Racing tradition continues at the Apsley Cup

The Apsley Racing Club celebrated 163 years of racing last Sunday with the running of the DiGiorgio Family Wines Apsley Cup at Edenhope. A magnificent sunny day enticed nearly 1200 people to the racecourse to enjoy the day’s racing and activities.

Woolsthorpe Store, trained by Mt Gambier local Michael O’Leary and ridden by Shayne Cahill, took out the Di Giorgio Family Wines Apsley Cup. Winning trainer Michael O’Leary added another Apsley Cup to his collection – now making four he has won. He told the crowd he had trained a horse that raced at the old Apsley track, which hasn’t been used since 1975.

Prizemoney for this year’s Cup was increased to $40,000 and the winners also took home a stunning engraved 1.5L magnum of DiGiorgio wine. The 7 year old Woolsthorpe Store is owned by a group of friends from Warnambool who were thrilled with their win. They sipped some sparkling wine straight from the cup trophy on Sunday and are planning a victory dinner party to share the 1.5L of wine and relive the win.

There was plenty more than just racing on offer at the track. The club hosted a backwards running race down the main straight – the Jimmy Tarpot Cup. This was a real spectacle and the crowd lined the fence all the way along the 100yard racetrack as six competitors battled it out.

The race is named after a Bringalbert local who managed to run over 100yards backwards in only 14 seconds at the MCG in 1866. Competitors didn’t come close to Jimmy’s time this year, with the winner Kevin Brittain, a dual Stawell Gift finalist, taking out the race in 15 seconds.

Fashions on the Field was very competitive, with the Apsley Racing Club putting up $1000 for the winner of the best dressed, and Quality Wool offering $500 for the best dressed in wool. Belinda Nurse from Horsham took out the main prize from Melanie Wade, also of Horsham, and Bridget Aldridge from Penola. The wool category was awarded to Michelle Campbell of Mt Gambier and in the men’s section, Tim Close took home $250 from the racing club.

The day was well supported by families with children looking for a day out. There was plenty on course to keep the kids amused, entertainment for them was free all day and included a jumping castle, Kelly Sports organised games, and a bucking bull. The kids also participated in a fun parade on the fashion stage, with prizes going out for the biggest jump, the first to lie down, and the best hopper!

Club Manager, Lisa Inkster, was very happy with the day and said the success was due to a hard working committee.

“I am part of a few other race clubs but I have been very impressed with the hard work and dedication of the Apsley committee. We’re all thrilled the day turned out to be such a success,” she said.