What’s your connection to Melton?

 

I’ve lived in Melton since the mid ’70s when we moved to Toolern Vale. I came up here to get involved in horse racing and run a business.

 

How long have you lived in the area?

 

About 45 years.

 

What are you passionate about?

 

I’ve always been passionate about harness racing, I’ve been involved for more than 30 years and I’ve been lucky enough to have a few good horses.

 

You were the owner of champion pacer Victorys Phil – the first horse to win the Melton Plate 30 years ago. What did that mean for you and to the community?

 

It meant so much to the community. Every local identity wants to win the Melton Plate. The event has built a lot of tradition and it’s nice to be part of the first one that was ever conducted. Victorys Phil was well endeared to people in the horsing community.

 

What is the Melton Plate all about?

 

It was bigger than Ben Hur. It was a race that everyone in Melton wanted Victorys Phil to win. It was meant to put Melton on the map as a harness racing town. Before the event 30 years ago … dozens of buses took people to Moonee Ponds to promote Melton Plate. Since then it’s been won by some spectacular horses over the years. These days Melton has one of the best tracks in Victoria and back then it was just a dream of having a race track. The Melton Plate still means a lot to our community because it’s the race that carries our name. It was designed to draw attention to Melton and it was well supported by the horses.

For our family personally … it started a lifelong involvement in harness racing as well as showing.

 

What other hats do you wear in the community?

 

Former president of the Melton Harness Club and Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association. I’ve been a passionate supporter of the Melton community. All the business traders once got together and gave away a house and land package in West Melton.

 

The Melton Plate harness racing event is on March 23 at Tabcorp Park and includes a night market and free kids rides. Gates open at 5pm.