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The New South Wales town of Cootamundra lies in the South West Slopes region of the state, within the Riverina. The earliest inhabitants of the region were the Wiradjuri tribe, the town’s name being derived from their word ‘guudhamang’ which means turtle. The first European settlers arrived in the area in the 1860s, with the town formed on 9th August 1861 by settlers attracted by the gold rush. Today the town is more famous for its association with Sir Donald Bradman, widely claimed to be the greatest cricket batsman of all time. The town has its own successful racecourse on Racecourse Road to the north of the town, with racing administered by the Cootamundra Race Club which was established over 120 years ago. The annual races traditionally take place on the first Sunday in October, with the highlight of the racing year being the Cootamundra Cup over 1600 metres.

Local Patrons Cootamundra Race Club
Principal Races Cootamundra Cup

Records show that racing first took place at Cootamundra, about 4 kilometres from the town of the same name, in 1870 and were run by the Southern Districts Race Club. In February 1870 the Government Gazette reported that 160 acres of Crown Land was dedicated to a racecourse in the town. Within a decade the Turf Club were staging very popular, well-supported meetings, with principal results from the two day meeting held in February 1879 shown below.
Thursday 27th February 1879
Cootamundra Turf Club Handicap

1. Deserter
2. Will O’ the Wisp
3. Hetman Platoff
Friday 28th February 1879
Prince of Wales Stakes

1. Fisherman
2. Nigger
3. New Chum
Cootamundra Town Plate
1. Cossack
2. Will O’ the Wisp
3. Solicitor

At the turn of the century the Cootamundra Turf Club were in charge of the races under the guidance of the secretary Mr Sandeman. The highlight of the racing year was the Cootamundra Cup over 1 ¼ miles, with selected early century results shown below:-
1900 Coota Cup (100 sovereigns and a 100 sovereigns Cup) over 1 ¼ miles was won by Earl Olive (10/1) owned by Mr Hassett, beating Trichord (8/1) owned by Mr McLean and Montana (14/1) owned by Mr W C H Roberts
1901 Coota Cup over (100 sovereigns) 1 ¼ miles was won by Winoline (3/1) ridden by Pratt, beating Merrallie (2/1 fav) ridden by Cherry and Rose (4/1) ridden by A Hoysted 9 ran
1902 Coota Cup over 1 ¼ miles was won by Albania (20/1) owned by Mr E O’Loughlin and ridden by W Curran, beating Zeno (33/1) owned by Mr S Watson and ridden by Smith and Yum Yum (7/1) owned by Mr F Mitchell and ridden by Jordan 10 ran
1903 Coota Cup (115 sovereigns) over 1 ¼ miles was won by The Snail owned by Mr Chisholm, beating Palmist and Dunmore
1904 Coota Cup (£130 and a 100 sovereigns trophy presented by Mrs James Connell) over 1 ¼ miles was won by Waratah (4/1) owned by Mr S J Mills, beating Yum Yum (5/2) and Le Glaneur (3/1) 6 ran
In 1905 the February meeting was postponed because the grandstand was totally destroyed by fire, while the saddling paddock was also partially destroyed. The new grandstand was built in 1915 and such is its elegance and importance that it still remains in place today.

After being in recess since 1941 the Cootamundra Turf Club reformed in July 1946, stating that their first post-War meeting would take place on Wednesday 28th August , the programme to include the Victory Cup over 7 furlongs.
Wednesday 28th August 1946
Cootamundra Victory Cup over 7 furlongs

1. Tanaim (5/1) ridden by F McIntyre
2. Severus (5/4 fav) ridden by J Duncan
3. Caladin (7/1) ridden by J Willis
7 ran

The track regularly attracted horses of the highest class as witnessed by the fact that in 1980 the Cootamundra Cup was won by Just a Dash who was later victorious in the Melbourne Cup of 1981. Further evidence of the success of the course in attracting high calibre horses was that the Cootamundra Cup of 1982 was won by Forward Charge who went on to win the Classic South Australian St Leger.

Recent Cootamundra Cup winners
(A full list of winners is available on request)

2008 Coota Cup ($13,000) over 2000 metres was won by Sobeit (5/4 fav) trained by Ms Barbara Joseph and ridden by Grant Buckley, beating Keys To The Kingdom and Summit Assault 7 ran
2009 Coota Cup ($9,750) over 1600 metres was won by Stratofortress (2/1 fav) trained by Trevor Sutherland and ridden by Andrew Bloomfield, beating Steal The Thunder and Sharni’s Rein 7 ran
2010 Coota Cup ($9,750) over 1600 metres was won by Wyora (7/4 fav) trained by David Blundell and ridden by Mathew Cahill, beating Tropical Springs and Regal Celeb 9 ran
2011 Coota Cup ($9,750) over 1600 metres was won by Celtic Soul (7/1) trained by Rado Boljun and ridden by Michael Travers, beating Clever Hans and Granite Bluff 6 ran
2012 Coota Cup ($11,360) over 1600 metres was won by Universal Pack (16/1) trained by Kerry Weir and ridden by Jackson Morris, beating Reboot and Celtic Soul 8 ran
2013 Coota Cup ($11,360) over 1600 metres was won by Street Rule (15/1) trained by Gary Colvin and ridden by Carl Spry, beating Fullerton and Miss Ta Ta 11 ran
2014 Coota Cup was cancelled when a section of the course near the 1100 metre marker became waterlogged, not through inclement weather, but because of a burst in a water sprinkler
2015 Coota Cup ($11,360) over 1600 metres was won by Darci’s Affair (5/2) trained by Bede Murray and ridden by Brendan Ward, beating Ward and Laugharne 12 ran
2016 Coota Cup ($14,175) over 1600 metres was won by Murdoch’s Joy (5/1) trained by Craig Widdison and ridden by Michael Heagney, beating Moroccan Ruby and Zarreig 10 ran
2017 Coota Cup ($13,780) over 1600 metres was won by Gun Trace (10/1) trained by Doug Vickers and ridden by Michael Travers, beating Law of the Land and Black Fusion 10 ran

Course today The racecourse continues to operate very successfully.
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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