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Shire boasts four winners

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Richard Biden with Carbine’s display (one of four) for the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour in Ballan. Photo Jessica Howard
Richard Biden with Carbine’s display (one of four) for the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour in Ballan. Photo Jessica Howard

By Jessica Howard

Carbine was the great great grandfather of the legendary Phar Lap, the inaugural inductee into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame and the 1890 Melbourne Cup winner.

The champion racehorse is one of four Melbourne Cup winners with connections to the Ballan district, including one residing at the historic Ballark property.

Carbine’s story will be shared alongside that of Don Juan (1873 winner), Malua (1884) and Mentor (1888) in a historical display that will feature at the 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour.

Ballan is one of 31 lucky locations, throughout Australasia, that will host the 15th annual trophy tour this year after a successful submission by the Ballan Jockey Club. The 18-carat gold cup, valued at $200,000, will arrive in town on Wednesday October 11.

The ‘People’s Cup’ will engage in a number of exciting activities including a champagne breakfast, street parade and cocktail party.
A display at the Ballan Mechanics Hall will be followed by a visit to Ballan District Health and Care.

The Ballan Shire Historical Society have been working hard to deliver a fascinating insight into the four horses, which will be displayed at the Mechanics Hall throughout the day.

BSHS member, Gail Biden said the tour was a “real coup” for the town.
“These horses ate our grass here in Ballan and to have the famous cup come to our little town is just amazing”.

Society secretary Richard Biden agreed.
“To have four Melbourne Cup winners associated with the Ballan Shire is something that all of us can be very proud of,” he said.

Mrs Biden said research into the four champion horses took around nine-months.
“Fortunately, a lot of the information was here in the society, so it was really a matter of knowing where to look and verifying the information before we went ahead with the display.

“While there wasn’t a lot of information on Malua, there were piles on Carbine, and we came to a bit of controversy surrounding Don Juan and who actually owned the horse at the time.

“It was important to ensure we had all the facts straight before compiling the information”.

The historical display will include pictures and material on each horse, alongside the history of Ballan and its schools during the late 1870s to 1900s. The display will be held between 9:30am and 5pm.

Mrs Biden said the society’s quarterly newsletter The Settler would also be available, with information on horse owners and race tracks involved in Ballan’s rich history.

The Ballan leg of the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour will kick off at 7:30am at St Brigid’s Primary School for a champagne breakfast.
A street parade will see a colourful exhibit of horses, jockeys and children followed by a delicious lunch cooked by the Ballan Country Women’s Association. Residents are invited to dress in 1880s themed costumes.

The day will conclude with a cocktail party in aid of the Ballan Hospital at the Mechanics Hall between 6pm and 9pm.

Community Grant funding close to $4000 was provided by the Ballan & District Community Bank Branch to the BSHS, BJC and St Brigid’s P&F.
Tickets are available from Ballan Community Centre; Ballan Community Bank; Ballan Post Office and www.countryracing.com.au/ballan and ballanjockeyclub1@bigpond.com.

For more information, contact 0409 007 913.