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Earliest meeting: Monday 26th July 1773
Final meeting: Thursday 11th July 1916
The County Galway town of Gort is in the south of the county, close to the border with County Clare. The first occasion results from a meeting in the town were reported in the Racing Calendar was from a full six day festival of racing beginning on Monday 26th July 1773 and extending to Saturday 31st July. On the opening day Trunion won the John Prendergast 50 Guineas Purse, while Mr Lambert’s Schoolboy captured the 3 mile race on day two. Lord Clanwilliams was a loyal supporter of the races and won the main race on Friday 30th July, while an important 4 mile race was won by Hippolitus on the final day. On Monday 13th May 1839 a Steeplechase Challenge Cup was contested in heats over 2 miles, with four 4 ½ foot obstacles. After three demanding heats the prize was won by Mr Mahon’s Mulgrave, beating Express and Limerick Lass. Racing continued intermittently in the town and in the middle of the 19th century meetings were being held on the Newtown course, about a mile from the town centre, with Ordinaries provided at the Forest Hotel. The late 1850s was a particularly active time for the racecourse, providing an opportunity for investment to be made in the course and its facilities. However, there were also difficult times at the start of the 20th century which Gort found increasingly challenging to handle, and the final meeting took place on Thursday 11th July 1916.

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

Lord Clanwilliams, Lord Clanricarde, Major Kirwan, Mr J Prendergast

Principal Races Gort Handicap, John Prendergast Purse

Saturday 31st July 1773
Gort Handicap over 4 miles
1. Hippolitus, bay gelding owned by Mr Lambert
2. Prince Alladin, bay horse owned by Mr B Daly
3. Young Favourite, bay horse owned by Mr Kirwan

Tuesday 25th July 1775

Mr J Prendergast Purse over 2 miles
1. Patagonian, chestnut gelding owned by Mr P Blake
2. Weaver, bay colt owned by Mr C O’Hara
3. Amazon, bay filly owned by Mr J Fallon

Wednesday 26th July 1775

Gort 3 Mile Stakes
1. Margaretta, bay mare owned by Mr M daly
2. St Patrick, grey horse owned by Mr Conolly
3. Trinket, brown mare owned by Mr J Kirwan

Thursday 27th July 1775

Gort 4 mile Stakes
1. Armida, grey mare owned by Mr J Burke
2. Second, bay horse owned by Mr J Westrop

Friday 28th July 1775

Gort 4 mile Stakes
1. Irish Hero, bay horse owned by Lord Clanwilliams
2. Schoolboy, by gelding owned by Mr Jos. Shadwell
3. Fly-The-Booze, bay gelding owned by Mr G Dillon

Saturday 29th July 1775

Gort Purse over 4 miles
1. Fryar, grey horse owned by Mr J Kirwan
Beat 5 others

Monday 31st July 1775

Gort Purse for horses beaten in the week
1. Trinket, bay mare owned by Mr J Kirwan
2. Springer, bay horse owned by Mr W Lambert
3. Unnamed 6 year old bay mare owned by Mr J Westrop

Monday 26th & Tuesday 27th July 1824

Gort Sweepstakes over a mile and a half
1. Kilmoylan owned by Lord Clanricarde
2. Prince de Hohenlohe owned by Major Kirwan
3. Enchantress owned by Mr McDonald

Gort Sweepstakes over a mile
1. Byron owned by Mr Blake
2. Unnamed filly out of Rhoda owned by Major Kirwan

Gort £50 Handicap over a mile and a half
1. Prince de Hohenlohe owned by Major Kirwan
2. Sprite owned by Mr Corbett

The final meeting took place on Thursday 11th July 1916.
Course today About a mile from the town on the Newtown 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.
Download an order form
  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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