Randwick racecourse, also referred to as Royal Randwick, is located in the New South Wales’ capital of Sydney. The track can be found in the Eastern suburbs, just over 3 miles from the city center and was given permission to refer to itself as royal by Queen Elizabeth after she visited the course in 1992. Home to the Australian Turf Club, the Randwick track is home to the two-day Sydney autumn racing carnival and is considered to be Sydney’s premier metropolitan course, hosting a second major carnival, this time in the spring.
Randwick has numerous race tracks including the main course and the Kensington Track which are the two largest tracks in the New South Wales territory. The Kensington track was launched in 2013 before being closed due to poor performance but, after reconstruction, it reopened again in 2018. Some of the biggest races run at Randwick include, but are not limited to, the Doncaster Handicap, the Sydney Cup, the Randwick Handicap and the Australian Derby.
Randwick Race Course History
Randwick Racecourse was first laid out using convict labor in the 1830s and was known as the Sandy Course when it first opened, due to it being completely sandy. That didn’t stop people racing horses here and, by the autumn of 1833, racing was being held regularly at the venue, continuing up until 1838. From then onwards, and for the next 20 years, racing was staged at Homebush before returning to Randwick in 1858, by which time the Australian Jockey Club had been formed and was in charge of regulating horse racing and meetings.
The first race meeting was held in late May 1860 with a crowd of 6000 in attendance on the first day. The crowds grew further still as tramlines connecting to Sydney city center were constructed, and by the time the Spring Carnival was held in 1880, the system was so popular that a dedicated station was built to serve the racecourse. Traffic peaked in 1934 when the service carried a record 117,480 passengers to the tracks in one day.
Away from racing, Randwick was used by Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm when they landed their aircraft, the Southern Cross, here in 1928 following their trans-Pacific flight from the USA. In 1992 the Australian Jockey Club was given the right to call it ‘Royal Randwick’ after a request to Queen Elizabeth II, while the track has also hosted Pope John Paul II in 1995 and was used as a military site during both world wars. It also appeared in several films including Mission Impossible 2.
Randwick Track Configuration and Bias
- Circumference is 2,227 meters
- 410 meter straight
The clockwise track at Randwick is 2,227 meters in circumference, complete with sweeping bends and a 410 meter straight that runs uphill making this quite a testing racecourse. This is a famously spacious course, allowing enough room for big striding gallopers to stretch right out. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a track that gives every runner a fair chance, though. Historically, this has not proved to be the case.
Front runners are often favored, while closest to the rails has been known to be a slow lane. Randwick also suffers in the wet, where a huge amount of track bias can occur even when only slightly rain affected. That said, most runners will have their chance when the rail is in true position, particularly if the going is Good.
Randwick Racing Season
Located just over 3 miles from Sydney’s city center, Royal Randwick hosts 45 meetings a year and its most well-known races include the Australian Derby and the highly anticipated Randwick Handicap. In April and May, the track hosts the Autumn Racing Carnival – don’t forget, Aussie seasons work alternatively to our own – which includes four Group 1 races such as the Doncaster Handicap, the Australian Derby, the Sydney Cup and the Australian Oaks, which is staged for 3-year-old fillies and is worth $350,000.
Towards the end of the year in late September and concluding in October, Randwick’s Spring Racing Carnival lays on a number of Group 1 races including the George Main Stakes, Randwick Handicap, The Metropolitan, Flight Stakes and the Spring Champion Stakes, the latter of which is for 3 year old fillies and has a $300,000 purse.
Randwick Race Course Address
Alison Rd, Randwick NSW 2031, Australia
Randwick Best Jockeys and Trainers
With Randwick being such a famous old course, one of the oldest in Australia in fact, all of the biggest names in horse training work hard to bring their thoroughbreds to the Sydney course for a run. Of course, some trainers have a better win rate at Royal Randwick than others, and it’s well worth familiarizing yourself with their names so you have an advantage when making your picks here.
Over the years, Randwick has seen many legendary jockeys ride here. Of today’s riders, there are many names hoping that one day their names will feature on the Randwick hall of fame. Drawn from all over, the most successful jockeys are the ones to watch before placing your bets.