Scottsville Racecourse, also called the Hollywoodbets Scottsville Racecourse, is located in Pietermaritzburg, the capital of the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. It is located almost 1.5 miles from Pietermaritzburg and an almost 47-minute drive from Durban city centre.
While the city of Pietermaritzburg is a popular destination for tourists and locals and is known for its natural attractions and historical significance, the racecourse is also popular for many reasons. One reason it is popular is that it is where the popular 2005 kids’ movie, Racing Stripes, was filmed.
It is easily one of the most attractive racecourses in South Africa and accessible by a scenic highway, making the journey as exciting as the destination. It is also the only racecourse that has a casino on-site. Let’s find out more about Scottsville Racecourse and look at its history and what the facilities offer.
Scottsville Racecourse History
Scottsville Racecourse was formed in 1886 as the City Sporting Club. The racecourse was once home to the Oaks, the South African Fillies Sprint and Fillies’ Guineas.
While little is known about the earlier days of the racecourse, it is believed that in the early days, the racecourse was maintained by oxen and plow, an archaic technique that is redundant now. The course management would also ask the local bikers to ride here. Their self-propelled bikes would spread out the lumps evenly on the course.
The first event that made the world notice Scottsville racecourse was Gilbey’s Stakes, the first sponsored race held by the Pietermaritzburg Turf Club in 1962. The next year, the racecourse was the site for the Smirnoff Plate. Both the Gilbey’s Stakes and the Smirnoff Plate were discontinued in 1996.
When the Golden Horse took over the racecourse, these races were named the Golden Horse Sprint. Today, the Golden Horse Sprint is the most popular and valuable race held on the Scottsville track. The event is held in May or June and features four Grade 1 sprint races, which run for 1,200 meters. The race is open to geldings and fillies and has prize money of R750, 000.
Scottsville Racecourse facilities
Scottsville Racecourse is a Spanish-style right-handed course and oval in shape. The circumference of the turf is 2,300 meters. The turf has a home stretch which is 550 meters. The straight course runs up to 1,200 meters and joins the oval course at the top of the home straight.
The straight part of the course runs downward for the first 400 meters, then goes uphill for the last 500 meters. Horses coming from an off pace have an advantage in this course. The horses towards the outside of the turf enjoy an advantage on the straight part of the course when the going is lax.
The steep downward banks, followed by the home straight with a run-in of 550 meters, make racing on the Scottsville track very exciting as crowds cheer on their favourite contender and watch with abated breaths. The turf also features a 200-meter straight having a portable rail for changing the run-in length.
In 2006, an additional course was added to Scottsville Racecourse so that the number of races could be increased by around two-thirds.
The Scottsville Racecourse facilities and the outlook of the course exude elegance and class while not compromising on the comfort and convenience factor. The facility features numerous bars and restaurants, perfect for socialising and where you can enjoy exceptional food and drinks as you watch the race or catch up on the latest news and race results. Races happen at an interval of 35 minutes, so you can expect to get a lot of action.
The racecourse also features other racing facilities. There is an enclosed picnic area where you can enjoy a good time with family or friends while relaxing and enjoying the countryside vibes of the place.
The course also features a beer garden and an efficient tote. There is a private White House venue alongside the course, which has a capacity of around 280 people. The venue is elegantly designed with a dance floor. It is ideal for events like wedding receptions, conferences, seminars, and other corporate functions.
Another highlight is the Conference Center that joins the racecourse with the Golden Horse Complex. The venue can easily accommodate 400 individuals and is equipped with high-tech equipment and outclass catering, making it ideal for corporate events.
Scottsville Racecourse is also home to the Golden Horse Casino, which is attached to the Grandstand. The casino features 22 tables and 450 slot machines. The convenience of the location allows people easy access to the casino and the Grandstand so they can view the race and try their hand at betting as well. However, it is important to remember that gambling is only allowed to people 18 and above.
When was the Golden Horse Sprint held at Scottsville in 2022?
The Golden Horse Sprint was held on Saturday, June 4, 2022.
What are the entrance fee and timing for Golden Horse Sprint?
The Golden Horse Sprint takes place at 10 am, and entrance is free.
Who won the Golden Horse Sprint in 2022?
Alesian Chief (SAF) won the Golden Horse Sprint in 2022.