Edenhope is small town in Victoria, Australia and is located on the Wimmera Highway in the Shire of the same name. Established in the 1800s, the town sits on Lake Wallace’s shores and is a popular destination for water sports and fishing enthusiasts. The town also offers a golf course and has a cairn commemorating the first all-Aboriginal cricket team to travel to England, in the grounds of the Edenhope Secondary College. More interesting than all the other activities and heritage, for many, is the township’s Horse Racing Club. This is where the James H Greenhill Edenhope Cup is held on the Saturday of the Labour Day Weekend every March. Crowds of more than 1000 are attracted annually, and the event has become a major fixture for the local community.
The Edenhope Race Club and Course
The Club was established in 1935 and hosts smaller annual events as well as the Cup. It is the westernmost track in Victoria, and is noted for being especially picturesque. The Club is quite compact, but offers world-class facilities including an air-conditioned bar/dining room and plenty of shade and seating. The track circumference is 1650 metres, with a home straight that is 300 meters long. The surface is largely flat, with turns that are slightly banked and two well-grassed, long straights. The entire surface is irrigated, with a uniform clay-like soil. On the day of the main event there is a full line-up of eight races, so punters should take careful note of the track conditions on the day, the previous performances of horses in similar situations, injury reports, tips and anything else they can find out to take full advantage of the complete race card.
Plenty to Do
In addition to the racing thrills, there is lots to keep visitors to Edenhope busy. This makes journeying to the Edenhope Cup a great Labour Day weekend away, with several places to stay and eat as well as the incredible Naracoorte Caves National Park and Harrow Discovery Centre to explore while you place your NRL bets on the local games.
On the day of the Edenhope Cup itself, the easiest way to get to the racecourse (which is conveniently only 1 kilometre out of town) is to take the West Wimmera Advocate ERC bus. Umbrella marquee packages are available for families and groups of friends who are happy to relax and take a DIY approach, and tickets to the Edenhope Foodworks Grand Marquee will take care of those who want to be a little more looked after. The Grand Marquee ticket is all-inclusive and offers admission, food, drink and a race book. For those who are keen to carry on the festivities all day, it is also the best place to party and listen to music. There are also outdoor barbecue meals to be enjoyed, and other fine dining options.
As with most horse racing events in Australia, the Fashions on the Field is an enjoyable spectacle for all and for those whose threads are deemed the finest there are some great prizes up for grabs. There is always a great line-up of amusements and activities for children, and the full TAB facilities are made available in a fully equipped Punter’s Club. Just as a good country race should, the Edenhope Cup provides whatever you want from your day out – be it a sense of history, some great entertainment, or some serious bets and wins.