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Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria, stretching from the Gulf of Guinea right across the Lagos Lagoon. In 1859 a small tract of land on Lagos Island was bequeathed by King Docemo of Lagos to the British Government principally for the recreation of the white settlers. It was on this land that the Lagos Racecourse was built, although this was only one of three designated uses of the land. The racecourse occupied the central part of the land, whilst to the south were cricket grounds nicknamed ‘Nigeria Oval’, while next to the cricket grounds there were football pitches.

I am grateful to David Copland for the scans of the extremely rare trophy shown to the right. It was contested at the Prince of Wales Meeting held at Easter 1925, and was awarded to the owner of Prophet, winner of the Lagos Race Club Plate. The meeting has organised to coincide with the visit of the future King Edward VIII, although he did not become King for almost 11 more years on 20th January 1936, and by 11th December 1936 he had abdicated.

The racecourse was still operational in the late 1950’s, as evidenced by the 1955 Stewards badge shown below, and by the fact that a group of 6 Nigerian Dancers, wearing feathered head dresses, performed on the racecourse in front of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on their royal tour of Nigeria in February 1956. However, by 1972 the racecourse had certainly closed and the 35.8 acre site became the ceremonial ground called Tafawa Balewa Square.

Course today The racecourse had closed by the late 1960s.
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

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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