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Aintree Racecourse in Bygone Days

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  • #496
    stolenhorse
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    I was recently watching a few nationals from around the late sixties early seventies and noticed that on the inside of what is now the Mildmay course, there appreared to be green national type fences which were not used in the big race itself. I couldn’t see any conventional fences so wondered what the purpose of these alternative fences were. Were they used in the supporting races over the national fences at the meeting as I know Aintree staged flat racing back then, and may thus have not necessarily have had ‘Mildmay’ Fences at this time.

    Anyone able to help would be most appreciated.

    #32259
    apracing
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    <br>SH,

    It’s a shot in the dark, but my guess is that they were schooling fences for the use of trainers preparing horses for the National etc.

    I’ve a vague memory of reading about them in a book, but I’ve no idea which book – I’ve read a lot of jockey and trainer biographies as well as the life stories of some famous Aintree horses.

    But the point was that the National fences were totally unlike those horses would have seen elsewhere, so the trainer would take the horse up early in the week and give him a school. The same still applies of course, but the fences are nothing like they were in the 60’s and the race is all the better as a result.

    AP

    #32260
    robnorthrobnorth
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    The fences were on the forerunner of the current Mildmay Course ‘Park fences’. They were a mini version of the National fences and were used for at least one race at the National meeting, a novice event I believe (Mildmay Novice Chase?), possibly including the second last on the National course plus the water jump.

    I’ve a feeling the Queen Mother’s horse Chaou II won a race over the Mildmay fences.

    That’s my memory of them, but hopefully someone can recall more.

    Rob

    (Edited by robnorth at 6:07 pm on Nov. 28, 2006)

    #32261
    Venusian
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    The Mildmay course was used for all chases except those run over the National fences.

    I think it was constructed in the early 1960s. Until then, only the National course was used for chases.

    Before the Mildmay course was built, there were just 2 NH meetings a year at Aintree, and these were both mixed meetings. There were about 5 chases run each year, 2 at the Sefton meeting and 3 at the Grand National fixture.

    #32262
    robnorthrobnorth
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    A web search reveals that the Mildmay course was constructed in 1953, the same year as the motor racing circuit.

    Rob

    #32263
    Venusian
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    Yes, you’re right, I hadn’t realised it was that old.

    #32264
    stolenhorse
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    • Total Posts 46

    Does that mean the building of the Mildmay course coincide with the end of flat racing at Liverpool? If not, would be interested to see the layout of the course!

    #32265
    Anonymous
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    • Total Posts 17718

    SH<br> <br> No. Flat racing continued well past 1953.<br> Can’t be specific, but I can such as the Liverpool Spring Cup being run until at least the early 70’s.

    #32266
    graysonscolumngraysonscolumn
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    Quote: from reet hard on 10:56 pm on Nov. 28, 2006[br] SH<br> <br> No. Flat racing continued well past 1953.<br>

    <br>Reckon so – didn’t Red Rum dead-heat in a Flat race on the track?

    gc<br>

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #32267
    cormack15cormack15
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    As a two year old?

    #32268
    Irish Stamp
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    That he did GC and Cormack, over 5f.  Can’t remember the exact name of the race ….. Plate – his first success at Aintree :)

    #32269
    apracing
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    <br>It was a 2-y-old seller and he dead heated with a filly called Curlicue that had been sold as a yearling on the same day as Red Rum and for the same price.

    Pretty sure he also won a 1M 3-y-old handicap back at Aintree a year later ridden by Lester.

    The National meeting also used to include a Derby Trial race, although it was arguable whether that referred to the Epsom race or Lord Derby, who then owned most of Lancashire!

    I can certainly remember watching flat races there on TV in the 60’s.

    AP

    #32270
    highflyer1
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    Just getting back to the Mildmay course, I’m pretty certain that it originally had gorse fences which were a smaller "nursery" version of the fences on the Grand National course. Sometime during the 1970s these fences were replaced by the conventional park-style birch fences which we have today.

    #32271
    RichKRichK
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    1977 last flat meeting IIRC.

    #32272
    andyod
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    • Total Posts 4012

    Some trivia; I believe that Martin Molony won a flat race at Liverpool and then rode in the Grand National at the same meeting in the late forties. how about some of our present day jockeys trying that! In those days they got two quid a mile riding over the fences.

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