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Earliest meeting: August 1729
Final meeting: Friday 7th May 1880
The small Shropshire market town of Market Drayton lies close to the Welsh border and first held races in 1729. The town is on the River Tern and has, throughout time, been known as Drayton and Drayton in Hales.  Cheny’s horse-matches reported a two day meeting taking place in Autumn 1729, while Baily’s Racing Register first provided detailed results from races held at Market Drayton on Monday 29th September 1730 when the 20 Guineas Plate was won by Diana for local racing fanatic Sir Watkin Williams Wynn. Racing continued in the town until 1734, but then lapsed for 46 years. By 1780 a new course had been laid out on the Adderley Estate, barely a mile from the town centre, and racing resumed in August 1780, with races coinciding with Drayton Wake week. Races continued on and off for a further century until the final meeting took place on Friday 7th May 1880 when the Adderley Plate was won by Fenian for Mr Mynor, finishing alone.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, Lord Combermere
Principal Races Adderley Plate, Market Drayton Sweepstake, 20 Guineas Plate

Monday 25th September 1730

Market Drayton 20 Guineas Plate
1. Diana owned by Mr Musters
2. Spot owned by Mr Williams Wynn
3. Infant owned by Mr Middleton

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.

The final meeting took place on Friday 7th May 1880.
Course today Initially on common ground and then on fields in the Adderley Estate just a mile from the town centre.
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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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
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Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
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