INVERNESS RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Saturday 24th May 1662
Final meeting: Wednesday 22nd Sptember 1830
Horse racing was taking place in the Scottish northern city of Inverness as far back as the mid-17th century, with first reference made of a Match on Saturday 24th May 1662. At that time annual races were held around Tomnahurich Hill and the Match was won by Lord Lovat (Simon, the sixth Lord Lovat). Much later, in the early part of the 19th century, races were held at the Dunain before eventually moving to Longman. The Dunain meeting, in the Dunain Croy (Duneacroy) area of the city, was an oval shaped course of approximately a mile in circumference.  At the three day meeting held on the course in October 1823 the Lord Lieutenant sponsored a £50 Purse restricted to horses bred in the counties connected with the meeting. Disappointingly, the 2 mile race resulted in a walk-over for Mr Fraser’s Shepherdess. At the same meeting the Post Stakes went to Mr Fraser’s Clanchatta, while the Northern Meeting Stakes was won by Mr Farquharson’s Meeta. A constant supporter of the races, the Marquis of Huntly sponsored a Trial Stakes over 1 ½ miles on Friday 1st October 1824 which was won by Richmond, owned by Mr Fraser and ridden by William Boynton. Mr Fraser, who became an MP and later the next Lord Lovat, donated the Inverness Gold Cup restricted to members of the Northern Meeting in 1825. Mr Fraser’s Richmond achieved a remarkable feat at the two day meeting on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th September 1826, winning the Gold Cup over 3 miles from Lota and Balmain, the Handicap Plate over a mile from Balmain, the Ross-shire Plate run over two three mile heats from Falstaff, and was then runner-up in the Ladies Purse over two miles. Few trainers today would enter a horse for five separate races over a total distance of twelve miles, and no trainer would expect their horse to win four of those races. The last well supported three day meeting, from Wednesday 26th to Friday 28th September 1827, was billed as the Northern Meeting when the feature Cromarty Gold Cup was won by Mr Fraser’s Hartlepool. Interest waned and the final meeting took place on Wednesday 22nd September 1830 when John Scott’s bay gelding by Ardrossan walked over in both the Macaroni First Class Stakes and Macaroni Second Class Stakes. Although races were held in the city after this date, they usually involved galloways and ponies.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Lord Huntly, Marquis of Huntly, Lord Lovat

Principal Races Macaroni Stakes, Marquis of Huntly Trial Stakes, Caithness Purse, Cromarty Gold Cup, County of Ross 100 Guineas

Saturday 24th May 1662
Inverness Silver Cup Match
1. Unnamed horse owned by Lord Lovat
2. Unnamed horse owned by Captain Miles Man
3. Unnamed horse owned by Laird of Grant
4. Unnamed horse owned by Munro M’Kintosh

Wednesday 29th September to Friday 1st October 1824

The Trial Stakes over 2 miles
1. Richmond owned by Mr Lovatt
2. The Beacon owned by Mr R Taylor
3. Unnamed pony owned by Lord Huntly

Macaroni Stakes over 2 miles
1. The Beacon owned by Mr R Taylor
2. Unnamed gelding owned by Mr Rose

Marquis of Huntly Trial Stakes over a mile and a half
1. W Boynton owned by Mr Fraser Richmond
2. The Beacon owned by Mr R Taylor

Wednesday 26th to Friday 28th September 1827 (Northern Meeting)

The Caithness Purse over 4 furlongs
1. Peacock owned by Mr Bagley
2. Richmond owned by Mr Fraser
3. Triumph owned by Mr Davidson

The Cromarty Gold Cup over a mile
1. Hartlepool owned by Mr Fraser
2. Cromarty owned by Mr J Davidson
3. Richmond owned by Mr Fraser

The County of Ross 100 Guineas over a mile
1. Pantomine owned by Mr Davidson
2. Richmond owned by Mr Fraser
3. Paul Pry owned by Mr Davidson

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

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 22nd September 1830.
Course today Initially at Tomnahurich Hill and then at Longman before settling at Dunain.
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:-

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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