Jockeys and Trainers Gave Guard of Honour in Roy Higgins Final Farewell

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By Dhrubajyoti Biswas | March 13, 2014 6:15 PM EST

Roy Higgins, arguably the greatest jockey of Australia, was given the Guard of Honour award at his last farewell journey.

The event was organised at Flemington racecourse on Thursday.The hearse carrying the legend was accompanied by Frank Sinatra's My Way and was followed by former Melbourne Cup winners Rogan Josh, Subzero and Brew made a procession around the track.

Higgins died last Saturday night in Melbourne's Cabrini Hospital. He was 75 years of age.

The funeral at the Flemington mounting yard was attended by past jockeys, trainers, administrators and also friends and families to pay respect to this legendary person.

His performance was formidable as his 108 Group 1 winners still stands the second best after George Moore. Higgins was also nicknamed "The Professor" and was also adorned in 1974 with Member of the Order of the British Empire for his services to horse racing as a jockey.

Broadcaster Bruce McAvaney said he would be remembered "more as man than the legend." He also mentioned his moment of Nirvana when he met Higgins for the first time in Adelaide in 1974.

Higgins's daughter Nicole Lund mentioned in yesterday's gathering that her father would have liked the situation, with bright sunshine, blooming roses and friends chatting quietly. 

Notable author Les Carlyon said Higgins had "a quality of his own" and "as close as anyone comes to being universally loved." Carlyon further said, "He became a trailblazer. He talked so eloquently he changed the game. He gave jockeys a human face.''

Former jockey Gary Willets said "Roy helped me so much, he opened so many doors for me."

Champion jockey Damien Oliver also added, "I will be eternally grateful that he took me under his wing.'' He further said, "Roy was a special man."

Racing Victoria stated they are likely to discuss at the April board meeting about the construction of Roy Higgins statue, preferably at Flemington.

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