Fontwell Park Racecourse is a National Hunt venue operating out of West Sussex. It was founded in 1924 and is notable for being the host of the National Spirit Hurdle.
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Fontwell Park Upcoming Live Streamed Races
Fontwell Park racecourse was founded by Alfred Day, a trainer who operated at the Hermitage since the year of 1877.
The location was between Chichester and Arundel, and the name Fontwell was recovered after Day researched the area and its local history. And by the year 1924, enough land had been purchased to found and open a racecourse at the site.
The name Fontwell comes from a 1630 map describing a spring in front of Alfred Day’s house. It was the only spring along the major southern coastal route. The Roman Empire originally named the area “Fons”. It is said that passing monks added the “Well” on the end. This created the name Fontwell that we use today.
Early days at Fontwell
The first race took place at the course on May 21st 1924. Days had a strong history of racing not only as a trainer, but his family also has a history as 19th-century jockeys. He had a particular talent for identifying cheap horses and training them to win big money races.
One horse he purchased for £20 went on to win a £300 meet. His most renowned horse was Master Willie, a horse which held the world record time over 6 furlongs for over 25 years.
The course, quite famously, was where Elizabeth II, Princess at the time, had her first winner as an owner. Her horse, Monaveen won the Chichester Handicap Chase at Fontwell Park in October 1949.
Another notable event took place in 1984, when Stan Mellor’s record as a National Hunt jockey was surpassed. This was broken by John Francome in his 1036th career win. However this record has since been beaten again.
Races to Watch Live from Fontwell Park
The biggest race held annually at Fontwell Park is the National Spirit Hurdle. It’s a Grade Two race ran over two miles and four furlongs every February.
It is one of the recognised trial races for Cheltenham Festival; Many successful horses, such as My Way de Solzen in 2006 have gone on to win the World Hurdle afterwards.
Many other horses have emulated this success, with Fontwell Park and the National Spirit Hurdle being an early indicator of championship-calibre racing.
The race features ten hurdles. The event is named after racehorse National Spirit. National Spirit was a two-time winner of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in the 1940s.
These are some of the top live streams to watch from the Fontwell Park annual racing calendar:
|National Spirit Hurdle
Fontwell Park Races: Course Layout
The hurdles track is a regular, oval shape. However, the steeplechase course is notable for being laid out in a figure of eight shape.
It is designed this way to make the best use of the limited space that Day had available. It is still the only figure of eight track in the United Kingdom.
Its unique shape can offer a challenge for many horses unused to the many turns of the track; However, many horses thrive from the variety of views it provides.
The course is run left-handed featuring many sharp twists and turns. There is a very stiff finish on heavy ground, meaning a lot of emphasis is placed on the final part of the race.
Views at Fontwell Park
The original Grandstand and the weighing room were initially built with a thatched roof. The grandstand has since been improved and updated with the £6.5 million Premier Enclosure opened in 2010.
The views on offer for spectators at this course are rather unique, aided by the figure of eight track. Many fans will watch from the middle near one fence to view the race. They can then walk along to the other side of the figure of eight in enough time to see the horses again.
It provides the spectators with a good opportunity for some exercise if they wish with the three-mile chases!
The Premier Enclosure allows spectators access to all of the racecourse including the premier grandstand and its facilities. These feature modern bars, fast food and betting facilities. Thera are also seats on the terrace overlooking Fontwell Gardens, and the course itself.
Access is also granted to the Winners Enclosure, Parade Ring, and the historic Fontwell House gardens.
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Further Live Stream Options
Last updated February, 2024
Watch this previous live-streamed video from January 2020 in which Ruby Yeats ran in the Paul Humes Memorial Handicap Hurdle. It provides a great view of the track and quality of racing on offer.
Fontwell Park Live Stream FAQs
🎥 Do I need to pay a subscription for the Live Stream?
No, there is no subscription charge. You’ll need to register on the site first, which only takes a minute.
🏇 Are there other races available, too?
Yes, there are many other races that you can watch – just take a look at the schedule.
⌚ When will the race coverage start?
The race coverage begins approximately two to three minutes before the race is scheduled.