The Cameron Handicap is a 1500 metre open handicap race run by the Newcastle Jockey Club in September. It is held at Newcastle on the same day as the Newcastle Gold Cup..
Race Type: Group 3
Distance: 1500 metres
Conditions: Open handicap, 3YO & upwards
Track: Broadmeadows Racecourse, Newcastle, New South Wales
Date: Friday 17 September 2021
Cameron Handicap Race History
The race was first run in 1935 over 7 furlongs (about 1400m) and was won by a horse called Dermid. It wasn’t held in 1936, but from 1937 to 1967 it was held over the same distance. The 1945 winner Bragger was trained by TJ Smith and helped cement his place as a great trainer. TJ won this race on several occasions as has his daughter Gai Waterhouse. In the early days a horse called Homeleigh Dick won the race three times (1946, 1047 and 1949) – a feat that has not been repeated. In 1968 the distance was decreased to 1300m and the wonderful Luskin Star won this race as a three-year-old before winning the Caulfield Guineas at his next start and going on to becoming a great sire. In 1979 it became a Listed race and was won by Romantic Dream who had won it in 1976 and had been runner-up to Luskin Star in 1977. In 1985 the distance was increased to 1400m and in 2005 it became a Group 3 race. In 2009 and 2010 the distance was dropped back to 1300m before being increased to the current 1500m in 2011.
It is held on the same days as the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup and the Group 3 Tibbie Stakes at the biggest meetiing of the year for the Newcastle Jockey Club. Horses maight have their lead-uprace in the Listed Mona Lisa Stakes over 1350m at Wyong, the Group 2 Tramway Stakes over 1400m at Randwick, or the Group 3 Theo Marks Stakes over 1300m at Rosehill. Horses that run well may sometimes target the Epsom Handicap.
Who Was Cameron ?
The race is named to honour James George Cameron. He was born in Newcastle in 1862 and was part of a very large family. He served as president of the Newcastle Jockey Club for 25 years and was instrumental in the construction of Newcastle Racecourse. He part-owned Tibbie, who the Tibbie Stakes at Newcastle is named after. He built Cameron’s Family Hotel in Broadmeadow, a home for his family on Cameron’s Hill and he also owned land near to the racecourse.
Last mare to win: Raspberries (2011)
Last 3YO to win: C&G – Luskin Star (1977); Filly – none
Multiple winners: Rock (2020 & 2019); Romantic Dream (1976 & 1979); Without Reproach (1969 & 1970); Homeleigh Dick (1946, 1947 & 1949).
Fastest time (1500m): Toydini (2013) 1:29:10
Leading jockeys: Since it became a Group 3 race Tim Clark has had 4 wins (New Tipperary 2018; Got Unders 2017; Chetwood 2016; Kenny’s World 2010). Kevin Langby had 5 wins in the past and Hall of Fame jockey Jim Cassidy had four (Excellerator 2002; Flitter 1993; Quick Score 1991; Full Page 1987)
Interesting trivia: Race not held in 2007 due to equine influenza. Master Ritz was first past the post in 1972 but was disqualified due to a positive swab and Ochre was declared the winner.
Past winners of the Cameron Handicap
Winners of past Cameron Handicaps include Hooked (2014), Toydini (2013), Court’s In Session (2006), Excellerator (2002), Anthems (1999), Adam (1998), Flitter (1993), Manuan (1982), Manawapoi (1978), Luskin Star (1977), Romantic Dream (1976/1979), Hartshill (1975), Baguse (1968), Pardon Me (1964), Martello Towers (1961) and San Domenico (1953).