For a course with such a long history, there’s precious
little evidence of it left. ‘The gallops’ are
marked out on the A-Z and although a number of the stables
still stand, they’ve long since been converted into
houses. The farriers have all gone out of business and the
haymakers have found another line of work. Even up at Cuckoo
Bottom there’s not much to see, and the grandstand is
now just a terrace of houses. But out in what was once the
paddock, if you look hard enough, you’ll find the headstone
of Shaun Spadah, marking the grave of Lewes’ last Grand
National winner. Or maybe make that the latest: horses are
still being trained up there, so perhaps Lewes might one day
produce another Aintree legend. JM
*Shaun Spadah was such a famous horse in its time that its
name became used in 20’s Cockney rhyming slang to mean
‘car’ as in: ‘Blimey, I nearly got run over
by that bleedin’ Shaun Spadah’.
If you are mourning the demise of the Lewes racecourse,
you can still experience a local race at nearby Plumpton.
The next meeting is the ‘Moorcroft Charity Raceday’
on Monday 16th October. Gates open at 11.30am, and the first
race is 2.10pm.