Darwin Racecourse, also known as Fannie Bay Racecourse, is located approximately seven minutes from the Darwin CBD and just ten minutes away from Darwin Airport. The racecourse is under the operation of the Darwin Turf Club, which was formed in 1955.
Darwin Racecourse has a total circumference of 1,780 metres and a home straight length of 340 metres. The track is unique to others in Australia as it is made from oil mixed with sand, as opposed to the traditional turf overlay.
Fannie Bay Racecourse is famous for the running of the annual Darwin Cup, which is held at the track on the first Monday in August. The first Darwin Cup was run in 1956 when the club was allocated record post-war prize money of $470 for their six feature races. Just four horses ran in the inaugural Darwin Cup. The winner, Satan’s Son, took home a share in the $260 race prize money, as well as a trophy worth $42.
Satan’s Son still remains the only non-thoroughbred to have ever won the Darwin Cup. Since its humble beginnings the Darwin Cup has become one of the biggest sporting events in the Northern Territory, with approximately 20,000 people attending the race each year. The Cartlon Mid Darwin Cup is now the feature event of Darwin’s Racing Carnival, with the race being worth over $175,000 in prize money and run over a distance of 2,000 metres.
Darwin Racecourse offers a lot more than the average provincial dirt track, with lush tropical gardens, air conditioned pavilions, a premier grandstand and a variety of function rooms available.