ODIHAM RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 21st October 1760
Final meeting: Tuesday 24th June 1879
Records show a meeting took place as early as 1760 on Bartley Heath, just south of Hook, in the Hampshire village of Odiham, close to the historic Odiham Castle. The 2 day meeting started on Tuesday 21st October with a Purse for 4 year olds which was won by Lord Craven’s Heart of Oak. The following day a 6 year old Purse saw Grey Beard beat Adelphus and Trifle. The meetings at that venue lasted for a further 2 years, with a 2 day meeting on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th October 1762 at which the Purse went to Mr Beckford’s Cupid and the Handicap to Mr Quick’s Charlotte. Racing did not return to the village for another 79 years, but there was a prolonged period of racing beginning in 1848 and lasting almost continuously until 1879. The great Fred Archer frequently rode at Odiham despite the prize money being small. Often the winner got the saddle, the second the whip and the third the spurs. In the 1880s the Jockey Club introduced a rule for the minimum prize money at a meeting to be £300 and at least one race to be worth at least £150 run over up to a mile. This sounded the death knell for many smaller meetings including Odiham. The final meeting took place on Tuesday 24th June 1879.

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

Lord Craven, Lord Baltimore

Principal Races Odiham Handicap, Odiham Stewards Stakes, Odiham Manor Handicap

Tuesday 19th & Wednesday 20th October 1762

Odiham 2 mile Purse
1. Cupid owned by Mr Beckford
2. Croney owned by Mr Quick
3. Badger owned by Mr Rogers

Odiham 2 mile Weight for Age Handicap
1. Charlotte owned by Mr Quick
2. Americus owned by Mr Aldridge
3. Valiant owned by Lord Craven

Friday 13th July 1855

The Odiham Handicap over 1 ½ miles
1. Brinklow owned by Mr Longman
2. Postulant owned by Mr J Hewitt
3. Noisette owned by Mr Gulliver

The Odiham Stewards Stakes over 1 ¼ miles
1. Folly o’ the Day owned by Mr C Fromby
2. Penelope owned by Mr G Reilly
3. Reuben Martin owned by Mr GFennely

The Odiham Manor Handicap Stakes over a mile
1. Vulcan owned by Mr G Drewe
2. Postulant owned by Mr J Hewitt
3. Speed the Plough owned by Mr H Browne

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 24th June 1879

I am grateful to Jon Seddon for providing a map of the racecourse, Grid Reference SU726530, from the late 1800's. It is subject to Crown Copyright.

Bartley Heath is between Odiham and North Warnborough. The local pub at North Warnborough is aptly called The Lord Derby.
Course today

On Bartley Heath close to Odiham Castle.

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 johnwslusar@gmail.com

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 johnwslusar@gmail.com 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    
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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