The Grace boys: Sons follow in father's footsteps as winning jockeys including at the Speed to Safety comps run buy Pony Clubs in conjunction with Racing Victoria.LIBBY PRICE July 24, 2014 3:00am
Harry Grace at Speed to safety competition run in by Benalla Pony Club in conjunction with Racing Victoria.
It’s said to succeed in thoroughbred horse racing, the secret is in the breeding.
But it’s usually the horses, not the jockeys, that come from winning bloodlines.
For the Grace family of Benalla, it’s a family affair.
Father Tim Grace is a racehorse trainer, but started as a jockey until he got too heavy in the 1970s.
He then rode track work at Warwick Farm and Randwick in Sydney, before a serious fall left him with muscle spasms and health problems that plague him to this day. That hasn’t deterred his sons.
Three of the four are following in his footsteps.
His eldest, 21-year-old Kodie, is doing his jockey apprenticeship in Tasmania and will soon move to Bendigo.
He’s ridden more than 40 winners since he started at just 17.
Nineteen-year-old Lester is doing his apprenticeship in Sydney after starting out with the great David Hayes and has ridden more than 150 winners.
Fifteen-year-old Harry is going to ‘‘jump outs’’ and barrier trials before he starts an apprenticeship next year.
The only son likely to break with tradition is 13-year-old Timmy, who is passionate about cooking and wants to be a chef.
But that hasn’t stopped him and Harry from competing in the Pony Club’s annual Speed to Safety North Eastern Zone competition final held last Saturday.
This time it was Timmy’s turn to win, taking out the grades 3/4 section, which means he’ll represent the zone at Moonee Valley races for the grand final, just as Harry did last year, representing the zone to finish fourth in the state final at Caulfield.
Speed to Safety is run in conjunction with Racing Victoria and teaches young riders how to ride safely to optimum times over a given distance.
These times are based on the optimum times Pony Club riders must ride to when competing in cross-country events.
This gives riders an awareness and ability to control how fast they are travelling at a safe and balanced rhythm and speed.
Grade 1 and 2 pony clubbers ride 1000
The riders who ride the most accurate times over two qualifiers go on to ride in the final, which is held on race day at a metropolitan track.
Tim Grace believes it is a great way for would-be jockeys and track riders to learn.
‘‘Racing is struggling to get people to do the track work. This way they can earn money doing what they love and trainers know they (the riders) know what they’re doing.’’
Mr Grace is involved with his sons’ careers.
‘‘We often drive three hours with the heater on full blast to lose weight,’’ he said.
‘‘The boys wear their special rubber gear, so they sweat like mad to make the weight. They have to weigh in at 51
Lester has always been the most passionate and used to go with his dad to track work very early in the morning from the age of just three.
‘‘When he was born the great English jockey Lester Piggot was riding in the Black Opal Stakes in Canberra. I said to my wife .
‘‘He went for three days with no name, then of course Piggot won, and I said it would be an omen that he might be a jockey.’’
Toolamba pole dancer Michaela Webster wins two awards at Australia Pole Championships in Canberra.
Paradise Queen owner Travis Smith is preparing to take on hundreds of runners at this year’s Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival to be held on October 18-19.
As part of its continuing international development, Bega Cheese Limited signed a supply and distribution agreement on Friday, September 19, with one of China’s leading retail groups, Chongqing General Trading Group, to supply them with Bega branded UHT milk produced in Australia for distribution in China.
Echuca police officers were joined by community members at a National Police Remembrance Day serivce on Monday.
Darren Pain from Sportspower is encouraging people to support small businesses on Saturday.
National Party ticket up for grabs
Rail line manager sends out warning after trespassers get too close to tracks to take photos.
Terry Hogan has stood down as Mayor of Jerilderie Shire due to an ongoing battle with cancer.
Heathcote cheerleader Taylah Kurrle is part of the Cheer Factor All Stars team for the Duel in the Desert championship in Palm Springs, California.
International cricket superstar Adam Gilchrist becomes number-one ticket holder and junior program ambassador for local club.
Deni Ute Muster thank myriad of volunteers.
The only consistent thing about frost damage in crops was its random nature, a cropping expert told his field day audience at Finley last Friday.
Tears flowed freely from players and supporters on Sunday when Benalla lost the Goulburn Valley Football League grand final by three points.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.