The 2014 Melbourne Cup day in Corowa

Corowa has held Melbourne Cup day race meeting  since  way before I was born, the first one was back in 1960.  It was a bit of  trend setter by having a race meeting on the first Tuesday in November, being one of the first race clubs to arrange a meeting to coincide with Melbourne Cup day.

For 2014 we had a six race card, non-TAB meeting.  The first race was run at 13:00, being a Benchmark  45 over 1000  metres.  It was duly won by the 9 year old Russwillcrow, trained by Russel Osborne  from Benalla. This was the start of a good day for him. He took training honours for the day, as he brought three horses from Benalla, which resulted in him having winners in races one and three, followed by a close up second in the last race.

Speaking of Russel’s,  as well as Russel Osborne training the winners of the first and third races,  Russel Green trained the winner of the second, War Horse.

Riding honours were shared by one of the experienced hoops Cameron Quilty, as well as  young apprentice Tara-Jane Mitchell, both riding a double.  Cameron also had a ride on the Rick Freyer trained Queen of Illusion,  a horse which is becoming noticeable for its behaviours. This horse was scratched from its previous run due to refusing to enter the barriers.  Here at Corowa it bucked and pigrooted prior to being ridden  quietly to the barriers. Subsequntly it refused to load, finally being cajoled in after much effort.  It then left the barriers at the end of the field, before finishing a long last.  Not a happy ride for Cameron.

For locals not much to boast about on the day.   Three local horses ran, the best performed being the Mandie Jones trained Hardenup, which ran a gallant second over 1300 metres in race five. The popular  Hardenup carried sixty kilos, as well as backing up from running at Berrigan three days prior. Top effort.

Having reasonable size fields, with decent quality horses, combined with jockey availabilty, becomes a challenge on this momentous day.  Melbourne Cup day sees races at Albury and Wagga, as well as across the border in Wangaratta. Wodonga used to have a Melbourne Cup day meeting, but has decided its not feasible,  dropping it the last couple of years.  There’s of course a popular TAB meeting downstream in Echuca.  This follows on from Derby Day, which coincides with  the holding of the Berrigan Cup, as well as the races at one of the most easternly parts of the Riverina, Tumut. It’s a busy few days of horse racing.

Whilst we’re  mentioning Berrigan, we’ve not been to their Cup meeting since 2012.  It’s always a good day, with lots of people coming from far and wide.  In a small Cup field this year, with only 7  starters,  the winner was Defenceman  trained on track by Emma Steel. Congratulations to the connections.  We plan to attend the next Berrigan meeting in March 2015.

One more race for the year at Corowa, but prior to then there  are race meetings beckoning including Avoca and Yea. Watch this space.



  1. Are the Freyers still a force like they used to be Glen? But trainers and jockeys travel great distances nowdays so the locals dont often dominate
    Yea is a Picnic Meet isnt it?

  2. Yea is another of those terrific racecourse/golfcourses. Recommended.

  3. Hi Oges, the Freyer stable is nothing like it used to be. Richard was crook a few years ago, and the son Rick seems to do most of the training. There was a clearout of a lot of the older, ‘underperforming’ horses earlier in the year, replacing them with a lot of untried runners, who haven’t come on yet. The Freyer name has been strongly associated with Corowa racing for 60+ years, and hopefully some good fortune can once again come their way.

    Yea is a lovely picnic track about 100 K’s from Melbourne. They have three meetings every year. i aim to attend at least two of them, and all going to plan wil again do so this summer .

    Happy punting !


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