Take the Albany Highway south-east out of Perth’s CBD and after 13km you’ll be at the centre of the residential suburb of Beckenham, which has an important railway junction at its eastern boundary.
The Canning River flows through Beckenham, but it’s fairly narrow as it makes its way through here, not widening out properly until it hits the suburb of Riverton, a few kilometres to the west.
At Beckenham’s north-eastern border is the big Cannington Showground complex and Cannington Central - Perth’s premier greyhound racing track and one of the very best in the country.
Few people in the eastern states would realise that greyhound racing didn't get started in WA until the early 1970s, after the repeal of the act which expressly banned it. The first race at Cannington Central was held on December 12, 1974, and a crowd of more than 14,000 people was on hand to see the then Premier, Sir Charles Court, open proceedings. The first event on the eight-race program, the Inaugural Stake, was won by a dishlicker named David Volo which collected for its trainer the princely sum of $175. Total prizemoney for the night totalled $2805, a far cry from the levels of stakes paid today. The WA public showed their support in no small measure, investing more than $120,000 on the on-course tote and $60,000 with the TAB.