THE colour and atmosphere of the Camperdown Cup will be captured in a new photographic book to help fund the restoration of the historic racecourse and grandstand.
Noted photographers Andrew Chapman, Jaime Murcia and Noel Butcher will be joined by well-known writer Adam McNicol to document the Camperdown Turf Club’s only race meeting of the year on Saturday.
The project is the brainchild of Austin Hospital liver transplant specialist and keen racing fan Dr Adam Testro.
The surgeon met Chapman when he was a liver transplant patient at the hospital and the pair got talking about the photographer’s work, including his popular photo book Woolsheds.
Dr Testro is great mates with fellow medico Dr John Daffy, the son of respected Camperdown trainer Geoff Daffy, whom he met many years ago when they were working at St Vincent’s Hospital. The idea for a similar book on the Camperdown Cup was born.
Dr Testro told The Standard that with a restored grandstand, Camperdown would offer arguably the only authentic 19th century racing experience in Victoria and potentially Australia.
“Racing needs to stay in the mainstream and grass roots racing will ensure the sport survives and flourishes in the years ahead,” Dr Testro said.
“People throughout the Western District will be approached regarding sponsorship for the book to be published. The money raised from the project will be used to bring the course back to its former beauty.”
Dr Daffy said the club was lucky the group of people had jumped on board to document the day.
“They will be chatting with bookmakers, jockeys, and the general public and taking various photos about a day at the Camperdown Cup,” Dr Daffy said.
“The documented book will be a great piece of history not only for the Camperdown Turf Club but also for the town of Camperdown and the district.
“Camperdown is steeped in racing history being the home of Sir Chester Manifold, who was the father of the TAB and the owner of jumper Crisp.
“Champion jockey Neville Wilson, who rode more than 2000 winners during his career, is also from the town.”
Turf club president Laurie Hickey said he was delighted the cup meeting would be immortalised in a quality coffee table style book.
“The racing club and the grandstand have a rich history,” Mr Hickey said.
“They are part of the district’s early development and have an important link with long-standing families such as the Manifolds and the Macarthurs who were heavily involved in the horse racing industry.”