Jockeys swap silks for cricket whites in the name of charity

Champion hoop Damien Oliver and his Touchstone Farm Jockeys team-mates will take on a Heritage Finance Racing All-Stars side featuring Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Danny O’Brien in the eighth annual TAB National Jockeys’ Trust T20 Cricket Match, held at Williamstown Oval from 1pm next Monday.

The Racing All-Stars team also includes Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne, her brother Stevie Payne, who starred in the Ride Like A Girl movie, and Victoria’s Minister for Racing, the Hon. Martin Pakula. Captain Bryce McGain, a former Australian cricketer, will be aiming to retain the trophy this year after his side’s victory by 14 runs in 2019.       

Oliver will captain the jockeys’ team, which will feature the ‘Wizard of the West’, Willie Pike, the reigning Victorian premiership winner, Linda Meech, plus Josh Ledger and Mitch Goring, who both lost their fathers in race falls.   

Last year, the match raised more than $130,000 for the National Jockeys’ Trust (NJT), a charitable organisation which provides funding and support to jockeys – and their families – who have suffered serious or fatal injuries in the saddle. 

This year’s fundraiser will be directed towards organisations providing aid to wildlife and livestock affected by the current bushfire crisis. The four nominated charities are: Wildlife Victoria, WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation (NSW), Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park (SA) and Wildlife Rescue Queensland.

Subzero, who captured the nation’s hearts when he won the 1992 Melbourne Cup, will be in attendance, whilst Racing Victoria’s (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, and Chairman of Stewards, Robert Cram, will serve as umpires.   

As a principal partner, RV will sponsor the two prizes presented on the day: the Racing Victoria Subzero Player of the Match, and the Racing Victoria Drew Morphett Magnificent Moment award.