Racetrack preferred to main street for Breasley statue

Wagga’s racetrack has firmed as the favoured location for a proposed statue of legendary local jockey Scobie Breasley. 

Scobie Breasley

Scobie Breasley

This week Riverina MP Michael McCormack and Wagga mayor Greg Conkey backed calls by highly-respected cricket coach Warren Smith to immortalise the horseman. 

Breasley, who passed away in 2006, rode five Caulfield Cup winners and tallied two English Derbies and a Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe among his 3251 wins.

Scobie Breasley is widely considered to be as good, if not better, than Wagga sporting greats Wayne Carey, Steve Elkington, Paul Kelly, Geoff Lawson, Steve Mortimer, Sally Shipard, Michael Slater, Peter Sterling, Mark Taylor and Melanie Twitt.

Wantabadgery-born jockey Tye Angland has his sights on the coveted Scobie Breasley Medal, established in 1996, which recognises excellence in riding on Melbourne racetracks.

Angland is the latest Riverina jockey to walk in Breasley's footsteps, currently sitting in the top ten in the Sydney premiership having enjoyed a successful four-year-stint in Hong Kong.

“Scobie has a firm place among Wagga’s greatest sporting names and for sure there should be a statue in his honour,” Angland said.

“Of course I aspire to win the Scobie Breasley medal; it's awarded to the best of the best in the jockey ranks and if you get to take one of those home you know you’ve had a very successful and consistent year. 

“Being a local Wagga boy, I think it would be sensational to see him immortalised at the local track.”

Wagga councillor Vanessa Keenan worked at the Museum of the Riverina – which displays the sporting hall of fame – when Breasley passed away and was responsible for penning a tribute to the late great. 

Cr Keenan, who sits on the public art advisory panel, said the champion of horse racing deserved a statue in his honour but it should not be located at Bolton Park nor Baylis Street. 

Cr Keenan also suggested Riverina MP Michael McCormack might like to dig into federal coffers to cover the cost of the statue. 

“I think it's a fantastic idea to erect a statue, he was one of our city’s most successful athletes and what better place than the MTC,” Cr Keenan said.

“It's about the context of his achievements, being a jockey it seems appropriate a stature memorialising his achievements be at the MTC. 

“I really think we need to make sure council’s public art fund is used for commissioning artworks.”

The value of 1 per cent of council’s budget for capital works projects is put towards public art and late last year the fund had amassed more than $230,000.