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Earliest meeting: March 1841
Final meeting: Friday 30th March 1860
The Northamptonshire village of Wootton lies just 3 miles south of Northampton, close to Newport Pagnell. The village was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book when known as Wetone, but was almost certainly around in Saxon times when a group of farms in the Salcey Forest area were collectively called Wudutun. In the middle of the 19th century the village held its own race meeting in 1841. Almost 20 years later the Grand Military and Northampton Open Steeplechases were held at Wootton on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th March 1860. The Open Steeplechase started in the field called Milton Leys which was owned, at that time, by Mr J Dickens. The runners then went towards Dane’s Camp, over the brook and on towards the covert owned by General Bouverie. From there the field progressed over a second brook and on to Milton Ham; passed Mr Manning’s house, and then wound back to the brook for a third time, but this time by Lady Bridge, and into the winning field where the grandstand was erected. It is amazing to think that a crowd of between 25 and 30 thousand witnessed the meeting. The Grand Miltary Gold Cup was won by The Hermit ridden by Captain Anderson, while the Northampton Open Steeplechase was won by The Tartar.

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

Local Patrons Lord Southampton, Captain Anderson
Principal Races Grand Military Gold Cup, Lord Southampton's Hunt Steeplechase, Welter Stakes

Thursday 29th March 1860

Wootton Match over 4 miles
1. The Rector

The Grand Military Gold Cup over 3 miles
Prize of £100 was added to a sweepstake of £10 each entrant
1. The Hermit ridden by Captain Anderson

Lord Southampton’s Hunt Steeplechase of £94
1. Chance

Wootton Sweepstakes worth £120 over 3 miles
1. The Premier

Friday 30th March 1860

The Welter Stakes, worth £185, over 3 miles
1. Marmion

Friday 30th March 1860
Northampton Open Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. The Tartar, aged horse owned by Mr Lewis
2. Kilkenny, aged horse owned by Lord Bateman
3. Marshall Saxe, bay horse owned by Lord Bateman

The Wootton Hill Steeplechase Plate, worth £49, over 2 miles
1. Tumbler

The Veteran Stakes, worth £170, over 3 miles
1. Huntsman

Lord Southampton’s Hunt Steeplechase Sweepstake, worth £74, over 3 miles
1. Midnight

The only recorded meeting took place on Friday 30th March 1860.

Course today In Milton Leys field owned by Mr J Dickens and on to Dane’s Camp and back to the grandstand at Wootton.
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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