THE NEWTON GOLD CUP
The first Newton Races were a two day meeting held from 1751 at Golborne Heath. This race soon disappeared from the racing calendar but retuned in 1793 when Captain Legh (1753-1797), later Colonel, provided a cup valued at 60 guineas. In 1807, the racing moved to Newton-le-Willows and the Newton Gold Cup, run over 4 miles, was instigated. In the late 19th century the racing moved to Haydock Park nearby and the Old Newton Cup is raced for to this day.
The Topographical Dictionary of England, published in 1848, pp. 409-413 describes the race and the race course's location.
'Races annually take place, in July, on a large common within a short distance of the town; a fine course has been formed at the cost of Thomas Legh, Esq., lord of the manor, and owner of five-sixths of the parish, and that gentleman has also built a grand stand of elegant design, besides which, is a range of substantial stands of brick, commanding a view of the whole course. A branch from the Birmingham railway, directly to the course, affords facility for visitors to it from the neighbouring towns and almost any part of the kingdom.'
It is intruiging that the cup is engraved with the date 1807. If the assumption that the cup was won by Sir William Gerard 11th Bt., whose descendant sold it in 1956, it must be for the following year when Sir William's horse Julius Caesar was victorious. The 1807 race was won by Young Chariot which belonged to Mr C. Cholmondeley. The 1807 cup could have be returned to be raced for the following year or perhaps passed by inheritance or purchase to the Gerard family.