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Earliest meeting: Monday 11th June 1753
Final meeting: Friday 7th September 1866
The County Wicklow town of Wicklow is the county town and capital of the Mid-East region of Ireland. It is situated to the south of the capital Dublin and lies on the River Vartry. The earliest recorded race meeting in the town took place from Monday 11th to Thursday 14th June 1753, opening with a 20 Guineas Weight for Age Handicap which was won by Mr Burrow’s Pettycoat Tight after 3 heats. Two days later Chimney Sweep defeated Poppit and Creeping Kate to earn owner Mr O’Neil the 20 Guineas first prize. Races continued to be staged intermittently on the common ground for the next half a century, but on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th May 1806 a new course was used on the Murrough. Entries were made to Treasurer John Rogers at the Green Tree, with an Ordinary served at the same venue each day. Meetings continued to be popular and well-supported, although the management was always seeking new ways to boost revenue and attendance. The two day meeting on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd June 1846 was supported by the owners of small steamers who agreed to transport racegoers from Dublin. Racing lapsed towards the end of the 1840s and the early part of the 1850s, but a two day revival meeting took place on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th July 1856. It was not  greeted with universal support, the ‘lords of the soil’ provided lukewarm support, but this did not deter a large crowd from attending to witness both the County Plate and Wexford and Wicklow Plate go to Mr Ryan’s The Empress, while the Railway Plate was won by Mr E W Murphy’s Meigh-Dair. In 1857 the management were criticised for the state of the course and worked with the railway company to initiate improvements. By the time of the meeting on Tuesday 1st June 1858 the dangerous railway turn had been eradicated, the run-in straightened and the Railway Plate received sponsorship from the Wexford and Wicklow Railway Company. The final time Wicklow races were widely reported in the newspapers was the meeting on Friday 7th September 1866, and any races which took place after this date were deemed minor affairs.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons John Rogers (Treasurer), Mr Dickson, Mr Knox
Principal Races Wicklow Town Plate, Railway Stakes, Wicklow Handicap, Wicklow 20 Guineas Weight for Age, Wicklow Sweepstakes

11th June 1753

Wicklow 20 Guineas Weight for Age
1. Pettycoat Tight, bay mare owned by Mr Burrows 3 1
2. Unnamed bay mare owned by Mr Maine 1 2
3. Arthur of Bradley, bay horse owned by Mr Crutchley 4 dist
4. Frolick, bay mare owned by Mr Broderick 5 dist

13th June 1753

Wicklow 20 Guineas Prize
1. Chimney Sweeper, black gelding owned by Mr O’Neil 1 1
2. Poppit, bay horse owned by Mr Broderick 2 2
3. Creeping Kate, bay mare owned by Mr Best 3 wdr

14th June 1753

Wicklow Sweepstake Match
1. Unnamed bay mare owned by Mr Maine
2. Unnamed bay horse owned by Mr Broderick

Monday 18th July 1836

Wicklow Sweepstakes over 2 miles
1. David owned by Mr Dickson
2. Zora owned by Mr Knox

The final meeting took place on Friday 7th September 1866.
Course today On the Moorough (Murragh) course.
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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