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Earliest meeting: Saturday 18th August 1866
Final meeting: Saturday 3rd September 1870
Rainham, now in the London Borough of Havering some 14 miles East of Charing Cross, is steeped in history having been mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book when known as Raineham. Records show that cock-fighting had taken place in the Essex park of Whybridge, near Rainham, in 1769 and that prize fights followed in the same park in 1785. However, it was not until the early 1860s that the park was used for trotting races, and shortly afterwards the first horse racing took place in 1866. The racecourse, on the South Hornchurch side of Whybridge Park, held its first meeting on Saturday 18th August 1866. The opening Belhus Hurdle, over 1 ½ miles and 6 flights, was won by Camillus, while the Whybridge Plate went to Mr Ward’s Chelmsford, but the feature race, the Liberty Plate, saw Medicis defeat The Turner and Jessamine. Racing continued for 4 more years until a final card took place on Saturday 3rd September 1870.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr T Mashiter
Principal Races Whybridge Platem Liberty Plate, Belhus Hurdle Plate

Saturday 18th August 1866

The Liberty Plate over a mile
1. Medicis owned by Mr T Mashiter
2. The Turner owned by Mr Ditmas
3. Jessamine owned by Mr R Smith

The Belhus Hurdle Plate over 1 ½ miles and six hurdles
1. Camillus owned by Mr G Poole

The Whybridge Plate over 1 ¾ miles
1. Chelmsford owned by Mr Ward
2. Medicis owned by Mr T Mashiter
3. Jessamine owned by Mr R Smith

The final meeting took place on Saturday 3rd September 1870.
Course today On the South Hornchurch side of Whybridge Park.
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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