The annual Tatura Cup is run at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club in the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. The 2015 Tatura Cup, which was run on Easter Saturday, 4 April, was won by the four-year-old New Zealand mare Spectacular Vision, in a time of 2:05.95. She was trained by Peter Moody and ridden by Daniel Stackhouse.
In second place was the American horse and race favourite Courageous Rock (trainer: Michael Moroney; jockey: Steven Arnold), with Domarosa placed third (trainer: Andrew Dale; jockey: Ben Thompson) and Aria Storm (trainer: Sylvia Thompson; jockey: Jake Bayliss) coming in fourth. Spectacular Vision was carrying a handicap weight of 56kg. The 1,997-metre race has a total purse of AU$35,000.
A Brief History of Tatura
Tatura is a small town that makes up part of the city of Greater Shepparton in the Goulburn Valley region of Victoria, Australia. It is about 180km from the state capital, Melbourne, and in the 2006 census had a population of 3,533. While much of the surrounding area is devoted to agriculture, Tatura itself is a hub of corporate and manufacturing concerns.
The region is a major innovator in irrigation-based agriculture, and also an important centre for dairy farming, and hosts a number of processing plants for multinational food companies like Unilever and Snow Brand Milk Products. Tatura’s tourist attractions include local wetlands, Wartime Camp memorials and an Irrigation Museum.
The town was founded in 1875, and has also been home to a turf club, the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club Inc, since 1881. The club’s fixtures are run at the Tatura Racecourse Reserve and are well attended, as the popularity of horse racing in this area, and indeed across Australia is immense.
Tatura’s Two Signature Races
The Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club holds a minimum of at least three full TAB race meetings a year, and in recent years has also made a regular feature of the Mark Goring Memorial Race. This fixture commemorates jockey Mark Goring, who died of his injuries after a brutal fall on the track in 2003. The two main events on the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club calendar are the annual Tatura Cup, and the Italian Plate Day making opportunities for horse racing bets.
During World War II, a large number of German civilian internees were housed in camps in the Tatura area, after being transported to Australia by the British government. This was a security measure adopted by the UK to ensure that German nationals in Britain could not aid the Nazi war effort, although ironically the vast majority were Jewish fugitives who were viewed by Hitler’s regime as “non-German”; a distinction the British authorities could not fathom. The internment camps in time also became home to thousands of Italian prisoners of war, and many of these Italians stayed on in Australia after the war and created a thriving subculture.
The Italian Plate Day meeting at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club commemorates these Italian immigrants and is one of the biggest racing events in the area, annually. It’s a fitting tribute and it sees a sport that has rich traditions commemorate a time when many sacrificed themselves for a noble cause or contributed to making the country even greater.