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The New South Wales town of Walgett, near the junction of the Barwon and Namoi Rivers, lies in the Walgett Shire region of the state. The region was originally inhabited by the Gamilaroi people and takes its name from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘the meeting place of two rivers’. In the middle of the 19th century the white settlers began arriving and the town expanded. The earliest record of racing in the town was a three day meeting from 1st to 3rd January 1861 when the Stewards were Mr Dyle, Mr George Gurton, Mr Henry Keyes and Mr Martin Hole. Although racing continued on an annual basis, in November 1867 a sorry picture was painted by the Maitland Mercury when it wrote,’Just at present Walgett presents an appearance similar to ‘The Deserted Village’, because although this is the busiest season there is little business. The countryside around looks bare and desolate, and even the annual races struggled to lift the spirits’ The principal race, the Walgett Town Plate of 40 sovereigns over 3 miles was won by White Horse ridden by Shaw, beating Cossack and Early Bird.

Local Patrons Walgett Jockey Club
Principal Races Walgett Gold Cup

Two years later, in September 1869 the races were staged to support the old custom in bush areas of holding races when a new Inn was opened. On Tuesday 14th September 1869 The Junction opened for business, with the race meeting attracting Lord of the Hills, Magus, Wentworth, Plover and St John, the equine stars of the day. Over 200 people attended to witness the opening Maiden Plate go to Grey Momus owned by Mr Jas Doyle.
Tuesday 14th September 1869
Maiden Plate (10 sovereigns) over 9 furlongs

1. Grey Momus owned by Mr Jas Doyle
2. Ace of Clubs owned by Mr E J Sparkes
3. Marquis owned by Mr C J Horsley
Walgett All-Aged Stakes (12 sovereigns) over 1 ½ miles
1. Exile owned by Mr D M Jones
2. Hampson owned by Mr E J Sparke
3. Why Not owned by Mr H Keyes

By the turn of the century cards consisted mainly of competitive Handicaps, but by 1936 the Walgett Gold Cup result led to a betting dispute. A bookmaker offered Evens if someone could name the first and second in correct order. The race resulted in a dead-heat between West Hook and Blue Blood, owned by Mr H B Crowley. The bookie refused to pay punters who had said Blue Blood would beat West Hook, but also refused to pay punters who said West Hook would beat Blue Blood.

Today the town has a population in excess of 2,300 inhabitants and continues to benefit from its own racecourse where racing is administered by the Walgett Jockey Club and where the principal race, the Walgett Cup over 1400 metres, is held on the third Saturday in June.
Recent Walgett Cup winners
(A full list of winners is available on request)

2009 Walgett Cup ($3,500) over 1400 metres was won by Crowntreno (9/4) trained by Martin Fernando and ridden by Tiffany Jeffries, beating Faux Pas and Gelmood 9 ran
2010 Walgett Cup ($3,500) over 1400 metres was won by Nardoola Kid (5/2) trained by Martin Fernando and ridden by Daniel Northey, beating Mr Braveheart and Local Bred 6 ran
2011 Walgett Cup ($3,500) over 1400 metres was won by Brackley Hatch (3/1) trained by Wayne Oakenfull and ridden by Rachael Murray, beating Temperate Prince and Nampara Bullet 10 ran
2012 Walgett Cup ($3,500) over 1400 metres was won by Relentless Lad (9/4) trained by Clint Lundholm and ridden by Justin Stanley, beating Waljai and Persian Gold 11 ran
2013 Walgett Cup ($4,430) over 1400 metres was won by Relentless Lad (Evens fav) trained by Clint Lundholm and ridden by Justin Stanley, beating Temperate Prince and Teraset 5 ran
2014 Walgett Cup was not contested
2015 Walgett Cup ($4,430) over 1400 metres was won by The Deestructor (5/1) trained by Terry Fahey and ridden by Ken Dunbar, beating Subtract and Budgee Boy 7 ran
2016 Walgett Cup was not contested
2017 Walgett Cup ($4,300) over 1400 metres was won by Clipaholic (20/1) trained by Bill Perrett and ridden by Jodi Worley, beating Emerald Fortune and Kingtantes 9 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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