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Races

Goodwood Races. So called from Goodwood Park, in which they are held. They begin the last Tuesday of July, and continue four days, of which Thursday (the “cup-day”) is the principal. These races are very select, and admirably conducted. Goodwood Park was purchased by Charles, first Duke of Richmond, of the Compton family, then resident in East Lavant, a village two miles north of Chichester.

The Newmarket Races.
There are seven annual race meetings at Newmarket: (1) The Craven; (2) first spring; (3) second spring; (4) July; (5) first October; (6) second October; (7) the Houghton.

The Epsom.
So called from Epsom Downs, where they are held. They last four days. The Derby. The second day (Wednesday) of the great May meeting at Epsom, in Surrey; so called from the Earl of Derby, who instituted the stakes in 1780. This is the great “Classic Race” for colts and fillies three years old.

The Oaks.
The fourth day (Friday) of the great Epsom races; so called from “Lambert's Oaks,” erected on lease by the “Hunter's Club.” The Oaks estate passed to the Derby family, and the twelfth earl established the stakes so called. This is the great “classic race” for fillies three years old.

The St. Leger.
The great Doncaster race; so called from Colonel St. Leger, who founded the stakes in 1776. This is the great “classic race” for both colts and fillies of three years old. Horses that have competed in the Derby and Oaks may take part in the St. Leger.

Ascot Races,
held on Ascot Heath, in Berks.

Races

(Lengths run). (i) Under a mile and a half:

The Newmarket Stakes, 1 mile 2 furlongs.

The Prince of Wales's Stakes (at Leicester), rather less. The Eclipse Stakes, 1 1/4 mile.

The Kempton Park Stakes, 1 1/4 mile.

The Lancashire Plate (at the September Manchester meeting) is only 7 furlongs. In 1890 the Duke of Portland won all these five races; Ayrshire won two of them, and Donovan the other three.

(ii) Long distances (between 1 1/4 and 3 miles):

The Great Northampton Stakes, 1 1/4 mile.

Ascot (Gold Vase), 2 miles.

Ascot (Gold Cup), 2 1/2 miles.

Ascot (Alexander Plate), 3 miles.

The Chester Cup, 2 1/4 miles.

The Great Metropolitan Stakes (in the Epsom Spring Meeting), 2 1/4 miles. The Hardwicke Stakes, the Goodwood Cup, 2 1/2 miles (in July), and the Doncaster Cup, 2.634 miles (in September), are long races.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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