Dungog Chronicle

The Hunter: Overview, history, prize money and past winners

Here we delve into the history of The Hunter, and take a trip down memory lane. Picture Shuttertstock
Here we delve into the history of The Hunter, and take a trip down memory lane. Picture Shuttertstock

This article is in partnership with Ladbrokes.

The Hunter is a prestigious horse racing event in Australia that has captured the hearts of fans and participants alike. This race showcases the incredible talent of thoroughbred horses and brings together the vibrant community of racing enthusiasts.

In this blog post, we'll delve into the fascinating history of The Hunter, explore its prize money, and take a trip down memory lane to revisit some of its most memorable past winners.

If you want to bet on The Hunter, you would need up-to-date odds on the Hunter 2023 races. Read on to get an idea of the race's background before placing your bets!

History of the Hunter

The Hunter has been around since 1874, making it one of the oldest horse racing events in Australia. It was originally established as a nine-furlong (1800 m) flat race for three-year-old horses and upwards, but has since shortened to 7 furlongs (1400 m).

The Hunter has been held at several venues throughout its history, including Randwick Racecourse (1874-1908), Rosehill Gardens (1909-present) and Canterbury Park. It is now considered one of the most important events on the Australian racing calendar and is seen by many as a prestigious event.

The Hunter: A brief overview

The Hunter is an Australian Turf Club Group III race held annually at Newcastle Racecourse in New South Wales. It takes place in November, during the exciting Spring Racing Carnival. The race is open to horses aged three years and older and is run over a distance of 1,300 metres. With a lucrative prize pool on offer, The Hunter attracts top-quality horses, jockeys, and trainers from across the country.

Newcastle Racecourse, the home of The Hunter, is known for its sweeping turns and long straight and lush grass track. It's a true test of a horse's speed and stamina, making it the perfect backdrop for this thrilling event.

Delving into the history of The Hunter

Although The Hunter is a relatively new addition to the Australian horse racing calendar, it has quickly cemented its place as one of the season's most anticipated events. The inaugural race took place in 2019; since then, it has grown in popularity and prestige.

The Hunter was established as part of a broader initiative by Racing NSW to boost the profile and appeal of racing in the state. The race's name pays homage to the rich history of thoroughbred breeding and racing in the Hunter Valley region, which is widely regarded as the birthplace of Australian horse racing.

Despite its short history, The Hunter has already seen some impressive performances and nail-biting finishes, ensuring the race's reputation continues growing with each passing year.

The prize money: A lucrative opportunity for competitors

One key factor that sets The Hunter apart from other races is its generous prize money. With a total prize pool of $1 million, it is one of the richest races in New South Wales outside of the major metropolitan racing carnivals.

The winner of The Hunter takes home a cool $580,000, while second place receives $190,000 and third place earns $98,000. The remaining prize money is distributed among the horses finishing fourth through tenth, ensuring that there's plenty to play for throughout the field.

This impressive prize pool not only attracts top-tier talent but also serves as a testament to the growing prominence of The Hunter on the Australian horse racing scene.

Past winners: Celebrating the stars of The Hunter

Though The Hunter has only been around for a few years, it has already seen some unforgettable performances from both seasoned champions and rising stars. Let's take a look at the past winners of this prestigious race:

2019: Savatiano

In 2019, the talented mare Savatiano took home the title, giving trainer James Cummings and jockey James McDonald their first win in The Hunter. Savatiano displayed her class and determination, which led her to win the race.

2020: Sweet Deal

The 2020 edition of The Hunter saw the John Thompson-trained mare Sweet Deal emerge victorious under the guidance of jockey Nash Rawiller. Sweet Deal put in a gutsy performance and crossed the finish line victorious, further solidifying her reputation as a top-quality racehorse.

2021: Lost and Running

Trained by John O'Shea and guided by Hugh Bowman, Lost and Running was victorious in the 2021 edition of The Hunter. This lightly-raced gelding showed great promise throughout the race, ultimately taking home the title at Newcastle Racecourse.

2022: Vilana

Vilana, Savatiano's half-brother, trained by James Cummings and ridden by Nash Rawiller, was the 2022 winner of The Hunter. This up-and-coming star took home the race's prized trophy thanks to her tenacious racing style and impressive speed.

With each passing year, new stars are born at The Hunter. Whether it's a seasoned champion or a rising star, the race continues to showcase some of Australia's best horses and jockeys.

The future of The Hunter

As The Hunter continues to grow in popularity and prestige, there's no doubt that it will continue to attract the best of the best in Australian horse racing. With its rich history, thrilling action, and generous prize money, The Hunter is well on its way to becoming one of the standout events on the Australian racing calendar.


The Hunter has quickly established itself as a must-watch event for horse racing fans. Its unique blend of history, high stakes, and top-quality racing action make it an unmissable spectacle. As we look forward to future editions of the race, we can't wait to see what new champions will emerge and etch their names into the annals of The Hunter's history.

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