PAIN'S LANE RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Monday 28th September 1840
Final meeting: Tuesday 29th September 1874
The first record of a meeting at Pains Lane was in Bell’s Life and the Sporting Chronicle on 4th October 1840, which reported results from the meeting on Monday 28th September. By 1846 the meeting was well established and future racing legend Sam Darling was in attendance. Pains Lane was a village in Shropshire, close to Oakengates and Telford, and was later renamed St Georges in 1859. Further details of racing at this venue are given in the ‘St Georges’ section.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr E Davenport, Mr Luke, Sam Darling
Principal Races Railway Stakes, Pains Lane Stakes, China Racing Cup, Freezland Cup, Priors Lee Selling Stakes

In their 4th October 1840 edition, Bell's Life and the Sporting Chronicle reported on the meeting held at Pain's Lane:-

Monday 5th October 1846

The Priors Lee Selling Stakes
1. Florine owned by Mr Davenport
2. Union Jack owned by Mr Luke
3. The Bird owned by Mr Palmer

The Freezland Cup over 2 miles
1. Rosa owned by Mr Waring
2. Unnamed gelding by Young Cadland owned by Mr Haynes
3. Carissima owned by Mr Stapleford

The feature race at the October 1846 meeting was The Pain's Lane Stakes. Details of the race are shown below. The winner was Carissima ridden by Sam Darling jnr, the father of the great Sam Darling.

Sam Darling was born at Bourton-on-the Hill, Glos on 11th March 1852. His grandfather, also called Sam, was a jockey who won the 1833 St Leger on Rockingham. His father, also Sam, was the jockey on board Carissima in the race shown above. In a 3 month period in 1846 he rode at no less than 5 different tracks, results of which are shown below. The most famous of the Sam Darling's treasured the China Racing Cup his father won at Pain's Lane aboard Carissima and left it as a personal, named item in his will.

I am grateful to Paul Mathieu for the scan of the China Racing Cup won by Sam Darling's father at Pain's Lane in 1846.

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 20th September 1859

Given that St Georges now has a large area of grassland that is a recreational area, it is likely that the racecourse was situated here.

I am grateful to Viv Hulme for providing the links below which give further details about Pains Lane Races.
https://wellingtonhistorygroup.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/whgmag11.pdf
Wombridge: Social and cultural activities | British History Online

Course location

Fields, now recreation land, in the centre of Pain’s lane/ St George’s village.

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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