Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


A newspaper report on the first day of races at Raikes Hall Estate, Wednesday 28th September,1870.

Preston Guardian, Saturday, October 1, 1870


Blackpool held, for the second time, its races on Wedsday and Thursday, under auspicious circumstances, on Raikes Hall Estate, the spot where the Royal North Lancashire Agricultural Society held their annual show. The races were first established about four years ago, and at the time they were a considerable success, indeed, after paying the expenses, there was a surplus of £100 left in the bank.

The committee, however, did not work very agreeably togther, as could have been wished. There was a good deal bickering and jarring, too many masters and no system, and the consequence was, there was no races up to the present year, when it was resolved to leave the management in the hands of Mr. Carr and a few other gentlemen.

These gentlemen worked hand in hand, and determined to give an extra amount of money for prizes, about £40 in excess of what they had in the bank, and as might have been expected, the consequence was, the valuable character of the prizes offered for competition secured a large entry for the various events, which were well represented numerically.

Taking the racing as a whole, it was decidely above par, several noted animals having been entered. We will now take a glance at the field. In entering it, sounds greeted the ear like the war whooping of the Indians, being the voices of betters, "bookmakers," and sharpers, who were all trying to outstrip each 'other in causing attraction.

The grand stand, which was on the right hand side of the field, was occupied by almost all " bookmakers," who had their names; and where the came from in front of their hats, and other prominent positions. There were numerous halfpenny-packet and nut sellers present. Several sharpers were also on the field offering to give " a purse, half-a-crown, and a ring " for a shilling, who plied their game in a most witty manner. There were three large marquees on the field where refreshments were suplied. Mr. Superintendent Tyndall with a staff of 20 constables were on the field, and better order could not have been kept. They succeded in looking-up several sharpers, whom they intend to bring before the magistrates.

The grand stand, which was well-built, was erected by Mr. Swain, builder, Fleetwood. The staking out of the course, and the general management of the field, was left to Mr. Carr, who performed the duties allotted to him in a highly satisfactory manner. The weather was beautifully fine and mild, and a very large concourse of people assembled on the course. The stewards were—R. Tonge, Esq., J. Knowles, Esq., and W. Birch, Esq. The judge was Mr. Bake, Manchester. The handicapper was Mr.Johnson, and. the starter Mr. J. Harrison. Shortly after one o'clock the races commenced. The first race run was for

THE VISITORS' PLATE, of 3 sovereigns each, half forfeited, with £20 added. Two-years-old ; 7st three years, 9st 2 lbs four, 10 st 1 lb five, six, and aged 10 st 7 lbs one mile and
a quarter. For this cup 10 horses were entered, namely, —Mr. C. Whitfield's bay mare Blossom, late Lady Francis; Mr. A. Fulton's Eloquence ; Mr. W. Woods's hay gelding, Discretion, 3 yrs ; Mr. H. Dobson's bay mare, The Rhine 3 yrs ; Mr. T. Marten's bay mare, Sorceress, 6 yrs ; Mr.Halford's brown mare, Corfu, half bred, 3 yrs ; Mr.Richardson's brown gelding, Portugal, 4 yrs ; Mr. Nickson's brown gelding,Thirlstane,4 yrs. The following ran —Eloquence, Discretion, The Rhine, Sorceress, Corfu, Portugal, and Thirlstone. Corfu took the lead and kept it to the last. The race was a very good and exciting one. The rider of Corfu, a lad, displayed much ability in the way which he rode his horse. The result of this race was
Corfu 1
The Rhine 2
Sorceress 3
The betting opened at 6 to 4 on the field, when Portugal was favourite ; 4 to 1 agst Sorceress, 6 to 1 agst The Rhine, and 10 to 1 agst Corfu.
THE INNKEEPERS' PURSE of two sovereigns each, half forfeit, with £12 12s. added. Four horses bona fide property of owners who reside within a radius of 50 miles of Blackpool. Weight, list. each. Heats. One mile. The following horses entered :—Mr. Nickson's, brown gelding, Thirlestone, four yrs ; Mr. Whitfield's Blossom ; Mr. Ball's half-bred, Elvina, aged ; Mr. Richardson's brown gelding, Portugal, fours yrs ; Mr. H. Dobson's brown gelding, Rhine, four yrs ; Mr. B. Truman's brown mare, Polly, four yrs ; Mr Clarke's mare, Clara. Three ran, namely :—
Evelina     1
Portugal   2
Polly       3
In the final heat Portugal walked over the course.
Betting 3. to 1 bar one, and 6 to 4 on Portugal which was the favourite.
PONY RACE of 10s. each, with 10 sovs. added. Fourteen hands 9st., 7lbs. allowed for every inch under. Heats, about three quarter of a mile The following entered :- Mr. Gough's No Beauty (late Sporting Sally) : Mr. J.Hodgkinson's Telegraph ; Mr. J. Haslam's bay mare. Lady Hester ; Mr. W. Gillwer Chesnut mare, Nancy ; Mr. S. Hill's bay mare, Fanny ; Mr. W. Mellor's mare, Fairy Queen ; Mr. J. Griffith's Robin ; Mr. J.Parkinson's bay mare, Kate.
1st- Heat.
Robin        1
Nancy       2
No Beauty  3
Final Heat.
Robin          1
No Beauty 2
Nancy        3
Telegraph   4
Betting was evens on Robin, 2 to 1. on Nancy, and 5 to 1 bar 2.
THE CLIFTON HANDICAP of 3 sovs. each, half forfeit, with £20 added ; second to save his stake ; one mile and a half.
The following entered :—Mr. Woods's bay gelding, Discretion (3 yrs) ; Mr. T. Martin's bay mare, Sorceress (1 yrs) ; Mr. Phillips's Kellogg (4 yrs) ; Mr. Richardson's brown gelding, Portugal (4 yrs) ; Mr. Phillips's Josephine (4 yrs.
The termination of this race was—
Josephine 1
Discretion 2
Sorceress 3
Betting : 7 to 4 on Josephine, 5 to 2 agst Discretion, 4 to 1 agst Sorceress.
Won by two lengths, about a neck between 2nd and 3rd.
THE HANDICAP HURDLE RACE of 3 sovs each, half forfeit
with £20 added (second to save his stake). Gentlemen riders allowed belts. Heats--one mile over six flights of hurdles. The following entered : Mr. John Doherty' Bob, aged ; Mr. A. Fulton's " My Cob," aged ; Mr.Martin's bay mare, six years, Sorceress ; Mr. J Poinon's chestnut horse, aged, " Chevalier d' Esprit, and Mr. Richardson's brown gelding, 4 yrs, Portugal. The result of this race was :

   1st ht.  2nd ht.

 Chevalier d' Esprit






 My Cob






Betting, 7 to 4 agst My Cob ; 3 to 1 agst Bob, Sorceresi and Chevalier d' Esprit ; 5 to 1 agst Portugal.

This day's sports would have passed off well but for an accident which befel Portugal, the horse named in the last race. As she was leaping the last hurdle the first time round the course, her leg caught the hurdle and broke the latter, when she fell. It was then found that she had broken one of her fore shoulders, and he was dragged out of the way to let the other horses pass, and subsequently shot. The jockey fortunately escaped without any injury whatever.