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Heidelberg & Eltham Horse Racing Tracks

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This hand coloured photo-postcard (taken from the hill) is of the Heidelberg Cricket Ground (c.1900-10). It shows the racecourse described at the time as a “soup-plate”. The Heidelberg race club formed around the same time as the Eltham Racing Club (1855) and both held annual races. They both faded away around 1890.

The Heidelberg track was approximately 1/2 mile and Eltham was 3/4 in distance, consequently some races involved completing several laps. There was inevitably accidents causing serious injuries to both horses and riders and fatalities occurred at both Heidelberg and Eltham.

Eltham Racecourse, 1945 & 2020.

There was also races held at Ivanhoe, which were often referred to as “Heidelberg” but were completely different events. The Ivanhoe races were held on private property and were steeplechases.

There were many other local racecourses in the later half of the 19th century including Doncaster and Diamond Creek.

If you would like to read more, I will be updating an article I started back in 2015, titled Eltham Horse Races, which is a list of horse races held at Eltham. I will also try and start a post re: Heidelberg & other races.


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