A Guide To Rosehill Gardens Racecourse In Australia

Rosehill Gardens Racecourse is one of Australia’s top horse racing facilities. Located in Rosehill, a suburb in Western Sydney in New South Wales, the racecourse is home to some of the most prestigious horse races known worldwide. The most important events include the Golden Slipper and Golden Eagle, held in March and November every year.

Rosehill Gardens is one of the five venues the Australian Turf Club owns and operates. The other four venues are the Randwick Racecourse; the other prime horse racing facility beside the Rosehill; the Warwick Farm, the Canterbury Park, and the Rosehill Bowling Club.

Continue reading this article to learn about this premium horse racing facility and its physical attributes.

Rosehill Gardens Racecourse History

The earliest records of horse racing in Sydney can be traced to 1810 when the first formal race was organised at Hyde Park. Sydney’s governor at that time, Macquarie, had sanctioned the race. In 1825, a group of colonials, including government officials, military officers, and independent settlers, formed the first turf club in Australia, which was named the Sydney Turf Club. The club organised two meetings and dissolved two years later. 

In the early 1830s, horse races were held on the sandy track of the Randwick Racecourse. The racecourse was used in its original state till 1838, and by that time, it had deteriorated to the extent that races could not be held. Thus races were moved out to Homebush until the Australian Jockey Club was formed in 1842, and racing returned to Randwick in 1860 after its renovation.

In the following years, race clubs opened throughout New South Wales. In 1883, John Bennett acquired property at Rosehill to build a racecourse and recreational facility. He established the Rosehill Racing Club (RCC), later renamed Rosehill Racecourse Company. Construction of the park started in 1883 and was completed by 1885. The total cost of construction of the facility was £17,000. The racecourse opened in April 1885, and a crowd of 3000 individuals attended the first event.

John Bennett also built an exclusive railway line that connected the racecourse to the main railway line at Clyde. The railway line opened for public use in November 1988.

In 1943, government legislation established the Sydney Turf Club. The club reviewed and dismantled the registered venues and purchased the Rosehill Racecourse Company along with the Canterbury Park Racecourse Company while closing the clubs at Victoria, Rosebery, Kengsington, Moorefield, and Ascot.

Rosehill Gardens Racecourse remained under the management of the Sydney Turf Club until 2011. In 2011, the Australian Turf Club was formed after the merger of the Sydney Turf Club and the Australian Jockey Club. The Rosehill is hence currently under the ownership of the ATC.

Rosehill Gardens Racecourse Facilities

Rosehill Garden Racecourse has a box-shaped area that comprises four tracks for racing, trial runs, and training session of the gallopers. These four tracks vary in speed and size. The inner grass track has a circumference of 1538 metres. The fast and slow cinder tracks measure 1436 metres and 1357 metres, respectively. The sand track has a circumference of 1712 metres.

Thoroughbred racing events at the Rosehill Garden Racecourse are run on a turf track with a circumference of 2048m. The winning post has a width of 20m with a 408m home straight. Races are held in a clockwise direction.

The facility features a large three-tier stand, which offers an unhindered view of the tracks and the western suburbs in the backdrop at a distance. In 1923, the Paddock Stand at the facility was damaged, due to which many autumn features had to be shifted to the Randwick Racecourse. 

The destruction had been caused due to a fire that wreaked havoc on the facility. However, it also led the racecourse administration to initiate a building program at Rosehill. The project included the construction of a new stand while the Leger stand was upgraded. When the ATC took over the Rosehill Gardens, the government committed £24m to upgrade the facilities at the racecourse and improve the tracks.

Besides the race tracks, the Rosehill Gardens also comprises an array of bars, restaurants, and function and event venues that can accommodate thousands of individuals.

How many races are held at Rosehill Garden Racecourse?

Rosehill Gardens is home to around 36 Group races across the season. These races belong to G1, G2, and G3 grades and are held at the racecourse on a Saturday. The Rosehill Garden hosts around nine Group 1 races.

Major Races At Rosehill Gardens

The standout feature race at Rosehill Gardens is the Golden Slippers. The race has a distance of 1200m and is reserved for two-year-old thoroughbreds. The race was first run in 1957 and has a current purse worth $5,000,000.

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