The Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia is one of the most beautiful racing venues in the world. It also has a rich history that dates back to the 1800s, and it is host to the annual Melbourne Cup Carnival. While you may not be able to attend the races at Flemington in person, you can still bet those races at your favorite online racebook. Here is a closer look at one of the major horse race tracks in Australia.
A Racecourse Steeped in Tradition
The city of Melbourne was barely five years old itself when the very first races were held at Flemington in March of 1840. The venue at that time was situated in a very picturesque location alongside the Maribyrnong River. Other races had previously been held in Melbourne at an area that is near to the present-day location of the Southern Cross railway station.
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The race track was not always known as Flemington. It was originally called the Melbourne Racecourse. One of the issues faced by the track in its early days was that there was no easy access. Visitors to the track were forced to cross a creek and pass through a privately owned piece of property. The man who owned the property was named James Watson. Watson’s wife was from a town in Scotland named Flemington. Eventually, this name would be given to the racecourse. Many people mistakenly believed that the track had been named after an Australian settler, Robert Fleming.
The land on which Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia sits was eventually acquired from its owners and became designated as Crown Land by the government. In 1848 the 342 acres of Flemington was officially designated as a public racecourse by the Governor of New South Wales.
Throughout the portions of the world which are or have been considered portions of the British Empire there has always been a reverence attached to the sport of horse racing. This is why it is often referred to as the Sport of Kings. The people of Australia certainly view horse racing as a majestic event. Sadly, this attitude has been largely forgotten in America.
It soon became apparent that there would be a need for trustees to manage the race meets held at Flemington Racecourse. This led to the creation of the Victoria Racing Club, an organization that still oversees the racing at the venue to this very day.
Flemington Racecourse and the Victoria Racing Club
Every race track needs some type of management or oversight. There must be individuals who take charge and preserve the integrity of horse racing at the venue. In the case of Flemington Racecourse that body is collectively known as the Victoria Racing Club.
In the early days of Flemington’s operation there were two rival organizations who held separate meetings at Flemington. One was called the Victoria Turf Club and the other was called the Victoria Jockey Club. Before these clubs existed there were very loose arrangements to the race meetings that were held at Flemington. Owners would basically get together to decide when the races would be held. The need for a standardized form of racing meetings was addressed by the creation of the aforementioned clubs, but there was still an issue. Each club acted independently, and there was no real cooperation between the two.
The Victoria Racing Club as it is known today came into being when the two older clubs decided to join forces in hosting race meetings. The impact of this decision on the Flemington Racecourse was immediate. The racing improved, the facilities improved, and the racecourse began to be highly regarded in many parts of the world.
The Victoria Racing Club operated under the same standards from 1864 until 2001. It was solely responsible for organizing the race meetings at Melbourne Racecourse. Later, Racing Victoria Ltd. would become the corporate entity that organized racing at the track. Since 2006 the Victoria Racing Club has also been incorporated. It is now overseen by a Board of Directors.
There are now an amazing 23 race meetings each year that are held at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. No other track in the world can claim to maintain such a rigorous schedule of events. The highlight of each year at the track is the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Its signature event, the Melbourne Cup, has become one of the most prestigious and richest horse races in all of the world.
When Are Races Ran at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne?
Since it was first established there has been a tendency to host the major races at Flemington Racecourse in the autumn of each year. This is a beautiful time in Australia, and the weather is generally pleasant. The Melbourne Cup is just one of the big races that is ran in the autumn. It occurs each year in November.
The popularity of racing at Flemington grew to the point that it was necessary to also establish spring race meetings. These races have also become very popular. They have also served to make Flemington racecourse one of the few venues in the world that offers racing on an almost year-round basis.
You can play the races from Flemington Racecourse at your preferred online racebook throughout the entire year. For bettors in the US the only challenge is waking up in the wee hours to accommodate the time difference. EZ Horse Betting recommends that you give the races at Flemington a try. Every race is a turf event that will test the mettle of your handicapping skills.
What Makes Flemington Racecourse So Special?
The manner in which the track evokes memories of horse racing’s past and its lovely location are just two of the reasons Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne is special. It could almost be regarded as a sacred spot, a cathedral of sorts for horse racing. Those who attend the track in person are sure to never forget the experience. It could be said that Flemington honors the true elegance of thoroughbred horse racing.
Flemington must also be regarded as special because of its historical importance. Many of the greatest champions to ever emerge from Australia have competed at this legendary race track. It is host to what is arguably the biggest horse race in Australia, and the entire country takes a pause when the Melbourne Cup is contested.
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Related to Australian horse racing:
- 10 Amazing Facts About Australian Horse Racing
- The Australian Racing Board
- Flemington Racecourse In Melbourne, Australia
- Doomben Racecourse, Brisbane
- Eagle Farm Racecourse, Brisbane
- The Melbourne Cup – Australias’s Biggest Horse Race
- The Cox Plate Australian Horse Race
- Timeform Ratings & Australian Horse Racing
- The Golden Slipper Stakes Australian Horse Race
- Phar Lap – The Sad End Of Australia’s Greatest Race Horse
- Top 10 Legendary Australian Race Horses
- The Australian Racing Hall Of Fame
- The Best Way To Bet Horse Races From Australia
- Australian Racing Terms You Need To Know
- 5 Reasons To Bet Australian Horse Racing
- Top 10 Jockeys In Australian Horse Racing
- Picking Horse Race Winners In Australia
- The Melbourne Cup Racing Carnival