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Earliest meeting: Thursday 28th March 1822
Final meeting: Thursday 6th April 1826
Exton Park near Oakham in Rutland has existed since the 12th century, and Exton Hall within the estate has been the family home of the Noel family for over 400 years. The Exton Park Club was formed in 1822 and races were first held on the Park on Thursday 28th March 1822 on a course described as extremely flat. As the hunting season grew to a close there was the need to find an alternative form of entertainment. Traditionally Hunt Members first attended Croxton Races and then went on to Exton Park races. On Thursday 15th April 1824 the stewards were Sir Gerard Noel, the Honourable Colonel Lowther and General Grosvenor, and the opening race, the Noel Stakes, was won by Mr Platel’s Gap. Later in the day the Ranksborough Stakes saw The Doctor, for Mr Foster, defeat Woodcock. The final meeting took place on Thursday 6th April 1826 when the Noel Stakes was won by Sir G Noel on Partner, beating Olive, while the Billesdon Coplow Stakes went to Mr Story’s Waxlight by a walk over. Although races were planned for the next year, a ‘family affliction’ caused them to be postponed indefinitely.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Noel Family (Earl of Gainsborough); General Grosvenor
Principal Races Noel Stakes (1 mile);Cottesmore Stakes (2 mile heats)
Thursday 15th April 1824

Noel Stakes over 1 mile

  1. Gap owned by Mr Platel
  2. Unnamed filly by Blucher owned by General Grosvenor

Ranksborough Stakes for 10 sovereigns

  1. The Doctor owned by Mr Foster
  2. Woodcock owned by Mr Sumner

Cottesmore Stakes over 2 miles

  1. Twangdella owned by Lord Muncaster
  2. The Abbot owned by Mr Longden
  3. Knicker Bocker owned by Mr Bailey

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.

The final meeting took place on Thursday 6th April 1826.
Course today Whilst Exton Hall still exists there is little evidence of the racecourse, although it is known that the grounds contained extensive gallops.
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:-

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

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