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Earliest meeting: May 1738
Final meeting: Thursday 19th August 1869
The ‘County History of Cambridgeshire’ recorded that races were first run at Wisbech in 1738, when a two day meeting took place at the end of May at which two Plates were offered of 10 and 20 Guineas. This was not a particularly successful meeting, given that one was a walk-over and the second had only three runners. By 1754 races were changed to two £50 Plates in heats, one being for Hunters. A third was added in 1774, but they attracted few competitors, except when noblemen condescended to send horses over from Newmarket to win them.  One of the earliest recorded meetings in the Racing Calendar, at the Cambridgeshire town, took place on Tuesday 20th May 1755 on a course situated on the road to Elm. There was a particularly active period between 1779, when the Duke of Rutland’s Wisbeach won the Purse, and 1781 when 2 and 3 day meetings were held, the last one being from 30th May to 1st June 1781. The final race was won by Sir L Dundas’s Prince Ferdinand, but the meetings finished in controversy because the course was so tight that several horses were killed, including Lord Clermont’s favourite, causing races to lapse for almost a century. Races were revived with a meeting, overseen by Mr C Jones Clerk of the Course, on Wednesday 27th June 1866 on a course, complete with grandstand, on the Peterborough Road. The feature Wisbech Cup was won by St Albans owned by Mr Hanton. Races continued for just 3 more years until the final event on Thursday 19th August 1869.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Duke of Rutland, Lord Clermont, Lord Grosvenor, Sir T Dundas, Lord Bertie, Lord March, Sir Horatio Pettus

Principal Races 20 Guineas Sweepstake, Hunters Fifty Pound Purse
Tuesday 20th - Thursday 22nd May 1755

Tuesday 20th May 1755 Wisbech Hunters Fifty Pounds Purse
1. Badsticks owned by Mr Maskill
2. Whitefoot owned by Mr Hawkesley
3. White Stockings owned by Mr Boreman

Thursday 22nd May 1755 Wisbech Fifty Pounds Purse
1. Ruby owned by Mr Keck
2. Wagg owned by Lord William Manners
3. Squirrel owned by Sir Horatio Pettus

26th and 27th May 1762

Wisbech Give and Take over 2 miles
1. Collin owned by Mr Quick
2. Trinissime owned by Mr Matthew
3. Music owned by Lord Bertie

Wisbech 2 mile Purse
1. Charlotte owned by Mr Quick
2. Snip owned by Mr Adams
3. Top owned by Lord March.

Tuesday 4th to Thursday 6th June 1782

Wisbech Maiden Stakes over 2 miles
1. Prince Herod owned by Mr Clarke
2. Unnamed colt by Pantalon owned by Mr Watson
3. Holly owned by Lord Clermont

Wisbech 20 Guineas Sweepstake over a mile
1. Conductor owned by Mr Mann
2. Evergreen owned by Mr Creasy
3. Unnamed colt by Sweetwilliam owned by Lord Grosvenor

Though the meeting was later moved to July, and then back to June, it expired in 1783.

Wednesday 27th June 1866
Wisbech Cup over 1 mile
1. St Albans, chestnut filly owned by Mr Hanton
2. Peacock, bay gelding owned by Mr B Taylor
3. Sailor Boy, chestnut horse owned by Mr Bailey

Wisbech races were briefly revived in 1868, with a £20 Handicap and a £15 Trial Stakes, and were held again in 1869, they could not be kept up and finished in 1869.

The final meeting took place on Thursday 19th August 1869.
Course today

Initially on Elm Road and then Peterborough Road.

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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