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Flemington Racecourse celebrates its 180th birthday

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) is proud to celebrate 180 years of racing at Flemington.

The first race ever run at Flemington occurred on 4 March 1840. It was a two-horse race won by a black colt called Conrad. This was part of a three-day autumn race meeting where the feature was the Town Plate.

First prize in the Town Plate was awarded based on the best of three heats during a single day, a far cry from the careful programming for target races at Flemington today.

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said this important milestone puts into perspective how historically significant Flemington Racecourse is.  “Flemington Racecourse is Australia’s oldest continuously operating racecourse and is nearly as old as the city of Melbourne itself, so it is very special to mark 180 unbroken years of racing,” Mrs Elliott said.

“Racing at Flemington has continued through World Wars, the Great Depression, droughts, fires, social change and rapid urbanization. This place has seen the physical evolution of our great city from its position on the banks of the Maribyrnong River. Think of all the champions of the Australian turf who have won here over the years including Archer, Carbine, Phar Lap, Tulloch, Makybe Diva, Black Caviar and Winx to name but a few.  That autumn 1840 race meeting was the first page in the extraordinary story of one of the world’s great racecourses, a place proudly included on Australia’s National Heritage Register and acknowledged as such world wide.”

To acknowledge the significant milestone the VRC will produce a commemorative race book on March Twilight Race Day, Wednesday 4 March and allow VRC members to reflect on their fondest memories of Flemington in the coming months via a special members activation on course.

For more information on March Twilight Race Day, please visit

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