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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 30th June 1841
Final meeting: Thursday 7th May 1925
Given its proximity to racing’s Headquarters at Newmarket, it is surprising that Cambridge racecourse has not played a more prominent role in English racing history. The earliest recorded races in the city were in 1841 to celebrate the Coronation, but it was to be a further 16 years before racing returned. That first meeting on Wednesday 30th June 1841 was included in Baily's Racing Register when the Coronation Plate, once round the course, was won by Mr Rogers’s Jessica at the expense of Mr J Smith’s Daniel.  Two years later, at the meeting on Tuesday 18th July 1843 the Cambridge Town Plate went to Mr Poole’s Rapture, while the prestigious Cambridge Stakes was won by Lord W Powlett’s Nelly. As befits the academic institution, Cambridge University students held their own Steeplechase annually called The Whip. The meetings were held close to Cambridge in Cottenham and results were regularly recorded in Sporting Magazine editions and Racing Calendars since the mid 1800’s. The National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup, over 4 miles and 24 fences, is now contested at the annual Cheltenham Festival in March, but on two occasions in the 1870s it was held at Cottenham, Cambridge. In 1870 Schiedam was victorious when ridden by John Maunsell Richardson, while in 1877 it was won by The Bear ridden by Ted Wilson. After the February 1912 meeting there was a lapse in ‘recognised’ meetings at the course, particularly during the War years, and racing only returned to Cambridge for the November 1924 meeting. The final meeting took place on Thursday 7th May 1925.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Lord Powlett, Captain D Lane

Principal Races Cambridge Handicap, Cambridge Town Plate Hurdle, Ladies Silver Cup

Wednesday 30th June 1841

The Coronation Plate over once round
1. Jessica owned by Mr Rogers
2. Daniel owned by Mr J.Smith

Tuesday 18th July 1843

The Cambridge Town Plate
1. Rapture owned by Mr Poole
2. Hampton owned by Mr Shepherd
3. Eros owned by Mr Spriggs

The Cambridge Stakes over 1 ¼ miles
1. Nelly owned by Lord W Powlett
2. Ends and Odds owned by Mr Pettit
3. Rapture owned by Mr Poole

Tuesday 24th July 1866

The Cambridge Handicap over 1 ¼ miles
1. Domino owned by Mr W Bevell
2. Wild Thyme owned by Lord Poulett
3. Ammunition owned by Captain D Lane

The Cambridge Town Plate Hurdle over 6 furlongs
1. Reporter owned by Mr C Green

The Ladies Silver Cup over a mile
1. Domino owned by Mr W Bevill
2. Wild Thyme owned by Lord Poulett
3. Rinaldo owned by Mr P Wickham

The National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup, over 4 miles and 24 fences, is now contested at the annual Cheltenham Festival in March, but on 2 occasions in the 1870’s it was held at Cottenham, Cambridge, and the results are shown below.
1870 Schiedam ridden by John Maunsell Richardson
1877 The Bear ridden by Ted Wilson

After the February 1912 meeting there was a lapse in ‘recognised’ meetings at the course, particularly during the War years, and racing only returned to Cambridge for the November 1924 meeting.

The final meeting took place on Thursday 7th May 1925
Course today

A very successful Point-to-Point meeting continues to take place at Cottenham and is always well attended.

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.

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 johnslusar@fsmail.net

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.
ORDER FORM
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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 3 Wales & Scotland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
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