|Uttoxeter Racecourse History
The earliest evidence of racing in the Uttoxeter area was at Netherwood in the early years of the 18th century. In the early 1800’s Uttoxeter combined with the nearby Meynell Hunt Group to stage steeplechase meetings, one of which took place on Thursday 6th April 1820 with results shown below. However, meetings on the current course were designed to replace those at nearby Keele Park which had closed by 1907. A company was formed in 1907 to take over the licence of Keele Park racecourse, with 100 members of the nobility and gentry of the county forming the club to run the racecourse. The inaugural 2 day meeting took place on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th May 1907, with results shown below. There were 3 further days of racing in 1907. Racing ceased in 1914 because of the outbreak of War, and did not return until two years after the War had ended. The first meeting was abandoned due to inclement weather, but a meeting was held in April 1921 and 3 further meetings took place that year. No racing took place between 1939 and 1945, initially because the course was requisitioned by the War Department and then because the farmer, whose land the course was on, could not agree appropriate terms for racing to take place. It was not until 1951 that Uttoxeter Urban District Council took over the running of the course, holding an inaugural meeting on 12th April 1952 when a crowd in excess of 12,000 attended. In 1968 a new grandstand was opened at a cost of £167,000 and twenty years later the course was bought by Northern Racing, led by Sir Stanley Clarke. He instigated the building of a new paddock and two new grandstands, transforming the course from a lowly, rural track into one which became known nationwide. The feature race is the Midlands Grand National which was first run in 1969, but in 1997 Sir Stanley Clarke had his sights set on the Aintree Grand National which he won with Lord Gyllene. Currently the course stages 19 fixtures annually.
The Silver Cup over 2 miles
|Uttoxeter continues to thrive today, whereas nearby Derby closed its gates for the final time in 1939.
Although racing is mentioned taking place in the Derbyshire county city of Derby in a publication in 1639, the earliest evidence of racing on Sinfin Moor was 1707, although it was not until 1748 that Sinfin Moor became firmly established as Derby’s racecourse. The first results listed in the ‘Historical List of Races’ were from a three day meeting in Derby which took place from Tuesday 3rd to Thursday 5th October 1752 when the Give and Take Selling Race was won by Oh My Eye owned by Miss Sherley, with the winner to be sold for 20 Guineas. The Sporting Magazine reported on a meeting on Tuesday 5th August 1760 which was held on nearby Sinfin Moor, where racing continued until transferring to Siddals in time for the 1831 meeting, remaining there for 4 years before moving to its final loaction. The National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup, now contested at the annual Cheltenham Festival in March, was held at Derby on 5 occasions, the last in 1892 when the Lord Royston owned Royal Buck was ridden to victory by Mr Yorke. Racing ceased during the First World War but resumed shortly afterwards. The final two day National Hunt meeting was held on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st February 1939, while a 3 day Flat meeting was staged from Monday 7th to Wednesday 9th August 1939. The course closed during the War and the owners, Derby Recreation Company, were refused permission by the Council to hold any further meetings in 1942.
Tuesday 3rd October 1752
|I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1856 map shown below.
|The newspaper extract given below is shown courtesy of the Sporting Life (Saturday 4th May 1907) and the British Newspaper Online. It reports on the inaugural meeting held at Uttoxeter on Friday 3rd May 1907.
The rare handbill shown below is provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.
|The principal race is the Midland Grand National over 4 miles 1 furlong and 92 yards. It consists of 24 fences and was first contested on 3rd May 1969 when Happy Spring, trained by J Wright and ridden by Ken White, was successful. Full details of all winners are given below.
1969 The Midland Grand National was won by Happy Spring, trained by J Wright and ridden by Ken White
1970 The Midland Grand National was won by Two Springs, trained by G Owen and ridden by R Edwards
1971 The Midland Grand National was won by Grey Sombrero, trained by David Gandolfo and ridden by Graham Thorner
1972 The Midland Grand National was won by Proud Percy, trained by W A Stephenson and ridden by G Faulkner
|1973 The Midland Grand National was won by Rip’s Lyric, trained by W Whiston and ridden by Ken White
1974 The Midland Grand National was won by Fighting Chance, trained by Gay Kindersley and ridden by Bill Shoemark
1975 The Midland Grand National was won by Rag Trade, trained by Arthur Pitt and ridden by John Burke
1976 The Midland Grand National was won by Burrator, trained by A Jarvis and ridden by Mr J Decker
1977 The Midland Grand National was won by Watifella, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Bryan Smart
1978 The Midland Grand National was won by Kick On, trained by K Lewis and ridden by R Hyett
1983 The Midland Grand National was not contested
|1996 Gents Member
|1996 Lady Member
1988 The Midland Grand National was won by Knock Hill, trained by John Webber and ridden by George Mernagh
1993 The Midland Grand National was won by Mister Ed, trained by Roger Curtis and ridden by Derek Morris
1998 The Midland Grand National was won by Miss Orchestra, trained by Jessica Harrington and ridden by Barry Geraghty
2003 The Midland Grand National was won by Intelligent, trained by Jessica Harrington and ridden by Robbie Power
|2005 Medical Officer
2008 The Midland Grand National was won by Himalayan Trail, trained by Sue Smith and ridden by Tjade Collier
2013 The Midland Grand National was won by Big Occasion, trained by David Pipe and ridden by Mr Mikey Ennis
2018 The Midland Grand National was won by Regal Flow, trained by Bob Buckler and ridden by Sean Houlihan
|2019 Corporate Member
|2020 Annual Member
|2022 Annual Member
774 former courses
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235 former courses
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