Colonel O'Connell, in charge of the 73rd Regiment of troops, decided that a way of entertaining his men was to organise a race meeting. The very first organised meeting was scheduled for Monday 15th October 1810, with follow-up meetings on the Wednesday and Friday. The days in between were used to hold balls. The venue for the meeting was Hyde Park, better known in those days as 'The Common'. The card itself consisted of 3 plates each worth 50 guineas and the very first winner was the 6 year old Chase owned by Captain Richie.
  At the inaugural meeting that main race was over 2 miles and consisted of 3 heats. There were 7 runners whi lined up for the race and The Chase, winner of the race, also went on to triumph in the Ladies Plate on the Wednesday.  
In 1814 the 73rd Regiment left Australia for Ceylon and this ended racing at Hyde Park. By 1819 locals began yearning for racing once more and a committee was formed to administer racing at Hyde Park once more. The main race at the meeting was won by Rob Roy who enjoyed success over his main rival Mulberry.
  This period of Hyde Parks history lasted for 3 years when in 1821 the Governor did an 'about turn' and decided that racing was an unsavoury sport.  
If you have badges, racecards, pictures of the racecourse or further details about the course, including your memories, then email johnslusar@fsmail.net