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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 10th February 1875
Final meeting: Friday 13th February 1880

The West Midlands area of Olton, known previously as Ulverlei, lies in the Borough of Solihull, four miles from the town of Solihull. In the latter part of the 1800s the area hosted race meetings, with the inaugural two day Steeplechase meeting taking place on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th February 1875. The mile and a half course was located about a mile from the railway station on the estate of William Alston. The meeting proved to be beneficial to John Goodwin and William Daniels who each rode a double. The large crowd enjoyed both days of racing, leading to meetings continuing for the next 5 years. The meeting on Wednesday 7th February 1877 was particularly exciting with Ratcatcher made the 5/6 favourite for the Birmingham Grand Annual Steeplechase. In the event Abdallah ran out an easy 10 length winner and rewarded his supporters at 7/1. The final two day card took place on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th February 1880 when the principal race, the Grand Annual Steeplechase, was secured by Bugle March ridden by Jimmy Adams. While Birmingham races transferred to Fair Oaks Park, Olton races ceased and a golf course now occupies the land on which the former racecourse once stood.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons William Alston (Steward), Mr John Sheldon (Clerk)
Principal Races Birmingham Grand Annual Steeplechase, Erdington Plate, Solihull Handicap Plate

Wednesday 7th February 1877
Birmingham Grand Annual Steeplechase over 3 ½ miles
1. Abdallah, aged horse owned by Mr A Crofton
2. Sparrow, aged horse owned by Mr Percival
3. Lady Christiana, aged mare owned by Mr Howsin
Betting: 5/6 Ratcatcher, 11/2 Sparrow, 7/1 Abdallah, 12/1 Lady Christiana

The final meeting took place on Friday 13th February 1880.

Course today On the estate of William Charles Alston about a mile from 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 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.
Download an order form
  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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