The Sandown Race Track is one of the popular horse racing tracks, which is located in Springvale just 25 kilometers off the Melbourne city center and to-date, it is more popularly known as the Betfair Park. This racecourse has two racetracks namely the Hillside track and the Lakeside track.
The Sandown Race Track was built in early 1965 and is considered the only metropolitan racecourse ever built in the 20th century. The Victoria Amateur Turf Club (VATC) first administered the racecourse, which also at the same time was the racing overlooking body of Caulfield.
The Sandown Racecourse has had several upgrades since it was first built. The racing complex was also used as a quarantine center for overseas horses that visit Australia for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival event. It was in 1997 when the permanent Quarantine Center was completed. After that, another major upgrade was made in year 1999. The redevelopment of the Sandown racecourse gave birth to the Sandown Lakeside and Sandown Hillside tracks.
The Sandown Park Racecourse has been considered a specialist racetrack and has been developed to cater to races for all types of weather conditions. It is considered by many as one of the best rainy weather racecourses in Australia. It is not seen as a front-runners track as horses coming from behind can easily run down those in front.
In November 13th, 2008, it was announced that for the very first time in Australian racecourse history, the Sandown Racecourse would be named after its major sponsor. It was renamed Betfair Park as part of a sponsorship deal with the world’s leading betting exchange.
The racecourse is run by the Melbourne Racing Club. From the 2008 Sandown Classic meeting, it was decided that Melbourne Racing Club would operate both Caulfield and Sandown racecourses. The Melbourne Racing Club conducts 36 race meetings annually, consisting of different group events namely the Sandown Classic, also used to be known as the Sandown Cup, the Sandown Stakes and the Sandown Guineas.
The Lakeside racecourse measures 1,891 meters in circumference with a straight measurement of 407 meters. The Hillside track on the other hand has a total circumference of 2,097 meters and a straight measurement of 491 meters. Both follow a counter-clockwise direction. The Hillside track however makes use of the outside 30 meters section of the main straight and a handy and portable rail is placed along the entire length of the straight as protection for the inside 15 meters of the Lakeside track. This caused the increase in circumference of the said track.
Being in Melbourne the track conditions are often Dead, so keep an eye on runners that perform well on slow tracks.