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Earliest meeting: Thursday 22nd December 1864
Final meeting: Friday 10th January 1868
The village and civil parish of Castle Donington is in North West Leicestershire, but has a Derbyshire postcode and has been classed as Derbyshire in the past. It once boasted a racecourse at which racing was administered by the Donington Hunt Committee. The course was on Donington Park, complete with two viewing stands, and consisted of a number of stiff fences and a formidable water jump. The racing began with a meeting in 1863 when not under rules, but on Thursday 22nd December 1864 races were run under Grand National Rules and continued for the next 4 years, offering a mixed programme of Flat and Steeplechase races. The meeting occupied a difficult slot in the racing calendar, as races were always scheduled the week before Christmas. The Trent Bank Stakes was the feature race in 1865 when the Duke of Hamilton’s Ostrich was successful. The final meeting is known to have taken place on Friday 10th January 1868.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Marquis of Hasting, Captain Coventry, Captain Johnstone
Principal Races Trent Bank Stakes, Donington Ladies Plate, Farmers’ Hunt Cup

Tuesday 19th December 1865
Trent Bank Stakes over 4 miles
1. Ostrich, aged horse owned by the Duke of Hamilton
2. Dinorah, aged horse owned by Mr George
3. The Nigger, aged horse owned by the Marquis of Hastings

The final meeting took place on Friday 10th January 1868.
Course today On Donington Park and included stiff fences and a formidable water jump.
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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