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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 27th September 1809
Final meeting: Tuesday 25th September 1900
The county Mayo town of Westport, south east of Clew Bay, boasts the stately home of Westport House which was designed by James Wyatt in the 18th century. An inaugural five day race meeting, spread over seven days, began on Wednesday 27th September 1809 with a Sweepstake over 3 miles which was won by Mr Kirwan’s Rosetta. The next day the Weight for Age Handicap rewarded the Marquis of Sligo for his wonderful support when his chestnut gelding Sweetwilliam defeated Piper and Seagull. No races were held on the Saturday or Sunday, but the meeting resumed on Monday 2nd October with a two year old race which went to Mr Gore’s Sheleleah. With the congestion of the fixture list so severe, by 1812 action was needed, and it was left to the Irish Turf Club to instigate measures to overcome the problem. They allocated days and weeks to each racecourse; Westport was allocated Thursday 23rd July 1812. Although racing ceased for a while in the middle of the 19th century, throughout the 1860s horse races, held on a course at Annagh Head, were combined with the local regatta to make a full days entertainment. The final meeting took place on Tuesday 25th September 1900 when the Stewards Handicap Plate, over 2 miles, was won by Mr J P Egan’s Cinabob, while the Croaghpatrick Hunters Plate went to Mr J P Maguire’s Roskey Lad.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Marquis of Sligo, Colonel Daly, Mr V J Blake, Mr J P Egan, Mr W Hoey
Principal Races Lord Sligo Sweepstake, Croaghpatrick Hunters Stakes, Westport Commercial Handicap Plate

Thursday 28th September 1809
Lord Sligo Sweepstake over 3 miles
1. Sweetwilliam, chestnut gelding owned by the Marquis of Sligo
2. Piper, chestnut horse owned by Mr Taaffe
3. Seagull, bay gelding owned by Mr J Mahon

Wednesday 26th July 1899

The Westport Commercial Handicap Plate over a mile
1. Cinabob owned by Mr J P Egan
2. Billy Driver owned by Mr W Hoey
3. Sybilla owned by Mr V J Blake

The Croaghpatrick Hunters Stakes over 2 miles
1. Crutches owned by Mr P Butler
2. Seabeam owned by Mrs Jordan
3. Carnacon owned by Mr V J Blake

Tuesday 25th September 1900

The Stewards Handicap Plate over a mile
1. Cinabob owned by Mr J P Egan
2. Pleasure-Seeker owned by Mr J R Nally

The Croaghpatrick Hunters Plate over 2 miles
1. Roskey Lad owned by Mr J P Maguire
2. Portroyal owned by Mr W McHugh

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 25th September 1900 with the results shown above.
Course today In the 1860s the course was at Annagh Head, a few miles from Westport.
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.
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