EGHAM RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Monday 5th September 1774
Final meeting: Wednesday 20th August 1884
The Surrey town of Egham is in the Runnymede borough of the county. Now part of Greater London, in the 18th and 19th century it enjoyed vast open countryside and first held races in 1774. It is steeped in history, appearing in the Domesday Book as Egeham when held by Chertsey Abbey. The Magna Carta was sealed at nearby Runnymede in 1215. The first three day meeting from Monday 5th to Wednesday 7th September 1774 opened with a Subscription race over 4 mile heats. In the first heat Mr Belson’s Don Dun had to settle for third behind Zamora, but gained revenge by winning the next two heats, so claiming the Purse. The prestigious Town Plate on day two went to Mr Wildman’s Marsk (sic), while the Ladies Plate on the final day was won by Mr Wildman’s Wanton. The three day meeting from Wednesday 4th to Friday 6th September 1782 proved to be exceptional for the Duke of Queensberry, a loyal supporter of the course. He won the Egham Town Plate with Guido, and followed it up by securing the Noblemen and Gentlemen’s Purse with Henley two days later. In the early 19th century the course was an oval, entirely flat course, of 66 yards short of 2 miles, and at the three day meeting from Tuesday 24th to Thursday 26th August 1824 Mr T Scaith enjoyed success with Blunder in both the Egham Stakes and Runnymede Stakes. Meetings continued to be well run and supported by a loyal group of followers until a final card was held on Wednesday 20th August 1884. However, as with anywhere when a large group of people congregate, there was rowdiness and pickpockets. At the end of the 1884 meeting the London Police refused to allocate sufficient men in future to control the crowds and pursue the pickpockets. As a consequence Egham closed and racing transferred to the enclosed Park course at nearby Kempton.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Duke of Queensberry, Captain Houre, Captain D Champreaux

Principal Races Egham Gold Cup, Surrey & Middlesex Stakes, Egham Stakes, Sunninghill Stakes, Runnymede Stakes, Magna Charta Stakes

Wednesday 4th to Friday 6th September 1782

Egham Town Plate over 2 miles
1. Guido owned by the Duke of Queensberry
2. Unnamed colt by Eclipse owned by Mr Carter
The winner wore Deep Red with Black cap and was 8/11 favourite

Egham Noblemen and Gentlemen’s Purse over 4 miles
1. Henley owned by the Duke of Queensberry
2. Copperbottom owned by Captain Houre
3. Pleasant owned by Mr Sparrow
The winner wore Deep Red with a Black cap, but Copperbottom went off the 4/7 favourite.

Tuesday 24th August to Thursday 26th August 1824

Egham Stakes over 2 miles
1. Blunder owned by Mr T Scaith
2. Shepherd owned by Mr S Pearce

Sunninghill Stakes over 6 furlongs
1. Cephalus owned by Mr Ramsbottom
2. Unnamed colt by Soothsayer owned by Mr Gould
3. Friday owned by Mr S Pearce

Runnymede Stakes over 1 mile 6 furlongs
1. Blunder owned by Mr T Scaith
2. Picton owned by Mr Whitside

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 20th August 1884.
Course today An oval, entirely flat course, of 66 yards short of 2 miles at Runnymede.
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:-

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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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    
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