Peter Snowden humbled to join Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame
Acknowledge and see:
INDUCTEES: Trainers Peter Snowden and Pat Farrell with popular racing personality Gary Harley and former jockey Alan Scorse after their induction on Tuesday at Newcastle Racecourse.
Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
I wish I could have bent there! I should have been but major neoplastic surgery ‘got in the way’. It couldn’t wait and I missed out. No matter! It was a great show because Sam North gave me a great run down. I’ll leave it to Craig Kerry to tell the tale.
Peter Snowden has risen to the top echelon of Australian racing, winning 41 group 1s and two Everests.
But he’s never forgotten where he’s from.
Snowden was honoured and humbled to be included in the Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame on Tuesday as part of the third induction ceremony.
Born and bred in Scone, Snowden was a former jockey turned trainer there before heading to Sydney more than 30 years ago to further his career. He has since been a regular visitor to Hunter tracks and was on hand at Newcastle Racecourse on Tuesday to accept his place in the hall alongside veteran Muswellbrook trainer Pat Farrell.
“I love going back home,” Snowden said. “If you don’t forget where you come from, I think it helps keep your feet on the ground all through your life and it has for me.
“It’s where I grew up and to have people think I’ve done something that’s worthy of a mention, I’m chuffed about that. I’m humbled to be mentioned along with those names and the people in the hall already.”
Farrell claimed eight consecutive Newcastle premierships from his base at Muswellbrook and he has trained more than 2500 winners. He said it was a great honour to join the hall alongside friend Snowden.
In the associate category, popular racing commentator, broadcaster, writer and form analyst Gary Harley was inducted along with the late Bob Dawbarn. Harley said it was “very humbling” to be named alongside “superstars” of the sport.
“Some of the others inducted today are a lot better known and successful in their field than me, but I’ve been coming to Newcastle racecourse for 60 years, and had 40 years as a racecaller all around the Hunter Valley,” Harley said. “Since I’ve joined Tabcorp and Sky, I’ve loved the job there. [Wife] Sue and I need the work and I’ll just keep going until I can’t go any longer.”
Dawbarn gave 44 years’ service as a steward then an administrator.
In the jockey section, two-time group 1 champion Alan Scorse was inducted alongside the late Rae “Togo” Johnstone, a Newcastle born and apprenticed hoop who went on to ride three English Derby and two Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe winners between 1945 and 1956. Scorse said it was great for his wife, Sharon, to see him join her father, the late Roy Hinton, in the hall.
“It’s an honour just to be in with the jockeys that I’m in with – Wayne Harris and Robert Thompson – they are legends, then John and Bill Wade, and then Togo, with what he did,” Scorse said.
In the horse section, group 1-winning Paul Perry sprinter and world famous sire Fastnet Rock joined his former trainer in the hall, along with Newcastle-owned 1970s star Romantic Dream.
Fastnet Rock won the Lightning Stakes and Oakleigh Plate before going on to become Australia’s champion sire twice. He has so far sired 41 group 1 champions.
Romantic Dream, owned by Newcastle’s Les and Col Cook, claimed five group 1 or principal races in the late 1970s.
Inductees into Newcastle & Hunter’s Hall Of Fame
The 2021 Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall Of Fame Inductees are the third group to be inducted. The function was held at the Newcastle Racecourse on Tuesday 18th May with Sky Racings Greg Radley as MC.
There are four categories in the Hall Of Fame – Associate, Trainer, Jockey and Racehorse. The 2021 Inductees were:
Associates: Bob Dawbarn and Gary Harley
Trainers: Peter Snowden and Pat Farrell
Jockeys: Rae ‘Togo’ Johnstone and Alan Scorse
Racehorses: Romantic Dream and Fastnet Rock
Dawbarn arrived in Newcastle from Rockhampton in 1954 to take up the position as Chief Steward. After 15 years Dawbarn was appointed to the position of Secretary of the Newcastle Jockey Club. Regarded as one of the greatest stipendiary stewards and a truly great administrator, he held the position at NJC until his retirement in 1998.
Harley has been attending race meetings for sixty years. He was a race-caller for all three racing codes for 35 years. He was a race-caller for Radio 2KY Sydney, Radio 2HD Newcastle and the on-course caller for a number of race clubs. Harley joined the Newcastle Jockey Clubs family in 1977 and he has been part of Provincial Racings largest club ever since. He called races at the NJC’S three clubs, Newcastle, Cessnock and Beaumont Park Greyhounds. He was Newcastle’s NBN Television racing expert from day one.
Snowden was born in Scone and at age 16 started his riding career. He outrode his allowance by the time he was 18 and retired from the saddle aged 26. While in Scone he gained a trainer’s licence and had a successful seven years of success. Snowden moved to Sydney and joined the Ingham’s Crown Lodge as a foreman. In 2007 he took over as trainer at Crown Lodge. These days Snowden trains in partnership with his son Paul. He has trained 41 Group 1 winners and 2 Everest’s.
Pat Farrell secured his trainer’s licence 57 years ago and has trained at Muswellbrook ever since. In 1978-79 Season Farrell won the first of eight Newcastle Trainers Premierships. In each of those eight seasons he trained between 100 and 150 winners and in one season he trained 34 Metropolitan winners then a record for a country trainer. Farrell earned the title of The Theo Green Of The North as he mentored four premiership-winning apprentices Wayne Harris, Neil Rae, Paul Sylvester, and Darryl McLennan. Harris won three Sydney apprentices titles while McLellan was successful in the 1992-1993 Sydney Premiership.
RAE ‘TOGO’ JOHNSTONE
From the Newcastle suburb of New Lambton to Paris, Johnstone was one of the best jockeys in the world of his era. Born in Newcastle in 1905, ‘Togo’ died in France in 1965 as Australia’s most successful international jockey. He rode three English Derby Winners’s, two Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Winners and a number of Classic Races in France, England and Ireland. ‘Togo’ was apprenticed in Newcastle aged 14. He rode his first winner at Rosehill in June 1920 and in the 1920-21 Season rode 100 winners.
Scorse grew up in Ryde and originally was apprenticed to the great Harry Plant who trained superstar Bernborough when trained in Sydney. After two years with Plant the trainer retired and Scorse transferred to Ray Guy at Rosehill. In 1972 Scorse moved to Newcastle and he has been there ever since. He married Newcastle’s leading trainers Roy Hinton’s daughter Sharon. He won Group 1’s on Manawapoi in the Stradbroke Handicap and Spanish Mix in the William Reid Stakes. Scorse rode 1269 winners. A back injury forced his retirement in 1997 and he trained at Newcastle before ill health forced his retirement in 2019.
Foaled in 1973 Romantic Dream was trained at Muswellbrook by Ron Englebrecht before stints with Bart Cummings, Tommy Smith and George Hanlon. Englebrecht father of Warwick Farm trainer Steve was raced by Newcastle businessman Les and Col Cook. He was runner up in the Golden Slipper and Robert Thompson rode him to win the, what is called the Ken Russell. Romantic Dream won the Group 1 Sires and Produce and Group 1 Marlboro Stakes in Queensland. He beat track stars Family Of Man and Surround in the Cameron as a 3-year-old and then with Cummings he won the Goodwood now a Group 1. Then he went to Smith and he beat Luskin Star in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes and then he won the Winterbottom at Ascot. Under George Hanlon Romantic Dream won the Lee Steere Stakes in Perth. Romantic Dream was a great horse.
Raced by Coolmore Stud and trained by Paul Perry Fastnet Rock was a star on and off the track. He won two Group 1’s The Flemington Lightning and the Oakleigh Plate. He was runner up in the Newmarket and the TJ Smith. He was named Australian Champion Sprinter in 2004-2005. On retirement, a stud career beckoned and Fastnet Rock shuttled between the Hunter Valley and Ireland. In 2013 his stud fee was $275,000 he has sired 41 Group 1 winners and has been twice Australians Champion Sire.