Geoff Lane (left) and Roy Higgins at Caulfield in 2013
Vale Geoff Lane
It is with sadness that Racing Victoria (RV) acknowledges the passing of Australian Racing Hall of Fame member Geoff Lane, a former champion Victorian apprentice who became an elite senior rider in Australia and Hong Kong.
Geoff, 80, passed away today and is survived by his wife Joanni, son Sam and daughters Samantha and Natasha. He was the 32nd jockey inducted into the Hall of Fame when welcomed in 2013.
A native of Melbourne, Geoff won five apprentice premierships and claimed the 1959/60 senior Melbourne jockeys’ premiership in the year he completed his indentures.
Geoff rode over 400 winners and won 76 feature races during a stellar career that was hampered by rising weight. He was associated with many fine horses including Dhaulagiri, which he rode to victory in the 1961 W.S. Cox Plate and to placings in the Melbourne, Caulfield, Sydney and Brisbane Cups. He also partnered Lord, the horse affectionately known as the ‘King of Caulfield’ in 17 wins.
His other big race wins included three Victoria Derbies, three VRC Oaks and three VRC St Legers, the AJC Oaks, the Caulfield Guineas, three Caulfield Stakes, two Toorak Handicaps, the Futurity Stakes, four Memsie Stakes and four St George Stakes, two Sandown Cups and a Williamstown Cup, four Alister Clark Stakes and two William Reid Stakes.
Rising weight caused Geoff to announce his retirement in 1964 at the age of 25. He made a successful comeback three years later, but weight problems again forced his retirement in 1971.
The popular jockey then moved to Hong Kong where a higher weight scale allowed him to continue riding with much success during the next decade. On retirement, he took up an administrative position with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and later became a trainer.
RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, said: “On behalf of the Victorian racing industry, I would like to extend our prayers and heartfelt condolences to Geoff’s family and friends following the sad news of his passing today.
“Geoff will be remembered in Victoria as an outstanding apprentice who enjoyed great popularity among racing fans and punters.
“His string of premiership wins and list of feature race victories makes for impressive reading and he sits appropriately among our great jockeys in the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.”