Moorefield Racecourse Kogarah – 1888 to 1951

My Moorefield Racecourse Journey Almost One Year On 

The beginning of last year was very busy as I moved towards finishing my long awaited history of Moorefield Racecourse.

My e-book was launched on July 14, 2016, 65 years to the date of the last Moorefield race meeting. This function was held at James Cook Boys Technology High School, which is on the site of Moorefield Racecourse. Guest speakers were Ray Selkrig, champion jockey, Rick Buckland, grandson of Clarence The Clocker and John Dwyer from Kogarah Golf Club.

My hard copy was launched on October 13, 2016 at Moorefield Bowling Club. Mark Hanna, grandson of Moorefield trainer George Hanna was the guest speaker.

Rockdale Library hosted another launch on October 20, 2016. Dr Wayne. Peake, a university lecturer and racing historian, was the guest speaker on this occasion.

Editing, a very stressful task, was capably done by Jenny during August and September. Issues in relation to publishing had already surfaced. Fortunately, Katya had set up her own publishing company in Leichhardt and was able to print my book. The layout and presentation have been commented on in a most favourable light.

Sadly, former Moorefield jockey, Edgar Britt passed away on January 28, 2017. Jack Purtell, who featured on my Moorefield book cover, also passed away on March 8, 2017. Jack rode Hiraji, a Moorefield trained horse, to victory in the 1947 Melbourne Cup.

Our Moorefield links are sadly disappearing.

I was informed, in late April 2017, that the St Leger Grandstand from Moorefield Racecourse, which has been at Fairfield Harness Club since the mid 1950’s, has been condemned. The Club will hold their last trotting meeting on June 11, 2017.

My websites, and, continue to have wide reads of my Moorefield material across Australia. The material has also been read in the following overseas countries which include New Zealand, United Kingdom, USA, Hong Kong, Canada, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, India, Lithuania, Dubai, Japan, Russia, Sri Lanka and France. I am honoured and delighted that my research is being enjoyed by so many people.

I have had the opportunity, during late 2016 and in 2017, to speak at Kogarah Historical Society, St George Historical Society, Botany Historic Trust, Rockdale City Council Library, Kogarah Library and the Rotary Club of Hurstville. I presented a book to James Cook Boys Technology High School, and to Moorefield Girls High School. Both schools are located on the former racecourse.

Various publications have featured references to my book. These include Winning Post, The Sportsman, Racing NSW, St George Leader, St George Historical Society Bulletin, Kogarah Historical Society Bulletin, National Trust electronic newsletter, Australian Turf Club electronic newsletter, Heritage at the Australian Turf Club, and Australian Thoroughbred. In the Autumn/Winter 2017 edition of Ladies in Racing, my book featured in the Book Review column.

The book was deposited in early 2017, into the collections in the National Library, Canberra as well as the State Library, Sydney. The Local Studies Library in Rockdale Library (Bayside Council), as well as Kogarah Library (Georges River Council) also have a copy.

My Moorefield Racecourse Facebook site has a diversity of Moorefield material on it. It is updated with items of interest.

The History of Moorefield Racecourse (1888-1951) was entered into the National Trust Heritage Awards in the publications category. The Awards were announced at a luncheon in Sydney on April 28, 2017. In 2018, my book will be entered for the Bill Whittaker Award for newly published horse racing histories.

I will be entering the many pages of Moorefield Racecourse Council and Committee Minutes into the Ron Rathbone Local History Award in August 2017. I decided not to include this material into my book, choosing instead to enter into this Local History Award, so that there is a historical record. These Minutes provide a detailed record of Council matters, which relate to Moorefield Racecourse.

My research has for me been both a long journey and a challenging one, which has had many twists and turns since I started work in 1993. I acknowledge the role that the Local Studies Librarians from Rockdale and Kogarah Libraries have played in this journey. In addition, I acknowledge a racing historian, Graham Caves from Heritage at the Australian Turf Club for his invaluable knowledge and assistance.

I am delighted that Moorefield Racecourse is now finally committed to both our racing and local history.

Anne Field


May 22 2017


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