Stellar lineup for revived Hibernian Handicap

The Wayne Brown-trained Cambourne will be the top weight in Friday’s Hibernian Handicap at Dubbo. Image: Racing Photos.

The Dubbo Turf Club will host the Hibernian Handicap at Friday’s Latitude Liquor Wholesalers Race Day, with the race being run for the first time in over 100 years.

In the early 1900s, Dubbo was home to two race clubs – the Dubbo Turf Club and the Dubbo Hibernian Race Club, which held its first meeting on Friday, 18 September 1914, featuring the Hibernian Handicap.

Dubbo Turf Club General Manager Sam Fitzgerald said the Club was keen to revive some forgotten history of the city’s racing past.

“It’s a little-known fact among racing fans that Dubbo once had two active race clubs,” Fitzgerald said.

“One of our Club’s members – Geoff Mann, who is a presenter for ABC Radio and renowned local journalist often sends me through snippets from old newspapers and after going down a rabbit hole, we unravelled the history of the Dubbo Hibernian Race Club.”

Friday’s Hibernian Handicap will be run at Benchmark 82 conditions and has attracted a strong field of seasoned sprinters.

“The Hibernian Handicap has attracted a belting field of sprinters.

“It was a terrific piece of race programming by Racing NSW – they have programmed these Benchmark 82 races across a select few country meetings and there are plenty of quality horses around at this time of the year to support these races.”

The field includes many prolific race winning sprinters, highlighted by Rylan’s Pick, Dubai Tycoon, Very Sharp, Toro Toro and last start Quirindi Lightning winner, Raging Rush.

Fitzgerald also pointed to the inclusion of Cambourne, now trained by Wayne Brown at Tamworth and will return to the track after almost a two-year absence from racing.

“Cambourne is an interesting runner – he went around in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas and finished tenth behind Ole Kirk,” he said.

Local trainer Clint Lundholm also has Raging Rush (Jake Pricey-Holmes) entered and is confident of a strong showing, having drawn nicely with gate seven.