RETIRING: Newspaper clippings of Noel Coyne's career in horse racing.
RETIRING: Newspaper clippings of Noel Coyne's career in horse racing.

Long-time Emerald trainer and racer retires

THE curtain has been brought down on a life in country racing.

Long-time Emerald racing identity Noel Coyne, former Central Highlands jockey, trainer, and Pioneer Park curator, recently announced his retirement from all racing.

Coyne spoke of the highlights in his early days, such as riding the winner of the Emerald 100 way back in 1966 on Tin Horn.

He said he has been involved with some very good horses over the years, including Tipsy John, Rocky Way, Stranded, and a smart galloper named Adventure Bay. He also trained and rode plenty of winners for loyal owner George Sicklinger in the 1980s.

Coyne narrowed it down to two horses for his career highlights: first, Commodore taking out the Mackay Amateurs bracelet in 1985, and second, winning the year 2000 Tree of Knowledge cup on Flying Feathers.

To this day Coyne is a strong advocate for country racing and he hopes that when racing returns to normal, the Emerald Jockey Club will quickly fill his role.

In his spare time, Coyne will continue to help his lifelong friend Glenda Bell on the track and lend a hand at the Emerald club.

International sales

It’s been a big couple of weeks for Emerald horse owners.

Russ Collins and RJ Stewart as part-owners of AJC derby placegetter Eric the Eel. The Stuart Kendrick-trained galloper has been sold to Hong Kong interest for a six figure sum, landing Collins and Stewart a juicy return on the geldings initial purchase cost of $7000.

The decision to sell was based on the uncertainty in prize money and race programming going forward.

Hitting the horse jackpot

Emerald’s Dan Fletcher has the world at his feet with current Melbourne Cup favourite Russian Camelot ($11.00), who took out the $400,000 South Australian derby on Saturday.

The ownership group includes Bruce and Trudy Roberts from Springsure, Andrew and Angela Schwarz, Terry and Catherine Piggott, and Peter and Janine Mahady.