The Queensland Racing industry has been in deep sadness with the loss of three incredible stalwarts of the State’s racing industry in the past month, with the deaths of Cliffy Keong, Frank Penfold and Bruce McLachlan.
Cliffy Keong was one of Queensland racing's true gentlemen. He founded Brisbane Livestock Transport (BLT) in 1947 overseeing the running of the business which has grown to a fleet of 24 trucks, employing a staff of 18. Cliffy’s professionalism and loyalty to his clients stretched further then just transporting their horses - he was also a great friend who helped in any way possible and would be there to help when times were tough.
Many of Queensland’s long serving trainers will undoubtedly agree that Cliffy made his services available day or night and was always willing to send out a float to assist in any emergency.
Cliffy was passionate about the racing industry and was renowned for his love of animals.
Brisbane Livestock trucks could not only be seen throughout Queensland but right through eastern Australia. Cliffy has carried many thousands of horses over the past 50 years including legends of the turf Tulloch and Gunsynd.
In a feat which would be tough to match in 1964 on Doomben Ten Thousand day, BLT transported 94 runners to the meeting and on an 8 race programme, every winner and placegetter was taken to the races by BLT.
Frank Penfold was based at Corbould Park, Caloundra where he moved with his wife Shirley in the 1980’s. Before heading to Queensland Frank established himself as a popular Sydney racing figure during his many years training at Rosehill.
Frank was a noted horseman and had exceptional riding ability. This was evident as he was a renowned master of apprentices with the likes of Chris Kearney and Tracey Bartley, who were among the graduates from his stable.
Frank’s best horses included 1973 Melbourne Cup placegetter Daneson, who was also third in the 1971 AJC Derby, and his younger brother Pyramul. Brilliant mare Seawinnie was another top performer for Frank, winning a string of races for the stable in the mid 1990s including the BTC Cup.
The loss of one of Queensland’s leading trainers, Bruce McLachlan, was a shock to the racing industry nationally after having a heart attack at the age of 67.
Bruce has had a remarkable training career highlighted by many training premierships and his recent success in the Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast and Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill with Phelan Ready.
Bruce was a real force in the industry with 16 Brisbane trainer’s premierships and many black type winners and was inducted into the Queensland Racing Hall of Fame. Some of the nation's best horses came through McLachlan's stables including Phelan Ready, With Me, Virage De Fortune, Chortle, St Jude and Al Mansour.
The ATA would like to extend our deepest condolences to the families of Cliffy, Frank and Bruce.