The Roma Turf Club is these days run by co-presidents, Smith, who doubles as the leading trainer in town, and Peter Flynn, who calls the races at Bassett Park.
Flynn thinks Lane’s efforts in the saddle are some of the best to come from the area.
“He won many premierships in Roma and in the south-west area, including riding many winners in Brisbane, as he had a few weight issues which held him back in Brisbane,” Flynn said.
“From a Roma point of view, he is a fantastic story from our town.”
Lane, now 50 years of age and no longer race riding since 2012, has continued his work in the racing industry as an assistant trainer and track work rider to Cliff Brown.
A multiple Group 1 winner, Brown has been one of the top trainers in Singapore in recent years, finishing top five in the premiership last season, and is in the process of moving his operation back to Australia.
Lane and Brown are not long out of quarantine, looking to set up their new base in Victoria.
Lane’s top career achievements include a Roma Cup winner on Dancefloor Prodigy in late 2011, as well as a Birdsville Cup.
And, Smith feels the younger McGillivray is every chance to follow in the footsteps of his older brother and Lane – getting their start in Roma and going on to bigger and better things.
“We have produced some great jocks over the years, and I have had a good run with apprentices,” Smith said.
“I have got young Dan with me now, Matt’s brother, he is progressing along quite well into his second year now.
“Dan is learning the ropes really well, he is going great.
“Matt excelled and was ready to go to the next level.”
Racing at Bassett Park is split across two clubs, the Roma Turf Club, who will race this coming Saturday, and the Roma Picnic Race Club, which raced last Saturday and races once a year.
Roma Turf Club race eight times a season.
Smith describes his committee as progressive, always looking to improve facilities.
A stable upgrade has recently been completed, with 42 new stalls being built on course.
“With the help of Racing Queensland, the local clubs and councils, we are in the process of developing a $500,000 upgrade to our stewards and jockeys’ room on top of that,” Flynn said.
“The idea is to cater to the influx of female jockeys we are seeing at our racetrack.”
Three full-time trainers base themselves at Roma, as well as five hobby trainers, with around 80 horses in work at a time.
At the recent Roma Picnic Race Club meeting, Flynn estimated 40 of the 52 horses that faced the starter wertr trained at Bassett Park.
Roma has a mix of non-TAB and TAB race days, with two nationally televised race days on the way this year.
The annual Roma Cup meeting has been a TAB for the best part of the last decade and they will add another SKY Racing date later this year with their Roma Rugby races to be broadcast, which doubles as a racing and rugby union event.
“It is a great training facility here at Roma,” Smith said.
“We have just had new stables being built.
“We have only lost a couple of meetings in the 30 years I have lived here.”
Ahead of the five event program on his home deck again this Saturday, the Smith barn has been firing of late.
He usually has around 20 gallopers in work and has trained a winning double each of the last two weeks.
Smith targets QTIS races and says he was busy at the recent Magic Millions sales, searching for more QTIS opportunities for his owners.