officers of the 73rd Regiment, together with many of the “better
class” of people in Governor Macquarie's reign, were evidently
keen on racing, for they announced in the "Gazette" that
the Sydney races were to take place in October 1810 for three fifty-guinea
A track was
prepared on what is now known as Hyde Park. The stand was placed
close by the junction of Market and Elizabeth Streets, the straight
being along the latter thoroughfare from Park Street. The attendance
was the largest ever collected in the colony.
Subscribers' Plate of fifty guineas - Chase
Ladies' Cup, fifty guineas - Chase
Magistrate's Purse, fifty guineas - Scratch
The second Sydney
race meeting occupied August I 2th, 14th and 16th, 1811, on the
Hyde Park track.
On the first
day the Subscription Plate of fifty guineas was won by Mr. Bent's
ch. g. Matchem, while Captain Ritchie's Cheviot won the Two-year-old
we have the interesting fact of thoroughbreds being produced, yet
not a word as to their sires or dams.
On the second
day the Ladies' Cup of fifty guineas was won by Colonel O'Connel's
Carlo and the presentation to the winner was made by Mrs. Macquarie.
A pony race was won by Mrs. James Cox's Fidget.
On the third
day the Magistrate's Plate was won by Mr. William's Strawberry.
Just a year
elapsed before the third meeting took place. It extended over four
days, August 17, 19, 21 and 22. On the opening day Colonel O'Connel's
black horse Carlo won the Subscription Purse of fifty guineas, and
Mr. Williams's Strawberry took the Ladies' Cup on the second day.
Cheviot won the Subscription Purse of fifty guineas on the third
day. The sporting people also subscribed fifty guineas for a three
mile race, in which Mr. Kearns' b.m. Creeping Jenny outdistanced
her two opponents.
On the fourth
day a sweepstake of fifteen guineas for gentlemen riders was won
by Mr. R. Campbell's Tallboy, and a match for twenty guineas between
Captain Cameron's Miss Portly and Captain Crane's Erin was won by
The fourth race
meeting was held on August 16, 18 and 19 (1813), when Little Pickles
won a 50-guinea Plate; Carlo won the Ladies' Cup and Plate; Purse,
It was not until
May 31, I 819, that a race meeting was held, when a programme of
three events was run off. A Silver Cup (two-mile heats) was won
by Mr. Emmett's Rob Roy, beating Commissary and five others. A Silver
Bowl for three-year-olds went to Mr. Cribb's Sly Boots, who beat
Haphazard and three others.
The third race
was for a saddle and bridle, which were easily appropriated by Mr.
R. Campbell's Speedy.
In 1820 there
was a race meeting which extended over two days. It was a poor affair.
A Subscription Cup (three-mile heats) was run, in which Mr. Frank's
Rob Roy beat Mr. Fisher's Pickles. On the second day Mr. Walker's
Haphazard won a Subscription Purse, and Mr. Campbell's Speedy won
a prize of £20, while Mulberry collected a Silver Bowl, Cover
There was a
three-days' meeting on August 14, 15 and 16, 1821 , when the winning
horses were Rob Roy, Captain Dandy, Deceit, Bray and Lead Beater.
The event which created most interest was the Subscription Purse
of 50 guineas, presented by the ladies of the colony for three-year-olds
7 stone, two-mile heats. It was won by Mr. Walker's blk. f. Miss
Nettleton, after three heats, of which Mr. Cooker's Random won the
The year 1822,
and the two following years, are entirely bare of sporting news,
and not until 1825 did turf affairs improve. During the month of
March a new turf club was formed, with the Governor, Sir Thomas
Brisbane, as patron.
A race club
was also instituted at Parramatta, and an impromptu meeting held
on a new course four miles outside Sydney, on March 17. At first
it was resolved to limit the members of the new turf club to sixty,
but this was considered too exclusive.
Sir John Jamieson
was elected president, and the first race meeting was held at Hyde
Park on April 25 and 26, 1825. At this meeting the afterwards celebrated
Junius made a victorious appearance by securing first place in the
Town Plates of 50 sovereigns (heats). He was owned by Mr. Nash,
and for some time after was termed the champion horse of the colony.
At this meeting
he also secured the Magistrate's Plate, and at the second meeting
of the Sydney Turf Club, held on September 23, 24 and 25, Junius
won two events. At this meeting there a Handicap Stakes of five
guineas each, with ten guineas added, won by Mr. Nichol's Captain,
is the first mention of a handicap run on the Australian turf.
There was also
a six furlong race for two-year-olds, won by Australian.