STAN Aitken, the only Tasmanian jockey to have won the W. S. Cox Plate, was last night inducted into the Tasmanian Racing Hall of Fame.
Nanjing Night Net

His induction was one of the highlights of racing’s gala night held at the Elwick racecourse.

Aitken, now a member of the track staff at Ballarat, flew in for the occasion and said he was deeply humbled by being chosen.

“I live in Victoria but I’m still a Tasmanian at heart and I consider this a great honour,” he said.

Aitken grew up at Penguin and left home as a 14-year-old to chase his dream of becoming a jockey.

Aitken twice won the Victorian apprentices title and in 1973 won the Cox Plate and the George Adams Handicap on brilliant three-year-old Taj Rossi.

Considered to be the heir apparent to champion jockey Roy Higgins, Aitken’s career took a downward turn after a fallout with Caulfield trainer Angus Armanasco.

He was one of six inductees into the Hall of Fame along with Claude Best (trainer), Dick Bertram and Michael Hodgman (associate) and racehorses Conquering and El Moxie.

The late Thomas Lyons was upgraded to become Tasmania’s fourth racing legend joining jockey Max Baker (2009), trainer Len Dixon (2010) and Melbourne Cup winner Malua (2011).

Lyons was a prominent breeder and owner with his horses winning the Hobart Cup six times. He was chairman or deputy chairman of the Tasmanian Racing Club for nearly 20 years. The Listed Thomas Lyons Stakes carries his name today.

Champion jockey Craig Newitt was the recipient of a recognition award for his achievements in the racing industry.

Tasmanian-born Newitt won the Australian jockeys premiership this year.

Premiership winners Stephen Maskiell (jockey), Rasit Yetimova (apprentice) and David and Scott Brunton (trainer) were presented with their awards.

For Maskiell it was his eighth premiership with his first coming in 1986.

Turkish-born apprentice Yetimova has been one of the success stories of Tasmanian racing.

The Brunton training partnership won its third consecutive trainer’s premiership with David and Scott preparing 70-1/2 winners as well as several interstate.

Outstanding mare Lady Lynette took out the Tasbreeders award for the outstanding performance by a female, West Quest took out the title as leading juvenile sire while Savoire Vivre won the leading sire award for the first time.

The leading broodmare award went to La Quita.

Stan Aitken

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