Winning Horse to Watery Grave, from Fishing Prize to Cupboard Shelf – What is the story behind the 67 year old Cairns Cup? photo (3)

Friday August 1st 2014.. On 16 August, 1947, a horse named ‘Komikos’ won the Cairns Cup. Today, 67 years later there is a question looming over the city, just how the Cairns Cup of 1947 ended up in Trinity Inlet; only to be returned to the club earlier this year with an interesting, aquatic story to tell.

The Cup was returned to ‘Bluey’ Forsyth, an ABC radio show host and local race caller at the Cairns Jockey Club for the past 16 years. According to Bluey, a gentleman dropped the Cup into the ABC, obviously aware of his connection to the Club.

The gentleman, whose name Bluey promptly forgot, told him a story along the following lines.

When they were kids they hooked the Cup whilst fishing in one of the tributaries of the Cairns Trinity Inlet. The kids then took the Cup home and it became their fishing trophy; a prize for each time they went fishing that was awarded to the owner of the biggest catch. Many years went by, the kids grew up and the Cup was retired to a cupboard for many years – until just recently when it was returned to the Club via Bluey.

“This Cup is a marvellous piece of our history at the Club and we are calling on the community to find out what we can to fill in the gaps,” says Cairns Jockey Club CEO, Graham Thornton. 2

“I have spoken to some of our older members who suggest that it may have ended up in the Inlet during the torrential rain that produced local flooding on the far north coast on 5 March, 1959. Combined with a high tide, it was on that day that Cairns experienced its worst local flooding for 25 years.

Mr Thornton says he is keen to fill in the missing puzzle pieces with answers to questions that still remain. “Could the flood of ’59 be the reason behind the Cup ending up in its watery location and just how long did it remain submerged? Also, who were the owners and trainers of the winning race horse that collected the Cairns Cup trophy in 1947?”

Today the 1947 Cairns Cup went back in the brine and was sent Scuba Diving on the Great Barrier Reef. (Exclusive Footage Available)”We are still seeking answers from this exercise and feel that our newly returned piece of history, the 1947 Cairns Cup deserved another trip underwater to our World Heritage listed coral gardens – if only to help bring the Cup to people’s attention and fill in the gaps,” says Graham.

Next week over three days between 8 and 10 August, the Cairns Cup will celebrate its 103 year anniversary. Since 2012 it has been known as the Brothers Cairns Cup and is highly regarded as an award-winning event and a major highlight each year for the local racing industry.

Boasting a carnival atmosphere with a winning trifecta of exhilarating racing, superb fashion and exciting company, the Brothers Cairns Cup welcomes its community and visitors to beautiful Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef every year.


The Cairns Jockey Club is a progressive club that has developed and increased the profile of racing in Far North Queensland. The Club’s racing strategy, combined with a dynamic events program run throughout the year, is consistently increasing its on-course patronage and viewing audience providing even more value to sponsors and spectators and making Cairns a must visit for horse racing enthusiasts in Australia.

Shahnee Ricci

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