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Earliest meeting: Thursday 4th August 1853
Final meeting: Friday 15th July 1870
The North Lanarkshire town of Airdrie, some 12 miles east of Glasgow, hosted its own race meetings in the mid-1800s. The course, situated at Rawyards Park, was described as an oval course of 7 furlongs with a slight fall on the west side and a slight rise on the east, having a 250 yard run in. The first meeting to be held at Airdrie was on Thursday 4th August 1853. The opening race at the inaugural meeting was the Trial Stakes over a mile and a half which was won by Mr Donald’s Radulphus, while the feature Burgh Cup went to Mr Smart’s Friar’s Hall. Annually the principal race was the Burgh Cup over 2 miles which was won in 1855 by Mr T Parr’s Saucebox, getting the better of Mary Ann and Leda. Throughout its history the course lacked the support of the locals but the organisers persevered with their meetings despite, on frequent occasions, not managing to fill the races. At the two day meeting on 3rd and 4th July 1862 the Trial Stakes had to be abandoned because it attracted only two runners, but worst was to come the next day when the final race on the card resulted in a walk-over. The next year three races, the Burgh Cup, the Whip Stakes and the Innkeepers’ Plate were all abandoned through lack of entries. However, racing did continue until the final two day meeting was held on the Thursday 14th and Friday 15th July 1870, with the very last race appropriately being called ‘The Winding Up Handicap’. The meeting suffered as a result of the 1871 ruling by the Jockey Club that all races had to have a prize fund of £50 or more.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Lord Eglinton, Honorable James Baird, Captain Key, Mr John Osborne

Principal Races Calderbank Handicap Sweepstakes, Burgh Cup, Burgh Member's Cup, Coatbridge Handicap

Thursday 4th August 1853

Airdrie Calderbank Handicap Sweepstakes
1. Braxey owned by W L’Anson

Airdrie Burgh Members’ Cup
1. Friar’s Hall owned by Mr Smart

Airdrie Burgh Cup
1. Little Jack owned by Captain Key

Thursday 9th & Friday 10th August 1855

The Calderbank Handicap over 1 ¾ miles
1. Robgill owned by Mr T Parr
2. Waverley owned by Mr Portland
3. Yorkshire Grey owned by Mr Osborne

The Gartsherrie Plate over 1 ¾ miles
1. Blarney owned by Mr Pringle
2. Saucebox owned by Mr T Parr

The Auchengray Stakes over a mile
1. Friar’s Hall owned by Mr Smart
2. Billy Richardson owned by Mr H Robinson
3. The Forest Queen owned by Mr Harper

The Carnbroe Handicap over 1 ¼ miles
1. Robgill owned by Mr T Parr
2. Penitent owned by Mr Black
3. Blarney owned by Mr Pringle

The Glasgow Plate over 1 ½ miles
1. Shilmalier West owned by Mr Wilson
2. Jenny Lind owned by Mr Harper
3. Outcast owned by Mr Graham

Friday 15th July 1870

Coatbridge Handicap
1. Blackwall owned by Lord Eglinton

Winding-Up Handicap
1. King Hal owned by Mr Williams

The final meeting was held on the Thursday 14th July and Friday 15th July 1870 (results shown above) with the very last race appropriately being called ‘The Winding Up Handicap’. The meeting suffered as a result of the 1871 ruling by the Jockey Club that all races had to have a prize fund of £50 or more.

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.

Course today

The course has now been built on and is a Leisure Centre.

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

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

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