The Australian Turf Club

As early as 2002 there was discussions around possible merger between NSW’s two biggest clubs to improve viability of each the Sydney Turf Club (founded in 1943, which held race meetings at Rosehill and Canterbury) and the Australian Jockey Club (founded in 1842, which held race meetings at Randwick and Warwick Farm) . The Thoroughbred Racing Board released a draft strategic plan in 2002 and among its many proposals was a suggestion that NSW race clubs consider mergers and ridding themselves of under-utilised assets e.g. Canterbury Park.  The stumbling block for the merger was a big difference in culture but most notably the difference in financial strength, the AJC needed $150 million to upgrade Royal Randwick which had fallen into disrepair, while the STC’s assets were all in good condition and it enjoyed a healthy bottom line. Further to this the STC had concerns that Canterbury Park would simply be sold to fund the AJC initiatives. The Minister at the time solved this issue by offering both clubs a cash incentive to merge, the $150 million needed by AJC and further $24 million for STC to do asset improvements. After much hostile debate at the STC and many concessions including that a moratorium be included to guard against the sale of Canterbury for 10 years, the Merger was finally approved by the Board at the STC but only after invoking the powers of the STC ACT to overrule a vote against the Merger by the majority of members.

With eventual agreement by each club to participate, state legislation was drafted in 2010, by February 2011 the Sydney Turf Club (STC)  finally  merged with the Australian Jockey Club (AJC) to form the newly created Australian Turf Club ( ATC).