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Earliest meeting: Thursday 2nd April 1840
Final meeting: Tuesday 6th February 1844
The County Westmeath market town of Castletown-Delvin lies 10 miles north east of Mullingar and almost 40 miles from Dublin. The castle associated with the town was built by Hugh de Lacy, while Clonyn castle was built nearby by his brother-in-law Sir Gilbert de Nugent. In the mid-1800s the town held its own race meetings on a course approximately a mile out of town, the first of which took place on Thursday 2nd April 1840. The course was described at the time as ‘well selected to try the mettle of the bloods and afford, at the same time, to lovers of this exciting sport amusement’. The important Stewards Challenge Cup was won by Mr Connolly’s Tidings, while the Sweepstake was won in just two heats by Mr Abbot’s Fairy Boy. Meetings of note continued for just 4 more years, ending on Tuesday 6th February 1844 when the Challenge Cup, contested in heats over 2 miles, saw Tidings defeat Bessy Bedlam.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Sir Percy Nugent, Sir John O’Reilly, Samuel Reynell

Principal Races

Castletowndelvin Challenge Cup

Thursday 2nd April 1840

Stewards Challenge Cup over 2 miles
1, Tidings owned by Mr Connolly
2. Lollypop owned by Mr Reynell
3. Limerick Lass owned by Sir Percy Nugent
4. Penelope owned by Mr D’Blacquier

Stewards Sweepstakes of £2
1. Fairy Boy owned by Mr Abbott 1 1
2. Unnamed chestnut horse owned by Mr D’Blacquier 2 2
3. Valentine owned by Mr Daly

Although it is likely that races took place in 1841, the next recorded meeting was on Friday 25th April 1842.

Tuesday 6th February 1844

Castletowndelvin Challenge Cup over 2 miles
1. Tidings, a bay mare owned by Mr Connolly 2 1 1
2. Bessy Bedlam, brown mare owned by Mr Lund 1 2 2
3. Slipper, bay mare owned by Sir Percy Nugent

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 6th February 1844.

Course today Over testing hunting ground a mile out of 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.
Download an order form
  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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