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12 January 2018

J L RAITH MEMORIAL – Harness Breeders NSW will always remain a perpetual memorial to Jack Raith in addition to this race named in his honour for 3YO Fillies.

Jacob Lauder (Jack) Raith (1895 - 1968) formed the NSW Trotting Horse Breeders’ Association (today known as Harness Breeders NSW) in 1951 and he was its founding President.  Their early platform included positive identification, fertility tests and limitation of services.

Jack Raith was a dynamic personality and served the standardbred breeding industry for many years as an owner, breeder and administrator. He was a co-founder of Prestonville Stud at Windsor, that stood successful stallions in the 1960’s and 70’s in Goose Bay and Hyperbole.

He was probably the most dominant influence in persuading the authorities to programme more races for young horses. Many of today’s two and three-year-old features races were instigated during his reign.

He was President of the Breeders’ Association up until his sudden death on 27 April, 1968. At the time he was also a Committeeman of the NSW Harness Racing Club, a position he had held since 1954.  

Trotting was his great love. As a young small boy living in Glebe, he could be found on race days sitting on Scotchman’s Hill where Wigram Road passed the old Leger at Harold Park watching the horse he loved fighting for supremacy.

Jack Raith had many activities during his long and fruitful career. He was the founder of ABBCO Bakery – the first man to introduce automatic bread-making machinery and slicing of bread.

He founded the NSW Yeast Company and co-ordinated the whole of yeast production throughout Australia.

He was the consumer’s representative on the Government-appointed Baking Industry Panel and independent arbitrator between employers and employees, both parties holding him in the highest esteem.

He served on the Board of the Sydney Hospital and had the distinction of being appointed a Life Governor.

The “J L Raith Memorial”, first run at Harold Park in 1969 (and now run at Tabcorp Park Menangle), has seen some wonderful fillies win the race including MARGARET SHANNON, THE PRIVATE DANCER, FOUR PENNY DARK, ASHLEES BABE and more recently READ ABOUT LEXY and PARTYON. 

Which filly will add her name to this honour roll on Saturday night?

Image:  CENTURY ANN, the winner of the Inaugural J.L.RAITH MEMORIAL, in 1969.

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