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Earliest meeting: Friday 22nd May 1840
Final meeting: Wednesday 25th August 1869
The Berkshire town of Hungerford enjoys a location close to the many racing stables of Lambourn and the premier racecourse at Newbury, but in the 19th century the town had its own racecourse for almost 30 years. The course, a circular, flat course of just over a mile, was situated within a mile of the Railway Station. Baily’s Racing Register first recorded the results from Hungerford when a two day meeting took place on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th June 1842 with the meeting being known as the Hungerford Diversions. Races continued for the next 27 years before a final meeting on Wednesday 25th August 1869. The Morning Advertiser was very scathing in its comments about the final meeting, ‘attendance was very poor, the sport dull and uninteresting, the proceedings are of a purely ephemeral character, while from the awkward turns in the course nothing reliable can be deduced from the running’. While Hungerford races passed into history, many of its named races are now run at Newbury, including the Hungerford Town Stakes and the John O’Gaunt Stakes.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons George Osbaldeston, Mr Sadler
Principal Races Hungerford Town Stakes, Hungerford Hurdle, Hungerford Open, Kintbury Stakes, Racven Handicap, Jack O'Newbury Handicap, Woodhay Stakes, John O'Gaunt Stakes

Friday 22nd May 1840

The John O’Gaunt Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Picotee owned by Mr Hobson
2. Master Teddy owned by Mr Matthews

The Hungerford Open Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Jeroboam owned by Mr Hobson
2. Dromedary owned by Mr Webb

In 1842 the results were reported in Baily's Racing Register, although the meeting was known as the 'Hungerford Diversions' meeting.
Friday 3rd to Saturday 4th June 1842

The Hungerford Town Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Distance owned by Mr Lichtwald
2. Dart owned by Mr Savin
3. Consul owned by Mr Lee
4. Unnamed filly by Ishmael owned by Mr Aplin
5. Victor owned by Mr Hewitt
6. Rough Robin owned by Mr Parr
7. Grateful owned by Mr Sweetman
8. Haitoe owned by Mr Treen

The Hungerford Hurdle Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Roulette owned by Mr G.Higgins

The Hungerford Open Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Zarah owned by Mr Parr

The Hungerford Innkeepers’ Plate over 1 ½ miles
1. Victor owned by Mr Hewitt
2. Adrian owned by Mr Legg
3. Zarah owned by Mr Parr

Friday 5th and Saturday 6th June 1846

The Hungerford Town Stakes over 1 ¾ miles
1. Ima owned by Mr Wilkin
2. Messenger owned by Mr A Brettle
3. Beggar Girl owned by Mr Kitton

The Hungerford Hurdle over 1 ½ miles with 4 leaps
1. The Wanderer owned by Mr J Tollit
2. Cracksman owned by Mr Powell
3. Brunette owned by Mr Shipley

The Hungerford Open over 1 ½ miles
1. Sparsholt owned by Mr W Sadler
2. The Devil among the Tailors owned by George Osbaldeston
3. Delamere owned by Mr Powell

Tuesday 26th & Wednesday 27th June 1866

The Hungerford Stakes over 5 furlongs
1. Millie owned by Mr W P Rodney
2. Alcazar owned by Mr Hanks
The winner won by a short head despite Alcazar being the 2/5 favourite.

The Woodhay Stakes over 6 furlongs
1. Stilton owned by Mr Payne
2. Duet owned by Mr Treen
3. Princess Dagmar owned by Mr Edwyn

The Craven Handicap over a mile
1. Overture owned by Mr Astley
2. Loaf Sugar owned by Mr Ballard
3. Gulmara owned by Mr T Hughes

The Kintbury Stakes over 5 furlongs
1. Emmy owned by Mr T Stevens
2. Novelty owned by Mr C Knight
3. Bonne Fortune owned by Mr Acheson

The Jack o’Newbury Handicap over 6 furlongs
1. Comet owned by Mr C Grimshaw
2. Duet owned by Mr Treen
3. Heliotrope owned by Mr E Brayley

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 Wednesday 25th August 1869.
Course today The course, a circular, flat course of just over a mile, was situated within a mile of the Railway Station.
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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