williamhill.com GIBRALTAR RACECOURSE

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Gibraltar, with a population of 30,000, sits at the very top of Southern Spain and was ceded to Great Britain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht. Just 1 kilometre from the city is North Front Airport which was constructed during the Second World war and covered in tarmac in 1939. However, prior to this it was the site of Gibraltar Racecourse which was run by the Civilian Racing Club.
Early records indicate that racing took place in 1765, albeit confined to military personnel, but the first civilian race meeting took place in 1869. The race card shown below is of a meeting which took place during the August Bank Holiday of 1898. The races were held under the Rules of the Gibraltar Jockey Club. During the interval of this meeting a String Band performed under the conductorship of Mr J Consigliero, playing various Waltzes and finishing with God Save the Queen.

Local Patrons Sir F Carrington, Major Patten, Major Crawley, Lieutenant Colonel L. Maule
Principal Races Gibraltar Cup, North Front Handicap, Straits Handicap, Garrison Stakes, Calpe Hunt Cup, Woodford Handicap Stakes

In the 1840’s the norm was for the main meeting to be scheduled in the first week of May. However, in 1843 there was a 3 day meeting held on 17th to 19th April and followed a very successful meeting in 1842 when deliberations took place over the need for a Grandstand. By the April 1843 meeting the Grandstand was finished under the direction of the Honourable G. Grey. He also acted as one of the Stewards along with Royal Navy Lieutenant-Colonel Louis and Stewart Paget. The Clerk of the Course for the meeting was Captain W.E.Heitland. The results from the meeting are shown below.

Monday 17th to Wednesday 19th April 1843

Garrison Stakes over a mile
1. Alhambra owned by Captain Johnston
2. Zangier owned by Lieut-Colonel L. Maule
3. Zohrab owned by Mr Grant

The Calpe Hunt Cup over a mile
1. Domino owned by Mr Fraser
2. Bouncer owned by Captain Cox
3. The Rook owned by Mr Stewart Paget

The Woodford Handicap Stakes over a mile
1. Domino owned by Mr Fraser
2. Bouncer owned by Captain Cox
3. Light Bob owned by Mr Gordon

The Ladies Whip over a mile
1. Charley owned by Mr McCall
2. Black Hawk owned by Captain Cox
3. Taglioni owned by Lieut-Colonel L.Maule

Gibraltar Hurdle over a mile and 4 hurdles
1. Tangier owned by Lieut-Colonel L.Maule
2. Mystery owned by Mr Strong
3. Zohrab owned by Mr Grant

The final meeting took place in 1900's
Course today Former Racecourse became the Airport.
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