Jockey Club Race Courses in England
Next Meeting 24th July
This racecourse has a long history in UK horse racing, though it almost was not to be. When the land where Sandown Park now stands was up for sale, there was some discussion about what should occupy the space. There was plenty of support for an asylum or even a model village, but thanks to Lt Col Owen Williams’s connections with the royal family, the racecourse ultimately received the go-ahead.
The first race was run on 22 April 1875, but, due to heavy rainfall, the crowd was somewhat sparse. Nevertheless, jockey Fred Archer rode a winner and thus provided the crowd with an exciting race. As it was the first course to be enclosed, Sandown Park soon developed a reputation for being a place to go for high class sporting. In 1972, the course underwent a £3 million building program. In September 1973, the Queen Mother opened the improved racecourse â€“ an event that is still considered by many to be a success.
The course underwent another £23 million renovation that was unveiled in 2002. This included the addition of the new Eclipse Pavilion, canopies over the grandstand, and a walkway among other improvements.