The return of crowd to the Wagga Gold Cup on Friday will be a major marker in the event's history books.
The Daily Advertiser team has compiled some of the biggest moments in the history of the city's biggest race day, from a young Tommy Smith in the 1930s and the day one man dropped a small fortune with the bookmakers, to the ride that wrote female jockeys into the Gold Cup annals and the year it almost stopped.
13. The horse paying $67 behind Wagga Gold Cup's biggest upset
Coming from eighth at the 400m mark to steam up the inside rail, Chance Affair managed to produce one of the greatest upsets ever recorded to win the Gold Cup. Starting at 33-1 odds on course, but paying $67 for one dollar on the TAB, punters hardly gave Chance Affair a hope of winning the lucrative event. FULL STORY.
12. From 27-1 to front of the field by half a length
Graham Power had 2912 rides for 402 wins including 73 doubles, 13 trebles, rode four in a day twice and five at a one meeting at the Murrumbidgee Turf Club, but one win stands out above the rest. From a long and successful career as one of the leading riders in the Southern District Racing Association, winning the jockeys premiership six times, it was a daring, front-running ride that is the moment he cherishes most of all. FULL STORY.
11. Not the best horse, but one of the greatest wins
Former Ariah Park publican Bob Tyack doesn't mind saying Mill Court was probably not the best horse in the Wagga Cup (2000m) in 1990. It is now part of Wagga Cup folklore how, amid emotional scenes, Mill Court used his affinity with the original MTC circuit to pull off a hometown triumph in the 1990 edition. FULL STORY.
10. The greatest punting splurge in Wagga Gold Cup history
Retired Wagga bookmaker Tom Patton admits he got "none of the action" when the legendary Hong Kong Tiger lost $193,000 on the first day of the Wagga Gold Cup carnival in 1967. Frank Duval unleashed the greatest punting splurge in Wagga Gold Cup history. FULL STORY.
9. O'Hara into the record books as first female jockey to win Wagga Gold Cup
Sydney jockey Kathy O'Hara put everything she had into bringing Voice Commander home to become the first female rider to take out the Wagga Gold Cup. It was 2011, it was O'Hara's fifth race on the Nick Olive-trained steed and it was by a nose - but the win was one for the record books. FULL STORY
8. Cup returns to local winners after almost a quarter of a century
Tears and beers flowed freely as Pride Of Indies ended a run of outs for Wagga trainers when he claimed the Wagga Gold Cup in 1985, becoming the first Wagga prepared horse to win the cup since Gipsy Creek 1959. FULL STORY.
7. Double Cop by a whisker, and by the grace of God
Double Cop scorched around the Murrumbidgee Turf Club to win his second Wagga Gold Cup with Ray Selkrig aboard in 1978, but his association with the Melbourne Cup winning jockey almost never happened. FULL STORY.
6. Coronavirus causes Cup to go crowd-less
The more than 10,000 people who would normally stream through the MTC gates were left with nowhere to go when the COVID-19 pandemic spelled the end of crowds at the track in 2020. The two-day carnival went ahead, but there was barely a soul able to witness it in person. And then the rain came - 51mm in 48 hours.FULL STORY
Crazy Cup's twisted post-script
As if a crowd-less 2020 Wagga Gold Cup wasn't a big enough twist, House of Cartier was stripped of its Cup win three months later. On the day it was a victory for New Zealand, with House Of Cartier owned by Wellfield Lodge's Peter Gillespie and Bill Gleeson, as well as being trained by John Sargent, a Kiwi now training out of Randwick. But it all came crashing down with a positive swab in August, disqualifying the horse from the race and resulting in a new winner - Maurus. FULL STORY
4. The hobby trainer from Jindera who beat out a millionaire for cup glory
Millionaire owner Lloyd Williams was no match for a Jindera trainer Don Ross, who overcame the odds to win the Wagga Gold Cup in 1987. FULL STORY.
3. Covered in mud, half-blind - but what a fairytale ending
Conditions were so heavy at the Murrumbidgee Turf Club on May 6 Sydney jockey Denis McClune rode more than half the race blind, with his goggles splattered in mud to win on Sasha Bijou. FULL STORY.
2. 'No, I'm riding him', and the rest is history
Jockeys from across the country tried to jump onto the back of black stallion Talent Beau in 1971, but it was a Wagga jockey that took home the Gold Cup. Born and bred in Wagga, Lyn Toshack was given the responsibility of riding the heavily backed Talent Beau and he didnt disappoint. FULL STORY.
1. Wagga and a brumby: Tommy Smith's first win of a glittering career
When former rogue Bragger triumphed for owner-trainer Tommy Smith on April 23 1942, no one assembled at the Murrumbidgee Turf Club could have dreamt what the horseman would go on to achieve in the sport - probably not even the man himself. FULL STORY.