Windsor Racecourse History

One of the earliest records of racing taking place near Windsor was on 24th August 1684 when Charles II attended the races at Datchet Ferry. In the middle of the 18th century Windsor frequently offered £50 prizes often sponsored by the local corporation. Racing certainly took place in 1744, 1745, 1747, 1766 and 1769. There appears to have been a lull in racing at Windsor, with nearby Ascot playing a more prominent role in the racing calendar. However, in December 1840 a steeplechase meeting was staged in the vicinity of Windsor between Fyfield and Oakley Green, although the main race was restricted to members of the Royal Household Brigade when Amazon defeated Nimrod and 10 others by a comfortable 50 yards.  This was the forerunner of the Royal Military and Annual Steeplechases which were launched in 1843 under the stewardship of HRH Prince George of Cambridge. The card for the 6th Annual meeting, taking place from Monday 27th to Tuesday 28th March 1848, is shown below. The course started in a meadow to the right of the Windsor Road, near to Clewer House, followed by a dry ditch which led to a second and third paddock bordering the Great Park. The result of the Handicap on day two is also shown below. The next occasion racing was reported near Windsor was in 1860 on Windsor Great Park, and within 6 years the present figure of eight course at Rays Meadow was opened on Tuesday 5th June 1866. Windsor was the scene of a famous event in 1926, the year of the General Strike, when the bookmakers went on strike by refusing to bet in protest at the introduction of Betting Tax. The move had the desired effect and the Betting Tax law was repealed. During the War years the unusual step was taken to allow Windsor to continue to race. Windsor is well known for hosting popular Monday night meetings during the summer months, the first of which was held in 1964. Currently hosts 27 fixtures annually.
Tuesday 28th March 1848
Windsor Royal Military & Annual Handicap over 4 miles

1. British Yeoman, bay gelding owned by Mr G Howard and ridden by Jem Mason
2. St Leger, brown gelding owned and ridden by the Earl of Strathmore
3. Mushroom, brown gelding owned and ridden by Captain Harvey
4. The Chandler, owned and ridden by Captain W Peel

Windsor 1923.JPG (11369 bytes)

Windsor continues to thrive today, whereas nearby Egham closed its gates for the final time in 1884.

The Surrey town of Egham first staged a three day meeting from Monday 5th to Wednesday 7th September 1774 which opened with a Subscription race over 4 mile heats. In the first heat Mr Belson’s Don Dun had to settle for third behind Zamora, but gained revenge by winning the next two heats, so claiming the Purse. The prestigious Town Plate on day two went to Mr Wildman’s Marsk (sic), while the Ladies Plate on the final day was won by Mr Wildman’s Wanton. The three day meeting from Wednesday 4th to Friday 6th September 1782 proved to be exceptional for the Duke of Queensberry, a loyal supporter of the course. He won the Egham Town Plate with Guido, and followed it up by securing the Noblemen and Gentlemen’s Purse with Henley two days later. In the early 19th century the course was an oval, entirely flat course, of 66 yards short of 2 miles. Meetings continued to be well run and supported by a loyal group of followers until a final card was held on Wednesday 20th August 1884. Whenever a large crowd congregates there is always the potential for rowdiness, unruly behaviour and pickpockets. Egham suffered from this problem more than most other courses and after the 1884 meeting the London Police decided not to allocate sufficient manpower to control the problem and, as a consequence, Egham closed.

Friday 6th September 1782
Egham Noblemen and Gentlemen’s Purse over 4 miles
1. Henley owned by the Duke of Queensberry
2. Copperbottom owned by Captain Houre
3. Pleasant owned by Mr Sparrow

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1856 map shown below.
I am grateful to Robert Shaw for the very rare Tuesday 28th March 1848 racecard shown below.
Windsor 1920.JPG (9459 bytes)
1932 Gents 1932 Ladies 1933 Ladies 1934 Gents 1935 Gents

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

1951 Gents 1951 Ladies 1952 Gents 1953 Ladies 1953 Gents

The front cover/ principal races from these rare racecards are provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.

1965 Gents 1965 Ladies 1966 Gents 1966 Ladies 1967 Gents

The principal race is the Group 3 Winter Hill Stakes over 1 mile 2 furlongs and 7 yards. In was first contested in 1965 when the Peter Walwyn trained Mabel won untroubled at 1/5 favourite in the hands of Jimmy Lindley. Full details of all winners are shown below.
1965 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Mabel (1/5 fav), trained by Peter Walwyn and ridden by Jimmy Lindley
1966 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Polmak (1/10 fav), trained by Harry Thomson Jones and ridden by Lester Piggott
1967 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Drevno (11/2), trained by Freddie Maxwell and ridden by Greville Starkey
1968 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Chasmarella (8/13 fav), trained by Tommy Gosling and ridden by Lester Piggott

1967 Ladies 1968 Gents 1968 Ladies 1969 Gents 1969 Ladies

1969 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Midnight Marauder (3/10 fav), trained by Jeremy Tree and ridden by Jimmy Lindley
1970 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Merioneth (100/9), trained by Bruce Hobbs and ridden by John Gorton
1971 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Knockroe (Evens fav), trained by Peter Nelson and ridden by Lester Piggott
1972 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Parnell (4/11 fav), trained by Bernard Van Cutsem and ridden by Wille Carson
1973 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Sol’Argent (4/11 fav), trained by Tommy Gosling and ridden by Paul Cook

1970 Gents 1970 Ladies 1971 Gents 1971 Ladies 1972 Gents

1974 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Punch Up (14/1), trained by David Morley and ridden by Tony Murray
1975 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Orange Bay (4/11 fav), trained by Peter Walwyn and ridden by Pat Eddery
1976 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Amboise (1/4 fav), trained by Henry Cecil and ridden by Alan Bond
1977 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Fool’s Mate (4/5 fav), trained by Henry Cecil and ridden by Joe Mercer
1978 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Malecite (1/2 fav), trained by Henry Cecil and ridden by Joe Mercer

1972 Ladies 1973 Gents 1976 Gents 1978 Gents 1979 Gents

1979 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Crested Grebe (4/9 fav), trained by Bruce Hobbs and ridden by Edward Hide
1980 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Masked Marvel (2/11 fav), trained by Henry Cecil and ridden by Joe Mercer
1981 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Royal Fountain (2/9 fav), trained by Peter Walwyn and ridden by Joe Mercer
1982 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Brady (4/6 fav), trained by Mick Ryan and ridden by Philip Robinson
1983 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Millfontaine (4/9 fav), trained by Guy Harwood and ridden by Greville Starkey

1980 Gents 1981 Gents 1982 Gents 1983 Gents 1984 Gents

1984 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Alleging (5/4 jfav), trained by Henry Cecil and ridden by Lester Piggott
1985 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Regal Diplomat (9/4), trained by Alec Stewart and ridden by Pat Eddery
1986 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Samarid (7/1) and Esdale (13/8 fav) dead heated; Samarid was trained by Michael Stoute and ridden by Walter Swinburn, while Esdale was trained by Jeremy Tree and ridden by Pat Eddery
1987 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Media Starguest (7/1), trained by Luca Cumani and ridden by Ray Cochrane
1988 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Hibernian Gold (4/1), trained by Guy Harwood and ridden by Greville Starkey

1985 Gents 1986 Gents 1987 Gents 1988 Gents 1989 Gents

1989 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Dolpour (9/1), trained by Michael Stoute and ridden by Walter Swinburn
1990 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Song of Sixpence (11/4), trained by Ian Balding and ridden by Steve Cauthen
1991 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Filia Ardross (7/1), trained by Alec Stewart and ridden by Richard Hills
1992 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Shuailaan (2/1), trained by Alec Stewart and ridden by Michael Roberts
1993 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Usaidit (7/1), trained by Terry Mills and ridden by John Reid

1990 Gents 1991 Gents 1992 Gents 1993 Gents 1994 Gents

1994 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Young Buster (100/30 fav), trained by Geoff Wragg and ridden by Pat Eddery
1995 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Desert Shot (12/1), trained by Michael Stoute and ridden by Walter Swinburn
1996 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Annus Mirabilis (85/40), trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Frankie Dettori
1997 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Annus Mirabilis (11/8 fav), trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Frankie Dettori
1998 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Annus Mirabilis (5/4 fav), trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Daragh O’Donohoe

1995 Gents 1996 Gents 1997 Gents 1998 Gents 1999 Member

1999 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Zindabad (7/4 fav), trained by Ben Hanbury and ridden by Kieren Fallon
2000 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Adilabad (6/4 fav), trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Pat Eddery
2001 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Adilabad (9/2), trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Kieren Fallon
2002 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Naheef (6/4 fav), trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Frankie Dettori
2003 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Leporello (5/2), trained by Peter Harris and ridden by Richard Quinn

2000 Member 2001 Member 2002 Member 2003 Member 2004 Member

2004 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Ancient World (5/1), trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Kerrin McEvoy
2005 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Eccentric (7/1), trained by Andrew Reid and ridden by Darryll Holland
2006 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Tam Lin (5/2 fav), trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore
2007 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Queen’s Best (8/1), trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore
2008 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Stotsfold (5/1), trained by Walter Swinburn and ridden by Adam Kirby

2005 Member 2006 Member 2007 Member 2015 Member 2016 Member

2009 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Camponologist (11/10 fav), trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Frankie Dettori
2010 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Distant Memories (6/1), trained by Tom Tate and ridden by Jamie Spencer
2011 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Prince Siegfried (14/1), trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Ted Durcan
2012 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Lay Time (4/1), trained by Andrew Balding and ridden by Jimmy Fortune
2013 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Planteur (1/2 fav), trained by Marco Botti and ridden by Frankie Dettori
2014 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Al Kazeem (8/11 fav), trained by Roger Charlton and ridden by George Baker
2015 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Racing History (9/2), trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by William Buick
2016 The Winter Hill Stakes was won by Chain of Daisies (15/2), trained by Henry Candy and ridden by Fergus Sweeney

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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