Grapes and Gallops are back on track after two-year hiatus

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Email Shannon Smith
Helen Macpherson and Irene Sprigg enjoy Grapes and Gallops.
Camera IconHelen Macpherson and Irene Sprigg enjoy Grapes and Gallops. Credit: Astrid Volzke/WA News

Fine wine, striking fashion and high-stakes horseracing will draw people to Frost Park this Sunday for Grapes and Gallops.

After a two-year hiatus due to extreme heat in 2019 and track safety issues in 2020, the popular annual racing event is back.

It brings together the region’s top wineries and the turf club and, in a normal year, draws people from across the country.

Mt Barker Turf Club secretary Raylene Ross is hoping the first Grapes and Gallops in two years will remind people why the event is so good for the community.

“We are trying to get everything up and running well so that people can see that it is a viable thing and worthwhile supporting,” she said.

“The event exposes the wine producers and brings people into the town, and therefore helps with the economy.

“Because of the last couple of years, people are a bit reluctant, but we are spending as much as we can to provide a really good event to try and stimulate the interest in it again.

“We have tried to create a very family-friendly environment.”

Local wineries offer tastings to punters at the race meet, creating a unique trackside atmosphere.

The club also runs its marquee $100,000 sprint on the day.

Ms Ross said the club had put hundreds of hours into fixing water issues from last year.

“Last year we had some bursts in the pipes that didn’t show up until the second race meeting ... until the horses were galloping on it,” she said.

“Unfortunately we can’t dig the track up to fix things in the middle of the season.”

There will be live music and children’s entertainment on the day.

Grapes and Gallops starts at noon on Sunday.

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails