Buy Tickets

Enquiries 01372 46 43 48

History of Sandown Park

You could spend an exhilarating day at Sandown Park, imagining that it was created yesterday. But actually, the racecourse has a long and distinguished past. In fact, it occupies a unique place in British racing history and has been the backdrop to legendary contests between horses and riders that remain household names.

Legendary jockey Fred Archer rode a winner in the torrential rain at the inaugural meeting of 1875, and a lucky precedent was set in the distinguished history of Sandown Park.

What precedent?

"How pleasant once more," wrote a satisfied customer in 1879, "to find ourselves within the Sandown Club Enclosure, under a genial sky and with all the well-known surroundings of pretty women, good luncheon and good sport." And the same words could be written today with perfect accuracy.

The course was designed and built, when other racecourses had simply evolved from misty, Medieval origins. There were plans for a lunatic asylum, a new town - but the racecourse won the day.

Sandown Park was the first racecourse to be enclosed and in the words of a contemporary diarist it was 'a place where a man could take his ladies without any fear of their hearing coarse language or witnessing uncouth behaviour.'

It was to become the Queen Mother's favourite course and provided a suitably impressive backdrop to the feats of Arkle, Mill Reef and Desert Orchid. Yet it has always developed in sympathy with the spirit of the times and is now one of the most modern and accessible racing venues in the country.

For more information please contact the Racing Department on 01372 46 43 48 or email sandownpark@thejockeyclub.co.uk