Susan McConnel – The Subscribers Plate
With few social activities available in Sydney, Governor Lachlan Macquarie began a new era in Australian popular culture when he approved the establishment of an annual racing carnival. In October 1810, Governor Macquarie inaugurated the first official race meeting at the new Sydney Racecourse. Macquarie saw the racecourse as a perfect neutral meeting place for colonists of all classes: military, convict, emancipist and immigrant. Funded by public subscription, in August 1810 soldiers of Macquarie’s 73rd Regiment cleared and levelled ground on the eastern edge of the town and marked out the course. The straight commenced at the turn from Park Street into Elizabeth Street, with the grandstand (erected in 1813) and the winning post at the junction of Market and Elizabeth Street, on the present day site of St James Railway Station.