FEDERAL Member for Wannon Dan Tehan has endorsed the thoughts of thousands of people saying Bill Gibbins should be nominated for an Order of Australia.
Tehan was trackside to view the inaugural running of the Jericho Cup on a nine-race program at Warrnambool on Sunday. The race day, which was the brainchild of Gibbins, honoured Australia’s lighthorsemen and their mounts. It attracted nearly 5000 people.
“I fully support any nomination for Bill to be presented with an OAM,” Tehan said.
“Bill has put up his own money, time and efforts over the last three years to ensure this event was an outstanding success. I consider Bill Gibbins to be an unsung Australian hero. His generosity is quite amazing.
“Bill’s brainchild has given a massive boost to the economy across the south-west district over the weekend, with thousands of people from various parts of Australia visiting the area and their visits culminating in attending the Warrnambool races. Bill has the unique ability to mix it with people from all levels of life.”
Tehan has called on Racing Victoria to make the Jericho Cup race day a standalone Saturday meeting.
“Racing Victoria has already given Ballarat and Pakenham standalone Saturday race days,” he said.
“I think it would be a great idea if we had no metropolitan races in Melbourne for a month and Warrnambool could play host to one of those Saturday race dates.
“I’m confident the Jericho Cup day would go to another level if they had a standalone race day on a Saturday.
“It would have the ability of attracting thousands of people to the south-west, which would be a huge boost to the local economy.”
Racing Victoria general manager Greg Carpenter described the day as an outstanding success.
“It was an amazing day,” Carpenter said.
“It’s quite incredible what Bill Gibbins has done to get the race day up and going.
“We will sit down and weigh up everything relating to the day over the next few weeks. I would say the day has gone above and beyond our expectations.”
Gibbins has given a four-year commitment to the Jericho Cup race day.
TOWER Hill hobby trainer Chris Ryan had plenty of reason to be happy after his home-bred galloper Gormans Lane won a maiden plate over 1200 metres at Warrnambool’s Jericho Cup meeting.
The win secured a $25,000 small trainers bonus for Ryan, donated by Bill Gibbins.
“I’ve got to thank Bill Gibbins,” Ryan said. “Bill’s generosity for putting on such a wonderful day has been overwhelming for many people.
“Gormans Lane has always shown us a bit of ability. He’s been a slow maturing type of horse.
“He’s just starting to put it all together. I think he will be better suited to races in the 1600 to 2000 metre range.”
Gormans Lane is by the Irish-bred stallion Dalakhani.
LOVE'S IN THE AIR
WEDDING bells will soon be ringing for three jumps jockeys.
Warrnambool’s Braidon Small will marry long-time partner Amy Power, while Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase-winning jockeys Steve Pateman and Richard Cully will wed their respective partners in Jess Barton and Lisa Whelan.
Small is recovering from an operation to his right knee which had been giving him discomfort for more than 18 months.
RACING Minister Martin Pakula was disappointed he could not attend the inaugural running of the Jericho Cup.
The passionate racing fan had been booked for months to attend the engagement party of a close family friend.
HARD-WORKING jockey Linda Meech will head overseas for a well-deserved two-week holiday from December 10.
Meech, who has ridden 63 winners so far this season will visit her brother in Finland before going to England and Ireland whilst in Ireland she will attend the wedding of her good friends jumps jockey Richard Cully and Lisa Whelan.
“It’ll be the first decent break I’ve had in years,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to getting away, but I will not be far away from racing as I’ll be going to Newmarket in England and visiting a few stables in Ireland.”
The popular hoop, who has a small team of horses in work as a trainer at Stawell, has decided to give her horses a short break while she is away.
WARRNAMBOOL jumps jockey Lee Horner predicted a bright future for Hello My Friend after his victory in the Jericho Cup repechage on Sunday.
Hello My Friend gained an automatic start in next year’s $300,000 Jericho Cup with his win.
“He’s still green this horse,” Horner said.
“I reckon with a bit of time he’s going to develop.
“He’s only had the nine starts, so there’s plenty of improvement in him.”
With the win over Ventura Highway, Hello My Friend took his stake earnings to more than $40,000.
WINNING group 1 races are the pinnacle of racing.
Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir has won 29 group 1 races over the last three years.
Amazingly, 25 of those black type winners have been trained in Warrnambool under the care of his local foreman Jarrod McLean.