Mount Garnet races a hit again!

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*I have been talking to a very nice, young and talented bloke from North QLD- David Barclay and I’m sure we will hear a lot more of him down the track in the racing industry. He is only 16 years old and he has written an article/wrap up from the Garnet Races (which I knew very little about). It is obviously a remote area and I hope you enjoy finding out about the races as much as I did! Here it is courtesy of David:


Within a plethora of tuxedo t-shirts, Akubra’s and boots, the 75th Mount Garnet racing carnival was one to remember. Mount Garnet, a town of a little over 400, every year plays host to an influx of thousands for their annual racing and rodeo weekend. Held over three days, traditionally on the May Day long weekend, two days of racing and one of rodeo, the weekend is marked by the red dust surrounding the racetrack and rodeo grounds.

The camp grounds, which are a hot ticket in the area, are situated right next to the racetrack, rodeo and golf course, although they are all the same place! It is easy to tell those who camp, not by the messy hair or pungent smell, but the shirts they all wear. They are identified by the colourful nature of the shirt, the year/s it has been going (some have been going nearly as long as the races themselves) and usually a joke or two. These camps are the lifeblood of the weekend, and provide an atmosphere that the rest of the crowd feed off.

The track itself, barely more than 1400m in circumference, is an intimate course where there is no need for binoculars. Uninterrupted views across the course are helped by the use of the inner area as a golf course. A tin roofed betting area, and a twenty row grandstand are the only major infrastructure at the track, meaning the intimacy of the country track is well and truly captured.

There are three major races over the weekend. The main race, the Cup, is run over 1350m, to the disdain of many local trainers who believe a cup should be at least 1600. The second is the “Bracelet” a race for the sprinters over 1000m, and finally the Gunawarra Shield, a class 4 race also over 1350, first run in 1947.

The cup was won by Mighty Mite, a Townsville trained galloper, from $1.70 favourite Counterize. The Bracelet was taken out by the Paula D’Addona steed Huss who fought off Charters Towers visitor Whitsunday Express after a ding-dong battle up the short straight. Meanwhile Divine Luck reeled in tearaway leader Ottana to capture the Gunawarra Shield.  Ottana had led by 8 lengths as the field turned for home, and jockey Mark Atkinson must have felt a Jimmy Cassidy moment as Divine Luck drew aside.Garnet

The weekend is a treat for all, and with local legend Bluey Forsyth calling the races, there’s nowhere else a North Queenslander should be on the former May Day weekend.



*Thanks very much David. You can follow David on Twitter if you are on social media


And you can find the Mount Garnet races at