Kilcoy Racecourse is a horse racing facility located an hour’s drive from downtown Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. Home to the Kilcoy Racing Club, the Kilcoy Racecourse features various programs, including gallop races, mini trot races and harness racing competitions.
The racecourse regularly features local events like the Diggers and Veterans racing days and major events like the Christmas Cup by Tattersall’s Racing Club and the Great Northern Cannonball Final.
Here is a brief insight into the Kilcoy Racecourse’s history, physical attributes and facilities.
Kilcoy Racecourse history
Kilcoy is a small farming town in the Lake Somerset region, named by Sir Evan McKenzie, an early settler in the 1840s. He named the place after his family-held land named Kilcoy in Scotland. Horse racing in the area dates back to the 1880s on the racecourse that was presumed to have the smallest circumference of all venues in Queensland.
It is believed that the first races at Kilcoy were held in 1887 in the Glen Fern Hotel’s paddock, under the supervision of the Glen Fern Hotel’s secretary John McPherson and Treasurer Thomas Walker, who bet on the races.
In 1903, Caboolture Council allocated an area in the west of Kilcoy for the construction of a racecourse. The first race at the present-day Kilcoy Racecourse was held in 1907, and a public holiday was declared on the day of its opening.
Today, Kilcoy Racecourse is home to the Kilcoy Racing Club and is owned by the Somerset Regional Council. The racecourse venue is part of the Kilcoy Recreation Grounds situated at the Showgrounds.
Kilcoy Racecourse Facilities
Kilcoy Racecourse is located around 100 km northwest of Brisbane, southeast of Queensland and built within the boundaries of the Kilcoy Showgrounds. Known as the Moonee Valley of the North, it is home to some of the most significant racing events in the region.
Surrounded by hills, beautiful pastures and lakes, the racecourse is ideally located in a picturesque location, making attending races at the venue a pleasant experience. Most of the audience attending the race meetings at the racecourse come from Brisbane and Gold Coast.
Kilcoy Racecourse has a circumference of 1270 metres, while the home straight is 147 metres, one of the shortest in the country. The track is covered in Kikuyu grass. The racetrack is in a tight rounded shape and has limited straight sections. This makes the Kilcoy suitable for front runners. The track has tight turns, which make the inside barriers favourable for most starts. The course has four chutes at 1500m, 1200m, 1100m and 800m.
Kilcoy Racecourse caters for races with a distance ranging from 800m till 2000m with a long chute that provides a opening point for sprints over 800 metres. This allows for a straight run of 600m to the home turn. Additionally, this 800m chute is used for races having a distance of over 1900m and 2000m. Meanwhile, the other chutes allow for shorter runs to the turning point on the course from the 1500m, 1200m and 1100m starting points.
Kilcoy Racecourse underwent a major renovation to redevelop the Kilcoy Grandstand in 2019. The racecourse reopened in March 2020 after major refurbishing. The project included adding an indoor and outdoor dining area, a shared barbecue space, seating for around 300 individuals, and renovating disability access and the betting ring. Moreover, a direct link to the trackside pavilion was added, while the existing Ken and Mary Nunn Pavilion were also revamped.
The Kilcoy Recreation Grounds, where the racecourse is located, are also home to the Kilcoy Show Society, Kilcoy Pony Club, Rodeo Committee, the Stanley River Polocrosse Club and the Working Cow Horse Club of Queensland.
Racing at Kilcoy Racecourse
Kilcoy Racing Club conducts seven to ten race meetings annually, including a mix of gallop races, mini trot races and harness racing competitions.
The most significant racing event on the Kilcoy racing calendar is the Kilcoy Cup. The Kilcoy Cup has a distance of 1200m and a purse worth $25,000. The full name of the race is Keath Beavis and Carl Bartels Kilcoy Cup. Keath Beavis and Carl Bartels were the founders of the Beavis and Bartels Contractors and are renowned for their charitable contributions to the Gold Coast community. Their families sponsor the Kilcoy Cup, so the event is named after them.
The Kilcoy Cup is held in the summer every year. Another favourite is the Vietnamese Veterans Cup. It is a class 2 handicap race with a distance of 1900m. This year, the Kilcoy and Vietnamese Veterans Cup were held on the same day, the 27th of August.