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The South Australia town of Strathalbyn lies on the banks of the River Angas some 60 kilometres south-east of the state capital Adelaide. The town was founded by Scottish explorers Dr Rankine, and later Donald McLean, who settled in the area in 1839. However, it became much more accessible in 1869 when a broad gauge horse tram connected the town to Goolwa and Victor Harbor. Today it boasts a population in excess of 5700 inhabitants and has its own racecourse set in outstanding surroundings adorned by spectacular rose gardens.

Local Patrons Strathalbyn Racing Club
Principal Races Strathalbyn Cup, Strathalbyn Town Plate

The earliest record of racing in the Township was on Friday 23rd December 1853 when Mr Smith and Mr Freeman acted as Stewards. The principal race, the Town Plate, was run over 1 ½ miles for ‘a purse of sovereigns’.
Friday 23rd December 1853
Strathalbyn Town Plate over 1 ½ miles

1. Dick owned by Mr Oakley
2. Jack Fly owned by Mr Elliot
3. Charley owned by Mr Faulkner
4. Black Jack owned by Mr Jones
5. Melody owned by Mr Linn
The next year a 2 day meeting was staged on Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th December 1854 on ground owned by Mr Dawson some distance from the Township. The main race was the Farmers’ Purse (£12 12s) which saw Mr T Oakley’s Blazes defeat Mr G Edwards’s Doubtful.

Just a year later the 2 day meeting took place on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd January 1856 on Strathalbyn Mines, opening with the Farmers’ Purse for 10 sovereigns over a mile and a half. A field of 5 faced the starter, but Mr Palmer’s Nobody was the first to pass the judge. Two further races, a Flat Race over 1 ½ miles, and the Publican’s Purse over 1 ½ miles, were won by Mr W Russell’s Sultan and Mr Maidment’s Creeping Jenny respectively. Races on the second day were of little consequence and only academic interest.

Racing lapsed for a while in the Township, but after an interval of several years racing returned to Strathalbyn on Thursday 24th February 1870 under the direction of Mr Davison and Mr Denford on a course in a large paddock owned by Mr Allan McLean on the swamp road. The event opened with a Maiden Race over a mile.
Strathalbyn Maidens (12 sovereigns) over 1 mile
1. Polly owned by Mr Smallcombe and ridden by J Rust
2. Flying Bend owned by Mr Davison and Mr Denford and ridden by A Harslett
3. Norma owned by Mr D McLean and ridden by J Tunstall
The principal race was the Town Plate over 1 ½ miles.
Strathalbyn Town Plate (20 sovereigns) over 1 ½ miles

1. Lonsdale owned by Mr W H Formby and ridden by W Simpson
2. Cockney owned by Mr Davison and Mr Denford and ridden by A Harslett
3. Lady owned by Mr T Cornelius and ridden by J Tunstall
After racing the racegoers retired to the Robin Hood Hotel for supper and prize giving.

More recently the Strathalbyn Racing Club organise 14 meetings annually, the highlight of the year being the Strathalbyn Cup over 2050 metres. The results of recent Cup results are shown below.
Strathalbyn Cup winners
2010 The Strathalbyn Cup ($25,000) over 2050 metres was won by Regansburg ridden by Justin Potter, beating Honourable Kind and Akhameela
2011 The Strathalbyn Cup ($25,000) over 2050 metres was won by Instructor ridden by C Lindop, beating Unicus and Rockwood
2012 The Strathalbyn Cup ($25,000) over 2050 metres was won by Fast Frank ridden by L Stojakovic, beating Woodland Jack and Luvbite
2013 The Strathalbyn Cup ($25,000) over 2050 metres was won by Hastein ridden by Mark Pegus, beating Little Adam and Tara Man
2014 The Strathalbyn Cup ($25,000) over 2050 metres was won by Differing Fortunes ridden by Matthew Neilson, beating Texan Warney and Sky Raider
2015 The Strathalbyn Cup ($25,000) over 2050 metres was won by Texan Warney (7/4) trained by Darryl Dodson and ridden by Emily Finnegan, beating Generous Beau and Dylanson 9 ran
2016 The Strathalbyn Cup ($32,000) over 2050 metres was won by Sandhill Star (50/1) trained by Sam Turner and ridden by Matthew Poon, beating Mr Journeyman and Stimulatte 12 ran
2017 The Strathalbyn Cup ($31,500) over 2050 metres was won by Ustinov’s Fury (3/1) trained by Shane Oxlade and ridden by Justin Potter, beating Chestnut Charlie and Majestic Moment 12 ran
2018 The Strathalbyn Cup ($31,500) over 2050 metres was won by Fantastic Magic (9/1), trained by Grant Kluske and ridden by Dom Tourneur, beating Exalted Lightning and We’re So Lucky 8 ran

Course today The racecourse continues to operate 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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