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Earliest meeting: Friday 7th April 1865
Final meeting: Friday 9th April 1869
The Suffolk village of Alpheton, in the Babergh district of the county, lies just 6 miles north of Sudbury. The village can trace its roots back to 991 when founded by Aefflead, the sister-in-law of Edmund The Elder, a Saxon King. The most distinguished building in the village in those times was Alpheton Hall. In the latter part of the 1800s the village organised its own series of race meetings, the first of which took place on Friday 7th April 1865 near the Lion Inn, racing under the banner of West Suffolk Steeplechases when the first Hunter’s Stakes fell to Frank owned by Mr A King. Meetings continued annually and on Friday 3rd April 1868 a 3 mile racecourse was formed across four meadows adjacent to the Lion Inn. The farmland was owned by Mr Clements, Mr Bear and Mr Crown, and the course provided fair hunting ground and a fair test for steeplechasers. In the opening Hunters’ Stakes Mr Freestone’s King Tom beat Menagerie. The feature West Suffolk Stakes also went to King Tom. The meeting on Friday 9th April 1869 was the last meeting before the National Hunt Committee introduced new rules regarding enclosed meetings. The concluding Innkeeper’s Plate was won by Old Squire, owned by Mr A R Jay. Meetings continued into the early part of the 20th century but by then were point to point meetings.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Crown, Mr Clements, Mr Bear
Principal Races West Suffolk Stakes, Alpheton Hurdle

Friday 3rd April 1868
West Suffolk Stakes over 3 miles
1. King Tom, bay horse owned by Mr Freestone
2. Breechloader, chestnut horse owned by Mr Clements
3. Bad Luck, bay gelding owned by Mr White

The final meeting took place on Friday 9th April 1869.

Course today A 3 mile course across 4 fields adjacent to the Lion Inn.
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.
Download an order form
  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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