The Horse’s Mouth


Oz Sports History



Mentone was a proprietary course established in 1888 and situated on 156 acres of land to the south-west of today's Moorabbin Airport.  The course was designed by the surveyor John Langtree Reilly and initially operated by the Mentone Racing Company Limited established a nominated capital of £50,000.
The first meeting was held on Saturday, 8 September and featured the Mentone Cup over ten furlongs.
A decision by the V.R.C in 1905 to reduce the number of Victorian race meetings from 102 to 79 per year had a dramatic effect on the closely-grouped Mentone, Epsom at Mordialloc and Aspendale racecourses where race meetings were cut to five a year. As a minor recompense, an additional training track was added to the course in 1911 because of the number of horses trained in the area with in the general district and the V.R.C providing £1000 towards the cost.
The early course featured an extensive wooden grandstand which was destroyed by fire in September, 1925. Large parts of the course were remodelled in 1936 with new fencing, landscaping and a car park, the latter essential as Mentone always suffered from convenient public transport with Mentone Station some kilometre and a half from the track.
During the Second World War, major tracks at Caulfield and Williamstown were taken over by the Defence Department, as were smaller venues at Epsom and Ascot, but Mentone continued to operate, although meetings were cut to seven per year in line with the general tightening of racing.
The course however did not survive severe cutbacks as part of the rationalisation of the racing industry following the War and the final meeting was held at Mentone on 24 July 1948.  
Mentone was always regarded as a great wet weather track because of its sandy loam base which was easy on the legs of horses and it remained a popular training track from 1948 until 1972 when much of the land was sold for housing.
The site is readily identifiable in today's directories by the Mentone Racecourse Reserve in Glenelg Road.
The main entrance is believed to have been opposite the intersection of Avenza Street and Glenelg Road.
Courses For Horses - Mentone
Updated 13 July, 2013