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Earliest meeting: Monday 13th February 1854
Final meeting: Saturday 17th February 1900
Today Rathfarnham is a suburb of the city of Dublin, but at one stage it was a village which boasted a 14th century castle owned by the Eustace Family of Baltinglass, and hosted its own race meetings. The meetings were held at the Elm Park course and offered flat and hurdle races. The meetings were never particularly successful or well attended and the course was described as ‘inconveniently situated at the foot of the mountains’. The earliest meeting took place on Monday 13th February 1854 when the crowd was low. The meetings were often controversial with unlicensed alcohol booths, crowds of less than 200, and races sometimes taking place on a Sunday. At the meeting on Saturday 28th May 1898 the principal race, the Elm Park Plate over 2 ½ miles, saw Mr Fletcher’s Carman defeat Maid of Athea and Lily. The final meeting was staged two years later on Saturday 17th February 1900.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Dr J. Purcell-Hartford
Principal Races

Cruagh Plate, Elm Park Plate, Willbrook Plate, Tibbradden Plate

Saturday 28th May 1898
The Elm Park Plate over 2 ½ miles
1. Carman, aged horse owned by Mr J Fletcher
2. Maid of Athea, 6 year old owned by Mr R J Woolfe
3. Lily, 5 year old owned by Mr D R Collins

The final meeting took place on Saturday 17th February 1900.
Course today On the outskirts of the village at the foot of the mountains.
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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