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Fairview at St. Albans turns 40

There’s reason to celebrate ahead of racing at Fairview Racecourse on Friday afternoon with the Eastern Cape venue gearing up to recognise its 40th year of existence.

Although racing started via British garrisons in Port Elizabeth as far back as 1817 at a farm by the name of Cradock Place, official meetings at Fairview Estate through the newly established Port Elizabeth Turf Club were started in 1857 when there was little but a small town. The Fairview Estate was transferred in ownership in 1883 to the Turf Club, signed by Sir Hercules Robinson on behalf of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, thereby securing racing’s home for a further 120 years in the Eastern Cape before a new course was acquired, at St Albans in 1974. The Jockey Club of South Africa was also founded here in 1882 before moving to Johannesburg in 1904.

The old course at Fairview (situated where Greenacres Shopping Centre is today) was relinquished and a new course at St Albans was developed with state of the art facilities and amenities over a period of three years at a cost of just over R3-million at the time, under the guidance of then Chairman, Mr A. Moffett, and visionary, Mr Roumanoff, of the Greatermans Group. The new course at St Albans opened on 18th June 1977.

Known for the popular Algoa Cup run in October, Derby and Oaks in May of each year, Fairview Racecourse became part of Phumelela Gaming & Leisure in 1999, with later building additions of a new R20-million stabling complex with space for an additional 288 horses in 2008 as well as state of the art mechanical starting stalls imported from Australia in 2011. The Polytrack was added in 2013, allowing all weather racing.

The modern day Fairview is situated in Greenbushes and hosts racing twice a week on either a turf or all-weather Polytrack. 

To celebrate Friday’s milestone, a buffet lunch will be served in the HB Christian Room at R150 per person with a racecard and welcome wines included. Bookings can be made by calling 041 372 1859.

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