Roy Higgins statue unveiled at Flemington

World-first mobile video for Flemington. The Professor honoured with Flemington statue

Roy “The Professor” Higgins now stands immortalised in bronze, with a statue of the legendary jockey unveiled on Sunday at Flemington, the scene of his two Melbourne Cup wins.

Victorian Minister for Racing Martin Pakula lifted the wraps from the statue, by artist Judith Leman, depicting Higgins in racing attire not long before he retired from the sport in 1983.

Higgins joins only Phar Lap, Makybe Diva and Bart Cummings to be honoured with a statue at heritage listed Flemington.

Higgins—who won the Melbourne Cup in 1965 on Light Fingers and 1967 on Red Handed, both for Bart Cummings—passed away in March last year aged 75.

The 2.1 metre bronze figure will stand permanently at the Hill Gate entrance to Flemington, ready to welcome thousands of racegoers over the upcoming Melbourne Cup Carnival.

VRC Chairman Michael Burn said Higgins is remembered for much more than his feats on the racetrack.

“Undoubtedly Roy was one of the greatest jockeys we’ve seen, but he was just as remarkable for his contribution to racing after retirement and the way he connected with people of all walks of life,” Mr Burn said.

“Roy was an Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour ambassador for years, travelling all around the continent sharing the magic of the race that changed his life. He never stopped giving back to the sport he loved. He was a great human being.”

The homage to the record equaling 11-time Melbourne jockey premiership winner has been funded by some very generous private donors, the Victoria Racing Club, Racing Victoria and the Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF), which itself is funded largely through unclaimed dividends.

World-first live video with Flemington app

VRC Chairman Michael Burn said this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival will offer a world-first digital experience for racegoers.

“In a world first for a racecourse, racegoers from today can select from a range of live video feeds direct to their iOS devices using the brand new Flemington Raceday Guide iPhone app and our free on-course wifi,” Mr Burn said.

Using Cisco’s StadiumVision Mobile technology and the Flemington Raceday Guide iPhone app connected to Flemington’s free on-course wifi, patrons will be offered up to four video streams direct to their iOS device, which may include:
· Channel 7 live;
· (Channel 78) live;
· Australia-wide racing via Sky Racing’s Next Race to Jump feed live; and
· Flemington race replays.

An Android phone app is in development for release in early 2016.

“In further good news for Flemington patrons, the Flemington super screen today debuts new high density LED panels, improving the vision quality and viewing angles for those on course,” Mr Burn said.

StadiumVision Mobile and the super screen upgrade have been funded by the VRC and the VRIF.

Roy Higgins’ achievements
· 2,312 winners including 108 Group 1s
· Two Melbourne Cups: Light Fingers (1965) and Red Handed (1967)
· Five VRC Oaks, five Emirates Stakes, four Victoria Derbies, three Lightning Stakes, two Mackinnon Stakes, two Newmarket Handicaps
· Racing’s “grand slam”: Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper
· Member of the British Empire (1976), Australian Sport Hall of Fame (1987), inaugural Australian Racing Hall of Fame (2001)
· Record equaling 11 Melbourne jockey premierships

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