Prized racing award for Thompson

HUNTER and North West Racing Association’s newest award, the Bede Thomas Memorial Award, has been won by Cessnock jockey Robert Thompson.

Australia’s winningest jockey, who passed the 4000 winners mark last month in Newcastle, is the initial recipient of the prestigious award.

A tireless worker for his Inverell Jockey Club as well as a longtime committeeman on the HNWRA, Bede Thomas’s input has been rewarded with the prestigious new award.

And HNWRA chairman, Rod Watt, said Robert Thompson was a fitting winner of the first Bede Thomas Award to be presented at Scone on September 26 with all the 2013-2014 HNWRA premiership award winners.

“Robert has been a great servant for racing,” Watt said at yesterday’s HNWRA meeting in Tamworth.

Nominated by Cessnock’s Wine Country Race Club’s Bill Moncrieff, Thompson will also be honoured by the Newcastle Jockey Club at a special dinner next Wednesday.

Numerous winners of Thompson’s 4000 have come at country meetings across the HNWRA.

Last weekend Thompson won the  $175,000 Group 4 Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm , Brisbane on the Saturday for Scone trainer Rod Northam and then he rode at Sunday’s Darley Tiara meeting at Muswellbrook’s Skellatar Park and Monday’s Gunnedah Jockey Club meeting where Thompson combined with Northam again to win the first race of the day with Cafe Fouquet.

Thompson has also won numerous races at Quirindi, including their Cup and Lightning feature races, and may well be there next Monday for the tribute race to a former long serving secretary, John “Mouse” Sinclair.

The QJC received 22 nominations for that race this week and yesterday Minimos, winner of four of his last five races, received top weight of 63kg.

Thompson has also won many races for Tamworth trainer Mark Mason and Mason’s talented mare, Hot Rhythm, is one of the top weights if she runs in Sunday’s 1100m Cannonball.

Hot Rhythm received 58kg yesterday for Sunday’s open handicap, a kilo less than the Gayna Williams-trained Conroy’s Gap.