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Australia’s forgotten hero – the remarkable steeplechaser Crisp

March 1, 2013

Last Thursday night saw 10 new inductees welcomed into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame, with horses, jockeys, trainers and associates (better described as anyone who does not belong to the other three categories) among those included.

Most attention was on Black Caviar, who became just the second horse to be inducted into the Hall of Fame while still racing. The first was “the mare of the world” Sunline, who was inducted in 2002 before her final spring campaign.

The question over whether it was the right time to award the honour to Black Caviar is a matter of great debate, and is worthy of its own article.

However, given the proximity to her record-breaking Lightning Stakes win, the spotlight well and truly shone upon the champion mare, with the other nine inductees not receiving the attention they deserved.

In addition to Black Caviar, inductees included Melbourne Cup winner Delta, the immortal sire Star Kingdom, Golden Slipper-winning trainer Bruce McLachlan, champion 1960s apprentice Geoff Lane, top 1920s jockey Hughie Cairns, Sydney farrier Albert O’Cass, South Australian bloodstock agent and administrator David Coles and totalisator inventor Sir George Julius.

All deserved recognition for their contributions to the racing industry. For me, however, the 10th and final inductee particularly stood out. He was the great Australian steeplechaser Crisp.

To read about Crisp’s illustrious career, including that most remarkable Grand National in 1973, click here to go to The Roar.

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