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Earliest meeting: Monday 18th September 1837
Final meeting: Tuesday 18th April 1869
Now subsumed into the capital city, back in the 19th century Corstorphin was a village in its own right surrounded by open countryside to the west of Edinburgh. Early records suggest there was a meeting held in the parish of Corstorphin in 1663 when Lord Methven’s bay horse was victorious. The next mention of racing in the area was when the Sporting Magazine of 1837 reported a one day steeplechase meeting staged on Monday 18th September 1837, opening with a match over 2 miles in which Mr Bodkin’s Charley beat Captain Stephen’s Jim Crow. The feature race was steeped in controversy as Captain Barton’s Lazarus was first passed the post but suffered disqualification for taking the wrong course. It handed the race to the H Docherty owned Now or Never, ridden by the owner. After a hotly contested battle, Now or Never got the better of Paddy and Duck Hunter, both horses ridden by their owners. Over 30 years later a steeplechase meeting was arranged in the vicinity of the village on Tuesday 18th April 1869 for officers of the 8th Hussars quartered at Piershill and Edinburgh Castle.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain Barton, Captain Stephen, Mr Charles Docherty, Mr H Docherty, Mr Bodkin
Principal Races Corstorphin 20 Sovereign Sweepstakes, Corstorphin Match

18th September 1837

Corstorphin Match over 2 miles
1. Charley owned by Mr Bodkin
2. Jim Crow owned by Captain Stephen

Corstorphin 20 Sovereign Sweepstakes
1. Now Or Never owned by Mr H Docherty and ridden by Mr H Docherty
2. Paddy owned by Mr Charles Docherty and ridden by Charles Docherty
3. Duck Hunter owned by Mr Archer and ridden by Mr Archer
Although Lazarus, owned by Captain Barton and ridden by Mr Bodkin, passed the post first, he was disqualified for taking a wrong course.

John Cary (1754-1835) was an English cartographer who published his atlas, The New and Correct English Atlas, in 1787. In 1794 he was commissioned by the Postmaster General to survey all English roads. The map shown below is an extract from his 1794 work.

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 18th April 1869.
Course today  In fields on the edge of the village.
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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