What are, or were, the Spring & Autumn Doubles?

The ‘Spring Double’ and the ‘Autumn Double’ still exist, insofar as the races that comprise both still exist, although they are rarely referred to as such and do not attract the same attention, in the press or elsewhere, that was once the case. Traditionally, the ‘Spring Double’ consisted of the Lincoln Handicap – the feature race on the first Saturday of the Flat season – and the Grand National, usually run a week or two later. The Lincoln Handicap, formerly the Lincolnshire Handicap, was run at Lincoln Racecourse, a.k.a. the Carholme, on the western edge of the city, until its closure in 1964. In its heyday, the race attracted huge ante-post interest. So, too, did the races that comprised the traditional ‘Autumn Double’, the Cesarewitch Handicap and the Cambridgeshire Handicap, which are still staged within the space of a fortnight at Newmarket each October, but in the reverse order from what was originally the case.