|Scottsville Racecourse is located in
the historic town of Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal and has its own
extensive and time-honored history of racing distinction extending over
Even though earlier racing days are poorly documented, it is recorded
that the track was maintained in the antiquated method of being plowed
by oxen, and, in an effort to disperse divots, men that owned old
belt-propelled motorbikes were urged to ride on the track. However, it
is known that the initial race met on Michaelmas Day, 29 September.
South African racing history was made in 1962, when the Pietermaritzburg
Turf Club hosted the Gilbey's Stakes. This was the first sponsored race
in South Africa, but was quickly followed the following year with the
Smirnoff Plate. Both races come to an end in 1996, but were swiftly
scooped up by the Golden Horse Casino, and are now known as the Golden
In 1968, eager to stay ahead of the pack, the club once again pioneered,
and introduced the inaugural International Jockeys Invitation Stakes. It
was the first international jockeys' race in South Africa and was
formerly sponsored by Bull Brand. The meet was remarkably popular, and
is still referred to as the Bull Brand ? in spite of the conclusion of
the sponsorship deal.
Forging ahead, in 1969, Scottsville established mid-week racing. Not
content with leading the way with innovative races, the Pietermaritzburg
Turf Club was one of the main players with regards to the introduction
and development of fillies' races. They launched the South African
Fillies Guineas, The Oaks and South African Fillies Sprint. The Guineas
and the Oaks have subsequently moved to Greyville and Clairwood
Racecourse's respectively, but the meets continue to represent the
fairer sex in three of the country's most esteemed races.
In 1988 on Smirnoff Plate day, Scottsville was once again the first to
line up three grade 1 events on the same day, and then in 1999,
following their trends in inaugural feats, they become the first to hold
four grade 1 sprint races on one afternoon.