2018 NZ Racing Hall Of Fame inductees
The NZ Racing Hall of Fame has announced nine new inductees to the NZ Racing Hall of Fame.
Brookby Song - Steeplechaser
Brookby Song was one of New Zealand’s all-time great steeplechasers
A Chestnut gelding he was foaled in 1940, by Hunting Song-Hulomee.
Brookby Song won his jumping debut by 10 lengths and combining stag-like jumping, stamina and huge weight carry ability in 1948 he became only the third horse to win the Great Northern, Wellington and Grand National Steeples all in one year.
Brookby Song carried record weights of 12 stone (76kg) in his second Great Northern win and 12 stone 7lbs (79kg) in the Grand National. He retired with an Australasian stakes record for a jumper of £17,000.
He was trained by Bob Hall and mostly ridden by Jack Chaplin.
Might and Power - Racehorse
Might and Power was judged the World’s Champion Stayer of 1998
A bay/brown gelding he was foaled in 1993, by Zabeel-Benediction and bred by Windsor Park Stud in Cambridge. He was rated by Hall of Fame studmaster Patrick Hogan as the best racehorse sired by Hall of Fame sire – Zabeel.
Might and Power was an outstanding front running galloper winning 5 Group Ones at 4 years including the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double. At 5 years he won four of his six only starts including the W.S. Cox Plate.
From 33 career starts he won 15 including 7 Group Ones and over A$5.2 million. Might and Power was raced by Nick Moraitis of Sydney, trained by Jack Denham and mostly ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Jim Cassidy and Brian York.
O’Reilly – Racehorse and Stallion
O’Reilly was a Super Star Racehorse and a Super Star Sire.
O’Reilly is a brown horse foaled 1993, by Last Tycoon-Courtza. He was named after the Irish industrialist and famous rugby player Tony O’Reilly. His dam Courtza won the world’s premier 2 year old race - the Group I Golden Slipper in 1989 when ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Shane Dye.
O’Reilly had a brief but spectacular race career, winning four of only six starts including Group Ones Bayer Classic and Telegraph Handicap before running 2nd in the Australian Guineas.
He was awarded Horse of Year & Champion Sprinter-Miler titles for the 1996-97 racing season.
O’Reilly retired to Waikato Stud in 1997. To date he has won four NZ General Sire Premierships and is third on all-time sire of stakes winners behind the Hall of Fame stallions Sir Tristram and Zabeel.
O’Reilly was owned and raced by the Chittick family of Waikato Stud. He was trained by Hall of Famer trainer Dave O’Sullivan and Paul O’Sullivan and was ridden in all his races by Hall of Fame jockey Lance O’Sullivan.
Veandercross - Racehorse
Veandercross was the Australian Champion Racehorse of 1992-93
He was a brown gelding foaled in 1988, by Crossways-Lavender.
Veandercross had an exciting, come from behind, style of racing and was trained in Wanganui.
He won 15 races included 14 black type and 8 Group Ones.
Veandercross was unbeaten in 3 starts at 2. At 3 years he won the NZ 2000 Guineas, Levin Classic and Canterbury Guineas. At 4 years he won the Mackinnon Stakes, finished 2nd in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups before winning 5 Group Ones including the Lion Brown Sprint, Australian Cup, and Queen Elizabeth Stakes .
Veandercross was owner-trained in NZ by Chris Turner and when competing in Australia he was trained by Hall of Fame trainer John Wheeler. Veandercross was mainly ridden in his races by Jim Walker.
Murray Baker - Trainer
Trainer Murray Baker is a horseman who loves the racing game with a passion
Murray was born in Hawkes Bay and worked as 12-year-old before school in stables of Greenmeadows trainer Harry Greene in Napier where he rode track work.
Murray played 1st class cricket for Central Districts, winning two Plunket Shields and professional cricket and England. He commenced training 1978-79 and saddled his first stakes winner in 1979 at Awapuni. Baker trained at Woodville from mid 1980s before relocating to Cambridge in 2000.
He is now nearing 1,400 training successes both solo and in partnership – initially with son Bjorn and latterly with Andrew Foresman. Murray has trained the winners of 21 Group One races in Australia from his NZ base – more than any other New Zealand trainer in history. Champions he has trained include The Phantom, Dundeel, Turn Me Loose, Mongolian Khan and Bonneval. He has trained four winners of the AJC Derby including Jon Snow, Nom Du Jeu, Mongolian Khan and Dundeel.
Sir Woolf Fisher – Stud Owner and Racing Administrator
Sir Woolf Fisher was a highly respected stud owner, racing administrator and industrialist.
Sir Woolf Fisher founded Ra Ora Stud in 1950 and his stud stood many good sires including multiple Champion Sire Sovereign Edition. Sir Woolf served for 17 years on the board of the Auckland Racing Club including two as President
Sir Woolf was knighted in 1964. He revived the Auckland Polo Club by establishing the Fisher Field at Clevedon. Sir Woolf was an inaugural inductee into NZ Business Hall Of Fame in 1974, a year before his sudden death in 1975 aged 62.
A leading businessman, and philanthropist he was famous for the statement “Racing is neither a sport nor a business, but something in between”. His legacy continues with Fisher & Paykel, the Outward Bound Trust which he founded and the Woolf Fisher Trust which gives annual grants to teachers to further their studies overseas.
Noel Harris - Jockey
Noel Harris is a star jockey in a family of stars
Noel was born in Palmerston North in 1955, the third of four brother jockeys and son of Woodville based jockey turned trainer Jock Harris.
Noel was twice leading apprentice, the second time as Premier Jockey (equal with David Peake) in 1972-73. He also later won a Singapore Jockey Premiership. Noel’s riding career spanned 45 years and he is in top four jockeys of all-time, winning 2,163 races in New Zealand.
One of the greatest judges of pace and is the record holder for most 3200 metre big cup wins with 10 (equal with Hall of Fame jockey R.J. Skelton) – four New Zealand Cups, three Wellington Cups and three Auckland Cups. Champion horses he rode include Hall of Famer Castletown, Kingdom Bay and Poetic Prince,
Since retiring as a jockey Noel is now successfully mentoring jockeys at NZTR Jockeys School.
Leslie H. (Tod) Hewitt - Jockey
Tod Hewitt revolutionised race riding in Australasia
Born in Victoria 1879, Hewitt relocated to Southland at young age to become a jockey winning his first race ride.
By shortening his irons and moving the saddle forward, Tod adopted the crouch style used today. Tod became the Stead-Mason (both Hall of Famers) stable jockey, winning numerous big races on both sides of the Tasman.
Hewett won the NZ jockeys premiership in 1903-04. Then he rode successfully in Europe for half of the first 20 years of the 20th Century, winning big races in England (including the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket), Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Italy.
Hewett finished his career with 765 wins.
Chris Waller -Trainer
Chris Waller is acknowledged as the undisputed King of Australian racing
Chris began his racing career as a strapper for Paddy Busuttin’s Foxton stable and took over the stable as trainer in 1997, training 5 winners in his first season, and 66 winners in total in NZ before relocating to Warwick Farm in Sydney to continue his training career.
Since 2011 Chris has won seven consecutive Sydney Training Premierships, and seven Bart Cummings Medals with winners of over A$175.6 million in stake winnings and still counting.
Chris Has trained numerous Group One winners including World Champion race mare and three times Cox Plate winner Winx.