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2010-present Phil McEntee
For over 4 centuries racing has been staged in Newmarket, but how have the racecourses evolved from an initial starting point at Fleam Dyke Pumping Station, some 8 miles from the town, with a winning post barely 200 metres from the town centre, into two world recognized, excellent racecourses and a universal acceptance that Newmarket is the Headquarters of racing?
To access an interactive racecourse map showing over 50 individually named racecourses CLICK HERE. The map will enable you to:-
1. Determine when extended races over 8 miles, 6 miles and 4 miles began to be replaced by the courses now visited by thousands annually;
2. Consider how the challenge of crossing the Devil's Dyke was overcome;
3. Contemplate why the town no longer has a steeplechase course despite having at least 5 courses during the past 2 centuries;
4. Examine the practicalities of having up to 48 starting posts and winning posts;
5. Appreciate that it was not financially viable to have an open racecourse spread widely across the heath, with a finishing post barely 200 metres from the town centre;
6. Research how and why the Cambridgeshire Handicap has been contested over 3 different courses.
NOTE: The map does not make mention of 2 particular courses:-
(i) Sefton Course (also known as the Cambridge Road Course)
Source: 1970 Raceform. Used from 1959 to 1975.
(ii) New Circular Course
The Circular Handicap was run on Friday 29th October 1875 on the New Circular Course of about two miles.
Source: London Standard (30th October 1875): ''the horses started near the Turn of the Lands, ran back way of the Cambridgeshire Course towards the Ditch, and afterwards proceeded down the side of the Tan Gallop, and turned into the Rowley Mile near the Bretby Stakes starting post, finishing at the stand at the end of the flat. Except in the hollow near the Cambridgeshire start the runners should have been visible all the way if the sky had been bright and clear''.
Another report hoped that the Circular Handicap would become a feature in future programmes, as it would be contested in front of the new grandstand which would be completed in about a year and would be able to accommodate thousands.
(I am grateful to Tim Cox for bringing attention to these 2 courses.)
Enjoy researching the intriguing history of Newmarket and its many racecourses.
At a Newmarket Town Council meeting in April 2012 there were no objections to a planning application to erect two stable blocks with the capacity for an additional 38 boxes, as well as a feed store and office facilities on the ground floor, together with 2 bedsits on the first floor at Carriageway Stables.
|I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1836 map shown above. Carriageway Stables is 5|
|To enjoy the experience of a day at Newmarket races in May 1838 CLICK HERE|
|The map opposite, shown courtesy of Ordnance Survey, indicates the location of the Hamilton Stud at the start of the 20th century. The land on which the Hamilton Stud, and its surrounding fields, once stood is now replaced by training establishments which, in 2020, were named Heyward Place, Charnwood, Frankland Lodge, Lemberg, Hamilton Stables, Carriageway, Hamilton Hill, Shadowfax and Seven Springs Stable.|
One of the highlights of Philip's training career was the cheaply bought Baytown Kestrel, purchased for just £400 by his wife Rebecca. The bay mare by Captain Gerrard out of Litewska was successful at Lingfield in June 2013 at 50/1, followed by victories at Wolverhampton (11/8 fav) and again at Lingfield (5/1), and Philip thought it worthwhile to have a tilt at the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot. She finished 21st when ridden by Adam Kirby at 25/1, behind Rizeena (6/1) trained by Clive Brittain and ridden by James Doyle.
One of the most successful geldings at the yard in recent times was Spare Parts, a bay gelding by Choisir out of Grandel, who formed a special partnership with jockey Nicola Currie when winning 7 times in the 2018 season on the all-weather circuit. Three of his wins were at Kempton Park, two at Wolverhampton, with single wins at both Lingfield Park and Chelmsford City.
2014 All-Weather Fillies and Mares Championship LIVING THE LIFE 8/1 trained by Philip McEntee and ridden by Adam Kirby
|Top 5 Carriageway/ Racefields horses of all time
LIVING THE LIFE (2014 All-Weather Fillies and Mares Championship)
EMILY GOLDFINCH (3 Newmarket wins)
PHILIPINE COBRA (EBF Fillies Handicap at York)
PUTIN (Laytown Handicap)
BAYTOWN KESTREL (3 Lingfield and a Wolverhampton victory)
|© John Slusar 2020|
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