Nuwara Eliya Racecourse


Nuwara Eliya Racecourse

The one and only race course remaining in Sri Lanka is 1868 metres (6129 ft.) above the sea level, which is also one of the highest of the world. And the race track is 1800 metres circumference with around 300 metres of straight distance. The Governor Samuel Baker’s brother John Baker is known for introducing horse racing to Nuwara Eliya and it all began with him creating a training course on the hill for his English thoroughbreds.

If you are interested to know when the first race meeting was held at Nuwara Eliya, it runs back to 1875 with the organization of the Nuwara Eliya Gymkhana Club. And these meetings were held continuously until the 1900s and the current race course was laid in path. The racecourse and its buildings were offered to be managed by the Colombo-based Ceylon Turf Club and horse racing peaked in the 190s in the country. With the ban horse racing experienced the Colombo Race course was turned to a Rugby ground and when the horse racing ban was removed in 1981 Nuwara Eliya Race Course was the only one remaining.

You can witness 5 major Horse Racing meets during the April Season, especially the Governor’s Cup – 9 furlong race for Class I thoroughbreds which is held generally on the 14th April 1833. And some meets are also held in August and December.

  • February – Independence Cup – 1800m (9 furlongs) – Class I thoroughbreds
  • April – Governor’s Cup – 1800m (9 furlongs) – Class I thoroughbreds
  • April – Queen’s Cup – 2000m (10 furlongs) – Class II thoroughbreds
  • April – Sunquick Cup – 1400m (7 furlongs) – Class I thoroughbreds
  • August – Brown’s Cup – 1400m (7 furlongs) – Class I thoroughbreds
  • December– Prime Cup – 1400m (7 furlongs) – Class I thoroughbreds (handicap)

As April is considered the season for Nuwara Eliya the Race course would not keep you awaiting with all the special packages and accommodation availabilities with early bookings.