Queensland champion Vo Rogue and Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman are among the 10 new inductees to Australian racing’s Hall of Fame.
The inductees were announced on Tuesday and will formally join the Hall of Fame at a function in Brisbane on Friday night.
The inductees are Vo Rogue, Hall Mark, Balmerino, So You Think (horses), John Meagher, Des McCormick (trainers), Brent Thomson, Hugh Bowman (jockeys), Pat Lalor, Sir Sydney and Sir Edward (associates).
Cyril Small, who rode Vo Rogue to 22 wins, was at the announcement and said it was due recognition for a great front-running horse and the work done by his late trainer Vic Rail.
“We thought he might make a handy horse and win a Novice in Brisbane but he went on to be a champion,” Small said.
He said Vo Rogue loved the Melbourne way of going and dry tracks.
“Vic was a good feeder and worked his horses solidly. Vo Rogue responded with some outstanding wins including two Australian Cups,” Small said.
Balmerino won Group One races on both sides of the Tasman in 1975 and 1976 and was trained by now Brisbane-based Brian Smith.
He won 14 of his 18 starts as a three-year-old and as an older horse travelled the world having his final start for English trainer John Dunlop when second to Alleged in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
“When he won the Derby in Wellington I was coming down the steps and was told he ran 34 and a bit for his last 600 metres”Smith said.
“I knew then I had a horse to travel the world and I still say he should have won the Arc in Paris instead of running second.”
Meagher was also in attendance and said winning the 1985 Melbourne Cup with What A Nuisance for Lloyd Williams had changed his life.
“Eventually I went to Singapore and trained about 600 winners,” he said.
“It’s an absolute privilege and more than a bit humbling,” Bowman said.
Bowman said he was humbled by his induction.
“To be honest, off the back of the emotional rollercoaster with Winx, who has played such a significant part of my time as a professional jockey, it’s hard to put into words,” he said.
“Along with Winx, I’ve enjoyed a significant amount of international success and that doesn’t come without sacrifices by myself and my family.”
The Queensland-based Williams brothers, Sir Edward and Sir Sydney, were remembered for their work with the Cairns Amateurs and Queensland Turf Club.
Sir Sydney’s son Brian said his father had spent 40 years as a driving force in the highly successful Cairns Amateurs and Sir Edward was highly respected Australia wide.
“Both were doers. They got things done,”he said.
2019 Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame Inductees
Hall Mark (1930)
So You Think (2006)
Vo Rogue (1983)
Lloyd Patrick (Pat) Lalor
Sir Edward Williams and Sir Sydney Williams