100 up at Fontwell Park – special race day set to pull in crowds

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Fontwell Park’s Centenary Raceday takes place tomorrow (Thursday, May 16).

The course will host a nostalgic evening of jump racing, food, music and entertainment looking at 100 years of racing at the figure-of-eight track from the 1920s to the present day.

In addition to action on the track, a History of Fontwell marquee will be displaying memorabilia from the racecourse’s archive and providing an insight into its history.

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The Premier Lounge Restaurant will be hosting a three-course Centenary Raceday Gala Dinner featuring guest speakers and a charity auction in aid of Racing Welfare and Dementia Support.

Fontwell in 2024 ... | Picture: Clive BennettFontwell in 2024 ... | Picture: Clive Bennett
Fontwell in 2024 ... | Picture: Clive Bennett

Guy Pridie, Executive Director at Fontwell Park, said: “It’s a real privilege to be leading the centenary celebrations for Fontwell Park. Being a local resident myself, I understand the importance and value of Fontwell being an accessible, local community business and we see this as a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with as much of the community as possible.

“We’ve got a great balance of racing, history, music and entertainment taking place so there will be plenty of variety for everyone on the day. We are particularly excited for the opportunity to showcase some historic Fontwell memorabilia and to hear from some famous faces with ties to Fontwell over the years.”

Fontwell Park Racecourse founder Alfred Day first opened doors to the public on May 21, 1924, and today it is the only remaining figure of eight jumps course in the country.

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Over the years, Fontwell Park has welcomed members of the Royal Family. Most notably, Queen Elizabeth II (then Princess Elizabeth) attended Fontwell Park in 1949 when her horse, Monaveen, the only horse she jointly owned with the Queen Mother, won the Chichester Handicap Chase – marking her first win as an owner.

... and the man who started it all, Fontwell Park founder Alfred Day | Archive photo... and the man who started it all, Fontwell Park founder Alfred Day | Archive photo
... and the man who started it all, Fontwell Park founder Alfred Day | Archive photo

In its 100-year history Fontwell has seen many Grand National, Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle winners run and win. Two dual Champion Hurdlers to win at Fontwell Park were National Spirit, after whom the biggest race is named, and Comedy Of Errors, who gives his name to one of the racecourse’s grandstands.

Some horses are particularly well suited to the unique figure-of-eight layout on the chase course, and this is why there have been remarkable course specialists over the years. The record holder is Certain Justice, who in the 1960s won 14 races here. In the nineties St Athans Lad won 11 times in just 14 months.

Centenary Raceday tickets are available to purchase from the Fontwell Park Racecourse website. A host of different packages are available and children attend for free.

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A special group rate of 10 tickets for £100 is available for the Centenary Raceday and individual tickets (which are inclusive of a welcome drink) start at £17.

See https://www.fontwellpark.co.uk for all the latest

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