Racing FAQs

Find out answers to frequent questions about going racing at Sandown Park.

What is flat and jump racing?
Flat racing at Sandown Park is run on a natural grass surface (turf) at a predetermined distance from five furlongs (1006 m) to over two miles (3219m). They are generally called sprints, middle distance or stayers’ races. Jump racing (also known as National Hunt) derives its name from early races in which orientation of the course was by reference to a church steeple, jumping fences and ditches and generally traversing the many intervening obstacles in the countryside.
Where will I see the horses?
You will see them warming up in the Pre-Parade ring opposite the Winner’s Enclosure, in the Parade Ring where the jockeys mount the horses, making their way to the racecourse via the Horsewalk and on the racecourse for the race. After the race, the horses will make their way to the Winner’s Enclosure again via the Horsewalk where the winning presentations will take place.
What time should I arrive?
The gates open approximately two hours before the first race. Please check the What’s On listing for the up-to-date times.
Where can I park?
There is car parking available at Sandown Park, for free in the centre of the racecourse (via the More Lane entrance) or at the front of the Grandstand (via Portsmouth Road) at a cost of £6 per car. Please note: The More Lane car park is subject to periodic closures whilst the individual races take place as cars need to cross the racecourse to enter the car park.
What is the dress code?
The dress code at Sandown Park is officially smart casual, but many people like to dress up for certain days, for example the Coral-Eclipse Summer Festival. We do not insist that a jacket and tie are worn to all meetings nor are ladies required to wear a hat. Smart jeans are permitted but must not be ripped or torn. Fancy dress and sportswear including shorts, football and rugby shirts and trainers are not permitted in the Premier Enclosure. Bare tops are also not permitted at the racecourse. Flip flops are also not permitted in the Premier Enclosure. Please be aware that the Sandown Park dress code will be applied to children over 12 years of age.
Where can I bet?
The places to bet are the Betfred and Coral counters located across the racecourse within the Grandstand or with the bookmakers who are situated in the betting ring at the front of the Grandstand Enclosure.
What can I get to eat and drink at the racecourse?
There is a wide variety of food and drink options at the racecourse including Costa Coffee, a family-friendly food hall and The Brasserie which is in the Premier Enclosure. Moët Champagne & Seafood Bar offers a sumptuous fish menu in the Champagne bar and there are also a host of bars serving non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Click here for more information on our food and drink facilities.
Can I bring a picnic?
Patrons are permitted to bring picnics into the racecourse which is to be consumed within the designated picnic area. Alcohol can only be brought in with a substantial picnic and it is limited to half a bottle of wine or champagne per person or 4 cans of beer, cider or pre-mixed aperitif. Unfortunately spirits, fortified wines and Pimm’s or similar are not allowed onto the racecourse.
Can I bring a barbeque?
Unfortunately barbecues are not permitted at Sandown Park.
Can I bring my dog?
Dogs are not allowed within the grounds of Sandown Park, with the exception of registered assistance dogs. The Sandown Park Management respectfully requests that dogs are never left in cars.
Are there drop off and pick up points?
Yes, via the main entrance on the Portsmouth Road. Please speak to a member of the car parking team for assistance.
Where is a good meeting point?
We recommend that the large tree between the parade ring and the winner’s enclosure is a great meeting point. Alternatively, Grandstand ticket holders could arrange to meet on the Sports Bar patio, overlooking the parade ring and Premier badge holders could meet underneath the clock tower, overlooking the horse walk and parade ring.
Are there any cash machines at Sandown Park?
We recommend you take cash out before you arrive at Sandown Park Racecourse, although there are cash points in the main entrance foyer and in the Premier Enclosure. Esher High Street has a variety of banks and cash point facilities.
What facilities are there for disabled customers?
Sandown Park is accessible for disabled customers with ramp access, disabled parking close to the entrance, disabled viewing platforms*, disabled toilet facilities, low level service areas in the bars and Food Court and first aid facilities. *Only one carer accompanying one disabled person will be allowed on the viewing platform.
Do I need a racecard?
A racecard is an essential investment for your day, listing all the runners & riders, their form guides and helpful tips. Racecards are sold from kiosks across the racecourse. If you have booked a hospitality package, racecards are usually provided.
Can I smoke at Sandown Park?
At Sandown Park, smoking is not permitted within the following areas, inside the Grandstand, the Eclipse Pavilion. Owners and Trainers (including the balcony), Weighing Room (including the balcony), Summer Marquees and other tented areas. Please note that smoking is still allowed in all other outside areas and balconies. Smoking is also prohibited in the designated ‘No Smoking & Drinking Zone’ located in the Premier Enclosure. If you have any queries regarding smoking legislation, please visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk
Can I take my camera?
You may use a camera in the normal public enclosures, as long as the photographs are not for commercial use. Please refrain from using flash photography in close proximity to any racehorse. On Music Nights, band management retain all image rights. Any photographer that is felt to be impeding or contravening these rights without accreditation and prior written consent will be requested to leave and escorted from the premises. Commercial photographers need to apply for press accreditation.
Does Sandown Park accommodate Hen and Stag parties?
Yes. You can also celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or just get a group of friends together. Sandown Park offers a unique venue to enjoy a celebration. Each raceday is different and the choices of entertainment are numerous, with top-class racing throughout the year, including Ladies, Gentlemen’s and Family Days, liveMusic Nights from some of the world’s best artists and even Comedy Days.
When do the seasons begin and end?
At Sandown Park the Flat season runs from April until September whilst the Jump Season runs from November through to bet365 Jump Finale in April which is the official end of the National Hunt Season in Britain.
Can I bring my own seats/furniture
Shooting sticks are allowed but racegoers bringing other forms of seats or personal furniture will not be admitted into the racecourse.
Are children U18 free?
​On all racing fixtures except music nights, 2 U18s can be accompanied free of charge with every paying adult. Please note that proof of age may be required.
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