The Cessnock Cup
Found in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Cessnock is known as the gateway city to the area’s vineyards. The metropolis began its life as a prosperous mining town, but over time it has been reinvented as a wine service centre. It has also always been an important crossroads between European settlers and indigenous Aboriginal people, and blends these cultures together well.
Although Cessnock’s identity as a leading vineyard destination is very important to the city, it has also begun to develop other tourist ventures including hot air ballooning, championship golf courses and sky-diving, and has other older traditions that are very valued in the community as well. One of the proudest traditions in the town is the Cessnock Cup, which is usually held in the first half of the year.
A Little Background
The Cup is held at the Cessnock Racecourse, which has a long and proud history that goes back at least as far as 1859, and probably further. It was bought by the Newcastle Jockey Club, which later gave it the alternate moniker of The Wine Country Race Club, in 1981. The prestigious venue hosts sever other feature days across the year, including Anzac Day and Boxing Day Races. Although owned by the Newcastle Club, the Cessnock track has kept a lot of its original flair, best seen in the Members’ Stand that overlooks the Mounting Yard.
The turf racecourse circumference is 1,800 metres, and the downhill home straight is 300 metres long. It has a mostly curved shape, which can be advantageous to fast finishers coming around the home turn, all of which should be taken into consideration when punters are deciding how to bet on the Cessnock Cup or any other event on the course. Anyone who is putting down money is well looked after at the Cessnock Racecourse, thanks to the strong ring of trusted bookmakers that have been assembled, and the large underground punting area.
The Cup Itself
The total Cessnock Cup purse is 25,000 Australian Dollars and it has been sponsored by Tooheys, which has long supported racing in the area, for many years. It is for horses aged 4 years and older, and is run on a flat distance of 1,358 metres. The racetrack parameters that are mentioned here and above, as well as weather conditions on the Race Day, recent past performances by both jockeys and horses, and any other trustworthy tips should all be taken into account when betting on the Cup, but this is not the only attraction on Race Day. The general atmosphere of fun and festivities is always added to with great live entertainment, free activities for children and the essential Fashions on the Field event, where lucky winners get to take home some truly spectacular prizes. Country racing doesn’t really get better or more conveniently close to the city than with the Cessnock Cup, and everyone from serious punters to families looking for an enjoyable day out should have a good time. Out-of-towners can enjoy the vineyards and newer tourist attractions, and should find plenty of suitable accommodation. Everyone can experience a slice of racing history, and hopefully take home some big winnings, when visiting Cessnock.