It’s racing at the genetic level
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.
RACING ICON: Jack Murray enjoyed a 40-year racing career.