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The New South Wales township of Hillston lies on the banks of the Lachlan River in the Carrathool Shire of the state. Although the explorer John Oxley was the first to discover the area, he did not rate it highly and it was almost half a century before the township was founded in 1863. Today the town has a population of about 1,500 inhabitants and has its own racecourse run by the Hillston Jockey Club.  The earliest record of racing on Hillston racecourse was when Lachlan Race Club staged a meeting on Friday 24th May 1870, with race details shown below.

Local Patrons Hillston Jockey Club, Hillston District Amateur Race Club
Principal Races Hillston Picnic Club Cup

Friday 24th May 1870
Hillston Handicap Hurdle (30 sovereigns) over 2 miles and 8 leaps

1. Baron owned by Mr Brewer
2. Shark owned by Mr Gillis
3. Gift owned by Mr Simpson
Hillston Handicap (60 sovereigns) over 1 ¾ miles
1. Pimpampa owned by Mr Keighran
2. Darkness owned by Mr Brewer
3. Maddalo owned by Mr Loughran

However, on 6th September 1889 a meeting was called to consider the debt owed by the Lachlan Race Club, and a proposal was made and seconded to form a new Jockey Club. A race meeting took place on Friday 26th December 1890 under the auspices of the Hillston Jockey Club in the presence of 300 townsfolk. In total 135 new members enrolled in the Jockey Club which then applied to the Government grants committee to request land for a new racecourse. At that meeting the feature race was the Hillston Jockey Club Handicap which saw Mr J G Campbell’s Juliet defeat Mr Woolcott’s Rory.

By the turn of the century the old Jockey Club had been allowed to fade out of existence, but moves were afoot in September 1900 to relaunch the Club. In 1909 the Hillston District Amateur Race Club staged a meeting on St Patrick’s Day when the principal race was won by Darwin owned by Mrs R Craig.
Wednesday 17th March 1909
St Patrick’s Day Handicap (£10) over 1 ¼ miles

1. Darwi owned by Mrs R Craig and ridden by Darlington
2. Peter Jackson owned by Mrs F Hemphill and ridden by Hemphill
3. Odd Socks owned by Mr A Morant and ridden by Gordon
6 ran
Certainly by 1910 the Picnic Race Club Cup was a prominent prize and was won by a horse called Favourite owned by Mr F Laird, beating Narrara and Orreuga.

The Club has already celebrated its centenary and stage Picnic Race meetings annually on the third Saturday in April, with the highlight of the meeting being the Hillston Cup over 1700 metres. Although they had a 3 year period from 2014 to 2016 when the racing was abandoned, the 2017 Cup renewal was won by Cupid’s Roze trained by Colette Cooper.
Recent Hillston Cup winners
(A full list of winners is available on request)

2009 Hillston Cup ($4,900) over 1700 metres was won by Mettaya (9/1) trained by James Bolger and ridden by Bradley Vale, beating Beltana and Nordic Dancer 6 ran
2010 Hillston Cup meeting was abandoned after 3 races
2011 Hillston Cup ($4,900) over 1700 metres was won by Future Voice (5/1) trained by Gary Colvin and ridden by Adam Gain, beating Azarax and Big Tex 9 ran
2012 Hillston Cup ($4,900) over 1700 metres was won by Nothin’ Leica Dame (3/1) trained by Martin Stein and ridden by N Loy, beating King of Hearts and Manettino 8 ran
2013 Hillston Cup ($4,860) over 1700 metres was won by Sonro (5/2) trained by Gino D’Altorio and ridden by Joel Maconachie, beating Gunner and Rhythmic Chimes 7 ran
2014 Hillston Cup was abandoned
2015 Hillston Cup was abandoned
2016 Hillston Cup was abandoned after 3 races
2017 Hillston Cup ($5,900) over 1700 metres was won by Cupid’s Roze (7/4 fav) trained by Colette Cooper and ridden by Tara-Jane Mitchell, beating The Real McCoy and Easiestgameonearth 5 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 johnwslusar@gmail.com

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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