Monto remembers the Russells

Race to honour jockey Ken Russell, who was fatally injured


Ken Russell was a household name in Australian racing before his death in 1993 and Monto remembers him and his dad.

IN MEMORY: Statues of the late Ken Russell are on show in Monto and Rockhampton where he made a name for himself as an elite jockey.

IN MEMORY: Statues of the late Ken Russell are on show in Monto and Rockhampton where he made a name for himself as an elite jockey.

TWO geldings, one from Eidsvold and the other from Nanango, will pursue their fourth consecutive victory at Monto on March 28 in a race carrying special meaning for locals.

The Glenn Richardson-trained Eight Over will lock horns with Layla's Lad from Bob Murray's stable in the Ken and Gordon Russell Memorial (1200m), so named to honour the father and son jockeys who made Monto their home.

Gordon Russell was a handy horseman but his son was sublime.

Ken Russell carved a deep niche for himself in Australian racing, winning just about everything in Central Queensland before moving to the Gold Coast where he was even more successful.

For starters he had 12 rides in the Gold Coast Turf Club's Golden Nugget, a predecessor to the Magic Millions, and won seven times. He was also successful in the Prime Minister's Cup, then a very prestigious race on the Coast calendar.

From there he ventured to Sydney and became a household name winning such races as the Doncaster Handicap on Merimbula Bay, George Ryder Stakes on Bureaucracy, STC Christmas Cups with High Spy and Macquarie Prince, San Fox Stakes on Sir Patrick, Magic Night Stakes on Pipiwar, Storm Queen Stakes on All Mine and in Adelaide he rode Euclase to win the McKay Stakes and Crush to claim the Goodwood Handicap.

He also participated in an international jockey series in Dubai.

Russell won riding premierships on 14 occasions, rode four winners in a single day 24 times and rode winning trebles 106 times.

His last winner was Whivory at Rosehill in Sydney on October 9, 1993, only a short while before he was fatally injured in the final race of the day. His mount Tuig broke down and fell and a horse following close behind appeared to strike both Russell and Tuig, which was also fatally injured.

Russell was 42.

"We honour Ken and his dad on this day because it is our only meeting for the year and the Russell family was such a large part of the life and times of Monto," a spokeswoman for the Monto Race Club said.

"There is a marvellous statue in town which is a way of paying tribute to a champion jockey and a champion man from a champion family."

Eight Over, a ride for Hannah English, was a winner at Calliope on January 20 before repeating the dose at Gympie on March 7 and Bundaberg a week later.

He has to shoulder 62.5kg but carried slightly more in the Gympie victory when four kilo claimer Emma MacPherson trimmed his impost to 63kgs.

A win would be Eight Over's ninth at start number 33.

Layla's Boy will be after a seventh career victory and fourth straight after sandwiching a Thangool win on February 22 between Bundaberg successes on February 1 and March 14. They have been his only runs this year.

He has a superior record at the distance than Eight Over, winning four races between 1200m-1212m while Eight Over has not won beyond 1100m.

Joshua King will be a third different rider for Layla's Lad in 2020 after Louise Dillon rode him twice and Kelly Gates once.

Forty-two horses have been declared acceptors for the five-race card at Mt Isa. The QTIS Maiden (900m) has attracted the most interest with 12 runners.

Journeyman jockey Jason Hoopert has a full book with rides on Yeah Boi (Maiden Plate), Rock And Swing (Benchmark 50), Raptor (Benchmark 60), Al Mah Rocket (Class B) and King Solomon (Benchmark 65).

Trainer Wayne Baker and apprentice jockey Angela Taylor will team together in three races at Roma. They will pair with Gem Setter in the Maiden Plate (1000m), Foxy Bella (Benchmark 60, 1000m) and Bridyn May (Benchmark 55, 1200m).

Bridyn May is the topweight with 64kg but Taylor will claim her three kilo allowance on the six-year-old which has managed placings in successive assignments at Roma (February 22) and Emerald (March 21).

The seven-race card at Warwick will be headlined by the TopX Warwick Benchmark 68 Handicap (1200m) in which the Rex Lipp-trained All Shiraz is a tip.

To be ridden by Nathan Evans, four-year-old All Shiraz has been sparingly raced with a win and eight placings in 16 starts. She was a winner of a Toowoomba barrier trial over 925m on February in what was her first real test after a December/January break.

She subsequently ran fourth in tougher grade at Doomben on March 4 when ridden by James Orman.


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