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The New South Wales twin towns of Harden and Murrumburrah lie on the South West Slopes region of the state and was once of the earliest settlements in the state. The area was inhabited by the Wiradjuri people prior to the arrival of the first European explorers. In 1824 the famous explorers Hume and Hovell passed close to the area, by 1840 the first town started to develop, and by 1850 the area was swamped by gold prospectors. The earliest record of racing in one of the towns was a two day meeting held on the Murrumburrah course on Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th February 1874, with principal race results shown below:-

Local Patrons Harden Jockey Club, Murrumburrah and Harden Sports Club
Principal Races Harden Cup, Murrumburrah Town Plate, Prince of Wales Selling Stakes

Wednesday 11th February 1874
Murrumburrah Maiden Plate (20 sovereigns) over 1 ½ miles

1. Chance owned by Mr J Flynn
2. Ariel owned by Mr J H Wallis
3. Hard Times owned by Mr P McGowan
Publican’s Handicap Purse (20 sovereigns) over 2 miles
1. Rinaldo owned by Mr J Flunn
2. Crazy Jane owned by Mr J A Murphy
3. Bexique owned by Mr A Armstrong
Prince of Wales Selling Stakes (10 sovereigns) over 1 ½ miles
1. Minnie Warren owned by Mr J Bourke
2. Rosebud owned by Mr J Jacobs
3. Kennalla Boy owned by Mr O’Brien
After the race the winner was bought in for £11 5s.
Thursday 12th February 1874
Murrumburrah Town Plate (30 sovereigns) over 2 miles

1. Albury owned by Mr J Flynn
2. Pilgrim owned by Mr A Armstrong
3. Crazy Jane owned by Mr J A Murphy
4. Darkie owned by Mr J Barnes
5. Ariel owned by Mr J H Wallis
6. Verita owned by Mr W King
7. Lion owned by Mr J O’Brien

Within the next two decades the races transferred from Murrumburrah to Harden when a meeting at the Harden course was staged on Tuesday 6th February 1894, with the principal race winners:-
Opening Handicap:-Babette
Harden Handicap:-Capstan
Town Plate:-Opal beat Snip and Burcher

At the turn of the century a new group, the Murrumburrah and Harden Sports Club, began to organise meetings. On Wednesday 29th May 1907 the meeting was blessed with glorious weather, starting appropriately enough with the Opening Handicap which saw Cora Lynn beat Octavia and Crack Corn. In the Publican’s Purse which followed, there was a dead-heat between Octavia and Cora Lynn with the former winning the run-off, while in the feature race of the meeting, the Club Handicap, Jorrocks defeated Carnation and Albania.

In the early stages of the First World War a race meeting organised by the Murrumburrah and Harden Trotting Club was held on Wednesday 25th August 1915, although the meeting appealed to few despite being in aid of the Australia Day Fund, with small fields. Although significant rain fell during the night, causing many to believe the meeting had been cancelled, this could not hide the fact that few entries had been registered. For the record, the 6 race winners were Elbo, Warwick, Banjo, Boori Jack, Blue Streak and Roselle.

Today the towns have their own racecourse where racing is administered by the Harden Picnic Race Club, although there have been a number of problems within the past decade. In 2007, in line with almost every racecourse in the country, races were cancelled due to Equine Flu. The highlight of the meeting, traditionally staged on the last Saturday in October, is the Harden Cup over 1400 metres.
Recent Harden Cup winners
(A full list of winners is available on request)

2008 Harden Cup ($4,550) over 1400 metres was won by Spirited Choice (2/1) trained by Chris Heywood and ridden by Mr R Anderson, beating Bullster and Heliograph 5 ran
2009 Harden Cup ($4,620) over 1400 metres was won Pass It On (5/1) trained by Bernie Connell and ridden by Mr J Mills, beating Estarose and Aurville 6 ran
2010 Harden Cup ($4,200) over 1400 metres was won Tha’hab (5/2) trained by Tricia Anderson and ridden by Ashley Boyd, beating Poker Pro and Weekend Cash 7 ran
2011 Harden Cup ($4,900) over 1400 metres was won Strike Me Happy (4/1) trained by Rado Boljun and ridden by Mr B Duggan, beating Tha’hab and Poker Pro 7 ran
2012 Harden Cup ($4,900) over 1400 metres was won The Ringleader (3/1) trained by Chris Heywood and ridden by Stuart Brown, beating Poker Pro and Elusive Shadow
2013 Harden Cup ($4,900) over 1400 metres was won Central Act (5/1) trained by Graeme Spackman and ridden by Mr B Ryan, beating Volaticus and Spicy Lyric 7 ran
2014 Harden Cup ($4,900) over 1400 metres was won Pointing To Gold (5/1) trained by Brad Witt and ridden by Samara Johnson, beating Poker Pro and Gold Arena 9 ran
2015 Harden Cup ($5,600) over 1400 metres was won Fourtenbob (9/4) trained by Aaron Clarke and ridden by Annelise King, beating Arguably Regal and Angel of Rock 6 ran
2016 Harden Cup ($5,520) over 1400 metres was won On Our Selection (9/1) trained by Tony Sergi and ridden by Mr Michael Gray, beating Black Fusion and Victorian Crown 7 ran
2017 Harden Cup ($5,440) over 1400 metres was won The Real McCoy (10/1) trained by Kylie Kennedy and ridden by Mr R Blewitt, beating Kinda Tangy and Black Fusion 8 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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