Menangle Park Paceway
The Menangle Park Racecourse was opened in 1914 and after the outbreak of World War I, it was requisitioned as an army camp used for the Australian Light Horse. The facility was returned to the owners for horse racing, until 18 November 1941, when the racecourse was again taken over by the military during World War II.
The racecourse was converted into a military camp, providing camping and training facilities for Royal Australian Air Force constructed an aerodrome at the site in 1942, which went through the middle of the racecourse, which was known as Menangle Aerodrome. The aerodrome was a satellite aerodrome for RAAF Station Schofields and the runway was 5,000 feet (1,500 m) long and 150 feet (46 m) wide. Seven splinterproof pens and five concealed hideouts were constructed at the aerodrome. The site was also used as an aircraft park for HMS Nabthorpe, a Royal Navy Mobile Operational Naval Air Base, based at Schofields.
Units based at Menangle Aerodrome
- No. 1 Squadron RAAF
- No. 15 Squadron RAAF
- No. 23 Squadron RAAF
- No. 83 Squadron RAAF
- No. 164 Radar Station RAAF
After the abandonment of Menangle aerodrome, the site was a location for scenes for the film Smithy based on the historic flight of Charles Kingsford Smith. The NSW Trotting Club acquired the site in 1952 and redeveloped the racecourse as a paceway, which officially opened on 26 September 1953.
The newly re-constructed Menangle Park Paceway (opened in 2008) is the fastest and largest harness racing circuit in Australia at 1400 metres, and is now the major harness racing venue in New South Wales, hosting major events such as the Miracle Mile. In 2011, the track saw the first sub 1:50 mile ever run in Australasia, with Smoken Up running 1:48.5 in the Len Smith Mile.
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Winner of the first race at the opening of the new Menangle in June 2008 / the Maelstrom NZ