Australia | FEATURE RACE GUIDE
The Grafton Cup is one of the most historic and important country feature races in NSW.
The Grafton Cup is a Listed Race conducted by the Clarence River Jockey Club and is the centrepiece of one of the most famous country racing carnivals in Australia.
The Grafton Cup has been a feature of the July Racing Carnival since 1910 and has been run over distances ranging from 2000m up 2350m.
The distance of the first Grafton Cup was 10 furlongs (2000m) and by 1937 had been increased to 11 furlongs (2200m).
In 1990 the distance went to 2300m and since 2007 the Grafton Cup has been run over 2350m, ensuring it maintains its place as a qualifying race for the Melbourne Cup.
The 2019 Grafton Cup will be run over 2350m for prizemoney of $160,000.
The Grafton Cup as not run during the war years from 1942-1945.
The Grafton Cup became a Listed Race in 1980 and was upgraded to Group 3 from 1995 until 2005. It reverted to Listed status in 2006.
The Grafton Cup is famously known as “The Springboard To Fame” as many winners have gone to success in some Australia’s biggest races, the most notable being Kensei who won the Grafton Cup-Melbourne Cup double in 1987.
Notable Grafton Cup winners between 1969 and 2000 came from all parts of Australia and New Zealand and included What's Brewing (won 1969 Moonee Valley Cup); Wave King (won 1975 Liston Stakes; 1976 Feehan Stakes; 1977 Memsie Stakes); Riverdale (won 1984 Epsom Handicap; 1984 Ampol Stakes); Les' Choice (won 1986 Doomben Cup); Shuzohra (won 1990 Brisbane Cup); Cross Swords (won 1994 Sydney Cup); Abstraction (won 1989 Doomben Cup); Oppressor (won 1995 Toorak Handicap); and Praise Indeed (won 1998 Brisbane Cup).
The list of minor placegetters over the same period also underlines the Grafton Cup's great quality, among them the noted Group winners and performers Denise's Joy, Manawapoi, Golden Khan, One Guinea, Aquidity, Oompala and Melora.
Since 1960 the Grafton Cup has attracted winners from Queensland, Victoria, NSW and New Zealand. They have included the classy winners Carnival, Jupiter, Big Butch, Jardel, Zamazaan Lass, French Commander, Under orders, My Star Sapphire, Osmiridium, Rushcutter, Rural Prince, Akwazoff, Catapult, Count Scenario, Belus, Pacific Dancer, Stormhill, Rocking On, Art Success, Castle heights, Twin Wing, Mr O’Ceirin, Queenstown and Bonfire.
There have been five multiple winners of the Grafton Cup led by Hosier who won the race in three successive years from1922-1924. The dual winners have been Longwy (1919-20); Home James (1963-64); Jardel (1974-75) and Oppressor(1994-95).
The list of trainers and jockeys to win the Grafton Cup reads like a "who's who" of Australian racing and includes legendary riders Jim Pike, Darby Munro, Neville Sellwood, Billy Cook, Jack Thompson, Ted Bartle, Maurice McCarten, Neville McGrowdie, Doug Weir, Darby McCarthy, Mel Schumacher and Frank Reys.
Larry Olsen holds the record for the most Grafton Cup wins by a jockey, winning the race five times between 1975 and1992 on Jardel, Wave King, Kensei, Shuzohra and Cross Swords.
Other leading jockeys to win the Grafton Cup since 1970 include Des Lake, Kevin Moses, Grahame Cook, Gary Palmer, Robert Thompson, Gavan Duffy, Peter Cook, Larry Cassidy, Shane Scriven, Scott Seamer, Chris Munce, Michael Cahill, Michael Rodd, Mark Zahra, Jeff Lloyd and Blake Shinn.
Famous trainers to win the Grafton Cup since 1960 include Jack Green, Morrie Anderson, Frank Dalton, Syd Brown, Roy Hinton, Kevin Hayes, Neville Begg, Graeme Rogerson, Les Bridge, Graeme Sanders, Vic Thompson, Neville McBurney, Brian Smith, Bede Murray, Bill Mitchell, Robert Smerdon, Tim Martin, Donna Logan, Guy Walter, John Thompson and Ciaron Maher.
Gai Waterhouse holds the modern day training record for the Grafton Cup, winning the race four times since 2006 with Rocking On, Queenstown, Bonfire and Supply And Demand.
The 2018 Grafton Cup was won by First Crush from Winkler and Reneged.
Previous Grafton Cup Winners
| SACRED DAY (NZ) 4G |
AZAMOUR (IRE) - TOP OF THE DAY (AUS) O'REILLY (NZ)
|B LOOKER||54.0||TONY PIKE||1|
| FIRST CRUSH (AUS) 6G |
HUSSON (ARG) - LOVING NEW (BRZ) CHOCTAW RIDGE (USA)
|M R DU PLESSIS||55.5||CHRIS MUNCE||7|
| SUPPLY AND DEMAND (AUS) 4G |
SEBRING (AUS) - DEMANDING (AUS) OCTAGONAL (NZ)
|J PARR||58.5||G WATERHOUSE & A BOTT||13|
| REDNAV (AUS) 5G |
HENRYTHENAVIGATOR (USA) - REDOUTESKI (AUS) REDOUTE'S CHOICE (AUS)
|P GRAHAM||54.0||SALLY TAYLOR||12|
| BONFIRE (GB) 6G |
MANDURO (GER) - NIGHT FROLIC (GB) NIGHT SHIFT (USA)
|B SHINN||59.0||MS G WATERHOUSE||12|
| QUEENSTOWN (AUS) 4M |
STRATUM (AUS) - REGAL HEIGHTS (NZ) ZABEEL (NZ)
|TIM CLARK||54.0||MS G WATERHOUSE||6|
| MR O'CEIRIN (NZ) 5G |
POSTPONED (USA) - CADELL (NZ) YACHTIE (AUS)
|B SHINN||56.0||CIARON MAHER||16|
| SHAMARDASHING (AUS) 5G |
SHAMARDAL (USA) - BEAUX ART (AUS) NOMROOD (USA)
|J LLOYD||57.5||JOHN P THOMPSON||8|
| WARRIOR WITHIN (AUS) 5G |
KING CUGAT (USA) - AVA BOLLI (NZ) VOLKSRAAD (GB)
|P HAMMERSLEY||53.0||BRUCE W HILL||9|
| TWIN WING (NZ) 7G |
ISTIDAAD (USA) - TIGER MOTH (NZ) SKY CHASE (NZ)
|J FORD||57.5||G H WALTER||8|
| CASTLE HEIGHTS (NZ) 4G |
GOLAN (IRE) - CAERNARFON (NZ) VOLKSRAAD (GB)
|S KATSIDIS||53.0||D LOGAN||4|
| ART SUCCESS (NZ) 6G |
PENTIRE (GB) - ZABELETTE (NZ) ZABEEL (NZ)
|J LLOYD||58.0||JOHN COLLINS||2|
| ASHRAF (AUS) 4G |
DANEHILL (USA) - DIS LA (USA) DIESIS (GB)
|DALE SPRIGGS||53.0||STUART PHEGAN||4|
| ROCKING ON (NZ) 5G |
ZABEEL (NZ) - LAMBERT MISS (NZ) DANZIG (USA)
|J INNES||53.0||MS G WATERHOUSE||4|
| STORMHILL (AUS) 3C |
DANEHILL (USA) - TORRENTIAL STORM (NZ) SIR TRISTR (AUS)
|C MUNCE||52.0||T R MARTIN||7|
| PACIFIC DANCER (NZ) 3G |
GROOM DANCER (USA) - PACIFIC GEM (NZ) KAAPSTAD (NZ)
|M RODD||53.5||SHAUN DWYER||3|
| BELUS (AUS) 5G |
BLETCHARM (AUS) - SWALK (AUS) GODSWALK (USA)
|M J ZAHRA||54.0||R W SMERDON||9|
| MASTER POM (NZ) 6G |
GARCIA (USA) - POMPOM (NZ) LORD CHEVAL (NZ)
|N CUMBERLAND||53.0||STEPHEN QUINTANO||5|
| DESK TOP LOVER (AUS) 5G |
BUREAUCRACY (NZ) - LOVE TO SPARE (AUS) DAYBREAK LOVER (AUS)
|M J CAHILL||53.0||BILL MITCHELL||14|
| SIMIGAN (NZ) 4G |
HONOR GRADES (USA) - KARAMEA LADY (NZ) LORD BALLINA (AUS)
|A ROBINSON||52.5||BRIAN SMITH||5|
Sacred Day has given New Zealand trainer Tony Pike another Australian feature race win after claiming the Listed Grafton Cup.
Ben Looker railed home on Sacred Day to win the 2019 Grafton Cup at Grafton on Thursday.
They still race on a Soft 5 surface as they run the Grafton Cup this afternoon.
Robbie Fradd goes for back to back Cup wins on Igraine in the Grafton Cup today.
Happy Go Plucky won the Cup Prelude and Jim Byrne will try to make it the big double in the Grafton Cup today.
Newly crowned G1 winning rider Jason Collett will ride Vaucluse Bay in the Grafton Cup.
Gold Coast trainer John Gilmore is hoping a well laid plan comes to fruition in today's $165,000 McMullan Contracting Grafton Cup with his in form 6YO Happy Go Plucky.
Tony Pike is pleased with progressive galloper Sacred Day heading into Thursday’s $165,000 Grafton Cup but he has a fair handle on his main opposition.
It has been a quiet betting race to date in the 2019 Grafton Cup at Grafton on Thursday.
A good New Zealand mare heads the Tips and Race Preview for the 2019 Grafton Cup at Grafton on Thursday.
The barrier draw has had an impact on Wednesday's $165.000 Ramornie Handicap at Grafton with the scratching of early second favourite Bon Amis.
There is a field of 14 to run in the 2019 Grafton Cup at Grafton on Thursday.
The chance to get black-type could mean talented staying mare Protest heads to the Grafton Cup rather than Doomben.
Gold Coast trainer Bruce Hill added another NSW feature to his tally when wet track specialist Bodega Negra mastered a heavy track to win Sunday's $50,000 South Grafton Cup.