contenders day sandown

Horse Racing

Contenders Day at Sandown Park

🏇 Sandown Park Racecourse is the place to be for Contenders Day and a big afternoon of National Hunt racing.  Tickets are on sale here.

The National Hunt season continues with a fixture that often provides some handy pointers for next month’s Cheltenham Festival.  Contenders Day at Sandown Park is sure to draw a big crowd to the Esher course with a quality seven-race card to enjoy.

Racing gets underway from 12.35pm with a Class 2 handicap (worth £50,000) at 1.45pm ahead of the first of the feature races – the Scilly Isles Novices’ Steeple Chase – at 2.20pm.

Taking place over 2 miles and 4 furlongs (two and a half miles) this Grade 1 race was first run in 1964 and gets its ‘Scilly Isles’ name after an area close to the racecourse.  In 2021 the race was won by Sporting John ridden by champion jockey Richard Johnson and trained by Philip Hobbs.  Last year L’Homme Presse landed jockey Charlie Deutsch the first Grade 1 success of his career.  Trained by Venetia Williams, L’Homme Presse went on to win at the Cheltenham Festival before unseating jockey Deutsch at the final fence of the prestigious King George VI Chase at Kempton.  

Following the 2.20pm all eyes will be on the most valuable race of the day – the Heroes Handicap Hurdle – which is scheduled for 2.55pm and has a £100,000 prize pot.  In 2022 the race was won by Green Book with the jockey/trainer combination of Charlie Deutsch and Venetia Williams landing back-to-back feature races at Sandown Park after L’Homme Presse’s victory earlier that day. 

🗝️ Gates open at 10.35am.

🏇 First race at 12.35pm.  

🏇 Feature races of the day: the Scilly Isles Novices’ Steeple Chase and Heroes Handicap Hurdle at 2.20pm and 2.55pm respectively.

🏇 Last race at 4.03pm

🎟️ Tickets for Contenders Day at Sandown Park are available via the ‘Get Tickets’ link.  Under 18s (maximum of 2) are free when accompanied by an adult.

🚊🚗 Travel tips: Free car parking is available in the centre of the racecourse accessible from the More Lane entrance.  Parking in the main Sandown Park car park off Portsmouth Road costs £5.

The train is recommended if travelling by public transport from central London.  Esher railway station – a 30-minute journey from London Waterloo – is the nearest one to course.  The station is a 10-minute walk from the main entrance which can be reached by crossing the centre of the course on racedays.  Note: Esher station is located outside of Zones 1-6 and paper ticket should be purchased as Oyster Cards are not valid.  For train times visit the National Rail website or call 08457 48 49 50.

👀 For more great spectator sport visit out What’s On page.  And for regular reminders to ensure you don’t miss a moment of the action subscribe now to our free newsletter!