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Earliest meeting: Monday 24th April 1916
Final meeting: Tuesday 25th April 1916
Yardley Wood, in south Birmingham, is east of Kings Norton and south west of Hall Green and held race meetings during the First World War. The races took place on Billesley Common on what was known as their ‘Flying Ground’ and were organised by the Yardley Racing Club. The two day meeting began on Easter Monday 24th April 1916, offering a six race card which opened with the Antwerp Hurdle which was won by Taxi Boy owned by Miss Lucy Latham. The same horse/owner combination followed up in the Khaki Plate Hurdle which followed, and later in the card the Calais Plate, over 7 furlongs, also went to Lucy Latham with White Socks. The meeting concluded on Easter Tuesday 25th April when the Paris Plate was won, appropriately enough, by Mr France’s Cassy, while the Italian Handicap went to Limited. The meeting was deemed to be so successful in entertaining hard-working wartime workers that a second meeting was scheduled to take place on the same course on Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th June 1916, but in the end it was postponed. However, this did not deter the Yardley Racing Club who switched their attention to Ward End in north Birmingham. Pony races did take place in 1917, although the card did not contain any thoroughbred races.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Yardley Racing Club
Principal Races Antwerp Hurdle, Calais Plate

Tuesday 25th April 1916
The Italian Handicap over 1 ¼ miles
1. Limited, owned by Mr G H Martin
2. White Socks, owned by Miss Lucy Latham
3. Coton, owned by Mr R Stratford
Betting: 2/1 Limited, 5/2 White Socks, 7/2 Canterbury

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 25th April 1916.
Course today On Billesley Common.
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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