The Geraldton Gold Cup, known colloquially as the Geraldton Cup, is an annual horse racing event that is held at the Geraldton Turf club at the end of March. This unlisted thoroughbred race was first run on the 8th of December back in 1887, where racers ran a track distance of 3,200 metres in order to compete for a grand prize amount of £300. This 1887 Geraldton Cup race was won by the horse Baron Nectar, who was the brother of the race horse Dunlop who won the prestigious Melbourne Cup in the same year.
The very first Geraldton Cup and those occurring in consecutive years have all been hosted by the Geraldton Turf Club, a horse racing club based in the town of Geraldton, which is a small seaside town about 4 and a half hours north outside of Perth city centre. The Geraldton Turf Club is one of the oldest established race tracks in Australia, having been established in the year 1861. The racing club celebrated their 150 year anniversary in 2012. The Geraldton Turf Club generally holds around 19 racing meetings between October to April the following year, including renowned events like the Geraldton Cup and the Batavia Sprint. The new Geraldton Racecourse, also known as ‘Utakarra Racecourse’, was officially opened for racing in 2001, and is one of the most prominent tracks in use in Western Australia today.
Geraldton racetrack is laid out in an oval formation that is considered relatively small in comparison with other tracks in Australia. The track has a total circumference of 1600m and a home straight of 300m. The track has had connections with many successful race horses over the years. Outstanding competitors like winner of the Perth Cup Ghurkha, winner of the Railway Stakes Belle Bizarre, two-time winner of the Railway Stakes in 2011 and 2013 Luckygray, WA Derby winner Beaujolais Boy, and Karrakatta Plate winner Rare Sovereign. In 2007, the race horse Tapdog became the first horse in history to win three separate Geraldton Cup races, having claimed first place in 2002, 2006 and 2007.
The 2015 Geraldton Cup event was run at 2,100 metres and was worth a total of $90,000 in prize money equal to those put down for horse betting. P Hall claimed first place at the 2015 race with horse Ora Dare, winning a prize of $57,600. Hall was followed by S McGruddy with Paseo Del Prado coming in at second place and winning a prize of $18,000, and Lucy Warwick with Friarday claiming third place and winning $8,100.
Other past winners of the Geraldton Cup at Geraldton racecourse include 2014 winner Cyber Crime with Jockey Patrick Carbery, who finished the race at 2:10.58. Black Tycoon and jockey Troy Turner claimed first place in 2013, finishing at 2:08.86, and Shaun Meeres with horse Great ‘n’ Grey came in first in 2012, finishing with a total race time of 2:07.92.