A Guide To Sandown Racecourse
Sandown Park Racecourse is a dual-purpose racecourse that hosts group-1 flat-racing and grade-1 jumps-racing. Located in Esher, Sandown races throughout the season, but boasts three top-quality meetings in April, July and December.
April is a two-day meeting, and the Friday is dedicated to flat-racing with the Group-3 Gordon Richards Stakes and the Group-2 Bet365 Mile taking centre stage. However, on Saturday it is the turn of the jumpers with the 3-miles and 5-furlongs of the Bet365 Gold Cup providing a thorough test of a horse’s jumping and stamina. However, the classiest horses turn-out in the Celebration Chase over 2-miles, with the likes of Sire Du Grugy, Special Tiara and Sprinter Sacre all recent winners.
In July, it is back to the flat for the 10-furlong Group-1 Coral Eclipse, which superstars like Golden Horn and Sea The Stars have both won in recent years, whilst it’s back to the 2-mile jumpers in December for the Tingle Creek Chase.
Flat Racing Course
The flat-course at Sandown is an oval-shaped, right handed course measuring 13-furlongs, with a 4-furlong finishing straight. Horses often need a blend of speed and stamina, with speed initially required to get a good-position, and stamina required to see out what is quite a taxing climb to the winning-post. In sprints, it is often an advantage to be drawn on the stands rail, and there are plenty of hard-luck stories as horses can get caught too far back as they attempt to not lose ground by racing wide. Therefore, it can be quite an advantage to be near the pace throughout.
Jumps Racing Course
The chase-track is universally considered to provide one of the sternest tests of a horse’s jumping ability, and this right handed, galloping track takes no prisoners. In the back-straight there are 7 fences which come thick and fast, with the Railway Fences being particularly notorious.
Meanwhile, when conditions are on the soft-side, the hurdles course tends to ride more testing and, just like on the flat, it can pay to be handy on both courses.
Jockeys are full of praise for both courses, and most jockeys know that securing a decent position before the final-bend can be a race-winning move. There’s also quite a long run-in after the final hurdle and fence, and many jockeys have committed too soon only to be caught in the shadows of the post.
Top Flat Jockeys And Trainers
Richard Hannon and John Gosden have been the most successful trainers at Sandown in the last 3-years, but it’s Gosden 21 winners from 82 runners that has achieved a level-stakes profit of +£16. Meanwhile, another trainer to note here is William Haggas, who has saddled 11 winners from just 38 runners for a near 29% strike-rate and a +£5 level-stakes profit.
The top flat-jockey in the same period is Ryan Moore but, whilst he’s ridden 29 winners from 131 runners, you would have shown a level-stakes loss of -£16 is you had backed all his mounts.
Top Jumps Trainers And Jockeys
Backing Ryan Moore may not have made you a profit on the flat, but backing his father’s and brothers’ runners would have. Trainer Gary Moore has trained 8 winners from 28 runners for a level-stakes profit of +£43, whilst brothers Jamie and Joshua have both recorded level-stakes profit of over +25 over fences.
The other notable is Sam Twiston-Davies over hurdles, with his 9 winners from 35 rides producing a +£45 Profit.