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The South Australia town of Clare is located in the mid-north region of the state, some 135 kilometres from the state capital Adelaide. It is situated towards the northern end of the Clare Valley, a region first explored by John Hill in April 1839 who named the Hutt and Wakefield Rivers, and now a dedicated wine growing area of the country. Within a year the first European settlers arrived, led by John Horrocks. The town has its own racecourse, located about 2 ½ miles from Clare town centre, where racing is administered by the Clare Valley Racing Club which was founded in 1889. However, races were certainly being staged in Clare in the middle of the 19th century, with the main result from a two day meeting on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th May 1855 shown below.

Local Patrons Clare Valley Racing Club
Principal Races Clare Cup

Thursday 17th May 1855
Clare Town Plate (25 sovereigns) over 1 ½ miles

1. Lady of the Lake, an aged brown mare owned by Mr Wood 1 1
2. Cossack, a 5 year old chestnut gelding owned by Mr Asgood 2 2

Races appear to have lapsed, although they were revived in 1879 on a course 4 miles north of Clare in the Bungaree Paddock, part of the estate of Hon. G C Hawker.
Wednesday 15th January 1879
Bungaree Cup

1. Eager owned by Mr L Reid and ridden by J Liddle
2. Ethel Maude owned by Mr P R Frost and ridden by W Marshall
3. Lord Blyth owned by Mr P Coffey and ridden by J Power
Later that year another meeting was staged in May when the Clare Cup was contested.
Clare Cup May 1879
1. Viceroy
2. Thane
3. Euro
6 ran

Today the course is a tight circuit, almost square in shape, with a perimeter of 1450 metres and sharp run-in of just 220 metres. Each Easter the town holds a Festival, the highlight for many being the races which take place on Easter Saturday. Traditionally meetings have taken place in March and April, while the Clare Cup is staged in November.

Recent winners of the Clare Cup are shown below.
2009 The Clare Cup ($15,000) over 1800 metres was won by Most Handsome (100/30) trained by Dennis O’Leary and ridden by Dom Tourneur, beating Dandy Jester and Regansburg 11 ran
2010 The Clare Cup ($10,000) over 1800 metres was won by Willego trained by Mick Whittle and ridden by Jackson Matthews, beating Emmooki Street 6 ran
2011 The Clare Cup ($15,000) over 1800 metres was won by Luvbite (11/10 fav) trained by Sam Turner and ridden by Adrian Patterson, beating Fraaclase and Fast Frank 5 ran
2012 The Clare Cup ($15,000) over 1800 metres was won by Little Adam (13/2) trained by Kevin and Heather Frew and ridden by Jordan Frew, beating Blue Maggich and Manganese 10 ran
2013 The Clare Cup (($15,000) over 1800 metres was won by Fraanikova (9/1) trained by John Macmillan and ridden by Jamie Kah, defeating Sandhill Prince and Allex Tara 12 ran
2014 The Clare Cup ($15,000) over 1800 metres was won by Sandhill Chief (7/1) trained by Sam Turner and ridden by Amy Herrmann, beating Corvidae and Caton 10 ran
2015 The Clare Cup (£20,000) over 1800 metres was won by Proud Eagle (2/1 fav) trained by Jum Smith and ridden by Jamie Kah, beating Sandhill Chief and Halayr Jet 6 ran
2016 The Clare Cup ($20,000) over 1800 metres was won by Majestic Moment (7/1) trained by Richard Jolly and ridden by Paul Gatt, defeating Distillation and Medvedev 10 ran
2017 The Clare Cup ($20,000) over 1800 metres was won by Penny For A Pound (13/8 fav) trained by David Jolly and ridden by Jamie Kah, defeating Copper Coast and Raida 8 ran

Course today The racecourse continues to thrive.
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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