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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 11th September 1867
Final meeting: Wednesday 14th September 1870
The Kent area of Shorncliffe lies close to the village of Cheriton and is known to have held races in the 1800s, although they may well have been military meetings. The area is famous for the Shorncliffe Army Camp which was established in 1794 to train the Light Division for the Duke of Wellington to go to battle in the Napoleonic Wars. The ‘History of Kent’ confirmed the meetings took place and noted that Shorncliffe, along with other Kent courses, suffered as a result of the Jockey Club introducing minimum daily prize money of £300, and insisting that at least one race be worth at least £150 and run at a mile and upwards. This is thought to have had greatest impact in 1880, by which time the Shorncliffe meeting had ended. The earliest record of a meeting in the regional papers was on Wednesday 11th September 1867 when billed as ‘Folkestone, Shorncliffe and Hythe races’. The principal races at the meeting on Wednesday 15th September 1869 were the Shorncliffe Borough Members’ Plate and the Welter Handicap. The final meeting took place on Wednesday 14th September 1870 when a pitifully small crowd braved awful weather conditions to witness Captain Heworth’s Lady Geraldine land the Military Stakes.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Major General McCleverty, Colonel Goodenough, Colonel Sarel, Sir Courtenay Honeywood
Principal Races Borough Members Plate, Welter Handicap, Beachborough Cup

The article below is from the Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser and is shown courtesy of the British Newspaper Archive Online.

The article below is from the Sportsman, with details of the meeting on Wednesday 15th September 1869, and is shown courtesy of the British Newspaper Archive Online.

The article below is from the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, with details of the meeting held on Wednesday 14th September 1870, and is shown courtesy of the British Newspaper Archive Online.

Wednesday 14th September 1870
Shorncliffe Stakes
1. Ginger, aged horse owned by Captain Chapman
2. Harry
3. Electric

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 14th September 1870.
Course today On open countryside in the vicinity of Shorncliffe.
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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