BARNET RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 25th September 1751
Final meeting: Tuesday 6th September 1870
The earliest meeting at the Hertfordshire town of Barnet coincided with the Barnet Fair in August 1751. The ‘Historical List of Horse-Matches Run in 1751’ recorded a 3 day meeting taking place in Barnet beginning on Wednesday 25th September 1751 when Slammerkin, owned by John Weaver, won both heats of the opening £50 Purse. These were Flat race meetings with periods of racing from 1793 to 1797, 1809 to 1815, and again from 1833 when racing was revived until 1858. In 1865 a National Hunt race meeting was held at Brook Hill Farm, the meeting taking place on 3rd November 1865. The original course was situated at Barnet Common, north of Mays Lane, but the common was enclosed in 1817 and the course moved a short distance to Barnet Fair. The Barnet St Leger Stakes was held on Wednesday 7th September 1836 when Edward, owned by Mr Stubbs, defeated Tiara and Water Nymph. Much earlier the artist George Stubbs had painted Barnet Race winner Molly Long Legs in 1761. The final meeting at Barnet was held on 6th September 1870 when the principal race was won by Poleaxe, owned by Mr Hodson.  At that point in time the races finished at the current High Barnet railway station.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Duke of Devonshire, Lord Portmore
Principal Races St Leger, Green Man Stakes, Tally Ho Stakes

Wednesday 25th September 1751

Barnet £50 Purse
1. Slamerkin, chestnut mare owned by Mr John Weaver 1 1
2. Long and Lazy, black gelding owned by Mr Robert Ireland 3 2
3. Molly Mogg, brown mare owned by Mr Stephen Trunk 2 dist

Thursday 26th September 1751

Barnet £50 Purse
1. Squirril (sic), bay gelding owned by Mr John Cammell 3 1 1
2. Smiling Molly, grey mare owned by Mr Martin 1 2 2
3. Whim, bay mare owned by Mr Smith 2 3 dist

Friday 27th September 1751

Barnet Hunters Purse of Gold
1. Rough Doll, chestnut mare owned by Mr Brown 1 1
2. Lotbario, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Robert Ireland 4 4 1
3. Badger, grey gelding owned by Mr Sparrow 3 3 2
4. Button, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Castle 2 2 dist

The picture below, from 1758, is one of a series of racehorse paintings by famous sporting artists, including Abraham Cooper, John Ferneley, John Frederick Herring, James Seymour, John Wootton and, perhaps most famous of them all, George Stubbs.

17th to 20th August 1762

Barnet 4 mile Purse
1. Aristotle owned by Mr Bladen
2. Tanner owned by Mr Harrison
3. Asmodius owned by Mr Crosoer
The winner won both heats to claim first prize.

Barnet 4 mile Give and Take
1. Tiney owned by Lord Portmore
2. Dart owned by Mr Douglas
3. Colin owned by Mr Quick

13th October 1762

Barnet 2 mile Match
Dainty Doll owned by Mr Compton
Black Eyes owned by Mr Rance

Wednesday 7th to Thursday 8th September 1836

The famously named St Leger Stakes took place on Wednesday 7th September 1836 and was run twice round the course and then the distance. The result was:-
1. EDWARD 4 years old 8st 7lb Owned by Mr Stubbs
2. TIARA 6 years old 9st 8lb Owned by Mr Bacon
3. WATER NYMPH 3 years old 7st 1lb Owned by Mr Mason

Also at the Wednesday meeting the records show that the Town Plate took place with the following result:-TOWN PLATE
1. CATALONIAN 6 years old 9st 4lb Owned by Mr Scott
2. SWALLOW 3 years old 7st 4lb Owned by Mr Firth
3. QUICKSILVER 5 years old 8st 8lb Owned by Mr East

The meeting extended to a second day on Thursday 8th September and included the Green Man Stakes where the winner was to be sold for 120 sovereigns. The result was:-GREEN MAN STAKES
1. TALLY-HO 6 years old 9st 9lb Owned by Mr Sadler
2. TIARA 6 years old 9st 8lb Owned by Mr Bacon
3. SWALLOW 3 years old 7st 4lb Owned by Mr Firth

The Thursday meeting also had a Tally Ho Stakes which was won by the Captain Beecher ridden Vandyke. He also went on to complete a double by riding his own Walter to victory in the Hack Stakes.

The final meeting at Barnet was held on 6th September 1870 when the principal race was won by Poleaxe, owned by Mr Hodson.  At that point in time the races finished where High Barnet railway station is now situated.

Course today Initially Barnet Common and then Brook Hills Farm.
If you have photos, postcards, racecards. badges, newspaper cuttings or book references about the old course, or can provide a photo of how the ground on which the old racecourse stood looks today, then email johnwslusar@gmail.com

Much of the information about this course has been found using internet research and is in the public domain. However, useful research sources have been:-

London Illustrated News

Racing Illustrated 1895-1899

The Sporting & Dramatic Illustrated

Northern Turf History Volumes 1-4 by J.Fairfax-Blakeborough

The Sporting Magazine

A Long Time Gone by Chris Pitt first published in 1996 ISBN 0 900599 89 8

Racing Calendars which were first published in 1727

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

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing johnwslusar@gmail.com stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
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