By Jordan Gerrans
Jane Koch believes adding her late husband Rob’s name to the annual Magic Millions FNQ Up and Coming Stayers Series is a fitting tribute for his contribution to racing in the north of the state.
Koch, a popular north Queensland racing administrator and horse owner, passed away in March 2020 after years involved in several different roles within the racing industry.
As an owner, Koch won big Cup races in north Queensland as well as bringing his best horses to Brisbane, where he also had success.
He also devoted his time to the Far North Country Racing Association, where he was the secretary, with plans to eventually become president before his sad passing.
But, Koch’s greatest legacy in the north will be the Magic Millions FNQ Up and Coming Stayers Series, which he started, in conjunction with local clubs in 2014.
The series is now known as the Magic Millions Rob Koch Memorial Far North Queensland Up and Coming Stayers Series and will run the first event of the 2021 edition this weekend at Mareeba.
Rob’s wife Jane, who is still involved in the industry, will be at Mareeba this Saturday for the inaugural running.
“It is wonderful recognition; Rob was unique in the racing industry as an owner, he was he secretary of the FNQ Racing Association - Rob loved the whole gamut of the industry,” Jane said.
“He was really interested in the administration, to the programming and being an owner, he contributed to racing in many different areas.”
The Up and Coming Stayers Series is an eight-race event that provides horses with lower ratings an opportunity to race over staying trips and look to eventually qualify for NQ Cup races later in the year.
Koch was mentored by Far North Country Racing Association president Don Scheffler, who he was also close friends with, as the plan was for Koch to eventually take on the main role in the years to come before his death.
Scheffler has remained as president following Koch’s passing.