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Earliest meeting: Friday 13th July 1838
Final meeting: Tuesday 13th June 1899
Scotland’s second city Glasgow, with such a large population to attract, always struggled to maintain a racecourse despite trying many locations. The earliest record of any form of racing in the vicinity of the city was in 1606, but it was a further century and a half before detailed records started to emerge. In 1771 the Roberton and Glasgow Hunt Group was formed, and had a desire to extend their interest beyond hunting and into racing, although the meetings were not regular or well documented. James Whyte’s History of the British Turf noted that racing first took place at Glasgow and Pollock on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th July 1838 when the Glasgow Subscription Cup saw Sir J Boswell’s Burlette beat Luther, while the Pollockshaw Cup went to Mr Ramsay’s Centurion, and he also captured the Pollock Plate with Luther later in the afternoon. The races at Glasgow and Pollock, on the Pollock Estate where the wonderful Burrell Collection in its modern building is now housed, were short-lived, but racing did return briefly to Glasgow in 1853 on the Kelvinside Course before a further lapse. Once again, fifteen years later a new course at Kelvinside was laid out, and although the races at the meeting on Thursday 27th May 1869 went well, the behaviour of the crowd was not good. The Grand Stand Plate over a mile was won by Murillo for Mr Wyllie; the City of Glasgow Handicap over 1 ¼ miles by Leneva for Mr W Cowan, and the Kelvinside Cup over 4 furlongs by King Hal for Mr Wilson. Despite the course being enclosed, thousands forced their way into the ground, tearing down the fences and making ‘the grandstand common property’. During every race many of the spectators narrowly escaped being killed, while after racing the evening skies were lit up by raging bonfires of burning wooden fencing. The final two day meeting at the venue took place on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st July 1869, the only surprise being that a further card was staged after the May fiasco. After a further lapse in racing, it did return all too briefly in 1899 when Glasgow Yeomanry held a meeting on Tuesday 13th June 1899.

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

Glasgow Yeomanry, Sir J Boswell, Mr James Merry

Principal Races Pollockshaw Cup, Pollock Plate, Glasgow Subscription Cup

Friday 13th to Saturday 14th July 1838

The Glasgow Subscription Cup over once round and a distance
1. Burletta owned by Sir J.Boswell
2. Luther owned by Mr Ramsay

The Pollockshaw Cup over once round and a distance
1. Centurion owned by Mr Ramsay
2. Burletta owned by Sir J.Boswell
3. Bedershin owned by Mr Merry

The Pollock Plate over 2 miles
1. Luther owned by Mr Ramsay
2. Florentia owned by Mr Merry
3. Aimwell owned by Sir J.Boswell

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 13th June 1899.
Course today Initially in the Pollockshaw area of the city and later at Kelvinside.
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.
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  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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