Randwick Racecourse, Sydney, Australia

 

Located in the east of Sydney in a suburb called Randwick, Randwick Racecourse, or “Headquarters” as local horseracing fans call it, is only

six kilometers from the city’s central business district.

 

The history of horse racing itself goes way back to 210 A.D. in merry old England. Royal patronage of this sport encouraged breeding of horses

for racing. In fact, all contemporary thoroughbred racehorses the world over can trace their ancestry to the three English thoroughbred sires:

Darley Arabian (1700), The Byerly Turk (1689), The Godolphin Arabian

or Barb (1724)

 

The beginning of horseracing in Australia started with the arrival of

the First Fleet in 1788. Horses began to be imported and in 1798 the population of horses in Australia had grown to 44 stallions and 73 mares. The arrival of thoroughbred Rockingham in the colonies in 1799 marked the beginning of the Australian thoroughbred industry.

Randwick Racecourse, Sydney, Australia

 

Horseracing history in Australia:

  • October 1810 – The first organized Australian horse race was held in Hyde Park, Sydney and it lasted for three days.

  • January 28, 1833 – An area on Botany Road was designated by the governor as a new racecourse. This racecourse is present day Randwick Racecourse.

  • June 1833 – The first recorded horserace was held at the newly built Randwick Racecourse. It was a private match between two horses.

  • 1838 – Races at Randwick Racecourse ceased because of deterioration of its facilities.

  • 1840 – With the growing importance of the colony, it became necessary to form a committee to manage and establish horseracing. This was called the Australian Racing Committee.

  • 1842 – The new committee evolved into the Australian Jockey Club with headquarters in the Homebush Course.

  • 1859 – The AJC was revamped and set new rules of racing.

  • May 29, 1860 – Racing at Randwick Racecourse resumed.

  • June 1863 – Tenure of Randwick Land was granted by the Crown to the AJC.

  • 1900 – The AJC first issued the Rules and Regulations of NSW Racing.

  • 1922 – The AJC bought the Warwick Farm Course and commenced improvements on it.

  • 1948 – The power to hear appeals was granted to the AJC by an Act of Parliament.

  • 1961 – The tenure of the AJC on Randwick Racecourse was increased from 21 years to 99 years. The AJC then moved its headquarters here.

  • August 4, 1969 – The first time the Queen Elizabeth II Stand was used.

  • May 1977 – Randwick Racecourse got a new device, the computerized totalisator.

Randwick Racecourse is also known as a venue for other events such as concerts and religious events. As part of his pastoral visit to Australia, Pope Paul VI celebrated mass here in 1970. During their Pacific Tour, the Rolling Stones played here in 1973.