The Apsley Racing Club, in conjunction with the Mullagh Wills Foundation and the local Apsley community will once again host the Jimmy Tarpot Cup in 2017.
The Jimmy Tarpot Cup, named in honour of Jimmy Tarpot, a member of the famous 1866 Aboriginal cricket team, is a 100 yards backwards race which will be run down the main straight of the Edenhope race track prior to the running of the 2017 Apsley Cup on Sunday June 10.
The race was introduced in 2016 to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Cricket team’s match against the Melbourne Cricket Club on the MCG on Boxing Day in 1866. In 2016 the Apsley Racing Club and West Wimmera Shire hosted the “Journey to the MCG” Message Book as part of the race day activities to help celebrate the famous journey the team took from Edenhope to Melbourne in December 1866.
Local footballer Dale Smith won the inaugural Jimmy Tarpot Cup in a time of 15:01 seconds, 1:01 seconds outside the time set by Jimmy Tarpot on the MCG 150 years earlier.
“We are delighted the Apsley Racing Club has continued to celebrate the achievements of local Jimmy Tarpot and indeed the Aboriginal Cricket Team of 150 years ago and thank the Club and the West Wimmera Shire for working with the community to ensure these achievements continue to be commemorated,” said Mullagh Wills Chair, Jane Nathan.
Apsley Racing Club manager Michelle Pettit said the club, Victoria’s oldest country racing club, is pleased to be able to work with the community to honour Jimmy Tarpot.
“The Di Giorgio Family Wines Apsley Cup is a race day with all the best elements of country racing, together with some very special community events and activities. The running of the Jimmy Tarpot Cup is certainly a highlight of the day and ensures we continue to promote our local star from the Aboriginal Cricket Team from 150 years ago,” she said.
Jimmy Tarpot was part of the Aboriginal Cricket Team that played against the Melbourne Cricket Club at the MCG on Boxing Day in 1866. On December 28, the Aboriginal team conducted a sports day at the MCG with a highlight being Jimmy Tarpot running 100 yards backwards in 14 seconds.
Jimmy (born Murrumgunerrimin) missed the Aboriginal Cricket Team’s tour of England in 1868 due to injury. He returned to Apsley and became a highly respected wool classer in the district.