The Toowoomba Turf Club has announced that the Hopeful Plate is to be renamed the Pat O’Shea Plate, in honour of veteran race caller Pat O’Shea, who passed away unexpectedly last Saturday.
Pat’s memory will be honoured annually with the prestigious and time-honoured Pat O’Shea Plate renamed forevermore.
Formerly, the Hopeful Plate, the Pat O’Shea Plate is the first two-year-old race in Australasia, conducted annually in September at the late O’Shea’s thoroughbred race calling residence of 30 years, Clifford Park Racecourse.
This highly anticipated two-year-old event was O’Shea’s most loved race at Clifford Park as he witnessed talented juveniles compete at the qualifying trials which he also broadcasted.
O’Shea had been the voice of this annual race since inception in 1988 and in 2009, part-owned Ghostnthedarkness who saluted for connections of The Last Stride Syndicate.
The TTC committee feels this is a fitting tribute to the O’Shea family.
“The TTC is devastated to lose Pat, a name and voice synonymous with thoroughbred racing and in particular, Clifford Park,” TTC Chairman Bob Frappell said.
“We pay tribute to Pat for his endless dedication to our industry which he lived and breathed.
“We will continue to remember Pat and his tireless contribution to thoroughbred racing as Australia’s first two-year-old race will be eternally known as the Pat O’Shea Plate,” Frappell said.
The move was welcomed by the family of Pat O’Shea. “The Hopeful Plate was one of dad’s favourite races on the local calendar and he look forward to calling the next crop of racing stars each year,” son James O’Shea said.
“One of dad’s racing highlights was when he called Ghostnthedarkness’ win in 2009.
“We are very appreciative of the Toowoomba Turf Club’s offer to rename the race in memory of dad and it will mean that each year dad’s contribution to local racing will be remember, which is a wonderful thing,” Mr O’Shea said.
The 2015 Pat O’Shea Plate will be conducted on Saturday September 26, 2015. Friends, family and the Toowoomba community are invited to attend the first running of the race under the new name at Clifford Park Racecourse.
TTC will host Pat O’Shea’s wake on Thursday from 2pm at Clifford Park Racecourse, Hursley Road, Toowoomba.
For further information please contact TTC Chief Executive Officer, Blair Odgers on 07 4634 6066.