WARRINGTON RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: 1700
Final meeting: Friday 4th August 1854
Warrington, a large town standing on the banks of the River Mersey, is in the unitary authority of Cheshire, although historically it was part of Lancashire. It is known that racing took place in the vicinity of Warrington from 1700 until 1761 at Latchford, a village one mile south of the town centre. Warrington Race Course was indeed situated on Latchford Heath between Knutsford Road and Thelwall Lane. The Manchester Magazine published an article on 12th June 1750 advertising races on Latchford Heath on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th July 1750. Mr Thomas Jolly was the Clerk of the Course and oversaw a Purse of Gold contested on each of the days, with Assemblies after racing. A member’s token, possibly the oldest still in existence, has survived from the 1761 season, the last to have taken place on Latchford Heath. Just as racing was being wound up in Warrington in 1761, a horse called Billy was born. He was to become famous because in 1819 Old Billy retired to the Victoria Park Estate in Warrington having previously worked for the Mersey and Irwell Navigation Company until 1819. The remarkable fact is that he died on 27th November 1822 aged 62. Although racing was staged in the middle of the 19th century, cards were like the one which took place on Tuesday 26th July 1842, invariably involving non-thoroughbreds and ponies. One of the last to include thoroughbreds took place on Friday 4th August 1854 when the Brighton Club Stakes was won by Garforth, the Sweepstake by Habena, and the Claret Stakes by Dandy.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Thomas Jolly, Mr Theophilus Bent, Mr Philip Dale
Principal Races Warrington Sweepstake,Claret Stakes, Warrington Handicap

Friday 4th August 1854
Claret Stakes
1. Dandy
2. Henrietta

The final meeting took place on Friday 4th August 1854.

Shown below is one of the oldest racecourse members badges still in existence.

Course today On Latchford 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 johnwslusar@gmail.com

I am grateful to the Warrington Museum for providing an article from 'The Manchester Magazine' which was published on 12th June 1750, confirming that Warrington Race Course was indeed situated on Latchford Heath between Knutsford Road and Thelwall Lane. The article is reproduced below:-

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.
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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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