A History of ‘The Round’

'The Round' Kalgoorlie Boulder Annual Race Meeting.

‘The Round’ Kalgoorlie Boulder Annual Race Meeting.

The Round        By Darren McAullay

It is without doubt one of the biggest, most colourful and successful racing carnivals to be staged anywhere in Australia. It is steeped in history, been the scene of some of the most incredible events both on and off the track and for many it has etched memories which have lasted a lifetime.   But its much more than just a racing carnival. It is a social pilgrimage where friendships are made, bonded and often re kindled from people from all walks of life.

It is a carnival in the true sense of the word It is the annual Kalgoorlie-Boulder Race Round.    A document written at the turn of the century revealed the important role racing and its social aspect meant to those who blazed the rugged Goldfields trail.    The struggles of the pioneers against drought, fever and all the ills that attend the men who ‘blaze’ the track could not kill their sporting instinct and even back in the days when their weekly bath was measured in a pannikin and fever was claiming its scores of victims every week, racing thankfully took place periodically.”

The Kalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Club is one of the oldest registered racing associations in Western Australia having been formed in 1896.    When Mr JA ‘Jack’ Wilson convened a special meeting at the Exchange hotel in April of that year, to start the club, neither he nor any of those attending could have predicted the important role the Kalgoorlie Boulder Racing Club was to play in the history of WA racing.    Over the years, arguably some of the best gallopers that have ever looked through a bridle in Australia have graced the turf of the now famous Kalgoorlie race track. 1905 Melbourne Cup winner ‘Blue Spec’ is probably the most notable by first winning the 1904 Kalgoorlie Cup and then the Perth Cup, Moonee Valley Cup and the Melbourne Cup all in the following year.

Some of the other great thoroughbreds of yesteryear which helped make the Kalgoorlie-Boulder race track a course of history include: Sport Royal, May King, Jolly Beggar, Dyed Garments and Lilyveil.   While in more recent years name like Fairetha, Blue Spring, Special Test and Moss Kingdom to name but a few.    The round of course is not just the hustle and bustle of racing.  Many social activities are conducted during the week long programme as well as the Golden Mile Trotting Club annual pacing carnival, Which attracts hundreds of visitors and tourists into the city every year.    For some people, and my guess is a mere few, the Round means little.  The majority of residents, punters and those who simply enjoy a fun day at the races, the annual racing carnival always will be one of the highlights of the sporting calendar.

From The Kalgoorlie Boulder Racing Club, ‘A Course History’ 1989

Kalgoorlie Races

Kalgoorlie Races



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My name is Moya Sharp, I live in Kalgoorlie Western Australia and have worked most of my adult life in the history/museum industry. I have been passionate about history for as long as I can remember and in particular the history of my adopted home the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Through my website I am committed to providing as many records and photographs free to any one who is interested in the family and local history of the region.

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  1. Jeanette March says:

    Thks for yr excellent website Moya. Hve you ever come across stories regarding Italian(s) working for the breweries from 1901-1912? My g/grandfather, whom I had never heard of, was Giuseppe Filippo anglicised to Joseph Phillips (and other spellings). Hannons and Boulder City Breweries and the Brewery Employees Union were responsible for organising both his (1912) and his wife’s (1908) funerals. They both died in their 40s, leaving 2 children, Irene and Victor (13). I thought that perhaps a history of either of the breweries may have been compiled. I live in Adelaide.

    Jeanette March

    • Hi Jeanette There hasn’t been any histories done on individual breweries I’m afraid. There is a book about breweries called Gold and Liquid Gold but this mentions no employees. My good friend and author is currently researching Italians and Slavs for an up coming book. She would be interested in getting i9n touch if you would like to, her email is:- crienafz@iinet.net.au Criena Fitzgerald. I will also have a look at my records to see if I have anything. So many of them ‘Anglised’ their names which makes it hard to trace them.
      Bye for now

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