Port Hedland Turf Club kicks off racing season with spectacular opening meet

Staff WritersNorth West Telegraph
Racing has returned to the Port Hedland Turf Club.
Camera IconRacing has returned to the Port Hedland Turf Club. Credit: Daneka Hill/North West Telegraph

Hedland’s racing season has kicked off with the Port Hedland Turf Club hosting its first meet of the year on Saturday, May 11.

It marked the first of the six meetings set to be held by the PHTC this season, headlined by the highlight of the Pilbara racing season, the Port Hedland Cup, on August 11.

The PHTC is anticipating between 1500 and 2000 racegoers at most race meetings and president Troy Morrissey said the working town was excited for the upcoming season.

“I’ve been in Port Hedland for 17 years and there’s nothing bigger from a social point of view than the races,” he said.

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“Majority of people in town do shift work and you don’t see your friends for weeks or months sometimes, but everyone seems to congregate at the races — racing is all about the entertainment and the social aspect.

“Everyone I know who aren’t necessarily racing people always look forward to going because it’s such a good day out.”

Racing in the Pilbara generates more than $17.8 million for the State’s economy each year as part of the $1.3 billion the racing industry contributes annually.

Racing and Wagering WA chief executive Ian Edwards, who will be among racegoers at this year’s Port Hedland Cup, highlighted racing’s social importance to towns across the Pilbara.

“Although racing makes a significant economic contribution to WA, it’s the meaningful social impact of race days like the Port Hedland Cup which fosters community connection,” he said.

“Racing at Port Hedland plays an important role in weaving social connections and providing a fantastic day trackside for hardworking individuals who have busy work schedules.”

Port Hedland is home to one of the most unique racecourses in Australia, featuring a dual surface of 1100m of firm pindan dirt which seamlessly transitions to 700m of lush grass in the home straight.

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