Worcester Racecourse History
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The first evidence of racing in the vicinity of Worcester was on Friday 20th June 1718 when three 2 mile heats were contested at Pitchcroft meadow (shown on the map below), with the winner being offered for sale at £7. Six years later, on Tuesday 25th August 1724 the 80 Guineas Contribution Purse was won by Lord Herbert, while the Worcester £20 Town Plate went to Mr Creswell’s horse. Exactly 15 years later, Cato carried 11st to victory on Wednesday 22nd August 1739, winning the princely sum of 40 guineas for owner Mr Middleton. In 1754 a three day meeting was staged, which extended to four days in 1755. The Hereford Journal reported on the 3 day meeting from Tuesday 3rd to Thursday 5th August 1790. The meeting opened with a 50 Sovereign Maiden Purse in which Mr William’s Benedict defeated Brown Charlotte owned by William Herrick. The result of the main race at the meeting is show below. Prestigious races like the Worcester Gold Cup and Worcester Stakes were included on the card in 1823, while by 1836 National Hunt racing took place over a course consisting of 29 jumps of various sorts. From 1836 until 1933 Worcester staged the Grand Annual Steeplechase which was used as an excellent trail for the Grand National. An interesting figure of eight course was used for the first time in 1880, but its artificial fences did not please everyone and were abandoned at the turn of the century. The final flat race was held on Saturday 20th August 1966, and a new grandstand was opened on Wednesday 26th March 1975. Currently the course stages 20 fixtures annually.
Thursday 5th August 1790
Worcester 50 Sovereigns All Age Purse

1. Florizel, 6 year old bay colt owned by Lord Stamford
2. Sweetbriar, aged bay gelding owned by Mr Povall
3. Young Hephestion, bay gelding owned by Mr Lyne
4. Morwick Ball, 6 year old chestnut horse owned by Mr Lambourn

Worcester continues to thrive today, whereas nearby Pershore closed its gates for the final time in 1939.

The Worcestershire market town of Pershore’s first race meeting took place on the edge of the town on Tuesday 26th October 1847, principally involving the Pershore Stakes which was run in 4 heats. The mile and a half race was won by Amazement, owned by Mr Wood, beating Augustus and Monsieur Perrot, and was due to be sold for 100 sovereigns after winning. The course was less than a mile from the town centre, close to Pershore Railway Station, surrounded by beautiful Worcestershire countryside. Despite its obvious success, no further flat race meetings were staged in the town, and racing did not return until the very last year of the century. On Thursday 27th April 1899 the inaugural National Hunt meeting was staged on Weir Meadow, close to Defford, and it proved to be a good day for Mr Herbert Sidney who won all four steeplechases. Meetings continued to be held each April, with an additional meeting in October after 1900. Racing ceased during the War, returning in 1920, although the quality of races and the attendance were both on the decline. The Weir Meadow course staged its final two day meeting on Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th May 1934 and there was no May meeting the next year. A new course, close to the railway station, opened with a two day meeting on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th October 1935, with hopes and expectations high. The course was superior to the old one, which had flooded all too frequently, and the stands and other facilities were significantly better. The final meeting took place on Monday 1st May 1939 after which the army took over the course. Once the war was over racing never returned to Pershore, the land owned by Lord Coventry was sold and later used for commercial purposes.

Saturday 5th May 1923
Land O’Plums Steeplechase over 2 miles
1. Buggy, 5 year old owned by Mr Bromley
2. Blue Anchor, 5 year old owned by Mr Hyde
3. Sherston, 8 year old owned by Mr Sanday
Betting: 4/7 Sherston, 7/1 Irish Idol, 7/1 Buggy, 8/1 Blue Anchor

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I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.
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The Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase, first run in 1836, was an excellent Grand National trial for almost a century. Complete details of every Grand Annual Steeplechase staged at Worcester between 1836 and 1933 is available.
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A fully detailed history of the recently revived Land O' Plum Steeplechase, formerly run at Pershore but now run at Worcester, is available.
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1836 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Vivian owned by Captain Lamb and ridden by Captain Martin Becher
1841 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Cotton Ball (10/1) owned by Mr Clegg and ridden by W Smith
1842 Royal Birthday Handicap Chase (4 miles) was won by Roderick Random (6/1) owned by Mr Quartermaine and ridden by Allan McDonough
1843 Royal Birthday Handicap Chase (4 miles) was won by Dragsman (4/1) owned by Mr Gordon and ridden by Tom Oliver
1844 Royal Birthday Handicap Chase (4 miles) was won by Discount (5/2 fav) owned by Mr Quartermaine and ridden by Crickmere
1845 Royal Birthday Handicap Chase (4 miles) was won by The Page (9/1) owned by Mr W Holman and ridden by W Holman
1846 Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) at Crowle was won by Brunette (5/1) owned by Mr Preston and ridden by Allan McDonough
1846 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by The Switcher (5/1) owned by Lord Strathmore and ridden by Strathmore
1847 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Chandler (20/1) owned by Mr Little and ridden by Little
1848 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Proceed (5/1) owned by Mr Eskrett and ridden by Captain Peel
1849 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Vainhope (10/1) owned by Mr W Vevers and ridden by W Archer
1850 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Miss Collingwood (9/1) owned by Mr Mountford and ridden by W Archer
1851 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Sir Peter Laurie (7/1) owned by Mr W Barnett and ridden by W Holman
1852 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by The General (4/1) owned by Mr B Land and ridden by Tasker
1853 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Bourton (6/4 fav) owned by Mr W Vevers and ridden by Tasker
1854 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Needwood (5/4 fav) owned by Mr B Land and ridden by C Green
1855 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Potter (8/1) owned by Mr Barber and ridden by D Wynne
1856 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Little Charley (5/1) owned by Mr C Capel and ridden by T Burrows
1857 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Theodine (6/1) owned by Mr B Land and ridden by Nightingall

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1858 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Abd-el-Kader (5/1) owned by Mr Briscoe and ridden by C Green
1859 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Abatis (6/1) owned by Mr C Capel and ridden by Mr Thomas
1860 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Jerusalem (7/4 fav) owned by Mr Golby and ridden by Owen
1861 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Bantam (4/1) owned by Mr W Holman and ridden by G Holman
1862 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Wee Nell (5/4 fav) owned by Mr Markey and ridden by Knott
1863 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Reporter (5/1) owned by Mr J Fiddoman and ridden by C Boyce
1864 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Jerry (6/4 fav) owned by Mr Chadwick and ridden by B Land
1865 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Ironsides (6/4 fav) owned by Mr B Land and ridden by Mr Edwards
1866 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Daisy (6/1) owned by Mr J H Powell and ridden by J Pope
1867 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Reporter (3/1 fav) owned by Lord Strathmore and ridden by Strathmore
1868 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Philosopher (7/1) owned by Mr Murray and ridden by H Ellison
1869 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Scipio (2/1) owned by Mr G Clement and ridden by R L’Anson
1870 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Royal Irish Fusilier (5/1) owned by Lord Poulett and ridden by Land
1871 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by The Spy (3/1 fav) owned by Mr Studd and ridden by George Waddington
1872 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (4 miles) was won by Red Nob (3/1) owned by Mr Sankey and ridden by Mr J Goodwin
1873 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Last of the Novelists (7/4 fav) owned by Mr W Mytton and ridden by J Holman
1874 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Ironclad (100/15) owned by Mr Morgan and ridden by W Newton
1875 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Saracen (3/1) owned by Mr R Anderson and ridden by Mr Thomas
1876 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Dewdrop (5/1) owned by Mr S Davis and ridden by Mr Bryce

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1877 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 ¼ miles) was won by Alstone (7/1) owned by Mr J Holman and ridden by Holman
1878 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 ¼ miles) was won by Juggler (6/4 fav) owned by Mr Taylor and ridden by Mr G Moore
1879 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 ½ miles) was won by Militant (5/2) owned by Mr J Brooke and ridden by W Reeves
1880 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 ½ miles) was won by My Darling (1/2 fav) owned by Mr E Carrington and ridden by J Jones
1881 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 ½ miles) was won by Gipsy (2/5 fav) owned by Mr G Ingram and ridden by Mr E P Wilson
1882 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase was abandoned due to waterlogging
1883 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 ½ miles) was won by Sir George Elliot (5/2 fav) owned by Mr H S Lucy and ridden by Mr E P Wilson
1884 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 ½ miles) was won by Amethyst (7/4 fav) owned by Lord Marcus Beresford and ridden by J Jones
1885 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 ½ miles) was won by Scorn (4/1) owned by Captain Childs and ridden by Sensier
1886-91 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase was not held; management preferred hurdle races
1892 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Fortune (6/4 fav) owned by Mr Abington and ridden by T Wilson
1893 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Oxton (4/5 fav) owned by Mr J Blake and ridden by R Nightingall
1894 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Harpist (6/1) owned by Mr E Storey and ridden by C Whitton
1895 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Kynaston (2/1 fav) owned by Mr G Ryall and ridden by Dollery
1896 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Grigou (3/1) owned by Mr G L Derriman and ridden by Derriman
1897 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Silver Mask (2/5 fav) owned by Sir W Ingram and ridden by C Clack
1898 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Exodus (6/4 fav) owned by Mr Stewart Freeman and ridden by Matthews
1899 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Perth Lad (6/1) owned by Mr J Hotton and ridden by Mr H Hunt

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1900 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 ½ miles) was won by King’s Head (5/2 fav) owned by Mr T Leader and ridden by T Leader
1901 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Boa (5/1) owned by Mr J Blake and ridden by Polletti
1902 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Irish Linen (Evens fav) owned by Mr H Turner and ridden by G F Wilson
1903 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Merry Monk II (7/4) owned by Mr Pollard and ridden by J Phillips
1904 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Sans Atout (6/4 fav) owned by Major W B Mynors and ridden by Mr J T Rogers
1905 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Creolin (6/1) owned by Colonel M Lindsay and ridden by Mr J T Rogers
1906 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Kepler (Evens fav) owned by Lord Coventry and ridden by F Mason
1907 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Robin (9/2) owned by Mr W B Partridge and ridden by Ivor Anthony
1908 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Bloodstone (4/1) owned by Mr C Bower-Ismay and ridden by F Lyall
1909 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Red Scot (2/1 fav) owned by Mr J Orr-Ewing and ridden by E Piggott
1910 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Brown Princess (10/1) owned by Lady Wynn and ridden by Norris
1911 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Royal Birthday (13/8) owned by Mr J S Austen and ridden by Ivor Anthony
1912 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (3 miles) was won by Roman Candle (3/1) owned by Mr W Stratton and ridden by G Barrett
1913 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Rhine Na Shark (5/2) owned by Lady E Gordon and ridden by W Payne
1914 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Campamento (6/1) owned by Mr G Hyde and ridden by G Field
1915 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Wavylace (7/4 fav) owned by Sir G Bullough and ridden by J R Anthony
1916-19 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase was not held due to the First World War

1920 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Smashaway (4/1) owned by Mr F Phillips and ridden by H Smyth
1921 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Golden Fleece (6/4 fav) owned by Mr W Parrish and ridden by W Smith
1922 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Wingate (7/2 fav) owned by Major Swann and ridden by J Hogan
1923 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Mr Madcap (5/4 fav) owned by Sir H Webb and ridden by Jack Anthony
1924 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Layman (3/1) owned by Mr Cope and ridden by W Stott
1925 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Priority (6/1) owned by Mr D Clarke and ridden by M Tighe
1926 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Merry Miner (8/1) owned by Mr J Settle and ridden by W Speck
1927 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Preface (7/1) owned by Mr G Whitelaw and ridden by Keith Piggott
1928 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Kilbrain (5/1) owned by Mr A E Longworth and ridden by Keith Piggott
1929 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Evanswave (10/1) owned by Captain Bridges and ridden by T Cullinan
1930 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Teme Salmon (100/8) owned by Mr G Williams and ridden by T Cullinan
1931 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Somercotes (4/1) owned by Mr Boutall and ridden by R Lyall
1932 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Village Boy (4/1) owned by Mr R Mealings and ridden by D Morgan
1933 Worcester Grand Annual Steeplechase (2 miles) was won by Prince Marlo (8/11 fav) owned by Mrs N Coles and ridden by T McNeill

     

To order your copy, priced at £13.99 + £2 postage/packaging, email info@worcester-racecourse.co.uk

This delightful, well kept course was visited on Monday 13th August 2013. It is ideally situated close to the city centre, railway station, and is bordered by the River Severn.

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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