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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 18th April 1838
Final meeting: Tuesday 2nd October 1917
Although minor races took place in the early 19th century, meetings lapsed from 1820 to 1822 and again in the early 1830s, so that the first noteworthy meeting held in the Limerick town of Newcastle West was a two day affair from Wednesday 18th to Thursday 19th April 1838. The meeting was deemed to be sufficiently important for the results to be included in the Sporting Magazine, the card opening with a Weight for Age Handicap which saw Mr Canny’s Goblet beat Jacob Faithful, while the feature Limerick County Hunt Steeplechase went to Mr Sleeman’s Fanny. The organisers were concerned about their ability to handicap accurately, so for the October 1857 meeting they called on the Irish Turf Club to provide the weights for handicap races. In the late 1850s and early 1860s meetings became increasingly disruptive, crossing a line in 1867. It was a two day meeting which had a quiet first day despite a spate of drunkenness, but on the second day fights, drunken behaviour and unruliness ruined the meeting, culminating in one drunken father murdering his child. It was too much for the owner of the land on which the course was built and he refused permission for races to take place in the future. The next year races transferred to Ballinacurra before moving closer to Limerick. However, racing did return in the later part of the 19th century before closing its gates for the final time on Tuesday 2nd October 1917.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Viscount Adare, Sir David Roche, Edward Croker, Mr Westropp
Principal Races Limerick County Hunt Speeplechase, Munster Handicap Plate

Wednesday 18th & Thursday 19th April 1838

Newcastle Weight for Age Handicap over 3 miles
1. Goblet owned by Mr Canny and ridden by Purcell
2. Jacob Faithful owned Mr Westropp and ridden by Fitzgerald

Limerick County Hunt 3 mile Steeplechase
1. Fanny owned by Mr Sleeman and ridden by Fitzgerald
2. Charming Julia owned by Mr Westropp and ridden by Captain Price

Tuesday 12th June 1900

The Munster Handicap Plate over a mile
1. Mr Qulip owned by Mr D Hederman
2. Unnamed filly by St Florian owned by Mr J Manning
3. Chair Girl owned by Mr P Doyle

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 2nd October 1917
Course today Initially in fields on the outskirts of the town.
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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