UPTON PARK RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: April 1762
Final meeting: Sunday 24th August 1924
Racing was first held at Upton, a village in the Parish of Overchurch near Birkenhead on the Wirral Peninsula, in 1762. Upton has a long, illustrious history and was mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086 when known as Optone. The racecourse was situated in the grounds of the Upton Manor Estate, on a field referred to as the Great Croft, which was owned by William Inman. The races coincided with two fairs celebrating Easter and Michaelmas. Although racing came to an end in the late 1700s, there was an effort to reintroduce racing on Upton Park after the First World War. The mile and a half course was constructed on land owned by Home Farm, adjacent to Upton Manor and next to the Moreton Road, and the first revival races were held in April 1922 when a crowd in excess of 12,000 attended.  The meeting was a two day affair organised by the Isle of Man racing Association, starting on Saturday 15th April and continuing to Easter Monday 17th April 1922, with 6 races on each day ranging from 5 furlongs to 3 miles.  By 1923, such was their popularity that two meetings took place, in October and November, with Flat and Hurdle races to cater for every taste. Racing continued for a further two years before the Wallasey Corporation brought the venture to a halt by claiming the land for its new cemetery. The final meeting took place on Sunday 24th August 1924.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons William Inman, Isle of Man Racing Association
Principal Races

Upton Park Handicap, Wallasey Handicap, Leasowe Stakes

The final meeting took place on Sunday 24th August 1924.
Course today The course is now covered by an exit road from the busy M53 and no evidence remains of the racecourse that once existed.
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.
ORDER FORM
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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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Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com