Adelong’s racing history still honoured in Gundagai

Gundagai Adelong Race Club will host its annual New Year’s Day meeting on Monday.

A rich history of thoroughbred racing in Adelong goes back to at least 1857, with the now defunct The Yass Courier reporting of a race meeting on August 31 of that year. 

However, some texts indicate but cannot confirm that racing of some sort may have occurred unofficially and as early as 1855 and 1856. 

It is widely accepted that Adelong raced at least four different locations throughout the 1800s before finally settling on the location of the current Adelong Golf Course in the late 19th century.  

The Adelong Jockey Club raced through the ups and downs of the 20th century before the racecourse eventually fell into a state of disrepair, and after a bidding war of sorts between Tumut Turf Club and Gundagai Race Club, Adelong eventually merged with Gundagai to form the Gundagai Adelong Race Club during the late 1960s. 

Since then, racing has taken place at the current and picturesque Gundagai racecourse, but a rich tradition of hosting the Adelong Cup on New Year’s Day through those years has largely continued.

That won’t change in 2024, with the Adelong Cup set to be the first Country Cup run and won next year, just pipping the Inverell Cup, which will be run later that day in the state’s North West.

“We appreciate our long history with the Adelong Racing Club and the connection between the Gundagai and Adelong communities,” Gundagai Adelong Racing Club President Mick Crowe told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.

“There has been friendship and comradery in so many aspects over the years, evident by the racing club, the Gundagai Adelong Junior Rugby League Club, and so much more.” 

The Adelong community gets behind the program, with local businesses sponsoring races while many Adelong families still go to the races to ring in the New Year. 

The Adelong Services and Citizens and Bowling Club hold naming rights to the $15,000 Adelong Cup (1400m). 

Additionally, XXXX Gold, Community Bank Adelong, Adelong Service Centre, and Adelong Engineering and Constructions sponsor races on the day. 

“There are still many families in the Adelong community that were involved with the Adelong Racing Club before we joined,” Crowe said. 

“Individuals are still around with strong connections to both clubs and I’ve got no doubt the racing community is excited about the day.

“I’m really pleased to have that ongoing support from the Adelong business houses and the community, who come out every year, and we’re hoping with the meeting falling on a Monday, people will take advantage of the New Year’s Day weekend and make it a long weekend in Gundagai.”

The five-race program will attract many Southern District trainers and visiting jockeys, while Tumut trainer Kerry Weir will be looking to win the Adelong Cup for a third consecutive time after Crocodile Cod took out the time-honoured race in 2022 and 2023. 

For more on the day, click here.