It’s rac­ing at the ge­netic level

Central and North Burnett Times - - ADVERTISING FEATURE -

EIDSVOLD Race Club pa­tron and life mem­ber, Jack Mur­ray, is a le­gend in lo­cal rac­ing cir­cles.

He knows a thing or two about rac­ing in the bush.

For four decades, Mur­ray bred and trained thor­ough­breds at his Ja­maica Park stud.

Rac­ing is in his fam­ily’s DNA. His son Lyle is at the helm of both the Eidsvold Race Club and the South East Queens­land Coun­try Rac­ing As­so­ci­a­tion.

His sons and grand­sons re­main heav­ily in­volved in the in­dus­try.

“I sup­pose it’s in their blood,” Mur­ray said.

“They can’t get away from it. But they all like it and it’s good fun.”

It’s dif­fi­cult to know where to be­gin when re­count­ing the mile­stones from Jack’s 40-year rac­ing ca­reer.

He has count­less sto­ries from his days spent at tracks across out­back Queens­land

The 90-year-old has men­tored many cham­pion horses, but con­sid­ers a few a cut above the rest.

Ja­maica’s Princess won 17 races in one sea­son. Half Handy still holds the 1380m track record in Bund­aberg.

Ja­maica Flyer won 23 races in Rockhampton dur­ing the mid-1970s and, for a while, was con­sid­ered Cen­tral Queens­land’s best.

But one of the best horses to grace his sta­bles was owned by a Bund­aberg school teacher.

In­nes­free was sent to Ja­maica Park to be put out to pas­ture.

His owner said he was on shaky legs and was past his best. Mur­ray dis­agreed.

Af­ter two years in the pad­dock at Eidsvold, In­n­is­free won the Strad­broke Hand­i­cap, one of Queens­land’s rich­est and most pres­ti­gious Group One races.

Mur­ray’s proud­est mo­ment in the North Bur­nett came in the 1980s, when he won six races in two weeks at Eidsvold and Gayn­dah.

All of the win­ners bred, owned and trained at Ja­maica Park.

Although hap­pily re­tired, Jack still looks for­ward to the Eidsvold Races and of­fered a tip for would-be pun­ters head­ing to the track this Satur­day.

“They still get big crowds here in Eidsvold and the own­ers like to bring their horses,” Mur­ray said.

“We’ve got a won­der­ful com­mit­tee and the grounds are look­ing great.

“Wal­shire – he’s trained by the boys and he’d be my tip.”

Wal­shire will start in Race Two of this week­end’s four-race pro­gram – the $8000, 1030m Eidsvold Ru­ral Bur­nett to the Beach Hand­i­cap.

PHOTO: FILE

RAC­ING ICON: Jack Mur­ray en­joyed a 40-year rac­ing ca­reer.

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