On This Day - Tuesday, 9 November
November 9, 2021
On This Day
150 years ago, on this day in 1871, the first formal race meeting was held at Canterbury Park Racecourse. The racing meeting was organised by Frederick Clissold and Thomas Austen Davis and the course was set up by the Sugarworks Factory, Cornelius Prout.
After 300 local residents attended the meet, organisers saw this as a viable event and in 1884 Canterbury Park Race Club began regular racing.
One of the first board of directors was William Lovel Davis.
Did you know?
Racing at Canterbury Park
Key races at Canterbury Park Race Club included the Canterbury Cup, Frederick Clissold Handicap and the Canterbury Guineas. The Canterbury Cup was a feature race from 1887, though it is now in the form as the Randwick City Stakes.
In 1920, the race was run at Randwick Racecourse due to the visit of HRH the Prince of Wales. The Cup, recently donated back to the ATC Heritage Collection, was presented to the connections of the winner Earl Derby by the Prince.
Technological Innovations at Canterbury Park
From its earliest days, the clubs at Canterbury were quick to pick up on the latest racing technology. Single strand starting barriers first introduced in 1891 were replaced in 1946 with stall-gate barriers and not long after that the mobile version.
In 1946, the first photo-finish camera on a metropolitan track decided a race at Canterbury. Then in 1994, the first legal telephone bet was placed by Chris Downy with the prominent rails bookmaker Larry Hawke.
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