‘Tarpot’ feature run on the cards
Backwards running will be a feature of the 2018 Digiorgio Family Wines Apsley Cup on Sunday with competitors racing for up to $1000 in prize money.
Apsley Racing Club introduced the Jimmy Tarpot Cup for the fastest backwards runner over 100 yards – 91 metres – at its 2016 meeting.
The cup is named in honour of Jimmy Tarpot, born Murrumgunerrimin, who worked on Bringalbert Station outside of Apsley.
Tarpot was a member of the Aboriginal cricket team that played the Melbourne Cricket Club at the MCG on Boxing Day in 1866.
As part of the tour to Melbourne, the Aboriginal cricket team ran a sports day at the MCG and Tarpot thrilled the thousands of people in attendance with the unusual feat of running 100 yards backwards in 14 seconds.
Due to injury, Tarpot did not make the famed tour of England with his fellow team-mates, but he did return to Apsley and became a renowned wool classer.
Apsley Racing Club president Roger Pfitzner said the club wanted to do something to promote the anniversary of the Aboriginal cricket team’s tour to England.
“When we learnt about Jimmy Tarpot, it couldn’t be anything but a backwards running race,” he said.
“Most of us couldn’t even imagine running that fast forwards.”
Mr Pfitzner said the backwards race proved to be popular with the race-going crowd.
“In 2016, the backwards race drew more of a crowd than the horses,” he said.
This year, competitors will race for $1000 in prize money, thanks to West Wimmera Shire Council.
The race will be down the main straight between horse races.
The Jimmy Tarpot Cup is but one attraction at Edenhope Racecourse on Sunday.
“Apsley Racing Club has ensured there is plenty more to keep the crowd entertained including free kids entertainment, live music, fashions on the field, great local food, wine and coffee and a new public bar in prime race viewing position up on the mound,” Mr Pfitzner said.
Tickets for the day can be pre-purchased online for $15, or at the gate for $20.
Apsley Racing Club memberships are for sale at Apsley Post Office, Edenhope Post Office and The Border Inn, Apsley.
Membership costs $20 and includes entry to the Apsley, Naracoorte and Nhill cup meetings as well as a 15 percent discount at Digiorgio Family Wines, Coonawarra.
People can search Apsley Racing Club on Facebook for more information about the day.
People can book tickets online at country. racing.com/apsley or call club manager Lisa Inkster on 0427 989 212 for bookings.