After returning from a Victorian racecourse and thoroughbred sales visit with WA Hall of Fame Inductee George Towton, Albert Cockram at the age of 25, was inspired to get involved in racing and leased a 431 acre parcel of “mosquito ridden” land at Burswood Island.
After commencing un-registered race meetings, he later bought the land for ₤25,000 which soon after became known as Belmont Park and Goodwood racecourses. Whilst negotiations by the Western Australian Turf Club to purchase Belmont Park in 1920 failed, it was only after Cockram’s death in 1943 that the sale negotiations were re-opened with the administrators of his Estate and the purchase completed under the WATC Chairmanship of W J Winterbottom.
Belmont Park was sold for ₤21,000, much lower than Cockram’s initial asking price of ₤75,000.
Whilst Cockram enjoyed success for many years as an owner, he continued to invest in quality thoroughbred stock purchasing both stallions and mares from UK and Europe.
He was a pioneer in the development of the fledgling WA breeding industry and acknowledged throughout the nation as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald in 1920 as “unquestionably one of the best judges of stock in the Commonwealth”. Cockram’s stallions Sansofine and Camelhair sired many feature race winners, with Cockram also instrumental in the purchase of Australian and WA Hall of Fame Inductee Eurythmic for owner Sir Ernest Lee Steere.
Albert Cockram was also an inaugural member of the Western Australian Trotting Association Committee during its formative years after 1910, presumably important to the fledgling body as the first two years of trotting were held at Belmont Park.
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