Racing stars pad up for charity in NJT20
A trio of Melbourne Cup-winning jockeys will swap their saddles and silks for a bat and ball this Tuesday, 24 January, when they take to the pitch in the annual TAB.com.au NJT20 Cricket Match at Caulfield Park.
Michelle Payne, will be joined by fellow Cup winners Damien Oliver and Steven King in an 19-strong team of jockeys that will face off in a friendly ‘Big Bash’ match against a team of Racing All Stars, led by AFL legend Cameron Ling.
The National Jockeys’ Trust is a charitable organisation that has provided support of $3 million to over 300 jockeys and their families who have suffered serious or fatal injuries in the saddle.
The Jockeys were well beaten by the Racing All Stars last year, and have formed a strong team in the popular annual match to be firm favourites to accept the prestigious David Taggart Trophy.
Other jockeys donning the whites on Tuesday include 2016 Scobie Breasley Medal winner Dwayne Dunn, runaway VRC Oaks hero Brenton Avdulla and Black Caviar's jockey Luke Nolen, as well as the sons of late jockeys Mark Goring and Adrian Ledger who were both tragically killed in race falls.
Jockey Jason Benbow, the brainchild of the TAB.com.au NJT20 Cricket Match and Captain of the Jockey’s team, said the game was a fantastic opportunity for jockeys to support their fellow riders through the National Jockeys’ Trust.
“Pound for pound jockeys are the most courageous people I have come across and it is a privilege to ride alongside them each day," Benbow said.
"Our lives are in each other’s hands out on the racetrack and we are so proud to come together as a team once a year to raise awareness and funds for the National Jockeys Trust to support those riders who cannot play alongside us today.
“Can you imagine, never meeting your father due to a workplace accident – this is what happened to Mitch Goring and Josh Ledger, so to have both of them part of the jockeys team in memory of their fathers is what this day is all about, and what the National Jockeys Trust stands for."
Tabcorp Chief Operating Officer - Wagering and Media, Craig Nugent said: “We’re proud to back the National Jockeys’ Trust and Australia’s racing participants. As the NJT’s principal partner we recognise that the work of the Trust is so important. The cricket match itself is a great concept for raising funds and awareness of the Trust and I’m looking forward to the two teams battling it out.”
Other highlights of the TAB.com.au NJT20 Cricket match include:
- Australian cricket hero Merv Hughes will play as a wildcard for the Jockeys Team;
- Racing Hall of Fame trainer Lee Freedman, whose place was sponsored by Winx trainer Chris Waller, will pad up for the third time;
- Peter Bedford, the 1970 Brownlow medallist will make his debut appearance for the Racing All Stars;
- Special guest umpires Rex Hunt, Robert ‘Dipper’ DiPierdomenico and Frank Dimattina will be on hand to keep the two teams honest;
- Expert commentary from Drew Morphett and race caller Adam Crettenden, who will be joined by Slim White of Punter to Punter fame.
- An appearance by 1992 Melbourne Cup winner Subzero, who will present the Subzero Man of the Match award
The cricket match is a free event with fun for all the family including children’s activities, sausage sizzle, food trucks and a cash bar. Gates open at 12pm with the coin toss scheduled for 1pm.
Touchstone Farm Jockeys Team
- Jason Benbow (Captain) - The Group 1-winning jockey is sponsored by Touchstone Farm;
- Damien Oliver - The three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey is sponsored by Quilly Park;
- Michelle Payne - The Melbourne Cup-winning jockey is sponsored by Magic Millions;
- Steven King - The Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate-winning jockey is sponsored by the Victoria Racing Club;
- Brad Rawiller - The Caulfield Cup-winning jockey is sponsored by Rockmount;
- Dwayne Dunn - The 2016 Scobie Breasley Medal winner is sponsored by owner.racing.com;
- Dylan Dunn - The 2016 Apprentice Premiership winner is sponsored by Wings And Fins;
- Luke Nolen - Black Caviar's jockey is sponsored by The Big Screen Company;
- Steven Arnold - The Cox Plate-winning jockey is sponsored by The Valley;
- Brenton Avdulla - The VRC Oaks-winning jockey is sponsored by MyPunter.com;
- Noel Callow - The VRC Derby-winning jockey is sponsored by Spicer Thoroughbreds;
- Luke Currie - The Group 1-winning jockey is sponsored by Global Barrier Systems;
- Adam McCabe - The talented Victorian jockey is sponsored by LUCRF Super;
- Patrick Moloney - The rising star is sponsored by Hyland Race Colours;
- Jamie Mott - The dual flat and jumps jockey is sponsored by Ryan Carlisle Thomas;
- Beau Mertens - The leading apprentice is sponsored by Markey Saddlery;
- Tom Sadler - The rising star is sponsored by Wilson Medic One;
- Simon Marshall - The retired Group 1 winner and media personality is sponsored by Griffiths Racing;
- Dale Smith - The retired jockey is sponsored by O'Brien's Real Estate;
- Mitch Goring - The son of late jockey Mark Goring is sponsored by Deane Lester's Trackwatch;
- Josh Ledger - The son of late jockey Adrian Ledger is sponsored by Ledger Racing;
- Merv Hughes - The Australian cricket legend is sponsored by The Tile Importer;
PFD Foods Racing All Stars Team
- Cameron Ling (Captain) - The AFL Premiership Player is sponsored by RSN Racing & Sport;
- Lee Freedman - The Hall of Fame trainer is sponsored by Chris Waller Racing;
- Bryce McGain - The former Australian cricketer is sponsored by TRP;
- Daniel Harford - The former AFL star and media personality is sponsored by Austral-Asia Freight;
- Peter Bedford - The 1970 Brownlow Medal winner is sponsored by Yarrawonga Manufactured Housing;
- John Salanitri - The Group 1-winning trainer is sponsored by Inglis;
- Adam White - The RSN Presenter is sponsored by The Winning Post;
- Michael Felgate - The Channel 7 and RSN Host is sponsored by Country Racing Victoria;
- Terry Bailey - The Victorian Race Caller is sponsored by Simtrack;
- Brad Bishop - The Racing.com Journalist is sponsored by United Syndications;
- David Gately - The Racing.com Form Expert is sponsored by Racing.com;
- Clint Hutchison - The Racing.com Form Expert is sponsored by Racing Photos;
- Nick Quinn - The Sky Racing Presenter is sponsored by TAB.com.au;
- Jaimee Rogers - The Sky Racing Presenter is sponsored by the Australian Turf Club;
- Greg Carpenter - The RV Executive GM of Racing is sponsored by Racing Victoria;
- Mike Symons - The Melbourne Racing Club Chairman is sponsored by the MRC Foundation;
- Jake Norton - The Melbourne Racing Club GM of Racing is sponsored by the MRC Foundation;
- John Carlo Iuele - The Horse trainer sponsored by Il Gambero
- Rob Rowe - The TAB.com.au employee is sponsored by TAB.com.au