Travis Harrison in the famous Harrison family silks at The Valley.
The Moonee Valley Racing Club will this Friday recognise the late Travis Harrison with the annual running of the Travis Harrison Cup.
Travis was a promising young apprentice jockey who was kicking goals in the saddle, before he was tragically killed at just age 18 in 1996, when falling asleep at the wheel when driving home from a fellow rider’s birthday celebration.
Travis’ pedigree was from a strong racing family and it was no surprise that so early into his career he had already booted home 88 winners, most notably the Group 2 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (now the Sunline Stakes), the biggest win of his career coming at The Valley.
Tonight’s race is the 22nd year the MVRC has conducted the Travis Harrison Cup and since its inception there have been some sentimental winners. In 2000, Travis’ uncle, Cranbourne-based Doug Harrison, won the event with Another Neptune, while last year his cousin Craig Williams added the race to his long list of honours.
Craig had long hoped to win the event, with the Paul Preusker trained Magic Consul the horse making his dream true. Craig recalls being a 58 kilogram 15-year-old with little interest in racing, but credits the success of his cousin as his shining light in the saddle. Matt Hill described the moment perfectly as Williams seemed to be ‘riding with an angel on his shoulder’.
We will welcome many of the Harrison family members to The Valley on Friday night and wish them an enjoyable evening at a place that no doubt brought so much joy to Travis during his short, yet very memorable career.
The Ranvet Travis Harrison Cup will be run as Race 3 tonight at 7.30pm.