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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 16th October 1866
Final meeting: Tuesday 16th October 1906
The small Staffordshire town of Fazeley sits on the old Roman road of Watling Street, close to the town of Tamworth and to the district of Mile Oak. Races were staged on the edge of the town for a number of years, but the majority involved pony or Galloway races. However, on Tuesday 16th October 1866 a particularly controversial Hunters Steeplechase over 2 heats was contested. The strong favourite in the first heat was Revellor, and he built up a strong lead on the first circuit and was winning with ease when his jockey mistakenly pulled him up. Realising his error he rekindled the horse and eventually won the race, only to be disqualified by the judge from contesting the second heat because the judge declared that he had been distanced. The race was awarded to Mr Stubb’s Wreck and, despite numerous appeals, the result stood. Races continued annually in conjunction with the October Fair, but they were often minor affairs. However, on Tuesday 13th October 1891 a particularly exciting Watling Street Hurdle race saw Mr Tomlin’s Poem defeat Miss Redbury and Peggy. By 1906 a two day meeting was held on Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th October at Drayton Manor Park which is now a famous theme park. There is no doubt that races continued after this date, but pony races formed an increasingly larger part of each card.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Tomlin, Mr King
Principal Races Watling Street Hurdle, Fazeley Hunters Steeplechase

Tuesday 13th October 1891
Watling Street Hurdle over 2 miles and 8 hurdles
1. Poem, aged horse owned by Mr Tomlin
2. Miss Redbury, aged mare owned by Mr W W King
3. Peggy, aged mare owned by Mr Breeze

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 16th October 1906.
Course today Initially in fields on the edge of Fazeley and then at Drayton Manor Park.
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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