ABERDARE RACECOURSE

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The Welsh town of Aberdare is in the Cynon Valley at the confluence of the River Dare and the River Cynon. Situated 3 miles south west of Merthyr Tydfil and only 20 miles from the Welsh capital Cardiff, in the mid-1800s it held its own race meeting. However, the only recorded meeting took place on Thursday 27th April 1865 on farmland on the outskirts of the town. The five race programme consisted of two Steeplechases, a Hurdle race, a Flat race and a Pony Race. The key organiser of the meeting, the Honorary Secretary Mr W.Dyke, was rewarded with favourable weather and a large concourse of spectators. Therefore it is surprising that the Stewards, Captain Fredricks, John Maund and Gwilym Williams did not organise any future meetings. The principal race, the Aberdare Open Steeplechase, was contested over a gruelling 4 miles when won by the mare Princess of Wales owned by Mr Riddell.


This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain Fredericks, John Maund, Gwilym Williams
Principal Races The Aberdare Open Steeplechase, The Commercial Steeplechase

The article below, giving details of the race meeting on Thursday 27th April 1865 is shown courtesy of the British Newspaper Online Archive.

Thursday 27th April 1865
The Aberdare Open Steeplechase over 4 miles
1. Princess of Wales, aged horse owned and ridden by Mr Riddell
2. Gayland, 4 year old owned by Mr Gomer Williams and ridden by T.Davies
3. Medora, aged horse owned by Mr F Rowland and ridden by Reeves
Betting: 2/1 On Gayland, 3/1 Princess of Wales, 3/1 Medora

That meeting took place on Thursday 27th April 1865.
Course today Course reverted to farmland after the meeting.
If you have photos, postcards, racecards. badges, newspaper cuttings or book references about the old course, or can provide a photo of how the ground on which the old racecourse stood looks today, then email johnwslusar@gmail.com

Much of the information about this course has been found using internet research and is in the public domain. However, useful research sources have been:-

London Illustrated News

Racing Illustrated 1895-1899

The Sporting & Dramatic Illustrated

Northern Turf History Volumes 1-4 by J.Fairfax-Blakeborough

The Sporting Magazine

A Long Time Gone by Chris Pitt first published in 1996 ISBN 0 900599 89 8

Racing Calendars which were first published in 1727

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing johnwslusar@gmail.com stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
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