The permanent establishment of what became popularly known as the 'Old Adelaide Racecourse' was exceptionally controversial and may well have not succeeded had it not been for the support of many of the most notable Adelaide citizens of the time, all of whom had racing interests.

One of the most outspoken men in favour of racing, breeder, owner and racing promoter, Patrick Boyce Coglin, who, when bi-cameral
Parliament became a fact, was elected to the House of Assembly was responsible for pushing through a special Act of Parliament which permitted the Adelaide Corporation to lease to a given number of trustees, a maximum of 130 acres of the East Park
Lands, as a racecourse, for period not exceeding 21 years - up until that point they had been limited to 14 years. Act 14 of just one clause and the Preamble was assented to on 12 November 1863.

Several temporary grandstands and fences were erected, all of which were roundly criticised, particularly the latter which was of an unacceptable height and construction, and dismantled before permission was granted for a permanent structure. Once the course was established the area was often used by athletic clubs, schools and the popular ploughing matches which were staged by the Agricultural and Horticultural Society.

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