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Earliest meeting: July 1731
Final meeting: Friday 19th June 1903
The Irish racecourse at the town of Kilkenny, the County town of Kilkenny on the River Nore, first staged races in July 1731 when organised by the citizens of the town. Races then lapsed for a while before returning in the middle of the 18th century.  A full six day meeting took place from Monday 5th to Saturday 10th July 1762, and proved to be particularly good for Mr Daly at the start of the week. He won the Match with Chaffinch, following it up with a win in the Purse with Mercury. The Purse later in the week saw Mr Julian’s Sprightley defeat Shaun Buey and Dairy Maid. Meetings took place intermittently over the next few decades, but lapsed towards the end of the 18th century before being rekindled in 1828. Major Keatinge was the driving force behind the revival and was rewarded with a crowd in excess of 20000 for the meeting on Saturday 1st November 1828. The crowd was also swelled by members of the 32nd Regiment back from their duties. The next year a three day meeting was held from Monday 13th to Thursday 16th July 1829, with a day off for hunting on Tuesday. There were few runners and every race on every day was won by Mr Maher’s Speculation. This was unsatisfactory for the crowd, who also complained that the course lacked basic facilities. The course began rectifying the situation over the next ten years, building a stone grandstand and weigh-house in 1831 and securing wider sponsorship in later years. The Citizens Club presented the course with a Silver Cup in the early 1840s to be contested annually, and by 1844 it was billed as a ‘Splendid Silver Cup worth 50 sovereigns’. Ten years later the Citizens Club were hosting their own meetings at a variety of racecourses, including Fairyhouse and Rathcoole. Meetings ceased in the 1850s only to return towards the end of the 19th century. The meeting scheduled for October 1899 was abandoned and races stumbled on for four more years until the final meeting took place on Friday 19th June 1903.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Sir Edward O'Brien, Mr St Leger, Mr Daly, Mr O'Hara, Major Keatinge
Principal Races Kilkenny Stakes, Kilkenny Plate, County Plate, Splendid Citizens Club Sliver Cup

Monday 5th To Saturday 10th July 1762

Kilkenny Match
1. Chaffinch owned by Mr Daly
2. Sejamus owned by Mr O’Hara

Kilkenny Purse
1. Mercury owned by Mr Daly
2. Louisa owned by Mr O’Hara
3. Rusty Coat owned by Mr Robins

Kilkenny Purse
1. Sprightley owned by Mr Julian
2. Shaun Buey owned by Mr Warren
3. Dairy Maid owned by Mr Kennedy

Kilkenny Plate
1. Miss Sidney owned by Mr Newcombe
2. Granby owned by Mr Murray
3. Modesty owned by Mr St Leger

Kilkenny 60 Guineas Purse
1. Freemason owned by Mr Lambert
2. Babram owned by Mr Bagnell
3. Lottery owned by Sir Edward O’Brien

Monday 23rd to Saturday 28th June 1794

Kilkenny £50 Sweepstakes for 5-Y-O over 3 miles
1. Tidy owned by Mr Kelly
2. Junius owned by Mr Kirwan
3. Sweet William owned by Mr Devonshire

Kilkenny £50 Sweepstakes for Aged horses over 4 miles
1. Boxer owned by Mr Dennis
2. Lady Mary owned by Colonel Lumm
3. Princess Royal owned by Mr Fallon

The final meeting took place on Friday 19th June 1903.
Course today On the Kilkenny racecourse on the edge of town.
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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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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