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Earliest meeting: Thursday 9th November 1769
Final meeting: Wednesday 20th October 1852
The first recorded races at the Welsh town of Holywell took place on Thursday 9th November 1769 between the Flintshire towns of Holywell and Babell on an oval, flat course of 2 miles one furlong circumference, with a slight hill as the horses entered the final 4 furlong straight. It was a spectacular meeting, opening with a Match for 100 Guineas in which Mr Maurice’s Guinea-Pig beat sole rival Lord Grosvenor’s Arabian. The feature race of the day, the Holywell Cup over two miles for Members of the local Hunt, was won by racing fanatic Sir W W Wynn’s Brown George, beating Willow and Cadwallader. On the same day the Holywell Stakes for gentlemen riders went to Mr Jones’s Midnight, while the meeting concluded with a four year old Purse run over three two mile heats which was won by Sir W W Wynn’s Slimnap. Meetings, administered by Sir T Mostyn, continued to be staged annually, patronised by all of the prominent racing men of the day, including Lord Derby and Sir W W Wynn. In 1807 the Mostyn Mile Championship was launched, the inaugural running being won by Young Chariot owned by Mr Cholmondeley. The race was contested for each of the next 29 years, with Mr Mostyn winning 3 of the last 4 runnings of the event. The final meeting took place on Wednesday 20th October 1852.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Lord Derby, Lord Grosvenor, Sir T Stanley, Sir T Mostyn, Sir W W Wynn

Principal Races Mostyn Mile Stakes, Taffy Stakes, Produce Stakes, Chieftan Stakes, Hawarden Stakes, Halkin Stakes

Holywell Mostyn Mile Winners
1807 Young Chariot owned by Mr Cholmondeley
1808 Gustavus owned by Lord Grey
1809 Meliboeus owned by Sir W W Wynn
1810 Planet owned by Lord Stamford
1811 Offa’s Dyke owned by Mr Shaw
1812 Ambo owned by Mr Price
1813 Ambo owned by Mr Shaw
1814 Ambo owned by Mr Shaw
1815 Spartan owned by Lord Derby
1816 Passamaquoddy owned by Lord Grosvenor
1817 Little Cyrmo owned by Sir W W Wynn
1818 Jupiter owned by Lord Grey
1819 Anti-Radical owned by Mr Mytton
1820 Spectre owned by Mr Bodenham
1821 Princess Royal owned by Sir T Mostyn
1822 Princess Royal owned by Sir T Mostyn
1823 Princess Royal owned by Sir T Mostyn
1824 Oswestry owned by Mr Mytton
1825 Arachne owned by Mr Geary
1826 Brutandorf owned by Mr Clifton
1827 Othodox owned by Mr Thompson
1828 Liston owned by Mr I Day
1829 Sarah owned by Mr Saunders
1830 Old Port owned by Mr Gore
1831 Pickpocket owned by Sir R Bulkeley
1832 Perseverance owned by Mr Giffard
1833  Jack Faucet owned by Mr Mostyn
1834 Intriguer owned by Sir T Stanley
1835 Usury owned by Mr Mostyn
1836 Trapball owned by Mr Mostyn

Tuesday 19th October to Thursday 21st October 1824

Taffy Stakes over a mile and 6 furlongs
1. Haji Baba owned by Sir T Stanley
2. Hybla owned by Lord Grosvenor
3. Archduchess owned by Sir T Mostyn

Mostyn Stakes over 2 miles
1. Oswestry owned by Mr Mytton
2. Sir Gray owned by Mr Tomes
3. Grildrig owned by Lord Derby

Holywell Hunt Produce Stakes over 2 miles
1. Grildrig owned by Lord Derby walked over

The Chieftan Stakes over the Mostyn Mile
1. Portrait owned by Sir T Stanley walked over

Hawarden Castle Stakes over 2 miles
1. Comte d’Artois owned by Mr Mytton
2. Princess Royal owned by Sir T Mostyn

Halkin Stakes over a mile and 6 furlongs
1. Oswestry owned by Mr Mytton walked over

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 20th October 1852.

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

Course today A 2 mile 1 furlong oval course between Holywell and Babell.
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.
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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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