On the map | State Library of New South Wales

On the map

Just over 200 acres of land on Botany Road, Randwick, were set aside for 'The Sydney Race Course' in January, 1833. A committee laid out the plans for the course under the supervision of Thomas Mitchell, Surveyor-General, and races were being held at the ground within six months.

Randwick is a coastal suburb, so it isn't surprising that the track was known as 'The Sandy Course'. By 1840 the track had deteriorated and was no longer used for public racing. For nearly 20 years Randwick was used only as a training course and public racing continued at the Homebush track which opened in 1841.

By 1860, when the Australian Jockey Club made its permanent headquarters at Randwick and public race meetings resumed, the track had been restored enough that Bell's Life could report that 'the turf was in as good condition as could reasonably be expected'. (Bell's life and sporting reviewer, 2 June 1860, p. 2. Broadsheet in bound volume F8/15)

The 1853 parish map below indicates the location of the land 'reserved for Sydney Race Course'. The greater detail of the municipal map from 1933 shows the different tracks, the location and size of the grandstands and the betting rings. Extensive tramway infrastructure is clearly visible around the racecourse area.

Parish of Botany, [N.p., 1853]  Map Z M2 811.186/1853/1


NSW Dept of Lands Municipality map series, Sydney Metropolitan Area, 1917-, Randwick, 1st ed. 2.5.33, sheet 1(4) (col)
Map Z M Ser 4 811.12/1

 > View more maps in the NSW Dept of Lands Municipality map series on our catalogue Link to catalogue