NEWMARKET STEEPLECHASE RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Thursday 29th November 1894
Final meeting: Thursday 28th December 1905
Newmarket in Suffolk remains the home of English racing, but what might not be as well known is that the town once staged steeplechase meetings. The Cheveley Park Estate was developed as a jumping course in the 1890's under the direction of Colonel H. McCalmont, the first meeting taking place on Thursday 29th November 1894. Meetings billed as ‘Newmarket Hunt races’ had been held up to the 1860s on a course at Moulton, and were revived in March 1879 at a course 5 miles from Newmarket and a mile and a half from Kennet Station, but the re-revival in 1894 was held in Newmarket. By 1895 it had extended to a 2 day meeting and included the Newmarket Grand Military Chase which was later won by Greenhill for Mr Withington in 1897. At that same meeting the Cheveley Cup saw The Rush land prohibitive odds of 1/5 to defeat Sophos and Xylophone. The National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup, over 4 miles and 24 fences, is now contested at the annual Cheltenham Festival in March, but in 1897 it was held at Newmarket, resulting in a win for Nord Quest ridden by Jules Morand. Colonel McCalmont was caught up in War duties from 1899 to 1901 and the meeting did not take place during these years. More bad fortune occured in 1902 when the weather caused the meeting to be cancelled. The Colonel died in 1903 and with him the chance of permanent steeplechasing ever becoming firmly established at Newmarket. The final meeting took place on Thursday 28th December 1905.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Colonel H McCalmont
Principal Races

Cheveley Park Cup, Newmarket Grand Military Chase

Tuesday 30th November 1897
Grand Military Steeplechase over 3 ½ miles
1. Greenhill, 6 year old owned by Mr Withington
2. Filbert, 6 year old owned by Mr Beaty
3. Olive Branch, 6 year old owned by Mr Grundy
Betting: 6/5 Greenhill, 5/2 Filbert, 7/2 Olive Branch

The final meeting took place on Thursday 28th December 1905.
Course today On the Cheveley Park Estate.
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.
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