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  • Provincial Racing NSW


NEWCASTLE Jockey Club has announced the winners of its prestigious Max Lees and Bill Wade Medals.

James Cummings, head Australian trainer for global racing giant Godolphin, has won the Max Lees Medal with 11 winners from 51 starters during the season just concluded, for a strike rate of 4.64.

Jockey Jean Van Overmeire’s 17 winners from 86 rides at Broadmeadow during the season earned him the Bill Wade Medal with a strike rate of 5.06.

The medals were introduced two decades ago to honour two Newcastle racing legends, and are awarded each year to the trainer and jockey with the best strike rates during the season, provided each has had a minimum 40 starters or rides.

Matthew Smith has won his first Newcastle trainers’ premiership with 17 wins in 2022-23, and Keagan Latham was the leading jockey with 20 wins.

Latham also won the overall NSW provincial premiership with 60 winners, and Cummings also was the leading provincial trainer, with 46 wins.

Newcastle’s Dylan Gibbons narrowly missed out winning the coveted Sydney apprentices’ title, but won the Newcastle premiership with seven wins.

Meanwhile, the Lexus Melbourne Cup tour will stop in Maitland and Newcastle on Wednesday and Thursday this week as part of its annual visit to destinations across Australia and overseas in the lead-up to the “great race” being run at Flemington on November 7.

The $600,000 18-carat gold trophy will visit a total of 41 places on its 21st tour, including Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Hong Kong and Japan.

East Maitland Bowling Club successfully applied to become one of the 24 regional destinations on the tour.

There will be a full day of events held in the region tomorrow; the first being a visit to Calvary St Joseph’s Residential Aged Care.

A charity golf day will be held at Easts Leisure & Golf, with the Cup trophy appearing there at lunch.

The next stop will be Morpeth Public School for an assembly involving pupils and their families, followed by a community viewing at East Maitland Bowling Club.

The day’s activities will close with a special dinner at the club.

At each event, attendees will be able to get a close up look at the magnificent trophy for Australia’s iconic race, as well as a photo opportunity.

On Thursday morning (9 to 10am), a final farewell to the Cup in this area will be held at Fort Scratchley in Newcastle with a special firing of the Mark VII 6-inch gun.

*Words John Curtis, August 8, 2023 - Pics Bradley Photos*

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