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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 3rd October 1792
Final meeting: Monday 21st August 1871
The Kent seaside town of Margate is in the Thanet region of the county, some 38 miles north east of Maidstone. The town was originally known as Meregate, but in the late 18th and 19th centuries, when already known as Margate, it held its own race meetings. The earliest record of racing was on Wednesday 3rd October 1792 on Margate Downs. Later a 2 day meeting on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 1820 was also staged on Margate Downs when the opening Powell Stakes went to Mr Rich’s Woverman, while the Margate Plate was won by Tempest for Mr Ryan. An Ordinary was served at the York Hotel after racing. Racing continued until 1841 when meetings ceased for 22 years before a revival meeting was staged on Friday 18th September 1863, with the opening Margate Plate falling to Mr Hughes’ Real Gem. The course was at Shottendane Farm, within walking distance of the town centre and railway line, and a crowd in excess of 4000 attended. After a pleasant day of racing a dinner was held at the York Hotel. Racing continued successfully for the next 8 years until a final meeting on Monday 21st August 1871.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Sir John Honywood
Principal Races Margate Plate, Ramsgate Plate, Powell Stakes

Friday 18th September 1863
The Ramsgate Plate over 1 ½ miles
1. Flippant, 3 year old owned by Mr Reeves
2. Peru, 4 year old owned by Mr Walker
3. Newfoundland, 3 year old owned by Mr Jorrocks

The final recorded meeting took place on Monday 21st August 1871.

Course today Early meetings on Margate Downs and latterly at Shottendane Farm, within walking distance of the railway station.
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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