One of the hottest charity items to hit town, a signed saddle from Hong Kong, admired by Grafton District Services Club patrons
One of the hottest charity items to hit town, a signed saddle from Hong Kong, admired by Grafton District Services Club patrons

A sought-after saddle

By Tony White

A framed black saddle signed in gold by some of the world's best jockeys and leading Australian riders from an historic occasion in Hong Kong will be up for grabs during the July Racing Carnival.

The saddle was used by Australian star Michael Rodd on the evening Australian-bred sprinter Silent Witness equalled a world record at Sha Tin racecourse on April 3 by winning his 16th consecutive race, in doing so joining noteable turf immortals like Cigar, Ribot and Citation.

The historic and valuable piece of racing memorabilia will be the major prize in a Grafton District Services Club fundraiser to help a local family support group for the deaf ? Friends of the Deaf (FOD), a North Coast subsidiary of the Deaf Society, NSW.

To give you some idea of the hype surrounding Silent Witness, a mega star of the world racing stage, a set of his racing plates were sold for $140,000.

Only 500 raffle tickets at a cost of $10 each will be on offer for a chance to win this fabulous prize.

Silent Witness's jockey Felix Cotzee and other acclaimed internationals, including South African Douglas Whyte, widely regarded as the world's best jockey, have all signed the saddle.

Other international riders' signatures include Anthony Deplech, Robbie Fradd, Gerald Mosse, Eric Saint-Martin, Olivier Doleuze, Leith Innes, Glyn Schofield and Australians, Michael Rodd, Corey Brown and Brett Prebble.

Tickets will be available at the Grafton races on Sunday and at the GDSC on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings during the Ramornie and Grafton Cup calcuttas.

The winning ticket will be drawn on Thursday at the GDSC following Grafton Cup raceday.



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