Ryan Wiggins will be among the 16 jockeys who will saddle up in the Twiggy’s Get Out Stakes at Callaghan Park on Thursday. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Ryan Wiggins will be among the 16 jockeys who will saddle up in the Twiggy’s Get Out Stakes at Callaghan Park on Thursday. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Rocky Jockey Club’s special tribute for ‘Twiggy’

FITTINGLY, three GROUP 1 winning jockeys will ride in the Rockhampton race named in the honour of the late Wayne Twigg at Callaghan Park racecourse on Thursday.

Affectionately known as “Twiggy”, Mr Twigg, 61, died in a Rockhampton hospital on Monday after fighting a battle with cancer.

A staunch and passionate racing man and long-time Rockhampton Jockey Club and Club 150 member, it’s appropriate that the celebration of his life will take place at Callaghan Park.

This will occur next Tuesday afternoon, with the commencement time to be confirmed.

As tributes flowed for “Twiggy”, the RJC quickly announced that the last race on its eight-race TAB card this Thursday would be named in his honour.

“Twiggy had a saying about the last race, which he always referred to as the Get Out Stakes,” RJC CEO Tony Fenlon said.

“The club has named the eighth race on Thursday as Twiggy’s Get Out Stakes.

“All 16 jockeys riding in the race will wear black armbands over their silks as a sign of respect.”

Among the 16 jockeys are Brisbane-based Ryan Wiggins, Matthew McGillvray and Ron Stewart, all of whom have ridden GROUP 1 winners – the highest distinction of a racing event.

Wayne Twigg was a staunch and passionate racing man.
Wayne Twigg was a staunch and passionate racing man.

That description – GROUP 1 - pretty much sums up the character of Wayne Twigg, who was the quintessential Australian “good bloke” in its most honourable terms.

In the memories of his family, relatives and friends and associates, his lasting legacy of a cheeky smile, great sense of humour and generosity will be treasured.

“Twiggy was a generous man, a great contributor to the community as a whole,” Fenlon said.

“He had a long association with horse racing in Rockhampton and was a wonderful supporter and sponsor of the Jockey Club.

“Summing up, I would describe Twiggy as an all-round good bloke.”

Twiggy raced and bred many thoroughbreds and enjoyed success with Mr Ballistic, Milady Clang with her son Mr Attitude providing him with his biggest racecourse bragging rights.

Under the guidance of Rockhampton trainer Ricky Vale, Mr Attitude won nine races during the 2018/19 racing season including the features - the Mackay Newmarket and Townsville Cleveland Bay Handicap.

Barry Gregson, a close friend of Twiggy and fellow co-owner of Mr Attitude, said those nine wins were special for his friend.

“Twiggy always said his three proudest moments in his life were his daughter Samantha’s wedding, the arrival of his two grandchildren and Mr Attitude winning more races than Winx (8) in that season,” Gregson said.

An astute and self-made down to earth businessman, Wayne Twigg was best known and respected in those circles as the proprietor of Advanced Exhausts, North Rockhampton.

As a further tribute to Twiggy, the Ricky Vale-trained She’s Our Empress will carry his racing silks of lime green and pink heart in the fifth race, the Advanced Exhausts 3YO (1300m).

The figuration of a heart on racing silks is uncommon but the irony in this case is so opportune as it is testimony to Wayne “Twiggy” Twigg, a man with a big heart beamed through an infectious cheeky smile.

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