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Earliest meeting: Monday 18th August 1851
Final meeting: Tuesday 3rd August 1869
The Birmingham suburb of Sparkbrook is in the south of the city near to Billesley Common. It first staged a 2 day race meeting on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th August 1851 on a course spread over 3 fields at the rear of the Angel Inn on Highgate Road. The course was an interesting one with just a 1000 yard circumference making it a very tight circuit of less than 4 ½ furlongs. There followed a 3 day meeting from Monday 15th to Wednesday 17th August 1853 billed as ‘Birmingham & Sparkbrook Races’ which enjoyed a large attendance in excess of 15,000. On such a tight circuit there were always accidents waiting to happen, and they frequently did at this meet. By the time of the 1857 races a further field had been added to the course, meaning it had extended to three quarters of a mile. The opening Birmingham Stakes fell to Mr Owen’s Blink Bonny, while the Sparkbrook Stakes went to Our Jim. The final time races were recorded in this area took place on a course on Ladypool Lane from Monday 2nd to Tuesday 3rd August 1869. Two racegoers were injured again and this spelt the end of racing in Sparkbrook.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Parker (Steward), Mr F Nichols (Judge)
Principal Races Highgate Stakes, Sparkbrook Stakes, Ladypool Lane Stakes

Tuesday 4th August 1857
Sparkbrook Stakes over 2 ¼ miles
1. Our Jim, aged horse owned by Mr Hurst
2. Blink Bonny, bay mare owned by Mr Owen
3. Peter Snipe, aged horse owned by Mr Page

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 3rd August 1869.
Course today Initially behind the Angel Inn and latterly off Ladypool Road.
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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