WARRNAMBOOL Racing Club chairman Des Roberts has urged for the induction of Warrnambool trainer Kevin Lafferty into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.
Roberts made the plea at a function at the club’s race meeting on Sunday where the Kevin Lafferty Hurdle named after the late trainer was run.
The passionate chairman said Lafferty’s training deeds should be recognised on a wider scale.
“Kevin Lafferty was the best trainer to came out of Warrnambool,” Roberts said.
“I would say he’d be the best trainer that ever came out of this area. His record with a small group of horses in work was outstanding.
“We need to make more people aware of the incredible training record of Kevin Lafferty and that should be done by inducting him into the hall of fame.”
Lafferty, who trained for more than 45 years, had a career studded with success. He put the polish on top-class gallopers including Tetrabine (31 wins), Puramaka (30), Stanaswa (24), The Sporran (27), Trellios and Favoured Bay.
His victories included the Grand Annual Steeplechase on three occasions, the Warrnambool Cup twice, the Adelaide Cup, Bagot Handicap and Hamilton Cup eight times during his career.
Roberts said Lafferty achieved a lot of his success with only a relatively small team of horses in work.
“Kevin trained 100 winners in two separate seasons in the late 1950s with 18 horses in work — that achievement is remarkable because back then we never had racing seven days a week like we have now,” he said.
“Kevin was an expert at preparing horses for flat races but he was a master jumps trainer.
“He is the only trainer to have trained the three feature jumps race winners at the big Oakbank Easter carnival. He also won every jumps race at Warrnambool for 18 months back in the 1953-54 season.”
Lafferty died aged 76 on December 3, 1987.
Roberts said a nomination for Lafferty to be inducted into the hall of fame would be forwarded to Racing Victoria, which would then send the application to the Australian Racing Hall of Fame administrator in the next few weeks.
Five categories which comprise horses, trainers, jockeys, associates and legends make up the hall of fame.
The selection panel for the prestigious award is made up of 11 individuals who represent the thoroughbred racing industry covering the major states in Australia.
They are selected to the panel for their knowledge of racing and regard by their peers.