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The New South Wales city of Orange lies in the Central West region of the state some158 miles west of the state capital Sydney. The city is overlooked by Mount Canobolas and was first discovered in the 1820s initially by Captain Percy Simpson, and shortly afterwards by the land surveyor J B Richards. On one of the plans he completed in 1829 he pinpointed a village which was named Orange by Sir Thomas Mitchell because he had been a friend of the Prince of Orange. Today the city has a population of almost 40,000 people and runs its own successful racecourse. The course at Towac Park first opened in 1870 and by 1876 it had its own grandstand. By 1873 meetings had extended to 3 days, with crowds peaking on day 3 for the running of the prestigious Member’s Cup.

Local Patrons Orange Jockey Club, River Orange Race Club
Principal Races Orange Cup, Prince of Wales Stakes

Monday 17th March 1873
Maiden Plate (25 sovereigns) over 1 ½ miles

1. Andromeda owned by Mr D Mayne and ridden by Colley
2. Wake-Up owned by Mr J M Hughes
3. Trump Card owned by Mr R Parker
After the excitement of the opening race the course had to be cleared, but by 3.15pm the main race of the day was started.
Publican’s Purse (50 sovereigns) over twice round
1. Index owned by Mr G Mathews
2. Platoff owned by Mr J Fitzpatrick
3. The Sigh owned by Mr J M Hughes
On day 2 the main race was the Prince of Wales’ Stakes.
Tuesday 18th March 1873
Prince of Wales’ Stakes (20 sovereigns) over 1 ¾ miles

1. Policeman owned by Mr P Power and ridden by Hutton
2. Fireball owned by Mr G Mathews
3. Wake-Up owned by Mr J M Hughes
On the final day the principal race of the entire meeting, the Member’s Silver Cup, which was a gift donated by Mr H L Nelson, caused considerable excitement and wagering.
Wednesday 19th March 1873
Member’s Silver Cup (65 sovereigns and Cup) over 2 ½ miles

1. The Sign (6/1) owned by Mr J M Hughes and ridden by Townsend
2. Index (Evens jt fav) owned by Mr G Mathews
3. Marske (5/1) owned by Mr D Mayne
4. Pasha (10/1) owned by Mr R Parker
5. Surbition (Evens jt fav) owned by Mr G Mathews
At the end of the meeting the great judgement and impartiality of the handicapper was praised, along with the excellent discrimination used by the judge and starter. Indeed, all of the officer’s efforts were performed in a praiseworthy manner.

The Orange Jockey Club organised an annual New Years’ Day meeting, one of which was held on Thursday 1st January 1880 and attended by a crowd in excess of 2000, the meeting overseen by Mr Windred and Mr Edward Nathan. The grandstand had already been in place 4 years when this meeting was staged, and the grandstand and saddling paddock were both well patronised, including a good attendance of the fairer sex.
Prince of Wales’ Stakes (15 sovereigns) over 1 ¾ miles:- Paddy Go Easy beat Mignonette and Comet
Christmas Handicap (30 sovereigns) over 1 ¾ miles:-Norman beat Yattendon and Byron
In the evening settling took place at Tanner’s, although there was little cheer amongst the crowd because most races had been won by horses from Bathurst.

Today the River Orange Race Club administers race meetings at Towac Park, having done so since 2011, with the highlight of the racing calendar being the Orange Cup over 2100 metres contested in late March or early April.
Some of the recent winners of the Orange Cup
(A full list of winners is available on request)

2009 Orange Cup ($16,250) over 2100 metres was won by Canterdown (8/1) trained by J Lundholm and ridden by Kacie Chater, beating Are You Joeken and Tempelhof 10 ran
2010 Orange Cup ($13,000) over 2100 metres was won by Granite Bluff (11/4) trained by Richard Clarke and ridden by Greg Ryan, beating Voltabolta and Catador 10 ran
2013 Orange Cup ($32,710) over 2100 metres was won by Jimmy Fortunes (20/1) trained by Michael Clout and ridden by Grant Buckley, beating Natch Catch and Ward 12 ran
2016 Orange Cup ($29,660) over 2100 metres was won by Mr Steal (2/1) trained by Bjorn Baker and ridden by Travis Wolfgram, beating Are You Sure and All My Loving 8 ran
2017 Orange Cup ($36,000) over 2100 metres was won by Crosley Hotshot (3/1) trained by Bjorn Baker and ridden by Rachael Murphy, beating Lonely Orphan and Old Habits 12 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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