Horse racing has long been a passion in Australia, and the burgeoning catering and cuisine industry has created a nation of foodies as well. Creating a day to celebrate both of these things is quite a natural fit, which is just what’s been done for the Gourmet Gallop event.
Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third-largest, after Tasmania and Melville Island. It is situated in South Australia and was officially considered part of the colony from 1836. It is considered a place of great unspoiled beauty, uncorrupted by too much modern progress but still easily accessible from Adelaide. The thriving wildlife population includes kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, penguins and echidnas and there are plenty of national parks, beaches, and underground caves to explore. Award-winning wine and food production, including a Ligurian bee honey farm, should mean that every holidaymaker will be entertained.
The Race Day
The Gourmet Gallop is held in January, at the well-managed Kangaroo Island Racing Club in Kingscote, and has a 6-race programme. These are run around the 1600 meter Cygnet River Racecourse which has a straight of 375 meters and is a spacious oval shape, with 2 broad turns. It is irrigated, grassy and quite uniform, with a sand-over-clay soil type. Those interested in placing bets on the Gourmet Gallop, either beforehand or at the Kangaroo Island Racing Club on the day, should consider which contenders perform best under these conditions as well as how well-matched a jockey and horse team is, injury reports, weather conditions, betting odds and tips, expert opinions and anything else they can find out before putting any money down.
Analysing punting options brings greater insight into the races and can make watching them more satisfying, but there is also plenty to do at the Gourmet Gallop for those who don’t want to place bets. Wine afficianados will appreciate the fine locally-produced Dudley Wines that will be on offer alongside Coopers Beers. Exclusive menus designed by premier Kangaroo Island chefs and restaurants should tempt every palate, with previous participants including Kevin Ewings, David Byrne, Sue Pearson from 2 Birds & a Squid and Ulonga Lodge Café. All offerings are sold by the track, so spectators don’t need to miss any of the action, and can easily be carried back to picnic sites as well. Live entertainment should also help keep visitors entertained, and for children there are merry-go-round rides and other top-quality free amusements.
Well-Rounded Racing Pleasure
Country racing is one of life’s great pleasures for many Australians, and the Gourmet Gallop Food and Wine Festival is a great way to partake in this. It also offers a way to take in the rest of what Kangaroo Island has to offer, and there are plenty of great-value tour packages to help visitors make the most of the Gallop and the other tourist attractions. Families, groups of friends and even couples often make a long weekend of visiting this destination horse racing meet. After decking themselves out in their best finery for the Race Day, holidaymakers can dress down to explore the natural beauty of the island.