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2017 Melbourne Cup Eve Luncheon


MONDAY, November 6th




Grand National champ named Geelong Racehorse of the Year


THREE-time Grand National Steeplechase winner Wells is the 2017 Know Your Horse Geelong Racehorse of the Year.


Wells beat eight other nominations for the title at the Thoroughbred Club of Geelong's annual Geelong Racing Awards dinner at Rydges Geelong.


The 10-year-old gelding earned the title for his second Grand National at Ballarat in August last year and

success in the Mosstrooper Steeplechase at Bendigo in July this year. His earnings for the season were just under $300,000.


His jockey Richard Cully was among those in the 200-strong crowd. 


A seven-member panel unanimously voted for Wells.


Wells is the first Geelong Racehorse of the Year winner for Durden and the third jumper to win the title after Sir Ritchie in 2003 and Prince Vitality in 2009.


Kathryn Durden said it was a fitting honour for Wells.


"He's been a super horse and gives everything he's got," Kathryn said.



Rob Windmill awarded George Hanlon Medal


Thoroughbred Club of Geelong president Rob Windmill was blindsided when he was awarded the George Hanlon Medal at the 2017 Geelong Racing Awards.


Rob had put preparation into the medal being presented to popular media identity Rob Gaylard to the point of organising the framing of a medal and producing a tribute video on the master host, but Gaylard was also in on the secret which had been kept for weeks.


The medal is presented for outstanding achievement and or service to racing and Rob 

Rob Windmill was lost for words when club patron and life member Bernie Armstrong read out the winner.


(Picture: from left Bernie Armstrong, Rob Windmill and club committeeman Jamie Edwards) 


"I'm humbled and honoured to be awarded a medal named after such a racing legend."


Rob was elected Thoroughbred Club of Geelong president in 1999 and has held the position for 18 years.


In 1988 he wrote and published "Geelong Racing - the history of horse racing in Geelong" and he has been a driving force behind the Geelong Racehorse of the Year awards which were first held in 1997.


Rob served on the Geelong Racing Club committee from 2012 to 2015 and has owned and bred racehorses.


He was the racing reporter for the Geelong Advertiser in the early 1980s and then Melbourne racing journalist for Australian Associated Press for 27 years. He also reported on racing from Hong Kong, Dubai and New Zealand and freelanced for Racetrack magazine and several other publications.


In 2012 he formed his own business Windmill Media Solutions and produces racing videos including the weekly jumpouts at Geelong every Wednesday. He also content manages several racing websites and is a form analyst for Best Bets.    


Saturday Sorcerer awarded inaugural Briseis Award


Saturday Sorcerer's emotion-charged win in the 2016 Dunkeld Cup has been recognised with the presentation of the inaugural Brisieis Award.


When the gelding's trainer Andrew Dillon lost his battle with leukaemia only a couple of weeks before the race, fellow trainer


Chris Calthorpe took up the mission to win the Dunkeld Cup for his mate with the chestnut.


“Dunkeld Cup day was one of Andrew’s favourite race days and he really wanted to win the cup,” Chris said.


In the weeks leading up to his passing, Chris had helped Andrew with his horses including Saturday Sorcerer.


"Andrew and I would speak three or four times a day about the horses,"  Chris said.


In the Dunkeld Cup, Saturday Sorcerer produced the run of his career with a dashing front-running performance to win easily. 


Geelong's Briseis Club sponsored the Briseis Award.  


Award winners 


Geelong Racing Club Fred Laherty Award - David and Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig - 29 wins

Elephant & Castle Hotel Peter St. Albans Award - Craig Newitt - 14 wins

PETstock Dual Choice Award - Valderrama - 3 wins

Mustad Australia James Wilson Award - Jamie Edwards - 15 wins

Meggs Elkington Order of Merit - Michael Roebuck

George Hanlon Medal - Rob Windmill

Pizzas with Attitude Owners Award - Aaron Kingshott and Ray & Glenda Archibald

Briseis Club - Briseis Award - Saturday Sorcerer

Know Your Horse Geelong Racehorse of the Year - Wells (Kathryn Durden) 





New Zealanders win Punters Test Match


After leading for most of the day the Thoroughbred Club lost the inaugural Punters Test Match to the Cossie Club at Geelong races on Friday, 12th May.



Stephen Sells got us out to handy lead early but the Cossie Club kept its best punter to late in the day and he found a $4.20 winner.


Special guests were Regan Bayliss (pictured right), who rode a double on the day, and Matt Cumani.


The Cossie Club was a terrific fun group and they are keen to host a party from the Thoroughbred Club next year to challenge for the fantastic trophy which they provided and took back across the Tasman.


The Cossie Club has also vowed to return for a rematch in Geelong in 2019.

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