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Bill Sanders

A meticulous master trainer ...more

In partnership with his son Graeme for more than a decade, Bill Sanders was the second trainer (after Rex Cochrane) to train a thousand winners – which numbered 1001 at his retirement in 1985.

Turning professional in 1960, took his son into partnership a decade later and the combination dominated the 1970s, winning five successive premierships.

Bill and his son produced a grand stream of racehorses over the years. Sanders Senior’s philosophy was simple – feed 'em hard, work 'em hard, race 'em hard – and this was vindicated with results.

Sponsor: Dunstan Feeds

Brian Anderton

All the Racing Hats - a master all rounder. ...more

Brian Anderton was a successful jockey on the flat and over fences, starting at age 13 and riding 398 winners – but is even more successful as a trainer, his winning tally now close to 1300.

Brian is a one-time riding master for the Otago Apprentice School, and a past president of the Otago Racing Club and Otago branch of New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association.

In 1956 founded national icon stud White Robe Lodge, where he stood champion sires Mellay and Noble Bijou.

In recent years, White Robe Lodge helped to under pin South Island breeders with Stallions, and has continues through sponsorship and racing to supporting racing in the South.

Sponsor: White Robe Lodge Clients

Chris Waller


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.

Colin Jillings

Renowned champion who won 5 derbys over 50 years ...more

The trainer known as much to his friends as the racing public as “Jillo” handed in his trainers licence in 2004.  He had held that licence for an amazing 54 years.

Regarded as a master trainer of stayers, he trained 1327 winners in total, 703 of those in partnership with fellow trainer Richard Yuill.

Often referred to as “racing’s gentleman trainer” and respected and admired by his peers, Jillings was renowned for his ability to set a horse for a race after mapping out the target  a long way out.
Saddling his first winner, Lawful, while still aged in his 20s, to win the Great Northern Derby in 1958, Jillings was to go on and win a Derby in each subsequent decade up to his retirement.

As well as training five New Zealand Derby winners, he trained three New Zealand Oaks winners, and won four Auckland Cups, a Wellington Cup and two New Zealand Cups.

His versatility  as a trainer were also demonstrated in jumps racing where he won three Great Northern Steeples and two Great Northern Hurdles.

Associated with many memorable horses, some of his best performers included Uncle Remus, McGinty and The Phantom Chance, who won the WS Cox Plate from the Jillings/Yuill stable as well as the New Zealand Derby.

Dave O'Sullivan

Champion trainer of 11 premierships - producing a racing dynasty ...more

The only apprentice to salute the judge before a young Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Ellerslie meeting of 1953 – not a bad win, either: the Railway Handicap on Te Awa – O’Sullivan rode for less than a decade (125 winners) before weight problems forced him out. Setting up as a trainer at Matamata, he first became known as a successful mentor of apprentices. Roger Lang, Peter Johnson, Shane Dye and eventually his son Lance were just some of the top riders who came from the stable. Equine winners also came off the property in a steadily expanding stream until (ultimately in partnership with his son Paul) O’Sullivan found a regular place at the top of trainers’ list. Dave O’Sullivan retired in 1998 with a lifetime tally of 1877 wins (at present the New Zealand record), 1613 in partnership with Paul. Dave won the premiership on his own in 1978-79, another 10 titles in partnership with Paul. Oopik, Golden Rhapsody, Sharivari, Waverley Star, Paul De Brett, La Souvronne, Blue Denim, Mapperley Heights and champion mare Horlicks were among the many Group One performers to wear the O’Sullivan polish.

Dave O'Sullivan is proudly sponsored by TRAC racing consortium which consists of the racing clubs in the Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Te Aroha and Matamata regions.

Dick Mason

Outstanding trainer of the first 1/2 century of NZ racing ...more

Richard Mason was regarded as the outstanding trainer of New Zealand racing’s first epoch. His record in what would now be described as New Zealand’s black-type races remains unmatched to this day and he made regular trips across the Tasman over a period of 20-plus years to beat the Australians on their home ground. Mason trained for 22 years for George Stead when Stead was the dominant owner in the country – indeed, no owner since has equalled the dominance achieved by the yellow and black Stead colours around the turn of the 20th Century. On Stead’s death, Mason went training for a new patron, George Dean Greenwood, and for him won a further 11 Derbies, 10 Jackson Plates, nine CJC Challenge Stakes… well, a further 58 races on either side of the Tasman which would these days carry black type. He was credited at his death with having trained 30 Derby winners, on either side of the Tasman, and he won 57 races with the great Gloaming alone. Dick Mason died in 1932, in his 80th year, just a week after Gloaming died, aged 17, on George Greenwood’s Teviotdale Station.

Dick Mason was sponsored by Hamilton based accountancy firm - Beattie Rickman which has recently merged with PricewaterhouseCoopers New Zealand. Please call 07-838-3838 or go to www.clevercompanies.co.nz for further information.

Graeme Rogerson

Worldwide Ambassador for the NZ thoroughbred ...more

Graeme Rogerson has had stables in many parts of the racing world – including New Zealand, Australia, and even Dubai – as he set upon a campaign to take NZ racing to the world.

Fierce determination and hard work enabled “Rogie” to overcome early stoushes with officialdom to then reach the pinnacle of his profession.

By the time he trained his 2000th New Zealand winner, in 2010, he had won 12 NZ premierships, and one in Sydney, where he had operated a separate stable for years.

His major wins in Australia include the big three:

the Golden Slipper,
the Cox Plate, and
the Melbourne Cup.

Rogie was and is a tireless and enthusiastic ambassador internationally for the New Zealand thoroughbred.

Sponsor: Max Whitby


James Bartholomew "Bart" Cummings

Honorary New Zealander –Melbourne Cup's King ...more

Bart Cummings is the New Zealand Hall of Fame’s first honorary inductee.

James Bartholomew “Bart” Cummings has never raced a horse in New Zealand, but no overseas trainer has done more to promote the New Zealand stayer through the success he has achieved with the New Zealand thoroughbred.

Bart saddled an astonishing 12 Melbourne Cup winners, with eight of these being New Zealand-bred.

An astute judge, Bart has been a major buyer at New Zealand yearling sales since the early 1960s.

A legend of the Australian turf in Australia, Bart was awarded the Order of Australia and was an inaugural inductee into the Australian Hall of Fame.

Sponsor: Cambridge Stud

James Bartholomew "Bart" Cummings Interview


Bart Cummings is the New Zealand Hall of Fame’s first honorary inductee.

James Bartholomew “Bart” Cummings has never raced a horse in New Zealand, but no overseas trainer has done more to promote the New Zealand stayer through the success he has achieved with the New Zealand thoroughbred.

Bart saddled an astonishing 12 Melbourne Cup winners, with eight of these being New Zealand-bred.

An astute judge, Bart has been a major buyer at New Zealand yearling sales since the early 1960s.

A legend of the Australian turf in Australia, Bart was awarded the Order of Australia and was an inaugural inductee into the Australian Hall of Fame.

Sponsor: Cambridge Stud

Jim Gibbs

"Gentleman Jim" - The Trainers' Trainer ...more

As a jockey, trainer, owner, breeder, mentor, and astute judge of a horse ‘gentleman Jim’ has done it all at group one level.

Jim Gibb’s career started at a very early age in the saddle – winning many prestigious jumping races.

Jim began training while still riding. Preparing 145 stakes winners, Jim reached the apogee of his career as a trainer in the 1980s when, with a team of modest size and sometimes modest pedigrees, lining up as many as five runners in major northern group events.

Jim was the first Kiwi to train the winners of $1 million in New Zealand, in 1986-87, and the first to saddle the winners of $2 million in a season - two years later.

Tidal Light was the star three-year-old of the 1986-87 racing season, racking up 10 wins, including the group one New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie.

Gibbs won the 1989 Auckland Cup with Spyglass and enjoyed Melbourne Cup success as an owner through a retained share in Doriemus who won the 1995 Melbourne and Caulfield Cups when trained in Melbourne by Lee Freedman.

Revered as a mentor for trainers and young apprentice jockeys, Jim will be remembered for producing  36 apprentice jockeys, a future generation of trainers, and as an respected gentleman – a trait backed up by a ‘racing personality of the year’ award.

Jim signed off his training career with a winner, as he did with his last ride on Pretty Peen some 43 years earlier, after 47 years as a trainer and was recognised for his contribution to thoroughbred racing when awarded the Member of NZ Order Of Merit.

Sponsor: NZ Thoroughbred Magazine

John Wheeler

International trainer of great gallopers and jumpers ...more

During his hay day, John Wheeler was more successful in Australia than any other New Zealand trainer of modern times.

In Australia John trained three near-champions – Poetic Prince, Rough Habit, and Veandercross and won many major Australian races (including a dozen Group Ones) with all three horses.

John has dominated the Australia's jumping scene for many years (winning seven Great Eastern Steeplechases at Oakbank) and won what is arguable the greatest jumping race in the world – the  Nakayama Grand Jump in Tokyo with outstanding jumper St Steven.

A leading trainer at home John continues to be a great ambassador for his country.

John Wheeler (MNZM Induction)

International trainer of great gallopers and jumpers ...more

During his hay day, John Wheeler was more successful in Australia than any other New Zealand trainer of modern times.

In Australia John trained three near-champions – Poetic Prince, Rough Habit, and Veandercross and won many major Australian races (including a dozen Group Ones) with all three horses.

John has dominated the Australia's jumping scene for many years (winning seven Great Eastern Steeplechases at Oakbank) and won what is arguable the greatest jumping race in the world – the  Nakayama Grand Jump in Tokyo with outstanding jumper St Steven.

A leading trainer at home John continues to be a great ambassador for his country.

Ken Browne

The Jumping Maestro - jockey, trainer, owner, breeder, and polo player ...more

In 1977 Ken Browne became the first man to own, train and ride the winner of the Great Northern Steeplechase when he rode the tough gelding Ascona to victory.

Two years later the combination repeated the feat.

Browne would go on to train, in later years in partnership with his wife Ann, a further seven Great Northern Steeplechase winners as well as three Great Northern Hurdle winners. 

Ken, an enthusiastic amateur from the time he left school in the 1950’s, recorded numerous wins as a jumps jockey.  He was New Zealand’s leading jumps jockey in the calendar years 1981 and 1984 and in the 1986-87 racing seasons.

That enthusiasm was to span a remarkable fifty years during which Ken as an owner trainer prepared more than 500 winners over jumps.  Together, he and wife Ann won most of New Zealand’s major jumping races, many of them several times.

From the 1980s he, and later with Ann, had jumping teams in work of a size never approached by another owner or trainer, except perhaps by Bill Hazlett in his heyday.

The consequence was that Browne runners frequently made up more than half a field and it is seriously doubtful whether northern jumps racing would have survived without the Browne’s contribution.

Browne’s success in the saddle remarkably increased as he grew older, with his peak coming during the 1978-1993 period when he was aged between 44 and 59.

One of Ken Browne’s stars was the great Sydney Jones, who had 56 starts over the steeples for 11 wins, earning $273,450 in stakes.  Included in those wins were two McGregor Grant Steeplechases, two Pakuranga Hunt Cups and a win in the Great Northern Steeplechase.

In 2001 Ken Browne suffered a serious riding accident at his home which left him a tetraplegic confined to a wheelchair.

Not one to sit back, Browne was still training from his wheelchair and was a regular at the races to watch his and Ann’s horses. Two weeks prior to his passing in 2006, at the age of 72, Ken was at Ellerslie when he had two winners including a victory in the inaugural running of the race named after him, the K S Browne Hurdles.

Laurie Laxon

Master trainer in two countries ...more

Born 1946, became successful trainer in New Zealand from where his highlights were the 1988 Melbourne Cup with Empire Rose and the 1993 Hong Kong International Cup with Romanee Conti.

Moved in 2000 to Singapore, where he was nine times champion trainer up to 2014. In 2004 became first to train 100 winners in a Singapore season and beat that with 104 in 2008. In 2013 became the first to train 1000 winners in Singapore.

Maurice McCarten

Up to Australia's Best ...more

A champion jockey in the 1920s and 1930s, Maurice McCarten won two NZ jockey premierships, aged 20 and 21, and moved to Sydney, where he rode three winners at his first appearance on an Australian course. He won many major races in Australia and turned to training in 1942, winning four Sydney trainers premierships and then finishing second 10 times to T.J. Smith. Delta, Todman and Wenona Girl were among the champion horses he trained.

Murray Baker


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 the 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.

Ray Verner

Quiet achiever of 1000 winners over four decades ...more

Ray Verner took up training reluctantly to help his aging father at the time. Over time he became a master trainer, renowned for his conditioning of horses and was  named NZ Racing Personality of the Year in 1978.

Ray trained top stayers like Good Lord (two Wellington Cups, Sydney Cup), sprinters like Blue Blood and Gold Hope, and weight-for-age horses like Prince Majestic and The Gentry.

Ray continued as an integral part of a family training dynasty spanning more than 70 years.

Rex Cochrane

Southland's Quiet Achiever ...more

From his Southland country base at Gore, Cochrane became the first man to train a thousand winners in New Zealand. Versatile Cogitation, in the 1957 Grand National Steeplechase, was his first winner on his own account and Palimony, in July 1980, was his 1000th. Retired with a tally of 1520 wins, Game Call and Enceeoh (and Cogitation) his best jumpers; Court Belle, Castle Flight and Yipp’s Secret among his best on the flat.

Syd Brown

New Zealand's Aussie Raider ...more

Winner of two NZ training premierships in the 1960s, Syd Brown became our most successful Aussie raider of the era, making lucrative trips with the likes of Redcraze and Summersette, Sailing Away and Dark Smudge, Daryl’s Joy (Cox Plate, VRC Derby) and Wood Court Inn; and Classic Mission (AJC and VRC Derbys). Brown then moved to Australia and trained successfully at Warwick Farm, Triton his best performer. A great friend and host to visiting Kiwis.

Bill Broughton

Champion jockey - the horseman's horseman ...more

Bill Broughton, based at Awapuni through his long career, was “the horseman’s horseman.” He was never, as he himself said, regularly associated with a champion. Yet he won 11 premierships (a New Zealand record until overhauled in the last couple of years by Lance O’Sullivan); he was in the top three jockeys on the ladder throughout a 20-year period; his sojourn at the top level actually spanned three decades (1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s) and his lifetime tally of 1446 winners was a record at the time of his retirement. Like David Peake 30 years behind him, Broughton was renowned not so much for individual talents or flair but for all-round professionalism and fitness. He was known as a patient rider, very strong in a finish, and most of New Zealand’s big races came his way.

Bill Broughton was a Manawatu identity and therefore it is fitting that the best stud in the lower North Island - Fairdale Stud be the inductee sponsor for Bill. Fairdale was the home of the Champion sire - Pakistan and is presently standing Champion 2004/05 First Season stallion - Howbadouwantit and new sire - Riveria. For further information please call 06-357-3686.

Bill Skelton

Champion Jockey who started a racing dynasty ...more

The oldest of five jockey brothers from Greymouth, Bill Skelton began his successful career in the South Island, moved to Levin in 1964 and continued to pump out the winners at just as high a rate. He won seven premierships spread across three decades – four in the 1950s, two in the ‘60s and one more in the ‘70s – and was either first or second leading rider in each of those three decades. His winning tally of 124 in the 1967-68 was a record until headed by David Peake, with 127, in 1982-83. Skelton was the first New Zealand jockey to ride 2000 winners and retired with a then record tally of 2156. He rode successfully as well in Australia, where his best win was the VRC Derby on Daryl’s Joy.

Bill Skelton is sponsored by Bloodstock PR Ltd a company associated with NZRHF director - Phillip Quay. Phillip is an internationally acclaimed independent journalist and can be contacted at 07-846-4507.

Bob Skelton

Melbourne Cup winning champion jockey ...more

Going into a racing stable behind older brothers Bill and Frank, Bob Skelton won his first premiership in 1955-56, three years behind Bill’s first, and wound up his career with nine titles to his credit, the last in 1975-76. He also topped the 2000 mark for career wins. Taller than his stocky oldest brother, Bob had a different riding style; high in the saddle and, often, with a loop on the rein. Horses “went” for him and he was a great judge of pace, notching more two-mile (3200m) wins than any other rider in Australasian history that we’ve been able to discover. He was derided for his awkward-looking style on early visits to Australia, but got the last laugh when he won the 1976 Melbourne Cup on Van Der Hum.

Bob Skelton is sponsored by Northern Ceilings NZ Ltd - a company associated with racing enthusiast Nick Rodokal of Auckland. Northern Ceilings is one of the largest specialty ceiling companies and can be contacted at 09-416-9227.

Brent Thomson

An International Jockey Star ...more

Brent Thomson showed remarkable maturity as leading apprentice of his time.

He won the 1976 Auckland Cup on Perhaps when only 17, and finished third on Kythera in the Melbourne Cup in the same year.

Brent moved to Colin Hayes' stable in Australia and, over the next eight years, won just about every major Australian race except the Melbourne Cup.

Based in England for the next seven years (and then in Hong Kong for four), Thomson wound up his international career the winner of more than 3000 races, 53 of them at Group One level.

Sponsor: Swettenham Stud

David Peake

The ultimate professional over 40 years in the saddle ...more

David Peake first appeared on winning jockeys' list 1962-63, retired 40 years later as the winner of 2,085 races in New Zealand, the third biggest-winning jockey in New Zealand history.

David won six NZ Jockey Premierships, rode the most winners of any jockey in the 1970s (794) and held the course record for winners at Ellerslie (392) until topped by champion jockey Lance O'Sullivan.

Renowned as a rider of stayers David regularly rode track work over the years – every bit the professional.

Grenville Hughes

Winner of 1270 races over 35 seasons - a rider with outstanding technique ...more

Other jockeys bettered Grenville's lifetime tally of 1,278 wins, but none equalled his popularity with the public. Grenville had charisma. Twenty years after Grenville Hughes retired from race riding, he was a guest on Radio Pacific. The switchboard was jammed with calls all afternoon.

A master stylist and judge of pace, Grenville excelled in weight-for-age races and is especially remembered for his partnership with chestnut champion Mainbrace – another Hall of Fame inductee - on whom he won 23 races from 24 rides.

Hector Gray

Controversial champion Jockey who was an outstanding race tactician ...more

Colourful characters abound in the world of racing and Hector Gray can certainly lay claim to being one of our most notorious.

Legendary for his clashes with racing authority Gray was put out of racing on two occasions for periods of two and three years, but the most notable was his suspension for life, which was later remitted to five years.

Whatever the misdemeanours were, no-one could take away from the fact that Hector Gray was one of the most talented jockeys New Zealand has ever seen. As happens with only the rarest of champions, his name became a byword for excellence; the greatest since Hector Gray.

Sneaking away from home against his father’s wishes, Gray began riding in 1902.

Riding what was then a record of 921 winners in New Zealand, Gray was the first to ride a “century” in a season, kicking home 116 winners in 1930-31.

He won seven premierships, the first in1909-10 and the last in 1930-31.  Had he not spent so much time out of the saddle and riding overseas there is no doubt he would have won plenty more titles.

Riding in Australia, England, Belgium and France, he had the notable achievement of riding a winner in his first ride in each country and internationally rode more than 100 winners. 

When his last disqualification of five years was lifted in the 1929-30 season, Gray returned to the saddle. Now in his mid-forties, the old master wasn’t about to let his time out of the saddle and a new generation of younger horsemen, including the brilliant youngster Keith Voitre, get in his way.

In his second to last season he won the premiership with 75 wins and followed that up in his last season with his record of 116.

Hector Gray’s character led him to push the boundaries. His character was no doubt also the reason he achieved the reputation of being one of our all time greatest jockeys. 

Jim Cassidy

The Pumper is King! ...more

A record-breaking apprentice in New Zealand, where he won the 1981-82 jockeys’ premiership in just his fourth full season. After his famous 1983 Melbourne Cup win on Kiwi; moved to Australia where he was to perform at top level for the next 30 years. One of only seven jockeys to win the Australian “grand slam” (Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper). On Derby Day 2013 he became one of just three Australasian jockeys to win 100 Group Ones.

L.J. (Jim) Ellis

A Jockey with patience and power ...more

The first New Zealand jockey to ride a thousand winners, the South Islander was renowned as a rider of stayers.

Ellis won two Auckland Cups, three Wellington Cups and five New Zealand Cups; five New Zealand Derbys and two Great Northern Derbys.

Ellis was the dominant rider of the 1930s, during which decade he rode 590 winners and won four premierships.

Ellis took up training while still a jockey and notably trained and rode Golden Souvenir to important wins including the 1945 New Zealand Cup.

Sponsor: Canterbury Jockey Club

Lance O'Sullivan

NZ's most successful championship winning jockey ...more

At the end of the 2002-03 season, Lance O’Sullivan retired from race riding at the top (three winners at Tauranga from his last three rides) and with every record in New Zealand flat racing safely in his saddle bags. With a New Zealand tally of 2358 he held the record of wins by a New Zealand jockey – and that was without adding the wins in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore and, yep, one in Turkey which brought his lifetime tally to 2479. In 2001-02 he rode 193 winners to reclaim the New Zealand record for wins in a season which a young Michael Walker had briefly taken from him the season before. O’Sullivan retired with 12 New Zealand premierships to his credit, having broken Bill Broughton’s long-standing record of 11 premierships. All of these records placed O’Sullivan firmly at the head of his profession at the time of his retirement. What makes them a testament to character, professionalism and determination as much to innate ability is that they were achieved – or at least completed – after a horrendous race fall at Moonee Valley in which O’Sullivan’s left leg was so badly smashed that it took three years, three operations and unguessable grinding pain before he could return to race riding in 1998-99. O’Sullivan was born on August 28 1963 into a racing family. His father Dave, a good journeyman jockey who became a champion trainer, was followed into a training partnership by Lance’s brother Paul; Lance rode 181 winners while apprenticed to his father. Over two decades the O’Sullivan trio – trainers and jockey – became the most formidable team in New Zealand’s racing history. Lance won 50 Group One races, perhaps his most memorable being the 1989 Japan Cup on Horlicks, the W.S.Cox Plate on Surfers Paradise and that remarkable third ARC Railway Handicap win on Mr Tiz, on whom he won six Group Ones. Since his retirement from the saddle, Lance O’Sullivan has seamlessly turned his talents to training.

Lance O'Sullivan is sponsored by Highview Stud. Highview Stud stands an excellent line up of stallions including exciting young sires - Johar, Align and Danbird, and well established sire - Kashani. Highview welcomes your enquiries. Please phone Brent Gillovic on 07-825-2649.

Leslie H. (Tod) Hewitt


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.

Linda Jones

Trailblazing female jockey who rode into racings history books ...more

Linda Jones led the 1970s fight for the rights of women to be jockeys. Linda created a media sensation during in her first riding season in 1978-79; when she was equal-second in NZ Jockey's Premiership - when a race fall halted her season.

Linda was a forerunner in noth Australia and New Zealand. Her success and celebrity status took the pressure off young women who followed her into the profession.

Linda was the first female jockey in the world to ride a recognised Derby winner, first to ride winners at Ellerslie and Trentham, and against male jockeys at a registered Australian meeting.

Noel Harris


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

Shane Dye

Billy Idol of the saddle ...more

Born 1966, apprenticed to Dave and Paul O’Sullivan. Precocious talent, twice champion NZ apprentice. Flamboyant, sometimes controversial; headlines and success followed Shane “Billy Idol” to Sydney. Won two Sydney premierships, rode 90 Group Ones in Australia including Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate and four successive Golden Slippers – all by age 33! Rode for seven years in Hong Kong, where he was twice second in premiership. Inducted Australian Hall of Fame 2014.

Bill Hazlett

South Island's dominant breeder and owner of over a 1000 winners ...more

Bill Hazlett was perhaps as close as one could get to the complete horseman.

The successful South Island high country farmer, who played eight tests as an All Black, is the only owner to have raced more than 1000 winners.

During the 1940s Hazlett trained more winners as an owner/trainer than any professional trainer except northern maestro Fred Smith.

In the 1960s, with Bill Hillis as his private trainer, Hazlett achieved the remarkable feat of leading owner for six consecutive seasons. 

Founding Chelandry Stud, which was to be come one of the largest private studs in New Zealand, on his big sheep and cattle station, Hazlett’s most successful stallion was Kurdistan.  His numerous winning progeny included one of Hazlett’s best performed and certainly most versatile performers in Eiffel Tower.

Winning the Wellington Cup on the flat, Eiffel Tower went on to win two Grand National Hurdles and a Great Northern Steeplechase. Among Hazlett’s other top-flight performers was Loch Linnhe, winner of the Great Northern Steeplechases of 1975 and 1976.

Hazlett’s best foundation stud mare was Simper. Bill’s son’s Jack and Bill followed in their father’s footsteps and won many races with Simper’s descendants.

Sadly son Bill, a captain in the armed forces, was killed in action in 1944.

Touring Australia as an All Black in 1926 and South Africa in1928, Hazlett appeared in a total of 26 All Black games. The 1.83m back row forward was also a successful sheep dog trialist.

Garry Chittick

Industry leader ...more

Highly successful breeder and an administrator at the highest level.

Former Wairarapa sheep farmer who began breeding on a hobby scale. Buoyed by the success of his stallion Centaine, moved north in 1994, bought Waikato Stud near Matamata and developed it into an industry leader.

Five times Breeder of the Year, also received accolade for Outstanding Contribution to Racing.

On NZ Racing Industry Board from 1994-2000, last four years as chairman.

George Gatonby Stead

One of the most successful owners and administrators in NZ ...more

George Gatenby Stead was 12 times leading owner in the 1890s and early 1900s, but this conveys only a part of the influence he wielded on New Zealand racing in the early days. He was treasurer of the Canterbury Jockey Club for more than 30 years and chairman from the turn of the century, at a time when the strength of New Zealand racing was very much based in Canterbury. Active in the formation of the Racing Conference, he was much involved in the formation of a uniform set of rules throughout the country, and oversaw the building of a railway line from the main line to Riccarton racecourse. At first a leviathan punter, he became an enthusiastic supporter of the totalisator and was played a leading role in moving New Zealand racing to an all-totalisator structure. With only two trainers – David Jones and Dick Mason – during a 30-year period, Stead raced many of the best gallopers of his era and won all the country’s feature races on numerous occasions. He also made some stunningly successful raids on Sydney racing. He was a fearless buyer of bloodstock, but also imported some significant stallions and broodmares to New Zealand.

George Stead was proudly sponsored by the Canterbury Jockey Club - the premier racing club in the South Island. Stead is recognised as the founder of the Canterbury Jockey Club.

Henry Redwood

The father of NZ thoroughbred racing ...more

Commonly described as the Father of the New Zealand Turf, Henry Redwood was a pioneer in the world of thoroughbred breeding and racing.

The English immigrant, who arrived in Nelson, in 1842 at the age of 19, would go on to establish New Zealand’s first thoroughbred stud and become one of New Zealand’s leading owners of his era.

Initially setting up stables in Spring Creek near Blenheim, Redwood imported horses from both Australia and Europe. In about 1852 Redwood brought a shipment of stallions and 20 mares and fillies from Australia. Their progeny would go on to win on both sides of the Tasman.

In 1863 Redwood’s mare Ladybird won the first New Zealand Champion Race against horses from Australia and New Zealand.

Convincing Australian trainers George and Edward Cutts to come and train for him in New Zealand, the previously amateur racing scene in New Zealand took on a professional air.

After establishing stables near Riccarton Racecourse known as Chokebore Lodge, Redwood went into partnership with James Watt, the first Auckland Racing Club President. As testament to Redwood’s historical impact, his stables still stand today after being faithfully restored and recycled with the original bricks; they now house a restaurant.

A man of integrity Redwood was known for his sternness to his stable boys and his kindness to his horses. A story is told of how Redwood successfully raced Strop in Sydney then sold him.  Not satisfied with the horse’s treatment by the new owners he bought him back at a loss to give the horse an honourable retirement in Nelson.

Redwood’s colours, a black jacket and red cap were well known throughout New Zealand and Australia. He won the Wellington Cup and Dunedin Cup twice, the Canterbury Cup three times and the Nelson Marlborough Cups four times. His victories were always popular.

A staunch Catholic, Redwood was married to Elizabeth with whom he had two sons and a daughter.

Redwood died on 9 November 1907 aged 85 years. His role in establishing the New Zealand racing industry can not be overlooked.

Seton Otway

Doyen of Waikato breeding ...more

Began the Waikato region’s rise from a breeding backwater to Australasia’s pre-eminent thoroughbred nursery when he started Trelawney Stud, on the banks of the Waikato River near Cambridge, in 1930. In 1935 he imported Foxbridge, who was to win 11 consecutive New Zealand sires’ premierships; twice British Empire champion. Foxbridge mares left five Melbourne Cup winners while Trelawney stallions Marco Polo II and Alcimedes sired a further three.

Seton died aged 94 in 1989.

Sir George Clifford

A great racing administrator & dominant owner of his era ...more

Sir George was born in New Zealand but educated in England at Stonyhurst College, after which he named his sheep and thoroughbred station in North Canterbury. Sir George bred and raced on a huge scale, standing several generations of homebred stallions at Stonyhurst with a good deal of success. Clifford horses, trained at Chokebore Lodge by Edward Cutts, won 181,258 pounds on the turf, eclipsing the tallies of Australia’s most prominent owners of the day, and won 116 classic or semi-classic races over a 50-year period. For the first decade of the 20th Century, virtually his only challenger as leading owner was fellow Cantabrian George Stead. Both frequently travelled their horses north to Auckland to win the major races at Ellerslie. Sir George was unchallenged as president of the New Zealand Racing Conference for a 30-year period, up to his death aged 82 in 1930. Yet he still found time, while running his big breeding and racing operation, to have hands-on involvement in the production of the first official New Zealand Stud Book (1900), and the next two or three volumes as well.

Sir George Clifford was proudly sponsored by Barry and Deidre Neville-White of Auckland. Barry Neville-White is a past Chairman of the Auckland Racing Club. It is interesting to note that the first five inaugural inductees into the NZ Racing Hall of Fame were based or born in Canterbury.

Sir Patrick Hogan

Multiple super sire producing stud master ...more

At the forefront of the thoroughbred industry as proprietor of Cambridge Stud for the past three decades, Patrick Hogan was recognised for his services to racing with a knighthood shortly before that title was removed from the New Zealand honours list. Born in Auckland in 1939, the young Patrick Hogan became involved in the breeding industry in the 1960s with his father Tom and brother John at the relatively low-key Fencourt Stud near Cambridge, where Blueskin II was a successful sire.
Wanting to operate on a bigger and more commercial scale, Patrick set up Cambridge Stud on his own in 1972. His entrepreneurial and marketing/promotional skills quickly brought him prominence. With the National Yearling Sales his focus, his “Melbourne Cup,” he moved staff and yearlings to Trentham (then the home of the sales) on a previously unknown scale, was a pioneer in the hospitality tents which became a sales feature, and became a renowned presenter of yearlings. Leading his own yearlings into the ring in those days, as brisk and well presented as the young thoroughbreds, he knew where the buyers were positioned (the Australian market was his target from the outset) and made sure the main players got a good look at the youngsters he led.
Sir Tristram, the stallion who was to build Cambridge Stud into a showplace and an unquestioned market leader, arrived in 1975 and, though greeted with lukewarm enthusiasm at first by the market and by some of Hogan’s established clients, made sensational progress from the time his oldest progeny turned three and included the likes of multiple Group One winner Sovereign Red. When he died, 22 years after coming to Cambridge Stud, Sir Tristram had been Australian champion sire six times (only once at home, where relatively few of his best-bred progeny raced) and had won five Dewar Awards (for combined Australian-New Zealand progeny earnings). He was second in the world for individual Group One winners (45). Sir Tristram founded a sire son dynasty (Grosvenor, Kaapstad, Marauding and Military Plume notable among them) but it was not until late in the great stallion’s life that Sir Patrick acquired a Sir Tristram son, the well-performed and well-bred Zabeel, to stand alongside his ageing father and take up the mantle. Zabeel was to outshine the other sons of Sir Tristram and rival his father (as at October 2005, two Australian championships and always in the top two or three; three New Zealand championships; a remarkable nine Dewar Awards; 33 individual Group One winners) and keep Cambridge Stud in a pre-eminent position. With his wife Justine Lady Hogan, Sir Patrick has been four times Mercedes Breeder of the Year and in 1991 received the Mercedes Award for Outstanding Contribution to Racing. A past president of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association and a major racing sponsor (especially at Te Rapa), he has been a large-scale racing owner in recent years. Going into the 2005-06 season, he had an interest in 46 racehorses, including a dozen two-year-olds.

Sir Patrick Hogan is sponsored by the internationally acclaimed hospitality lodge - Huka Lodge of Taupo. Huka Lodge is a NZ business icon and we are delighted to have this association. For further information on Huka Lodge and its facilities please call 07-378-5791.

Sir Woolf Fisher


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.

Dr Alex McGregor Grant

Administrator Par Excellence ...more

Dr Alex McGregor Grant was an expat Australian who made a huge contribution to thoroughbred racing in his adopted country – New Zealand.

He served on the Auckland Racing Club's committee for 45 years, 23 of those were as the club's president. He also served for lengthy periods on the New Zealand Racing Conference, the Pakuranga Hunt, and the New Zealand Hunts Association.

Grant raced many horses from just after World War One to his death, aged 85, in 1973.

The best of them was Terrific, who was a fine stayer of the late 1960s - a fine reward for a lifetime of commitment to the thoroughbred.

Sponsor: Auckland Racing Club

John Costello

The doyen of racing writers ...more


More than half a century of racing journalism has earned John Costello a level of respect matched only by his massive contribution in recording the events of an industry and sport that has been his life. His legacy covers the full spectrum of daily newspaper and magazine reporting, a dozen editions of the New Zealand Racing Annual, two editions of Galloping Greats and his account of one of racing’s pioneers, The Linda Jones Story. It is, however, the landmark Tapestry of Turf that sets Costello apart as the doyen of racing writers.   

Peter Kelly

The voice of NZ racing ...more

The voice required for the unique skills of race calling and auctioneering is surely something one must be born with.

Peter Kelly, one of the best known voices in racing certainly had a voice that carried him in both race calling and auctioneering for more than 30 years.

Calling his first race meeting as an 18-year-old in Stratford in 1947 Kelly’s deep rich-timbered voice was distinctively known by punters whether on course or listening on radio. 

Debate will always rage as to who the best race caller is and personal preferences may have caused some to choose others such as his counterparts of the time Syd Tonks, Keith Haub or Dave Clarkson.

However, there would be no disagreement in the hard headed and result-orientated world of auctioneering that Kelly was a world class auctioneer and at his prime has been described by more than a few vendors and buyers as the best in the world.

An auctioneer at the New Zealand National Thoroughbred Yearling sales for Wrightson Bloodstock, as it was known then,  Kelly retired after 30 years  in 1989 as both head auctioneer and a director of the company.  In 1989 he sold the $1 million yearling.

In a tribute after Peter Kelly’s death in1997, Manawatu studmaster Gerald Fell said: “Though he was probably better known as a commentator, I believe his greatest talent was as an auctioneer. He was certainly the best auctioneer I have ever seen.”

Kelly’s depth of knowledge extended far beyond being able to call it as he saw it though and his talent and experience as a bloodstock expert were often called into play in pre-sale inspections, advice on importations, valuations and part of the team developing and maintaining the company’s extensive bloodstock records.

Following his retirement from Wrightsons Bloodstock, Kelly continued to operate as a bloodstock agent on his own account.

Racing good horses such as Fun On The Run, Meralini and Greene Street, Kelly also served on the committee of the Manawatu Racing Club, being based in Palmerston North for much of his life.

With many highlights throughout his career, Kelly always rated his call of Great Sensation’s third Wellington Cup win as a stand-out memory. 

Another favourite was his trip to Longchamp, Paris where he called Balmerino’s great run for second to Alleged in the Prix de l’Arc deTriomphe. The race was broadcast back to New Zealand listeners.

Having called 28 successive Wellington Cups it was fitting that Peter Kelly’s last call of a memorable commentating career was made at Trentham in 1983.