Fontwell ready to welcome racegoers next week

Racegoers can go back to Fontwell Park next Tuesday - for the first time since March.

They race at Fontwell next Tuesday - this time with a crowd watching / Picture: Alan Crowhurst, Getty
They race at Fontwell next Tuesday - this time with a crowd watching / Picture: Alan Crowhurst, Getty

The end of the current month-long lockdown together with moves to get fans back to top-level sporting events means Fontwell can let people through the gates for the first time since before the first lockdown began in March.

Fontwell has been staging racing since late summer but only behind closed doors. Likewise, Goodwood staged 13 of its 19 scheduled meetings during the flat season but none with any crowds.

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At Fontwell, they're due to race next Tuesday (December 8) - and again on Monday, December 28. That will also be with a crowd - unless restrictions toughen up again before then.

A statement from the popular jumps course's bosses said: "Fontwell Park is excited to be able to welcome back a limited number of spectators to enjoy an afternoon of exciting live horse racing on Tuesday 8 December.

"For the first time since March, we are looking forward to having fans return and have put in place a range of measures so you can enjoy a day at the races safely.

"Following the government’s announcement, West Sussex will be operating in Tier 2, meaning a reduced number of spectators are permitted to return to Fontwell Park.

"Given the nature of the new tiered lockdown, the facilities and areas available to customers may look very different to previous visits but everyone has been working hard to ensure those attending enjoy their experience in a safe way.

"Please follow social distancing measures, wear a mask when required and maintain good hygiene by regularly washing or sanitizing your hands. Please follow all signage and the instructions of staff, officials or any emergency service personnel present at the racecourse.

"For your safety, and the safety of others, please make sure you read and observe our Code of Conduct (available at fontwellpark.co.uk).

"Upon booking, you’ll also be asked to complete the NHS track and trace information for each of your guests, following which an e-ticket will be issued.

"Things will be a little different as we welcome the return of fans in a Covid-secure way but we are confident that you’ll be able to fully enjoy your day at the races and watching all the exciting action from the track live.

"With the exception on when you are eating or drinking, mask will be required to be worn. A variety of food and drink will be available to buy and, in line with guidelines, alcohol will be able to be purchased as long as it is consumed with a substantial meal. Tip – book your meal in advance with one of our admission packages!

"Spectators will be able to place bets across the racecourse, view the horses in the Parade Ring and access the Grandstand too.

"With a reduced capacity, there will be a very limited amount of tickets available for general admission – and these are now on sale. Tickets are only available in advance so please make sure you book early to avoid disappointment."

Advance tickets have to be bought by midnight the night before the meeting and there's a maximum of six tickets per booking. Tickets bought by people living in a Tier 3 postcode will be cancelled.

Fontwell added: "We will use Tier Guidance issued by government, with appropriate implementation lapse time. We expect tiering to be updated by government fortnightly. If Tiers change, we will manage volume and capacity to comply. We cannot accept any metal racing badge admissions.

"Should the lockdown rules change or if you need to self-isolate due to coronavirus at the time of the event, our team will be happy to transfer your booking or offer you a full refund."

See more on the Fontwell Park website