There doesn’t seem to be a week go by without there being a meeting at Lingfield Park as they utilise their All-weather track to great effect. Some people don’t particularly like the track, with its single enclosure but it doesn’t suffer the same stuffiness as other more traditional tracks. More importantly, if you are ever thinking of bring someone new to the sport, Lingfield Park is an excellent venue. Both the youngest and oldest generations of Fuller have made their racing debut here and at every meeting you are struck with the number of families in attendance.
In the summer after an early evening of racing, tribute band concerts take place on the green next to the parade ring whilst the track hosts events such as a beer festival and a popular New Year’s Eve race every year.
Food and drink is plentiful around the track, as too is access to the Parade Ring. Views from the grandstand steps are excellent whilst you can get close up to the finishing line without having to pay any extra.
Last visit – December 2016
What better way to blow away the Christmas cobwebs than a trip to the races. Lingfield is not only easy to get to but also offers almost a race a week, with the £5 million all-weather track being used to full effect.
After coming a few weeks before Christmas when we were almost the only ones here, this was a packed ground with a decent mix of Grade four and five races across a chilly afternoon. The great thing about coming here so often is you can view it more of a sport than an event, concentrating on the racing and the all-important return on investment. I go to racing because I enjoy the sport. I’m not a horsey person but I like a calculated risk and thus going with a pot of £10 per race that I’m willing to lose, my target is always to come away with more than I entered with.
The Fuller girls use the age-old technique of the colour of the silks, or occasionally a name that resonated with something associated to them. Form or forecast doesn’t mean anything to them but it is amazing how successful their return on investment (or perhaps I should say my return on investment is). Back in August the two younger Fuller’s backed 16/1 and 20/1 winners in consecutive races.
Having missed the first two races due to the traffic we pitched straight into race three, although the only value we got from that one was a 7/1 each way third place. Our tipping point came in the second from last as Vatican Hill, ridded by Lucy Barry nudged out Nuncio on the line and gave us a 25/1 winner to go with our three placed horses on an afternoon where three favourites won. Mission objective achieved. We will be back soon at our luckiest of venues.
Postscript – My latest trip saw one race that only had four horses. I backed three of them. The one that didn’t win? Well that would be the 33/1 rank outsider. Lesson learnt.
What’s the track like?: Lingfield Park is one of only five tracks in the UK that offers an all-weather track, which mean that race meetings are plentiful in the winter. In addition it offers flat and National Hunt racing. View of the whole track are good from the steps of the grandstand, whilst there is a large screen opposite the main stand.
Admission: Adults – £16 if booked online or by phone in advance, £20 on the gate. Under18s are admitted free of charge with an adult. There’s only one enclosure so everyone pays the same price.
Food and Drink: There’s plenty of options at Lingfield to suit all budgets. Hospitality starts from £70 for a seat in the restaurant that overlooks the track, £86 if you want a window seat both of which include admission. Afternoon tea for those meetings where it’s applicable starts from £50. Around the main stand there are all sorts of options including a proper Fish ‘n’ Chips restaurant plus a German sausage stall. Bars, both permenant and pop-ups are plentiful and queue management is good. Picnics can be brought in with plenty of space on the grass by the side of the track.
Address: Racecourse Road, Lingfield, Surrey, RH7 6PQ
Directions: Lingfield Park is located in the heart of the Surrey commuter belt and is easy to reach by rail and road. Lingfield train station is no more than a five minute walk from the track entrance – simply follow the signs down the path. If you are coming by road you will undoubtedly being coming via the M25. Exit at junction 6 and head south onto the A22 in the general direct of East Grinstead. After you pass the Smith & Weston pub in Brindley Heath take a left at the traffic lights into Ray Lane. Ignore signs, and the Sat Nav that will try and take you off to the left, heading into Lingfield itself. At the first roundabout turn left, then left again at the next one. Follow road for 1/2 mile down the hill and the free car park is on your right, opposite the entrance.
Hotels near-by: The Marriott Hotel is ajacent to the main stand and has two rows of rooms that overlook the course with balconies. Obviously, these rooms are in demand so it is worth booking ahead. The hotel also gives access to the golf course and has a decent restaurant. You will still need to buy entry tickets if you want to go down to the track itself.