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Earliest meeting: Monday 24th March 1856
Final meeting: Tuesday 26th March 1895
The county Limerick town of Bruff, on the Morning Star river, lies in the east of the county and was holding race meetings of minor significance even before the Irish Calendar was first produced. However, the town’s most prolific period of racing was in the middle of the 19th century on the all grass Newton course which, like an amphitheatre, provided an uninterrupted view of the entire race. On Monday 24th March 1856 the day began with a Sweepstake which saw Mr Nunan’s Fellah beat Fedicut and Handicap. The feature race, the Catchweight Steeplechase, was won by Mr Coughlan’s Sir Harry. Meetings were held annually and at the meeting on Monday 4th April 1859 the Bruff Selling Plate over 1 ½ miles was won by Mr Harty’s Mavoureen, beating The Secret. Towards the end of the 19th century attendances declined and one of the last meetings was held on Tuesday 26th March 1895 when the Clorane Plate, over 2 miles, was won by Manganese, beating Lambton and Little Prince, while the Greenlawn Plate went to Escape.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain J Westropp, Counsellor Synan, Mr James Bennett (Stewards)
Principal Races Bruff Catchweight Steeplechase, Clorane Plate, Greenlawn Plate

Monday 24th March 1856
Bruff Catchweight Steeplechase
1. Sir Harry, aged horse owned by Mr Coughlan
2. Rattling Girl, 5 year old owned by Mr Fitzgerald
3. Little Doe, aged mare owned by Mr Harty

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 26th March 1895.
Course today The Newton course on the edge of the town.
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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