Dederang Picnic Races
…AND THEY’RE OFF!
There was murmur at the station, for the word had got around, that the Dederang Picnic races were underway. As horses thunder over high plains, locals and visitors alike jostle for the best view of their pick of the day in honour of a high country feat. A rank outsider can storm home first, the favourite can come in last and often no one really minds. Instead, it’s all about the occasion, the atmosphere and the thrill of the unknown.
While the Melbourne Cup top the stakes for glory, glamour and a gambling dollar, the Dederang Picnic races have been held since 1865, standing proudly as the premier picnic race of country Victoria. Often a little more drink, a family fun festivity and far more fun.
To experience a day of grass roots racing at its best, come along to the meet on the 16th of March. Buses from Falls Creek available, so no worry about a drive home. With a promise of fashion, local produce and bars, full TAB and strong bookmakers, with on ground entertainment for adults and children alike.
FIVE TIPS TO SURVIVE AN OUTBACK RACE MEET
1. Sometimes the racing culture in Australia is riddled with the ethos of drinking quicker than a horse can run. While we have all had that day on the green the alpine valley can heat under a summer sun so we recommend keep it cool with a glass (of water) or two.
2. More so a tip for the races in general, keep the card at home. More and more country race meets now accept bets on credit cards, which can be calamitous, especially if you haven’t taken tip No. 1 seriously.
3. Although classified as the picnic races, there is a plethora of local goodness to dive into during the meet. So bring your own and enjoy the community share or dive into the world of alpine gourmet.
4. Dress up to the nines, as many of the locals do. However remember that there is fashion in the fields, the locals are very forgiving of bending the rules to adapt to the hot country sun and soft ground.
5. Remember: there’s no such thing as a sure thing. But there is listening in on the local conversation.
To buy a ticket, or select your pick of the day click here.
words by natasha payne