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Earliest meeting: Friday 18th March 1672
Final meeting: Wednesday 2nd April 1851
Early records indicate that racing first took place in the Merseyside town of Orsmkirk in 1672 on Aughton Moss to the south west of the town. The 5 mile course was designed by The Earl of Derby, a Member of Parliament and the Burgess of Liverpool. That first meeting took place on Friday 18th March 1672 and was closely followed by a 2 day meeting on Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th July 1672 when the Ormskirk Purse over 2 miles was won by Bashaw, beating Single Peeper and Trinculo.The London Gazette of 10th to 13th May 1686 advertised a meeting "At Ormskirk, Lancashire, upon the 1st of June next, a Horse-plate of 40 Pound value will be Run for, each Horse to Ride 10 stone weight, Four Miles Course, three Heats. And the day following as 15 Pound Plate, three Heats, also eight stone weight, not exceeding 13 hands and an half high.’ Racing continued in the town, although the results were not deemed to be sufficiently important to be included in the Racing Calendar until 1807. On Thursday 18th July 1811 the Loyalty Gold Cup over 4 miles was won by Fitzjames over an impressive field, including Sir W Gerard’s Atlanta and Sir R Brooke’s Duchess. Racing lapsed for a long period in the early part of the 19th century, but returned to a course on New Park, and the final meeting was held on Wednesday 2nd April 1851 when the Hunt Stakes was won by Mr Egerton’s Cash, and the Selling Stakes saw Falcon beat Young Liverpool and Laura Bell.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Strange, Sir T. Stanley, Sir W.Gerard, Sir R.Brooke
Principal Races

Loyalty Gold Cup, Ormskirk 50 Guineas Plate, Ormskirk Open Steeplechase

12th and 13th July 1762

Ormskirk 2 mile Purse
1. Bashaw owned by Mr Chaplin
2. Single Peeper owned by Mr Griffith
3. Trinculo owned by Mr Farrington

Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th July 1811

Ormskirk 50 Guineas Plate over 2 miles
1. Unnamed colt by Remembraneer owned by Sir T.Stanley

Loyalty Gold Cup over 4 miles
1. Fitzjames owned by Sir T.Stanley
2. Rhoderick owned by Mr Clifton
3. Atlanta owned by Sir W.Gerard
4. Duchess owned by Sir R.Brooke

Wednesday 2nd April 1851
Ormskirk Open Steeplechase over 4 miles
1. The Hero, bay gelding owned by Mr Henderson
2. Jesuit, brown gelding owned by Mr Carew
3. Nelly Brown, brown gelding owned by Mr Taylor

After a period without racing meetings did return to the town in the mid-1800s, and the final meeting was held on 2nd April 1851.

Course today On Aughton Moss to the south west 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 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    
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Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
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