Lingfield Park Racecourse History
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The Surrey racecourse of Lingfield, on the edge of London, held its first National Hunt meeting on Saturday 15th November 1890 at a time when a number of other London fringe courses were opening. Hurst Park, in the Sunbury-on-Thames area, and Gatwick to the south of the capital both opened within a year of Lingfield, competing for the same crowds. A lowly Selling race launched that first card, with Old Tatt prevailing, but fortunately old tatt in no way described the glorious new surroundings and beautiful open countryside around the course. Within four years the course had introduced Flat racing, the opening meeting taking place on Wednesday 16th May 1894 graced by the Prince of Wales. The Globe reported on the meeting which began with a lowly Selling race over 5 furlongs with the result shown below. The course closed for the duration of the War, but in 1920 Gordon Richards had his first ride in public when Clock Work, carrying just 6st 9lb, failed to win. In 1927 the grandstand was completed, while the first Lingfield Derby trial was staged in 1932, Lingfield having many similarities with Epsom. That first trial was won by April the Fifth in the hands of F.Lane, with an Oaks Trial following a year later. Once again the course closed between 1939 and 1945 when used as a Prisoner of War camp, but was relaunched in 1946 when Major John Crocker Bulteel was at the helm. In 1974 Lingfield’s very future was in danger when the owners, the Beckwith-Smith family, put it on the market, but the Ladbrokes boss, Cyril Stein, formed a consortium to purchase it for half a million. Ron Muddle bought it in 1982; Leisure Investments in 1988; and by 1989 a meeting on 30th October launched Lingfield as the first all-weather course. Currently the course stages 86 fixtures annually.
Wednesday 16th May 1894
Oxted Selling Welter Handicap over 5 furlongs

1. Baroness, 4 year old owned by Mr Longe 10/1
2. Red Cent, 5 year old owned by Mr Ralli 8/1
3. La Poorbreak, 3 year old owned by Captain Whitaker 9/2

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Lingfield continues to thrive today, whereas nearby Tunbridge Wells closed its gates for the final time in 1851.
Whilst there is an indication racing took place in Tunbridge Wells as early as 1738, the earliest record of a two day meeting in the town was from Tuesday 10th to Wednesday 11th August 1824 when the opening Freeholders Plate over 2 miles was won by Mr Waller’s Irene. Meetings were very popular, well supported events which continued to be staged for the next 27 years. The meeting in 1834 was a very special occasion because the Duchess of Kent and Princess Victoria attended the races, and maybe this was a sign of things to come, because in 1909 King George VII recognised the popularity of the spa with members of the Royal Family and granted the town the ‘Royal’ prefix. The final meeting was staged on Thursday 11th September 1851. Racing resumed in 1856 just down the road at Tonbridge and continued until 11th September 1874.
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I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.
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1890 Ladies 1895 Ladies 1897 Ladies 1898 Ladies 1901 Ladies
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1900 Gents 1911 Gents 1912 Gents 1912 Ladies 1913 Gents
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1902 Ladies 1904 Ladies 1906 Ladies 1907 Ladies 1917 Ladies
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1914 Ladies 1914 Gents 1915 Gents 1915 Ladies 1917 Gents
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1919 Ladies 1920 Gents 1921 Gents 1922 Gents 1923 Gents
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1920 Ladies 1923 Ladies 1924 Ladies 1925 Ladies 1928 Ladies
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1926 Ladies 1926 Gents 1927 Ladies 1927 Gents 1928 Gents
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1929 Gents 1929 Ladies 1930 Ladies 1930 Gents 1931 Ladies
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1931 Gents 1931 Ladies A 1932 Gents 1932 Ladies 1933 Gents
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1933 Ladies 1934 Gents 1934 Ladies 1934 Ladies A 1935 Ladies
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1936 Gents 1936 Ladies 1937 Gents 1939 Gents 1939 Ladies
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1946 Pair 1946 Ladies 1947 Gents 1947 Ladies 1948 Gents
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1948 Ladies 1949 Pair 1950 Gents 1950 Ladies 1951 Ladies
1952 Gents 1952 Ladies 1953 Gents 1953 Ladies 1954 Gents
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1954 Ladies 1955 Gents 1955 Ladies 1956 Pair 1957 Ladies
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1957 Gents 1958 Gents 1958 Ladies 1959 Gents 1959 Ladies
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1960 Gents 1960 Ladies 1961 Gents 1961 Ladies 1962 Gents
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1963 Gents 1964 Ladies 1965 Ladies 1965 Gents 1966 Gents
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1967 Ladies 1968 Ladies 1969 Ladies 1969 Gents 1970 Ladies
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1970 Gents 1971 Gents 1971 Ladies 1972 Gents 1972 Ladies
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1973 Pair 1974 Gents 1974 Ladies 1975 Ladies 1975 Gents
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1976 Gents 1976 Ladies 1977 Gents 1978 Gents 1979 Gents
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1980-81 Member 1981-82 Member 1982-83 Member 1982-83 Gents 1983-84 Member
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1984-85 Member 1984-85 Gents 1985-86 Member 1986-87 Member 1986-87 Gents
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1987-88 Member 1988-89 Member 1989-90 Member 1990 Member 1991 Member
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1992 Member 1993 Member 1994 Member 1995 Member 1996 Member
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1997 Member 1998 Member 1999 Member 2000 Member 2001 Member
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2002 Member 2003 Member 2004 Member 2005 Member 2006 Member
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2007 Member 2008 Member 2009 Member 2010 Member 2011 Member
 
2013 Annual Member 2014 Annual Member 2017 Annual Member 2018 All Weather Finals  
Frankie Dettori celebrates 20 years of All-Weather racing at Lingfield with a 4-timer
Ling4.JPG (198783 bytes) Ling1.JPG (79428 bytes)
Ling6.JPG (74382 bytes) Ling8.JPG (76302 bytes)
Ling2.JPG (170692 bytes) Ling7.JPG (98362 bytes)
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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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