ALL racing roads in the Northern Inland head to Wallabadah and Inverell today.
Up in the Sapphire City the $30,000 Fencing North West 2014 Inverell Cup (1400m) holds the main attention, while at the tiny village of Wallabadah the 162nd Maurice Murphy Memorial Wallabadah Cup (1500m) could draw 1000 or more racing fans to the unique once-a-year New Year’s Day Cup meeting.
And welcoming them all to Wallabadah is licensee of the 146-year-old Marshall Macmahon Inn, Ken Black.
He’s been the publican for just over 10 years.
He loves the annual cup day because it attracts so many people to the small town, the track and his pub.
“They used to run the race around this block,” Ken said of a race and meeting that started 162 years ago.
“When they first started they used to race around here, there was a cop shop and court house too.”
The historic Marshall Macmahon, built in 1867, was built about 16 years after the first Wallabadah race meeting, it’s big sandstone blocks brought from about 5km away.
In the Bicentenary year, 1988, some 6000 people packed into the wallabadah racecourse to celebrate Nisus’s Cup win.
In 2014 around 1000 will be on hand to see Husisname try and win back-to-back cups.