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Robert Cram retires

14 July 2023 Written by VRC

Racing Victoria (RV) Chairman of Stewards, Robert Cram, has announced his retirement, bringing an end to his stewarding duties at the conclusion of the racing season on July 31, 2023. After four decades dedicated to upholding the integrity of racing, Cram's retirement marks the end of a remarkable career within the industry.

Robert Cram began his journey as a Cadet Stipendiary Steward with the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) in 1982, and for the past 41 years, he has served as an integrity official in Victorian racing. Over the years, he held various roles, including Chairman of Stewards in the South Western, Ballarat District, and Northern District regions of Victoria.

Additionally, from 1991 to 1996, Cram served as the director of the state’s apprentice jockey training program.

Having been promoted to Senior Stipendiary Steward in 1996, Cram later assumed the position of Deputy Chairman of Stewards – Non Raceday Integrity & Compliance, appointed by RV in 2005. In 2008, he briefly held the role of Manager – Integrity Services for two years before returning to the position of Deputy Chairman of Stewards in 2010.

Following Terry Bailey’s departure to Singapore, Cram was appointed Chairman of Stewards in 2018 and has since played a vital role in the industry.

Born into a racing family in country Victoria, Cram has demonstrated unwavering dedication to the sport throughout his life. Reflecting on his career, he shared, “My family has been involved in racing for generations – my father was a part-time trainer, and I have always been drawn to working with horses. I hold great respect for the thoroughbred horse and have been fortunate to never feel reluctant to go to work.”

"My job, with my team, is to implement the rules of racing and to ensure that racing is conducted safely and fairly and that everyone gets their chance. But during the Cup Carnival everything at Flemington is magnified – the audience, the wagering, the media coverage and the prizemoney." - Robert Cram

A significant aspect of Cram’s tenure as Chairman of Stewards was overseeing the smooth running of the Melbourne Cup Carnival while upholding the rules and regulations. He expressed immense pride in this role and previously highlighted its significance.

“While my role is the same all year round, during the Carnival the profile of what I do is higher. It brings more pressure to the job because the audience is multiplied. My job, with my team, is to implement the rules of racing and to ensure that racing is conducted safely and fairly and that everyone gets their chance. But during the Cup Carnival everything at Flemington is magnified – the audience, the wagering, the media coverage and the prizemoney.

Cram always relied on his experience and the confidence he had in his panel of stewards to navigate through this demanding period. With a vast team of officials, including veterinary staff, barrier staff, the judge, clerk of scales, steward panels, and clerks of the course, they always worked together harmoniously to present racing in the best possible manner.

Robert Cram’s retirement marks the end of an illustrious career dedicated to upholding the integrity of racing and ensuring the success of prestigious events like the Melbourne Cup Carnival. We thank him for his service and wish him all the best.


Cram’s Top 5 Flemington Moments

  1. 2018 Melbourne Cup Day heavy rain
  2. 2019 Melbourne Cup Protest - 4th vs 2nd upheld
  3. Makybe Diva, Black Caviar, Winx
  4. 1993 Melbourne Cup – Vintage Crop
  5. 2006 Derby Day - huge crowd 129,000