The Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) was saddened to hear of the passing of former Club Chairman Geoff Torney AM, who died at the age of 82 on Thursday.
Geoff was an instrumental figure in his 14 years of service to the MVRC Committee from 1998 and served as Chairman from 1997-2002. His service to the racing industry spread across four decades with roles as Chairman of the Ballarat Turf Club and Country Racing Council and later was a founding board director at Racing Victoria. His work was later recognised when honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia.
“The MVRC sends its condolences to Janet and their extended family. Geoff played a vital role in one of the richest chapters of our Club’s proud history and was an outstanding contributor and servant to racing in Victoria,” MVRC Chairman Don Casboult said.
Throughout his tenure The Valley created history and became the first metropolitan club to pioneer Night Racing in Australia in 1998, while prizemoney was lifted to $3 million for Australasia’s Weight-for-Age Championship, the W.S. Cox Plate.
The prizemoney increases were a result of the implementation of the Cox Plate into the Emirates World Series Racing Championship, which first launched in 1999. The Cox Plate was the standalone Australian race of the twelve-race series, which ran until 2003.
“The proud traditions of the Moonee Valley Racing Club are thanks to Geoff’s tireless work and passion for our Club and he will be sorely missed,” Casboult said.
The MVRC runs the 2500m Listed Torney Night Cup each season in February, previously won by Taiyoo and Big Memory and this year won by Northwest Passage.
Geoff was born in Ballarat in 1935 and studied law at the University of Melbourne before marrying his wife Janet in 1959 – he was a father to five children and 14 grandchildren.
A legend of the Club, we will forever be thankful for the legacy he has left.
Rest in Peace.
Geoff’s funeral will be held at 11am on Tuesday 20th June at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Ballarat.