Premiership-winning trainers Murray Baker and Chris Waller are among the 2018 entrants into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame. They will be officially inducted at a gala dinner to be held at Sky City in Hamilton on Friday, February 9.
NZ Hall Of Fame People
- Murray Baker: Born in Hawke’s Bay, Baker started training 1978-79 and saddled his first stakes winner in 1979 at Awapuni. He relocated from Woodville to Cambridge in 2000. He has trained the winners of 21 Group One races in Australia, more than any other New Zealand trainer in history. His leading representatives include Dundeel, Turn Me Loose, Mongolian Khan and Bonneval.
- Sir Woolf Fisher: Sir Woolf Fisher was a highly respected stud owner, racing administrator and industrialist. Sir Woolf Fisher founded Ra Ora Stud in 1950 and his stud stood many good sires including multiple Champion Sire Sovereign Edition. Sir Woolf served for 17 years on the board of the Auckland Racing Club including two as President.
- Noel Harris: Born in Palmerston North, Harris was twice champion apprentice who later won a Singapore Jockey Premiership. Noel’s riding career spanned 45 years and he is in top four jockeys of all-time, winning 2163 races in New Zealand. Since retiring as a jockey, Harris is now successfully mentoring jockeys at New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing’s Jockeys’ School.
- Leslie H. (Tod) Hewitt: Tod Hewitt revolutionised race riding in Australasia by shortening his irons and moving the saddle forward, Tod adopted the crouch style used today. Hewett won the jockeys’ premiership in 1903-04 and then he rode successfully in Europe, winning big races in England, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Italy.
- Chris Waller: The champion Sydney-based trainer began his career as a strapper for former Foxton horseman Paddy Busuttin. Since moving across the Tasman, Waller has won seven consecutive Sydney premierships, seven Bart Cummings Medals and numerous Group One winners including wonder mare Winx.
NZ Hall Of Fame Horses
- Brookby Song: Foaled in 1940, he was one of New Zealand’s all-time great steeplechasers
He became only the third horse to win the Great Northern, Wellington and Grand National Steeples all in one year.
- Might and Power: He was rated by Hall of Fame member Sir Patrick Hogan as the best racehorse sired by his Hall of Fame sire Zabeel. Might and Power won five Group One races as a four-year-old, including the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double. At five, he won four of his six only starts including the W.S. Cox Plate. He was judged the World’s Champion Stayer of 1998.
- O’Reilly: Last Tycoon out of Courtza, the late O’Reilly had a brief but spectacular race career, winning four of only six starts including the Group 1 Bayer Classic and the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap. O’Reilly retired to Waikato Stud in 1997 and has won four New Zealand General Sire Premierships and is third on all-time sire of stakes winners behind the Hall of Fame stallions Sir Tristram and Zabeel.
- Veandercross: The Australian champion racehorse of 1992-93, he won 15 races including 14 black type and eight Group Ones events. Veandercross was owner-trained in New Zealand by Chris Turner and when competing in Australia he was trained by Hall of Fame trainer John Wheeler.