Richard Gauthier Collection

Bangor Racecourse

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Early records indicate that the first meeting to be staged at Bangor on Dee was on Saturday 12th February 1859 when organised by members of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn’s Hunt group. Less than 2 weeks later a second meeting was held on Thursday 24th February 1859 which opened with a 50 Sovereigns Match in which Captain Biddulph’s Grayling defeated Skip Jack owned by Hon. Lloyd Kenyon. In 1869 a 12 year old weighing just 4st 11lbs called Fred Archer rode his first winner, Maid of Trent, in the Galloway Steeplechase. He was in his first season as apprentice to the trainer Matt Dawson. At the meeting in 1887 Gamecock triumphed in a Steeplechase at the course prior to gaining Grand National success at Aintree, and within 6 years Cloister employed the same tactics, using a steeplechase at Bangor as a warm up race before winning the Grand National under the mammoth weight of 12st 7 lbs. Major Gilbert Cotton succeeded his father as Clerk of the Course in 1921 and his contribution to the racecourse is fondly remembered annually by the Gilbert Cotton Memorial Hunters Steeplechase. It was not until 1971 that the course became enclosed for the first time, a measure which was deemed to be necessary since a previous meeting had to be abandoned because of overgrazing by cattle. Much needed improvements were made in 1975 when 3 large wooden buildings were purchased from the Cheshire Showground, using a grant of £8000 from the Levy Board, and ten years later it was felt that the time was right to offer Annual Members badges. The course currently hosts 10 days racing between May and December.
Thursday 24th February 1859
Sir Watkin Wynn’s Hunt Cup over 3 miles
1. Charley, 6 year old owned by Mr Jones
2. Polly, 5 year old owned by Mr Oswald
3. Lottery, aged horse owned by Mr Humphrey

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