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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 20th April 1847
Final meeting: Tuesday 22nd April 1862
Lying on the outskirts of Darlington, the area of Fighting Cocks was once a railway booking office on the famous Stockton to Darlington railway line. Today it is more famous for the Fighting Cocks country pub which is situated in the village of Middleton St George, but back in the middle of the 19th century the area held its own race meetings. The inaugural meeting was held on Tuesday 20th April 1847 across 3 miles of good hunting ground within the vicinity of the Fighting Cocks Inn. The next year the meeting was staged on the same course on Tuesday 25th April 1848 when the main Steeplechase was won by the joint second favourite Clementina, owned by Mr Mewburn. Meetings were so enjoyable and well-supported that the venture was repeated for the next 14 years. The final meeting took place on 22nd April 1862.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr F Coates, Mr T Applegarth & Mr W Dixon (Stewards)
Principal Races Fighting Cocks Steeplechase

Tuesday 25th April 1848
Fighting Cocks Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. Clementina, grey mare owned by Mr Mewburn
2. Ariel, bay gelding owned by Mr Stockdale
3. Little Paul, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Gregson
4. Mercury, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Sampson
Betting: 6/4 Blue Bonnet, 4/1 Mercury, 4/1 Clementina

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 22nd April 1862.

Course today Across 3 miles of good hunting ground in the vicinity of the Fighting Cocks Inn.
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

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing 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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  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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