The greatest show on turf, Vo Rogue, headlines the 2019 inductees into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.
Earlier today, Racing Queensland, in conjunction with the Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame and Racing Australia, officially unveiled the six-time Group 1 winner, who thrilled crowds in the late ‘80s with his front-running feats, as one of 10 inductees alongside Balmerino, Hall Mark and So You Think.
Hugh Bowman, the man synonymous with piloting Winx to her world record accomplishments including 25 consecutive Group 1’s, will also take his place in the pantheon of Australian racing greats after delivering one final victory lap aboard the wonder mare in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick last month.
Four-time Cox Plate winner Brent Thomson is the only other jockey to be inducted in 2019, while leading trainers Des McCormick and John Meagher will also have the prestigious honour bestowed upon them.
Former VRC Chairman of Stipendiary Stewards, Pat Lalor, and the Queensland-based Williams brothers, Sir Edward and Sir Sydney, round out the class of 2019 ahead of Friday night’s formal ceremony in Brisbane.
A two-time Australian Cup winner, Vo Rogue electrified crowds across the nation like few before – or since – with his catch-me-if-you-can brand of racing.
After a modest start to his racing career, the bay gelding went on a three-year tear as he secured 20 wins at Group 1 and Group 2 level including a Futurity Stakes, three Orr Stakes, two Turnbull Stakes, two Blamey Stakes and two St George Stakes.
In all, Vo Rogue recorded 26 wins and 23 placings from 83 starts.
“He had a big heart and just had a lot of natural ability,” Cyril Small, who rode Vo Rogue to 22 wins, said.
“His front-running tactics sparked people up…I think racing needed that at the time.”
While Bowman’s name will be forever linked with Winx, the 38-year-old has long been regarded as one of the world’s best riders with 88 Group 1 wins across Australia, Hong Kong and Japan.
A four-time Cox Plate winner in his own right, Bowman was awarded the Longines World’s Best Jockey Award in 2017 after scoring in 10 of the top-100 races across the globe.
Bowman was also aboard So You Think, a fellow 2019 inductee, when the 10-time Group 1 winner secured his first black-type win in the 2009 Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill.
“It’s an absolute privilege and more than a bit humbling,” Bowman said.
“To be honest, off the back of the emotional rollercoaster with Winx, who has played such a significant part of my time as a professional jockey, it’s hard to put into words.
“Along with Winx, I’ve enjoyed a significant amount of international success and that doesn’t come without sacrifices by myself and my family.”
The Williams brothers’ legacy lives on in Far North Queensland with Sir Sydney the driving force behind the two-day Cairns Amateurs Racing Carnival which continues to thrive to this day.
While Sir Edward was also a major contributor to the success of the Cairns Amateurs, he served as Chairman of the Queensland Turf Club from 1980 to 1991 and sat on the committee from 1966 to 1993.
A black-tie induction ceremony will be held at Moda Events Portside on Friday night to celebrate the occasion.
Click here to see full biographies on each of the 2019 inductees.
2019 Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame Inductees
- Balmerino (1972)
- Hall Mark (1930)
- So You Think (2006)
- Vo Rogue (1983)
- Brent Thomson
- Hugh Bowman
- Des McCormick
- John Meagher
- Lloyd Patrick (Pat) Lalor
- Sir Edward Williams and Sir Sydney Williams