UPDATE, Friday, 1.20pm:
The racing trophy stolen at the Whalers Hotel on Wednesday night has been returned to its owners.
Security at the hotel was able to reunite the trophy with the racing connections after identifying the young man involved.
Earlier: Police are pleading for a racing trophy which went missing from The Whalers hotel overnight Wednesday to be returned to its distraught owner.
Warrnambool police Acting Senior Sergeant Cameron Ross said the trophy was reportedly stolen about midnight Wednesday.
He said police were reviewing the extensive security camera footage from the hotel and expected to be able to identify the thief.
A 54-year-old Port Fairy man was celebrating upstairs at the hotel with the trophy throughout the evening and noticed it was missing late in the night.
"He was celebrating on the dance floor and people were taking photos with the trophy when he's realised later in the night that it has gone missing," he said.
"We are asking that anyone who has this very unique trophy to immediately return it or anyone with knowledge of the trophy's whereabouts to provide that information to the Warrnambool police (5560 1333) or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
"The man has gone from the elation of winning a race at the May carnival to losing the trophy. He's very upset."
Acting Senior Sergeant Ross said it was possible the trophy may be found at an accommodation provider in coming days.
"We want it back or you can expect that action will be taken after a review of the security camera footage," he said.
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