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Earliest meeting: Thursday 21st March 1833
Final meeting: Saturday 11th October 1879
The East Sussex village of Preston, to the north of Brighton, benefits from the open countryside in Preston Park. The earliest record of racing in the area was at Preston, near Littleborough, on a 2 ½ mile course on Thursday 21st March 1833. The only race on the card was a match between Mr Page’s 7 year old chestnut mare carrying 10st and ridden by Mr MacDonald, against Mr Elliott’s bay horse carrying 12st and ridden by Mr Elliott. Mr Elliott made the early running until reaching the brook on Mr E Henty’s land, where he hesitated and allowed MacDonald to mount a challenge on his mare. After two more fields they headed back to a winning post near the start, and MacDonald’s superior riding skills allowed him to win with ease in 17 minutes. Racing next took place in the Park on Thursday 17th September 1846 when a 3 race card was staged in conjunction with the Horticultural Show. The Park which stretched across 63 acres, was later bought from William Bennett-Stanford, owner of Preston Manor, by a consortium, although the vast majority of the finance required to purchase the park in 1879 was donated by William Edmund Davies, a local bookmaker. This seems quite appropriate because in the same year as he made the purchase races were again held in Preston Park on Saturday 11th October 1879.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr William Edmund Davies, Mr E Henty
Principal Races Preston Park 2 ½ mile Match

Thursday 21st March 1833
Preston Match over 2 ½ miles
1. Unnamed 7 year old chestnut mare owned by Mr Page
2. Unnamed bay horse owned by Mr Elliott

The only recorded meeting took place on Saturday 11th October 1879.

Course today Initially on a 2 ½ mile course across Mr E Henty’s land and then at Preston Park.
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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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
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