Fontwell Park’s two-day October Festival coming up

Fontwell Park Racecourse is one of the most popular National Hunt racecourses in the South of England, located in the village of Fontwell, West Sussex, where it is now owned by ARC Racing.

The oval racing track, over jumps, has good viewing facilities and also has an interesting history- as well as good jump racing coming up.

Highly competitive jump racing at Fontwell Park
Phoro: Jeannie Knight

It was founded by Alfred Day, who trained racehorses at The Hermitage, by the Chichester to Arundel road, from 1887. Day brought the name Fontwell back into use after researching the history of the area, and by 1924 he had purchased enough land to open a racecourse there.

The hurdles track was a normal shape, but the steeplechase course was laid out in a figure of eight shape to use the space on the site. The first meeting took place on 21 May 1924. The grandstand and the weighing room were built with thatched roofs. The opening race was won by the 5/4 favourite Gem, ridden by jockey Fred Rees.

It was the course where Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess Elizabeth, had her first winner as an owner when Monaveen won the Chichester Handicap Chase there in October 1949.

In 1984 John Francome rode his 1,036th career winner at Fontwell Park, passing Stan Mellors record for a National Hunt jockey – Francome’s record has subsequently been beaten.

The feature race of the season at Fontwell Park is the Grade Two National Spirit Hurdle run over a distance of two miles and four furlongs in February. It is  has such standing that it is a recognised Cheltenham Festival trial.

Previous National Spirit Hurdle winner Lil-Rockerfella, trained by Neil King and ridden by Trevor Whelan. Photo: Jeannie Knight

.Fontwell Park remains a popular and well-maintained track, attracting racegoers from a wide area with some competitive and often exciting jump racing over both hurdles and fences.

There is the chance to watch racing at close quarters in the centre of the course, from the rails or one of the grandstand areas at the track.

The next meeting there is a two-day October Fest meeting on Friday October 4 and Saturday October 5- with more fixtures to follow in every month through until the end of the season in June. The new season will start on August 2.

For more information see:

Season finale at Brighton Racecourse on Monday

BRIGHTON Racecourse stages its season finale on Monday, September 16- with the chance to get £5 off admission for anyone cycling to the racecourse.

This will be the season’s finale at this stunning seaside course with plenty of ticket options to choose from, whatever the weather.

Thrilling racing promised at Brighton’ final fixture of the season.
Photo courtesy of Connor Press Associates

This September, the popular racecourse has partnered up with Love to Ride for Cycle September. Love to Ride is an organisation designed to encourage cycling in return for online points, allowing you to win a range of prizes.

Brighton Racecourse is offering £5 off tickets and a complimentary soft drink to those who cycle to this September Race day, so hop on your bike, and come and see some thrilling racing!

Cycle September is a fantastic programme encouraging you to get active and have fun, all while helping the environment. Cycling for as little as 10 mins a day can earn you points, which gives you the chance to win prizes such as a seven-day mountain bike trip in New Zealand. To register for free, go to or go to the Love to Ride website to find out more.

At Brighton’s season finale, dress code in hospitality areas and the Premier Enclosure is smart casual. Sportswear, trainers and fancy dress are not permitted. There is no dress code in the Grandstand, or when One Enclosure is in operation. Fancy dress is allowed, providing it is decent and would not cause offence to other guests. The dress code does not apply to children under 10.

There are a range of ticket opportunities if bought in advance for the Grandstand and Paddock.The Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure allows access to the Long Bar, The Café, Tote betting facilities, the Parade Ring, and the picnic area. There are a wide range of food outlets in this area serving hot and cold snacks.

BHS annual coaching awards 2019- nominate now

Hosted by UK Coaching, the annual coaching awards will be held at The Tower Hotel London on December 5 2019 and will showcase the diverse work of coaches from all walks of life helping people improve their well-being and activity levels.

UK Coaching’s research shows that the UK coaching community is diverse at grassroots levels, and through working alongside UK Sport and Sport England more is being done to attract a wider range of people into coaching at all levels.

With more than 3 million people coaching across the UK regularly, this year’s Awards has been designed to ensure all coaches who give so much, from grassroots to the global stage, are recognised. Nominate someone now.

For the Awards, UK Coaching uses the broad definition of coaching and welcomes nominations on behalf of coaches, instructors, leaders, teachers, trainers and others who support people to achieve their sport and activity goals.

Emma Atkins

UK Coaching’s Director of Coaching Emma Atkins, said: “We are very excited to be opening this year’s awards nominations. Through our summer of great coaching, we have demonstrated to more people than ever the transformative and long-lasting effects of coaching, contributing to the nation’s health, social integration and happiness.

“Broadly speaking, the coaching family across the UK is made up of a range of people from different backgrounds, experiences and motivations with a common belief to help people be the best they can be, whether that’s to win a gold medal or move more than they did yesterday.

“We would like the public to celebrate the work of coaches by nominating a diverse array of coaches that have made a difference in people’s lives and their communities.”

Overall, there are 12 award categories, eight for coaches, three in support of coaches and the Great Coaching Moment of the Year. All honour #GreatCoaching and truly celebrate coaches and organisations that make a difference.

New for 2019 is the Changing Lives Award, which will be awarded to a coach who is leading the way to empower, inspire and connect people from diverse communities to overcome life challenges using the power of #GreatCoaching.

Make your coach feel special, nominate them for the UK Coaching Awards.

The Awards for Coaches are given to individual coaches who have excelled and shown outstanding commitment in a certain area, or to an individual and/or group over the last 12 months. Collectively, they are:

  • Community Coach of the Year
  • Changing Lives Award
  • Talent Development Coach of the Year
  • High Performance Coach of the Year
  • Young Coach of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • And the Coaching Chain, which recognises contributions made by individual coaches throughout an elite athlete’s life in helping achieve their potential.
  • The Awards in Support of Coaches recognise those who recruit, develop, educate, qualify, and/or deploy coaches effectively in the UK. Collectively, they are:
    • Coach Developer of the Year
    • Transforming Coaching
    • Coaching for an Active Life Award

    The Great Coaching Moment of the Year, which celebrates a moment in time when a coach’s support and guidance paid off, will be back again this year. The Sports Journalists’ Association will be providing this year’s shortlist which will then be made open to a public vote. Further details will be announced soon.

    Public nominations for the awards will close at noon on September 18 and what follows is a rigorous, independent and impartial judging process. To ensure welfare is at the heart of the UK Coaching Awards, UK Coaching has a strict set of guidelines and criteria, through which an independent judging panel select the finalists.

    All finalists are verified by their respective governing body sport or representative organisation and all finalists are asked to sign and adhere to the UK Coaching Code of Conduct. All nomination information is treated as confidential until shortlists and winners are announced.

    Nominate a coach for an award at

Jockey Barry McHugh enjoys first treble

Barry McHugh celebrated a first treble of his career at Wolverhampton on Saturday night courtesy of victories aboard Moon Of Love, Stone Soldier and Blyton Lass.

McHugh’s first winner was on board 5f novice stakes scorer Moon Of Love, trained by Richard Fahey and owners The Cool Silk Partnership, before teaming up with James Given for his second and third winners.

Trainer Richard Fahey    Photo: Jeannie Knight

Stone Soldier won impressively at 14-1 on his nursery debut for Given and the same owner-jockey combination before 7-1 shot Blyton Lass, owned by Andy Clarke, landed the 1m 4f classified stakes.

Jockey Barry McHugh Photo courtesy of John Simpson

McHugh, who has been riding in Britain for 18 years, said: “This year has been going well so it’s great to get a first treble.  Winners like this make the early starts and long drives worthwhile.”

James Given, who is based in Lincolnshire,  trained two of McHugh’s  three winners winners in Stone Soldier and Blyton Lass.

Trainer James Given
Photo: Jeannie Knight

“She’s a very honest mare and responds well. Trainers James Given and Richard Fahey have been great supporters of mine and this makes the victories even better.”

Earlier on the card, the Mark Johnston-trained Love Dreams won the 7 furlong claimer under Franny Norton on his 17th start of the year and was claimed by Jamie Osborne for £10,000.

Goodwood’s autumnal seasonal finale

THERE are still two more racing fixtures to look forward to at Goodwood before this highly successful season ends.

On Wednesday September 25, racegoers will have the opportunity to enjoy racing at a more relaxed pace in a midweek atmosphere.

Then there is the autumnal Season Finale Harvest, Hops and Horseracing,to look forward to on Sunday October 13. This will celebrate everything harvest, hops and top class horse racing- featuring hog roast and toasted marshmallows.

Goodwood  Racecourse welcomes racegoers to share in the celebrations and say farewell to the highly memorable and successful season in true style.

Action packed Goodwood finale Photo courtesy of Dominic James

This traditional, rural-themed, end-of-year fixture. The Season Finale, in association with All Call Signs, provides one final chance to experience racing at Goodwood in all its glory before the winter break.

This fiinal raceday has a relaxed, laid back feel with the atmosphere of a country-style meeting. In between some memorable racing, enjoy the sounds of a string band playing merry tunes against a backdrop of roaring fire pits, hay bales and toasted marshmallows.

Gates open at 11:30am and the first race will start at approximately 1:30pm.


Plumpton’s new season starts this month

RACING resumes at Plumpton Racecourse with a Core Spreads Family Raceday on Sunday September 22.

This popular National Hunt track has a season opener raceday for all the family, with activities and entertainment throughout the day, and accompanied under 18s are admitted free.

Good viewing facilities of horses in the paddock at Plumpton           Photo: Jeannie Knight

Racegoers have a good view of racing and can also see runners and riders at close quarters in the paddock before racing as well as in the unsaddling enclosure afterwards.

There will be plenty of family entertainment, ranging from Meet The Trolls, face painting and a mascot race to static falconry display, derby horse hoppers, rodeo bull, soft play area, as well as seven races on the card.

    1. Plumpton offers top class jump racing with good viewing facilities.  Photo:Jeannie Knight

The opening day is an ideal time to sample some of Plumpton’s renowned hospitality with two restaurants to choose from. Enjoy the Paddock Restaurant with a three course a la carte menu, welcome drink, table for the day, racecard, admission all for just £80pp.

In the Marquee Restaurant you can enjoy a three-course set menu, welcome drink, table for day, racecard and admission opposite the final fence for just £70pp. To book call 01273 890383.

You can enjoy all 17 racedays at a reduced price by becoming a Plumpton Racecourse Annual Member.Single Membership – £200 while Double membership is £380.

Included in the price of the membership is a racecard at every fixture, discounted hospitality prices, £600 worth of tickets to other racecourses and sporting venues PLUS much more.

At this popular jumps track, racegoers can look forward to enjoying some top class jump racing throughout the winter and into next spring, with some quality horses amongst runners on racedays. Get your tickets early to save money.

Tickets are on sale now.


Spectacular Bank Holiday racing at Goodwood


FROM the sensational fireworks display that took place on Friday evening, to the superb performances on the track, the August Bank Holiday fixture at Goodwood Racecourse from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 August was nothing short of spectacular with glorious weather to match.

Spectacular fireworks at Goodwood    Photo: Goodwood Racecourse

After racing, the very popular Batala drummers set a hypnotic beat, drawing crowds from around the stands before fireworks lit up the night sky. The crowd were so impressed that there was rapturous applause and cheers after the finale.

Volkan Star was a sensational winner of The European Breeders Fund EBF Novice Stakes, trouncing his rivals by an impressive six lengths to justify the £1million price tag paid by Godolphin for Charlie Appleby and William Buick. Green Power showed his liking for the Sussex track once again by winning the feature Levin Down Handicap- proving that victory at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in the Chelsea Barracks Handicap was no fluke.

Volkan Star when he was sold at the sales for racing
Photo courtesy of Laura Green

On Saturday, Duke Of Hazzard got the better of Turgenev in the Group 2 Ladbrokes Celebration Mile, heralding jockey, Rossa Ryan’s, biggest career win to date. The three-year-old now has a Group 1 entry in the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp.

Rossa Ryan, 19, who is in his first year after riding out his claim, commented; “I didn’t sleep well last night and spent a lot of time on my tablet, working out what might happen and how the race would go.

Up and coming jockey Rossa Ryan Photo: John Simpson

“Blinkers have brought out a big improvement in him, and he loves it round here. Paul Cole (trainer) has been very kind to me and I am grateful to him and Mrs. Fitri Hay for putting me up.”

Richard Kingscote rode a tactical race on Boomer. who stuck her neck out to repel the late challenge of Dark Lady in the Group 3 Ladbrokes Prestige Stakes, before a small but select field contested the Group 3 Ladbrokes March Stakes.

Sir Ron Priestley and jockey  Franny Norton, following their victory at Goodwood Racecourse in the March Stakes, in memory of the late John Dunlop.
Photograph by Sam Stephenson, 07880 703135,

Run in memory of local trainer, the late John Dunlop, it was Sir Ron Priestley who obliged becoming the third Qatar Goodwood Festival winner to follow up with a win at the meeting.  Having been headed by the strong travelling Promissory, he won convincingly, under a confident ride from Franny Norton.

John Dunlop’s widow, Sue, was on hand to present the trophy for the race to  Deirdre Johnston, wife of trainer Mark Johnson, and owner Mr. Paul Dean.

On Sunday, the warm weather continued to grace the Sussex Downs with Oisin Murphy enjoying a good day with two winners. The first came aboard Queen’s Soldier in The Chichester City Selling Stakes, before Le Don De Vie followed up in the Handicap Stakes.

Suedois rallied gamely under Danny Tudhope as Momkin challenged late in the Group 3 Weatherbys Racing Bank Supreme Stakes; the ultra-consistent eight-year-old holds an entry at Irish Champions Weekend.

Red Stripes made the long trip from Cheshire worthwhile for Lisa Williamson by winning The Ladbrokes Download The App Handicap Stakes, before Blue Medici won the final race of the weekend, the Silk Series.

Throughout the meeting, racegoers not only enjoyed the blissful weather, but also family fun including live music, a traditional fairground, donkey rides, Punch and Judy shows and a petting zoo. For those keen to sit back and enjoy the afternoon, food outlets proved extremely popular, while those who stayed into the evening could toast marshmallows on fire pits as the sun set.

The racecourse is now looking forward to two Midweek fixtures on September 3 and 11, before the season comes to a close on October 13  with the Harvest, Hops and Horseracing fixture.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit :htpps//

Second long reining course to be held at Moorcroft

Following on from the success of a recent long-reining course  at Moorcroft Racehorse Centre at Slinfold, where chief executive Mary Frances ensured participants acquired new knowledge and skills to long rein their own horses, a second course is to be held next month.

Long reining is one of the keys to the enormous success rate of retraining former racehorses at this outstanding centre in Sussex.  Under Mary’s supervision and guidance, the centre excels in re-schooling and rehabilitating former racehorses so that they go on to a happy future outside racing.

A previous well-attended long reining course at Moorcroft Photo:Mark Beaumont

By popular demand from  those who were unable to attend the first course, this second event will take place on Saturday September 21 to enable those who missed the first event to have the chance to learn how to long-rein their own horses and others have the chance to join in too.

Mary said that the team effort in retraining ex-racehorses at Moorcroft enabled these horses to get over any injuries or problems acquired during their racing careers and then  to go to happy futures in suitable homes outside racing.

To ensure you have a place on this second course on September 21 contact Mary at Moorcroft on 07929 666408  to book your place now.


Historic Day at Glorious Goodwood yesterday

LADIES DAY at Glorious Goodwood yesterday fulfilled all expectations, with the highlight being when Mhadijah Mellah became Britain’s first Muslim jockey to win her debut race there.

Just 18-years-old, she won the Magnolia Cup charity race for women only in fine style on board Haverland. It was even more remarkable because the first time she sat on a racehorse was only four months previously- and she finished in front of the likes of VIctoria Pendleton and model Vogue Williams.

Magnolia Cup winner Mella following her victory      Photo: Press Association

Mella is set to study mechanical engineering at university in September.
The charity race, a five-furlong and 110-yard flat race, was held on the third day of the meet to raise funds for Wellbeing of Women.
She came from off the pace to score a memorable victory for connections.Mellah raced less than four months after first sitting on a racehorse and is the first person in the UK to ride a competitive race while wearing a hijab.
The rookie jockey is set to study mechanical engineering at university in September.
The charity race, a five-furlong and 110-yard flat race, was held on the third day of the meet to raise funds for Wellbeing of Women.
She said ahead of the race: “It’s crazy to think of my journey over the last couple of months but a big part of my life has been proving people wrong.”
“There’s quite a stereotype around Muslim girls and them ‘not being able to follow their sporting passions and dreams’.
“I want to be a role model to anyone who wants to do something that they wouldn’t initially believe was in their comfort zone and allow people to follow their aspirations and dreams.”

Deirdre ridden to victory by Oisin Murphy
Photo: John Simpson

Earlier at the meeting, history was also made when Japanese trainer Mitsuru Hashida, saddled up Deirdre to win the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

Settled off the pace by Oisin Murphy when Mehdaayih and Hermosa set a demanding gallop, the five-year-old stayed on powerfully to mark up a significant overseas win.

Jockey Oisin Murphy guided the five-year-old home to a great victory as Dettori and Mehdaayih came in second.


Impressive Goodwood double for Dettori

Jockey Frankie Dettori  had an impressive win in the Qtar Goodwood Cup Stakes- a Group1 two mile race in the British Champions Series at Goodwood yesterday on good going.

The 48-year-old partnered Stradivarius, the 4/5 favourite trained by John Gosden,  to an impressive victory in the race. He snatched the win by a neck from 11-2 runner-up shot  Dee Ex Bee at 11-2, trained by Mark Johnston and ridden by Silvestre De Sousa.

It was the third consecutive year that Tradivarius had won this race.

Stradivarius stars again in Goodwood Cup with Frankie Dettori Photo courtesy of Goodwood.

Cross Counter, trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by James Doyle was third.

There was a quick double for Frankie Dettori for he also won the following race for trainer John Quinn on board 15-8 favourite Cobra Eye, beating Fuwayit- a Mark Johnston-trained runner sent off at 8-1.
It meant an 11th Group One victory for Dettori in 62 days. He continued his impressive form as he won the Sussex Stakes on Too Darn Hot at Glorious Goodwood on Wednesday.

The John Gosden-trained evens favourite pulled clear under him in the final furlong to win from Circus Maximus and I Can Fly.

The three-year-old, owned by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, was briefly trapped in a pocket but came through to win the mile prize comfortably.