The underpass constructed as a result of jockey Simone Montgomerie’s fatal fall is set to be named in her honour as racecourses nationally celebrate riders’ contribution to racing.
Montgomerie, a rising star of Northern Territory racing, was killed on Darwin Cup Day in 2013 after her gelding baulked and reared at a public pedestrian crossing 200 metres from the finish line.
The 26-year-old’s family and NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner will unveil the new name of the $800,000 tunnel, which connects the public area to marquees in the centre of Darwin’s Fannie Bay Racecourse.
Opened early last year, it removes the need for an on-track crossing.
“We take this time in amongst the bustle, the manic nature of the (2017 Darwin Cup) Carnival to remember a talented, fearless, sports woman; an integral personality in the racing community; and, most of all, a beloved family member of the Darwin racing fraternity,” Darwin Turf Club chairman Brett Dixon said.
Elsewhere around the country, the racing community is set to pause to honour fallen jockeys and raise funds for the National Jockeys Trust.
About 200 riders are injured in races and another 300 in trackwork annually.
This year is already the deadliest for jockeys since 1998 following the deaths of Darren Jones, Donna Philpot and Roger Booth.
“It is important to take a moment to acknowledge and remember these riders and their commitment to the industry,” NJT chairman and Australian Jockeys Association chief executive Paul Innes said.
The topweight will wear NJT jockey colours in each race at 20 meetings.
A minute’s silence and blessing of the track will also be held.
Eleven riders have died in the past decade, taking to almost 900 the number of jockey deaths in Australia since 1847.
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