Brighton Racecourse History

Although there is some belief that racing was staged in Brighton as early as 1713, the earliest results from Brighton was at their two day meeting on Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th August 1783 when the meeting was known as Brightelmstone. The main race on the first day was a 4 mile sweepstake which was won by Puff, although the Brightelmstone Plate had been contested at neighbouring Lewes since 1774. Brighton benefitted from powerful supporters, including the Dukes of Richmond and Cumberland, Lord Egremont and none other than Sir Charles Bunbury. The Prince of Wales visited Brighton races for the first time on 2nd August 1784 when accompanied by a number of French noblemen. It is probably no coincidence that the next year The Prince of Wales (later to become Prince Regent in 1810) was amongst the subscribers for the Conflans Stakes, and an interesting feature of this meeting was that French horses were given a weight allowance of 7 lbs. By 1805 trouble brewed at Brighton when the farmer, whose land the racecourse was built upon, claimed 100 guineas or 27 gallons of wine for the privilege of leasing his land. The Jockey Club did not honour the deal and the farmer threatened to plough the racecourse. However, he saw the light when a group of thugs, allegedly employed by the Jockey Club, threatened to escort the farmer to the Napoleonic Wars. In this same year the Prince of Wales donated a silver cup to be presented to the winner of the Brighton Cup. The cup, which still survives today, is housed in the Brighton Pavilion. In 1857 a dinner was held to celebrate the retirement of one of Brighton’s most famous racing sons, Leviathan Davies, one of the biggest bookmakers of his day. The 1864 Brighton Club Stakes was won by Alcibiade, not remarkable in itself, but made remarkable because he went on to win the Grand National the next year in his first steeplechase. In 1884 Brighton Corporation took charge of the racecourse under the terms of the Improvement Act.  The course closed during the War and in 1916 the main stands were used to store ammunition for the War effort. During the period 1920-1936 racing continued, but throughout this period the course was beset by crime. Pickpockets, tricksters, razor gangs and protection racketeers ruined the racecourse experience for normal, law-abiding citizens. This was not unique to Brighton, and in 1936 riots erupted at nearby Lewes Racecourse and the police took firm, decisive action against the Hoxton gang which marked a line in the sand as the beginning of the end for severe racecourse trouble.  In 1997 the running of Brighton Racecourse was taken over by Northern Racing, led by Sir Stanley Clarke, and its future looked secure. Brighton currently enjoys 22 fixtures between April and October.

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Tuesday 26th August 1783
Brightelmstone £50 four-year-old Purse over 2 miles

1. Puff, a grey colt by Cardinal Puff owned by Mr Adams
Wednesday 27th August 1783
Brightelmstone £50 Purse over 4 mile heats

1. Eliza, 5 year old bay mare by Herod owned by Sir Charles Bunbury

Brighton 1939p.JPG (24941 bytes)
Brighton continues to thrive today, whereas nearby Lewes closed its gates for the final time in 1964.

The East Sussex county town of Lewes first staged a meeting on Tuesday 27th May 1712 when a three race card was held. The town was hosting regular race meetings by 1727 when a two day meeting was staged on 10th and 11th August with the highlight being the King’s Plate. The course was located just a mile west of the town centre on excellent racing ground 500 feet above sea level, at the foot of Black Cap Hill. The first stands at the course were erected in 1772 and the course attracted some of the top thoroughbreds of the day, including Derby winners. Indeed the first Derby winner, Diomed, ran his last race at the course in 1783. The course was also popular with Royalty and the Prince of Wales was a regular visitor, later to become King George IV. The Champion jockey for 13 consecutive years, Fred Archer, frequently rode at Lewes and on 5th August 1882 he was aboard 6 of the 7 winners at the meeting. In its heyday the course was hosting six meetings within nine days of each other on a Monday and Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, as well as the following Monday and Tuesday. However, once a halt was called to these extended meetings in 1955 the course was allocated meetings predominantly on a Monday and a steady decline began. The course was not helped by its lack of amenities, with no gas or electricity and no running water, and in some ways it was no surprise that the Levy Board decided to withdraw funding in 1964. The final meeting was held on Monday 14th September 1964.

Tuesday 5th August 1813
His Majesty’s Plate over 4 miles
1. Whalebone, 6 year old bay horse owned by Mr Ladbroke
2. Lutzen, 4 year old bay horse owned by Mr Trevannian
3. Judgment, aged bay horse owned by Sir G Webster
4. Bellator, aged bay horse owned by Captain H Vyse

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1813 map shown below.

The Prince of Wales first attended Brighton races on Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd August 1784, but it was a further 21 years before he gave a Silver Cup, called the Brighton Cup, to be contested at the track. The inaugural running of the Cup was won by Orville, owned by the Prince of Wales, and the Cup is now on display in the Royal Pavilion. In 1810, following illness to George III, the Prince became Prince Regent and was able to devote less time to supporting Brighton races. However, a Gold Cup was contested on Wednesday 14th August 1816 when won by Mr Bacon’s Salamancha, while the Prince donated a new Gold Cup on Friday 30th July 1819, with results shown below. Initially the race was over 4 miles, but a year later both His Majesty’s Gold Cup and the Brighton Stakes were contested over 2 miles. In time the Brighton Stakes cemented its place as Brighton’s principal event, and results pre Second World War are shown below.
1816 The Gold Cup, over 2 miles, was won by Salamancha owned by Mr Bacon 4 ran
1819 His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent Gold Cup over 4 miles was won by Anacreon owned by Mr Turner 5 ran
1820 His Majesty’s Gold Cup over 2 miles was won by Zadig owned by Mr Bouverie 5 ran
1820 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Robin Hood owned by Lord Egremont 6 ran
1821 His Majesty’s Gold Cup was won by Antar owned by Sir John Shelley 3 ran
1822 His Majesty’s Gold Cup was won by Centaur owned by Lord Egremont 2 ran
1824 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Haji Baba owned by Mr Greville and ridden by R Boyce 7 ran
1825 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Cricketer owned by Lord Egremont and ridden by G Edwards 3 ran
1826 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Stumps owned by Lord Egremont and ridden by W Arnull 4 ran
1827 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Linkboy owned by the Duke of Richmond and ridden by F Boyce 2 ran

Brighton 1954e.JPG (7145 bytes)
1954 Gents 1955 Gents 1956 Ladies 1957 Ladies 1957 Gents

1828 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Maresfield owned by Lord Mountcharles and ridden by J Day 4 ran
1829 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Maresfield owned by Lord Mountcharles and ridden by Mann 5 ran
1830 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Aaron owned by Mr Forth and ridden by F Buckle jnr 8 ran
1831 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Lady Emily owned by Mr Grant and ridden by Forth 6 ran
1832 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Guildford owned by Mr Rush and ridden by Robinson 6 ran
1833 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Rubini owned by Mr Kent and ridden by Boyce 5 ran
1834 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Rob Roughhead owned by Mr Champion and ridden by Norman 5 ran
1835 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Dacre owned by Mr Greville and ridden by Nat Flatman 10 ran
1836 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Venison owned by Mr J Day and ridden by S Day 7 ran
1837 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Airy owned by Mr J Day and ridden by W Day 7 ran

The front cover/ principal races from this rare racecard are provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.

1838 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Loutherbourg owned by Mr Theobald and ridden by Wakefield 5 ran
1839 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Tawny Owl owned by Mr Shelley and ridden by Wakefield 6 ran
1840 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Gambia owned by Lord Chesterfield and ridden by Birbeck 4 ran
1841 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by IO owned by Mr Gardnor and ridden by Nat Flatman 9 ran
1842 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Belgrade owned by Mr Theobald and ridden by Wakefield 11 ran
1843 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Vibration owned by Mr Forth and ridden by Bell 10 ran
1844 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Moustache owned by Mr Balchin and ridden by Braham 7 ran
1845 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Pineapple owned by Mr Ramsbottom and ridden by Nat Flatman 6 ran
1846 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Gannet owned by Count Bettbyany and ridden by Abdale 8 ran
1847 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Lynceus owned by Lord Stradbroke and ridden by F Butler 6 ran

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1968 Gents 1969 Gents 1969 Ladies 1970 gents 1970 Ladies

1848 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by The Cur owned by Mr S Crawfurd and ridden by S Rogers 8 ran
1849 The Brighton Stakes over 2 miles was won by Retail owned by the Duke of Bedford and ridden by Pearl 3 ran
1850 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Fernhill owned by Mr Elwes and ridden by Bartholomew 9 ran
1851 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Lord George owned by Lord Waterford and ridden by Charlton 14 ran
1852 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Hesse Homburg owned by the Duke of Bedford and ridden by Pettit 14 ran
1853 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Pantomime owned by Mr Magenis and ridden by Olliver 9 ran
1854 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Winkfield owned by Mr S Walker and ridden by Garvey 10 ran
1855 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Mishap owned by Mr J M Stanley and ridden by Ashmall 10 ran
1856 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Jesuit owned by Lord Clifden and ridden by Crouch 6 ran
1857 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Hartley Buck owned by Mr M Dennett and ridden by George Fordham 6 ran

The rare handbill shown below is provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.

1858 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by T P Cooke owned by Mr T Hughes and ridden by Bray 5 ran
1859 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Rechab owned by Mr G Payne and ridden by Drew 10 ran
1860 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Blue Jacket owned by Mr Rigby and ridden by George Fordham 11 ran
1861 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Starke owned by Mr Ten Broeck and ridden by A Edwards 3 ran
1862 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Watchfire owned by Mr W H Mundy and ridden by Reeves 9 ran
1863 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Magnum Bonum owned by Mr Fleming and ridden by H Covey 7 ran
1864 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Redcap owned by the Marquis of Hastings and ridden by Phillips 7 ran
1865 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Redmire owned by Mr Brayley and ridden by Hibberd 5 ran
1866 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Ninco Nanco owned by Mr H Savile and ridden by Kenyon 5 ran
1867 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Knight Errant owned by Captain Hawksley and ridden by Butler 10 ran

1978 Gents 1979 Gents 1980 Gents 1981 Gents 1982 Gents

1868 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Thorndyke owned by Mr E Brayley and ridden by Tom Cannon 7 ran
1869 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Winifred owned by Mr Harold and ridden by Rowell 9 ran
1870 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Border Knight owned by Sir C Legard and ridden by Custance 6 ran
1871 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Mornington owned by Mr Brayley and ridden by Mordan 9 ran
1872 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ¾ miles was won by Proto-martyr owned by Mr Spencer and ridden by Constance 8 ran
1873 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Lilian owned by Mr Savile and ridden by Maidment 5 ran
1874 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Scamp owned by Sir J D Astley and ridden by Glover 4 ran
1875 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Louise Victoria owned by Mr Cartwright and ridden by Custance 9 ran
1876 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Chancellor owned by H E Beddington and ridden by Custance 5 ran
1877 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Harbinger owned by F Gretton and ridden by Hopkins 9 ran

1983 Gents 1984 Gents 1985 Gents 1986 Gents 1987 Gents

1878 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Don Carlos owned by C J Langlands and ridden by A Hall 6 ran
1879 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Advance owned by Captain Machell and ridden by George Fordham 11 ran
1880 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Humbert owned by Mr Jardine and ridden by Kellett 10 ran
1881 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Thunderstruck owned by Tom Cannon and ridden by E Martin 6 ran
1882 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Windsor owned by C Blanton and ridden by Balentyne 9 ran
1883 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Whin Blossom owned by B Jardine and ridden by E Martin 5 ran
1884 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Quilt owned by Sir G Chetwynd and ridden by C Wood 5 ran
1885 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Newton owned by the Duke of Westminster and ridden by G Barrett 5 ran
1886 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Chelsea owned by Mr Lambert and ridden by J Goater 4 ran
1887 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Abu Klea owned by C J Merry and ridden by Fitton 7 ran

1988 Gents 1989 Gents 1990 Gents 1991 Gents 1992 Gents

1888 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Fretwork owned by Lord Bradford and ridden by Wall 11 ran
1889 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Polydor owned by Lord Cholmondeley and ridden by G Barrett 6 ran
1890 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Dark Blue owned by the Duke of Beaufort and ridden by R Chaloner 8 ran
1891 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Veau d’Or owned by J B Leigh and ridden by G Chaloner 8 ran
1892 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Lady Rosebery owned by Mr Abingdon and ridden by J Watts 8 ran
1893 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Metallic owned by Mr Ellis and ridden by J Watts 5 ran
1894 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Egerton owned by A D Cochrane and ridden by Allsopp 7 ran
1895 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Carrick owned by Mr Jersey and ridden by Mornington Cannon 7 ran
1896 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Utica owned by Leopold de Rothschild and ridden by Tom Loates 8 ran
1897 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Chasseur owned by J Ryan and ridden by Rickaby 9 ran

1993 Gents 1995 Gents 1996 Gents 1997 Gents 1998 Gents

1898 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Gazetteer owned by Mr Jersey and ridden by C Wood 10 ran
1899 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Roughside owned by C A Brown and ridden by K Cannon 9 ran
1900 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Japonica owned by Lord Farquher and ridden by C Cannon 6 ran
1901 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Charivari, owned by the Duke of Portland and ridden by H Aylin 6 ran
1902 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Rathburne, owned by Lord Hamilton and ridden by G McCall 5 ran
1903 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Lucinda, owned by C Hibbert and ridden by Trigg 12 ran
1904 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Maisie II, owned by S Hill-Wood and ridden by B Dillon 7 ran
1905 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Donnetta, owned by Sir E Vincent and ridden by Danny Maher 12 ran
1906 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Chicot, owned by L de Rothschild and ridden by G McCall 5 ran
1907 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Menu, owned by Mr Joel and ridden by C Heckford 9 ran

1999 Gents 2000 Gents 2001 Gents 2002 Gents 2003 Gents

1908 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Flying Ilma, owned by Captain F D Grissell and ridden by East 9 ran
1909 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Balnacoil, owned by C Bower-Ismay and ridden by Freddie Fox 9 ran
1910 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Columbus, owned by Major McLaughlin and ridden by Plant 8 ran
1911 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Anchora, owned by George Edwardes and ridden by Piper 6 ran
1912 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Winthorpe, owned by W R Wyndham and ridden by H Robbins 5 ran
1913 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Seremond, owned by Sir B Sheffield and ridden by Spear 5 ran
1914 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Aboukir, owned by Walter Raphael and ridden by Steve Donoghue 5 ran
1917 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Nellie Agrah, owned by T Nolan and ridden by T Leader 10 ran
1919 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Jutland, owned by HM The King and ridden by H Jones 5 ran
1920 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Polichinelle, trained by Pickering and ridden by H Wheatley 7 ran

2004 Gents 2005 Gents 2006 Gents 2007 Gents 2008 Gents

1921 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Double Up, owned by A Barclay-Walker and ridden by Frank Bullock 6 ran
1922 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Herod Philip, owned by G Blackwell and ridden by Elliott 10 ran
1923 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Desire, owned by Mrs H Nugent and ridden by G Smith 7 ran
1924 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Cloudbank, owned by J White and ridden by Steve Donoghue 9 ran
1925 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Carcyrian, owned by S Wootton and ridden by Charlie Smirke 7 ran
1926 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Mint d’Or, owned by A S Ioanneau and ridden by Joe Dines 5 ran
1927 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Saturn, owned by S Wootton and ridden by Charlie Smirke 9 ran
1928 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Jugo, owned by T Richards and ridden by B Carslake 6 ran
1929 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Jugo, owned by T Richards and ridden by Kirk 5 ran
1930 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Norman Baron, owned by H Cottrill and ridden by W Alford 5 ran

 
2011 Member 2012 Member 2013 Member 2014 Member  

1931 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Happy Mood, owned by Lady Rolli and ridden by J Sirett 8 ran
1932 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Chorist, owned by Captain Wills and ridden by F Rickaby 5 ran
1933 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Stop Gap, owned by Mr Halse and ridden by C Richards 6 ran
1934 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Venery, owned by J de Rothschild and ridden by Gordon Richards 11 ran
1935 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Corcyrian, owned by S Wootton and ridden by Charlie Smirke 7 ran
1936 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Bloater, owned by M Benson and ridden by M Beary 9 ran
1937 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Haulfryn, owned by Mr Monoprio and ridden by Gordon Richards 7 ran
1938 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Mendicant Friar, owned by Sir Abe Bailey and ridden by R A Jones 6 ran
1939 The Brighton Stakes over 1 ½ miles was won by Flying Spray, owned by Lt-Colonel Green ridden by G Littlewood 9 ran

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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