Callaghan Park is the only racetrack in Rockhampton, and it is one of the most used courses in Central and North Queensland. While there are no Group or Listed races at Callaghan Park, the Rockhampton Jockey Club hosts the Rockhampton Cup and Rockhampton Newmarket each July, which attracts plenty of attention from south-east trainers, while the Rocky Amateurs introduced the $440,000 The Archer in 2022, which will be run in May of each year.
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Callaghan Park location
Callaghan Park is located on the northside of Rockhampton on Reaney Street. The course is approximately a 2.5km walk from the Rockhampton CBD, or a 3.2km journey should you wish to drive.
How to get to Callaghan Park
Access to Callaghan Park is quite easy, as there is a large amount of open space for free parking, while taxis, Uber and recently e-scooters frequent the area. Given the track’s location is just across the Fitzroy River from the town centre, it is also an easy walk from the southside, but we recommend driving – whether that be in a rideshare car or in a private vehicle.
Callaghan Park history
The Rockhampton Jockey Club (RJC) was formed in 1868, but it was not until 30 years later (1898) that the first meeting at the current course was run. Callaghan Park was the name given to Rockhampton’s racetrack after their second President and oldest member, Dr William Callaghan, who passed away in 1912, just one month after the RJC named the track Callaghan Park.
In the year 1918, the first Rockhampton Cup and Rockhampton Newmaket was run, with prizemoney of 500 pounds and 300 pounds respectively. Up until December 1922, hurdle races were conducted at Callaghan Park.
Over its 124 year history, the track at Rockhampton has been subjected to flooding given its proximity to the Fitzroy River, but in 2010, a $6 million redevelopment was completed in a bid to help the track drain better, and also raise it higher above ground. One year later, the horse racing track went underwater again, but only for three months this time.
Rockhampton racecourse details
Callaghan Park plays host to one of the longest home straights in the southern hemisphere, with a 600m run up to the winning post. The track has a 2200m circumference and it is 25m wide. Inside the course proper, there is a sand training track, as well as the Rockhampton Greyhound Track.
Major races held at Rockhampton race track
Traditionally, the Rockhampton Cup (1600m) and Rockhampton Newmarket (1300m) have been the Holy Grail of thoroughbred racing in Central Queensland. Both races are run over the same weekend in July, with most local trainers targeting their horses for the respective races, while a number of southern metropolitan trainers have a great respect for the two races as well.
In 2022, the inaugural running of The Archer will be contested at Callaghan Park over 1300m, which will be worth more than $400,000, becoming Rockhampton’s richest race and the richest provincial race in Queensland racing. The Archer has a slot-holder theme, just like The Everest, with 12 businessmen and businesswomen from across the country involved in the rich race.
In April, the Capricornia Yearling Sales Classic races are held, with a rich race for 2YO sales graduates and a 3&4YO Classic race run on the same day. The Capricornia Yearling Sale Classic 2YO Plate is worth $125,000 and the 3&4YO Handicap is worth $75,000, offering great incentive for local buyers who purchase yearlings at the Capricornia Yearling Sales.
When is racing held at Callaghan Park?
Racing is held approximately 45 times per year, with most meetings usually held on a Thursday. The RJC hosts their feature meetings on Fridays and Saturdays, while big race days like Caulfield Cup Day and St Patrick’s Day often attract big crowds to the track.
Best Rockhampton racing bookmakers
Most of the 45 meetings at Callaghan Park are TAB meetings, which means that if you are not on course, you will be able to bet on the Rockhampton races at any Pub-TAB across Australia, on an electronic device like a laptop or mobile phone via online betting sites or at other racetracks.
If you are heading to Callaghan Park, you can bet with a local bookmaker or you can place your bet on the totalisator, which is run by TAB.