Winning Wednesday- JVO Wins Rising Star Series 2017/18

On the 21st June 2018 the final place of the Rising Star Series took place at Hawkesbury.  Following his previous efforts throughout the series, Jean Van Overmeire only had to secure a ride in the final race in order to win. 

Prior to the race, JVO was leading the series with a total score of 40 points, folowed by Mikayla Weir in second on a total of 33 points.

The scoring system is as follows…

1st place- 7 points
2nd place- 5 points
3rd place- 3 points
4th place- 2 points
5th or over- 1 point

Despite knowing he only needed to take part in the race to win, JVO punched home $4 favourite LEGISTATION trained by Wade Slinkard to victory in the 1400 metre final.  The Aussie Rules gelding bounced out the barriers and stalked the leader, JARRETT ridden by Patrick Scorse, before creeping up and challenging him at the home turn.  At the 100 metre mark it was down to a two horse race between LEGISTATION and JARRETT, a battle of determination that was won by LEGISTATION (winning margin- 1 whisker!… or 0.5 lengths to be proffesional).

“It’s been hard work but it’s a great feeling to win” smiled Van Overmeire in his post race interview.  Jean’s family were there to cheer him home on the day and were extremely proud to see all his hard work pay off.

From all of us at Thoroughbred Events Australia, we would like to congratulate Jean on winning the Racing NSW Rising Star Series 2017/2018 and wish him the best of luck for the rest of the season.

Written by Kiersten Duke
Photos courtesy of Bronwyn Allan and Laanie Visagie

Winning Wednesday – In Memory of Matt Callander

What do you get when you cross the tight knit community of the turf industry, those who love racing and the NSW State of Origin?  Nothing short of a WINNING day – the Matt Callander Charity Race Day that was held at Royal Randwick on Saturday, 23 June 2018.

Matt Callander, head of rugby league at Channel 9 passed away at 46 years of age, last October after a long fight against brain cancer but not before setting up the Matt Callandar Fund (MCF).  This was set up to raise money for supporting the advancement of medical research.  Matt also aligned himself with the Mark Hughes Foundation.

So who better to head this day then Matt’s racing identity father, Kenny Callander.This was a family affair like no other.  The Callanders know how to do charity more than any one we know – passionate brother Richard Callander and his children Jess and Brooke assisting on the day and always standing beside him, his solid wife Kaye, Matt’s wife Anne and daughter Maddy, Helen (Matt’s mum), his brother David  and his wife Cassie were all in attendance.Behind the scenes to make this day such a success was Richard Callander, Graeme Colless and wife Megan together with Jess May who all worked tirelessly.

There were plenty of “stars” donating their time including David Carr who entertained the room and Ray Hadley who did a sensational job as auctioneer.What an electric feel Royal Randwick had in the ballroom.  The room was a “sellout” with over 570 guests and all funds raised to go in support of the Mark Hughes Foundation and the Living Cancer Trust.The ballroom was filled with amazing auction prizes including the framed saddled used and kindly donated by Hugh Bowman on which he won his third Cox Plate on riding the great mare Winx.  Final bid went to Winx’s part-owner Debbie Kepitis for $50,000.  The ATC and Racing NSW were big supporters of this event.  By the end of the day, an astonishing pool of $400,000 was raised.

What a turn up of racing and football identities – This day was certainly in Matt’s honour.

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Winning Wednesday – A Star On The Rise

Second year apprentice Jean Van Overmeire swooped home on $5.50 chance, Ricci Royal, trained by Cameron Crockett at Bathurst in the second from last heat in the Rising Star Series on Sunday.  The pair narrowly beat Salesman ($5), ridden by Qin Yong and Oskastar ($3.80), ridden by Alena Skirrett.

The in form apprentice propelled himself into a 7 point lead from the victory, putting himself at the top of the leader board with a whopping 40 points!

JVO now only has to secure a ride (worth 1 point) in the final heat of the series on the 21st June at Hawkesbury to win the overall Rising Star title.

The leader board currently sits as followed…

1st Jean Van Overmeire: 40 Points

2nd Mikayla Weir: 33 Points

3rd Patrick Scorse: 30 Points

4th Olivia Pickering & Rachel King: 29 Points each

5th Blaike McDougall: 25 Points

6th Lee Magorrian: 19 Points

7th Alena Skirrett: 17 Points

8th James Innes Jnr & Robbie Dolan: 16 Points each

9th Courtney Van Der Werf & Rachel Hunt: 15 Points each

10th Cejay Graham & Louise Day: 14 Points each


Written & edited by Kiersten Duke

Photo credit: Bradley Photos

Words by Kiersten Duke
Photos by Bradley Photos

2017 Goulburn Racing Club – It Certainly was Girls Day Out – 11 November

I had a blast hosting Girls Day Out – NJB Racing Fashions on the Field. The staff at the club run a fantastic meeting and the Spring fashion was outstanding. The Goulburn country girls certainly love to dress appropriately for the races – there was so much effort put into coordinating their outfits from head-to-toe.

It was great to launch the first Hooves, Heels & Hats where by there was a category for the best spring heels.

Well done girls.


2016 Fashion Friday – An exception to the rule

How much… is too much? Sometimes it’s OK to make an exception to the rule.

In this edition of SHARON’S TOP TIPS, Sharon Lenton discusses appropriate necklines for a day at the races and how you can bend the rules.

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Misty’s second career

I care about the welfare of thoroughbred horses – so I’m proud of my work with The Thoroughbred Club (TTC). In the last year the TTC has been able to sponsor six ex-racehorses in their transition to second equestrian careers.

I recently interviewed Marielle Sweeting and her beautiful horse Misty. LISTEN to this video to find out more about Misty’s transition from the track to show jumper-in-the-making.

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Spring Racing Millinery Trends

Make sure you’re ON TREND for Spring Carnival and attend Thoroughbred Events Australia’s, Spring Affair this September.

The event showcases the best in Australian Millinery and Race Wear.  Bring your girlfriends and enjoy a glass of bubbles while you plan your Spring Carnival outfits.

Reserve your ticket at –

In this VIDEO Sharon Lenton and Neil Grigg discuss the latest millinery TRENDS for Spring 2016.

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2016 Country Racing – Muswellbrook Race Club

I’m excited to be heading back to the Muswellbrook Race Club this month for the Godolphin Tiara Ladies Day Out.



2016 Fashion Friday – Sharon’s top 3 Tips for the perfect race day outfit

More top tips from Sharon Lenton of Thoroughbred Events Australia.

As SHARON SAYS, “a little clutch, doesn’t do much” – WATCH this video to hear Sharon’s tops tips for a day at the races.

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