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Earliest meeting: Thursday 1st July 1847
Final meeting: Friday 6th Augst 1852
The tiny hamlet of Kinneil is near Bo’ness in Scotland and boasts the magnificent Kinneil House, the former seat of the Hamilton family. Despite having only a small population to call upon, it held its own race meetings from 1850 until 1852, although prior to this date races were organised in the vicinity of the hamlet under the banner of Bo’ness Races. Although minor races were held near Kinneil in the early part of the 19th century, one of the first occasions the meetings enjoyed widespread news coverage was from a two day meeting, advertised as Borrowstounness Races, from Thursday 1st to Friday 2nd July 1847. The next year, entries for the meeting on Saturday 26th August 1848 were accepted at the Black Bull Inn, Borrowstounness when the card consisted of the Borrowstounness Stakes, the Kinneil Stakes, the Shandon Stakes and the Millfield Stakes. The last event to be billed as Bo’ness Races was staged on Saturday 7th July 1849 when the Bo’ness Stakes saw Mr Tiernan’s Eighan beat Clearwell and Comet. The main race, the Kinneil Stakes over 2 miles, was won by Mr McKenzie’s Lily, beating Aspasia, while the Hurdle Race went to Mr John Henderson’s grandly named The Sutor O’Selkirk. Both the Shandon Stakes and Millfield Stakes, each over a mile, were claimed by Mr Smart’s Aspasia. The inaugural meeting under the banner of Kinneil Races took place on Friday 12th July 1850 in the grounds of land owned by Mr Wilson of Dundyvon. By the next year the meeting staged on Friday 11th July 1851 offered a crowded 8 race card, opening with the Bo’ness Stakes over 1 ½ miles won by Mr Thrift’s Truelove. Later in the afternoon the Kinneil Stakes, sponsored by landowner John Wilson, was won by Mr Henderson’s Maley at the expense of Truelove and Nepaul. The final noteworthy meeting took place on Friday 6th August 1852 on the same course as the previous year when the Stewards were Mr Gillon of Wallhouse and Mr W M Redfern. The feature race, the Kinneil Stakes over a mile, saw Miss Lawson, owned by Mr Taylor, beat Tiny and Lancefield. A Hurdle Race over 2 miles followed, being won with ease by Tartar owned by Mr Boston, defeating Benedict and Maley. The Hamilton Stakes saw Miss Lawson beat Lancefield by a length, while the Falkirk, Grangemouth and Polmont Stakes proved to be a match between Mr N Buchanan’s Tiny and Birdtrap which Tiny won in a canter.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr John Wilson (course owner), Captain Falconar, Major Sharp
Principal Races John Wilson Kinneil Stakes, Shandon Stakes, Bo’ness Stakes

Friday 11th July 1851
John Wilson Kinneil Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Maley, chestnut filly owned by Mr Henderson
2. Truelove, bay filly owned by Mr Thrift
3. Nepaul, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Ryan

The final meeting took place on Friday 6th August 1852.
Course today On land owned by Mr John Wilson on the edge of the hamlet.
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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