Sunshine Coast Turf Club is a thoroughbred racing and training facility near Caloundra, Queensland, Australia. Based in Corbould Park Racecourse, it is one of the finest facilities in the region that hosts a myriad of horse races throughout the year.
The facility is almost an hour in north of Brisbane, while Caloundra is only a few minutes away. Here is a brief insight into the history, physical attributes, and facilities of Sunshine Coast Turf Club.
History Of Sunshine Coast Turf Club
Sunshine Coast Turf Club is a comparatively new facility compared to its counterparts in the country. In December 1978, the Landsborough Shire Council recommended land on Caloundra Road for establishing a racecourse. The land’s owner was grazier Edward Corbould, and the racecourse was named after him once constructed. In February 1980, the Landsborough Shire Council received a fifty-year lease of land via a signed contract.
The site was cleared, and construction for the racecourse began in August 1981 and was completed in July 1984. The Sunshine Coast Turf Club organised its first race meeting here in July 1985.
The race was H E Corbould Transition Handicap, and the first horse to win a race at Corbould Park Racecourse was Mister Omega, who was jockeyed by Ron Quinton. On its inaugural day, Sunshine Coast Turf Club conducted seven races. A crowd of around 14,000 people had come to attend the race, while around 1200 members were in attendance.
In a very short time, Sunshine Coast Turf Club became one of Australia’s finest thoroughbred racing and training facilities. In 1988, the club was upgraded to a provincial club status. The first synthetic surface in the Queensland region was built at Corbould Park in 2008. The surface was built on the top of an existing sand course but was rarely used for racing, even after upgrading. In 2011, the racecourse again underwent major renovations to help it maintain the status of a first-class training and racing facility.
In 2021, Racing Queensland decided to upgrade the synthetic track and use it again after a long time. The plan was to use it as a contingency plan and employ the synthetic surface track as an alternative course for races in case it rained.
Sunshine Coast Turf Club Facilities
Sunshine Coast Turf Club is located ideally an hour away from Brisbane on the Meridan Plains, which are merely an eight-minute drive from Caloundra. The club has made Corbould Park a world-class racing venue with exclusive facilities for the racegoers, including fine dining and entertainment, while the race track is challenging for the horses and their jockeys.
Corbould Park features three tracks. The main track is a turf course, while the inner supplementary track is a synthetic all-weather cushion course used for training when it is not used for racing. Besides these two, there is an innermost grass track used for training only.
The main course or course proper at Corbould has a circumference of 1967 metres and a width of 20 to 25 metres, while the home straight is 400 metres long. The turf course has five starting chutes. The synthetic cushion track at Cobould has a circumference of 1760 metres, a width of 18 metres, and its home straight is 350 metres long.
Corbould Park is considered one of the best-designed racecourses in the country with its open-angled wide bends and wide straights. The Sunshine Coast Turf Club features races with distances of 850 metres to 2400 metres. Starting cutes are employed for races over 1000, 1400, 1600, and 1800 metres, while the back chute is used for a straight run of more than 600 metres from the 1400-metre starting mark to the first bend at 800 metres.
Sunshine Coast Turf Club Fixtures
Sunshine Coast Turf Club features seventy race meetings in a year. The club hosts numerous events each year, including the Caloundra Cup held in June or July as a part of the Queensland Winter Carnival and the 1400-meter Sunshine Coast Cup held in January.
The club hosts races every Sunday, and during the summers, it frequently hosts races on Friday evenings on the inner cushion track. Corbould Park also features a few metropolitan race meetings on Saturdays.
The main feature of Corbould Park is the Winx Guineas, a Group 3 race run on Caloundra Cup Day annually. The race has a distance of 1600 metres and is reserved for three-year-olds. The race was renamed in 2020 to honour Winx, who won 33 races consecutively. Winx began her winning streak in the Sunshine Coast Guineas in 2015. Another prominent feature on the Sunshine Coast racing calendar is the Ladies Oaks Day on the Caloundra Show Holiday.