Generation Oakbank

It’s Oakbank again for me this Saturday.

A couple of years ago I’d declared it had changed irrevocably. Good memories but no longer a consideration.

But, as they should, other factors intervened.

Mum is still in Adelaide and we’re in Melbourne. We’re a family of few “traditions”, but I’m passing the Riordan baton this Saturday.

My son, Tom, and nephew, Matt, will be with me on the “flat”, where their Pa and Great-grandfather set odds for so many years. They’ll kick the footy on the track, crowd around the starting gates for the Onkaparinga Cup, perch near a jump of the Harry D Young and head up to the fallen log for the Von Doussa.

Their Granny – our excuse for being in Adelaide – will pack sangers and cordial which they’ll probably ditch for donuts at the fairground.

I’ll be swinging the bag there like I first did for my Dad 35+ years ago. In many ways it will not be like the “old days” – but the boys will return to my stand flushed and excited. Within an hour of “the last” it will be freezing  and we’ll wind our way home with stories from a new generation spellbound by the magic of an Easter at Oakbank.


  1. cowshedend says

    What a treasure to hand down. Oakbank is truly iconic, and the family link will be something Tom and Matt will carry with them all their days, well done mate.

  2. G’day Crio. I’ve never been to Oakbank. How far is it from Adelaide ? I notice the speedy, Sweeney, sprinter Riziz is nominated. Hope he continues his recent winning form.


  3. As they say, “it’s not as far from town as it used to be”! The freeway faxes you there in 45 mins and traffic is well managed.

    I also let nostalgia get in the way of the truth – the Harry D Young is Monday’s feature hurdle.

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Even closer than that Oakbank is so much more than the races a event which every one should make the effort to get too when they can , mind you they are making it too expensive for there own good

  5. Enjoy the day Crio. It is high on the list for when we return to Adelaide from Singapore. Ripping day in a magnificent setting.

  6. It is a lovely setting Mickey so hope the crowds and vibe remain.
    Initiation for the next Riordan generation.

  7. I can remember my first trip to Oakbank back in the LSD days. Nan put 2 bob each way on #17 (my favourite footballer – triple Magarey Medallist Lindsay Head’s #). It ran a place at odds, and I had more chocolate frogs than I had ever dreamt of.
    Could explain a lot.
    I hope you and your lads have a great day. The track is unique and the view is memorable. As you know, how horses travel down the hill to the turn tells the story. A lot don’t like the ground falling away in front of the them. Then the sharp home turn where many run off, and the short but uphill straight. A mini Downs.
    Make sure you don’t buy the boys any chocolate frogs on the way home.

  8. Malcolm Ashwood says

    A Ad Uni FC two guys get on the bus carrying lab coats , I’m thinking what the f ?
    Keg runs out the guys calmly walked down to th keg tent wearing the coats say keg needed for tent 5 yep no prob , Bob Neil ( of course ) taps the next keg , bus driver says ist time he’s ever had guys leave Oakbank with more grog than what they started
    Great memories

  9. There’s a million memories from the years spent at Oakbank – if only I could remember most of them! Crown And Anchor, sculling hurdle races on the Sunday, street running races and the races were good too! Some memorable (?) nights spent at the local hotel and surrounding areas.
    Make sure the boys watch at least one race from “the hill”. Great atmosphere up there in the old days and gives a magnificent perspective of the track.

  10. Track now a Slow7 at Randwick. Interesting to see how it plays.
    Like PERON first up in the last.

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