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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 5th June 1728
Final meeting: Wednesday 20th October 1847
The town of Welshpool, on the River Severn, is located four miles from the Wales-England border and has historically been part of Montgomeryshire. Its name means ‘sinking land’ and it was formerly known as Pool, but was renamed Welshpool in 1835. The town first staged racing on Wednesday 5th June 1728 when Baily’s Racing Register reported that the £25 Plate was won by Mr Bainbrigge’s Carlisle Gelding, beating Mr William Wynne’s Molly-in-the-Moor. Meetings were held each October and were so popular that they extended over two days. The meeting on Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th October 1837 proved very beneficial for Mr Cooke who won the Borough Stakes with Red Rover on day one, and captured the Innkeeper’s Purse with the same horse the next day. Although the meetings were popular with punters, attracting a good sized crowd, they did not always attract sufficient quality horses to make the races competitive. At the two day meeting from Tuesday 15th to Wednesday 16th October 1844 the Borough Plate, won by Mr Morris’s Brilliana, attracted only 3 subscribers, while the Selling Stakes proved to be just a match in which Mr Smith’s Go Forget Me beat Village Lass. The next day was no better because in the Tally Ho Stakes, won by Brilliana, only 3 faced the judge, while the same number contested the Innkeepers’ Purse which was won by Mr J Sparrow’s Deception. The next year the two day meeting was staged on Thursday 16th and Friday 17th October 1845 when Mr Shepherd’s Glaucus displayed a ‘never say die’ attitude. It was beaten by Deception in the Tradesmen’s Purse and Linnea in the Sweepstake before claiming runner-up spot in the Tally Ho Stakes behind Mr Raworth’s Kilgram. Not to be defeated or deterred, Mr Shepherd entered his bay filly in the concluding Selling Stakes where it defeated Lilleshall to gain a well earned victory. What is not clear is whether Mr Shepherd managed to sell the filly in the auction which followed.  At the two day meeting on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st October 1846 the Borough Stakes was won by T’Auld Squire for Mr Tempest, while the concluding Welshpool Hurdle went to Captain Knight’s Raymond Rully. As a celebration, Ordinaries were held at the Royal Oak and Bull Inn after racing. The final two day meeting was held on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th October 1847 when the Borough Stakes saw Mr W Smith’s Foxwhelp beat Captain Somerset’s Cambric, while the Innkeeper’s Purse was won by Mr Turner’s Jack.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.

Local Patrons Mr William Wynne, Captain Knight, Mr John Glynn Mytton, Mr E Herbert, Mr Toke
Principal Races Welshpool Borough Plate, Tally-Ho Stakes, Welshpool Innkeepers Purse

Tuesday 10th to Wednesday 11th October 1837

The Borough Stakes over 2 miles and a distance
1. Red Rover owned by Mr Cooke
2. Nell Gwynne owned by Mr Higgs
3. Barcaly owned by Mr Harris
4. Lena owned by Mr Whitehall
5. Latona owned by Mr Farmer

Welshpool Innkeepers Purse over 1 ½ miles
1. Red Rover owned by Mr Cooke
2. Catamaran owned by Mr Walmsley
3. Barclay owned by Mr Harris

Welshpool Handicap Stakes over 2 miles and a distance
1. Catamaran owned by Mr Walmsley
2. Latona owned by Mr Farmer
3. Lena owned by Mr Whitehall

Tuesday 10th to Wednesday 11th October 1843

The Borough Stakes over 2 miles
1. Ermengardis owned by Mr Toke
2. Tariff owned by Mr E Herbert
3. Pickwick owned by Mr Halford

The Innkeepers Purse over 1 ½ miles
1. Catharina owned by Mr Hickman
2. Mystic
3. Ajax

The Tally-Ho Stakes over 2 miles
1. Tariff owned by Mr E Herbert
2. Ermengardis owned by Mr Toke
3. Pickwick owned by Mr Halford

Tuesday 20th & Wednesday 21st October 1846

The Welshpool Tradesmen’s Purse over 1 ½ miles
1. Knife-and-Steel owned by Mr Edwards
2. Robin Ruff owned by Mr R Griffiths

The Welshpool Borough Stakes over 2 miles
1. T’Auld Squire owned by Mr Tempest
2. Jolly Beggar owned by Captain Knight
3. Foxwhelp owned by Mr W Smith

The Welshpool Hurdle over 1 ½ miles
1. Raymond Lully owned by Captain Knight
2. Heir-at-Law owned by Mr Walmsley
3. Tottenham owned by Mr Ird

The Sporting Magazine of 1846 reports that the final meeting at the track took place in October 1846. It was a two day meeting and race details are shown above. However, a further meeting did take place on Wednesday 20th October 1847.

Course today Across fields on the edge of the town.
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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