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Speech at the presentation of trophies to the winner of the 2004 AJC Australian Derby, Royal Randwick Racecourse, Sydney.



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SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY

MAJOR GENERAL MICHAEL JEFFERY AC CVO MC (Retd) GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA AT THE PRESENTATION OF TROPHIES TO THE WINNER OF THE 2004 AJC AUSTRALIAN DERBY

ROYAL RANDWICK RACECOURSE, SYDNEY SATURDAY, 10 APRIL 2004

Chairman of the AJC, Dr Treve Williams and Mrs Williams CEO of the AJC, Mr Tony King and Mrs King Chairman, Singapore Turf Club, Mr Yong Guan Koh and Mrs Koh Chief of the Defence Force, General Peter Cosgrove and Mrs Cosgrove Other distinguished guests Ladies and gentlemen

Good afternoon, everyone.

It’s been an absolute thrill for Marlena and me to be here today to see a magnificent horse in Starcraft - with a great jockey aboard in Glenn Boss - take out the 143rd AJC Australian Derby.

We congratulate the AJC and Royal Randwick, in particular, for staging such a superb event, as part of the San Miguel Autumn Carnival.

Today’s race has certainly lived up to its reputation as the premier Derby in the southern hemisphere and one of the top five Derbies - based on prize money - in the world.

Indeed, we’ve today seen one of the strongest fields for an AJC Australian Derby since the mighty Triple Crown winner, Octagonal, won in 1996 and Imagele took out the race in 1973.

The Derby has a rich and colourful history, and a who’s who of Australian turf is prominent among its winners.

Some of the great racehorses that have finished first past the post include Phar Lap, Peter Pan, Tea Rose, Kingston Town and Bonecrusher.

Run over the “classic distance” of a mile-and-a-half, and at set weights, the Derby remains a real test of stamina for three-year-old thoroughbreds.

For many of the winners, this race has proved to be the pinnacle of their careers - with quite a number going on to highly successful periods at stud.

Today, we welcome Starcraft to the winners’ circle and to that long and esteemed list of Derby champions.

Starcraft ran a magnificent race, and I’d like to congratulate its connections for preparing such a fine racehorse to such high and worthy success.

Ladies and gentlemen.

It’s now my very great honour to present the 2004 AJC Derby Trophy to the winning owner, Mr Paul Makin.

Thank you.