Fontwell race-goers ready for a festive feast

THERE are few places more picturesque than Fontwell Park in mid-winter – although racecourse bosses will be glad it won’t look like this on Boxing Day.

Don't panic! Fontwell won't look this wintry this Boxing Day   Picture by Mandy Austen
Don't panic! Fontwell won't look this wintry this Boxing Day Picture by Mandy Austen

That’s because the track will welcome its biggest crowd of the year for its annual festive feast of jump racing.

A series of seven races, with the first off at 12.20 and the last at 3.50, will be complemented by a wide variety of Christmas fun and games around the site.

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After final declarations, there were 50 runners entries across the card – with many top trainers well-represented.

The seven-race card, which officials at the West Sussex track are hoping will see more than 7,000 fans flock to the course, kicks off with the Juvenile Hurdle (12.20pm).

The Southern Cranes & Access Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (12.55pm), the Auntie Bill & Auntie Pam Handicap Hurdle (1.30pm) and three further handicap battles are on the card before the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle brings the curtain down at 3.50pm.

With all children getting in free, Fontwell bosses reckon it’s the perfect event at which to blow away the Christmas Day cobwebs and enjoy some quality racing.

As a big crowd is expected, people are advised to arrive early.

The main car park and centre course car park will both free, and there will be a complimentary return shuttle service from the overflow car park, located on Denman’s Lane off the A27, to the main entrance of the racecourse.

The day’s big race elsewhere - the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park – will be shown on the Fontwell big screen.

For more information on the meeting, call Fontwell Park on 01243 543335 or visit

Our tips: 12.20 Bishop Wulstan, 12.55 Meetmeatthemoon, 1.30 Very Noble, 2.05 Mister Wiseman, 2.45 Grape Tree Flame, 3.20 Volio Vincente, 3.50 Heurtevent.

We’ll have full coverage of the Boxing Day meeting in next week’s Observer.