LONG-serving Victorian Jockey Association member Neville Wilson stood down from the role as president at its annual general meeting in Melbourne on Monday.
Wilson, who rode 2079 winners during his distinguished career before hanging up his saddle in March 2011, was the VJA president for 20 years.
"I just felt it was time to have some new blood as president of the association," Wilson said.
"I've enjoyed my time in the role but the time is right to hand over the baton.
“The VJA has come a long way over the last 20 years.
“I suppose my highlights are seeing increased wages for jockeys, better insurance coverage and working with the National Jockeys Trust to look after the welfare of jockeys.
“The association is fortunate to have people like Ross Inglis and Des O'Keeffe looking after it."
Wilson, 69, will continue in his role as assistant trainer to respected Camperdown trainer Geoff Daffy.
TALENTED jockey Daniel Moor will put off hip surgery for a year as he looks forward to a successful 2016 season.
Moor, who was born in Warrnambool, said continually riding had caused the injury.
"It's just wear and tear injury to my left hip,” he said.
“I've got what they call spurs on my hip. I've had a talk to my doctor and I reckon I can keep on going for a year before I have it operated on.
"It's painfully some days more than others. It aches more when I'm driving to race meetings across the state.
“It's just a dull ache where the hip is not connected to the joint but I can continue riding."
The hard-working jockey, who left Warrnambool as a 17-year-old has ridden more than 570 winners during his 15-year career is planning for another riding stint in Mauritius in May.
"I went and rode in Mauritius this year. I spent more than four months with my wife and two children there. It was a wonderful experience," Moor said.
"I reckon it will be even better to go back as I know what it's all about now.
“It's good over there as they only race once a week but you've got to ride trackwork a minimum of four mornings in the week."
Moor, 31, gave credit to his Warrnambool mentors – the late Jocka Baillie, Robert Blacker and Peter Lafferty – for his strong work ethic.
"I've never forgotten my times in Warrnambool. I suppose I was a bit headstrong back then," he said.
"I'll be honest with you I never understood what blokes like Jocka, Robert and Peter were trying to teach me back then but I do now and I really appreciate it.
“I came to Melbourne and Ray Lawson was another one who really helped my career."
Slowly but surely
THE aptly-named Little By Little increased her value as a broodmare when she won a restricted race over 1400 metres at Horsham on Sunday, for Warrnambool trainer Symon Wilde.
Little By Little defeated Mount Beckworth and Melomane in the $16,000 race.
Sunday's victory was her second and she also has six minor placings to her credit.
Wilde said he would like to keep Little By Little in similar company.
"She's only a pony. I reckon she's well named," Wilde said.
"Her biggest worry going forward will be to carry weight. She's been a 55 rater.
“I suppose she may jump up in the ratings but she should be able to run in a 58 restricted race again after this win."
Little By Little has earnt more than $34,000 in stakemoney for her connections.
Penshurst and District Racing Club will gallop into the history books when it celebrates 150 years of racing with the running of its cup on Boxing Day.
The day is part of the Kids’ Summer of Country Racing campaign and provides supervised children’s activities.
The state government is providing $11,600 towards the Penshurst Cup to help mark the occasion, courtesy of the Victorian Racing Industry Fund’s (VRIF) Raceday Attraction Program.
Country Racing Victoria will contribute $20,500 and Penshurst will put in $12,800.
The VRIF returns unclaimed wagering dividends and on-course wagering taxes back to the industry and allows the three racing codes, racing clubs and other key stakeholders to have a say in growing Victorian racing.
It funds projects and initiatives at tracks across Victoria, supporting jobs, improving animal and participant safety, increasing integrity measures and boosting the racing experience for racegoers.
Racing Minister Martin Pakula said the annual race meeting was a great way for people to enjoy Boxing Day with family and friends,"
“The Penshurst Cup on Boxing Day has been part of the local community for 150 years and we are glad to support this fantastic tradition," Mr Pakula said.
“It’s a great way to wrap up the festive season with a relaxing day at the country races.”
Popular Penshurst chairman Michael McKinnon said the club and local community were looking forward to a successful day.
“This funding is a real shot in the arm for the club and helps us to make it convenient, affordable and safe for people to come to the Penshurst Boxing Day races and experience what a great family day out it is.” McKinnon said.
“A successful race meeting has an impact both economically and socially for the whole community, so the funding has a wide reaching effect.”
Free bus transport will be available from Ararat, Hamilton, Port Fairy, Portland and Warrnambool.
New Year ban
COLAC-born jockey Ryan Maloney is on the sidelines to the New Year after he pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge at Yarra Glen last week.Maloney's suspension expires midnight Saturday, January 2.
MELBOURNE businesswoman Sophie Cornell has been elected to the Victoria Racing Club board. Cornell, a passionate racehorse owner, replaces Paul Leeds, who decided not to stand for re-election after 13 years as a director. Incumbent directors John O’Rourke, Michael Ramsden and Neil Wilson were re-elected.