The "Sport of Kings" is well represented at the Australian Racing Museum in Melbourne.
The colour and heritage of the Australian turf is well documented at the museum, which also honours Australian racing's champion horses, trainers, jockeys, owners and associates who are inducted into the Hall of Fame every year.
The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to glorify the achievements of both humans and equine associated with the great sport.
The Australian Racing Hall of Fame is an integral part of the Australian Racing Museum that was officially opened in 1981. The Hall of Fame was added to the museum in 2000, a place where champion horses, jockeys, trainers, and associates are honoured for their contribution to horse racing in Australia.
The first batch of inductees into the Hall of Fame in 2001 included champion horses Carbine, the mighty Phar Lap, Bernborough, Tulloch, and Kingston Town. Trainers that were honoured in the first batch were Bart Cummings, T. J. Smith, and Colin Hayes.
Jockeys Scobie Breasley, Roy Higgins, Tom Hales, Darby Munro, and George Moore were among the first riders to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Sir Chester Manifold, Chairman of the Victoria Racing Club from 1951-1962, was largely responsible for the creation of the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB). He was also a successful owner and breeder honoured in the first list of inductees into the Hall of Fame in 2001. Also inducted was race caller Bill Collins, and Banjo Paterson, Australia's greatest writer on racing.
Horses are eligible into the Hall of Fame based on their performance at the highest level of racing. This includes both, Australian and foreign bred horses. There is no restriction on age, sex, or number of starts. In addition, horses currently racing are also eligible. Trainers licensed by a principal club in Australia who have consistently performed well are eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame.
There are many that have made an outstanding contribution to the success of Australian horse racing and make it to the list every year. Licensed jockeys that have performed well over the years are also honoured with an induction into the Hall of Fame every year. This includes both flat racing and jump racing as well. Breeders, owners, journalists, bookmakers, and administrators that have made a significant contribution to the Australian thoroughbred industry are given due credit in the Hall of Fame.
Nominations are scrutinized by a selection panel consisting of ten members from the thoroughbred industry. The panel consists of members with expertise in racing drawn from state representatives and members of the Australian Racing Museum. Nominations are accepted prior to the year of induction and are reviewed by the selection panel that then moves on to make the final selection.
The museum holds special exhibitions and events which are of great interest even to those who aren't the gambling type. As Melbourne cements is status as the thoroughbred capital of Australia, the Australian Racing Museum is an important landmark in the city today.
From an inaugural inductee in the Hall of Fame, Phar Lap was elevated to the status of Legend. Bart Cummings also gained the status in 2008, followed by Scobie Breasley in 2009.