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Robert Sangster 1936-2004: Australians pay respect to man who changed their racing scene.

Byline: Andrew Scutts

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.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 9, 2004
Words:321
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