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Earliest meeting: Monday 19th May 1884
Final meeting: Monday 7th July 1890
The tiny county Wicklow village of Redcross, formerly known as Baile Domhnaill Rua, held races for a prolonged period in the late 19th century. One of the earliest meetings recorded in the newspapers was held on Monday 19th May 1884 on the Ballykeane racecourse, 3 miles from Ovoca station. The Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford railway ran a special service for racegoers, but despite this the attendance was low and led the local newspaper to report ‘the racing was scarcely worthy of comment save it afforded pleasure to the locals’. The meeting began with the Farmers’ Plate which was won by Mr Cullen’s The Fox who beat Geraldine, while the Ladies Plate went to Mr F Fawcett’s Erin’s Isle, defeating Luduquairne and Whiteface. The Wicklow Town Selling Plate was secured by Captain Maher’s Blue Rock, while the feature Redcross Handicap was won by Victrix. Meetings continued to be widely reported for the next six years until the final recorded fixture was staged on Monday 7th July 1890.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Peter Blake, Mr T G Watts-Waters (Stewards)
Principal Races Redcross Plate, Redcross Hurdle, Newcastle Plate, Wicklow Town Plate

Monday 19th May 1884
Redcross Handicap Plate over 2 ½ miles
1. Victrix, 4 year old owned by Mr F F Cullen
2. Blue Rock, aged horse owned by Captain Maher
3. Ragman, aged horse owned by Mr W H West
Betting: 4/6 Blue Rock, 3/1 Vixtrix, 3/1 Draw Stumps. 6/1 Ragman

The final meeting took place on Monday 7th July 1890.
Course today On the Ballykeane course 3 miles from Ovoca 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

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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