For­mer top jockey hopes to rein in a buyer

Herald Sun - Property - - FRONT PAGE -

THIS sea­son will be about both the Spring Rac­ing Car­ni­val and spring sell­ing for for­mer top jockey Gary Wil­letts. Mr Wil­letts and his wife, Raewyn, have listed their home of about 14 years in Brighton East with a Septem­ber 23 auc­tion date.

The cou­ple bought the el­e­gant four-bed­room house shortly after it was built at 20 Rose­berry Ave.

CoreLogic records in­di­cate they paid $763,000. The prop­erty now has $2-$2.2 mil­lion price hopes.

Wil­letts — who rode al­most 1500 win­ners in his ca­reer and had a long as­so­ci­a­tion with cham­pion sprinter Manikato — said he was “re­ally sad” to be leav­ing the “beau­ti­ful home”.

“I love the back ve­randa. We eat most of our meals out there, and it’s been great for the fam­ily at Christ­mas,” the now-di­rec­tor of the Din­g­ley Ho­tel said.

“I sit out there most days and watch the races as well, as there’s a bar. Some days I’m watch­ing the cricket and lis­ten­ing to the races while hav­ing a beer.”

The 74-year-old said his five grand­chil­dren would miss the so­larheated pool, which he in­stalled after buying the house, and his wife, the English gar­den in the front yard.

“When the ‘for sale’ sign went up, the neigh­bours asked us, ‘What is Raewyn go­ing to do with­out the gar­den?’” he said.

The cou­ple is sell­ing to down­size, hav­ing al­ready bought an­other house in the area through Nick John­stone Real Es­tate. Di­rec­tor Nick John­stone is also sell­ing Rose­berry Ave, and ex­pects it to be sought by fam­i­lies.

“It’s a great fam­ily home. It’s spa­cious, it’s got big open-plan ar­eas and huge rooms with high ceil­ings,” Mr John­stone said.

The house also fea­tures “pe­riod flour­ishes” through­out, an Amer­i­can oak-fin­ished kitchen with Miele and Bosch ap­pli­ances and pol­ished gran­ite benches, a luxe bath­room with a spa bath, and two bars — one on Wil­letts’ ve­randa and the other in the open-plan liv­ing and din­ing area.

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