Almanac Racing: The 2016 Yea Cup

Off to Yea for our first race meeting of 2016. Always a nice track to visit, with the fact we’re members, making it a pleasant day out and about. Yea was ranked the Victorian picnic race track of the year for 2015, a high recommendation. However the early rain was a tad foreboding. How would it turn out?

The final meeting for 2015, the famous Sister Olive handicap, was cancelled due to the excessive heat. That made sense as being trapped on the outskirts of Yea in the midst of a bushfire is not recommended. A new year, a new race meeting, so Maryanne and I were on our way, winding through the rain, hoping Yea racing was a goer.

We did a zig-zag, firstly heading up to Yarck, the town with the famous rhyming title, popping into the general store, which is up for sale. Then we popped down the street into the Yarck Hotel, for a quick/quiet bevvy – I having only one, being the driver. Then back to Yea, popping in to the community hall for the art exhibition. After that it was off to the races.

On track the numbers of people filing in, with the day fining up, was great to see. Being the Yea Cup Day gave added emphasis to the event, as the car park filled up, punters took their spots, with the opening race beckoning.

Race One saw the Wangaratta trained Frisky Cruiser saluting. The hoop was Courtney Pace, the Bendigo based rider with a great strike rate. Frisky Cruiser is trained by a chap called Russell Green. Russell being based in Wangaratta has his horses running all across NSW and Victoria. You’ll see his horses at tracks such as Corowa, Geelong, Lockhart, Swan Hill, Tumut, and of course Yea. However, he goes beyond those areas, as during the last few winters he has taken teams of horses to Queensland where they’ve ran at diverse tracks such as Roma and Winton.

The seven race card unfurled, with a highlight the running of the rescheduled Sister Olive race. It is a long race, run over fifteen furlongs. For those unaware of the history of Sister Olive, she was a three year old from Yea who won the Melbourne Cup in 1921. An outsider of the field she was 16/1. The 2016 Yea, Sister Olive Cup was nabbed by Grand Dette. In a tight finish she finally pipped the front running top weight Masters Degree. A slight weight difference, the winner carrying 63kg, pipping the second, the top weight carrying 71kg. 8kgs a bit to make up!

The Cup was race six. It was delayed as following the fourth the hoops expressed concerns re. a patch around the seven furlong mark. The hoops were concerned there was a hard, slippery patch. The safety of the riders must be paramount. After a delay of an hour, following work by ground staff, the meeting commenced. Though the remaining races, including the Cup, ran late all were good viewing. Kondau won the Cup, giving the Goodwin family, trainer Barry, Jockey Reece a win to savour.

For the Seymour based Goodwin family, Yea is a happy hunting ground. Barry taking the honours for trainer of the season, similarly son Reece was the jockey of the season. On Cup Day Reece had five rides with three wins and two placings. Good job!

Well that’s Yea for this racing season. We plan to be back next season, but until then there’s lots of tracks and a lots of meetings to enjoy.

Happy Punting,



  1. Luke Reynolds says

    Glen, that sounds like a Yarcking good day!

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