LANARK RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Thursday 4th June 1719
Final meeting: Tuesday 18th October 1977
There is every indication that a race meeting of some kind took place in Lanark as early as 1170, and with it a prize of a Silver Bell instituted by King William the Lion of Scotland. Records from 1661 imply that the Silver Bell was contested on the third Tuesday in May. There is no indication that the race was still taking place in 1661, indeed the earliest record of a Silver Bell actually being contested was on Thursday 4th June 1719, although it is uncertain whether it actually took place in Lanark. The first occasion results are provided in a racing Calendar was from the two day meeting on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th September 1785. The meeting opened with a 50 Guineas Purse which saw the Duke of Hamilton’s Milfield walk over, while the next day a similar Purse was won by the Duke’s Disguise beating Mr Thompson’s Sobersides. Meetings continued at irregular intervals throughout the 19th century, although the management was not as tight and effective as at other Scottish courses. In 1870 the racing authorities introduced a rule stating no races were to be run for a prize of less than £50, but at the two day meeting held on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th September 1873, whilst the Silver Bell Handicap was worth £60 to the winner, the Lee castle Stakes was only worth £35, the Jerviswoode Cup £28 and the Douglas Stakes £30. The first recorded meeting on the New course, about a mile and a half from Lanark, with Edinburgh to the North and Ayr to the South, was in 1909. That course was described as an oval of some 1 mile 140 yards with a gradual rise to the finish, but when it rained it became treacherous. It was possible to start the 5 furlong races on the straight course, while 6 furlong races had to be started on the round course. Racing ceased between 1914 and 1919 owing to the War, and ceased again in 1939 before returning for a popular meeting on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th September 1945. In 1967, feeling confident about the future, a new stable block was built, but in the end this proved to be part of its undoing. Crowds decreased and the financial burden of paying for the stable block became too much. The final meeting took place on Tuesday 18th October 1977, after which the Levy Board decline to support the course with any further money.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Duke of Montrose
Principal Races Lanark Silver Bell, Wishaw Handicap, Carmichael Plate

Tuesday 26th & Wednesday 27th September 1899

The Wishaw Handicap over 6 furlongs
1. Theano owned by Mr W Crosbie
2. Viburnum owned by Mr G Maclachlan
3. Millman owned by Mr A E McKinlay

The Carmichael Plate over 5 furlongs
1. Viburnum owned by Mr G Maclachlan
2. Busby Stoop owned by Mr A Martin
3. Hedge Warbler owned by Mr G Maclachlan

Lanark Silver Bell Handicap over a mile and a half
1. Tyna owned by Mr W Sanderson
2. Horizon owned by Mr Alan Johnstone
3. Dowf owned by the Duke of Montrose

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

The Lanark Silver Bell
The Lanark Silver Bell was the brainchild of the Town Council who, in 1608, employed the Edinburgh Goldsmith Henry Lindsay to make a special horse racing trophy. He designed a 4 inch high silver bell which was accompanied by a small silver shield onto which the winners’ names were engraved. The first winner to have their name engraved on the trophy was Sir John Hamilton de Trabroun who won it in 1628. After this the next name to be inscribed onto the trophy was the 1852 winner Little Jack, owned by Captain Key. Early records of winners are scarce, but details of the majority of winners are shown below.

1852 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Little Jack, owned by Captain Key and ridden by Robertson 2 ran
1853 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Testator, owned by Mr Redfern who walked over
1854 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Robgill, owned by Mr T Parr who walked over
1855 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Fanny Gray, owned by Mr T Parr and ridden by Clement 4 ran
1856 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Little Nell, owned by Mr Wright and ridden by Bunting 3 ran
1857 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Lady Albert, owned by Mr Merry and ridden by Comery 4 ran
1858 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Maid of Derwent, owned by Mr V Surtees and ridden by J Snowden 3 ran
1859 The Lanark Silver Bell was not contested
1860 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by The Friar, owned by Mr W Sharpe and ridden by Barron 6 ran
1861 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Tousle, owned by Mr Marjoribank and ridden by J Doyle 6 ran
1862 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Cremorne, owned by Mr McNiven and ridden by Noble 5 ran
1863 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Dick Swiveller, owned by Mr John Ruddock and ridden by Bunting 8 ran
1864 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Newchurch, owned by Mr Oliver and ridden by Metcalfe 8 ran
1865 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Durham, owned by Mr G Carr and ridden by Snowden 8 ran
1866 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Jura, owned by Mr T Dawson and ridden by Cameron 6 ran
1867 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Declaration, owned by Mr R Williams and ridden by Snowden 8 ran
1868 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Flora, owned by Mr Dobson and ridden by Cradock 3 ran
1869 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Moscow, owned by Mr J Martin and ridden by W Gray 8 ran
1870 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by King Hal, owned by Mr R Cowan and ridden by G Waddington 4 ran
1871 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by The Swan, owned by Mr J Martin and ridden by McEwen 6 ran
1872 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Anacreon, owned by Mr Berwick and ridden by T Bruckshaw 6 ran
1873 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Bishopthorpe, owned by Mr C J Cunningham and ridden by Jim Snowden 4 ran
1874 The Lanark Silver Bell was not contested
1875 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Gratinska, owned by Mr Horncastle and ridden by T Bruckshaw 5 ran
1876 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Relic, owned by Mr Shepherd and ridden by Davis 4 ran
1877 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Cheveley, owned by Mr J Pettigrew and ridden by Jim Snowden 4 ran
1878 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Eminence, owned by the Duke of Montrose and ridden by Carlisle 5 ran
1879 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Brown Bread, owned by Mr R Osborne and ridden by Bell 3 ran
1880 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Rosemount, owned by Mr W Walker and ridden by Bell 6 ran
1881 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Mother Shipton, owned by Mr R Walker and ridden by Percival 4 ran
1882 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Lartington, owned by Mr J Martin and ridden by W Platt 6 ran
1883 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Hesperian, owned by Mr W Stevenson and ridden by W Platt 3 ran
1884 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Procris, owned by Mr Ed Hunter and ridden by Tomlinson 3 ran
1885 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Londonderry, owned by Mr W Stevenson and ridden by Glover 5 ran
1886 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Prince Henry, owned by Mr J Martin and ridden by S Chandley 5 ran
1887 The Lanark Silver Bell resulted in a dead-heat between Adelaide, owned by Mr J Hope and ridden by S Chandley, and Brian Boru, owned by Mr W Cairn and ridden by J Waltson jnr 3 ran
1888 The Lanark Silver Bell resulted in a dead-heat between Horton, owned by Mr Melville and ridden by Bruckshaw, and Domina Sylvia, owned by Mr W Watson and ridden by S Chandley. Domina Sylvia was later disqualified and the race awarded to Horton. 3 ran
1889 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Horton, owned by Mr Melville and ridden by J Fagan 4 ran
1890 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Horton, owned by Mr A H Laidley and ridden by Perry 5 ran
1891 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Roseus, owned by Mr W Stevenson and ridden by T Bruckshaw 3 ran
1892 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Mutual Consent, owned by Mr W Sadler and ridden by Mullen 3 ran
1893 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Lady Killer, owned by Mr P Buchanan and ridden by White 4 ran
1894 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Ballybur, owned by Mr William Brechin and ridden by Gough Walked over
1895 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by The Russian, owned by Mr John Craig and ridden by S Chandley 2 ran
1896 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by To-morrow, owned by Mr G Maclachlan and ridden by Bell 5 ran
1897 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Trademark, owned by Mr A Alexander and ridden by Harrison 4 ran
1898 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by El Batidor, owned by Mr F Lynham and ridden by F R Black 5 ran
1899 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Tyne, owned by Mr W Stevenson and ridden by G Sanderson 4 ran

I am grateful to Nicholas Schwartz for the images of the replica Silver Bell won by Cat O'Nine Tails on Saturday 24th September 1932.

The Full result of the 1932 running of the Lanark Silver Bell is shown courtesy of the Edinburgh Evening News and British Library Online.

1900 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Bencher, owned by Mr E W Tinsley and ridden by Finlay 2 ran
1901 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Yenikale, owned by Mr A W Brown and ridden by T Heppall 5 ran
1902 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Skylight, owned by Mr J Cast and ridden by Dixon 6 ran
1903 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Kirkmichael, owned by Mr F Alexander and ridden by Trigg 7 ran
1904 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Lely, owned by Lord Hamilton of Dalzell and ridden by G McCall 3 ran
1905 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Nayland, owned by Lord Rosebery and ridden by William Griggs 4 ran
1906 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Waveline, owned by Mr H S C Smithdon and ridden by J Murray 7 ran
1907 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Hunt Slipper, owned by Mr E Binns and ridden by R Crisp 6 ran
1908 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Lady Forfar, owned by Mr C Dould and ridden by W Saxby Walked Over
1909 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Dandyprat, owned by Lord Rosebery and ridden by F Fox 4 ran
1910 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Gog, owned by Mr H S Gray and ridden by F Wells 2 ran
1911 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Star of Doon, owned by Mr D H Gibb and ridden by R Crisp Walked Over
1912 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Insurance, owned by Mr D J Jardine and ridden by J Clark 3 ran
1913 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Warlingham, owned by Lord Lonsdale and ridden by R Crisp 4 ran
1914-18 The Lanark Silver Bell was not contested due to the First World War
1919 The Lanark Silver Bell was not contested due to a Railway strike
1920 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Memnon, owned by the Maharajah of Cooch-Behar and ridden by P Jones 3 ran
1921 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Redhead, owned by Lord Derby and ridden by Steve Donoghue 3 ran
1922 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Devizes, owned by Sir William Cooke and ridden by J Leach Walked Over
1923 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Orpi, owned by Sir C F Kenyon and ridden by J Thwaites 6 ran
1924 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Obliterate, owned by Sir R W B Jardine and ridden by W Lister 3 ran
1925 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Warmaiden, owned by Sir R W B Jardine and ridden by J Marshall 6 ran
1926 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Great Sand, owned by Mr John Bell and ridden by D Morris 6 ran
1927 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Young Middleton, owned by Captain Cecil Boyd-Rochfort and ridden by J Caldwell 7 ran
1928 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Adage, owned by Mr S Wootton and ridden by Charlie Elliott 9 ran
1929 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Yosemite, owned by Lord Derby and ridden by Tommy Weston 4 ran
1930 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Pommame, owned by Mr J Benson and ridden by H Stubbs 5 ran
1931 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Residue, owned by Mr Ben Warner and ridden by D McGuigan 5 ran
1932 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Cat-o’-Nine-Tails, owned by Mrs J Carruther and ridden by R James 7 ran
1933 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Canaletto, owned by Lord Derby and ridden by Tommy Weston 5 ran
1934 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Canaletto, owned by Lord Derby and ridden by Tommy Weston 6 ran
1935 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Autumn, owned by Mr J E Widener and ridden by Joe Childs 5 ran
1936 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Trade Wind, owned by Lord Derby and ridden by A Richardson 3 ran
1937 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Hurry de Savoie, owned by Captain D S K Forgan and ridden by P Evans 5 ran
1938 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Deanslaw, owned by Sir Victor Sassoon and ridden by W Crouch 9 ran
1939-44 The Lanark Silver Bell was not contested due to the Second World War
1945 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Amber Flash, owned by Lord Astor and ridden by C Richards 5 ran
1946 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Kingstone, owned by HM The King and ridden by Doug Smith 2 ran
1947 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Parhelion, owned by Lord Rosebery and ridden by Eph Smith 5 ran
1948 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Tsaoko, owned by Habib I Rahimtoola and ridden by Willie Snaith 4 ran
1949 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Zephyrus, owned by Mrs L Brotherton and ridden by Willie Snaith 8 ran
1950 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Dancing Flame, owned by Mrs A Kyle Ackernley and ridden by Willie Snaith 11 ran
1951 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Flush Royal, owned by Mr J McLean and ridden by Edgar Britt 10 ran
1952 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Anamnestes, owned by Mr Phil Bull and ridden by Edgar Britt 7 ran
1953 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Scipio, owned by Lord Londonderry and ridden by Edgar Britt 9 ran
1954 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Doonaha, owned by Mrs E Taylor and ridden by G Littlewood 7 ran
1955 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Babbanio, owned by Mr Phil Bull and ridden by Philip Robinson 13 ran
1956 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Comedy Actress, owned by Major-General R G Collingwood and ridden by G Littlewood 7 ran
1957 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Cannebiere, owned by Mr E W Walker and ridden by N Pearson 11 ran
1958 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Cannebiere, owned by Mr E N Walker and ridden by Don Morris 11 ran
1959 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by No Comment, owned by Mr A Monk and ridden by Alec Russell 10 ran
1960 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Welsh Border, owned by Mr H J Joel and ridden by C Parkes 11 ran
1961 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Falls of Cruachan, owned by Mr A P Scott and ridden by Alec Russell 9 ran
1962 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Lanesborough, owned by Mrs L McVey and ridden by Joe Sime 11 ran
1963 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Hejaz, owned by Mr R R Scully and ridden by Russ Maddock 15 ran
1964 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Casting Vote, owned by Mr A W Carr and ridden by Joe Sime 7 ran
1965 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Current Speech, owned by Mr J Hanson and ridden by E Larkin 8 ran
1966 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Parcel Post, owned by Mr A J Thomas and ridden by Sandy Barclay 9 ran
1967 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Voldemo, owned by Mr C Moor and ridden by E Larkin 10 ran
1968 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Al’-Alawi, owned by Mr M P Davis and ridden by G Kyle 10 ran
1969 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Shanghai, owned by Mr D M Thomson and ridden by Johnny Seagrave 14 ran
1970 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Rebel Prince, owned by Mr H J Joel and ridden by D Richardson 15 ran
1971 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Tim’s Choice, owned by Mr A Palframan and ridden by D Lipcott 12 ran
1972 The Lanark Silver Bell was won by Nyeri, owned by Mr M Wickham-Boynton and ridden by Johnny Seagrave 8 ran
1977 The final running of the Lanark Silver Bell was won by Border River, owned and trained by Clifford Watts and ridden by David Nicholls

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 18th October 1977.
Course today

The course is still in place, and in the past 10 years there have been negotiations to try to re-introduce racing.

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

1932 1952 1953 1954
1955 1956 1957 1958
1959 1960 1961 1962
1963 1967 1968 1968
1969 1971 1973 1974
 
1975 1977 1977  

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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