No venue takes you closer to the action in Sydney racing than Canterbury Park. Renowned for having one of the premier racing surfaces in Australia, this is where you have the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with a world leading sport.
Just 11km from the Sydney CBD, Canterbury Park is the undisputed home of Sydney night racing. You’ll be counting down to Friday when Canterbury Park turns it on with a distinctly festive feel to its classic night race meets. Whether you’re there for the buzzing social scene or up for the fast paced, heart pounding action, the racing fraternity here know how to have fun.
History of Canterbury
The land at Canterbury Park was first used as a racecourse in 1871, on land owned by Robert Campbell a Sydney merchant and grazier. Further land was purchased and the first formalised race meeting at Canterbury under the banner of the newly formed Canterbury Park Race Club was held in 1884. Frederick Clissold and William Lovel Davis were the first directors of the club. The Canterbury Park Race Club raced as a proprietary club, including both pony racing and thoroughbred racing on their track.
In 1943, the Sydney Turf Club (STC) was created by State Government legislation. One of their remits was to bring under control the proprietary race clubs that proliferated around Sydney. Over the next few years, the STC Board discussed which racecourses would be purchased for continued use as a racecourse and which would cease to operate. The discussions can be traced through the Board Minutes held in the ATC Heritage Collection. In December 1944, the STC Board met with representatives from the Canterbury Club to discuss valuations and purchase price. By 20 December 1944, it was resolved that the purchase of Canterbury course by STC would go ahead, with a ratification to be signed by Canterbury shareholders.
Canterbury Park Racecourse went on to become the headquarters for STC, housing their admin offices and becoming a testing ground for many innovations in racing technology.