The History Of The Southern National

Racing
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08 November 2019

From the start of the new millennium, racegoers at Fontwell Park have been treated to seeing a string of top class horses, such as two time Cheltenham Festival Stayers Hurdle winner Baracouda, who won the National Spirit Hurdle to a crowd of over 3,700 in 2001. 

Fontwell Park has always attracted a fantastic audience of National Hunt Racing fans and so a new race was under consideration at this time to offer the local crowds another feature raceday to enjoy.

Original plans drew up considered splitting the Sussex National bi-annually between Plumpton and Fontwell Park Racecourses. However, with both courses wanting a permanent fixture, The Southern National was born and scheduled to take place on New Year’s Eve every year whereas the Sussex National continues at Plumpton in early January.

A rocky start saw the second running abandoned a few hours before the day was set to feature 4 races on Channel 4 Racing and after further consideration, the race was rehomed on a Sunday in November, where it has remained ever since.

A tough race that attracts fantastic field sizes, The Southern National has become the ultimate race for jockey and horse at Fontwell Park. Now featured on ITV Racing and Sky Sports Racing, the day also features The Salmon Spray Trophy and The John Rogerson Memorial Chase.  

Witness the 3 mile 3 furlong contest on Sunday 17 November

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