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Earliest meeting: May 1827
Final meeting: Tuesday 23rd November 1875
Races are known to have taken place in the Hertfordshire town of Royston well before the reign of George II. In May 1827 races took place on Royston Heath and included a match between Sir Peter Soame, from Heydon, and Mr T Berry, from Hertingfordbury. However, the first time the Sporting Magazine included results from Royston was in 1836, while Baily’s Racing Register did not publish results until a year later. In the 1850s and 1860s the races were billed as the North Herts Yeomanry Races, with some races restricted to troop members. A typical card took place on Friday 19th May 1865 when 3 of the 6 races were confined to troop members, and unusually the opening Officers Cup, won by Brother Sam from Vespa, had no betting associated with it. The quality of racing began to deteriorate in the 1870s and by the time of the final meeting on Tuesday 23rd November 1875 racing was of an inferior quality.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Earl of Hardwicke, Captain Daintree, North Herts Yeomanry
Principal Races Royston 'Superb' Gold Cup, Town Plate, Wimpole Stakes, Odsey Heath Stakes

Thursday 4th May 1837

The Earl of Hardwicke Farmer’s Plate over a mile
1. Rosalie owned by Mr King

Royston Superb Gold Cup over 1 ½ miles
1. Lady Emily owned by Mr D Radcliffe
2. Medoro owned by Mr Ongley
3. Abington owned by Mr Sutton

The Wimpole Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Crichton owned by Mr W.Edwards
2. Ruinous owned by Mr W.Smith
3. Bodice owned by Mr Sowerby

The Odsey Heath Stakes over a mile and a distance
1. Lady Emily owned by Mr D Radcliffe
2. Jane owned by Mr Ongley

Thursday 10th May 1838

Royston Town Plate over a mile and a quarter
1. Duport owned by Mr Smyth
2. Gallopade owned by Mr Cautherby
3. Deceiver owned by Mr Barnett

The Wimpole Stakes over a mile and a half
1. Calmuck owned by Mr Coleman
2. Oakleaf owned by Mr White
3. Unnamed filly owned by Captain Daintree

Royston Gold Cup over a mile and a half
1. Baron St Liz owned by Captain Daintree
2. Dwarf owned by Mr Ongley
3. Harold owned by Mr Munro

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 23rd November 1875.
Course today On Royston Heath.
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

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