Hall Of Fame
The second Newcastle & Hunter Racing Hall Of Fame inductions were announced during a special function held at the Newcastle Racecourse yesterday.
The decision to hold the function in the Racecourses “Pavilion”during the race meeting was the brainchild of the NJC’s CEO Matt Benson and the event received very positive reviews from the 100 plus guests present.
The eight 2019 inductees in their categories were
ASSOCIATES- BILL HOWEY OA & THE THOMPSON FAMILY- WIDDEN STUD
TRAINERS- KRIS LEES & ROY HINTON
JOCKEYS- BILL WADE & JOHN WADE
RACEHORSES- CHOISIR & BEAUFORD
Bill Howey a veteriarian, educator, author, community leader and former racing administrator has resided in Scone for 52 years. He was instrumential when president of the Scone Race Club in the decision to move from the old tight White Park racetrack to the current Scone racetrack. He is a life member of the Scone Race Club, The Hunter Throughbred Breeders Associtaion, The Australian Veterinary Association and The Australian & New Zealand Collage Of Veterinary Science.
The Thompson Family through seven generations have owned the famous Widden Stud in the Widden Valley. Englishman John Thompson established Widden in 1867 and these days 42 year old Antony Thompson runs the operation. In 1890 Widden Stud stood its first stallion Lochiel which was five time champion Australian sire. Since then Vain, Marscay, Bletchingly, Todman and Sebring left indelable marks on the breeding industry.
Widdens current crop includes Zoustar, Star Witness, Young Song, Nicconi and recently retired Trapeze Artist and Written By.
Kris Lees born and raised on the outskirts of the Newcastle Racecousre has trained 15 Group 1 winners.He has traiend more than 1700 winners and Group 1 winners have been Samantha Miss (3) Lucia Valentina (3) Le Romain (3) Country Tyrone (2) Vitsees Dane, Clearly Innocent, Sence Of Occasion and In Her Time. Lucia Valentina and Le Romain each won more than $4 Million in prizemoney. In the 2017-18 season Lees trained 191 ½ winners and is on track to reach the double century in 2018-19.
Roy Hinton rode 600 winners before retiring from the saddle to take up training at Newcastle in 1960. He won eight Newcastle Trainers Premershipsand his Group 1 win was with Manawapoi in the 1976 Stadbroke Handicap. He trained top class gallopers in the Jackdaw, Windsor Park, Brother Smoke, Lady Manina, Swiftly Ann, Bandu Bay and War Charrot. Swiftly Ann and Manawapoi won Newcastle Newmarkets and Manawapoi won a Camerson Handicap. In retirement Hinton part owned the crack three year old Coronation Day trained by Max Lees.
John Wade will be forever linked with the champion two year old Luskin Star. The latter most recent dominat junvinile in Australias history was ridden by Wade in eight wins from nine starts in his two year old season. Five Group 1’s including the Grand Slam, Golden Slipper, Sires Produce and Champagne Stakes. He rode 1144 winners from 4463 rides, an incrediable 25.6 percent strike rate. Wade won 66 provincial and Country Cups and he was forced to retirement after a fall at Bundamba four days after his 35th birthday.
Bill Wade born at Bellbird near Cessnock rode 1723 winners and he won 13 Newcastle Premerships. He rode 42 Cup winners and his biggest win was in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 in 1954 aboard Nagpuni. Wade spent three months recouperating from a life threatening fall at Grafton in 1965 and when he returned he rode 18 winners in 18 days. He won the Grafton Ramorne three times and also a Golden Cup. Wade made headlines on July 20, 1955 when he won a race at Canterbury on a horse called Duke Of Fields backed from 100 to 1 into 5 to 1.
It was Newcastle trainer Ray Wallaces first winner, Choisir the Newcastle colt tabbed “The wonder from down under” by the English media was a trail blazer. Trained by Paul Perry Choisir won the Breeders Plate, Skyline Stakes and Inglis Classic before unlucky placings in the Group 1 Golden Slipper and Champagne Stakes. As a three year old he won two Group 1’s the VRL Lightning Stakes and Linlithgow Stakes. He took on the worlds best at Royal Ascot in 2003 and won the Kings Stand Stakes and the Golden Jubilee Stakes. Choisir then finished second in the July Cup before retering to stud. He has sired 94 individual Group winners .
Beauford was foaled in Scone in 1916. He was trained at Newcastle and he won races from 1200 to 2400 metres. His wins included the Epson Handicap, Tramway Handicap, Hill Stakes, Craven Plate, Rawson Stakes All Aged Stakes, Chelmsford Stakes and Cameron Handicap. The grand old champion won 17 races and died aged 23