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Earliest meeting: 1665
Final meeting: Monday 26th September 1859
The south Dublin coastal suburb of Sandymount is reported to have first staged races in 1665 when Lord Deputy Essex sponsored a Plate to be contested annually at a meeting attended by a crowd in excess of 5000. Moving forward two centuries, the inaugural running of the Strand races took place on Monday 7th October 1844 on a course opposite the home of the Honourable Mathew Fortescue. A ‘large and fashionable assemblage of spectators’ witnessed Mr Loyd’s Birdeen defeat Sheelah and Hip in the Mathew Fortescue sponsored Sweepstake, while the feature race was won in clever style by Mr Leech’s Busyfoot. Meetings were held on a regular basis throughout the year, while in March 1845 two meetings took place in quick succession. The first was on Monday 3rd March, closely followed by a larger meeting on Monday 17th March at which the opening Sweepstake was won by Hon. Mr Chichester’s FF over 2 heats. Races continued annually for the next 14 years before the final reported card was held on Monday 26th September 1859. It was a most unsatisfactory event with the Tradesmen’s Plate and Union Club Stakes not filling, while the poor quality Hack Stakes was won by Mr F Keegan’s Alice Gray, defeating The Little Weed and The Weasel. The next year, and in subsequent years, athletics Foot Races replaced horse races on the Strand.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Hon. Mathew Fortescue, Mr Hugh Reilly, Mr Thomas Kavanagh (Stewards)
Principal Races Mathew Fortescue Sweepstake, Sandymount Strand Hurdle Sweepstake

Monday 7th October 1844
Mathew Fortescue Sweepstake Hurdle over 1 mile
1. Busyfoot, bay mare owned by Mr Leech
2. Chance, chestnut mare owned by Mr Mullowney
3. The Man of Galway, chestnut horse owned by Mr Foster

The final meeting took place on Monday 26th September 1859.
Course today A one mile course on the Strands opposite the residence of the MP Mr Fortescue.
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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