Trainer: Bjorn Baker
Jockey: Greg Ryan
Barry Hosking, a former President of the Wellington Race Club, harboured a dream to stage a two-year-old race intrinsically linked to the town—and perhaps a country equivalent to some extent to Rosehill’s Golden Slipper. Once uttered, the suggestion of ‘Wellington Boot’ stuck, and when teamed with popular ale provider Tooths, saw the race staged inaugurally in 1981.
Over subsequent decades, winners of the Wellington Boot have come from near and far, in the hands of both country and more recently, city-based trainers and jockeys. Several of them have accrued earnings in the six-figure bracket. Others, like 2008 winning filly Sin Sin Sin, have reflected the race’s worth by going on to produce outstanding progeny such as Yes Yes Yes, winner of the 2019 Everest and $7.1 million.
Today, the Wellington Boot is equaled in prizemoney in country NSW only by Scone Racing Club’s two-year-old feature, guaranteeing its place in a trainer’s diary.
In the wake of torrid times—a lengthy drought, mouse plague, covid 19, excessive rain, and flooding—which saw numerous meetings cancelled or postponed, and races staged elsewhere, 2023’s Wellington Boot is sure to be a crowd pleaser.