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Earliest meeting: Friday 9th June 1679
Final meeting: Friday 8th August 1873
The Cheshire town of Knutsford, 14 miles south west of Manchester, is surrounded by beautiful countryside between the Cheshire Plain, the Peak District and the Welsh Mountains. An early record shows that racing took place on Higher Knutsford Heath in 1679. Sir Thomas Mainwaring’s racing stables, in the grounds of the Manor of Peeover, were built in 1650, and Sir Thomas certainly attended the Knutsford meeting on Friday 9th June 1679. Baily’s Racing Register first provided detailed results from races held at Knutsford on Friday 5th August 1729 when the 20 Guineas Plate was won by Mr Egerton’s Vulcan. The first occasion when Knutsford Heath races were widely advertised was in July 1757, while the earliest occasion when the races were deemed to be sufficiently important to be included in the Racing Calendar was on 27th July 1762 when a 3 day meet took place on a round, entirely flat course of a mile circumference. By 1815 the Knutsford Gold Cup was established, with the inaugural winner being Prince of Orange owned by Lord Grey. The Gold Cup remained a Weight for Age race until after the 1833 running when won by Lady Stafford for Mr Bower, whence it became a Handicap. The final meeting took place on Friday 8th August 1873, with little evidence of the racecourse remaining today, although the nearby road is called Racefield Road. Also there are two local pubs on the Northwich Road, The Smoker and The Slow and Easy, which were named after racehorses which were particularly successful at Knutsford.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Derby, Lord Strange, Lord Grosvenor, Colonel Low, Sir P Leicester, Sir T Stanley, Sir W Wynn, Sir T Mostyn
Principal Races Gold Cup, Peeover Stakes, Tatton Park Stakes, Produce Stakes

Friday 5th August 1729

Knutsford 20 Guineas Plate
1. Vulcan owned by Mr Egerton
2. Molly-in-the-Moor owned by Mr Williams Wynn
3. Witty Gelding owned by Mr Horton

27th to 29th July 1762

Knutsford 2 mile Purse
1. Brown Bet owned by Lord Strange
2. Sample owned by Mr Hassell
3. Tartar owned by Mr Smith

Knutsford 2 mile Give and Take
1. Lady Legs owned by Mr Naden
2. Short Tom owned by Honorable J S Barry
3. Major owned by Mr Pratt

Tuesday 30th July to Thursday 1st August 1782

Knutsford Town Purse over 4 miles
1. Tommy owned by Mr Clifton
2. Unnamed mare owned by Mr Eyre
3. Johnny Lad owned by Mr Smith

Knutsford Gold Cup Winners
1815 Prince of Orange owned by Lord Grey
1816 Little Thomas owned by Mr Painter
1817 Orontes owned by Lord Grosvenor
1818 Tagus owned by Lord Grosvenor
1819 Advance owned by Mr Clifton
1820 Astbury owned by Sir J Egerton
1821 Tarragon owned by Sir T Stanley
1822 Tarragon owned by Sir T Stanley
1823 Princess Royal owned by Sir T Mostyn
1824 General Mina owned by Sir T Stanley
1825 Hajji Baba owned by Sir T Stanley
1826 Mr Munn owned by Mr Clifton
1827 Signorina owned by Sir W Wynn
1828 Longwaist owned by Mr Nowell
1829 Halston owned by Mr Mytton
1830 Guido owned by Mr Clifton
1831 Birmingham owned by Mr Beardsworth
1832 Liverpool owned by Lord Cleveland
1833 Lady Stafford owned by Mr Bower

Tuesday 27th July to Thursday 29th July 1824

Knutsford Produce Stakes over 2 miles
1. Grilgrid owned by Lord Derby
2. Portrait owned by Sir T Stanley

Knutsford Gold Cup over 3 miles
1. General Mina owned by Sir T Stanley
2. Etiquette owned by Lord Grosvenor
3. Active owned by Sir G Pigot

Tatton Park Stakes over 2 miles
1. Urganda (previously Lady Eleanor) owned by Lord Derby
2. Unnamed colt by Blacklock owned by Sir W Wynn
3. Aigrette owned by Lord Grosvenor
Aigrette had run 6th behind Schabriar in the 2000 Guineas a few weeks before

Peeover Stakes over a mile 1 furlong
1. Mercandotti owned by Sir T Mostyn
2. General Mina owned by Sir T Stanley
3. Kite owned by Mr T White

Course today On Higher Knutsford Heath.

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.

If you have photos, postcards, racecards. badges, newspaper cuttings or book references about the old course, or can provide a photo of how the ground on which the old racecourse stood looks today, then email

Much of the information about this course has been found using internet research and is in the public domain. However, useful research sources have been:-

Northern Turf History Volumes 1-4 by J.Fairfax-Blakeborough

The Sporting Magazine

A Long Time Gone by Chris Pitt first published in 1996 ISBN 0 900599 89 8

Racing Calendars which were first published in 1727

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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