The Yulong Newmarket Handicap Dean Holland Trophy: a lasting tribute

6 March 2024 Written by VRC

The victorious jockey of the Group 1 Yulong Newmarket Handicap will be awarded a trophy that holds deeper significance than simply a winning ride. The Victoria Racing Club will forever pay tribute to Dean Holland at Flemington with the introduction of the Dean Holland Trophy, standing as a timeless tribute to the legacy of the jockey and his contributions to racing.

Dean Holland delivered a flawless performance to win the 2023 Newmarket Handicap on In Secret, showcasing his skills as a horseman. He also exemplified the qualities of a true sportsman, stepping in to take the ride when his colleague, Jamie Kah, was injured. Following his exhilarating win – his second Group 1 of his career – Dean displayed humility and grace, expressing concern for Kah and Craig Williams, both of whom had sustained injuries. This display of character solidified Dean’s reputation as a respected and admired figure in the racing community.

Dean’s tragic passing on 24 April 2023 devastated his family, friends and the racing community. The VRC and the Victorian Jockeys Association were determined to honour his memory, and so with the blessing of the Holland family, decided that a permanent trophy for the winning jockey of the Yulong Newmarket Handicap would be awarded in his name.

Crafted by Peter Gertler Gold & Silversmith in South Melbourne who has worked with the VRC for more than 20 years, the Yulong Newmarket Handicap Dean Holland Trophy is a testament to fine craftsmanship and attention to detail. The exquisite trophy features a handcrafted silver-plated design, showcasing a jockey’s whip delicately placed on a cradle, adorned with a gold-plated motif of a cap and horse shoe. Mounted on a red-gum wooden base, the trophy has a rectangular silver-plated diamond-point engraved plaque that adds a touch of personalisation, making it a cherished symbol of achievement.

Leigh Jordon, Executive General Manager Racing at the VRC, expressed the club’s privilege in being able to remember Dean, a familiar face at Flemington. “The club sought to honour Dean and commemorate his career by naming the Newmarket Handicap Jockey’s trophy for him, marking his greatest career win,” stated Jordon. “This tradition will be upheld for every running of the race, ensuring Dean’s lasting legacy in the sport.”