Bangor Racecourse History
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Early records indicate that the first meeting to be staged at Bangor on Dee was on Saturday 12th February 1859 when organised by members of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn’s Hunt group. Less than 2 weeks later a second meeting was held on Thursday 24th February 1859 which opened with a 50 Sovereigns Match in which Captain Biddulph’s Grayling defeated Skip Jack owned by Hon. Lloyd Kenyon. In 1869 a 12 year old weighing just 4st 11lbs called Fred Archer rode his first winner, Maid of Trent, in the Galloway Steeplechase. He was in his first season as apprentice to the trainer Matt Dawson. At the meeting in 1887 Gamecock triumphed in a Steeplechase at the course prior to gaining Grand National success at Aintree, and within 6 years Cloister employed the same tactics, using a steeplechase at Bangor as a warm up race before winning the Grand National under the mammoth weight of 12st 7 lbs. Major Gilbert Cotton succeeded his father as Clerk of the Course in 1921 and his contribution to the racecourse is fondly remembered annually by the Gilbert Cotton Memorial Hunters Steeplechase. It was not until 1971 that the course became enclosed for the first time, a measure which was deemed to be necessary since a previous meeting had to be abandoned because of overgrazing by cattle. Much needed improvements were made in 1975 when 3 large wooden buildings were purchased from the Cheshire Showground, using a grant of £8000 from the Levy Board, and ten years later it was felt that the time was right to offer Annual Members badges. The course currently hosts 10 days racing between May and December.
Thursday 24th February 1859
Sir Watkin Wynn’s Hunt Cup over 3 miles
1. Charley, 6 year old owned by Mr Jones
2. Polly, 5 year old owned by Mr Oswald
3. Lottery, aged horse owned by Mr Humphrey

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Although Bangor remains a thriving racecourse, nearby Wrexham closed its gates for the final time in 1876.
Wrexham, in Clwyd, the largest town in north Wales, is situated in the lower Dee valley, bordering the English county of Cheshire. The first recorded meeting in the town was a 2 day affair, starting on Monday 6th October 1806, when the Subscription Plate over 2 miles was won by Lord Wilton’s Bucephalus. By 1824 the meeting had extended to three days from Tuesday 5th to Thursday 7th October, and Gold and Silver Cups became firmly established events. The Gold Cup, over 4 miles, was won by Mr Mytton’s Whittington who beat Mr J Roger’s Sir Edward, while the Silver Cup, over 2 miles, went to Mr E Highes’s Glanhafron. However, interest in the meeting waned in the middle of the 19th century. At the meeting on Thursday 9th October 1856 only 5 contested the Plas Power Stakes which was won by Coal Black Rose; just 6 ran in the Brynnypis Handicap won by Janet Pride, while a disappointing field of 3 competed for the Gold Cup when Surgeon General was victorious. The racecourse was ideally placed close to the railway station; it was circular with a mile circumference and just a 2 furlong, uphill run-in. The final meeting took place on Friday 20th October 1876, although after this date meetings for half-breds and galloways were still being organised into the early part of the 20th century.

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.

With grateful thanks to Barry Sutton for the majority of the badges shown on this page.
1991 Member 1993 Member 1995 Member 1997 Member 2001 Member
1996 Member 1998 Member 1999 Member 2000 Member 2002 Member
2003 Member 2004 Member 2005 Member 2005 Official 2006 Member
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2007 Official 2007 Member 2008 Member 2008 Official 2009 Member
2010 Member 2010 Official 2011 Member 2011 Official 2012 Member
2012 Official 2013 Member 2013 Official 2014 Member 2014 Official
 
2015 Member 2015 Official 2016 Member 2016 Official  

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

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