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Earliest meeting: Friday 15th March 1839
Final meeting: Monday 2nd June 1879
The Kent town of Maidstone first had its racing results reported in the Sporting Magazine in 1839 from a meeting held on Friday 15th March. The initial course was situated 4 miles from the town centre and was due to host its first meeting on 6th March, but that was postponed because of frost.  The principal race was a high profile Maidstone Grand Sweepstake which was won by Mr Elmore’s Lottery ridden by Jem Mason. Just a few weeks later Lottery became famous when winning the inaugural running of the Grand National at Aintree. Racing continued at a range of venues near the town, including Debtling Downs in the 1850s, Thurnham Hill in the 1860s and returning to Debtling Hill for its concluding meetings. The final meeting took place on Whit Monday 2nd June 1879 with the concluding Open Hunters Hurdle race over 2 miles and 8 hurdles going to Mr A Yates’ Laramie.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Elmore, Mr Hodge, Mr P Barling
Principal Races Maidstone Grand Sweepstake, Maidstaone Members Plate, Maidstone Hurdle

Friday 15th March 1839

Maidstone Grand Sweepstake
1. Lottery owned by Mr Elmore and ridden by Jem Mason
2. Weathercock owned by Mr Barker and ridden by Martin
3. Orion owned by Mr Rothschild and ridden by Carlin
Only a few weeks later Lottery won the inaugural running of the Grand National at Aintree.

Maidstone 10 Sovereign Sweepstake
1. Flecknoe owned and ridden by Mr Armstrong
2. Cantab owned by Mr Hodge and ridden by Jem Mason
3. Laurel owned by Mr Hodge and ridden by Martin

Wednesday 11th July 1855

Maidstone Members’ Plate over 1 ½ miles
1. Warbler owned by Mr Messer
2. Langley owned by Mr Thomas
3. Lambton owned by Mr Jones

The Maidstone Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Englemere owned by Mr B Land
2. Pharold owned by Mr Sait
3. Midnight owned by Mr Woodbridge

Maidstone Hurdle race over 2 miles and 6 hurdles
1. Fenman owned by Mr Mills
2. Bullfinch owned by Mr Barling
3. Bonnet owned by Mr R Sworder

The final meeting took place on Monday 2nd June 1879.
Course today Over good hunting ground 4 miles from the town centre, and then Debtling Hill and Thurnham Hill.
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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