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Aquanita To Join The Greats


Champion West Australian thoroughbred Aquanita will be inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame on Friday night.

Aquanita was inducted to the West Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2010, and is now set to be recognised in the national Hall of Fame for his deeds on the race track.

The stallion graced the race track 69 times for 28 wins, highlighted by the 1962 Cox Plate as a six year-old.

Some of Aquanita’s highlights in his six-year-old season were victories in the Craiglee Stakes, Underwood Stakes, Mackinnon Stakes and the Turnbull Stakes, as well as a third placing in the Melbourne Cup.

Aquanita’s racing career started out in Perth, where he was purchased at a yearling sale for 575 guineas and was originally under the care of Reg Treffone, before he was transferred to Melbourne.

The stallion won seven of his eight starts as a three-year-old in WA, highlighted by the 1959 Railway Stakes, Lee Steere Stakes, and Easter Handicap.

Aquanita’s strapper Ian Brown, and the father of prominent current Perth jockey Jason, said the galloper deserved his place in the Hall of Fame.

“He was probably one of the nicest horses you would ever look at,” he told TABradio’s The Sports Daily.

“He was always a loner…he was a stallion that was never interested in mares.”

Brown said Aquanita and Northerly, who was inducted in to the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2010, were the best two horses to leave WA.

As far as favourite moments go, there was one that stood out for Brown, the 1960 George Adams Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

“It was a real top mile,” he said.

“You had horses like Sky High and Mardene and the best milers in the land.

“I thought he was a good thing, and he was 33/1.

“They had a fair bit of money on him and he got up and won by a head, that was the best moment I had with him.”

Aquanita’s dam was non-stud book, meaning he was ineligible for classic races like Derby’s, but Brown was sure he would have won his fair share of classic races as a two and three-year-old.

Other thoroughbreds joining Aquanita in the Hall of Fame on Friday night are Abercorn, Poitrel and Karasi.

Jockeys to be inducted include Malcolm Johnston, who was famous for his association with Kingston Town, and William Smith.

Chris Waller is one of two trainers that will be inducted, and will join his star mare Winx, who was inducted last year.

Tim Walker

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