Nottingham Racecourse History
Nottingham 1904ds.JPG (35859 bytes)

In 1689 the Nottingham Corporation gave an early indication they wished to promote racing in the area by subscribing towards a Plate which was run over a 4 mile course on the Old Racecourse at Forest Recreation Ground. However, it was almost thirty years before a King’s Plate was contested in 1717, with a Royal Plate following some ten years later on the Sherwood Forest course. The Derby Mercury reported on the 3 day meeting from Tuesday 3rd to Thursday 5th June 1753 which began with a prestigious His Majesty’s 100 Guineas Plate which saw Mr Meredith’s bay horse Bandy defeat Lord March’s Danby Cade. The main race on Thursday was the Town Plate, with result shown below. In 1777 a grandstand was opened, designed by York architect John Carr, the foundation stone having been laid on 1st February. The stand was funded by selling two silver subscribers tickets to each of 48 people who made a donation of 20 guineas or more. It was a further 20 years before part of the course became enclosed for the first time, when a figure of eight course was established. The first meeting under National Hunt rules was staged on Tuesday 26th February 1867, while the final meeting was held on the Forest Recreation Ground in September 1890, bringing to an end over two centuries of racing on that course. The two day meeting on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th August 1892 was the first to be held at Colwick Park under the auspices of the Colwick Racing and Sporting Company. A famous day in the history of the course occurred in 1931 when Golden Miller won a steeplechase in January before going on to much greater achievements. In 1933 the great Sir Gordon Richards rode a winner at Nottingham on 3rd October; not remarkable when taken in isolation, but later made remarkable because it was to prove to be the first of 12 consecutive winners, the next eleven all being at Chepstow. During the War, in 1940 the Newmarket meeting took place at Nottingham for the one and only time, with famous races like the Jockey Club Cup, the Middle Park Stakes and The Cambridgeshire run at Colwick Park. The Corporation once again took charge of the 293 acre racecourse in 1965, purchasing it for £5 million from Nottingham Racecourse Company. In 1974 Nottingham hosted the first ever race between male and female jockeys at the 1st April meeting. Lester Piggott marked the end of his wonderful career at Nottingham, riding his final winner on Full Choice on Tuesday 29th October 1985 in the Willington Handicap Stakes. In 1986 the grandstand was engulfed by fire in March, requiring an extensive rebuilding programme to be undertaken. The new grandstand was opened on Monday 27th April 1987. In 1992 Colwick Park celebrated its centenary when the New Members Stand was completed and opened by Desert Orchid on 1st February, while the final National Hunt meeting took place on Thursday 29th February 1996. Currently the course hosts 20 fixtures annually.
Thursday 5th June 1753
Nottingham Town Plate for 50 Sovereigns

1. Lightfoot, bay horse owned by Lord Eglington
2. Whimsey, brown mare owned by Mr Warren
3. Charmer, grey horse owned by Sir Charles Sedley
4. Danby Cade, bay horse owned by Lord March

 

 

 

Nottingham 1905ds.JPG (45373 bytes)
Nottingham 1921.JPG (11239 bytes) Nottingham 1923.JPG (13115 bytes)
Nottingham 1924.JPG (18270 bytes) Nottingham 1925.JPG (15787 bytes)
Nottingham 1926.JPG (22370 bytes) Nottingham 1927a.JPG (19727 bytes)
Nottingham continues to thrive today, whereas nearby Mansfield closed its gates for the final time in 1874.
Nottingham 1913ds.JPG (40117 bytes) The Nottinghamshire mining town of Mansfield first held races in 1734 when Baily’s Racing Register provided detailed results from the meeting held on Saturday 21st August. The town benefitted considerably from having a number of famous racing stables in its vicinity. The ‘wizard of the north’ John Scott built a racing stable for Mr Petre and later for Thomas Houldsworth of Sherwood Hall. The 1815 St Leger winner, Filho da Puta, was trained from the stables by John Scott. Although racing took place intermittently for the next century, the first occasion results were reported in the Sporting Magazine was in 1840. The course, situated on the Southwell road, just a convenient distance from the town centre, was 2 miles in circumference, but horses rounded the Sherwood Turn a mile and a half from the winning post. Later meetings were generously sponsored by the Duke of Portland, the owner of Rufford Castle. The meeting of 1845 was remarkable in that hurdle races were introduced onto the programme for the first time. The final meeting took place on Monday 13th July 1874. Nottingham 1923ds.JPG (40872 bytes)
Nottingham 1928.JPG (18209 bytes) Nottingham 1929e.JPG (24135 bytes)
I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.
Nottingham 1930.JPG (13631 bytes) Nottingham 1930re.JPG (24280 bytes)
Nottingham 1931.JPG (15734 bytes)
1932 Gents 1932 Ladies 1933 Gents 1933 Ladies 1934 Gents
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1934 Ladies 1935 Gents 1935 Ladies 1936 Gents 1937 Gents
Nottingham 1938.JPG (10410 bytes) Nottingham 1939a.JPG (23968 bytes) Nottingham 1940.JPG (7412 bytes)
1937 Ladies 1938 Gents 1939 Ladies 1940 Ladies 1941 Ladies
Nottingham 1942a.JPG (8287 bytes)
1942 Ladies 1947 Ladies 1948 Ladies 1949 Ladies 1953 Ladies
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1951 Ladies 1952 Ladies 1954 Ladies 1957 Ladies 1960 Ladies
1955 Ladies 1958 Ladies 1959 Ladies 1961 Ladies 1962 Ladies
Nottingham 1964gt.JPG (16696 bytes) Nottingham 1966.JPG (12256 bytes) Nottingham 1992.JPG (9690 bytes)
1963 Ladies 1964 Ladies 1965 Ladies 1966 Ladies 1992 Gents
nottingham 1969r.JPG (36536 bytes) Nottingham 1969x.JPG (23762 bytes) nottingham 1970r.JPG (35860 bytes) Nottingham 1972a.JPG (8639 bytes)
1968 Gents 1969 Gents 1969 Ladies 1970 Gents 1972 Ladies
Nottingham 1972b.JPG (10093 bytes) nottingham 1973r.JPG (31158 bytes) Nottingham 1974k.JPG (32728 bytes) Nottingham 1975.JPG (10345 bytes) Nottingham 1976p.JPG (32538 bytes)
1972 Gents 1973 Gents 1974 Gents 1975 Gents 1976 Gents
Nottingham 1977.JPG (10207 bytes) Nottingham 1978.JPG (12873 bytes) Nottingham 1979.JPG (14226 bytes) Nottingham 1980k.JPG (30481 bytes) Nottingham 1982.JPG (14834 bytes)
1977 Gents 1978 Gents 1979 Gents 1980 Gents 1982 Gents
Nottingham 1983.JPG (16974 bytes) Nottingham 1984rt.JPG (32850 bytes) Nottingham 1985.JPG (5835 bytes) Nottingham 1986.JPG (11775 bytes) Nottingham 1993r.JPG (21425 bytes)
1983 Gents 1984 Gents 1985 Gents 1986 Gents 1993 Gents
Nottingham 1994.JPG (40867 bytes) Nottingham 1995.JPG (15769 bytes) Nottingham 1996s.JPG (34662 bytes) Nottingham 1997s.JPG (38633 bytes) Nottingham 1998.JPG (15078 bytes)
1994 Gents 1995 Gents 1996 Gents 1997 Gents 1998 Gents
Nottingham 1999s.JPG (30366 bytes) Nottingham 2000s.JPG (34915 bytes) Nottingham 2001.JPG (12446 bytes) Nottingham 2002.JPG (15889 bytes) not03.JPG (17141 bytes)
1999 Gents 2000 Gents 2001 Gents 2002 Gents 2003 Gents
Nottingham 2004pk.JPG (37097 bytes) Nottingham 2008p.JPG (39104 bytes)      
2004 Gents 2008 Gents      
Notts 4.JPG (106295 bytes) Notts1.JPG (53150 bytes)
PADDOCK INSPECTION: One of these fillies looks favourite. FURLONG OUT: Could you predict the winner?
Notts2.JPG (84155 bytes) Notts3.JPG (102608 bytes)
WINNER PICKING: Like shelling peas as Sphinx goes clear. HOME & HOSED: All that remains is for the winnings to be collected.
notts5a.JPG (47156 bytes) Notts6.JPG (44765 bytes)
BASHING THE BOOKIES: Celebrating a win in style with a smile. BREEDING STOCK: We bred a winning filly.
The rare handbill shown below is provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.

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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