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Earliest meeting: Friday 24th June 1853
Final meeting: Saturday 9th September 1865
The East Renfrewshire town of Barrhead lies just 13 kilometres south west of Glasgow. It is an agricultural town, its very name meaning ‘long ploughed furrows for the cultivation of crops’. The town is on the edge of the Gleniffer Braes and back in the middle of the 19th century the town held regular race meetings which began in June 1853. Two years later, in June 1855, there was a 7 race card over 2 days, opening with the Trial Stakes which was won by Sunbeam. Those meetings took place in 3 fields, owned by the Earl of Glasgow, a short distance from town on the Aurs Road. However, prior to those meetings, unofficial races were held annually in the town in conjunction with the local fair. The races took place along Main Street, stretching from Aurs Road through to Cross Arthurlie corner. There was a carnival atmosphere, with stalls and side-shows on either side of the road, complete with cheering crowds supporting their favourite horses. After the 1853 meeting races continued under rules for each of the next 12 years until a final card was staged on Saturday 9th September 1865. That meeting was scheduled to start at noon, but such was the chaotic organisation that the race did not begin until 2 o’clock, and the intervals between races were so protracted that it was seven o’clock before the Consolation Stakes was run. The meeting began with the Trial Stakes over a mile and a half which saw Mr Law’s Forest Queen beat Miss Hudson and Little Doe. The undisputed feature race, the Barrhead Cup over twice round, was won by Mr Hendry’s Little Cob, defeating Marksman and Miss Hudson, while the Capellie Stakes was also claimed by the favourite Little Cob, defeating a field of 4 others to bring Barrhead official races to a close.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Earl of Glasgow, Thomas Cochrane (Judge), James Muir (Starter)
Principal Races Barrhead Cup, Renfrewshire Cup, Glasgow & Paisley Stakes, Capellie Stakes
The final meeting took place on Saturday 9th September 1865.

Friday 29th June 1855
The Trial Stakes over 1 mile
1. Sunbeam, 6 year old chestnut mare owned by Mr Rodger
2. Advice, 6 year old chestnut mare owned by Mr Vuiteh
3. Merry Dew, 5 year old brown mare owned by Mr Watt

Course today In 3 fields owned by the Earl of Glasgow a short distance from the town on the Aurs 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

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

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