The Mungrup Sprint at Grapes and Gallops
Mount Barker is a town in Western Australia, and is a nominated subregion of the state’s Great Southern Wine Region. Its climate and soil make it the ideal country for Shiraz and Riesling. With such a setting, it makes sense that a race day’s theme is bringing wine and horse riding together, which is what has been done in the annual January Grapes & Gallops event. This is a collaboration between the Mount Barker Wine Producers Association and the town’s Turf Club and has been held annually since 2008. It features several exciting races, with the highlight being the Mungrup Sprint.
A Full Day of Entertainment
Mungrup Stud, the State’s largest thoroughbred stud, is the main sponsor of the day and owns many of the competing horses. Mungrup has a large annual draft of top-quality yearlings, bought at the prestigious Belmont Magic Millions Sale every February, and several of these are raced in the Grapes and Gallops events.
Many of the races are also sponsored by local wine farms and include the Mount Barker Wine Producers Association Handicap, the West Cape Howe Wines Maiden, the Denmark Liquor Store Handicap and the Goundry Wines Handicap. The other races are the Boyacup Angus Stud Handicap, the CarterWilliss Handicap, the Ryde Building Company Maiden and the Magic Millions Sales Handicap and of course the main Mungrup Sprint event.
In addition to the races, Grapes & Gallops patrons from Mount Barker and further afield get to experience many other amusements on the day. Several wine producers have stalls, and there are also gourmet food vendors to showcase local options. There are also quality entertainments to keep children happy. A traditional Fashions on the Field event yields great rewards, and serious competitors come to the races decked out in all their finery.
The Mungrup Sprint
The 1300 metre Stud Sprint itself was established in 1984, and has a purse of 100,000 Dollars today. This makes it the richest race in the Great Southern. For most years since its creation winners of the Mungrup Sprint have gone on to win more high-class races, in the big provincial or Perth feature sprints, so performances in Mount Barker should always be watched with interest as an indication of what horses and riders will do later in the season. As always, those interested in horse betting should also be looking at the other known information about riders’ and horses’ performance history, the predicted weather conditions and injury reports, as well as any expert opinions and reliable tips that can be found. Staying in touch with any new developments is important, as is deciding when to bet and what kind of bets to place. All of the usual simple racing bets as well as many exotic wagers can be placed on the Mungrup Sprint and all of the other Grapes & Gallops events, so punters should think carefully about what suits them best. Placing successful bets will get easier over time, and the analysis they require usually makes fan appreciate the sport even more.