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Posts Tagged ‘Horse-racing’

There is an interesting article on BBC News’ ‘Magazine’ pages, which asks the question of whether horse-racing is on the cusp off a renaissance, so to speak, with the opening of the first new racecourse in 80 years.

The article talks in some depth about a number of racecourses across the country that have died a death in the post-war period.. It’s seems representative of the boom of the late 20th century, where housing developments and extensive building schemes have littered our landscapes with what seems like little attention paid to the architectural detail and indeed longevity of such projects.

Where once stood proud sporting arenas where history was made, are now generic, characterless buildings. Another local example of such a project is Scunthorpe United’s old ground in the town centre, the Old Showground. It’s now a Sainsbury’s. Perhaps these such developments will be to the 1980’s and 90’s what tower blocks were to the 1960’s.

Lincoln Racecourse is mentioned, and the selection of images to compliment the article give a great insight into a bygone age. Not only does it show how horse racing seemed to truly capture the imagination of the general public on a scale rarely seen in today’s environment, but it also provides a snapshot of society; the top hats, thefancy attire, the excitement – it seems to represent a very ‘British’ sporting scene.

The article also ties in nicely with the future prospects for Lincoln Racecrouse. Throughout the last year, there have been numerous calls to restore the grandstand and the course to its former glory.

We’ll hopefully discuss the prospects of seeing horse racing on the West Common in the future a litttle later.

Andrew

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The most famous and prestigious race to be held at Lincoln Racecourse was of course the Lincoln Handicap.

As we mentioned in the previous post, the event is now staged at nearby Doncaster, but many years ago it was the jewel in the crown of Lincoln’s flat racing season. It is run over exactly one mile, and is open to thoroughbreds aged four years and over.

Originally, the race was called the Lincoln Spring Handicap, owing to the time it was staged – usually mid-March or April.

It was a conglomeration of the two-mile Lincolnshire Handicap run in August, inaugurated in 1849 and won by Midia ridden by Barker who weighed in at 4st 11lb, and the mile-and-a-half Lincoln Spring Handicap, inaugurated in 1853.

The race changed to the current distance of a mile in 1855 when Sausebox, who went on to win the St Leger, obliged at even money favourite – the shortest price in the history of the race.

In 1859 the race became known as the Lincolnshire Handicap, a name which had been used previously for the 2-mile event contested in August we’ve already mentioned.

From its inception in the mid 19th century, the race became an important fixture in the flat-race calendar. It’s growing prestige ensured it’s place alongside the world-famous Grand National as part of the ‘Spring Double’.

The 1948 race saw a spectacular field of 48 runners – one of the largest amassed for a race in this country. Indeed this was the largest number of horses ever to contest the race in any single year. It’s a figure now unlikely to be beaten, owing to regulations now in place restricting the number of horses in races.

Notable winners include Ob (1906 and 1907) and Babur (1957 and 1958) who both won two years in a row; St Maclou (1902), who beat Sceptre who went on to win four classics that season; and Buchanan (1881) – an almost white horse who emerged ghostlike from a snow storm.

The race became known under the its present title upon the closure of Lincoln Racecourse, when the race was transferred to Doncaster in 1965.

Andrew

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