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RACING OFF WITH A HEART OF GOLD - Charities the big winners of Eagle

October 28, 2022

Matthew Benns – Daily Telegraph, Editor At Large

SURF Life Saving ironman Sam Braun finally met his match on the beach yesterday – Golden Eagle racehorse In The Congo.

“At least he swam between the flags,” Sam said after meeting the highly favoured chestnut stallion from legendary trainer Gai Waterhouse’s stable. “I have never had to tell a horse to do that before.”

The 19-year-old from North Bondi Surf Club said meeting racehorses who will compete in tomorrow’s $10 million Golden Eagle at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow had given him a new take on performance.

“When you stand next to these athletes and they are 600kg of pure muscle it changes your perspective,” he said. “I certainly did not feel like I was in a shoot for Baywatch standing next to him.”

Surf Life Saving NSW chief executive Steven Pearce was delighted to be one of 20 charities who will benefit from a 10 per cent slice of the prize money of Australia’s ’second richest race.

“We are very fortunate that we have been chosen to be the charity for Pinstriped in The Golden Eagle on Saturday,” he said.

“This is a great opportunity to raise funds that will go towards our volunteers who are currently helping out in flood areas right across the state.”

Last year Surf Life Saving NSW received $10,000 when the John O’Shea trained Maximal came in sixth. This year gered NSW race and the fact it has again attracted an exceptional field, the highlight still for me is that $1 million of the prize money goes to charities that need it the most,” Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said.

After the fourth running of the race on Saturday, $3.2 million will have been donated to charity. Last year children’s charity Camp Quality received $410,000 when I’m Thunderstruck burst home to win with Hugh Bowman in the saddle.

Three-year-old Bobby Galleghan is one of the children whose families have benefited from that money. His mother Vanessa, 37, said it was an “incredible” boost to a charity that helped so many families with sick children.

Bobby, the youngest of her five children, has T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. “We actually cannot go anywhere,” she said.

“That’s why the support Camp Quality give us is so important and why supporting them helps us.” Vanessa said she has always loved “dressing up for the races and having a few
glasses of champagne” with friends. Today that is not an option.

“An illness like this does not just affect one child, it affects the whole family,” Ms Galleghan said. “Camp Quality allows us to go away with families in similar situations and for Bobby’s siblings to meet and mix with other kids in the same boat.”

But it is not just the charities who are winners on Saturday but the more than 20,000 racegoers at the course and businesses in western Sydney. Australian Turf Club chief executive Jamie Barkley said the eyes of the world were on Rosehill Gardens.

“Two of the world’s best jockeys in Frankie Dettori and Jamie Spencer and a horse of the class and rating of Light Infantry have come to race in Sydney on Golden Eagle Day,’’ Mr Barkley said.

“We have seen world-class racing over previous months and Golden Eagle Day and Rosehill Gardens is taking the Sydney Spring to another level.”

Retiring Western Sydney Minister David Elliott said: “Western Sydney has long been considered the sporting capital of NSW and the Golden Eagle is certainly one of the compulsory events of sports lovers.

“Being able to boast such a prestigious horse race in Parramatta’s backyard is sure to confirm our role in making Australian sporting dreams come true.”

Mr Elliott won’t be taking wife Nicole to the race, but old friend and former Police Commissioner Mick Fuller. “We’ve apologised to our wives in advance,” he said.

List of XXXX Golden Eagle runners and charities: 

1OverpassSave Our Sons Duchenne Foundation
2ConvergeAustralian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation
3In The CongoRedkite
4VilanaRonald McDonald House
5I Wish I WinMuscular Dystrophy Foundation NSW
6Mr MozartThe Ricky Stuart Foundation
7HilalMcGrath Foundation
8Military ExpertTeam Tye Foundation
9LightsaberHumpty Dumpty Foundation
10PinstripedSurf Life Saving NSW Association
12Light InfantryNational Jockeys Trust
13WelwalFordham Foundation
14HingedSporting Chance Cancer Foundation
15FangirlIngham Institute For Applied Medical Research
16Chain Of LightningFoundation For Life Sciences
17Gypsy GoddessThe Mark Hughes Foundation
18Lady Of HonorProstate Cancer Foundation Of Australia
19Lavish GirlEb Research Partnership (Australia)
20Hope In Your HeartCamp Quality
21eCardinal GemRiding For The Disabled
22eJimmy The Bear
23eFlying Crazy
24eKiss Sum


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