Champion jockey Roy Higgins has been immortalised with a bronze statue at Flemington.
The 11-time Victorian premiership winner who died in March last year, joined other racing legends – Bart Cummings, Phar Lap and Makybe Diva – to be honoured with bronze statues at the course.
The statue was unveiled by Victoria’s Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula, on Sunday.
Despite a career-long battle with his weight, Higgins rode 2312 winners, including 108 at Group One level.
He is one of only seven jockeys to win the big four on the Australian calendar – the Melbourne Cup, the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper.
Besides his two Melbourne Cups – on Light Fingers and Red Handed for trainer Bart Cummings – Higgins won a string of other feature races at Flemington including five VRC Oaks and four Victoria Derbys.
And at the VRC’s 1972 autumn carnival, Higgins rode 12 winners at the three-day meeting, including five on one day.
Higgins was made a Member of the British Empire in 1976, entered the Australian Sport Hall of Fame in 1987 and was an inaugural inductee to the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2001.
VRC Chairman Michael Burn said Higgins was remembered for much more than his feats on the racetrack.
“Undoubtedly Roy was one of the greatest jockeys we’ve seen, but he was just as remarkable for his contribution to racing after retirement and the way he connected with people of all walks of life,” Burn said.