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Earliest meeting: Thursday 27th March 1834
Final meeting: Monday 14th May 1860
Today the Kingstown area of Dublin is subsumed into the city, but in the 19th century it was surrounded by glorious countryside and first staged races on Thursday 27th March 1834 on a pretty course, although ‘not one which a gentleman could ride without having schooled over it more than once’. It contained 17 stiff leaps and was reported as being dangerous. The opening Sweepstakes was won with ease by The Dandy, defeating Diamond and Harbinger. Races were generally of an inferior nature and the card for the meeting on Monday 6th April 1835 was typical, containing pony races. By Tuesday 18th April 1837 the old course proved too dangerous, and even filling in the central duck pond did not improve the situation.  A new racecourse was laid out on the Estate of Mr Thomas Gresham, with its inaugural 2 day meeting taking place on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th March 1838. The meeting attracted nobility and the landed gentry, including the Earl of Meath, and the opening Kingstown Sweepstake was won by Dudu, owned by Mr Walker, defeating Mr Crofton’s Peeler. The winner had the dubious pleasure of providing 6 bottles of champagne for the Ordinary in the evening. The later Tradesmen’s Purse saw Mr Abbott’s Jack Tar beat Rasper, owned by Mr Bachelor. Races continued for the next 22 years, although the quality gradually declined, and the final meeting of note took place on Monday 14th May 1860.

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

Earl of Meath, Honorable Lady Murray, T M Gresham

Principal Races Kingstown Sweepstakes, Gresham Stakes, Tradesmen's Purse, Victoria Plate

Monday 26th March 1838

Kingstown Sweepstakes
1. Dudu owned by Mr Walker
2. Peeler owned by Mr Crofton
The winner had the pleasure of donating 6 bottles of champagne to the Ordinaries.

Gresham Stakes
1. Rust owned by Mr Ferguson
2. Waylett owned by Mr Igoe
3. Iris owned by Mr Roper

Kingstown Tradesmen’s Purse
1. Jack Tar owned by Mr Abbott
2. Rasper owned by Mr Bachelor

The final meeting took place on Monday 14th May 1860.
Course today On the estate of Mr T M Gresham.
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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