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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 29th October 1851
Final meeting: Wednesday 19th January 1853
Portadown sits on the River Bann in the northern part of County Antrim about 25 miles south west of Belfast. The town held its first 2 day steeplechase meeting on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th October 1851 on ‘a cock-pit of a course’ less than a mile round and situated 1 ½ miles from the town centre. The main races were the Portadown Hurdle and Free Handicap, and after racing an Ordinary was served at the Queen’s Arms Hotel. The final record of a steeplechase meeting was on Wednesday 19th January 1853 when the opening Handicap Steeplechase over 2 miles was won by Now or Never owned by Mr Smith who got the better of Crimson Thorn.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

George Ensor & Cornelius Carleton (Stewards)

Principal Races Portadown Hurdle, Free Handicap, Open Handicap Steeplechase

Wednesday 19th January 1853
Free Handicap over 2 miles
1. Waterhen, black mare owned by Mr Flood
2. Johnny Oaks, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Small
3. Honey Pot, bay mare owned by Mr Bond

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 19th January 1853.
Course today A very tight, circular course of a mile round 1 ½ miles from Portadown.
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    
Postage & Packaging    
Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com