Warwick Racecourse History

Although the earliest record of racing near Warwick was in 1714, the first occasion results were included in Baily’s Racing Register was from the meeting held between 13th and 15th August 1739, with results shown below.  However, it was not until the 1750s that results began being widely reported. A two day meeting took place on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th August 1754 featuring a £50 purse on each day; a hunters’ race on day one and a conditions race on day two. A handbill from 1783 indicated that two races were on the card on 22nd August 1783, with entries registered at the Cross Keys Inn on Castle Street. Ten years later Warwick hosted its first King’s Plate on Tuesday 3rd September 1793 when Mr Annesley’s No Pretender beat Plowboy (sic) and Kezia. Subscription tickets were sold in 1815 allowing members to attend meetings for life, with the finance used to erect the first grandstand. Up to 1845 fixtures had been predominantly flat races, but this year steeplechase racing was introduced, and just two years later Chandler jumped what was reported as 39 feet to clear the formidable brook and four fallen horses. Clearly the experience was good preparation for facing the Aintree fences because he won the Grand National in 1848. In 1886 the Warwick Race Club Syndicate was formed and bought the course. Racing ceased during both World Wars, although immediately afterwards Warwick Corporation purchased the course from the Races Syndicate, their ownership lasting over twenty years before Racecourse Holdings Trust took charge in 1967. Currently the course hosts 17 fixtures annually.
Monday 13th August 1739
Warwick £50 Plate, each carrying 12st

1. Looby, owned by Mr Williams Wynn walked over
Wednesday 15th August 1739
Warwick £20 Free Plate

1. Young Cartouch, chestnut horse owned by Lord Portmore
2. Bumper, chestnut horse owned by Mr Welburn
3. Spanker, chestnut horse owned by Mr Williams Wynn

Tuesday 19th August 1740
Warwick 50 Guineas 6 year old Plate

1. Shepherdess, grey mare owned by Mr Tuting
2. Sprightly, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Clark


Wednesday 20th August 1740
Warwick 50 Guineas Free Plate

1. Black Chance owned by Mr Williams
2. Unnamed bay gelding owned by Mr Bingham

Tuesday 11th August 1741
Warwick £50 Plate

1. Fox, 6 year old bay horse owned by Mr Ebourn
2. Little-Thought-On, chestnut horse owned by Mr Griswould
3. Unnamed 6 year old grey mare owned by Mr Peasland
4. Moorcock, bay horse owned by Mr Wardle
5. Unnamed 6 year old grey gelding owned by Mr Hawkin
6. Ball, bay horse owned by the Duke of Devonshire

Warwick continues to thrive today, whereas nearby Coventry closed its gates for the final time in 1876.

Coventry is in the West Midlands, although historically it has been part of Warwickshire, and is England’s tenth largest city. The first time results of races held in the city were reported was in 1731 when Baily’s Racing Register included the meeting. It was a 3 day meeting extending from Wednesday 27th to Friday 29th June 1731, with the prestigious Prince of Wales Purse won by Lord Halifax’s Crispin. A century later the Spring Meeting took place on Thursday 29th March 1838 on an elongated oval course of circumference 9 furlongs with a straight run in of 2 ½ furlongs. Sprint races were contested on the last half mile and had a slight uphill finish.  The principal race was the Tally-Ho Stakes which went to Goldicote ridden by the famous Captain Becher. On Wednesday 11th March 1846 there was a fair tussle between two prominent owners in the City Handicap over 2 miles. In the end Lord Brookes’ Roebuck got the better of Sir C J Cockerell’s Niobe. The final meeting took place on Tuesday 17th October 1876.

Wednesday 27th June 1731
His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales Purse
1. Crispin owned by Lord Halifax
2. Sloven owned by Mr Neale
3. Prince of Wales owned by Mr Cornwall

Warwick 1907.JPG (33150 bytes)
I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1834 map shown below.
1910 Ladies 1911 Ladies 1914 Ladies 1920 Ladies 1924 Ladies
Warwick races.JPG (44687 bytes)
1925 Ladies 1926 Ladies 1927 Ladies 1928 Ladies 1929 Ladies

The rare handbill shown below is provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.

Warwick 1936.JPG (22787 bytes)
1939 Matched Pair 1947 Gents 1949 Gents 1949 Ladies
1950 Gents 1950 Ladies 1951 Matched Pair 1952 Gents 1953 Gents
1955 Gents 1957 Gents 1957 Ladies 1958 Gents 1958 Ladies
1959 Gents 1959 Member 1960 Gents 1960 Ladies 1962 Gents
1964 Ladies 1964 Gents 1965 Gents 1966 Gents 1967 Gents
1968 Gents 1969 Ladies 1970 Gents 1972 Gents 1973 Gents

The principal race is the Grade 2 Kingmaker Novices’ Chase over 2 miles which is run each February. It is named after the 16th Earl of Warwick who played a prominent role in the War of the Roses and was nicknamed ‘Kingmaker’. The race held its inaugural running in 1991 when Anti Matter was successful for Martin Pipe and Peter Scudamore. Full results are shown below.

1974 Gents 1975 Gents 1976 Gents 1977 Gents 1978 National Hunt

1991 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Anti Matter, trained by Martin Pipe and ridden by Peter Scudamore.
1992 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Milford Quay, trained by Martin Pipe and ridden by Peter Scudamore.

1978 Gents 1979 Gents 1980 Gents 1981 Gents 1982 Gents

1993 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Flashthecash, trained by Toby Balding and ridden by Adrian Maguire.
1994 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Boscean Chieftain, trained by Jackie Retter and ridden by Richard Dunwoody.

1983 National Hunt 1983 Gents 1984 Gents 1985 Gents 1986 National Hunt

1995 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was not contested
1996 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Arctic Kinsman, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden by Carl Llewellyn.

1986 Gents 1987 National Hunt 1987 Gents 1988 National Hunt 1988 Gents

1997 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Mulligan, trained by David Nicholson and ridden by Adrian Maguire.
1998 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Lake Kariba, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Richard Johnson.

1988 National Hunt 1989 Gents 1989 National Hunt 1990 National Hunt 1990 Gents

1999 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Flagship Uberalles, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Robert Thornton.
2000 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Cenkos, trained by Oliver Sherwood and ridden by Jimmy McCarthy.

1991 Gents 1992 National Hunt 1992 Gents 1993 Gents 1994 Gents

2001 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Whitenzo, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Joe Tizzard.
2002 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Armaturk, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Timmy Murphy.

1995 National Hunt 1995 Gents 1996 National Hunt 1996 Gents 1997 National Hunt

2003 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was not contested
2004 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was not contested

1997 Gents 1998 Flat 1998 Gents 1999 National Hunt 1999 Gents

2005 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Kadount, trained by Oliver Alan King and ridden by Robert Thornton.
2006 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Voy Por Ustedes, trained by Alan King and ridden by Robert Thornton.

2000 Gents 2000 National Hunt 2001 National Hunt 2001 Gents 2002 Gents

2007 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Ursis, trained by Steve Gollings and ridden by Dominic Elsworth.
2008 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Kruguyrova, trained by Charlie Egerton and ridden by Jimmy McCarthy.

2002 National Hunt 2003 Gents 2003 National Hunt 2004 National Hunt 2005 Gents

2009 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Gauvain, trained by Charlie Mann and ridden by Noel Fehily.
2010 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Long Run, trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen.

2006 Member 2006 Member 2006 Member 2007 Member 2007 Member

2011 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Finian’s Rainbow, trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Andrew Tinkler.
2012 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was not contested
2013 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Majala, trained by Tom George and ridden by Jason Maguire.

 
2008 Member 2009 Member 2010 Member 2012 National Hunt  

2014 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Balder Success, trained by Alan King and ridden by Wayne Hutchinson.
2015 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Vibrato Valtat, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies.
2016 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Violet Dancer, trained by Gary Moore and ridden by Jamie Moore.
2017 The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was won by Flying Angel, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden by Willie Twiston-Davies.

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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