Canterbury Park Racecourse historical timeline                                                               


* Horse racing is thought to have begun in Canterbury as early as 1842, but not recognised until the first official Race meeting in 1884 (ATC historical archives)


* Canterbury Park was also a motorcycle speedway from 1910 to 1915 (


* CPRC contained a zoo in its infield until World War I and held kangaroos, wallabies, emus, brolgas, curlews, pheasants and kookaburras.


* During World War II, Canterbury Park Racecourse was requisitioned by the Australian Army and from 1940 to 1944 used for a number of purposes, although race meetings continued to be held.


* Canterbury Racecourse became public in 1944 with the advent of the Sydney Turf Club (STC) , land purchased from private holders by way of capital raising from selling public debentures and secured by the State Government. Sydney Turf Club owned and operated both Canterbury Park and Rosehill racecourses.


* Canterbury Park Racecourse was listed as a Heritage item under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Canterbury Local Environmental Plan No. 138 – Canterbury Precinct by the Minister for Planning, Robert Webster, on 10 November 1994 (Gazetted on 18 November 1994).


* in September 1999, the controversial night racing commenced at Canterbury Park. Many conditions were imposed to appease local residents fears of noise & light pollution, parking out residents and late-night revelling and delinquency.


* In the early 2000’s, the STC partnering with World of Golf Australia to develop a world class golf driving range and practice facility in the infield, as well as other related facilities in the grandstand which included gymnasium and, in time may even have included a hotel and/or a registered club with a number cafes and bars. This plan was never realised.


* 2010: STC and AJC (Australian Jockey Club who manage but don’t own Randwick and Warwick farm racecourses) are encouraged by the Minister to merge to form Australian Turf Club (ATC), State parliament approves, Govt creates “AJC and STC Merger ACT” including a 10-year moratorium against sale of any “necessary” racing land or assets until 2021 in order to “prevent a land firesale”.



1940        Canterbury Park Turf Club was the first sports club to offer women a full membership

1946        Australia’s first photo finish camera is installed at Canterbury on 16th March

1948        Australia’s first electric mobile starting barriers are introduced at Canterbury on 10th July after various trials

1957        The first metropolitan racing success for a woman trainer in 1957

1964        Sydney’s first TAB meeting in 1964

1984        Jane Spence became the first female to ride a winner on a Metropolitan course. She achieved this milestone at Canterbury Park

1994    Chris Downy, the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Racing, placed the first telephone bet with prominent        bookmaker Larry Hawke Canterbury Park Racecourse paving the way for telephone betting.

1999        Sydney’s first night racing meeting (despite strong local opposition) held at Canterbury Park.



“An Historical Narrative of the Ashbury district, 1788-1978” Elizabeth Mackenzie, Ashbury Public School 1978. Canterbury City Council Library

“The Essential Club: A history of the Sydney Turf Club 1943-2011” Gary Lester (2011)

“Forty years on, the Sydney Turf Club : a history of the first forty years (1943-1983)” by Richard Boulter

“They’re Racing at Canterbury” Lesley Muir (Canterbury District Historical Society)

“The Centenary of Canterbury Racecourse 1871-1971” Journal of Canterbury & District Historical Society” vol 2, 1971, p22-25

“Change & Challenge”:A history of the Municipality of Canterbury, NSW”/ Frederick Arthur Larcome, 1979 p180-184

Currey, I. E.

“A History of the Municipality of Canterbury”, James Jervis, 1951, Canterbury Municipal Council

“A Pictorial History of Canterbury Bankstown”/J. Lawrence, B. Madden and L. Muir, 2010, p45-46

“Canterbury Park Racecourse”/L. Muir and B. Madden – The Dictionary of Sydney website