Ad Gai, and her father Tommy Smith, with Grand Connection in 1995. (Patrick Riviere/Getty Images)

2023 Australian Racing Hall Of Fame Inductees celebrated

23 November 2023 Written by Celia Purdey

On Thursday, November 23, 2023, the inductees of the 2023 Australian Racing Hall of Fame will be honoured in a night of celebration and recognition, paying tribute to those who have left an indelible mark on the turf.

Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) will host the premier event at Perth’s Optus Stadium, bringing the industry together to commemorate this special occasion.

Gai Waterhouse AO, often hailed as Australia’s first lady of the turf, will be awarded Legend status, joining her late father, the esteemed Tommy (TJ) Smith. This accolade marks the pinnacle of her dedication to the racing world, and is a testament to Waterhouse’s enduring legacy. She first obtained her trainer’s licence in Sydney in 1992, having worked for her father as stable foreman since 1982. Now, with 30 years of training experience and almost 160 Group 1 wins with almost every major Australian race under her belt, Waterhouse and her undeniable enthusiasm for the sport will  deservedly be crowned a Legend.

A revered figure in the racing industry, legendary trainer Clarry Conners, will also be celebrated as one of the greats, his life devoted to the sport for five decades. His esteemed career includes victories in four Golden Slippers, three VRC Oaks, back-to-back Triple Crowns, and two Australian Guineas.

(L-R): Jockey Jim Cassidy, owner John Singleton and trainer Clarry Conners after Dear Demi's victory in the 2012 Group 1 VRC Oaks. (Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

The spotlight also extends to Western Australia’s Robert (Bob) Peters, whose lifetime of service to racing, breeding, and administration earns him well-deserved recognition. Instrumental in multiple WA Turf Club committees and a significant presence at Australian Principal Clubs Conferences, Peters’ influence spans across decades, as he established a breeding and racing empire in Australia’s thoroughbred world.

Jockey Frank Treen Snr’s outstanding riding career will also be acknowledged, a testament to his prowess in the saddle. Melbourne and beyond became the canvas for his victories, including the Australia Cup, Brisbane Cup, Moonee Valley Cup, Epsom Handicap, and Hobart Cup. Though the Melbourne Cup victory eluded him, he did have a third-place finish in 1958 atop Red Pine.

In the Thoroughbred category, the accomplishments of champion horses Baguette, Emancipation, and Miss Andretti will be commemorated, with each horse a worthy recipient of the accolade.

Baguette achieved success in the Maribyrnong Plate in 1969, followed by the Newmarket Handicap in 1971. In 1970, he claimed the Sydney 2YO Triple Crown, conquering the Golden Slipper, Sires’ Produce Stakes, and Champagne Stakes.

Sprint queen Miss Andretti and jockey Craig Newitt after winning the 2007 Group 1 The Age Classic (now Darley Champions Sprint) at Flemington. (Racing Photos)

Miss Andretti, a sprinting sensation, left an indelible mark on the racing world. The 2007 Lightning Stakes at Moonee Valley witnessed her speed, echoed by victories in the 2007 Newmarket Handicap at Caulfield and the 2007 Age Classic, now known as Champions Sprint.

Though primarily known as a Sydney horse, Emancipation amazed Flemington in 1982 when she won the VRC Carbine Club Stakes and the Edward Manifold Stakes.

The newly introduced Australian Spirit of Racing award will be awarded to WA’s Rod Kemp. Kemp’s dedication to racing, both as a jockey and mentor, is exemplified by an impressive riding legacy of 11 Group 1 victories and multiple majors.

These names set to be immortalised in the 2023 Australian Racing Hall of Fame serve as a tribute to the enduring spirit of excellence that defines the world of Australian horse racing.

 

The full list of 2023 inductees follows:

Name

Category

BAGUETTE

Horse

EMANCIPATION

Horse

MISS ANDRETTI

Horse

CLARRY CONNERS

Trainer

FRANK TREEN SNR

Jockey

ROBERT (BOB) PETERS

Associate

GAI WATERHOUSE AO

Legend


About the Australian Racing Hall of Fame (ARHOF)

The Australian Racing Hall of Fame (ARHOF) was established in 2001 to celebrate the achievements of the horses, jockeys, trainers and administrators who, through their dedication and contribution to thoroughbred racing, have become heroes of the turf.

Induction into the ARHOF is racing’s ultimate achievement and is an opportunity to formally recognise and honour the horses and people who have made such indelible marks in racing.

There are four categories within the Hall of Fame – Horses, Trainers, Jockeys and Associates.

Racing Australia’s ARHOF Selection Panel comprises representatives of the Australian thoroughbred racing industry who are highly respected individuals by their peers. Their inclusion on the Panel draws on their unique knowledge of racing.

The interim Chair, Mr Paul Eriksson who is also the Chief Executive of Racing Australia is responsible for overseeing the voting and integrity process.

Source: https://australianracinghalloffame.horse/