Aintree racecourse;Ascot;Ayr;Bangor;Bath;Beverley;Brighton;Carlisle;Cartmel;Catterick;Cheltenham Festival;Chepstow;Chester;Doncaster St Leger;Epsom Derby;Exeter racecourse;Fakenham;Folkestone;Fontwell Park;Glorious Goodwood;Hamilton Park;Haydock Park;Hereford Racecourse;Hexham;Huntingdon;Kelso;Kempton Park;Leicester;Lingfield;Ludlow;Market Rasen;Musselburgh;Newbury Racecourse;Newcastle;Newmarket;Newton Abbot;Nottingham;Perth;Plumpton;Pontefract Racecourse;Redcar;Ripon;Salisbury;Sandown Park;Sedgefield;Southwell;Stratford;Taunton;Thirsk;Towcester;Uttoxeter;Warwick;Wetherby;Wincanton;Windsor;Wolverhampton;Worcester;Yarmouth;York Ebor

Earliest meeting: August 1727
Final meeting: Wednesday 14th April 1858
The Berkshire village of Ilsley, now associated with a number of famous racing stables in both East and West Ilsley, including Mick Channon and Hughie Morrison, once had its own racecourse which operated for a prolonged period from 1727 through to 1858. Its first period of racing was administered by William Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland who rented the estate at Kates Gore and organised meetings for a nine year period from 1727 to 1736. At this stage the meetings were held on Prestall Park, close to the Duke’s estate at Kates Gore. Formal racing then appeared to have lapsed until the early part of the 19th century when a meeting was staged on Wednesday 22nd August 1804 with the feature being the Gentlemen’s and Noblemen’s Subscription won by Virgin (full result shown below). The single East Ilsley meeting replaced the annual meeting at nearby Lambourn.  It was to be another 45 years before it held its next meeting, although it is possible that less formal, less high profile meetings were held between 1804 and 1849, coinciding with the weekly sheep fairs. Throughout the 3 year period from 1849 to 1852 there were regular meetings, but they ceased at the end of 1852 after a meeting entitled the Ilsley Aristocratic Races was organised by the Gentlemen students of Oxford and held on Ilsley Downs. The Ilsley Cup was the principal race and went to Major Slingsby’s Lady Beatrice who defeated Lord Scamperdale’s Princess. Four years later the meeting was revived, including the introduction of hurdle races, and from 1856 through to 1858 regular meetings continued. The final meeting was held on Wednesday 14th April 1858, with detailed results shown below.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Duke of Cumberland, Lord Coventry, Sir Lyiston Newman
Principal Races Ilsley Stewards’ Plate, Ridgeway Stakes

Wednesday 22nd August 1804
Noblemen & Gentlemen’s £50 Subscription Purse over
1 ½ miles
1. Virgin, black filly owned by Mr Abbey 1 1
2. Loto, bay horse owned by Mr B Price 3 2
3. Elsi Bey, brown horse owned by Mr Spragg 4 3
4. Starling, grey colt owned by Mr Frogley 5 4
5. Helicon, bay horse owned by Mr Douglas 2 wdr

The map below, issued by John Rocque in 1761, shows the location of Prestall Park and Kates Gore, the estate of the Duke of Cumberland.

Wednesday 14th April 1858
Ilsley Stewards’ £40 Plate over 1 ½ miles

1. Supple Jack, 3 year old owned by Mr L Newman and ridden by Johnson
2. The Avenger, 4 year old owned by Mr J Parker and ridden by F Adams
3. Verona, 4 year old owned by Mr T Stevens and ridden by Prior
Betting: 3/1 Supple Jack, The Avenger

Blewbury 2 year old Stakes over 4 furlongs
1. Griselda owned by Mr J Lowe and ridden by Cowley
2. Artist owned by Mr T Stevens and ridden by Roberts
3. The Speaker owned by Mr Formby and ridden by Bates
Betting: 1/6 Stockham, 4/1 Madame Moet

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 14th April 1858, with results shown above.
Course today Initially at Prestall Park and then at Kates Gore, the estate of the Duke of Cumberland.
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

East Ilsley continues to play a significant part in horse racing today via Hughie Morrison. The photo below shows the very successful open day in 2013. For further details on this highly successful training establishment visit www.hughiemorrison.co.uk

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    
Postage & Packaging    
Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com