The Royal Randwick Racecourse is located in Eastern Sydney and it is able to claim that it’s the birthplace of Australian horse racing. That’s quite an accomplishment in its own right. The Royal Randwick Racecourse has a circumference of 2,213 metres and a straight of 410 meters.
This long distance track, with wide sweeping bends, gives all comers a chance at the winner's stand. It held the first organized race meeting in Sydney in 1810 in Hyde Park. The first race in the now Royal Randwick Racecourse was held in 1833, and was a private match between just two horses. Prior to that, the land that was set to become Royal Randwick Racecourse had already been set aside for horse racing. Unfortunately, the track has deteriorated over the years and had become known as the “Sandy Track”.
The track was briefly closed in favor of Homebush, but it was quickly redeveloped. By 1860, Randwick had officially been reopened, with a new track and grandstands that could seat 700 spectators. Even though the grandstands only held 700 at the time, more than 6,000 spectators attended the grand re-opening. The committee that had been formed to undergo supervision of the development of the new course was the forerunner of the Australian Jockey Club, which is still around today, and was formed in 1842.
The NSW Thoroughbred Racing Board began horse racing in NSW in 1997, prior to that, it was over seen by the Australian Jockey Club. The famous Australian Jockey club Derby was run for the first time in 1861, and was promptly won by Kyole. The Randwick land had been awarded to the Australian Jockey Club in 1863, all for an annual rent of a single black peppercorn. The Royal Randwick Racecourse now has a capacity of around 40,000, thanks to the opening of the Queen Elizabeth II stand that was opened in 1969.
The racecourse has a busy schedule, with close to 40 meetings every year. The Australian Derby is held in late march, and is a group 1 thoroughbred race. It’s known as the top ranked even for 3 year olds in Australia. Some of the nation’s greatest horses have won this just over 2400 meter race, such as Phar Lap, Tulloch, and Kingston Town. The AJC Sires Produce Stakes is held every April. It is a Group 1 race for 2 year olds, and it’s run over 1400 meters at set weights.
The AJC Sires Produce Stakes is part of the two year olds own version of the Triple Crown, which also includes the Golden Slipper Stakes at 1200 meters, and the Champagne Stakes at 1600 meters. The Royal Randwick Racecourse is located at Alison Road, Randwick NSW 2031, Australia, and can be reached at (02) 9663 8400. Come and check it out for the best thoroughbred horse racing that you surely will not forget any time soon.