Ellerslie Racecourse

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The main stand at Ellerslie Racecourse.

Ellerslie Racecourse is the main racecourse in Ellerslie, Auckland, New Zealand for thoroughbred racehorses. It is an undulating, grass circuit of approximately 1,900 m.


The first race meeting was held at Ellerslie on 25 May 1874.[citation needed] At this time the racecourse was a considerable distance outside the city and it took Aucklanders up to several hours to get to the course by carriage. Many took the trains, though with the demand created by the event, as late as in 1910 they often had to travel in open cattle trucks because there were not enough normal coaches available for the demand of the extra services.[1]

Ellerslie Racecourse was the location of the first automatic totalisator, designed by George Julius and installed in 1913.[citation needed]

During the 20th century, Ellerslie Racecourse provided plants for Kingseat Hospital.[2]

Champion racehorses to have raced at Ellerslie include Kindergarten, Balmerino, Bonecrusher, Uncle Remus, Japan Cup winner Horlicks, Il Tempo, Mr Tiz, Sunline (who was buried at the racecourse in 2009) and Jimmy Choux.

Ellerslie is home to two of New Zealand's major racing carnivals - the Summer Carnival and Auckland Cup Week. The Summer Carnival is run in the Christmas-New Year period with Boxing Day and New Year's Day formerly being home to the New Zealand Derby and Auckland Cup respectively, but these were moved to the new Auckland Cup Week in March 2006.


Stteplechasing at Ellerslie features the well-known "hill", a part of the course not used for flat racing. The major steeplechase at Ellerslie, the Great Northern Steeplechase, requires the horses to climb this hill 3 times in the 6400m event.


The following is a list of Group races which are run at Ellerslie Racecourse.

Grp Race Name Age Sex Weight Distance Date
1 Zabeel Classic Open Open wfa 2000 December
1 Railway Stakes Open Open wfa 1200 January
R Karaka Million Restricted 2yo Open sw 1200 January
1 New Zealand Derby 3YO Open sw 2400 March
1 Auckland Cup Open Open hcp 3200 March
1 Diamond Stakes 2YO Open sw 1200 March
1 New Zealand Stakes Open Open wfa 2000 March
1 Easter Handicap Open Open hcp 1600 April
2 Eight Carat Classic 3YO Fillies sw 1600 December
2 Great Northern Guineas 3YO Open sw 1600 January
2 Royal Stakes 3YO Fillies sw 2000 January
2 City of Auckland Cup Open Open hcp 2400 January
2 Rich Hill Mile Open Open hcp 1600 January
2 Championship Stakes 3YO Open sw 2100 April
2 Darley Plate Open Open wfa 1200 March
3 Lindauer Stakes Open Open wfa 2000 November
3 Great Northern Challenge Stakes Open Open wfa 1600 November
3 Eclipse Stakes 2YO Open sw 1200 January


  1. ^ "Auckland Affairs - Race Train Ructions". NZ Truth. 8 January 1910. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Papakura, N.Z : Kingseat Jubilee Editorial Committee (1981). Kingseat Hospital, 50 years, 1932-1982. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 

Coordinates: 36°53′21.45″S 174°48′20.77″E / 36.8892917°S 174.8057694°E / -36.8892917; 174.8057694