One of Murrumbidgee Turf Club’s feature races, the Lamont Classic, will be run for the eighth occasion this Friday and is an event that acknowledges part of Wagga’s rich history.
The 1300m race for two-year-olds salutes the Lamont Family and their Kooringal Stud that was established 113 years ago, 22km north of Wagga.
It started in 1910 when John and Christina Lamont and the first of their three children moved to Wagga from the Wimmera region in Victoria.
They took ownership of a bare block of almost 3000 acres, calling the property ‘Kooringal’ – aboriginal for ‘home on the hill’.
They proceeded to build a house, stables, woolshed and workshop and these buildings still stand today.
Kooringal Stud is now owned and managed by Stuart and Penny Lamont and their children, Angus, James, Richard and Georgie.
The stud is powering along having recently acquired stallions Merchant Navy and Finance Tycoon to stand this season.
The Lamont name has been synonymous with racing in the Riverina for decades and it is fitting to have a feature race in their honour.
Stuart Lamont was on the board of MTC for 34 years, spending 15 years as president, and his late father Colin was MTC’s chairman through the 1970s and 80s.
Stuart’s son Angus followed the family tradition and has been serving on the MTC board for a decade.
Friday’s Lamont Classic has been a springboard for a number of talented gallopers with the inaugural Lamont Classic in 2016 won by handy performer Vee Eight, and the following year was taken out by Warwick Farm winner Up Trumpz.
The 2020 edition was claimed by Country Championships Final victor, Another One, now a winner of eight races and $950,000 in stakes.
In 2021 the winner was Zadig who won his last three starts in Queensland and last year the race was won by smart local galloper Lunar Shoes.
Wagga’s eight-race program on Friday carries $225,000 in prizemoney, and other highlights being the Commins Hendricks Benchmark 74 Handicap (1400m) and the Wagga Motorcycles Benchmark 58 Handicap (2000m) – a heat of the Wagga Stayer Series.
Meanwhile, Muswellbrook Race Club kicks off its winter schedule on Sunday with the Aberdeen Cup meeting which always attracts a sizeable crowd.
“We start off June in the beautiful Hunter Valley with a seven-race card featuring the $30,000 Aberdeen Cup over 1280m,” said MRC’s general manager, Trevor Taylor.
“We have organised some great entertainment with popular band KYDA Rock playing in our gardens. People should come out and enjoy a Sunday in the country with great racing and entertainment.”
In other news, a replacement picnic race meeting has been scheduled on Saturday at Coonamble following recent cancellations at Marthaguy (6 May) and Cootamundra (22 April).
– Racing NSW