Robert Sangster 1936-2004: Australians pay respect to man who changed their racing scene.
Tributes to Robert Sangster have poured in from Australia, where the late owner-breeder had a huge influence on the racing industry.
Sangster, who had strong connections to Australia through his marriage to
socialite Susan Peacock (now Lady Renouf), as well as his vast racing
empire, first came to notice Down
Under when he won the 1980
Melbourne Cup with Beldale Ball. That horse's trainer, the late Colin Hayes, subsequently became his business partner.
Lady Renouf said her former husband had changed the Australian racing industry by bringing in quality stallions.
"It was a very new thing to be doing, a little frowned upon by the Jockey Club, but it's been a great success," she told ABC radio.
She had planned to meet him this year at the Sydney autumn carnival and yearling sales. She added: "He was
diagnosed as seriously ill at the end
of January, so all those plans went on hold."
The directors of local racing authority Racing Victoria extended their
sympathies to Sangster's family and
acknowledged the contribution he made to the Australian racing and breeding industries.
"His green, royal blue and white
racing colours were synonymous with success and were instantly recognisable by racing fans across the world," said chairman Graham Duff.
Trainer Tony McEvoy, who prepares the horses who compete under Sangster's Swettenham Stud banner, said that racing around the world had
suffered a great loss.
He said: "Sangster was at the forefront of opening up Australia to the thoroughbred world. The legacy he leaves behind is a fantastic team of people, which should ensure the successful
future of his racing interests."
Larrocha will carry Sangster's famous colours in tomorrow's Easter Cup at Caulfield. Last May, the Danehill four-year-old joined a list of more than 100 individual Group 1 winners Sangster has owned when she landed the South Australian Oaks.
Also among those who offered condolences yesterday was Australian Prime Minister John Howard.