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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 23rd September 1834
Final meeting: Thursday 5th March 1846
Although the Sporting Magazine of 1839 recorded racing taking place at the Hertfordshire town of Ware, on the Sawtrey Wood course, on Tuesday 5th February 1839, it stated that it was an annual event, clearly implying that this was not the first year in which racing was staged in the town. However, at that 1839 meeting the feature race, the Ware Sweepstake, was won by Yellow Dwarf, owned by Mr Elmore and ridden by the famous jockey Jem Mason. After racing finished an Ordinary was served at The Saracen’s Head which is still operational today. Racing had actually been staged in the town 5 years earlier on fields owned by Mr Humphrey near the River Lee. That meeting on Tuesday 23rd September 1834 opened with a Match in which Mr Williamson’s Little Driver was successful. Meetings continued on the old Sawtrey Wood course until Thursday 21st August 1842, with the Ware Stakes being won by Mr Higgin’s Charlatan. The new course staged racing for a further 4 years before coming to a close on Thursday 5th March 1846 when the opening Sweepstakes was won by Bay Momus for Mr Williamson, beating Quicksilver and Little Wonder. The concluding Hack Steeplechase went to Mr Neale’s Mailer, defeating Peacock and Butterfly.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Glasscock (Steward), Mr Elmore, Mr Fuller
Principal Races Ware Park Stakes, Ware Sweepstake

Tuesday 5th February 1839

Ware Sweepstake over 3 ½ miles
1. Yellow Dwarf owned by Mr Elmore and ridden by Jem Mason
2. Champion owned by Mr Fuller and ridden by Oliver
3. Napoleon owned and ridden by Mr Carlin
After the race further entertainment took place at The Saracen’s Head, which still is in business today.

 Thursday 25th August 1842

The Ware Park Stakes over 2 miles and a distance
1. Unnamed filly by Jerry owned by Mr Cassidy
2. Miller’s Maid owned by Mr Glasscock
3. Charlatan owned by Mr Higgins

The Ware Sweepstakes over 2 miles and a distance
1. Charlatan owned by Mr Higgins
2. Gorsebush owned by Mr Smith
3. Agnes owned by Mr Nighingall

The final meeting on the Old course took place on 21st August 1842, with results included in Baily's Racing Register and shown above, and on a New course on Thursday 5th March 1846.

Course today In Sawtrey Wood.
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 johnwslusar@gmail.com

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:-

London Illustrated News

Racing Illustrated 1895-1899

The Sporting & Dramatic Illustrated

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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