Port Macquarie To Recognise De Gonneville’s Wonderful Achievements

The incredible career of local trainer Margaret De Gonneville will be recognised on Tuesday when Port Macquarie Race Club names the fourth race after the octogenarian.

Margaret originated from New Zealand and moved across the ditch in 1956 where she established a riding school based in Centennial Park.

Port Macquarie-based trainer Margaret De Gonneville will be recognised on Tuesday. Image by Port Macquarie News

She was already an accomplished eventing rider and commenced riding trackwork for the late great Tommy Smith.

Margaret rode in the inaugural ladies-only race in Australia and in 1977 was the first female jockey to win a registered race in Australia.

She competed right around Australia, bobbing up at Bong Bong, Broken Hill, Lightning Ridge, Darwin, Flemington and Mooney Valley.

She even had stints back home in NZ as well as England and Ireland.

Margaret moved into training horses at Canterbury in 1981 before relocating to Rosehill and for the past 16 years she has been based in Port Macquarie where she has a handful of gallopers in work.

Her biggest success was in the 1983 Breeders’ Plate at Randwick when My Mate Zero defeated Golden Slipper winner Inspired.

“We are using Tuesday’s raceday to thank our sponsors and to take the opportunity to acknowledge and congratulate Margaret De Gonneville’s stellar career,” said PMRC’s CEO, Nardi Beresford.

“The club wants to thank Margaret for her support of Port Macquarie Race Club and the racing industry, so we thought naming a race in her honour was a fitting tribute.”

Margaret can bring the house down in the final event, the De Bortoli Wines Handicap, with her only runner on the day Golden Breeze to be ridden by Jeff Kehoe.

The three-year-old pulled off a $9 to $4 plunge when he scored at Port Macquarie last October and is certain to improve on his last start failure on a heavy track at Taree six weeks back.

Port Macquarie will also be acknowledging retiring bookmaker Kerrie Borger.

“We also want to congratulate Kerrie on her impending retirement and as such have a race named after her as she hangs up her bookie bag in July,” said Nardi.

Kerrie Borger was the first female bookmaker registered on country NSW racecourses and for much of her career has been the only women regularly fielding.

She has serviced mid north coast punters since 1996 and served as a Country Director of the NSW Bookmakers Co-Op until 2019 and remains an active adviser.

Kerrie’s daughter Jo-Anne has grown up on racecourses and a number of years ago started fielding alongside her mother, the pair aiming to be the “Queens of Country Cups”.

– Racing NSW

Share this article