Legendary jockey Roy Higgins MBE will be immortalised with a bronze statue at Flemington, the scene of his two Melbourne Cup wins.
The statue, by artist Judith Leman, will be unveiled on Turnbull Stakes Day presented by Yellowglen this Sunday (4 October) and will take pride of place at the Hill Gate entrance to heritage-listed Flemington.
Nicknamed “The Professor”, Higgins—who won the Melbourne Cup in 1965 on Light Fingers and 1967 on Red Handed, both for Bart Cummings—passed away in March last year aged 75.
VRC Chairman Michael Burn said very few are bestowed such an honour.
“Only Phar Lap, Makybe Diva and Bart Cummings are honoured with statues at Flemington. Rightly, Roy Higgins will join that group as a true legend of racing to be remembered as long as Flemington Racecourse still stands,” Mr Burn said.
“Roy Higgins and Bart Cummings’ partnership is remembered as one of racing’s greatest. It’s particularly fitting that statues of both men will live on at Flemington.
“Like the existing statues, we expect Roy’s will become a landmark at Flemington and a point of reference and meeting point for racegoers.”
The homage to the record equaling 11-time Melbourne jockey premiership winner has been funded by private donors, the Victoria Racing Club, Racing Victoria and the Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF), which itself is funded largely through unclaimed dividends.
Roy Higgins’ achievements
· 2,312 winners including 108 Group 1s
· Two Melbourne Cups: Light Fingers (1965) and Red Handed (1967)
· Five VRC Oaks, five Emirates Stakes, four Victoria Derbies, three Lightning Stakes, two Mackinnon Stakes, two Newmarket Handicaps
· Racing’s “grand slam”: Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper
· Member of the British Empire (1976), Australian Sport Hall of Fame (1987), inaugural Australian Racing Hall of Fame (1987)
· Record equaling 11 Melbourne jockey premierships