The accolades have continued for Cessnock’s Robert Thompson with Australia’s most winning jockey among the inaugural inductees into the Newcastle and Hunter Region Hall of Fame.
Thompson was one of two inductees into the jockeys’ hall of fame alongside another champion hoop, Wayne Harris who among his most memorable rides were a Golden Slipper win on Century Miss in 1979 and the Melbourne Cup on Jeune in 1994.
Two jockeys, two associates, two trainers and two horses were inducted at a glittering dinner event at Broadmeadow Racecourse.
The local link continued with the great Luskin Star admitted along with the Newcastle champion of the thirties Rogilla.
Luskin Star was bred by Jim O’Neill and went on to score a huge win in the 1977 Golden Slipper, along with many other memorable victories.
Trainers Paul Perry and Max Lees and associates Alf Ellison and Billy Hill were the other inductees.
Broadmeadow’s Lees and Perry were clear choices for the training spots after 20 and 11 group 1 wins respectively. Perry also rose to international fame with his pioneering UK victories with Choisir at Ascot in 2003.
Ellison imported legendary sire Star Kingdom in 1951 to his Baramul Stud at Widden Valley, and Hill called every Newcastle Cup from 1937 to 1980.
“Our eight inductees are all true champions and will have a permanent plaque dedicated to them in the soon to be designed Hall of Fame Garden at Newcastle Racecourse,” Hall of Fame chairman Brian Judd said.