$2 purchase turns up racing treasure

BOMADERRY man John Gunn has brought a piece of Australian racing history to light.

Mr Gunn turned up at the South Coast Register office with the stunning piece of silverware, a trophy from the Mooney Valley Trotting Competition in Victoria in the 1890s.

The trophy is beautifully engraved and finished.

The plaque reads: The Severnside Cup for the Mooney Valley Trotting Competition presented by Frank Robbins Esp and was won by E Humphries with Wallaby on March 5 1890.

The elaborately decorated trophy has detailed engraved pictures depicting trotting races of the day, while it is surrounded by a garland of fruit, with a beautifully designed robed woman as the handle.

The history of the cup might surprise most people, with trotting races also being staged at the famous race track.

The cup is now owned by Dulcie Kiley; her late husband, Frank, was given the cup by a friend.

Apparently the friend discovered it in a box of tools he had purchased for $2.

THE Severnside Cup has an interesting history.

The race was contested twice, the first time at Elsternwick Park (Melbourne’s first trotting only circuit) on October 13, 1886 and the second and last time at Moonee Valley on March 5 1890

The 1890 running was staged over two miles and carried a prize of 100 sovereigns plus the cup worth 25 sovereigns.

E Humphries scored the win with Wallaby, driven by Davy Yates, who was also a flat and jumps jockey, by four and a half lengths from Daisy and Sir John covering the two miles in 5m 20s.

There was much amusement and excitement through the fact Daisy and Wallaby competed strongly with each other, and each broke repeatedly.

Moonee Valley was regularly used for trotting races in the 19th century, with the Moonee Valley Trotting Club conducting 24 meetings, one meeting had 14 races, and on another 24 occasions conducted one or more trotting races on mixed programs. 


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