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 thoroughbred racing.
Canterbury Park is the home of Kia Friday Night Racing. From catching the action under lights as the horses thunder past, to loads of kids entertainment in a safe family friendly environment, hawker-style food from Canterbury Foodies & Farmers Market, live music and pop-up bars – we’ve got 10 heady summer evenings packed full of fun for everyone. And the best bit? It’s free…
History of Canterbury Park
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.