fontwell Park’s attendance rose by 23% and it still continues to increase in popularity.
The Racing Season
In 1924, Fontwell Racecourse featured just four fixtures a year – there are now 23 exciting races every year. The course offers races throughout the year from January to December.
Fontwell Park offers an Annual Badge, which costs just £230 and guarantees you entrance to all of the racecourse fixtures. With this badge, you also gain access to all facilities offered to Premier Enclosure ticket holders, free parking in the centre car park, a racing Tote diary, an open morning to look behind the scenes as well as an opportunity to bring a friend to selected race days. Annual badge holders also get the opportunity to go on organised trips to other racecourses, including Cheltenham, and a visit to the Racehorse Sanctuary.
Fontwell Park racecourse features two courses: the unique figure of eight chase course and a left-handed oval hurdle course. The figure of eight course is not suited to long-striding horses and the ground can be difficult. Both circuits measure one mile.
If you wish to explore the course a bit more then you could opt for a Classic Raceday Package which costs only £35. This offers entrance to the Premier Enclosure, a £5 Tote voucher, a welcome drink, afternoon tea, a programme and a tour of the course.
Tickets for the Grandstand provide you with:
- Entrance to the Grandstand itself
- Entrance to the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure
- Access to a variety of bars, snack outlets and The Nosebag fast-food kiosk.
- Access to the traditional betting ring and shops
Premier Enclosure tickets provide you with access to all Grandstand facilities as well as:
- Access to the Premier Grandstand opposite the Winning Post
- Tote pool betting
- Access to the Garden and Premier Bar, which overlooks the lawn
- Access to the excellent Silk Restaurant
Admission to the Grandstand costs just £15; entrance to the Premier Enclosure is £20. For some feature fixtures, prices are more expensive: £17 for the Grandstand and Paddock, and £22 for the Premier Enclosure. To be sure of the prices, it is advisable to check the up-to-date Fontwell Park Racecourse website here.
Group Bookings of more than 15 people receive a 20% discount if booked in advance. Children under the age of 15 enjoy free admission if accompanied by a full-paying adult. Students and OAPs concession tickets cost £9 or £10 depending on the fixture, refer to the above website to check this. The centre course car park costs £5 and parking spaces cannot be booked in advance, but there is free parking in the main car park.
Fontwell Park is easily accessible by road, rail and air.
By Road – The racecourse is on the A27/A29 roundabout between Arundel and Chichester. To access the main car parks take the A29 towards Bognor Regis.
By Rail – The nearest railway station is Barnham, which is easily accessible from London Victoria Station. A shuttle bus service between Barnham station and Fontwell Park racecourse runs for 1 ½ hours before the beginning of the first race and returns immediately after the final race. The return journey costs just £1.
By Air – Helicopters are permitted to land on the racecourse as long as prior consent has been given by the management. Light aircraft can also land at either Goodwood Airfield or Shoreham Airport with prior permission, contact details can be found here.
- Fontwell Park Racecourse
- Nr Arundel
- West Sussex
- BN18 0SX
- Tel: 01243 543335
- Fax: 01243 543904
- Web: Fontwell Park