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The New South Wales city of Armidale lies in the Northern Tablelands region of the state, mid-way between Brisbane and Sydney. It ‘s first European settlers arrived in 1830 when the Scottish explorer John Oxley discovered the area, and its association with Scotland continues to this day because it was named after the Isle of Skye area of Armadale which was the home of an early Commissioner George James McDonald. The city boasts a population in excess of 24,000 and meets their racing needs on a spectacular country racecourse administered by the Armidale Jockey Club. In the late 19 and early 20th century races were overseen by the New England Jockey Club, the inaugural meeting being held on Thursday 11th January 1877, with results shown below. However, in 1906 the New England Jockey Club was renamed the Armidale Jockey Club with its principal race being the Armidale Cup.

Local Patrons Armidale Jockey Club, New England JC
Principal Races Armidale Cup

Thursday 11th January 1877
The opening race was The Maiden Plate over 1 ½ miles

1. Belladonna owned by Mr Loder and ridden by Battye
2. Zanoni owned by Mr Boulton
3. Cardigan owned by Mr Greaves

On the same card was the New England Cup (300 sovereigns) over 1 ½ miles
1. Victor, bay gelding owned by Mr Bowman and ridden by Pigott
2. Dockwood, bay horse owned by Mr Kite
3. Sir Hercules, bay horse owned by Mr Greaves
4. Emperor, brown gelding owned by Mr Cross
8 ran

In the 1922 running of the Armidale Cup over 7 furlongs an extraordinary incident occurred. The race took place on Wednesday 1st February 1922 and the local judge gave the results as:-
1. Pteropod
2. First Artillery
3. Posiastre
However, the Stipendiary Steward Mr T S Turner recast the result as:-
1. Once More
2. Eaton By
3. Posiastre
The original judge agreed to alter first place, declaring Once More the winner, but refused to alter his placed horses, after which he was stood down. What is astonishing is that, in the actual race Once More defeated Eaton Boy by a comfortable 2 lengths, with half a length back to Posiastre in third. Pteropod finished well down the field in 8th place, just one place behind First Artillery in seventh.

Other Cup winners in that decade were:-
Wednesday 7th February 1923 Armidale Cup
1. Azure Man (10/1) owned by Mr S Smith and ridden by Neilson
2. Calbrook (10/1) owned by Mr W Condon and ridden by Simpson
3. Piaform (8/1) owned by J Roarty and ridden by Manning
17 ran and the winner won by 2 ½ lengths with a head back to the third

Wednesday 6th February 1924 Armidale Cup
1. Grotesque (7/1) owned by Mr J Clarke and Greville Smith and ridden by Orrell
2. Piasroot (8/1) owned by Mr Sidney Cutler and ridden by Mahoney
3. Lime Star (14/1) owned by Mr R Moore and ridden by C Williams
17 ran and the winner won by a neck with ¾ length back to the third

February 1925 Armidale Cup £600 over 7 furlongs
1. L.A. (7/1) owned by Mr P Holstead, trained by Tommy Hayden and ridden by B Cracknell
2. Baverman (6/1) owned by Mr W Daniels and ridden by Daniels
3. Margalore (25/1) owned by Mr C J Campbell and ridden by Davidson

February 1926 Armidale Cup £600 over 7 furlongs
1. Meerabooka (16/1) owned by Mr J Hoban and ridden by Hillier
2. Lilah (10/1) owned by Mr M Polson and ridden by Bracken
3. Unumger (12/1) owned by Mr N Russell and ridden by Reynolds
20 ran and the winner won by a length

Tuesday 1st February 1927 Armidale Cup £650 + £100 Cup
This race was so popular that it had to be split into 2 divisions because the number of entries exceeded the maximum of 19 by 3.
First Division over 7 furlongs
1. Don Panther (4/1) owned by Mr G Morrow and ridden by Goddard
2. Horton Gag (10/1) owned by Mr L Small and ridden by Davidson
3. Chipwood (6/1) owned by Mr R Mackay and ridden by Thompson
11 ran
Second Division over 7 furlongs
1. Chrysotta (6/1) owned by Mr Don McKinnon and ridden by Sidebottom
2. Meerabooka (10/1) owned by Mr J Hoban and ridden by James
3. Running Girl (7/1) owned by Mr H Reid and ridden by Ruarie
11 ran
Course today The meeting continues to be run successfully today.
If you have photos, postcards, racecards. badges, newspaper cuttings or book references about the old course, or can provide a photo of how the ground on which the old racecourse stood looks today, then email

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

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