The racing community will pause at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday to celebrate and commemorate Australia’s jockeys as a new racing season begins.
Saturday will mark the 10-year anniversary of National Jockeys Celebration Day which honours the skill and achievements of current jockeys, pays tribute to those who have lost their lives on the track and raises awareness and funds for injured or ill jockeys and their families.
A minute’s silence, a prayer and a blessing of the track at Rosehill Gardens – conducted by racecourse chaplains Brother Dan Stafford and the Reverend Colin Watts – will be held just after 3.10pm before race six, the Jockeys Celebration Day BM 75.
Roving staff will be selling pins for the National Jockeys Trust around the course to raise funds for the trust.
Australian Turf Club staff will also hand out complimentary cupcakes after 1.10pm to celebrate the “horses’ birthday’’ at the start of August.
During a special lunch in the Director’s Room a special presentation will be made to Australian Turf Club starter Billy Dale who officially retires this week after 49 years of service to Sydney racing, including starting the New Golden Slipper 36 times.
Among the awards to be handed out on Saturday are the Bart Cummings Medal, the Sydney Strapper of the Year, the George Moore, TJ Smith and Theo Green awards and a special award for outstanding performance.