Home News atmosphere food and thrills at canterbury friday night races

Atmosphere, food and thrills at Canterbury Friday Night Races



We sometimes use affiliate links in our content, when clicking on those we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you. By using this website you agree to our terms and conditions and privacy policy.

Take advantage of the warmer Australian nights at this time of year by visiting the Friday night races in Canterbury, New South Wales. As the southern hemisphere leads into the summer season, it gives visitors and residents the opportunity to celebrate the warmer nights and longer evenings at one of Australia’s most well-known racetracks. Located a twenty-minute drive from the centre of Sydney, a visit to the floodlit Canterbury Park racecourse is a convenient and pleasant way to spend your summer evenings.

Relax and eat with friends and family

Picture sitting on verdant grass beside the tracks and feeling the rush as the horses speed by, while the sun sets orange on the horizon. This year has seen The Foodies and Farmers Market and The Australian Turf Club combine to create the Foodies Night Market. The food market offers over 30 stalls from which you can choose your favourite cuisine and find a spot to chill with your friends and family while you watch the horses gallop by. Take your pick from wood-fired pizza, seafood paella, hot dogs or even Asian-style dumplings and tea. There’ll be something for everyone here, including the habitual BBQ of course.

Mingle with your horse racing hero

Each Friday night, there’ll be a famous Sydney jockey ready for photo ops with his/her fans. Followers will be able to get a pic with their favourite jockey or get an autograph to show off in their homes.

Meet with TV characters 

Meeting jockeys isn’t the only option here. Well-known TV characters will be around the races to entertain fans. Top TV celebs like Dora the Explorer (29th Nov), Santa Claus (of course not only from TV) (13th Dec), and the Minions (17th Jan) will be doing the rounds each week.

As well as getting selfies with TV icons, there’s a host of other activities, such as riding ponies, bouncy castles, face painting, and even a games zone.

Enjoy the sweet sounds of music into the night

There will also be live music by a selection of bands playing during the evening, so there’s no excuse for not having a jolly good knees-up. As well as adult fun, the Australian Turf Club also says there will be entertainment for all ages in a safe and fun environment.

Get up close and personal with the stars of the show

Friday night racing gives you the opportunity to get up really close to the horses as they bound around the course. There are many options to see the races, whether it be from the mounting yard, grandstand seating or beside the track, there’s an option to suit anyone’s needs. With this and the special atmosphere created as the sun goes down, it certainly will be an evening to remember at Sydney’s only floodlit racecourse.

What happened on this year’s first Friday Night Race? 

On Friday November 15th, among the activities mentioned above, visitors were given the chance to meet with successful jockey Tommy Berry and members of the New South Wales police force. The first race of the Friday Night Races season saw an exhilarating competition where BigBoyRoy, ridden by James McDonald took the first spot.

What to expect in the weeks to come

As well as the general balmy night atmosphere, with music, food and horse racing celebs, in December you can expect to meet Santa in all his redness, Rudolph again with his red nose, Frosty the Snowman, and even Santa’s Elfish helpers. Again there will be a champion jockey to meet (yet to be announced) and the generally great atmosphere that comes with an exciting event with companions.

You have an excuse to look the part

The Australian turf Club makes it obligatory to look smart for its events. As such, ladies have an excuse to get kitted out in neat and tidy pants, chinos or slacks. You’ll need to leave your windbreakers and anoraks at home. Meanwhile, men in addition need to wear a shirt with a collar, with the option of wearing a jacket or tie if they so choose.