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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 2nd September 1755
Final meeting: Thursday 28th June 1759
The town of Launceston is situated on the Cornwall and Devon border and is known as the gateway to Cornwall. It lies just one mile from the River Tamar and is surrounded by glorious countryside.  In the middle of the 18th century the town held its own race meetings, the earliest of which was a 3 day meeting from Tuesday 2nd to Thursday 4th September 1755. On the first day the £50 Purse was won by Mr Sturt’s grey, defeating the strongly fancied Young Standard owned by Sir William Codrington. The next day the Hunters’ Purse went to Mr Morshead’s Foxhunter. Further meetings took place in 1756 and June 1757, while the two day meeting from Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd June 1758 saw Mr Treise’s Romeo win the Hunters and Road Horses Stakes, while Rib defeated Rainbow and Singlepeeper in the Launceston Stakes. The final meeting took place on Thursday 28th June 1759 when the Launceston Purse was won by Mr Hoskin’s Dusty Miller beating Young Whittington and Blenheim. Racing then ceased in the town, although a meeting did take place on St Stephen’s Down on Wednesday 28th August 1833, although it was not confined to thoroughbred horses.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Sir William Codrington, Captain Newton
Principal Races Fifty Guineas Purse, Hunters Purse

Tuesday 2nd - Thursday 4th September 1755

Tuesday 2nd September 1755 Launceston Fifty Pounds Purse
1. Grey horse owned by Mr Sturt
2. Young Standard owned by Sir William Codrington
3. Comus owned by Mr Treise

Wednesday 3rd September 1755 Hunters Purse
1. Foxhunter owned by Mr Morshead
2. Young Blacket owned by Mr Thomas
3. Clumsey owned by Mr Woolcombe
4. Wonder If He Wins owned by Mr Spowers

Thursday 4th September 1755 Launceston Fifty Guineas Purse
1. Fortune owned by Mr Whitaker
2. Little Valiant owned by Captain Newton
3. Skeleton owned by Mr Blake
4. Who Can Tell owned by Mr Spowers
5. Tom owned by Mr Benallack

Tuesday 15th - Thursday 17th June 1756

Tuesday 15th June 1756 Launceston Fifty Pounds Purse
1. Romeo owned by Mr Treise
2. Rickets owned by Captain Newton
3. Forester owned by Mr Spry

Wednesday 16th June 1756 Launceston Hunters Purse
1. Goliah owned by Mr Lawrence
2. Foxhunter owned by Mr Moreshead
3. Julep owned by Mr Adams

Thursday 17th June 1756 Launceston Purse
1. Foxhunter owned by Mr Moreshead
2. Mooreling owned by Mr Spry
3. Dormouse owned by Captain Newton
4. Squirrel owned by Mr Stermer

Tuesday 20th - Thursday 22nd June 1758

Tuesday 20th June 1758 Launceston Purse
1. Painted Lady owned by Mr Whitaker
2. Little Driver owned by Mr Meader
3. Blacket owned by Mr Harvey

Wednesday 21st June 1758 Launceston Hunters and Road Horses
1. Romeo owned by Mr Treise
2. Fortune owned by Mr Whitaker
3. Sourface owned by Mr Wilkins

Thursday 22nd June 1758 Launceston Stakes
1. Rib owned by Mr Basset
2. Rainbow owned by Mr Brooks
3. Singlepeeper owned by Mr Spowers

Thursday 28th June 1759

Thursday 28th June 1759 Launceston Purse
1. Dusty Miller owned by Mr Hoskins
2. Young Whittington owned by Mr Treise
3. Blenheim owned by Mr Basset

The final meeting took place on Thursday 28th June 1759.
Course today On St Stephen’s Down.
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

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