Sandown Park, located in Esher, Surry, is one of the best quality dual-purpose racecourses in the country.
There are no less than six Group/Grade One races staged here over the course of the year, while over the jumps especially the handicaps are particularly competitive and attracts millions of pounds in wagers.
Sandown Track Details
The tracks here are right-handed, with the flat course being an oval just over 1¼ miles in length. The straight here is half-a-mile long and so, in theory, gives horses and jockeys plenty of time to sort themselves out.
It’s often been said that there is an advantage to being on the far rail on the sprint course which is all uphill and runs through the middle of the round course.
While the aforementioned straight is long enough, races can change here very late on but that tends to be because of runners in behind getting into trouble, so a front-running or handy type who can strike the lead early will have an advantage.
Over on the jumps track Sandown is galloping in nature and is regarded as one of the better chase tracks around, so don’t worry overly about your horse’s jumping ability.
Similarly to the flat track, riders report that they don’t want where possible to be in position before the turn as so often it has proven to be too late otherwise. Again then, handy types are best rather than confirmed hold-up horses ridden by strong hold-up jockeys.
Conversely to the flat course though, the run-in here isn’t that long and yet can take plenty of getting when the weather is wet.
Top Trainers and Jockeys
Sandown’s flat and jumps tracks have their quirks, so it pays to know in advance who the stronger performers are on them. The top trainers are:
- John Gosden*
- Andrew Balding*
- Sir Michael Stoute*
- Charlie Appleby*
- David Menuisier*
- William Haggas
- Nicky Henderson
- Paul Nicholls
- Philip Hobbs
- Venetia Williams
- Colin Tizzard
- Nigel Twiston-Davies
The better-performing jockeys at Sandown Park are:
- Oisin Murphy*
- Ryan Moore*
- William Buick*
- Silvestre De Sousa*
- Frankie Dettori*
- Harry Cobden
- Jamie Moore
- Nico De Boinville
- Barry Geraghty
- Robbie Power
Major Handicaps at Sandown Park
Sandown hosts five major Grade 1 races over jumps, as well as the all-important middle-distance summer showpiece the Eclipse Stakes on the flat. While these events do cause ripples in betting offices, it’s the handicaps that get the hearts of punters pumping and these are the best of them:
|Esher Cup||Classic Trial Day, April||Class 2||1 mile, 14 yards|
|Whitsun Cup||London’s Night at the Races, May||Class 2||1 mile, 14 yards|
|Betway Masters Handicap Chase (Gainsborough Chase)||Scilly Isles Chase Day, February||Class 2||3 miles, 37 yards|
|Heroes Handicap Hurdle||Scilly Isles Chase Day||Grade 3||2 miles, 7 furlongs, 98 yards|
|Imperial Cup (Hurdle)||Imperial Cup Day, March||Grade 3||2 miles, 110 yards|
|bet365 Gold Cup (Chase)||Jump Finale, April||Grade 3||3 miles, 5 furlongs, 110 yards|