It may have had a program of seven races, but Muswellbrook Race Club's Aberdeen Cup meet last Sunday commemorated the lives of late popular jockey Greg Cribb, his Dad Eric "Shorty" Cribb, as well as former local resident and legendary scribe, Brian Russell.
It was a local win for young conditioner Justin Bowen who prepared In Spades (by Dissident) to take the $27,000 Greg Cribb Memorial Red Crown Two-Year-Old Handicap.
Bowen along with other part-owners - his grand-mum and trainer Jan Bowen, and breeder Vicki Brown (of Brandy Hill) were presented with the trophy from former Muswellbrook boy now a leading Sydney conditioner Peter Snowden and wife Lyn, who always recall their Upper Hunter Valley "roots" each year.
Greg Cribb was making a big impression via his riding skills at the track and became a successful jockey in the north-west region, before tragedy struck in a motor vehicle accident. A sister to Greg Cribb, Mrs Snowden was supported by family and friends which gathered at Muswellbrook, as well as husband Peter, who boosted its race-fields bringing three horses including runner-up, Distantness, in the Greg Cribb Memorial Red Crown.
Snowden also prepared the winner - Shooting To Win gelding Ranges, of the Eric "Shorty" Cribb Memorial Aberdeen Cup, ridden by in-form hoop Tommy Berry, a headlining jockey that made it 100 winners for the season at Rosehill the previous day.
Industry participants, friends, and family members also gathered for Brian, which was hosted by son Ian Russell (also a form and racing and tipster) and wife Michelle of Richmond, a soiree he would have loved himself to attend to join the festive banter. Brian Russell's journalistic life will be detailed in Thoroughbreds shortly.
Vale Don Le Lievre
FAR western district's grazier, Don Le Lievre - a founding member of the Louth Turf Club inaugurated in 1959, passed-away recently aged 83.
According to president of the Louth Turf Club Jim Strachan "Lakemere" Bourke, Mr Le Lievre made a huge contribution to the Louth races as well as to country racing.
"Don's knowledge and love of racing has had an enormous impact on the successes of the Louth races," said Mr Strachan.
Being vice president for 31 years, Mr Le Lievre was also the club's president for 10 years, and for a stretch of time was a delegate and committee member on the Western Racing Association.
Through his friendship with John Messara AM - principal of Arrowfield Stud, Scone, Mr Le Lievre arranged to lease a racehorse from him to race with some local enthusiasts, the horse - Hamlish, providing the group many memorable and exciting occasions.
By Irish imported Tolomeo, Hamlish (prepared by the late legendary trainer John Lundholm), won nine races including the 1993 Creswell Louth Memorial Cup. Following retirement, Hamlish continued to appear at the Louth races as a successful clerk of the course horse.
This year's cup - scheduled for Saturday August 7, will be named the Don Le Lievre Memorial Louth Cup. Mr Le Lievre is survived by his wife Tess (also a past club president, of "Deerina" Louth), and sons Sam and Ben and families.
A chestnut colt by multiple champion Australian sire Snitzel, from Melbourne stakes winner Walk With Attitude, topped the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale at the Gold Coast last week. Sold for $500,000 via John Muir's Milburn Creek, Wildes Meadow in the Southern Highlands, the colt went to big National Sale buyer Suman Hedge Bloodstock, Victoria.
Second top was a Capitalist filly at $340,000, which was offered and sold by his breeder former star jockey Scott Seamer, winner of many Group 1 races including the Caulfield/Melbourne Cup double aboard Ethereal. The filly sold to Gold Coast trainer Kacy Fogden.
Book One of the yearlings grossed over $14.5 million for an average $59,000 via the 247 lots sold from 379 offered. Vinery Stud's filly by its champion sire More Than Ready, from Group 1 Redoute's Choice mare Allez Wonder, fetched $300,000 at third top.
Book two of the yearling section saw 92 lots average $12,220 for gross sales of over $1.1m. Its top - at $95,000, was for a half-sister to stakes winner Jami Lady, the filly being by Coolmore Stud's Pride Of Dubai.