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January 27, 2021

A new crop of two-year-old colts will set off on their path to the Longines Golden Slipper in the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.

The Canonbury Stakes was first run in 1919, just after the Australian Jockey Club purchased the harbour-side mansion at Darlington Point named Canonbury.

It was an important part of the AJC’s contribution to the war effort, continuing their support of those affected by the conflict beyond the formal finish of World War I.

Purchased for a price “not exceeding £18,500”, as identified in the AJC Committee minutes, Canonbury was formally opened on 23 January, 1920 by His Excellency the Governor, Sir Walter Davidson. Its charter indicated it would be maintained as a “Home for those suffering from permanent or serious disabilities sustained whilst on active Naval or Military Services”.

The AJC supplied the staff, managed the accounts and organised for repairs until well into the 1940s, though in the mid-1920s as cases from the Department of Repatriation reduced in number, the purpose of the home had shifted to “The Australian Jockey Club War Memorial Convalescent Home for Children”. Remembered now in a key lead-up race to the Longines Golden Slipper, the Canonbury Stakes commemorates an important aspect of the history of the Australian Turf Club.

Three colts have captured the Canonbury Stakes – Longines Golden Slipper Stakes double: Fine and Dandy (1958), Sebring (2007) and Vancouver (2015).

Image: Canonbury c.1920, Woollahra Library Collection

Learn more about the Australian Turf Club Heritage Centre

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