Vale Les Carlyon

Racing Victoria (RV) Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, has issued the following statement on the passing today of famed journalist and historian Les Carlyon AC at the age of 76.

“Racing has lost one of its greatest ever storytellers, a man whose ability to so eloquently portray the competition and theatre of thoroughbred racing by pen or word was admired and loved by generations of racing fans,” Thompson said.

“He was an avid and passionate fan of the racehorse who sits fittingly as a member of the Australian Racing Hall of Fame for his wonderful contribution to our sport.

“On behalf of the Victorian racing industry, I want to extend our sincere condolences to Les’ family, friends and former colleagues on the passing of a true legend of the turf.”

Once described by fellow Hall of Fame member, the late Colin Hayes, as “this country’s finest and most sensitive observer of racing”, Carlyon was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2016 for his contribution to broadcasting and documenting the history of racing.

Among his numerous honours in a decorated career were three successive awards for the best published sporting story of the year, including the racing features “Schillaci – Farewell to a Warrior” and “Sir Tristram, the Horse Who Hated People”.

His racing credits included regular columns in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, video scripts, documentaries and acclaimed books including Chasing a Dream (1988), True Grit (1996) and The Master (2011), a portrait of Bart Cummings which chronicles his amazing career.

Carlyon, who was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2014, was a former editor of The Age and editor-in-chief of The Herald and Weekly Times