Bath Racecourse History
Bath 1922y.JPG (25937 bytes)

The earliest records indicate that thoroughbred racing first took place in the vicinity of the city of Bath at Claverton Down in 1728. However, prior to this date a Galloway Plate was contested in 1716. Baily’s Racing Register recorded a meeting in Bath on Wednesday 25th September 1728 with the result shown below.  Racing continued to be staged at this venue until 1796, after which meetings transferred to the present day Lansdown course in 1811. That inaugural three day meeting, from Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th July 1811, opened with a 100 guineas match over two miles in which Sir John Hawkin’s Ringdove justified odds of 4/7 to beat Mr Peach’s Barbara. Sir H Lippincott won the City Members Plate and Bath and West of England Club Purse with Kangaroo. Full details of this inaugural Lansdown meeting are shown amongst the display of Bath member’s badges. The course can rightly claim to be the highest Flat racing course above sea level in England at 780 feet, although the National Hunt courses of Exeter and Hexham are both higher. Racing ceased during both World Wars, and during the Second World War the course was used as an airfield by the RAF who named it RAF North Stoke. Currently the course hosts 16 meetings annually and is prepared to hold meetings on weekdays, weekends or evenings provided they can attract the crowds.
Wednesday 25th September 1728
Bath Plate for 50 Guineas confined to horses which have not won a Royal Plate

1. Smiling Ball, chestnut horse owned by Lord Essex 1 1 1
2. Collier, black horse owned by Mr Kirby 3 2 2
3. Frosty-Face, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Thorp 2 3 wdr

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Bath 1926gt.JPG (13074 bytes) Bath 1927CS.JPG (20553 bytes)
Bath continues to thrive today, whereas nearby Bristol closed its gates for the final time in 1880.

Bristol first staged races jointly with Bath from Wednesday 6th to Friday 8th July 1825 when the Somersetshire Stakes was won by Mr C Day’s Sloe, while the Bristol St Leger, over a mile, went to Burgundy for Mr Day. In 1827 the meeting was billed as ‘Clifton and Bristol races’ when staged on Thursday 26th April. Meetings continued until 10th May 1838 after which racing lapsed, returning in 1856 as the Bristol and Somerset meeting. On Wednesday 19th March 1873 a new racecourse at Knowle, complete with a grandstand capable of accommodating over 3000 people, was opened in the presence of the Prince of Wales. The National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup, over 4 miles and 24 fences, now contested at the annual Cheltenham Festival in March, was held at Bristol in 1873 when won by Pickles, ridden by Captain Arthur Tempest. The exciting new venture was widely supported by the locals in the early days, but gradually crowd numbers dwindled and the company operating the project began sustaining heavy losses. They first considered winding up procedures in 1878, although the final meeting was staged on Friday 12th March 1880, after which results were so bad that the course closed.
Tuesday 12th May 1829
The Clifton Stakes over 2 miles
1. Little Bo-Peep owned by Mr J.H.Peel
2. Busk owned by Mr I.Daly
3. Pelican owned by Mr Dickinson
4. Maid of Mansfield owned by Mr Thorne
5. Panderus owned by Mr Dilly
6. Profile owned by Mr Hiard

Bath 1930ss.JPG (14934 bytes)
I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.
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1920 Gents 1928 Ladies 1935 Gents 1936 Gents 1936 Ladies

Wednesday 3rd July 1811
Bath 100 Guineas Match over 2 miles

1. Ringdove, 4 year old chestnut colt by Gohanna, owned by Sir J Hawkins
2. Barbara, chestnut filly owned by Mr Peach

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1937 Ladies 1938 Ladies 1939 Ladies 1940 Gents 1947 Gents

Wednesday 3rd July 1811
Bath Sweepstakes of 10 Guineas each over 2 miles

1. Cambric, 4 year old bay colt owned by Mr Goddard
2. Turtle, 4 year old bay colt owned by Mr Cope
3. Chadlington, 3 year old bay colt owned by Mr Rawlinson
4. Hopeless, 4 year old bay colt owned by Mr Taylor
5. Constitution, 3 year old chestnut colt owned by Mr D Faulkner

Bath 1948.JPG (14091 bytes) Bath 1949c.JPG (12950 bytes)
1948 Gents 1949 Gents 1949 Ladies 1950 Gents 1951 Ladies

Wednesday 3rd July 1811
Bath Maiden Plate of 60 Sovereigns over 2 miles

1. Allegro, 4 year old brown colt owned by Mr R Canning
2. Viscountess, 5 year old brown mare owned by Mr Radclyffe
3. Shoe-Strings, 3 year old chestnut filly owned by Mr Cope
4. Ringdove, 4 year old chestnut colt owned by Sir John Hawkins
5. Rail, 3 year old bay colt owned by Sir H Lippincott
6. Ambrosio, aged gelding owned by Mr Bartley

Bath 1951.JPG (16008 bytes) Bath 1953L.JPG (11935 bytes)
1951 Gents 1952 Gents 1953 Ladies 1953 Gents 1954 Gents
Wednesday 3rd July 1811
Bath City Members Plate over 2 miles

1. Kangaroo, 3 year old roan colt owned by Sir H Lippincott
2. Hylas, aged bay gelding owned by Mr Sadler
3. Bramble, aged horse owned by Mr Greenhow
4. Starlight, 4 year old owned by Mr D Faulkner
5. Bustard, aged brown horse owned by Mr Calley
6. Buzz, 5 year old bay mare owned by Mr Robins
Bath 1955.JPG (15979 bytes) Bath 1957L.JPG (7810 bytes) Bath 1957.JPG (16783 bytes)
1955 Gents 1956 Gents 1957 Ladies 1957 Gents 1958 Gents

Thursday 4th July 1811
Bath County Members Plate over 2 miles

1. Cambric, 4 year old owned by Mr Goddard
2. Rail, 3 year old owned by Sir H Lippincott

Bath 1959.JPG (15794 bytes) Bath 1959L.JPG (11483 bytes) Bath 1960.JPG (16161 bytes)
1959 Gents 1959 Ladies 1960 Gents 1960 Ladies 1961 Ladies

Thursday 4th July 1811
Bristol Hundred Plate for 100 Sovereigns over 4 miles

1. Cambric, 4 year old owned by Mr Goddard
2. Sunbeam, 6 year old owned by Lord C H Somerset
3. Ringdove, 4 year old owned by Sir John Hawkins
4. Barbara, 4 year old owned by Mr Peach

Bath 1964.JPG (10178 bytes) Bath 1966k.JPG (19893 bytes)
1961 Gents 1962 Gents 1963 Gents 1964 Ladies 1966 Gents

Friday 5th July 1811
Bath and West of England Club Stakes for 60 Sovereigns over 2 miles

1. Kangaroo, 3 year old owned by Sir H Lippincott
2. Conquestador, 4 year old bay filly owned by Mr Dilly
3. Allegro, 4 year old owned by Mr R Canning
4. Hylas, aged horse owned by Mr Sadler
5. Bustard, aged horse owned by Mr Calley
6. Starlight, 4 year old owned by Mr D Faulkner
7. Sly Dick, 3 year old owned by Mr C Day

1966 Ladies 1967 Ladies 1968 Gents 1968 Ladies 1969 Ladies

Friday 5th July 1811
Bath Handicap Sweepstakes over 1 mile

1. Hephestion, 4 year old bay colt owned by Sir H Lippincott
2. Viscountess, 5 year old owned by Mr Radclyffe
3. Constitution, 3 year old owned by Mr Faulkner
4. Hopeless, 4 year old owned by Mr Taylor
5. Speculation, 5 year old chestnut horse owned by Mr Peach
6. Suck, 5 year old chestnut horse owned by Lord De Dunstanville
7. Bramble, aged horse owned by Mr Greenhow
8. Brown George, 5 year old owned by Mr Bartley
9. Ambrosio, aged horse owned by Mr Jones

1969 Gents 1971 Gents 1971 Ladies 1974 Gents 1975 Ladies
Bath 1976.JPG (11091 bytes) Bath 1977.JPG (12488 bytes)
1975 Gents 1976 Ladies 1977 Ladies 1977 Gents 1978 Gents
1978 Ladies 1979 Gents 1979 Ladies 1980 Gents 1980 Ladies
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1981 Gents 1981 Ladies 1982 Gents 1982 Ladies 1983 Gents
1984 Ladies 1984 Gents 1985 Ladies 1985 Gents 1986 Gents
Bath 1987.JPG (12078 bytes) Bath 1987z.JPG (15176 bytes)
1987 Ladies 1987 Gents 1988 Ladies 1988 Gents 1989 Gents
Bath 1992.JPG (11246 bytes)
1989 Ladies 1990 Gents 1990 Ladies 1991 Gents 1992 Gents
Bath 1994 ladies.JPG (7813 bytes)
1993 Gents 1993 Ladies 1994 Gents 1994 Ladies 1995 Ladies
Bath 1996c.JPG (22422 bytes) bath 1997.JPG (10001 bytes)
1995 Gents 1996 Gents 1997 Ladies 1997 Gents 1998 Gents
Bath 1998y.JPG (39746 bytes) Bath 2002.JPG (18977 bytes)
1998 Ladies 1999 Gents 2000 Gents 2001 Gents 2002 Gents
2003 Gents 2003 Junior 2004 Gents 2005 Gents 2006 Gents
Bath 2007rt.JPG (37586 bytes) Bath 2008pk.JPG (40085 bytes)    
2007 Gents 2008 Gents 2011 Gents    
The rare handbill shown below is provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.
The front cover/ principal races from this rare racecard are provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.

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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