The Weetwood Handicap is one of Australia’s oldest sprint handicaps, celebrating 125 years in 2015.
Toowoomba’s infamous Weetwood Handicap is named in honour of Mr Richard William Scholefield who was an active member of the Toowoomba Turf Club and lived in ‘Weetwood’, one of Toowoomba’s most impressive houses, located on Tor Street.
‘Weetwood’ was designed by prominent Toowoomba architect James Marks and built by Richard Godsall.
The first Weetwood Handicap was run in 1895 and won by Zulu and although the race is 125 years old, only four horses have won the Weetwood Handicap consecutively.
The first three consecutive winners all won in a 10 year period from 1966 to 1975 inclusive.
In 1966 and 1967 Red Shah won for the trainer and jockey combination of Ken Waterford and Frank Treen.
In 1969 and 1970, the Jim Griffith-trained Wine And Song won with Merv Wrigley doing the steering.
Then in 1974 and 1975, Combo was successful for Bill Neilsen. In 1974, Terry Tewes rode Combo to his first win and then the following year Mel Schumacher rode the galloper.
The latest consecutive winner was local mare Miss Imagica, trained by Michael Nolan, collecting the honours in 2012 and 2013.
Toowoomba jockey Nori Yamada rode Miss Imagica to her first memorable win in 2012 and fellow local jockey Miss Skye Bogenhuber was first past the post in 2013.
The late Stathi Katsidis rode more Weetwood Handicap winners than any other jockey in this history of the race with five Weetwood wins to his name; Vacen Lee (2000), Startell (2001), Devil (2004) and Tellem (2005 and 2007).