Memorial for fallen jockeys to be unveiled at Murrumbidgee Turf Club

TRIBUTE: Tegan Ellis and Louise Clayton at the MTC with the plaque they've donated in honour of jockeys who have lost their lives at the track. Pictures: Kieren L Tilly
TRIBUTE: Tegan Ellis and Louise Clayton at the MTC with the plaque they've donated in honour of jockeys who have lost their lives at the track. Pictures: Kieren L Tilly

Five jockeys who have lost their lives on the track at Wagga will be honoured with a memorial at the Murrumbidgee Turf Club.

A plaque will be unveiled on Monday after a race in their honour, the Jockeys Memorial Class 1 Handicap.

It’s a gift from racing buffs, Louise Clayton and daughter Tegan Ellis. They recognised there are national monuments at Randwick and Caulfield but wanted to do something specific to Wagga.

“We approached (the MTC) over the last year and said we’d like to do something for jockeys who have died as a result of falls at the course here,” Ellis said.

Alfred Felstead (1895), Ernest Wilson (1897), Allen Sydney “Jack” Hughes (1930), Albert Langley (1968) and Charlie Cepero (1984) are the five jockeys to have died at Wagga.

Family members will attend as well as Melbourne’s ‘punting priest’ Father Joe Giaccobe who’s there in support. 

Clayton and Ellis have tracked down a descendant of A.B ‘Banjo’ Paterson and sought permission to use, with minor adjustments, the words to ‘Tommy Corrigan’ – his poem paying tribute to the jockey who died in 1894 after a fall at Caulfield.  

 Ellis and Clayton with a box of black armbands and jockeys silks. The pair has also sponsored race three on Monday at Wagga, the Jockeys Memorial Class 1 Handicap.

Ellis and Clayton with a box of black armbands and jockeys silks. The pair has also sponsored race three on Monday at Wagga, the Jockeys Memorial Class 1 Handicap.

The Jockeys Memorial race is at 2.50pm.

Monday’s feature event on the Riverside track is the $23,000 Ted Ryder Prelude (1660m).

Queanbeyan galloper Dure, from the Mick Smith stable, is the topweight with 61kg, and has drawn the inside gate in the field of 11. 

Last-start Wagga winner, Zarlu (trained by Peter Morgan), has been allocated 60kg for the race and also drew well with gate three. 

The winner is exempt from the $30,000 Ted Ryder Cup (1600m) on Friday December 22.