IT IS not known when horse racing first took place at Lewes. However, one Thomas Marchant mentioned, in his diaries, a plate race at Lewes in 1714, and Thomas Turner was a regular visitor up to 1765 when meetings were held in August with the biggest race being the £100 Kings Plate.
The course was, and still is, situated some 500 feet above sea level, the turf resting above deep layers of chalk, ensuring excellent going.
The first stand was built in 1772, although this was burnt down in
1842 and a new stand was erected in 1874, later to be enlarged in 1893. The Prince of Wales, later to become Prince Regent and then George IV, seldom missed a Lewes meeting.
All this leads Rouser to the following question. Where in Lewes were
(are) these fine looking stables and handsome house?
The photograph, probably by Reeves, was taken around 1900.
The two main races were the Lewes Handicap and the Astley Stakes.
The Astley Stakes was for two-year-olds and was first run in 1875. In 1880 there was a remarkable race in which five of the nine horses passed the winning post practically in a line.
The judge declared a triple dead heat, with a dead heat for fourth and fifth Has this ever happened since?