Lingfield Park Racecourse

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Lingfield Park Racecourse is located on 450 acres of rolling countryside in the small village of Lingfield in Surrey, where it features one of only three all weather tracks available for racing in the U.K. It also hosts both flat racing and National Hunt races on a left-handed turf course, adding up to a year-round schedule that boasts over 100 fixtures. Among its noteworthy events are trials conducted in early May for two classics, the Derby and the Oaks.

Highlights of a Proud History

The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) opened Lingfield Park Racecourse in 1890. The course was initially intended for jump racing only, but in 1894 permission was granted by the Jockey Club to operate as a flat racing venue and it has been a dual purpose property ever since.

The most significant race established at Lingfield was the Derby Trial Stakes. Since its first running in 1932, the event has delivered several winners to Epsom Downs that doubled up with a Derby crown, including the inaugural champion April the Fifth and the most recent one, High-Rise, in 1998.

In 1933, a second major race was added—the first Oaks Trial. Originally known as the Oaks Trial Plate, it was renamed the Oaks Trial Stakes after World War II. Several contenders have subsequently won the Epsom Oaks. The most recent was Look Here, the Trial runner-up in 2008.

During World War II, the War Office requisitioned the racecourse. It was used primarily as a prisoner of war internment camp for Italians, while the home straight was also used by the Home Guard for practising marches and attacks.

In 1988, two prestigious jump races were inaugurated here. One was the Summit Juvenile Hurdle, which was subsequently transferred to Doncaster in 2010. The other, which remains in place, was the December Novices’ Chase, a Grade 2 National Hunt chase that is presently the only National Hunt event with graded status run at Lingfield Park.

In 1989, the racecourse became the first in the U.K. to install an artificial track. A new Equitrack all-weather-surface course was located inside the redesigned turf course. After Arena Leisure PLC (now Arena Racing Company) acquired Lingfield Park in 1997, plans were made to replace the original surface with a superior one known as a Polytrack, and that action came about in 2001.

Other notable flat racing events at Lingfield Park Racecourse include the Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes, first run here in 1994, and the Winter Derby, inaugurated in 1998. An investment of £5.5 million allowed improvement of the main grandstand and other visitors’ facilities in 2004, and in 2010 the 116-room, 4-star Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club opened, incorporating the property’s championship golf course, which had been constructed in 1987.

Today

The current calendar at Lingfield Park Racecourse features a variety of flat, all-weather and National hunt (jump) fixtures across every month of the year. There’s an excellent mix of weekday, evening and weekend dates, so that something is available for every kind of racegoer, including family days, racing and music nights, and a popular ladies’ evening. Among the most popular gatherings each year are the United Kingdom Meeting in early May and the Fireworks Night in November.

Admission and hospitality packages are available on every fixture, starting with Premier Entrance Badges for £16 on Standard racedays and £21 on Featured racedays. The Trackside Restaurant Package includes admission, raceday programme and a four-course meal from £67 per adult and £25 per child (aged 5 to 15 years old). Private suites are also for groups of seven or more at a cost of £75 per person, offering Premier admission, hospitality service, a three-course meal, a raceday programme and access to Tote betting facilities, TV screens and a private bar overlooking the racecourse.

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