Randwick Racecourse, operated by the Australian Turf Club, Sydney New South Wales.
Randwick Racecourse is one of Australia's most famous racecourses and features the largest racetrack in New South Wales and is operated by the Australian Turf Club. Its signature racing event is the Australian Derby.
The first race at the track was held in June, 1833, being a private match between two horses.
On January 28th, 1833, The Governor, His Excellency Major-General Sir Richard Bourke, reserved a piece of land on the Botany Road for a new racecourse, originally called Sandy Course but now known as Randwick Racecourse.
Randwick Racecourse has been holding race meetings for over 180 years.
In 1992 the Australian Jockey Club was given the right to call it 'Royal Randwick' after a request to Queen Elizabeth.
In 1977 Randwick Race Course was modernised with computerised betting system which lead to a large increase in government revenue.
Today, the Randwick Racecourse is regarded as Sydney's racing headquarters. The racecourse is located approximately six kilometres from the Sydney CBD in the suburb of Randwick NSW. Besides horse racing, the venue has been used for many other Ranwick Racecourse events including masses and concerts. Randwick Racecourse in 1995 was used as the site for a mass by Pope John Paul II and before that in 1970, Pope Paul VI had another mass to celebrate his visit to Australia. The racecourse has been seen in many movies such as Mission Impossible II.
Queen Elizabeth visited Randwick on February 22nd, 1992 and opened the newly built $30 million Paddock Grandstand.
Sydney's oldest race course, dating back to 1860, underwent a 150 million dollar redevelopment in 2012-13. The redevelopment included a new grandstand, mounting yards and other racing facilities bringing it back to one of the worlds premier race venues. Saturday Racing recommenced at the track in Spring of 2013.
Randwick Racecourse has a circumference of 2213 metres and the straight is 410 metres long. This large course has sweeping bends and gives all runners a chance at winning. Not the best wet weather course due to poor drainage.
Randwick Racecourse has multiple race tracks including the Course Proper, which is the largest track in New South Wales, and the Kensington Track (Second largest track in Sydney) which is used for racing, training and trials.
Randwick also has more training tracks which are grass, dirt & sand tracks, as well as a Bullring and Equine Pool. It houses more than 20 Trainers and 650+ horses.
Here is closer look at some of the main Randwick races run at the Sydney RaceTrack.
Australian Derby – This race was first run the same year as the first Melbourne Cup, so it has bona fides that cannot be disputed. One element of the race that attracts good horses is that the winner is granted a ballot exemption for the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The first race was won by Kyogle. The Barb won in 1866. Grand Faneur was 1880’s winner. The next truly significant winner was Poseidon in 1906. Gloaming was the winner in 1918.
Of course, the all-time greats, such as Phar Lap, Peter Pan and Tulloch are on the winners’ list.
No horse has won the Australian Derby twice. One, moment, before anyone points out that the Australian Derby is restricted to three-year-olds, there were three winners from 1961, 1962 and 1963 won by Summer Fair, Summer Prince and Summer Fiesta.
All three were progeny of the British Stallion Summertime. Summertime was average, at least in terms of longevity of racing career. Foaled in 1946, he was transported to New Zealand in 1951 and proceeded to sire three consecutive Australian Derby winners.
The Everest – It is hard to think of a race that provides a greater contrast to the Australian Derby than The TAB Everest. The Everest was first run in 2017, so while the Australian Derby is steeped in tradition, The Everest is steeped in money. It is the world’s richest turf race, with a prize money pool of $15 million.
This race will not be found on any list of Group races, because it defies classification in the regard that connections pay a hefty entrance fee and those willing to pay that fee can field whichever horse they fancy.
Redzel won the first two times The Everest was run. He ran in 2019, but was relegated to eighth, while the winner was Yes Yes Yes. There will be no repeat winner in 2020, because the answer to the question of whether Yes Yes Yes would run is No No No.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes – The Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes simply reeks with tradition. It predates the Melbourne Cup and the above mentioned Australian Derby by 10 years. It is the finale of “The Championships.”
There have been five horses to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes three times. The first was the legendary Tim Whiffler, winner in 1868, 1870 and 1871. The first win was the result of The Barb being disqualified for an incorrect weight.
Carbine, a name synonymous with all-time greats, won three Queen Elizabeth Stakes from 1889 to 1891.
Relatively obscure David won three from 1921 – 1923.
Tulloch won three, in 1958, 1960 and 1961.
It would have to wait more than 50 years for the next three-time winner, which was Winx 2017 – 2019.
Randwick Racecourse Trivia
Grand Armee was the first horse since Tulloch to win two consecutive Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Cossack was the first horse to win two consecutive Queen Elizabeth Stakes, because he won the first two times the race was run, in 1851 and 1852.
Nine horses have won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in consecutive years.
Ming Dynasty won the VRC Australian Cup twice (1978, 1980), the Caulfield Cup twice (1977, 1980) and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1978).
Carbine is the rarer case of a horse doing well in Australia, and then being sent to England to stand stud.
More Randwick Trivia – Q & A
Q. By what name is the inner course at Randwick known?
Q. Marquee trainer Gai Waterhouse has won multiple Group 1 races at Randwick, but has only had one multiple winner. Name that horse.
A. Hansa. Hansa won the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes and the Group 1 Champagne Stakes in 2003, both are two-year-old races.
Q. When was the first race held at Randwick?
A. The Governor of NSW designated the land for use as a racecourse in 1833. A race was held, but it was not open to the public. In May of 1860, a race was held by the newly formed Australian Jockey Club.
Punting At Royal Randwick Racecourse
The betting facilities do not receive the sort of interest as they did in years past. Most of the rails bookmakers have gradually gone the way of the dinosaurs. The corporate bookies occupy the ground floor space of the official/members’ stand, but most punters hold every corporate bookmaker in the palm of their hands via smart phones.
Those who want to wait until the final moments to place wagers like to look at the horses as they parade just prior to the race, and these punters will tap and swipe in the final moments before the markets close.
Facilities At Randwick Racecourse
Betting auditorium located on the ground floor of the official stand which surrounds the Randwick Racecourse.
The Galaxy Dining Room where a full buffet lunch or afternoon tea is available.
Open Terraces are also available for a more casual get together.
Panorama Room in the Paddock Grandstand with magnificent views over the racecourse.
Panorama Open Terraces.
Bookmaker and Tote betting and Sports betting.
Seating arrangement in an air conditioned environment.
Cafe and Bars throughout the racecourse.
State of the art audio and video amenities displaying bookie boards, odds and live broadcasting on plasma screens.
Randwick Racecourse Hosts 2 Carnivals
The Randwick Racecourse hosts 2 Racing Carnivals each year – the Spring Racing Carnival and the Autumn Racing Carnival.
The Spring Carnival is held every September through to November with races including:
George Main Stakes
Spring Champion Stakes
The Autumn Racing Carnival is held every April and May with races including:
Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Members Area Dress Standard
Gentlemen: Suit, blazer, sports coat and tie, except during the period of daylight saving, when coats need not be worn, provided braces are not showing. Sport shoes and jeans not allowed.
Ladies: Suitable standard in keeping with the style of the Members' Enclosure.
Transport To Randwick Races Saturday
The nearest train stations to the track is Green Square Station approx a 15 minute walk and Central Station, approx 20 minute walk.
Buses are very convenient. They leave at regular intervals (15 mins) from the Central Station & travel directly to the Randwick Racecourse on Alison Street.
Located about 6kms from the Sydney CBD via the Cahill Expressway. There is ample parking at the track including the infield section.
Randwick Racecourse is the home of the Australian Derby | Doncaster Handicap | Sydney Cup | Australian Oaks | Epsom Handicap | Summer Cup | Breeders Classic | Chairmans Handicap | Chelmsford Stakes | Emancipation Stakes | Furious Stakes | George Ryder Stakes | George Main Stakes and more....
Randwick Racecourse Barrier Guide
1000 metres: This barrier is located in a small chute off the course proper and provides a short angled run of 50 metres to the course proper and then runners have a straight run of nearly 550 metres to the home turn. Inside barriers are a slight advantage.
1200 metres: Similar to the 1000 metres in another chute off the course proper. Runners travel on a slight angle for 250 metres till they reach the course proper and then there is a straight run of nearly 550 metres to the home turn. Inside barriers are a slight advantage.
1400 metres: This start is located in a 3rd chute off the course proper. There is an angled run of 450 metres to the first corner then a good straight run to the home turn. Inside barriers have a slight advantage.
1600 metres: This barrier is located at the end of a chute off the course proper. There is a straight run of 650 metres to the first turn. Inside barriers have a slight advantage.
2000 metres: This barrier starts on the course proper in the turn out of the straight. Runners are on a turn for 450 metres. Field sizes are restricted to 14 runners. Inside barriers have a big advantage.
2400 metres: This barrier starts on the course proper only 200 metres before the winning post, after which runners enter the sweeping double turn out of the straight. Inside barriers have a clear advantage.
2600 metres: This barrier starts on the course proper 400 metres before the winning post, after which runners enter the sweeping double turn out of the straight. Inside barriers have an advantage.
3200 metres: This barrier starts near the 1000 metres start. There is a straight run of nearly 600 metres to the first turn. Inside barriers are a slight advantage.
AUSTRALIAN JOCKEY CLUB
77 - 97 Alison Road,
PO Box 3,
Ph. (02) 9663 8400
Fax (02) 9662 6292
Royal Randwick is now managed by the Australian Turf Club, which was formed in 2011 by the merger of the Australian Jockey Club and the Sydney Turf Club.
In the view of most Australians, the only racecourse that exceeds Randwick in prestige is Flemington in Melbourne.
Many loyal residents of NSW, however, would be eagerly willing to differ.
Victorians would counter that if Randwick were actually legitimate, the horses would run races the proper Melbourne way, instead of running races in a clock-wise direction.
Men who plan to attend one of the carnivals need pay heed to our earlier admonitions about the dress code. There are times when men are permitted to watch the racing without wearing a suit or sports coat, but must remember to wear a belt, as braces are grounds for being sent off.