After learning to ride on a pony at Bill Jennings' Deniliquin farm, Kevin Mitchell became a top jockey.JIM ZEALLEY June 6, 2014 4:00am
Former Jockey Kevin Mitchell, 85, who died in Melbourne last week was born in Deniliquin and retained a close association through life-long friend Jim Jennings.
Jennings attended Kevin’s funeral at Springvale Botanical Cemetery on Tuesday.
Kevin Mitchell was aged six when his family moved to Brunswick but regularly spent holidays here with the Jennings family.
He learned to ride on a pony at Bill Jennings’ dairy farm.
Jim Jennings was 15 when he joined Caulfield trainer Les Doyle, formerly of Deniliquin, but returned home after two weeks.
His place was taken by Mitchell who later transferred to Basil Conaghan.
Mitchell was still an apprentice when he won the 1947 Deniliquin Cup on Fort Ayr.
When he retired at 61 he had ridden 1300 winners in a career spanning 45 years.
He was renowned for his skill and soft hands and many winners landed betting plunges.
His major wins included the 1979 Newmarket Handicap on the Bart Cummings trained Better Beyond, 1974 Adelaide Cup on Phar Ace and 1984 Doncaster Handicap on Vite Cheval.
Some years he spent a few months in Singapore and rode five winners at a meeting at Bukit Timah in 1958.
Feature of the Wagga meeting on Saturday was apprentice Nick Heywood’s treble.
He won on Grey Drama, Yet Tobe Convinced and Ketchum.
The latter is trained by his father Chris Heywood.
Jye McNeil is another in-form apprentice.
The former Kerang boy is commanding regular rides in Melbourne where he has ridden 21 winners this season, two behind leading apprentice Patrick Moloney who is sidelined with an injury.
McNeil rode three winners at Wodonga on Monday.
He completed the treble on the impressive Bay Of Biscay.
The Brian Cox trained four year-old had a nine-length margin in the Benchmark 70 (1300m).
Follow - Almalad: Won on debut at Gosford in December and resumed with dominant win at Randwick.
Coming winners: Dancing Rose was third at Sale at first start for 11 weeks.
Marrakesh began slowly and raced wide when second at Mornington at her second start.
Miss Maggiebeel improved for Flemington second to in-form Griante.
They race at Swan Hill today, Saturday and Sunday.
Rich River's Ben Docking capitalised on local knowledge to take out the Goulburn Valley District Golf champion of champions event at his home course.
The 2014 Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival has been hailed a huge success by organisers and participants alike.
The fifth annual King Billy Retreat Open Garden Party will be held at Rushworth on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Timbercutter Doug Rosenow is hoping people will listen before it is too late.
Goulburn-Murray Water has been filling in the decommissioned irrigation channel by the Northern Hwy, just out of Rochester.
Fraser sure has aces in spades
It was a triumphant homecoming for God's Own gelding.
Finley's Mark Whiley has been traded from the GWS Giants to Carlton - the club he has supported all his life.
Fiona Bradshaw and the Planet X team have raised more than $5000.
2013/14 Annual Report received this week finds overall finances are ‘‘fair and improving’’ at Moira Shire Council.
Deniliquin McDonald's raised more than $1300 for McHappy Day on Saturday.
Up to14 new full-time jobs will be created at Pactum Dairy Group in Shepparton, with the company set to embark on an $18million expansion at its factory.
Member for Benalla Bill Sykes delivers his valedictory speech to the State parliament: I love youse all.
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