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Earliest Meeting: Wednesday 2nd September 1903
Final Meeting: Still continues to operate successfully
The South Australia town of Balaklava is located approximately 90 kilometres north of the city of Adelaide on the south bank of the Wakefield River. The town, with a population today of about 2000, was in a prominent position between the copper mine at Burra and the port of Port Wakefield, from where the copper was exported. Although the first Europeans to discover the area were Thomas Burr and John Hill in April 1840, it was James and Mary Dunn who saw the potential of the town and opened a hotel in 1850. This hotel catered for the carriers of copper along the Gulf Road between mine and port. In the early part of the 20th century the town held its inaugural race meeting administered by the Balaklava Racing Club which was founded in 1903.

Local Patrons Balaklava Racing Club
Principal Races Balaklava Cup

The photo above, although in the public domain, is shown courtesy of the State Library of South Australia.

The Balaklava Racing Festival takes place each September and regularly attracts a crowd in excess of 10,000. The principal race at the meeting is the Balaklava Cup which, in 2018, takes place on Wednesday 12th September. The annual meeting continues to be one of the most attractive and successful country club meetings in the state of South Australia.

In 2011 the Balaklava Cup was won by Magical Pearl (13/2)
In 2012 the Balaklava Cup was won by Bagman (3/1)
In 2013 the Balaklava Cup was won by Gris Caro (5/1)
In 2014 the Balaklava Cup was won by Longshoreman (13/2)
In 2015 the Balaklava Cup was won by By The Grace (6/1)
In 2016 the Balaklava Cup was won by Little Akie (10/1)
In 2017 the Balaklava Cup was won by Balf’s Choice (11/2)
Course today The meeting continues to operate 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

Much of the information about this course has been found using internet research and is in the public domain. However, useful research sources have been:-

London Illustrated News

Racing Illustrated 1895-1899

The Sporting & Dramatic Illustrated

Northern Turf History Volumes 1-4 by J.Fairfax-Blakeborough

The Sporting Magazine

A Long Time Gone by Chris Pitt first published in 1996 ISBN 0 900599 89 8

Racing Calendars which were first published in 1727

Balaklava 1.JPG (4968 bytes) Balaklava 4.JPG (4290 bytes) Balaklava 2.JPG (4487 bytes) Balaklava 3.JPG (4252 bytes) Balaklava 5.JPG (3207 bytes) Balaklava 6.JPG (3292 bytes)

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

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
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