The Sandown racecourse sits in Esher, Surrey. It is a spectacular racecourse situated in the suburbs of London.
The racecourse is home to 5 Grade horse races. The grounds are open all year round for horseracing and other events.
The Jockey Club owns and manages this racecourse. Most races on this course are about five furlongs or longer. What makes it stand out from the rest is its modernity and easy accessibility.
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The Sandown racecourse opened its gates for racegoers in 1875. During this time, a racecourse charging an entrance fee was unheard of. However, its owners decided to charge half a crown as the entrance fee. This made it the first-ever racecourse to charge racegoers an entrance fee. Apart from that, this racecourse was the first to install a member’s member-exclusive stand. As of today, this enclosure is standard. But back in the day, it was a sign of status and only for the distinguished members.
On the opening day of the opening, the race organizers encouraged men to bring their wives and kids to the races. This was aimed at promoting etiquette and making it as family-friendly as possible. Later, it would be known as the “ladies” recourse because men proudly brought their wives and daughters to the events. It rained on an inaugural day but the fans still came out in large numbers.
The Queen Mother raised the status of this racecourse by attending several of its events. One of her favourite horses, Special Cargo, participated in this race in 1984 and won the Gold Cup, previously known as the Whitbread Cup.
The owners of the racecourse have always reinvigorated the course to preserve its modernity. In 1972, they went the extra mile to build a new grandstand with a 7600 capacity. 30 years later, they would go and pump in a whopping £ 23 million for further redevelopments.
This money helped to re-do the grandstand as well as build the New Eclipse Pavilion. The course continues to provide both jump and flat racing. The only other course that does this is Haydock Park.
The Sandown racecourse is flat, right-handed, and oval. Although the racecourse has a significantly flat straight track, it also tends to rise gradually for about 5 furlongs.
Its sprint course favours the horses on the far side rail. A horse with enough stamina to handle the uphill part of the track has better odds of winning the race.
The jump or hurdle track at the racecourse is also oval. However, its turns are significantly sharp.
The Hurdle course offers one of the most sought-after steeplechase actions across the UK. With seven fences, this course never disappoints the fans.
A horse that likes to start at the front of the pack has higher odds of winning a race held here in optimal conditions.
The Chase course is another incredible track at the Sandown racecourse. This section has high jumps that challenge both the jockey and their horses to the core. If a horse lags on the Chase course, it has to race at an extraordinary speed to catch up.
Sandown Park’s Main Racing Events
The Group 1 Eclipse Stakes
The Eclipse Stakes is an exciting and challenging race for horses aged three years and above. This race is 1 mile, one furlong, and 201 yards. It takes place in July each year.
The organizers of this race called it the Eclipse because it was first run after the eclipse. Its first prize for the winner was a staggering £10,000. From 1986 until now, Coral has sponsored the eclipse race. This explains why people call it the “Coral Eclipse.
Tingle Creek Chase
The Tingle Creek Chase is a thrilling Grade 1 National Steeple Chase. This race is predominantly for horses aged four and above. The race stretches for 2 miles, 7 furlongs, and 119 yards and the horses have to jump over 3 fences. It takes place in December each year.
The organizers of this race named this race after “Tingle Creek” a top-tier horse that dominated several races in 1970.
Imperial Cup Day
The Imperial is a competitive Grade 3 National Hunt race. Horses aged four years or older can participate in this race. Its distance is about 2 miles. The horses have to jump over eight hurdles to complete the race. The race takes place in March each year.
The organizers of this race launched it in 1907. A decade later, Trespasser, one of the fastest racing horses at the time won it 3 times.
Brigadier Gerard Stakes
As one of the finest thoroughbred races in the UK, Brigadier Gerard falls in the Group 3 horse races category. It is run over a distance of 1 mile, 1 furlong, and 209 yards.
Launched in 1953, its organizer had first named it the “Coronation Race.” This title was to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. In 1973, they changed its title to Brigadier Gerard Stakes. This was meant to honour one of the greatest retired racehorses.
This is a 1 mile, 7 furlongs, and 119 yards Grade 1 National Hunt Steeplechase. To complete the race, horses have to jump over a whopping 13 fences. The Celebrations Chase race takes place in April, every year.
The Bet365 Gold Cup
The Bet365 Gold Cup is for horses aged 5 years and above. This Grade 3 National Hunt Steeplechase is 3 miles long, 4 furlongs, and 166 yards. What’s more, is that each horse has to jump over 24 fences to complete the race.
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Bettors can check whether their favourite online bookies offer markets from Sandown Park. The good news is that most popular online bookmakers offer these markets. All you need is to sign up, deposit money, and bet online from any location.
How to Get to the Racecourse
Sandown Park Racecourse has a massive parking lot with a 3000-vehicle capacity. Racegoers who prefer to drive need to follow the Portsmouth road at KT109AJ.
If you want to take the train, the Esher Rail station is only 10 minutes away. When there are major events, you will easily find bus shuttles that can take you to the station. Besides that, you can opt for a taxi.
If you are coming from overseas, you can land at Gatwick or Heathrow Airport. These airports are only 20 minutes away from the racecourse.
Our Final Thoughts on Sandown
Sandown Racecourse is a hub for horse racing enthusiasts, hosting prestigious events like the Eclipse Stakes and Tingle Creek Chase. For bettors, understanding the nuances of stamina and starting position can be key to predicting race outcomes. With its blend of traditional and modern offerings, the racetrack guarantees an exhilarating racing experience.