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Earliest meeting: Monday 4th August 1845
Final meeting: Wednesday 4th August 1852
Today Blackley is an area of the city of Manchester on the River Irk just 5 kilometres from the city centre, but back in the middle of the 17th century it was a hamlet surrounded by open countryside with just 107 inhabitants. Traditionally it was in the county of Lancashire and first held its own 3 day meeting from Monday 4th to Wednesday 6th August 1845, a venture which was successful and repeated for the next seven years. At that inaugural meeting, held in ‘a dark clearing’ on the edge of the village, the Wilton Stakes on day one was won by Mr Davies’s Talleyrand, while the main events on the Tuesday were the Crumpsall Stakes and Harphurey Hurdle. On the concluding day the Innkeepers’ Purse saw Father Matthew beat Clear the Kitchen. The final 3 day meeting was held from Monday 2nd to Wednesday 4th August 1852, although even after this date races continued but were of a mixed quality and frequently included pony racing.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr G Ogden & Mr A Dobbie (Stewards)
Principal Races Wilton Stakes, Harphurey Hurdle, Crumpsall Stakes

The Northamptonshire village of Blackley held their own steeplechase meetings in 1868 and 1869.

The final meeting took place on August 1869.

Monday 4th August 1845
Wilton Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Talleyrand, bay colt owned by Mr Davies
2. Clear The Kitchen, bay gelding owned by Mr J Duckworth
3. Miniature, chestnut mare owned by Mr B Greenwood

Course today In a ‘dark clearing’ on the edge of the village.
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

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing 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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  Quantity Cost
Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 3 Wales & Scotland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
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