The Australian Turf Club (ATC) owns and operates Thoroughbred Racing, events and hospitality venues across Sydney, Australia. The ATC came into being on 7 February 2011 when the Australian Jockey Club and the Sydney Turf Club merged. The ATC primarily operates out of their offices at Randwick Racecourse and employs approximately 220 full-time staff and over 2,000 casual staff across the five venues.
Australian Turf Club Wikipedia
The Australian Jockey Club (AJC) was founded in January 1842. It morphed from the former Australian Racing Committee set up in May 1840 to set the standards for racing in the colony. Races were held at the newly established Homebush Course which was headquarters of NSW racing until 1860. The AJC was considered the senior racing club in Australia and was responsible for founding the Australian Stud Book, which the combined club still oversees today. The club also, in conjunction with the Victoria Racing Club, formulated the Rules of Racing that are followed by all Australian race clubs.
The Sydney Turf Club (STC) was founded in 1943 and was the youngest of Australia's principal race clubs. It was formed following an Act passed by the New South Wales parliament called the Sydney Turf Club Act. The Act had taken 40 years to draft and gave the club the power to hold 62 race meetings a year at the tracks and empowered it to wind up other proprietary clubs that still existed in the Sydney area through a special Racing Compensation Fund.
Both the Australian Jockey Club and the Sydney Turf Club had co-existed as independent bodies since the early 1940s. However, the first push for a merger came at the start of the century, with STC chairman Graeme Pash opening up the possibility of a merger during his tenure. Mentioned briefly in jest by Sydney Morning Herald journalist Craig Young in 2003, the first real push for a merger came with the release of a report by Ernst and Young in June 2009 which recommended that a merger would save the New South Wales racing industry from collapse. The NSW Government pledged $174 million for Sydney racing if the merger went ahead, including a major revitalisation of Randwick racecourse. The move for a merger was controversial, with members of both clubs hesitant to lose their respective identities. While AJC members voted in favour of a merger, STC members voted against a merger. Nevertheless, the board of the STC decided to proceed with a merger. The Australian Jockey and Sydney Turf Clubs Merger Act 2010 merged the two clubs under the name of the Australian Turf Club.
Five venues are operated by the ATC:Royal Randwick Racecourse
Rosehill Gardens Racecourse
Canterbury Park Racecourse
Warwick Farm Racecourse
Rosehill Bowling Club
Golden Slipper Stakes
All Aged Stakes
Chipping Norton Stakes.
The AJC Easter Carnival is the 2nd major part of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival. Traditionally the carnival begins on Easter Saturday and contained up to four days of racing over a three-week period. In 2008 the carnival was delayed by four weeks due to the 2007 Australian equine influenza outbreak.