Esher is a town in Surrey and is the home of Sandown Park Racecourse. It is one of the southernmost suburbs of Greater London. The centre of London is about 30 minutes away by trains running about every 15-30 minutes or so during the week.
The most notable place in the locality is Hampton Court Palace which is about two and a half miles away in East Molesey.
TripAdvisor lists a number of hotels, restaurants and pubs in the area. Of course the centre of London isn’t too far away either.
Sandown Park Racecourse hosts both flat racing and NH racing and is home to a number of prestigious events under both codes, The Eclipse Stakes (Group 1) and The Tingle Creek Chase to name but two.
The Flat racing track is a right-handed, galloping, oval course of 1m5f with 4f uphill run-in. There is a separate diagonal 5f course through the centre of the track which rises steadily from start to finish. It is essential that a horse sees out the trip thoroughly to win here.
The general feeling is that it is advantageous to be drawn low in the 5f course. This is especially true when the ground is riding soft. Races over 7f are run round a right hand bend and therefore low numbers are on the inside. It is therefore not surprising that those drawn low appear to have a distinct advantage here too.
The Jumps track is also right-handed with the same stiff uphill finish. The chase course is tricky, especially for novices and not least because of the seven fences along the back, three of which are close together.
Clerk of the course: Andrew J Cooper
Course telephone number: 01372 463072
Sandown Park is less than 20 miles from Central London using A3, 132 miles from Birmingham, 121 miles from Bristol, 155 miles from Cardiff, 215 miles from Manchester and 415 miles from Edinburgh.
The nearest motorway junction is M25 J10 and then follow A3 towards London, then exit on to A307.
The course post code is KT10 9AJ.
Course parking is free in the centre of the course.
The nearest railway station is Esher Station which adjoins the course. There is a special race day exit from the station and it’s about 10 minutes walk across to the enclosures.
There are two enclosures at Sandown Park, The Premier Enclosure and The Grandstand Enclosure. Both areas are quite spacious and have plenty to offer the racegoer in terms of food and drink. Entry to Premier Enclosure requires smart casual dress and allows entry into the Grandstand Enclosure area too. The viewing from both is excellent.
There is plenty of food and drink available to suit all tastes in both enclosures and the hall under the grandstand itself offers lots of space to move around and there is a fair bit of seating. Personally I went for the warm ham sandwich in the Champagne Bar and it was lovely. There is also a brasserie on the ground floor and a restaurant on the first floor as well as lots of food stalls dotted around the enclosures.
I liked seeing the Real Ale bar as I walked through though didn’t sample any. I’ve seen this at a few racecourses now and is a trend that I hope will grow.
I’ve not been to Sandown Park for a while though used to come here a lot when living in the London area. It’s a fantastic venue and in terms of it’s layout, I think anywhere could learn from it. I really like the parade ring area and feel appreciative of the tributes there to Special Cargo and to HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
Having had a good look at the card last night, I wasn’t sure that I was even going to have a bet today. That’s not a bad thing just a bit unusual. However, this morning, I had a little bit each way on the John Gosden trained Kosciuszko in the third race, a Novice Stakes. He was renewing rivalry with Venedegar who had finished a couple of lengths in front of him over 7f here at the end of July when they both finished behind another John Gosden inmate Beatboxer. Kosciuszko had been very coltish that day and less likely to do himself justice. I felt that today at the likely prices and over a furlong further that Kosciuszko was worth a small bit each way to reverse the form. On my way down, I saw that my mate @genuinetriers was thinking in a similar vein and tis is an opinion I really do trust.
I watched Kosciuszko in the preliminaries and he was as quiet as a church mouse and gave his jockey no problem at all once he mounted him and rode him to the start. That was enough for me to make my small each way a bit larger and I was rewarded as Kosciuszko made most and outstayed them all up the Sandown hill to win by a length and three quarters.
That was about it for me though I did have a small bet on Swift Approval in the Claiming Handicap two races later. It was just that for me he had been competing in better company than this in his last two at Goodwood and Ascot. He was beaten into 4th today having led at the furlong pole but unable to find anything extra inside the last. No damage done as I had also backed him in the four places market on Betfair. This is a recent skill I’ve been learning and very useful it is indeed.
So let’s see what Chelmsford has in store for me tomorrow. I see Swift Approval is entered there again. I wonder…….?