Monday 23 April 2018

Hack Races

What better way to spend an Easter weekend in Campbelltown than to attend a hack racehorse meeting. Run on the course opposite the King's Arms in 1848, a number of races were set down for the Easter Sunday for the amusement of the townsfolk. Each race involved untrained hacks that had never won a prize. When "Jackey" won the first race on the card however there was much speculation over his credentials considering his great superiority over his rivals. Having survived the enquiry, 'Jackey" was declared the winner. The best riding of the day went to Hugh Byrne.

According to "Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer" the following day witnessed a few sports, such as running for watches, hunting a grunter with a shaved tail, and other amusements, which, coupled with the exhilarating draughts of Tooth's entire, effectually dissipated any appearances of ennui. If anyone can shed any light on what running for watches involves, please let me know!

The day was spent in good humour and it was hoped to run a similar one for the "Whitsuntide" and the next holiday season. For the record, the course opposite the King's Arms would have to have been the site of today's Mawson Park. The King's Arms was on the site of today's City Hotel on the corner of Queen and Cordeaux Streets.

Written by Andrew Allen


Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer, 29 April 1848, p2

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