Tabcorp Park, Menangle

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Aerial view of the current track facilities

Tabcorp Park, Menangle, is a harness racing track operating in Menangle Park, New South Wales, Australia. The New South Wales Harness Racing Club conducts meetings at the Paceway.[1] The New South Wales Harness Racing Club trading as Club Menangle Trackside is located within the Paceway grounds.[2] Major extensions to the club at the licensed historic premises previously known as the Horse and Jockey Inn just outside the paceway grounds, opened in September 2019.[3][4]

History[edit]

The Menangle Park Paceway was opened in 1914 and after the outbreak of World War I, it was requisitioned as an army camp used for the Australian Light Horse. The facility was returned to the owners for horse racing, until 18 November 1941, when the racecourse was again taken over by the military during World War II.[5]

The racecourse was converted into a military camp, providing camping and training facilities for Royal Australian Air Force constructed an aerodrome at the site in 1942, which went through the middle of the racecourse, which was known as Menangle Aerodrome. The aerodrome was a satellite aerodrome for RAAF Station Schofields and the runway was 5,000 feet (1,500 m) long and 150 feet (46 m) wide. Seven splinterproof pens and five concealed hideouts were constructed at the aerodrome. The site was also used as an aircraft park for HMS Nabthorpe, a Royal Navy Mobile Operational Naval Air Base, based at Schofields.

Units based at Menangle Aerodrome[edit]

After the abandonment of Menangle aerodrome, the site was a location for scenes for the film Smithy based on the historic flight of Charles Kingsford Smith.

Return to trotting[edit]

New South Wales Harness Racing Club acquired the site in 1952 and redeveloped the racecourse as a paceway, which officially opened on 26 September 1953.

The newly reconstructed paceway reopened in 2008 as Tabcorp Park, Menangle, and is the fastest and largest harness racing circuit in Australia at 1400 metres, and is now the major harness racing venue in New South Wales. In 2011, the track saw the first sub 1:50 mile ever run in Australasia, with Smoken Up running 1:48.5 in the Len Smith Mile.

Their main races are the Miracle Mile, the NSW Derby, the NSW Oaks, the Len Smith Mile and the qualifiers for the Miracle Mile, the Allied Express Sprint and the Canadian Club Sprint. It replaced Harold Park as Sydney's premier harness track in 2010. Fred Hastings and Anthony Manton are two previous track callers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tabcorp Park Menangle Harness Racing New South Wales
  2. ^ Club Menangle Club Menangle
  3. ^ 7 Day a Week Club is Coming Club Menangle
  4. ^ Multi-million dollar makeover starts at Menangle's Horse and Jockey Inn Campbelltown Macquarie Advertiser 31 March 2019
  5. ^ Menangle RAAF Squadrons during the Second World War Camden History Notes

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°6′10.51″S 150°44′32.50″E / 34.1029194°S 150.7423611°E / -34.1029194; 150.7423611