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Earliest meeting: Sunday 28th September 1727
Final meeting: Thursday 5th August 1847
Races were first held in the Buckinghamshire town of Great Marlow on Sunday 28th September 1727 when the Great Marlow £30 Plate saw Mr Coke’s Roxana beat Skipjack, owned by Mr Rudge. Racing was seldom high class at Great Marlow and on Saturday 28th September 1728 only two horses were entered for a £25 prize, while on the second day there was a £15 Give and Take Plate for which only Captain Brown’s grey mare was entered. Desperate situations called for desperate measures, so two local hacks were drafted in to satisy the conditions of the race and allow it to take place at the Ring in the Mead on Marlow Field. Moving forward over a century, a 2 day meeting was staged on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th August 1837 when the Marlow Silver Cup was won by Saccharina for Mr Smith, getting the upper hand over Sir R W Clayton’s Butterfly, while later in the day the Ladies Plate went to Mr Stephenson’s True Blue. Indeed, between 1837 and 1847 the principal race was the Colonel Sir W R Clayton’s sponsored Silver Cup with 5 sovereigns added to the prize fund. In 1837 it went to Saccharina, and the next year Sir Felix landed the trophy for Mr Bacon. The final 2 day meeting, held on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th August 1847, consisted of two flat races and one hurdle race on each of the two days of the meeting. Races were staged after this event on Monday 16th November 1866, but involved cobs and ponies.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Lord William Lennox, Lieut.-Col Sir W Clayton, Mountjoy Martyn

Principal Races Great Marlow Silver Cup, Marlow Ladies Purse

Sunday 28th September 1727

Great Marlow £30 Plate
1. Roxana owned by Mr Coke
2. Skipjack owned by Mr Rudge

Wednesday 9th & Thursday 10th August 1837

Marlow Silver Cup over a mile
1. Saccharina owned by Mr Smith
2. Butterfly owned by Sir R W Clayton
3. True Blue owned by Mr Stephenson

Marlow Ladies Plate over a mile
1. True Blue owned by Mr Stephenson
2. Ploughman owned by Mr Hook
3. Fitzwilliam owned by Mr Athannan

Wednesday 15th August 1838

Marlow Silver Cup over 2 miles
1. Sir Felix owned by Mr Bacon
2. Stickler owned by Mr J Legg
3. Jubilee owned by Mr Maberly

Marlow Ladies Purse over a mile
1. Reform owned by Mr Stevenson
2. Jesse owned by Mr King
3. Kensington owned by Mr Greatrex

Wednesday 4th August 1847
Stewards Cup once round and the distance
1. Teresa, brown mare owned by Mr Hankin
2. Alvanley, bay horse owned by Mr Bray
3. Secundum, bay filly owned by Mr Ellis

The final meeting took place on Thursday 5th August 1847.
Course today The Ring in the Mead in Marlow Field.
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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