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Sydney riders have paid their respects to long serving jockeys’ room superintendent Bob Rowles who has died aged 98, less than two years after his retirement.

Jockeys at Canterbury on Monday wore black armbands to honour the man who spent more than six decades as their friend and mentor.

The son of a trainer, Rowles had ambitions to be a jockey until weight got the better of him.

After serving in the Australian armed forces during World War II, Rowles took up a position with the Australian Jockey Club in 1946 which he held until 2013.

On his retirement, Rowles nominated Bernborough as the best horse he had seen and Darby Munro the best jockey.

The jockeys’ room in the new Randwick stand is named after Rowles and the Australian Turf Club will look to honour him with a race in the next week.

ATC chief executive Darren Pearce said Sydney racing had lost a stalwart, with people of the calibre and professionalism of Rowles a rarity.

“We will always remember Bob as one of our greatest employees and all of the staff who worked with him, as well as countless numbers of jockeys, will miss him,” Pearce said.

“… in Bob Rowles you couldn’t find a more loved and respected person amongst them.”

Rowles is survived by his wife Betty and son Terry and his family.

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