The Kenilworth Racecourse is South Africa’s oldest racecourse. This venue holds a special place in the horseracing history in the country and can be found in the centre of a suburb bearing the same name.
Kenilworth Racetrack is a left-handed track, meaning that it runs anti-clockwise, and the rails will be on the jockey’s left-hand side. A unique feature of this racecourse is that it is made up of three separate racing tracks. There is a newer track with a circumference of 2800m and an older track with a circumference of 2700m. The 2800m track is mainly used in summer and the 2700m one in winter. The third course, a 1200m straight course, is the toughest one in South Africa.
A climb for the first 200m and another rise over the final 200m make this a real test of ability to stay. Horses who go fast early on in a race almost invariably get caught lacking stamina at the finish.
The Kenilworth Racecourse is also known for other factors, not least of all its being an important conservation area. Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area (KRCA) is 52 hectares of protected land in the centre of Kenilworth Racecourse. This seasonal wetland is one of the largest stretches of natural vegetation in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs and is the best example of Sand Fynbos on the Cape Peninsula.
Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area is home to 310 species of plant, of which 34 are threatened and 1 is endemic. The area supports a healthy reptile, bird, and small mammal population as well as 11 types of amphibians, including the critically endangered Micro Frog and Cape Platanna. The land provides a safe place for kids, schools, and families to enjoy environmental education programmes.
The Cape Winelands are all around and can take between 10 and 45 minutes to access from Kenilworth, depending on their exact location. The racecourse is only a 20-minute drive from the City Bowl with its many popular attractions. These include the Company Gardens, V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain and the ferries to Robben Island.
Address: 105 Rosmead Ave, Kenilworth, Cape Town, 7700
Tel. (021) 762-7777 Fax. (021) 762-1919
Because of its prime positioning, the Kenilworth Racecourse also has major cultural significance, and is an integral part of the Western Cape heritage. The many visitors that descend on South Africa from all corners of the globe every year are invited to participate in some of the educational programmes of the Kenilworth Racecourse, or simply to visit it and be a part of its natural beauty.