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Earliest meeting: Monday 29th June 1863
Final meeting: Monday 13th September 1886
The Small Heath district of Birmingham is located south east of the city centre, close to Yardley and Bordesley Green. It is known that pony races took place in the area in the middle of the 19th century, but on Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th June 1863 a two day meeting, which included thoroughbreds, was staged on a 6 furlong course around the perimeter of the cricket ground at the rear of the Small Heath Tavern. It was a popular meeting both for punters and tradesmen, with a ballot required to allocate booths. The opening Birmingham Stakes was won by Clover, owned by Mr Keeton, beating sole rival Pilot. The feature Small Heath Stakes attracted 14 entries, nine of which were at the starting post. After a keenly run race Mr Charrington’s Kitty, ridden by C Rushton, proved too strong for Stradella, ridden by Smith. Although races did take place in the district after this meeting, cards consisted of pony and Galloway races. However, on Monday 30th August 1880, one such meeting included the Small Heath Stewards’ Stakes which attracted just two runners. There is nothing unusual in the Stewards sponsoring a race at any meeting, but on this occasion it was unique in that both runners were ridden by lady jockeys. A further meeting involving pony races was held on Monday 13th September 1886, which proved to be the last in Small Heath.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Henry Jones
Principal Races Small Heath Stewards’ Stakes, Small Heath Plate, Innkeepers Stakes

Tuesday 30th June 1863
Small Heath Stakes
1. Kitty, aged mare owned by Mr Charrington
2. Stradella, aged horse owned by Mr Tunnicliff
3. Ratcatcher’s Daughter, bay mare owned by Mr Wilkins
4. Whittington, aged horse owned by Mr Llewellyn

The final meeting took place on Monday 13th September 1886.
Course today Around the perimeter of the cricket pitch at the rear of the Small Heath Tavern.
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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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
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