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Earliest meeting: Monday 21st September 1795
Final meeting: Friday 4th August 1826
Montrose is a coastal resort town in Angus, situated about 38 miles north of Dundee, which first staged racing on its links in the 18th century. Records show it then hosted a mammoth 6 day meeting, stretching from Monday 21st to Saturday 26th September 1795, with a card consisting of 4 mile races run in heats each day. This meant that Scorpion, who won on 3 days during the meeting, covered an amazing 24 miles. On the opening day the 4 mile All Age Purse was won by Mr Maule’s Scorpion, beating Mr Gregson’s Archer, while the next day exactly the same result was repeated in the 50 Guineas Purse. Scorpion did not race on Wednesday, allowing Trimmer to win for Mr Baird, but returned on Thursday to defeat Farmer and Favourite after two further 4 mile heats in the 50 Guineas Purse. The track, on Montrose Downs, was a one mile 650 yards course and an immense crowd arrived by Steam Packet, coaches or other conveyances. Within 8 years meetings were threatened when, at the three day festival from 3rd to 5th August 1803, only four horses were entered for the three race programme. Although there was then a lapse before the next meeting some 18 years later, most of this break can be attributed to the impact of the Napoleonic Wars from 1802 to 1815. Racing did not return until a two day festival from Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th September 1821, with each of the four races sponsored to the tune of 50 Guineas by a local landlord. On the first day the Earl of Kintore sponsored the 50 Guineas Sweepstake which saw Sir A Ramsay’s Eglinton defeat Clootie owned by Sir W Maxwell. The next day the main race over 2 miles, sponsored by Sir James Carnegie, was won by Sir D H Blair’s Milton. Meetings continued to be well supported for just 5 more years, with the principal event at each meeting being the Forfarshire Gold Cup. The final 2 day meeting concluded on Friday 4th August 1826 and saw the Forfarshire Gold Cup go to Lord Kennedy’s Skiff, and the last Montrose Sweepstake captured by The Major.

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

Lord Kennedy, Sir A Ramsay, Sir D Moncrieffe, Lord Cassillus, Honourable William Maule, Sir H Williamson, Colonel Villiers

Principal Races Forfarshire Gold Cup, Produce Stakes, Honourable William Maule Stakes

Tuesday 20th to Friday 23rd August 1799

Montrose Subscription Purse over 4 miles
1. Master Robert owned by Mr Macadam
2. Popoe owned by Mr Graham
3. Hambleton owned by Mr H Williamson

William Maule Stakes over 4 miles
1. Honeycomb owned by Sir H Williamson
2. Levity owned by Mr W Maule

Montrose Subscription Stakes over 4 miles
1. High Eagle owned by Colonel Villiers
2. Hambleton owned by Sir H Williamson
3. Popoe owned by Mr Graham

Thursday 5th August to Friday 6th August 1824

Forfarshire Gold Cup over 2 miles
1. Ledstone owned by Mr Manle
2. Panmure owned by Sir D Moncrieffe
3. North Star owned by Mr Farquharson

Montrose Produce Sweepstake over 2 miles
1. Balmain owned by Sir A Ramsay walked over

Montrose Fifty Pound Stakes over 2 miles
1. Barron Bowes owned by Sir A Ramsay
2. North Star owned by Mr Farquharson
3. Prosody owned by Mr Maule

Thursday 3rd & Friday 4th August 1826

Forfarshire Gold Cup over a mile
1. Skiff owned by Lord Kennedy
2. The Major owned by Mr F Carnegie
3. Grecian Queen owned by Lord Kennedy

Montrose Ladies’ Plate over 2 miles
1. Gift owned by Sir A Ramsay
2. Unnamed filly by Prime Minister owned by Sir D Moncrieffe

Montrose Sweepstake over 2 miles
1. The Major owned by Mr F Carnegie
2. Grecian Queen owned by Lord Kennedy
3. Warwing owned by Sir D Moncrieffe

The final meeting took place on Friday 4th August 1826.
Course today On Montrose Downs.
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

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:-

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 stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
Download an order form
  Quantity Cost
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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