The Eclipse Stakes attracts thousands of fans and racegoers as well as trainers. Further, the highly publicised Group 1 race is a favourite subject of bold headlines in the sports sections of leading publication from all over the world. Again, the distinct event is accorded live television coverage by nearly all global sports channels.
Sandown Racecourse is a generally busy racing centre that draws fans from across the country. Featuring racing activities in the morning, evening, and afternoon, it is doubtless one of the busiest horse sporting grounds in Europe.
In a similar vein, the management relates commendably well with various stakeholders such as sponsors and corporate clients. As a result of its impeccably sound public relations acumen, Sandown has become a haven of unceasing sporting and extra-sporting activities such as wedding fairs, trade shows, toy fairs, property exhibitions, auctions and car displays, as well other blue-chip corporate events. It is a top destination for even globetrotting from as far as the United States.
Unlike other well-known racecourses in Britain, Sandown Racecourse is highly targeted by owners and managers of high-profile private events. Sandown’s long list of regular clients ranges from church managements and family events planning committees to music bands and religious assemblies. For instance, Sandown has played the host to tens of chart-topping bands.
Some of the widely appreciated musicians who have played at Sandown s include UB40, Sugababes, and Spandau Ballet. Leading artists favour the platform due to its capacity to hold a huge number of fans plus the top-class hospitality services offered there. Another of the many location-related strengths is that the racecourse is served by the Esher railway station that makes it easy for visitors and guests to access Sandown Racecourse.
Sandown Racecourse opened its doors in 1875, amid great enthusiasm from the local town folks who lauded the inception of a well-laid-out racing facility within Surrey. Horse racing meetings soon ensued.
Sandown became one of the first racecourses to charge an entry fee. Records available at the venue’s archives show that entrants paid half a crown to get admission into the just-opened racing facility. While the present generation may view the admittance charges as being small, a single crown was a meaningful amount of cash that could get an adult lunch or pay train fare over a long journey.
The very first meeting at Sandown took place on Thursday 22nd April in 1875 and ending on the 25th day of the same month. The National Hunt Chase was one of the racing events that were staged on this new sporting facility. Held during the then widely popularised Cheltenham Festival, the National Hunt Chase championships attracted thousands of sports fans from all over Surrey.
Compared to other British race tracks that were held around the same time period, the festival and the National Hunt Chase competitions were an unprecedented success. With most sports bulletins of the day documenting the extremely successful event, it has since been categorised as one of the very few horse racing events to be enjoyed by the entire population before the 20th century.
Sandown mixes both strict and lenient dressing codes – depending on the area you visit while on the grounds. While there is no official dress for those visiting the course, there are dressing guidelines that ought to be adhered by people who go to the enclosure section. As a general rule, the management advises their visitors and guests to dress decently and acceptable, regardless of the racecourse section they intend to visit at Sandown Racecourse.
Note that the dress code for the enclosure area only applies to racing events. Otherwise, there are not stringent clothing requirements for people touring the enclosure on days without special track events.
Smart dressing is especially required during major sporting occasions. However, it is not compulsory to wear smart/strict attire on these special occasions, provided the entrant is dressed decently enough. The management encourages special guests and patrons who are visiting hospitality suites, restaurants, and the reserved winners’ enclosure to wear official-looking clothing.
If you are unsure whether your choice of attire would be accepted by the management, go for a suit and a tie if you are visiting any of the three sections above. For women, the hospitality department encourages them to wear dresses and hats. To allay any fears that the racecourse may be thought as being too intrusive and overbearing, Sandown hospitality superintendents opine that the select clothing options help make the events look special – much to the enjoyment of the guests and patrons themselves.
For the Premier Enclosure, things are a little bit different. While suits and ties or dresses and hats are not expressly obligatory, visitors to this section are supposed to dress in an “appropriately casual” style. The dress code further stipulates that gentlemen ought to don collared shirts or polo-necked jumpers. Jackets are excusable due to the inclement weather situation during the cold season.
Additionally, women are required to wear casual dresses that they would wear to any other smart’ occasion. For those that fancy fascinators, they are welcome but not really mandatory. In a similar vein, jeans are allowed into the Premier Enclosure although they must not be ripped or torn – whether as a fashion vogue or deliberately.
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Contact details: Sandown Park Racecourse, Portsmouth Road, Esher, KT10 9AJ
Tel: 01372 464348
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