Racecourses in Windsor
The first meeting at Royal Windsor was held in 1866, but the local area has links to the sport dating back to the era of Henry VIII, and Charles II was reputedly a regular visitor to race meetings held at nearby Datchet Ferry.
In the twentieth century, Royal Windsor has hit the headlines for political reasons on more than one occasion. There was an outcry when racing was allowed to continue at Windsor (and a handful of other courses) during the two World Wars, though the damage which total cessation would have caused to the bloodstock industry presumably was not at the forefront of the populist newspaper editors' minds at the time.
In 1926, bookmakers caught the mood of the times (this was the year of the General Strike) by refusing to bet at Windsor in response to Winston Churchill's recent imposition of a betting tax. The new levy was quickly abolished. Churchill clearly did not allow the snub to tarnish his perception of the racecourse, and he received a rapturous reception in 1949 when he came to watch his indomitable grey, Colonist II, carry his colours to victory in the Lime Tree Stakes.
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