Sandown Racecourse Guide

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Welcome to our official guide to Sandown Park Racecourse.

Sandown Park is a horse racing track and leisure venue in Esher, Surrey, England, located in the outer suburbs of London.

We explore this brilliant dual-purpose flat and national hunt racecourse in detail, looking at its history, a guide to the track, top hotel picks, travel information, and betting guides.

If you are looking for the latest betting tips for Sandown, check out our full guide to Sandown Racecourse tips.

Find out more about Sandown racecourse today:

Sandown Racecourse Guide


Overview of Sandown Park Racecourse

Sandown, in Esher, Surrey is a superb racecourse, in the outer London suburbs, offering racing all year round.

Every year it hosts five grade one National Hunt meetings and a Group 1 flat meeting.

It is a popular, diverse and versatile venue open almost every day of the year – even when racing isn’t on!

Sandown Park is one of fifteen racecourses in the UK owned and operated by the superb Jockey Club, and it is a major events venue in the local area.

Racing here takes place from any distance from five furlongs on the flat to over three miles over jumps.

Sandown Park hosts racing 24 days of the year but is frequently full of life year-round – hosting comedy nights, charity fundraisers, music concerts, exhibitions and conferences. Unusually, therefore, most of the racecourse’s staff are permanent, and not just hired on seasonal contracts.

It is this staff management that helps bolster the superb customer service offering that attracts repeat visitors for all kinds of occasions time and time again.

Primarily attended by Londoners, Sandown Park is considered an easily accessible ‘country’ day out and offers a variety of dining and hospitality options for customers of all budgets and appetites.

Despite there being other racecourses in the UK with royal connections, Sandown Park Racecourse is well known as being (what was) the Queen Mother’s favourite course and three of her horses – Arkle, Mill Reef and Desert Orchid – frequently raced here under her watchful eye.

Considered a very ‘modern’ racecourse amongst the backdrop of such a historical sport, Sandown Park Racecourse is one of the most accessible and popular in the UK.

Sandown Racecourse History

Sandown Park Racecourse opened in 1875 and was the first in the country to charge for attendance – it was half a crown to enter!

It was also the first to have an exclusive member’s enclosure (the Premier enclosure): now considered a standard facility everywhere.

Sandown Park is situated in a natural amphitheatre, which made it easy to construct as a purpose-built facility with strict attendance. The stand sits on the top of a hill, allowing the runners, even when down the back straight, to be easily picked out.

The first-ever race meeting at Sandown Park ran across three days and included the Grand National Hunt Chase, which is now held annually as part of the Cheltenham Festival. The Grand International Steeplechase took place during the same event with an impressive prize fund of £2,130 – more than even the winner of the infamous Grand National took home that year!

Once considered the norm, today Sandown Park is one of a few racecourses that still offers both national hunt and flat racing as part of its horseracing season. It has seen some of the best racehorses over both codes compete on its turf.

Main Sandown Races and Events

Sandown Park offers a packed calendar of events, so there are several ‘main’ races here. The most notable meetings and races include:

  • The Group 1 Eclipse Stakes – their main Group 1 flat race of the season is one of the main races of the entire flat racing calendar, won by super-star horses including Halling, Roaring Lion, Sea The Stars and Enable.
  • Brigadier Gerard Stakes – another top-class flat race, it is a Group 3 race over 10 furlongs, won back in the 90s by the brilliant Henry Cecil trained filly Bosra Sham.
  • Tingle Creek Chase – one of the main jump races of the entire and an early Grade 1 every season, it is a speed test of jumping accuracy over the minimum trip of 2 miles. It has been won in the past by some exceptional horses including Moscow Flyer, Viking Flagship, Altoir – all of them Champion Chase winners at Cheltenham.
  • The Celebration Chase – another top-class chase race, won previously by favourites including Altoir and Sire De Grugy.
  • Imperial Cup Day – the Imperial Cup sees grade three horses take on eight hurdles over two miles in a handicap. Normally run on the Saturday before the start of the Cheltenham Festival.
  • Bet365 Gold Cup – the main race of Bet365 Jump Finale meeting, sees experienced chasers take on a whopping twenty-four fences over three miles and five furlongs. It is the final big race of the National Hunt season, normally taking place in April.

Other notable races include:

To be honest, whichever meeting over the year you choose to attend at Sandown, the racing is always competitive and a great day out and ladies don’t forget about Ladies’ Day, a day to dress to impress!

Sandown Racecourse Tickets

Sandown Park racecourse tickets are always very popular for all of their meetings. You’ll find great offers, deals and early birds to all of their events throughout the year and we always recommend booking in advance so you get to enjoy the day out and can plan ahead.

As racing at Sandown is so popular the events can sell out, so it is best to book early and in advance to avoid disappointment.

If you are looking for the best deals on Sandown Park Racecourse Tickets follow the official link here.

Sandown Park Racecourse Map

There are two race tracks at Sandown, the flat and jumps course.

Sandown Park Jumps Course

Sandown Racecourse Map

The jumps track at Sandown Park racecourse is a far track, with a stiff uphill finish to the line.

Jumping is often at a premium, particularly over fences were down the back straight a famous 3 fences – known as railway fences – are jumped in quick succession. It is said if you meet the first on the right stride, the others will come easily.

The Pond Fence is jumped as the runners spin into the home straight.

Sandown Park Flat Racecourse

Sandown Flat Course
Map Courtesy of At The Races.

The flat track at Sandown Park racecourse has a similar stiff uphill finish, so horses normally need to be able to see out whatever trip they are racing at. It is a right-handed racecourse.

The 5-furlong track is unique and has its own course, right down the centre of the track. Although having a steady rise it is a speed track where low numbers fair well.

Is there a draw bias at Sandown Racecourse?

Sandown racecourse does have a draw bias, especially over the sprint distances.

In general, being drawn high is preferred over the straight track for 5-furlong and 6-furlong races at Sandown Park, as the runners closer to the stands’ side rail seem to have an advantage.

This bias is a recent trend and seems to be getting stronger over the years.

What is the Draw Bias at Sandown 5 Furlongs?

The 5-furlong track at Sandown is unique as it is uphill and separate from the other tracks at the course.

While it is often thought that low drawn horses have an advantage, the statistics do not entirely support this.

The data suggests that the bias can vary from meeting to meeting, and there seems to be a more significant advantage for low drawn horses when the ground is soft.

What is the Draw Bias at Sandown 7 Furlongs?

When it comes to the seven furlongs race at Sandown, the low drawn horses seem to have an advantage since the race is run around a right-hand bend, and the low numbers are located on the inside.

This makes it easier for low drawn horses to hug the rail and save ground while making their way around the turn. The stats indicate that the bias towards low drawn horses is evident in this race.

What is the Draw Bias at Sandown 1 Mile?

When it comes to the mile races at Sandown, there doesn’t seem to be a significant draw bias. Unlike the 7 furlong races, where low drawn horses have an advantage, the mile race has an additional furlong at the start before the bend.

This gives the horses more time to settle into their stride and positions before the bend, reducing the impact of the draw.

While there may not be a significant draw bias, it’s worth noting that the ground conditions can have an impact on the race outcome.

Sandown Park is known for having undulating terrain and a stiff uphill finish, which can make it challenging for horses that prefer firm ground.

So while the draw may not have a major impact on the race, it’s important to also consider the ground conditions and other factors when making predictions about the race outcome.

Sandown Racecourse Address

The full racecourse address of Sandown Park racecourse is:

Sandown Park Racecourse
Portsmouth Road
KT10 9AJ

How To Get To Sandown Racecourse

Part of the attraction of Sandown Park Racecourse is its proximity to London, so it won’t surprise you to find that it’s extremely well connected with transport links as below:

  • Car – Sandown Park’s car parks can comfortably fit 3,000 vehicles (for free on race days), with four electric car charging points available. For your sat-nav enter – Portsmouth Road. kt10 9aj. It is a 40 minute drive from Central London.
  • Rail – Esher rail station is a 10-minute walk from the course, a walk which takes you directly over the track. It can also be reached by shuttle bus during major events, or there’s a taxi rank outside. Don’t be caught out though, Esher rail station is situated in zone six and so is not covered by standard Oyster Cards!
  • Air – for those attending by air can do so easily into Heathrow or Gatwick, both of which are just twenty miles from the course, and there’s a helipad available for those attending racing on the course itself.

Hotels Near Sandown Racecourse

Because of its location, most attendees to Sandown Park choose to travel back the same day. However, those staying in Esher can choose from a few hotels close by to the racecourse, and they’re almost all independent:

The Mitre Hotel is a luxury option just walking distance from Hampton Court Palace, the Woodlands Park Hotel is based in picturesque surroundings. For something slightly cheaper and lavish (but by no means any less comfortable), the Alexander Pope is recommended. All are within five miles of the course and will arrange taxi transport for you as required.

Essentially all hotels in Central London will be accessible on public transport.

Best Sandown Races Betting Sites

At British Racecourses we often recommend betting online and via apps when going to the races. This is because you can often get the best odds, great offers when signing up and you can place bets quickly and safely without having to queue.

If you are looking to bet online we recommend the following great deals shown on this page, these are what we consider the best horse racing betting sites, especially for new customers:

Betting Shops Local to Sandown Racecourse

Betting on-course is recommended at the independent course-side bookmakers and they can be found in front of the main Grandstand and next to the rails on race days.

Tote facilities and standard betting shops can also be found on-site.

Esher itself isn’t a particularly large town, so you won’t find many betting shops in the local area but there is a Ladbrokes betting shop and a Coral betting shop.

Unlike many other country-set racecourses, the mobile signal here is good; so there’s nothing stopping you from hopping online to make a crafty bet if you don’t find odds that fit elsewhere! For the best mobile betting apps read our guide.

Sandown Races 2024

Here is the horse racing calendar for Sandown Races in 2024:

6/1/2024Sandown ParkSaturday
26/1/2024Sandown ParkFriday
3/2/2024Sandown ParkSaturday
15/2/2024Sandown ParkThursday
9/3/2024Sandown ParkSaturday
26/4/2024Sandown ParkFriday
27/4/2024Sandown ParkSaturday
23/5/2024Sandown ParkThursday
14/6/2024Sandown ParkFriday
15/6/2024Sandown ParkSaturday
5/7/2024Sandown ParkFriday
6/7/2024Sandown ParkSaturday
25/7/2024Sandown ParkThursday
26/7/2024Sandown ParkFriday
31/7/2024Sandown ParkWednesday
8/8/2024Sandown ParkThursday
30/8/2024Sandown ParkFriday
31/8/2024Sandown ParkSaturday
13/9/2024Sandown ParkFriday
18/9/2024Sandown ParkWednesday
10/11/2024Sandown ParkSunday
6/12/2024Sandown ParkFriday
7/12/2024Sandown ParkSaturday

Check out our guide for the full list of UK horse racing calendar fixtures for 2024.

Sandown Racecard and Sandown Tips

The racecards for Sandown races will be released the day before the races are set to happen (Sandown race card). You can view full racecards and sports market in advance, check out  – tomorrow’s horse racing meetings and today’s horse racing meetings. In these, you will get an advance look at all the runners, trainers, form and riders.

You can also of course purchase a racecard from the track which carries much of the same useful information. Many like to keep these as souvenirs, especially from big horse racing events.

Other Events Held at Sandown Park

Sandown Park is Surrey’s premier exhibition and conferencing facility, so there are various specialist shows staged here throughout the year.

It is well known as a venue for live music.

Sandown Park Races
Altior and Nico de Boinville winning The bet365 Celebration Chase from Sceau Royal (green)
Sandown 27.4.19
Pic Dan

Popular Questions

✅What hotels are near Sandown Park Racecourse?

The hotels near Sandown Park are good, including the Mitre Hotel, which is a luxury option just walking distance from Hampton Court Palace, and the Woodlands Park Hotel is based in picturesque surroundings.

For something cheaper but still lavish – but by no means less comfortable or budget – is the Alexander Pope.

All are within five miles of the course and will arrange taxi transport for you as required.

Essentially all hotels in London will be accessible on public transport.

✅What should I wear to Sandown?

Gentlemen must wear collared shirts to Sandown Park. Polo shirts, sportswear and polo-necked jumpers are not allowed.

Ladies are asked to dress as if for a smart occasion.

Smart jeans are allowed however they must not be ripped.

✅How do you get to Sandown races?

You can get to Sandown races via Esher rail station, which is a 10-minute walk from the course, a walk which takes you directly over the track.

It can also be reached by shuttle bus during major events, or there’s a taxi rank outside.

Don’t be caught out though, Esher rail station is situated in zone six and so is not covered by standard Oyster Cards!

✅Who owns Sandown racecourse?

Sandown Park is one of fifteen racecourses in the UK which is owned and operated by the Jockey Club and is a major events venue in the local area.

Summary of Sandown Racecourse

Sandown Park is a great racecourse with high-class racing all year round.

Easily accessible from London and with a train station at the course, it is popular with locals and those from further afield.

It is a course we love to visit for any meeting, with a great view of the racing action, excellent hospitality and a fun and friendly atmosphere.

The Esher racecourse is highly recommended at any time of year.