Wangaratta Racecourse is a vital piece of infrastructure in the local community and one that many couldn’t live without. The town of Wangaratta is located on the Hume Highway about 250km to the north east of Melbourne past Seymour and Benalla.
Like many other small communities across country Victoria Wangaratta has a rich history when it comes to the racing industry.
Unlike many though they have claim to being based in the one spot for almost the entire period.
It was way back in 1845 when racing first began in North Wangaratta before it moved 10 years later to the site where it remains today.
Back in the early days not only did they race in the same fashion they still do but they also had pony races, hurdle races, steeple events and even a water jump.
The feature event at the Wangaratta Racecourse is the Wangaratta Cup, a race that dates back to 1904.
It’s origins actually go back even further when it was known as the Wangaratta Plate.
Nowadays the event is held during April and just two horses have ever managed to win it twice.
The first was Sarakos in 1935 and 1936 and it wasn’t done again until Here’s Cheers in 1971 and 1972.
Wangaratta also holds the acclaim to being the first racecourse in Victoria to hold an all grey event.
That was done by St Patrick’s Wangaratta Racing Club who shared the facility from 1923 until 2003.
The club remaining in charge today is the Wangaratta Turf Club who hold 10 meets a year including a lucrative Melbourne Cup day meet.
The circuit has plenty of room with 20m of width and regular starts up to 2000m.