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Earliest meeting: Monday 27th May 1805
Final meeting: Thursday 5th April 1838
The county Louth industrial town and port of Drogheda, on the River Boyne, is located 35 miles north of Dublin. The earliest record of a six day meeting in the town was from Monday 27th May to Saturday 1st June 1805 on the Bellewstown course, opening with a mile and a half Sweepstake won by Mr Kelly’s Pilot beating Nanny. The next day a 2 mile Sweepstake was also won by Mr Kelly, but this time with Midshipman who defeated Louisa and The Babe. Later in the week Mr Hamilton’s The Babe gained compensation for her earlier defeat by landing the 4 mile Sweepstake at the expense of Royal Fanny. Bellewstown had held races since August 1726 and famously in 1780 the former Mayor of Drogheda, George Tandy, persuaded King George III to sponsor His Majesty’s Plate for the princely sum of £100. Meetings continued to be billed as Drogheda races, while utilising the Bellewstown course, until the Sporting Magazine reported results from the card held on Thursday 5th April 1838 when the feature race was won by Captain Jesse’s Wicklow Witch.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Marquis of Drogheda, Captain Jesse, Captain Knolly, Mr Hamilton
Principal Races Drogheda Handicap, Drogheda Sweepstake

Monday 27th May to Saturday 1st June 1805

Drogheda Sweepstakes over 2 miles
1. Midshipman owned by Mr Kelly
2. Louisa owned by Mr Whaley
3. Babe owned by Mr Hamilton

Drogheda 5 Guineas Sweepstakes over 4 miles
1. The Babe owned by Mr Hamilton
2. Royal Fanny owned by Mr Coot

Thursday 5th April 1838

Drogheda Sweepstake over a mile and a half
1. Wicklow Witch owned by Captain Jesse
2. Shamrock owned by Captain Knolly
3. Dejanira owned by Captain Knolly
4. Grana Uile owned by Mr Lockwood

The final meeting took place on Thursday 5th April 1838.
Course today On the Bellewstown course.
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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