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Earliest meeting: Thursday 12th July 1753
Final meeting: Tuesday 24th September 1850
The first meeting to be held in the vicinity of the Hampshire town of Basingstoke was in 1753. The meeting took place on Basingstoke Downs at Kempshott, which was a country seat of the Prince of Wales, on Thursday 12th July 1753 and consisted of a number of steeplechases.  Racing continued at this venue until 1788 after which racing ceased for 23 years. In 1811 the races were re-established and continued until 1829. The meetings were some of the most high profile meetings in the country, entertaining royalty, the nobility and Honourable Members of Parliament. A case in point was the Wellington Stakes in September 1824 when Lord Palmerston’s Luzborough defeated the Duke of Richmond’s Hurly Burly. There was then a further lapse until races were revived again in 1845 and lasted for a further 5 years, with the final meeting staged on Tuesday 24th September 1850.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Prince of Wales, Lord Palmerston, Duke of Richmond, Lord Ailesbury

Principal Races Wellington Stakes, Vine Stakes, Hackwood Stakes

Thursday 12th July 1753

Basingstoke Stakes of £50
1. Trojan, a bay horse owned by Mr Bowles 1 1
2. Hasty, a grey horse owned by Mr Steward 2 2
3. Monkey, a bay horse owned by Mr Tate 3 3
4. Unnamed grey gelding owned by Mr Carver 4 4

Thursday 13th to Friday 14th June 1782

Basingstoke 25 Guineas Sweepstake over 4 miles
1. Horatin owned by the Duke of Bolton
2. Mercury owned by Major O’Kelly
3. Laburnum owned by Sir J Lade
The winner carried Orange colours, the second Scarlet with a Black cap and the third was Straw coloured trimmed with Purple.

Thursday 2nd September to Friday 3rd September 1824

Wellington Stakes over a mile and a furlong
1. Luzborough owned by Lord Palmerston
2. Hurly Burly owned by the Duke of Richmond
3. Miss Jigg owned by Mr Fleming

Vine Stakes over 2 miles
1. Milto owned by Mr Fulwar Craven
2. Speculator owned by Mr Weller
3. Franconi owned by Lord Ailesbury
Milto had contested the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, won by Cobweb, and had finished third.

Hackwood Stakes over a mile and a furlong
1. Bulow owned by Mr Biggs
2. Shepherd owned by Mr Pearce
3. Spree owned by the Duke of Richmond

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

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 24th September 1850.
Course today

Initially on Basingstoke Downs at Kempshott.

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:-

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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