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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 27th March 1844
Final meeting: Wednesday 27th March 1844
Morley is a West Yorkshire market town located just 5 miles south west of Leeds and is famous for being built on 7 hills. Those hills are Scatcherd, Dawson, Daisy, Chapel, Hunger, Troy and Banks and sound as though there ought to be a snow white to act as their leader. The town was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book when known as Morelege, and at this time the town was linked with Agbrigg to form what was known as a ‘wapentake’. The name Morley means ‘open ground by the moor’, which is surprising given that the town is built on 7 hills. However, it made use of the open ground in neighbouring Oakenshaw, 4 miles from Bradford, in the middle of the 19th century to hold its own race meeting in conjunction with its near neighbour Agbrigg on Wednesday 27th March 1844. The course consisted of 40 fences, some of them ‘raspers’, and 3 ditches that were ‘yawning’. A crowd of over 12,000 witnessed Mr Avison’s Charles O’Malley beat Wildboy to take the feature Sweepstake. The event was very successful but not repeated in future years.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Morley & Agbrigg Yeomanry Cavalry, Captain Moore & Edwards (Stewards)
Principal Races Morley Sweepstake Cup

Wednesday 27th March 1844
Morley Sweepstake Cup
1. Charles O’Malley, roan gelding owned by Mr Avison
2. Wildboy, brown gelding owned by Mr Sutcliffe
3. Pioneer, bay gelding owned by Major Pollard
4. Minos, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Wigney
5. Fidget, chestnut gelding owned by Captain Moore

The only recorded meeting took place on Wednesday 27th March 1844.

Course today A course of 40 fences and ditches in neighbouring Oakenshaw.
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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