Horse racing tracks in Australia
Australia is flush with quality horse racing tracks, with every state boasting multiple tracks in metro areas and in the country. Victoria and New South Wales have the most racecourses Down Under.
Most country towns in Australia have their own horse racing track with the “country cups” featured across the country drawing huge crowds, while in the big cities such as Melbourne and Sydney there are multiple well-known racecourses.
The biggest tracks in Australia include the Victoria-based Flemington, where the Melbourne Cup is run every year, and Caulfield, the home of the Caulfield Cup; Sydney’s Randwick track, known as headquarters, probably shades Rosehill as the no.1 track in New South Wales; Eagle Farm is No.1 in Queensland, although Doomben has its fans and has been more reliable.
Australian horse racing is among the most competitive in the world, with meetings held every day of the year (barring Christmas Day) and billions of dollar bet every year. Betting is done via online bookmakers and the TAB, which has a monopoly on retail betting in Australia.
Racecourses in Victoria
Victoria is thought to be the main racing state Down Under, although NSW would dispute this statement, with races such as the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup features of the Melbourne spring. The biggest club is the Victoria Racing Club, which races at Flemington, where the Melbourne Cup and many other group 1 races are held. The Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) is another big factor in the racing scene in Victoria, managing three of the biggest tracks in the state — Caulfield, Mornington and Ladbrokes Park (Sandown). Full list of Victorian horse racing tracks.
New South Wales horse racing tracks
NSW has many horse racing tracks with the main Sydney club the Australian Turf Club (ATC), which was formed in 2011 by a merger of the Australian Jockey Club (AJC) and the Sydney Turf Club. The ATC holds meetings at Randwick, Rosehill, Canterbury Park and Warwick Farm. Randwick is the best track in the state and is home to the world’s richest turf sprint, The Everest, as well as the Autumn carnival spectacular The Championships.
There is only horse racing track in the ACT, the Canberra Racing Club, which is also the authority body on racing in the territory. There has long been agitation to ban horse racing in the ACT, with this gaining momentum since the successful banning of greyhound racing.
Western Australia Racecourses
Western Australia’s main racing, Western Australian Turf Club, holds racing at Belmont Park and Ascot Racecourse. The Perth Cup, Western Australia’s most important race is held on New Year’s Day at Ascot Racecourse.
Queensland’s main racing clubs are the Queensland Turf Club (Eagle Farm), and the Brisbane Turf Club (Doomben). The Magic Millions meeting on the Gold Coast is one of the highlights of the QLD racing calendar with it being run every January.
Northern Territory Racecourses
Horse racing in the Northern Territory is run by Thorougbred Racing NT with two of the bigger tracks under their control being the Darwin Turf Club and the Alice Springs Turf Club. The Darwin Cup, while not featuring the greatest horses, is very popular with tourists with people travelling from all over Australia for this unique race meeting.
South Australia Racecourses
The South Australian Jockey Club runs racing in the state and has some quality tracks under its control, including Morphettville, Victoria Park and Cheltenham. Morphettville hosts the group 1 racing in South Australia and is probably the best track in the state. Several other tracks have shut down over the years in South Australia, but you can learn about the current South Australian racing tracks in our guide.
For a long time racing was held in Tasmania on Sundays, although this scheduling is no longer as rigid. The two major tracks in Tasmania are the Tasmania Turf Club in Launceston and the Tasmania Racing Club, which is the track situated in Hobart.