Gundagai Adelong Racing Club will kick off a bumper season of racing on Sunday, April 16, when hosting their time-honoured Gundagai Cup program.
The $36,000 XXXX Gold Gundagai Cup will headline the eight-race program, which includes two $30,000 Country Boosted events, while over $230,000 in prize money will be offered on the day.
It’s an important race day for the Southern Districts and South East, with the 1800m Gundagai Cup winner exempt from the ballot for the $200,000 Listed Wagga Wagga Gold Cup, which will be run and won at Murrumbidgee Turf Club on May 5.
“It is a race and a meeting steeped in much history,” said Gundagai Adelong Racing Club President Mick Crowe.
“Before the Snake Gully Cup got as big as it did 30 years ago, this was our number one meeting, and many good trainers and horses have won the race.
“I think back to Landlocked, whom Joe Cleary raced on behalf of Gerry Harvey, and it won the Gundagai Cup (in 2015) and went on to win a Wagga Gold Cup.”
Crowe expects the meeting to attract some outstanding fields.
“The other really big benefit of having the Gundagai Cup and some good prize money is that it will attract some really good country and provincial trainers,” Crowe said.
“Trainers will bring their horses for the Gundagai Cup and another one or two horses for other races on the program, and it always turns out to be a really good day.”
Gundagai has yet to host a meeting since their successful Adelong Cup program on New Year’s Day, and Crowe believes the racecourse has benefited from a well-timed break.
“The track itself is in absolutely terrific condition,” Crowe said.
“We have had a short break from racing, and it’s done the track the world of good after what it went through at the end of last year.
“With the recent rain, coupled with the amazingly warm temperatures, it’s resulted in a good quality racing surface, and it should give trainers from all over the region a lot of confidence that they can bring a horse to Gundagai knowing it is not a bog track, or not too hard.”
Crowe and his hard-working team did well to get through the end of 2022, with multiple floods going across the racecourse, but that didn’t stop the Gundagai Adelong Racing Club from hosting a huge two-day Snake Gully Cup carnival in November.
“It was a successful year on so many levels, and we realised we can put a race meeting on under extreme adversity,” Crowe said.
“We provide a service to not just the participants and punters but the entire town because our race meetings offer a place for family get-togethers and all sorts of events, and to get through the two days last year, especially after the flooding, it’s a testament to what racing means in Gundagai.
“The other meetings just happen, and although there is a lot of work that goes into them, we get into the groove of putting on race meetings and providing a service for the participants, but we were faced with a lot of challenges last year to put on our Snake Gully Cup carnival.
“I honestly believe it’s a feather in our cap and a testament to the community that we were able to race and hold such a great carnival.”
With the 2022 season in the club’s rear-view mirror, Crowe and his team will continue to focus on making 2023 the biggest and best season to date, and that all starts with their Gundagai Cup program.
On the day, the gates will open at 11 am, and it will be $15 entry for adults, and $10 admission for concession card holders, while kids under 18 will get in for free.
Gundagai Adelong Racing Club 2023 dates
April 16 – Gundagai Cup race day
June 24 – TAB meeting
August 8 – TAB meeting
September 10 – TAB meeting
November 17 – Snake Gully Cup race day
November 18 – Hair of the Dog Cup race day