History of Sunshine Coast Racecourse

The Sunshine Coast Racecourse began thoroughbred racing in July 1985.  In racing terms, the Sunshine Coast Racecourse is relatively young but has quickly developed into a first class racing and training facility.  It is operated by the Sunshine Coast Turf Clubs and is one of the country’s premier courses.  It’s located less than an hour north of Brisbane, and just minutes from the beautiful city Caloundra.  The Sunshine Coast Racecourse consists of a grass racetrack and is regarded as one of the best in Australia.  

The Sunshine Coast Racecourse holds its location at 170 Pierce Ave, Meridian Plains, Queensland.  It is also home to the proud Sunshine Coast Turf Club.  The Corbould Park features races every Sunday and third Friday of the month starting 11 November 2011, along their featured race days.  This is a 16 week season.  The Caloundra Cup Carnival and Ladies Oaks Day are routinely rated as the biggest ladies days on the Sunshine Coast, and along with the Melbourne Cup Day, are the best highlights of the Sunshine Coast social calendar.  With those major events and over 70 other race days, the track sees its numbers increase every year.  Over 100,000 visitors are expected to walk through the gates this year alone.

The racetrack features a unique all weather racing surface, known as a cushion track, as it is the first of its kind in Australia.  This $6 million investment shows the important and popularity of horse racing in Queensland.  This has provided a huge boost to its capacity and capability to provide the best training and racing facilities, even though there is a lot of local rainfall.  The Sunshine Coast Racecourse has some of the best lighting available, as there are 960 lights and 40 towers, with the tallest measuring 42m.  The lighting system has approximately 2 million watts of power and cost $7.3 million to implement.  Racing under the lights is a magnificent thing to experience and be a part of!

There were some difficulties in the beginning of this racecourses life.  Kern Bros. offered $5,688,00 to build the complex and was granted permission by the QTC for Club registration.  However, 1982 was one of the wettest seasons in 10 years, and threatened to bring construction to a halt.  The racetrack prevailed, though, and discussions with council on the terms of the lease were finalized in June 1982.  Construction work commenced, employing day labor the construction and development.  Supervisions was overseen by the Club incorporation.

The demand for this racecourse was so high, that in 1983 the membership register was ruled off at 1,000.  This was the highest per capita of any racing club in Australia.  The SCTC operates in one of the fastest growing areas of Australia, and in one of Australia's favorite tourist destinations.  The Sunshine Coast population is almost 300,000 and is projected to increase to 500,000 over the next 20 years.   The first day race took place on Thursday 25th July 1985, featuring seven races.  The first horse to ever win was Mister Omega, ridden R Quinton and trained by Brain Tattam.

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