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New race names to honour SA legends

Local racing legends Clare Lindop, John Letts and Leon Macdonald will be among those honoured when six black-type South Australian races are renamed for the 2020/21 season.

Thoroughbred Racing South Australia (TRSA) and the South Australian Jockey Club (SAJC) this week unveiled the new race names following a joint decision to honour some of South Australian racings greatest icons. The change of race name requests were voted on by the pattern committee and presented to Racing Australia for approval.

Former jockeys Lindop and Letts, trainer Macdonald, industry figure the late David Coles, galloper Tobin Bronze and stallion Without Fear will all have races named in their honour.

“These new race names reflect some of the champions and leading industry figures in our sport,” TRSA chair Frances Nelson and SAJC chair Bob Holton said in a joint statement.

“It’s entirely appropriate that they be honoured in this way.”

Trail-blazing jockey Lindop set a raft of records during her career, which included multiple jockeys’ premierships, Group 1 wins, various milestones and becoming the first Australian woman to ride in the Melbourne Cup.

The 1600m Listed Laelia Stakes for three-year-old fillies – run in late March/early April, during the early part of Adelaide’s annual autumn carnival – will be known as the Clare Lindop Stakes from 2021 onwards.

Fellow jockey John Letts will also have a race named in his honour, with the 1800m Listed Tokyo City Cup to be known as the John Letts Cup, recognising the sparkling career of one of South Australia’s favourite – and most successful – riders.

Letts’ career spanned almost 30 years and comprised over 2300 winners, including a slew of feature races wins. He famously won two Melbourne Cups (Piping Lane in 1972 and Beldale Ball in 1980), but won many other top races, including three Adelaide Cups. After retiring in 1988, Letts became a prominent interviewer and media figure, both in South Australia and across the nation.

From this year, the 1400m Listed Penny Edition Stakes – run in August/September every year – will be known as the Leon Macdonald Stakes, honouring the veteran Morphettville trainer.

Macdonald has won numerous trainers’ premierships since going full-time in 1975, and has prepared some outstanding Group 1 winners. In the 2009/10 season he took on a training partnership with son-in-law Andrew Gluyas.

Meanwhile the Group 3, 1200m National Stakes for two-year-olds – run each May – will be renamed the David Coles AM Stakes. Coles had a long history of industry service, across several fields and in 1986 he was awarded the Australian Medal for his services to racing. Mr Coles’ name will be removed from the Spring Stakes.

The Group 2 Euclase Stakes, run over 1200m during the autumn carnival, will be renamed the Tobin Bronze Stakes, acknowledging the champion Australian racehorse of the 1960s.

Always considered an SA horse, Tobin Bronze posted his first win in Adelaide, and went on to become a star of the Australian turf, winning two Cox Plates and a Caulfield Cup. He was sold to American interests and won four races overseas, before embarking on a stud career.

The final race name change will be the Listed, 1050m Queen Adelaide Stakes, which will become the Without Fear Stakes from next May.

Without Fear was a giant of the local breeding industry, after being imported by SA trainer legend Colin Hayes in 1972 and subsequently setting a world record for the number of individual winners from a single crop, among other milestones.

All six industry figures acknowledged in the name changes are members of the Thoroughbred Racing South Australia Hall of Fame.

  • Clare Lindop Stakes, 3yo Fillies 1600m Listed, previously Laelia Stakes Saturday 27 March
  • John Letts Cup, 1800m Listed, previously Tokyo City Cup Saturday 31 October
  • Leon Macdonald Stakes, 1400 Listed, previously Penny Edition Stakes Saturday 29 August
  • David Coles AM Stakes, 2yo 1200m Group 3, previously National Stakes Saturday 15 May
  • Tobin Bronze Stakes, 3yo 1200m Group 2, previously Euclase Stakes Saturday 1 May
  • Without Fear Stakes, 2yo 1050m Listed, previously Queen Adelaide Stakes Saturday 1 May

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