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Racing is in the blood of Wellingtonians with a horse race held at what is now Taranaki Street, Wellington, in September 1840, as part of the first anniversary celebrations. A jockey club was established in Wellington in 1841 not long after the first settlers arrived in Petone in 1839, however it went out of existence after only two years. The Wellington Jockey Club was re-established in 1865 and had a more permanent home in 1873. The Wellington Racing Club was "named" in 1879.

Racing took place at this time in various locations including Petone foreshore, Lyall Bay, Burnham Water (Miramar) and the Old Hutt Park course. The first recorded running of a Wellington Cup was on the 27th March 1867 for 40 Guineas over two miles. Celebrating the history of the WellingtonCup, the outstanding trophy that was originally presented to the winner of the 1894 race, T Sheenans "Vogengang", ridden by Derret, is  back on display as part of the annual celebration that is the Wellington Cup Carnival.

 
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