No Western Australian horse, jockey, trainer or associate has been inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame since 2018, but Racing and Wagering Western Australia will host the 2022 ceremony, so which Sandgropers should get in?
There is no obligation for the Australian Racing Hall of Fame, which the Australian Racing Museum inaugurated in 2001 and Racing Australia supports, to induct thoroughbreds and people based on geography. However, with only eight of the 36 Western Australian Racing Hall of Fame members – Angus Armanasco, Aquanita, Eurythmic, Ernest Lee Steere, Ernest Lee-Steere, John Miller, Northerly and Damien Oliver – in the Australian Racing Hall of Fame, next year’s gala dinner in Western Australia represents an outstanding opportunity for the national industry to recognise more Sandgropers.
There are five Australian Racing Hall of Fame categories – horse, jockey, trainer, associate and legend – and if I had to nominate one Western Australian in each of them, my picks would be Miss Andretti, Paul Harvey, John Kelly, Bob Peters and Oliver, respectively. Miss Andretti is the only galloper to simultaneously hold five track records. Only Oliver has ridden more Australian metropolitan winners than Harvey, who has won 12 Western Australian city jockey titles. Kelly trained Australian Racing Hall of Fame inductee Eurythmic and his honour roll included six Western Australian Derbies, seven Karrakatta Plates and seven Perth Cups. Peters is a giant of the international breeding scene whom Thoroughbred Racing Commentary’s Global Rankings list above the likes of Juddmonte Farms, Qatar Racing and the Aga Khan. And Oliver is Australia’s winningmost Group One jockey with 118 victories, 14 more than legendary rider George Moore.
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