Known to many racegoers as the ‘headquarters’ of NSW racing, Royal Randwick Racecourse is located in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, 5km from the CBD.
In 2012, Randwick underwent a $168 million upgrade to its facilities, ensuring the on-track hospitality is equal to the world-class racing seen over The Championships in Autumn and feature rave The Everest in the Spring.
One of the newest additions to the track is the ‘theatre of the horse’, which presents a unique experience for both ATC members and the general public to view the stars of the show, in a fabulous amphitheatre setting.
The Randwick Rise
The Randwick track poses as a tough test of stamina for thoroughbreds. The home turn is tight enough to ensure both horse and jockey are working as the pressure is being poured on. As they corner, runners meet the famous ‘Randwick Rise’, a short but testing hill that can put even the strongest horse off-balance.
Under certain conditions, there can be a strong bias that can favour either leaders or backmarkers. The rail position plays a significant role in track bias along with the varying weather conditions of Sydney.
On a Good surface, the Randwick track generally affords all runners an equal chance.
With the rail in the true position backmarkers can make up ground, however the further the rail moves out, the harder that task can become.
The fairest racing surface tends to be when the rail is out 3-4m, with runners afforded the opportunity to win from anywhere.
A rain-affected Randwick track can suit off-pace runners and those runners drawn middle to wide barriers. This trend is more noticeable with the rail in the true position.
Similarly to a Good surface, the further the rail is out, the less backmarker bias comes into play.
With the rail in the true position, you’d expect the fence to play off on a Heavy surface with the best going often found 7-8 metres off the rail.
If the rail is out beyond the 12m mark, most jockeys will scout wide to find the best going, which is usually hard against the outside rail.
Backmarkers with wide draws tend to be favoured on the Heavy Randwick track.
Starting Points and Distances
1000m – Starting in a narrow chute, there is a 550m run before the final turn.
1200m – Jumping from a chute almost parallel to the 1000m start. With a 250m straight run to reach the course proper, with a slight angle change before turning for home.
1400m – Jumping from a chute beyond the 1000m and 1200m starts. A long run of 450m gives runners a chance to find their position, before a 45-degree right-turn that leads to the final turn.
1600m – Jumping from a short chute, with a massive 650m run before runners arrive at the first of two obtuse turns before hitting the home straight.
1800m – Starting from the course proper, runners land into the first of three turns.
2000m – Jumping from a chute, runners cover 400m on a curve until the first turn of three turns.
2400m – Starting 200m before the finish line, runners will race over the entire circumference of the course proper.
2600m – Starting 400m before the finish line, runners have ample time to find their position in the run.
3200m – Jumping from the 1000m race start, there is a 550m run before the final turn.
Recent Randwick Racecourse Renovations
In late 2016, the entire course proper surface underwent a six-week refurbishment. The renovations resulted in a deep and lush cover of grass across the entire track.
The improved racing surface has been rated highly by some of Sydney’s leading jockeys.
Recent Randwick track performance for Group One racing
April 2nd – Group 1’s: Doncaster Mile, TJ Smith Stakes, Sires Produce, Australian Derby.
Racing was on a Soft 6 surface, with the rail in the true position. Jockeys scouted wide for the better ground from race one. The best surface in the straight was 8m from the running rail and beyond, with nine of ten winners coming down that section.
April 9th – Group 1’s: Sydney Cup, Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Coolmore Legacy Stakes, Australian Oaks.
Racing was on a Soft 6 surface, with the rail out 6m from the 1600m to the winning post and 3m the remainder. The best ground early in the meeting was on the inside two to four metres from the 6m rail. As the meeting went on and the surface dried out, there was no bias evident, with winners coming along the rails and out wide.
April 16th – Group 1’s: Champagne Stakes, All Aged Stakes.
Racing was on a Soft 5 surface with the rail out 9m from the 1600m to the winning post and 6m the remainder. The track played fair for the last day of the carnival, with no bias evident.
September 17th – Group 1’s: George Main Stakes.
Racing was on a Soft 5 surface, with the rail in the true position. Runners who raced off-pace were afforded favours. The majority of winners found the lane 4-6m off the fence in the homes straight.
October 1st – Group 1’s: The Epsom, The Metropolitan, Flight Stakes.
Racing was on a Good 4 surface, with the rail out 3m the entire circuit. The track played fair with winners coming from on and off the pace and across the straight throughout the day. There was no visible track bias.
October 8th – Group 1’s: Spring Champion Stakes.
Racing was on a Good 3 surface, with the rail out 6m the entire circuit. The track played fair with runners coming along the rails and down the middle of the track. There was no visible track bias.
April 1st – Group 1’s: Doncaster Mile, TJ Smith Stakes, Sires Produce, Australian Derby.
Racing was on a Heavy 8 surface, with the rail in the true position. Off the back of track renovation in late 2016 many punters were weary as to how the track would play on a heavy surface. Fortunately for all stakeholders, the track played well with no track bias evident.
April 8th - Group 1’s: Sydney Cup, Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Coolmore Legacy Stakes, Australian Oaks.
Racing was on a Heavy 8 surface with the rail out 4m from the 1600m to the winning post and 3m the remainder. Runners ran home strongly along the fence early in the card. However, the track deteriorated badly which saw runners head wide at the home turn and winners late in the day come from the extreme outside.
April 15th - Group 1’s: Champagne Stakes, All Aged Stakes.
Racing was on a Heavy 8 surface with the rail out 7m from the 1600m to the winning post and 5m the remainder. Winners came from all parts, those that could get across to the outside rail had success later in the day. However, it was no easy feat getting there. All in all, the track offered all runners even opportunity with the best rides winning most races.
September 16th – Group 1’s, George Main Stakes.
Racing was on a Good 3 surface with the rail out 9m from the 1600m to the winning post and 7m the remainder. The best going was along the fence, with a notable bias to on-pace runners.
September 30th - Group 1’s, The Epsom, The Metropolitan, Flight Stakes.
Racing was on a Good 3 surface, with the rail in the true position. The track provided back-markers opportunity to make up ground as it usually does with the rail in the true position. The best going appeared to be 4-6 metres off the rail in the straight.
October 7th - Group 1’s, Spring Champion Stakes.
Racing was on a Good 3 surface, with the rail out 3m the entire circuit. Runners who sat on or close to the speed were advantaged, as the best ground appeared to be along or close to the fence going in the straight.
October 14th – Group 1’s, The Everest.
Racing was on a Good 3 surface, with the rail out 6m the entire circuit. The track suited on-pace runners and those who were close to the fence in the run.
Group 1 Races at Royal Randwick
- TJ Smith Stakes
- The Everest
- Sires Produce Stakes
- All Aged Stakes
- Doncaster Mile
- Epsom Handicap
- Randwick Guineas
- George Main Stakes
- Champagne Stakes
- Flight Stakes
- Queen Elizabeth Stakes
- Spring Champion Stakes
- Australian Derby
- Australian Oaks
- The Metropolitan