Ararat Turf Club

Ararat Park0448 983 248



Ararat Turf Club

The Ararat Turf Club is located in the heart of the Grampians and only two hours’ drive from Melbourne.


In addition to hosting regular race days, the Ararat Turf Club is the Grampians’ newest function venue, ideal for weddings, parties, sporting club events and more.


Ararat was originally settled during the 1840's by squatters to take advantage of the grasslands by running livestock, mainly sheep. Gold was discovered at Pinky Point in 1854 and large numbers of miners moved to the area around Mt Ararat. The Chinese discovered the Canton Lead in 1857 when they left the Mt Ararat diggings heading towards Bendigo. There followed a major shift of gold miners moving to the very rich diggings at this site which led to the settlement being know as the Ararat Camp.


The reserve itself was instigated by a group of gentlemen wanting to hold a 3 day race meeting for the fledging town of Ararat in 1857. As the 3 day race meeting was a success the committee then applied to the government requesting a grant of 200 acres for a Public Racecourse for this district.  The government granted 174 acres and placed under a committee know variously as trustees or a committee of management. 


The Ararat Turf Club has two feature race days: the Ararat Gold Cup, on the second Sunday in November, and the Willaura Cup, on the last weekend in April.


Visitors to the Ararat Turf Club can expect great food, local wines and all the excitement of thoroughbred horse racing. Ararat is a gateway to the Grampians, the Wimmera, and all that Western Victoria has to offer.


Contact the club on m: 0448 983 248 or via email at and we’ll see you soon for a day of country racing that’s got it all.



Our records for the Ararat Gold Cup Winners date back to 1982.

Year                Horse                                     Trainer                       Jockey

1982                 Miron Choice                           E. O'Sullivan           S. Maskell

1983                 Valiant Club                             C. Nicholls               M. Gauci

1984                 Rankarlinar                              W. Rantall                D. Short

1985                 Brown Ripa                              R. Maund                 L. Maund

1986                 Gavel                                       G. Daffy                       N. Wilson

1987                 Treaty                                       C. Wort                       W. Hokai

1988                 Woak Wine                               R. Gravett                  S. Ridler

1989                 Mr Classic                                C. Cerchi                  R. Barone

1990                 Hills of Carome                        K. Bourke                  M. Bourke

1991                 Explorer                                   J. Meagher                 M. Flaherty

1992                 Akbaraly                                  B. Purcell                    G. Childs

1993                 Century Magic                          R. Smerdon               C. Tuppen

1994                 Mangos Lunch                         J. Castleman              R. Jolly

1995                 Colonial Spirit                         R. Keirl                         J. Didham

1996                 Bold Command                       G. Thornton                C. Robertson

1997                 Carinya Pirate                         S. Balle                         P. Hutchinson

1998                 Mick the Russian                     B. Walsh                       P. Hutchinson

1999                 Another Chance                       R. Keirl                        S. Ridler

2000                 Robyn's Furniture                    D. Weir                         B. Rawiller

2001                 Imax                                         M. Moroney                   L. Robertson

2002                 Minogue                                   T. O'Sullivan                 B. Cross

2003                 Our Guided Missile                  D.Saxon                       L. Nolen

2004                 Mr Tambourineman                  J. Leek                         M. Flaherty

2005                 Mc Lir                                      M. Anderson                  M. Zahra

2006                 Mad Dugal                               J. Rogers                      C. Puls

2007                 Who’s Ya Daddy                      J. McArdle                    S. Murphy (a)

2008                 Sylvan O’Reilly                         B. James                      S. Vella

2009                 Last Drop                                 T & K O’Sullivan             C. Lindop

2010                 Windarra Place                         T & K O’Sullivan          D. Tourneur

2011                 Diamondsondinside                 L. Oliver                        B. Rawiller

2012                 Clang & Bang                          D. Weir                         H. Coffey

2013                 Flashy Fella                             M. Moroney                 D. Lane

2014                 Mujadale                                  P.Jones                       K.N. Forrester



Ararat is host to seven race meetings during the 2015/2016 Season. Racing action kicks off with first race meeting:

  1. Midweek - Friday 18th September, 2015 (Member's Luncheon)
  2. Ararat Gold Cup - Sunday 8th November, 2015
  3. Midweek - Friday 15th January, 2016
  4. Midweek - Monday 15th February, 2016
  5. Midweek - Friday 11th March, 2016
  6. Willaura Cup - Sunday 24th April, 2016
  7. Midweek - Thursday 19th May, 2016

Billed as the 'Richest Raceday in the Wimmera Racing Calendar', the "Ararat Gold Cup is held on the second Sunday in November, and is ;a cracking day and one definitely not to miss. Ararat Gold Cup Day is a massive day of racing, including the running of the Ararat Gold Cup, the Programmed China Bowl and the AME Systems Country showcase race - totaling over $200K in prize money.

As well as all the horse racing action, there is plenty to do and experience at the Ararat Cup. The Fashions on the Field is incredibly popular in Ararat with various categories covering Little Miss & Mister, Miss Teen, Gent of the Day & the hugely anticipated Lady of the Day. There are fabulous prizes to be won all of which are kindly sponsored by various local businesses. There is always great live music at the Cup, free kids activities, beautiful food and wine options and a great atmosphere. Marquees packages are very popular at the Cup and sell quick so be sure to get in early.

Ararat holds an additional six race meetings throughout the year, most of which are Mid-week Race meetings with the exception of our relatively new Sunday Race meeting called "The Willaura Cup". The next Willaura Cup will be held Sunday the 24th April, 2016.  We always have full catering, tote and bar facilities available   on-course.

Our new Function Venue will play host for our generous Sponsors and Racegoers for our upcoming events - Willaura Cup 2016 and the Ararat Gold Cup, 2015. 



We encourage all businesses, race day package holders to purchase a Racebook Ad in celebration of a special occasion or general advertising. 

Full Page B&W - $  50, Half Page B&W $   25 - for Midweek Race Meetings

Full Page B&W - $200, Half Page B&W $100 - for the NMIT Ararat Gold Cup or the Willaura Cup

Contact the Ararat Turf Club on 0448 983 248 or email: to make arrangements.



A person who on the racecourse:

● Behaves in a provocative, disorderly, insulting, offensive or objectionable or unsafe manner;

● Engages or participates in any conduct, protest or demonstration that may disturb or offend others or which may disrupt or hinder proceedings;

● Enters the course proper or parade rings for the movement of horses without authorization; or

● Fails to immediately follow the direction of any official or Steward,

● Must obey Wet and Dry Areas for Alcohol Consumption; will be liable to immediate removal from the racecourse at the direction of the Club or Stewards.

A person may only take images of activities at the racecourse for personal use only and must not make available any images for commercial exploitation, sale or distribution by any person unless accredited by RVL.

Where the Club or the Stewards reasonably suspect that images are being taken for non-personal use, the person taking the images will be liable to immediate removal from the racecourse at the direction of the Club or Stewards.



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Wimmera Racing Club/Ararat Turf Club would be delighted to receive your application.

FULL MEMBERSHIP ($70) includes:
  • Member's pass to 33 Wimmera Race Meetings in season 2015/2016
  • Copy of members' newsletter
  • Access to members' facilities (where available)
  • Full voting rights
  • Opportunity to purchase additional season guest pass (full member pass plus guest pass $120, fully transferable)
  • Discounts on various marquee and dining packages
  • Non-raceday benefits such as special offers on accommodation
  • 4 complimentary guest passes for non-feature days
  • Members’ tickets at midweek thoroughbred meetings (excluding public holidays) in the metropolitan area
  • Businesses can purchase a Corporate Membership, this membership includes the aboe as well as 4 member guest passes.
All new membership applications MUST be nominated and seconded by 2 current Wimmera Racing Club Members.

Visit the Secretaries Office on a day of a Race Meeting or call Penny Penfold on 03 5358 5288 to order your membership.


Functions and Committee Members


(max 100 persons).  


Large, modern and bright, with fabulous views, the Ararat Turf Club function room is the Grampians Pyrenees’ hottest new venue for weddings. With contemporary décor, polished concrete floors, bar and plenty of space to fit up to 100 guests, the space looks out onto the pristine race track, rose gardens and the Ararat hills.

Located 5 minutes’ from town, the venue is private, so you can have your ceremony, photos and cocktail or sit-down reception all in one spot. Dance the night away with a DJ, band or your favorite tunes hooked up to the quality PA system.

The club’s function coordinator is on hand to help plan the decorations, room set-up, entertainment, catering and beverages. We can supply staff for serving, set-up and cleaning if required and at least two club representatives will attend on-the-day to ensure everything runs smoothly.

The venue has disabled access, plenty of car parking and buses can be arranged to transport guests to and from Ararat.

Couples are encouraged to make a time to look around the venue and bookings are encouraged at least two months in advance.

Contact Pepita Atchison to arrange a time to inspect the venue or for a Wedding/Function Package on m: 0448 983 248 or e:

For pictures of the Function Venue please Click here Instagram or click here Facebook to visit our page.

Don't forget to tag us in your photos, and use the hashtag  #araratturfclub



Chairman: Mark Dyer

Vice President: Bruce McDougall

WRC Director: Leo Harrington

Club & Racecourse Manager: Adam Atchison

Committee: C. Martin (Retired), K. Meek, P. Mottram, B. Dalgliesh, J. Moriarty, T. Heymans, T. Bibby, L. Harrington, B. Mcdougall, M. Dyer, P. Canty, D. Ferrari & D. Brady, D. Baldock, A. Crawford.

Life Members: B. Dunn, J. Harris, A. Martin, G. Millear, H. Quick, A. Burke & K. Meek.


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Ararat Park
0448 983 248

Get Directions to Club

Getting there

Ararat Turf Club is located in the heart of the Grampians, 2 hrs drive west from Melbourne along the Western Hwy.


  • By Car - Continue west past Ballarat on the Western Hwy for 95km. Turn next left after Caltex Roadhouse 2km before Ararat. Opposite Green Hill Lake Campground.
  • By Rail - from Southern Cross, Melbourne. Catch the Overlander to Adelaide and disembark at Ararat. Full details contact VLine on 1800 800 007.


Plenty of Tourist Attractions to visit while you are visiting the Grampians Region such as:
  1. Award Winning Local Wineries  -  Seppelt Winery, Best's Wines, Montara Winery, Mount Langi Ghiran Vineyard, Halls Gap Estate, Grampians Estate, Kimbarra Wines and more,  all showcasing award winning Shiraz and Riesling varieties,
  2. Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre -
  3. J Ward Gaol -
  4. Halls Gap Zoo -
  5. Monthly Farmers Markets throughout the Local Regional Towns,
  6. Grampians Scenic Walks - Visit Halls Gap Tourist Information for guide maps of walks & climbs
  7. Award Winning Restaurants & Cafes-  Ararat - Vines Cafe, Fred & Bet's Cafe.         Stawell - Neilly's Cafe, Town Hall Pub.        Halls Gap - Kookaburra Bar & Bistro, Diedre's Cafe, Halls Gap Hotel,  Grampians View Motel, Livefast Cafe, Black Panther.    Pomonal - Barney's Bistro & Bar, Red Rock Olives.




For further information about the picturesque historic wine region or to enquire/book accommodation please contact the

Ararat Tourist Information Office on 1800 657 158. (between 9am - 5pm) or email

Contact us

Ararat Turf Club

Cnr Western Hwy & Old Geelong Rd, Ararat Vic 3377

M: 0448 983 248 - Functions/Weddings/Events/Admin

M: 0408 564 501 - Track Manager/Club Manager



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