Horse racing - equine flu - for display only

Those who live in and around Nantwich or have passed through the area will be aware of how many stables and riding centres there are here.

Our Cheshire market town has strong links with horse racing which dates back centuries.

So we’ve taken a look at why the sport is so popular in the town.

Close Proximity To Major Racecourses
Nantwich is close to some of the highest-rated racecourses in the UK. Aintree, Chester, and Haydock are just a short drive away and they all host major events on the Flat and National Hunt calendars in the sport.

Many residents in Nantwich attend the Grand National Festival in April.

The feature race is the most famous steeplechase in the world. Cloth Cap is the favourite in the bet on Grand National 2021 market this year as he has been in great form this season.

A month later, Chester’s May Meeting is also a huge highlight in the sport.

Their biggest race of the week is the Chester Cup which was won in 2019 by Making Miracles.

This is always a great social event for keen and casual racing fans.

Given how close Nantwich is to several racecourses, there are clubs within the town that have strong links to the courses.

They organise trips where the travel and entry are all arranged, making it easier for as many people as possible to attend.

Nantwich Racecourse
Few people know this, but Nantwich did once have its own racecourse.

It was opened in 1729 but was closed in 1823.

It was located on Middlewich Road, just opposite where Alvaston Hall is today.

Pictures and paintings of the racecourse can be found in Nantwich Museum, including one of a horse called Perdita who can be seen at the racecourse along with its jockey.

It is a striking image of a meeting taking place at the venue.

The land was owned by local businessmen Mr Davies and Mr Walsh.

Once racing ended, the fields were ploughed and unfortunately, racing hasn’t taken place since in Nantwich.

Top Class Trainers Based In Cheshire
Many of the best horse racing trainers in the UK opt to operate from Cheshire with their stables.

This is not only a big boost to the local economy, it also helps the towns in the region feel much more connected to the sport.

In National Hunt racing, Donald McCain, son of the legend Ginger McCain, trains in Malpas.

He won the Grand National in 2011 with Ballabriggs.

That was the fifth time either Ginger or Donald had been victorious in the marathon contest on Merseyside.

Over on the Flat, Tom Dascombe often has entries in many of the big meetings across the year.

He is in charge at Manor House Stables in Hampton, Malpas.

He had his first Group One success in 2014 when Black Panther, owned by former footballer Michael Owen, won the Irish St Leger.

Many of the stables in Cheshire have annual open days where the public can get up close to the racehorses. These are always popular with families.

Like many sports, expect to see Nantwich continue its links with horse racing for many years to come.

Who knows, one day a racecourse could even return to the town.

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