Territory Stories

Sunday Territorian 20 Jul 2014



Sunday Territorian 20 Jul 2014


Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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SUNDAY JULY 20 2014 SPORT 63 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA Darwin racing over the years Cups top form, you bet! A DECISION was made to take the 1990 Bicentennial Darwin Cup to a new level with prizemoney of $100,000. It was in this period we saw our top Australian jockeys vying for an invite to ride in Darwin. Darren Gauci and Craig Williams were two who rode regularly during their apprenticeships. Darren Beadman, Steven King, Kevin Moses, Greg Hall, Steven Arnold and Damien Oliver were just a few of the many top jockeys who attended the Carnival during this decade. Two of Australias most prominent trainers, Colin Hayes and Bart Cummings, were particularly interested in the progression of racing in Darwin and were suitably impressed with the significance of the event when they visited the Top End. The attendance of these top jockeys, trainers and racing administrators brought unbelievable publicity for the Darwin Cup Carnival. Attendances of interstate visitors also continued to grow significantly. The Darwin Turf Club from 1979 sought Principal Club status with the Australian Racing Board. Initially, the representation was to share with Alice Springs but with no voting rights. Several applications for full Membership were rejected. Eventually with the help of Peter Armitage (VRC chairman), Jim Bell (AJC chairman) and Ned Williams (QTC chairman) we were elevated to member status in 1992. This consolidated our presence on the national scene and allowed us to conduct our race meetings within the Australian Rules of Racing. The Darwin Cup on several occasions made application to the Australian Racing Board for listed status for the Darwin Cup. This listing was granted in 1992 but, unfortunately the Cup is no longer a listed race. The growth put pressure on the club to continue to build more raceday infrastructure and although we had a new public bar and members building, we still had two Sydney Williams huts which were probably the hottest betting ring in Australia. Barry Coulter (Racing Minister) and Robin Flannery (NT TAB) assisted the club in the development of a plan to build a grandstand. This was officially opened in 1994 and took the image and recognition of the club to another respected level. For some time the club was in negotiations with Mark Read to set up a corporate betting agency at Fannie Bay racecourse. Due to a lack of premises to accommodate this tenancy further extensions were done to the rear of the grandstand. Mark Read became the first corporate bookmaker, eventually establishing the publicly-listed company, International All Sports, which was later bought out by Sportsbet. Demand for suitable stabling was increasing at an alarming rate. Some stables were little more than a lean-to. Modern facilities have continued to be built over many years and some older ones demolished. In 1995, Paul Cattermole departed. He had served in the position of secretary/chief executive for 17 years (1978-1995). Paul had been actively involved in the Darwin Turf Clubs transition from a bush track to a very modern facility with a successful four-week racing carnival being the major event in the Northern Territory, The Darwin Cup Carnival. Pauls replacement was a very experienced racing administrator from Moe, Victoria, Wayne Pollock. During Waynes tenure we saw the sale of the NT Government-owned TAB to UNiTAB. During this process, protracted negotiations by Peter McQueen and Wayne Pollock saw an excellent result for Darwin Turf Club with the extinguishment of all debt and advances of funds for further stable development. The Winfield Darwin Cup was last run in 1995 with Winfield being great sponsors over a number of years. We were fortunate, well in advance of 1995 to have negotiated a sponsorship with Carlton United Brewery. Mike Pele, regional man ager Queensland and Northern Territory had been a great supporter of Darwin racing through the Palmerston Sprint sponsorship and it was a natural move to the Darwin Cup with a massive increase in sponsorship which is the foundation of the Carnivals success. In 1994 Lothaway County won the Darwin Cup and then finished in a dead-heat with Kingston Reserve in 1995. In 1996 Ventilago claimed the Triple Crown, the second horse to do so, owned and trained by John Turner of Alice Springs Racing in 1992 lost one of its great supporters in Noel Buntine. Buntine was a member of the Committee of the Darwin Turf Club and supported racing with a large stable in Darwin, while he was headquartered in Katherine. He was the driving force of racing in Katherine, Timber Creek, Halls Creek, Wyndham, Kununurra, and in the early 1990s Birdsville. Bob (Tulloch) Marshall passed away in 1990. Bob, a well known NT News racing journalist was a significant influence for exposure of the Darwin racing industry and his passion was commendable even though some of his reports caused the committee much anguish. By DOUG BOOTH PAST WINNERS 1990 Lord Chamberlain (N Paine) 1991 Silver Shark (T Arnold) 1992 Clams Comet (W Davis) 1993 Instant Policy (D Beadman) 1994 Lothaway County (S King) 1995 Lothaway County (P Payne) Kingston Reserve (S Arnold) *dead heat 1996 Ventilago (D Coffey) 1997 Tucker Box (K Dodge) 1998 Bellile (C Williams) 1999 On The Beam (P Denton) A winning double flashback in this tribute to our past successes are the victorious jockeys from the classic 1995 Winfield Darwin Cup deadheat, Paddy Payne and Steve Arnold.

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