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Earliest meeting: August 1898
Final meeting: Wednesday 9th August 1916
The tiny county Kilkenny village of Piltown, also known as Ballypoyle, boasts a proud history as the only place in Ireland to witness fighting in the War of the Roses. The Battle of Piltown took place in 1462 when the House of York side, led by Thomas Fitzgerald, defeated Butler’s army representing the House of Lancaster. The village held its own race meetings in the last days of the 19th century and first part of the 20th century. One of the earliest meetings took place in August 1898, after which races were staged annually for the next 18 years despite the management being confronted with obstacles almost every year.  In 1903 the meeting scheduled for Thursday 27th April had to be abandoned almost at the last moment due to insufficient entries, while in 1910 the planned meeting was almost scuppered when the Turf Club sanctioned a meeting at Kells on the same day at the last minute. On Thursday 12th August 1915 a large crowd was in attendance, but were rewarded with terrible weather, small fields and inferior racing. The day opened with the Piltown Plate over a mile and a half which was won by Mr Joe Widger’s Affectionate, with the Curraghmore Plate going to Lady Sue. Later in the afternoon the Carrick-on-Suir Plate saw Mr Trench’s Prestige beat Simon Rhu and Gone Away.  The final meeting took place just a year later on Wednesday 9th August 1916 although, once again, the management had to contend with a clash with Down Royal. The final meeting provided Mrs Widger with a first and last race double, winning the opening Curraghmore Plate with Sailorman and the concluding Castletown Plate with Golden Spur.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Tom O’Donnell (Secretary)
Principal Races

Curraghmore Plate, Waterford Plate, Carrick-on-Suir Plate, Castletown Plate

Thursday 12th August 1915
Castletown Steeplechase Plate over 2 miles
1. Aunt Kitty, 6 year old owned by Mr T O’Brien
2. Steeplejack, 4 year old owned by Mrs R Holroyd Smith
3. WHL, 5 year old owned by Mr T J Hartigan
Betting: 2/1 On WHL, 7/1 Aunt Kitty, 7/1 Steeplejack

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 9th August 1916.
Course today On a course within walking distance of the village.
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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