Doomben: Racing to the Future – Horse Racing
The Brisbane Amateur Turf Club is one of the leading horse racing clubs in the southern hemisphere. It was created in 1923 on a swampy marsh, which had a creek running through, earning it the nickname, The Creek. In the early days its main attraction was the historic Albion Park horse racing course which is now a trotting venue. Since 1997, the Club has been known as the Brisbane Turf Club (BTC). Albion Park was originally established as a venue for horse racing in the mid 1880’s. The race track then measured only about three and a half furlongs. In the 1890s the circumference was increased to six furlongs. The ownership of this lovely horse racing track, Albion Park changed hands many times but eventually it was taken over in 1933 by the Brisbane Amateur Turf Club.
The Doomben Racecourse was born on the site of the defunct Doomben Park Recreation Grounds in 1933 and has attracted horse racing enthusiasts and amateur punters from all over. Its beautiful grounds and gardens and inherent natural beauty has earned Doomben Racecourse the name the Garden Racecourse. It has a turf track with a circumference of 1715 meters and a straight run of 350 meters. The horse racing is conducted clockwise and the turf track is banked at varying degrees around the course adding to its beauty and difficulty. Recently a state of the art drainage system was installed which has made horse racing on wet days possible. Plans have also been drawn to upgrade the stands and other areas to improve facilities for betting and viewing.
Doomben is situated 7 km from the Brisbane GPO and hosts an average of 46 race meetings, including 24 Saturdays, 2 Public Holidays and 20 midweek meetings. Doomben has always attracted the best of Australian racehorses, some of international acclaim. The Penetrometer has been used to assist Racecourse Managers and Stewards with track ratings. Modified from equipment used in the road building industry, where a device to measure the road profile, the horse racing officials use it to measure soil hardness and calculate the speed of the track.
Trackside venues for watching the races include Home Straight which is perfect for smaller groups. Located in front of the main grandstand, it captures the atmosphere and excitement of horse racing and offers easy access to bookies and totes. Another area is the Winning Post Courtyard from where you can watch the horses go down the straight, featuring some of the best views of the winners. Located at the winning post, adjacent to the winner’s enclosure, this paved area offers gourmet meals and barbeques as well.
The lush St Leger Lawn is ideal for a larger group and offers excellent cuisine options.
The Terraces is perfect for an intimate dining experience with friends and spectacular views of the tracks from its first floor, full length glass windows. The private boxes are the ultimate racing experience, high above the track. The air-conditioned boxes have tote facilities private bar area, cocktail tables and television monitors. The final choice is the beautiful Chief De Beers Room on the second floor of the public grandstand, overlooking the track and winning post.