LOCAL racing legends, the late Max Lees, Robert Thompson and Gary Harley, will be honoured at the “Legends Race Day” to be conducted at the Newcastle Jockey Club hosted races on December 2.
First held last year, the meet is highlighted by the $75,000 Max Lees Classic, a 900 metres dash for two-year-olds.
The late Max Lees, whose son Kris now admirably flies the Lees training flag at the Broadmeadow track, aptly prepared one of Australia’s best juveniles – Luskin Star.
The juvenile who Max prepared to win Sydney’s juvenile triple crown in 1977, the Golden Slipper Stakes-G1, the Sires’ Produce Stakes-G1 and Champagne Stakes-G1.
By Star Kingdom stallion Kaoru Star, Luskin Star advanced to a leading three-year-old when winning the Caulfield Guineas-G1 in Melbourne.
While the sire of 32 stakes winners, Luskin Star is best remembered for his producing daughters one of which is the dam of 1996 Golden Slipper winner Merlene.
While Luskin Star was Max Lees’ champion, he also prepared other Group 1 winners including Snippets, Coronation Day, Ruffles, Flitter, Chlorophyll, Shindig and County Tyrone.
A benchmark 64 handicap, the Robert Thompson Cup is a $40,000 event over 1200 metres.
Still riding out from his beloved Cessnock, Robert Thompson has ridden over 4400 winners on numerous racecourses around Australia.
In a riding career spanning almost five decades, the 60 year-old is not looking to give up his saddle anytime soon.
He was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame in 2015, the same year which saw him awarded with a Member Of The Order of Australia medal.
The meeting also sees the inaugural $40,000 Gary Harley Handicap, its name-sake a well-known and respected media personality seen at numerous courses.
Meanwhile the Goulburn and District Racing Club holds its annual cup meeting this Sunday, with its feature $150,000 Goulburn Cup.
Tragedy in Queensland
THE Australian racing and breeding world has been rocked with news of the tragic loss of Basil Nolan junior in a reported farm accident on his family’s home of Raheen Stud, at Gladfield, a renowned and long established Thoroughbred breeding property in south-east Queensland.
Basil junior was farewelled by a huge turnout of family, friends and industry participants at his funeral last Thursday in Warwick, Queensland.
Basil Nolan junior was farewelled by a huge turnout of family, friends and industry participants at his funeral in Queensland.
A 45-year-old father of four children, Basil junior ran the family’s owned and managed highly successful Raheen Stud, alongside his father Basil Nolan senior, who is president of Thoroughbred Breeders’ Australia, Mum Diane, and his wife Natalie.
Basil junior’s younger brother Tim along with wife Celie and family, own and manage Upper Hunter Valley breeding property Murrulla, located on the northern outskirts of Wingen.
Raheen Stud stands three stallions, the proven Golden Archer and New Zealand bred Nom de Jeu, with Heroic Valour being the property’s new stallion to stand in 2018.
Basil junior will be hugely missed when the 2019 round of sales begin in January at the Gold Coast at the annual Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
Golden Comet shines
A RACEHORSE that performs consistently, no matter whether it be on metropolitan or country racecourses, can bring great pleasure to owners and trainers.
Among such gallopers racing includes Golden Comet, who is prepared in the mid-north coast region at Port Macquarie by veteran horse-woman Margaret De Gonneville.
Golden Comet is a four-year-old gelding by Strategic Maneuver (who stands at Bullarook Park Stud, Victoria), and has won three races and had two placings from seven starts.
Winning his previous two starts at Port Macquarie and Kempsey, Golden Comet was bred and is raced in partnership by retired “Port” pharmacist Kevin Baker.
Included in the racing partnership is Golden Comet’s conditioner, who was among the pioneering female jockeys when based in Sydney of the 1970s.
New avenue for equine education
APPLICATIONS are now open for the first intake of 40 students to apply to join a new educational program “Explorer Cadetship” – a Thoroughbred industry designed and managed program involving a 12 month stud and stable horsemanship.
Those people who have a passion for horses and are looking to gain employment within the Thoroughbred industry are encouraged to apply.
In an Australian first, the nation’s leading racing stables and stud farms are working together to offer an educational pathway which will guide and mentor young Australians into a Thoroughbred career. Record breaking Sydney conditioner Chris Waller says its an exciting time for anyone looking to become involved.
“The racing and breeding industry is enjoying exceptional growth at the moment, which means there’s job opportunities as far as the eye can see,” he said.
With studies commencing in February next year, the program is open to people from 18 to 24-years-old.
It begins with a three-month practical and theoretical learning block at the Australian Racing and Equine Academy with students residing at Western Sydney University (at Richmond campus).