Along the shed-row of bays, the horse at the end stands out; not just for his chestnut colour – Tradtri has the air of a horse who has seen it all.
The New Zealand-bred gelding was purchased for a specific goal: to win the Bong Bong Cup, one of Australia’s most famous – and infamous – race meets.
The Bong Bong Picnic Race Club was formed in the Southern Highlands of NSW in 1886. It was the first club to have televised meets, both black-and-white and colour, the first to conduct races restricted to female jockeys, and the first to offer a stallion service as a prize.
For many years the meeting was held on Caulfield Cup Saturday, and often attracted greater attendance than it’s metropolitan counterpart. By the 1980s, Bong Bong was the largest picnic race in the world, with crowds reaching almost 35,000.
Poor crowd behaviour resulted in the meet being shut-down for several years; it eventually restarted in 1992 with strict local and state government conditions.
Southern Highlands owners, the Dickerson family, imported Tradtri with the sole-intention of winning at Bong Bong. That goal was duly achieved in 2014, under Nowra trainers Robert and Luke Price. Tradtri ran in the Bong Bong again in 2016, coming second by a nose.
With 60 starts, the 9-year-old Tradtri has performed best on good to heavy going . Trainer Luke Price said he usually leads from the front but they would contain him a little early in the Moruya Cup due to the firmer going.
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