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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 19th September 1781
Final meeting: Wednesday 14th March 1855
The historic Huntingdonshire market town of St Ives was the setting for race meetings for over 70 years beginning in September 1781. The inaugural two day meeting took place on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th September and was reported in the Racing Calendar. On the first day the Town Cup was run in 4 mile heats and saw Lady Betty win for Captain Bowden after just one heat, defeating Mr Goslin’s Decoy and an unnamed grey mare of Mr Trundle. On the Thursday a Gentlemen’s Purse over 4 miles was won by Sincerity for Mr Bott, defeating sole rival Flush. The final meeting of this first phase took place on Wednesday 17th September 1788, after which racing lapsed for 67 years. After a prolonged period without a meeting, racing briefly returned to St Ives in 1854 only for the final meeting to be staged just a year later on Wednseday 14th March 1855.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons HRH Duke of Cumberland, Sir F Standish
Principal Races St Ives Town Plate, St Ives Gentlemens' Purse

Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th September 1782

St Ives Town Plate over 4 miles
1. Secret owned by Mr Smallman
2. Floss owned by Mr Brewster
3. Brass Bottom owned by Mr Goodison

St Ives Gentlemens’ Purse over 4 miles
1. Eyebright owned by Mr Wasrell
2. Thesaurus owned by Mr Vernon
3. Diglo owned by HRH Duke of Cumberland

9th – 10th September 1783

St Ives £50 Plate for 3 and 4 year olds over 2 ¼ miles
1 Dart owned by Mr Robson

St Ives £50 Plate over 4 mile heats
1 Horatia owned by Sir F Standish

16th – 17th September 1788

St Ives £50 Selling Stakes over 2 miles
1 Creeping Kate owned by Mr Johnson

St Ives £50 Plate over 4 miles
1 Creeping Kate owned by Mr Johnson

The final meeting of this first phase took place on 17th September 1788 with details of the 2 day meeting shown above.

After a prolonged period without a meeting, racing briefly returned to St Ives in 1854. The meeting was deemed to be sufficiently successful for another meeting to be held the next year. Sadly, the final meeting took place on 14th March 1855.

Course today On marshy common land near to the River Ouse.
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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