Sandown Park

Sandown Park is a residential locality in Springvale, 24 km south-east of Melbourne. It adjoins the Sandown racecourse and motor raceway which is between the railway line and Princes Highway. On the other (northern) side of the highway there is Sandown Village, another residential locality, with a small shopping centre and the Sandown post office in Police Road.

In 1877 the railway line (Oakleigh to Gippsland) was opened, and in 1888 the Oakleigh Park racecourse opened, despite the location being 9 km south-east of Oakleigh. It was renamed Sandown Park in 1891 after the racecourse south-west of London, in Surrey. A railway siding was provided for racecourse meetings.

In the 1930s a greyhound race track was opened south of the railway station. During the early postwar years the racetrack was little used, being not far from tracks at Mentone. However, as metropolitan growth moved in the direction of Springvale and a rationalisation of metropolitan racecourses took place, Sandown Park was a site chosen to continue. In 1958 the Melbourne Racing Club developed the Sandown Park Estate (573 house blocks) and in 1962 the Sandown car racing circuit was opened on the old racetrack. In 1965 the new horse track was opened, and in 1995 the venue was upgraded.

Sandown Park has a small shopping centre, a primary school (1967, renamed Springvale Heights) and a linear reserve along a creek which drains into a lake in the centre of the racecourse.

Further Reading

G.M. Hibbins, A history of the City of Springvale: constellation of communities, Port Melbourne, 1984

Terry Walker, Fast tracks: Australia's motor racing circuits 1904-1995, 1995