The main racecourse in Auckland, New Zealand, for thoroughbred racehorses, located at 80 Ascot Ave Remuera Auckland 1050 NZ, about a 10-minute drive from the CBD and about 20-minute drive from Auckland Airport. Horse racing at Ellerslie began in 1857 when Robert Graham hosted a race meeting on his property on the now Ellerslie Racecourse site. Then the Auckland Racing club purchased thirty-six hectares of land from Graham in 1872, on which the course is located. On January 1874, a “platform” station, Ellerslie Racecourse Platform, was opened. Then the first race meeting happened on May 25, 1874.
It is the first track with the first automatic totalisator, designed by George Julius and installed in 1913. Then Queen Elizabeth II also visited the racecourse during the royal visit to New Zealand in 1953/54.
During World War Two, the Stands were utilized as Hospital Wards for the American Forces serving in the Pacific. The head doctor was Dr. McGregor-Grant, who the steeplechase is named after. Then in the 20th century, Ellerslie Racecourse provided plants for Kingseat Hospital. It is also home to New Zealand’s major racing carnivals, the Summer Carnival and Auckland Cup Week.
Steeplechasing at Ellerslie utilizes the well-known “hill.” The jumping track leaves the course proper before the 1000 meter mark at the end of the back straight and rises approximately 16 meters to the top of the hill, where two steeplechase fences are 100 meters apart. Another at the foot of the hill where the steeplechase track rejoins the course proper after the 600-meter mark, measuring approximately 750 meters. It is not used for flat racing. The major steeplechase at Ellerslie, the Great Northern Steeplechase, requires the horses to climb this hill three times in the 6400m event.
The Ellerslie Event Centre is available for hire all year round on non-race days, with 26 different rooms and full catering, service, and AV requirements. It also has a Newmarket Room (Ground Floor) and Pakuranga Hunt Lounge (2nd Floor), offering café style dining options and easy access to the main public seating and lawn areas. The Chairman’s Club (2nd Floor) provides a restaurant atmosphere with buffet-style dining and spectacular track views. The Chairman’s Club is available on all Premier Racedays and selected non-feature race days by pre-booking only.