imperial cup day

Horse Racing

Imperial Cup Day at Sandown Park Racecourse

🏇 Spring is in the air and some quality National Hunt racing awaits at Sandown Park this afternoon at Imperial Cup Day, followed by a live screening of England v Ireland in the Six Nations. 

NEWSFLASH: The 2024 Imperial Cup Day is a wrap!  Check out our HORSE RACING section here for more events coming up in or around London.

CONGRATULATIONS to Go Dante, ridden by Sean Bowen, who won the big race on Imperial Cup day after a photo finish with Faivoir.  After an anxious wait, it was the Olly Murphy-trained Go Dante who was announced as the winner of the race and who claimed the majority of the £100,000 prize fund.


They’re under starter’s orders at Sandown Park in Surrey for a seven-race card at Imperial Cup Day, including two Grade 3 hurdles and a listed Flat race alongside the feature race.  It’s the perfect prelude to Cheltenham with the start of the famous festival in Gloucestershire just three days away. 

The standout race of the afternoon is the Imperial Cup worth a total of £100,000.  First run in 1907 this prestigious handicap hurdle race takes place over two miles. It has featured the likes of Olympian, Blowing Wind and Gaspara.  All horses who have gone on to win at the Cheltenham Festival after winning at Sandown Park.

In 2022 jockey James Bowen, celebrating his 21st birthday, memorably road Surprise Package – trained by Peter Fahey – to victory in the race at odds of 20-1.  Last year Iceo, with Harry Cobden on board, was cool as you like winning by four lengths from Knickerbockerglory for trainer Paul Nicholls.

Prior to the Imperial Cup (which goes off at 2.25pm), the Class 1 European Breeders’ Fund ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at 1.50pm is likely to attract a quality field with a prize fund of £80,000 up for grabs. 

Later on in the day the quality action continues with the British Stallion Studs EBF Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race at 3pm followed by the Novices Handicap Steeple Chase at 3.35pm which has a prize pot of £50,000.  Both are Class 1 races.

The last race is at 4.40pm after which there’s a bonus for racegoers with England v Ireland in the Six Nations being shown on the live on the Grandstand screens.  And in a further sporting twist there’s a live darts tournament featuring the one and only Bobby George!


🎟️ Tickets in advance are via the ‘Get Tickets’ link.  Under 18s are free when accompanied by an adult.  A ticket must be booked for each U18 at the time of the main purchase.

🎟️🎫 Hospitality options are available.  Email with ‘Imperial Cup Day’ in the subject box for price/package info OR complete the short form here. 

🗝️ Gates open at 11am.

🕒 First race at 1.15pm. 

🕒 🏇 Feature race of the day: the Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle is at 2.25pm. 

🕒 Last race at 4.45pm

🚊🚗 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.  Use the train if travelling by public transport from central London.  Esher railway station is nearest to the course and a 30-minute journey from London Waterloo.  Access the main entrance to the racecourse by crossing the centre of the course.  Note: Esher station is located outside of Zones 1-6.  Oyster Cards are not valid.  For train times visit the National Rail website or call 08457 48 49 50.

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