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Earliest meeting: March 1669
Final meeting: Tuesday 13th March 1888
The Northamptonshire town of Brackley is situated 22 miles from the County Town of Northampton and just 19 miles from Oxford. It has a rich history and was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was known variously as Brackele or Brachelai. At that point in its history it had a Castle, but this was attacked in 1173 by Henry III. The town first held races in March 1669, although few further details are known about the meeting. In April 1678 a two-day meeting took place on Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th April 1678 when the Brackley Town Plate was the principal event. Within 3 years the two day April meeting offered a £50 Selling Plate and a £15 Selling Plate which were run on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th April 1681. The Brackley Gold Plate was launched in 1687 when it was valued at £80 and took place on Thursday 14th April 1687. The London Gazette of 2nd to 9th June 1701 advertised a meeting on "25th Sept next, a Plate of 100 pounds value on the Brackley-Green in Northants, by any Horse, Mare or Gelding under 8 years old, each carrying 11 stone weight, 3 Heats and any person to ride.’ Skipping forwards to the middle of the 19th century, races at Brackley were organised by the Brackley Union Hunt Committee. On Wednesday 17th December 1862 the course was in the valley below Askew Bridge, with the bridge making an excellent viewing point from which the entire race could be seen. The opening race went to Don Quixote who beat Blue Lass and Punch, while the feature Farmers’ Plate was won by Rufus. Races continued for a further 26 years before the final meeting on Tuesday 13th March 1888.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.

Local Patrons Brackley Union Hunt Committee
Principal Races Brackley Gold Plate, Brackley Town Plate
Thursday 14th April 1687 Brackley £80 Gold Plate

In the mid-1800’s races at Brackley were organised by the Brackley Union Hunt Committee. The races were first reported in the Sporting Magazines and Calendars in 1864, and the final meeting took place in 1888.

Wednesday 17th December 1862
Farmers’ and Tradesmen’s Plate
1. Rufus, aged horse owned by Mr Blencoure
2. Nike, aged horse owned by Mr W Crawford
3. Bessey, aged horse owned by Mr John Painter

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 13th March 1888
Course today Askew Bridge made an excellent viewing point of the course which was on Brackley Green, in the valley below the bridge.
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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