Shanghai Race Club（SRC）was the original horse racing organization for Shanghai, commonly known as Shanghai Racecourse, located in downtown Huangpu District, Shanghai, China. It was demolished and turned into People’s Park and People’s Square.
Racing in Paris of the East
SRC shared the developing story of the next 80 years with HKJC and both became the defining institutions for high society in their respective regions and towering authorities on racing.
By the early 1900′s there were even designated races and trophies “Challenge Cups” in both cities.
During The Qing Dynasty:
Shanghai Race Club had 3 different locations:
1848-04-17 and 18, a surviving clipping from the Japan Gazette, in the possession of Mr J. F. Macgregor, mentions the inaugural race meeting in Shanghai.
1850, Daoguang 30th, five British merchants W．HOGG, T．D．GIBB, LANGLEY, W．W．PAKIN, E．WEBB self appointed as directors of the founding Shanghai Race Club.
They built the first racecource named ‘Old Park’ near the Nánjīng East Road and Hénán Middle Road, paid less than 10 tael of silver per acre to hold “perpetual lease” of 81 acres of land, the diameter of the race track was 800 yards with area of 731.52 square meters.
Because the space was too small, rider often rode his horse outside on the stone debris road, people called these roads”馬路” in Chinese, that means the road for horses, which is the cause of calling city streets for ”馬路” thereafter.
1851, commecing the first of the seven race meetings.
1853, Small Swords Society occupied the walled (Chinese) city of Shanghai.
Large numbers of Chinese refugees flooded into the foreign concessions thus dramatically increasing land prices.
1854, SRC sold the ‘Old Park’ and built the second racecourse ‘New Park’ of 170 acre near the Nánjīng East Road and Tibet Road, by paying 9,700 tael of silver.
1860, upheavals of the Taiping Rebellion made the land prices inflated again, because hundreds of thousands of Chinese fled to Shanghai Concession.
1861, Xianfeng 11th, twenty-five directors sold ‘New Park’ racecourse in the amount of 100,036 taels of silver.
1862, SRC built the third racecourse and claiming the best in Far East near Tibet Road West. The SRC paid a very low price for the lands from peasants, who under the heavy pressure of the Qing government and the British.
Finally this land was built the number one race club of Far East.
1908, SRC had 320 Official Members, and other 500 various Memberships, each paying 10 Dollars per month.
1909, before Xuantong 1st Year, SRC got profit from sub-contracting the gambling and betting bookers.
After The Republic of China:
1920, Champaign Tickets and Win betting derived income of 14,139, 000 dollars, yielding yearly gains of 7 million taels of silver.
1927, Jiangwan Racecourse was built and Chinese membership was permitted.
1932, SRC reconstructed a new Headquarter with four-storey classic Club Building, with area 21,000 square meters, Boxes and Swimming Pool, which was the first one in Shanghai.
1936, SRC became the debt guarantor of International Recreation Club, owning 3/8 shares of the latter.
1938, SRC wholly took over International Recreation Club and holding events in the premises.
1939, SRC still had surplus of 20 million dollars before the Seno-Japanese War.
1941, SRC was seized by the Japanese after the outbreak of the Pacific War in December.
1945 October, SRC continued the racing events after the return of their British Directors once the Japanese surrendered.
1946, SRC property was owned by a Jiangyin merchant Deng zhong-he. The first buying of asset from Foreigners by a Chinese.
1947, SRC formed three corporations according to the Company Registry of Hong Kong on the 9th of April:
Shanghai Race Club Stables Company Limited（Stables and Dormitory）
Shanghai Race Club Racecourse Company Limited（Turf and Track）
International Recreation Club still owned the 430 acre central area of the racecourse and conducted business and events.
In fact, Shanghai Race Club were the sole proprietor of the four establishments as above.
No race meeting was approved and held due to the government decision reflecting the Post-war public sentiment.
SRC also agreed to assign part of their property to the government.
The deal including an exchange of land 10 times the size to build another racecourse.
That was not accomplished due to the approaching of the Communist Liberation Army.
During the Chinese Civil War, SRC had been used as Club for the USA Military.
After The Communist Liberation:
1951, SRC was under control by the Shanghai Military Administration on the 28th of August.
Subsequently, SRC became the Shanghai People’s Park and People’s Square in September.
1954, all SRC premises were taken over by the People’s Government on the 31st of May.
SRC Main Building was turned to Shanghai Library.
1957, SRC property was converted to Shanghai Stadium, Government Offices, Museum, Exhibition Hall, etc.
1992, People’s Square complex construction commenced on 14th September.
2008, SRC was reopened under the leadership of the current Chairman, Byron Constable.
2013, The Shanghai Race Club updated charter states:
As a matter of fact, however, Shanghai Race Club seems to have only its website running in recent year.
Persons did that too.
PICADILLY (Paul Chater), winner of the 1884 Champions Cup.
HERO (David Sassoon), 3 times successive winner of the Champions’ Cup from 1890.
WHEATCROFT (Jack Liddel), three times winner of the Champions’ Cup in the 1920s.