Avoca Xmas Meeting

Avoca is a quaint little town nestled out west, in between Ballarat and Maryborough. The first white fella to see it was Major Mitchell , way back in 1836.  He named it after a river back in County Wicklow in Ireland.

Arriving on track i caught up with Ann, and Denis, with the crew from Talbot.  Interesting to see Saturday  was a TAB meeting.  In my 6 years as  a member at Avoca there’d not been a TAB meeting. Seriously it must be over a decade since there was a TAB meeting at Avoca; can anyone recall when?

It was a pleasant sunny day on track for a 6 race card.  Training honours for the day went to Mark Kavanagh.  He brought a team of three runners with him,  saddling  a runner in races two, three , and four, all saluting, resulting in a treble. Unsure if there’s a future Maldivian in this group.  Riding honours went to Nikita Berriman. In the race book she was Nikita Mclean, though track announcer  Rick Mcintosh remined us she was reverting to her maiden name of Nikita Berriman. She had a five race book for the day,  riding placings in the first two, then a treble over the final three . I was particularly happy as her victories in Race 4 and 6, Boltamour and Haluva Storm , gave me the daily double, as well as an all up win and place.  Thankyou Nikita.

As i mentioned earlier this was the first  TAB meeting at Avoca for many a moon. I’ve noticed a few of the rural tracks in Victoria have started regaining the occasional TAB meeting, Gunbower amongst them. Now it would  be good if this could happen back in NSW.  Berrigan, a track i enjoy, has not had a TAB meeting since 2002. It has a huge Cup meeting first Saturday in November, and it is certainly a track with long, proud traditition , being the home of the famous Honeychurch family, as  well as the only NSW track running the Victorian way.

Next meeting in Avoca is  Anzac Day 2104. Until then, there are other tracks to visit, other stories to write. Happy punting,



  1. SR6_ai5ph956w5PCouxzpzZeAU_eFhdsnACjqusEhfU. says

    I don’t think many Almanackers will be around for the 2104 meeting! Enjoy country meetings and agree there should be more recognition of them by racing authorities. When is Gunbower lining up?

  2. Good point(s) !!! Now re Gunbower, am i mixing it up with Mangatang ??? There have been a few recent TAB meetings on tracks where TAB meetings are rarities. Just need to make sure i name the right one(s) !!!


  3. David Downer says

    Correct re Gunbower. I was there for their meeting in October (on Turnbull Stakes day). Was previously being run in ridiculous January heat, but now moved to a better time-slot.

    It was their first ever TAB meeting. Only meet for the entire year! Superb day, R.McIntosh in fine form. I added another country racetrack stubby to the collection.

    Courtesy bus back to Echuca did amuse.

  4. Glen-it’s on my bucket list but bowls has got in the way again this year . As you will have gathered I’m a big fan of races outside of cities.I take it you cleaned up on the day and in true Almanac tradition kept dehydration at bay

  5. Glen,
    I commented to several people on Saturday – at a barren Heath – that Avoca or Balnarring would be superb. Glad you found a winner or 2 which certainly helps.
    Nice meeting at Healesville this Saturday.

  6. Oges, you should try and cross the border for a 2014 meeting at Avoca; highly recommended. Re dehydration, I did kep it bay; with soft drinks. Following a big work Xmas do on the Friday i didn’t feel safe partaking on a day of long driving.

    Crio i might get to Healesville one day, but not this Saturday. Yea has a meeting the following Saturday, with all going to plan i’ll be there.


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