Newcastle Cup tradition continues

07:01 PM 11 Dec 2013 NZDT
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Newcastle HRC
Newcastle HRC

The Newcastle Harness Racing Club is very proud that this Friday night will see the 56th running of the Newcastle Cup. This makes it the longest running Cup race in New South Wales and one of the longest in Australia.

The first Cup was run in 1954 and was won by Ellicot which was driven by Les keys.

The Cup was not run from 1975 to 1978. Joe Ilsley drove Golden Cycle to win the 1988 Cup which was the last one run at the Broadmeadow showground which had been the home of harness racing for some 40 years.

Thorate won the 1989 Cup for Brian Hancock with the race being run at Cessnock that year while the new track was being built at the International Sports Centre.

Duchess Dulcinea and Graeme Watts had the honour of winning the first Newcastle Cup run at the new track in 1990.

From 1954 to 1988 the Cup was run as a standing start event. It was run as a mobile from 1990 to 93 then reverted to a stand in 1994.

Ultra Jet for David Aiken won the 1994 Cup off a 20 metre handicap in a world record time of 3.06.4 for the 2550 metre trip with a mile rate of 1.57.6.

Many great drivers and horses have won or contested the Newcastle Cup including Merv Adams, Kevin Newman, Bill Hansell, Brian Hancock, Howard James, Denis Wilson, David Aiken, Norm Baker, Charlie McDeed, Joe Ilsley, Michael Ilsley, John Binskin, Darrell Graham, Graeme Watts and Blake Fitzpatrick.

The Hunter Valley is well represented by such horseman as Herb Morgan, Fred Barnes, Ted Tessier, Jack Andrews, Norm Williams, Clive Johnson, Jim Robb, Bill Reynolds, Doug Clark, Jim McManus, Jason Proctor, Neville Greenwood and Neil Thompson.

Some of the stand out horses to contest the Newcastle Cup include Match Point, Craig Tom, Road Hog, Bold Judy, Penny Jack, Flash Adios, Michael Frost, Nigra Sum, Thorate, Generator, Tallowood Pursuit, Rollon Big Red, Nidya {who won the 50th Cup},Lady Lexus, Mach Wiper and last year's winner Feels Like magic.

The Newcastle Cup was first run in 1954 and despite some changes to the format the race still holds its place as a time honoured event in the sport.

The Group 3 $30,000 Morpeth Limousines Newcastle Cup will jump at 9.10 on Friday night.

Visit our web site for a full list of Cup placegetters at

Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |



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