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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 26th June 1716
Final meeting: Thursday 24th July 1856
The first recorded meeting took place in Peterborough, a Soke within its own right that was once in Northamptonshire, then Huntingdon and finally Cambridgeshire, in June 1716 on Peterborough Common. The next record was a four day meeting from 5th – 8th July 1720, with the first race being a Plate for £20 for horses carrying 10 stone; the second a Ladies’ Plate with the winning horse to be sold for £20, and the third a Galloway Plate for £10 with horses carrying 9 stone with the weight for inches rule applied. Seven years later Baily’s Racing Register provided its first detailed results from races held at Peterborough in July 1727. In 1784 a 3 day meeting was staged from Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd July when a feature race, by now embedded into the racing calendar, was held each day. The Town Plate was won by Mr William’s Colt, the City Cup by Mr Porter’s Spider, and the Member’s Plate by Mr Wright’s Kitten. The course was on Peterborough Common, but in 1815 the Common was enclosed and it proved impossible to find a suitable new location, so races were abandoned for 41 years. A revival meeting took place on Thursday 24th July 1856 at a one mile course on the flats near the River Nene, two miles from the city centre. The Farmers & Tradesmen’s Plate was won by Catesby for Mr Merry. However, the revival was short-lived and no further meetings were recorded.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Duke of Kingston, Duke of Ancaster, Lord Scarborough, Sir C Sedley, Sir J Dashwood, Lord Essex

Principal Races Peterborough City Cup, Town Plate, Member’s Plate

The newspaper extract below is shown courtesy of the Stamford Mercury and British Library Online.

Friday 25th July to Thursday 31st July 1727

Peterborough 40 Guineas Plate
1. Carlisle owned by Mr Bainbrigge
2. Peterboro’ Grey owned by Mr Smith
3. Merry Hop owned by Mr Booth

Ladies £50 Plate
1. Smiling Ball owned by Lord Essex
2. Long John owned by Mr King

21st to 23rd July 1762

Peterborough 2 mile Purse
1. Sweepstake owned by Mr Dutton
2. Squirril owned by Lord Scarborough
3. Unnamed horse owned by the Duke of Kingston

Peterborough 2 mile Stakes
1. Camillus owned by Lord Scarborough
2. Colus owned by Sir C Sedley
3. Crazy owned by the Duke of Ancaster

The final meeting took place on Thursday 24th July 1856.
Course today Initially on Peterborough Common and then on Nene Flats 2 miles from the city.
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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