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Commemorating Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Australian Turf Club would like to pay tribute to the remarkable life and service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II following her sad passing. Her Majesty’s lifelong service and love of horse racing would be commemorated in coming days but also remembered forever in history.

Her Majesty The Queen rode her first horse at the age of three and thoroughbred racing has been part of her life ever since as she become a passionate owner, breeder and ambassador for the sport. In 2013 she became the first reigning Monarch to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot with Estimate.

The ATC (then AJC) have had the honour to host The Queen on three occasions, 1954 shortly after her coronation, 1970 and most recently in 1992 when she granted permission for the term “Royal” to be used for Royal Randwick.

The Australian Turf Club as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this year has secured funding to build a permanent garden in Her Majesty’s honour at Royal Randwick.


6 February, 1954

The Queen visits Randwick Racecourse

Following her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II visited Sydney on her first international trip as Queen in 1954. This included a day at Randwick Racecourse on February 6th.

On this day, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes ran for the first time when the AJC Committee renamed the Queen’s Plate as the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in her honour.

There was a strong field with greats of the day including Hydrogen, Carioca, Gallant Archer, and Euphrates. It was Outsider Blue Ocean who took the honours beating Euphrates by two and a half lengths. Jockey Arthur Podmore and Trainer Harry Darwon were presented the winning prize by Her Majesty.

1 April, 1970

100/1 winner on The Queen's second visit

On her return to Australia in 1970, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II again visited Randwick Racecourse, this time for the third day of Autumn Carnival featuring the George Rowe Handicap, All Aged Stakes, the AJC Oaks, AJC Stakes, the Dangar Handicap, and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes where 100/1 Queensland horse Panvale won, giving apprentice jockey Peter Cook his first and, arguably, his most memorable major success as he was presented his trophy by Her Majesty.

22 February, 1992

Queen Elizabeth provides Royal approval

The Queen Elizabeth II used her visit to Randwick in February 1992 to officially grant AJC the right to call the flagship Eastern Suburbs course Royal Randwick.

It was an honour not lightly granted, though an unbroken history of racing, a strong community contribution and regular royal visits made the racecourse an appropriate candidate for the title.

During her visit she officially opened the Paddock Stand, which coincided with the AJC celebrating their 150 year anniversary.

A crowd of 25,790 attended Randwick that day.

Her Majesty Visits to Royal Randwick

The Queen's visit to Randwick Racecourse in 1954.

Randwick Racecourse was abuzz when Her Majesty The Queen visited for the first time.

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Peter Cook meets The Queen in 1970

Former champion jockey Peter Cook was lucky enough to meet Her Majesty The Queen at Royal Randwick when he won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Panvale. He talks about how his Father and Uncle also had the pleasure of meeting The Queen.

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30 Year Anniversary of The Queen's visit to Royal Randwick

To mark the 30 year anniversary of The Queen’s visit to Royal Randwick, Ray Thomas recalls with Tim Gilbert the day in 1992 when she was oncourse.