CORK PARK RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Monday 17th May 1869
Final meeting: Monday 9th April 1917
Although racing took place in the vicinity of Cork well before 1869, the first occasion a meeting was staged on Cork Park was on Monday 17th May 1869. The Park extended over 70 acres, bounded by the Monahan and Centre roads, and the inaugural meeting was a festival event with a Ball in the evening. The card opened with the Lee Stakes which was won by Glenavon, owned by Captain Le Mesurier, followed by the Citizen’s Handicap Steeplechase which saw Nabocklish of Captain Burke’s beat Standard Bearer and Esca. The highlight of the meeting was the Cork Grand Steeplechase which resulted in a fierce battle before The Kitten claimed it for Mr J D Whyte. Meetings continued for the next twenty years in a period of stability, although there was little expansion, but at the turn of the century five days racing a year was offered and prize money increased. This in turn increased the crowd size, but the the management tried to be too ambitious, further increasing the number of race days to seven. In the end this backfired, and attendances began to decline leading to financial pressure. The final meeting took place on Monday 9th April 1917.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Fermoy, Arthur Hugh Smith-Barry MP (Stewards)
Principal Races Cork Grand National Steeplechase, Citizen’s Handicap

Monday 17th May 1869
Cork Grand National Steeplechase over 3 ½ miles
1. The Kitten, bay mare owned by Mr J D White
2. Ballindonagh, bay gelding owned by Captain McCraight
3. Turn-of-Luck, brown gelding owned by Mr Smith

Thursday 9th May 1899

The Tivoli Handicap Plate over a mile
1. Minna owned by Mr J R D’Arcy
2. Mount George owned by Mr N Doyle
3. John Peel owned by Mrs Hartigan

The Tally-Ho Cup over 2 miles 5 furlongs
1. Sweetheart owned by Mr Atty Gillie
2. Steeplestown owned by Mr N J Kelly
3. Frenchhaven owned by Captain Murray

The final meeting took place on Monday 9th April 1917.
Course today On Cork Park in the centre of the city.
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 johnwslusar@gmail.com

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 johnwslusar@gmail.com 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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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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