Sandown racecourse is a horse racing venue located in Esher, Surrey. The racetrack was opened way back in 1875, and is owned and operated by Jockey Club Racecourses. It hosts both flat and National Hunt races, making it one of the few races in England that hosts both races. Unlike most racecourses that evolved from being venues of other sports or activities, Sandown was built purposely for horse-racing. It is said to have been the Queen Mother’s favorite horse racing venue. Sandown is not only a horse racing venue, but also a venue for social functions like exhibitions, conferences, weddings and seminars. This is because of its state of the art facilities which are flexible, and can accommodate all sorts of events.
Racing at the current Sandown racecourse venue began in 1935. Later in 1952, its activities were cut short by the outbreak of the World War. It was among the first racecourses to charge people for attending the races. The first race meeting to take place there lasted for over three days, starting from the 22nd of April. Its original track was covered with neatly cut grass, but was later changed into a sand track in 1964, due to maintenance difficulties. Computerized
Tote equipment was introduced in 1974, facilitating betting in the racecourse.
The most notable races run at Sandown are the Tolworth Hurdle and the Gainsborough chase. The Tolworth is a National Hunt race, strictly meant for horses aged four years and above. During the race, horses cover a total distance of 3,125 meters. The race is sponsored by 32Red, and takes place every January. The Gainsborough was
first run in 1954. Unlike the Tolworth, horses aged five years and above take part in the race. It takes place every late January or early February. The racecourse has a wide range of hospitality options facilitating a comfortable
race day for the racegoers.