I'm confident the racing industry will band together to support one of their own through this tough period.- TTC chief executive Peter Scott
Terry Roles has supported the racing industry for most of his adult life - now it's the racing industry's chance to support the former Deloraine trainer.
Roles is battling motor neurone disease and the Tasmanian Turf Club has organised a gala fund-raiser to help him and his family through an incredibly difficult time.
The function, billed as "Tearing Up The Turf - For Terry" is on Saturday September 21 and some of the biggest names in racing and sport will be involved.
The guest speakers will include recently-retired racecaller Greg Miles, former Tasmanian trainer Robert Heathcote, a six-time premiership winner in Queensland, and former North Launceston premiership player and recent Carlton coach Brendon Bolton.
It will be hosted by comedian Chris 'The Bloke' Franklin.
TTC chief executive Peter Scott is hopeful that the wider sporting community will rally behind one of the true 'good guys' of the racing industry.
"I'm confident the racing industry will band together to support one of their own through this tough period," Scott said.
"But it is not just the racing fraternity that we would like to see come out for a top night's entertainment as the football and sporting public are bound to enjoy hearing from the guest speakers while enjoying a first class meal and premium drinks."
The effects of the disease are already starting to hinder some of Terry's movements but, like his inspiration Neale Daniher, he is not going to go down without a fight.
"Terry has been accepted as a participant in trialling a new drug from America which it is hoped will have a positive effect in combatting the disease," Scott said.
"That will not only help Terry but, if successful, all those that are also suffering from MND."
Roles said recently that being accepted for the trial had given him a real glimmer of hope.
The function will be at the Mowbray Racing Centre starting at 6pm and the $140-a-head cost will include a two-course buffet carvery with premium wines, beer and soft drink up until 10.30pm.
There will be live and silent auctions, raffles and games.
The first lady of Australian racing, Gai Waterhouse, has offered for auction a two-hour guided tour of her Melbourne stables during the spring carnival with airfares included.
Other early donations have come from Bart McCulloch (three months free agistment at Grenville Stud and an accommodation voucher) and Craig and Angela Brakey (a framed Makybe Diva print entitled The Last Hurrah).
Tickets are available from goracingtasmania.com.au/tearing-up-the-turf and silent auction donations can made by calling the TTC on 6326 1070.
Terry Roles retired from full-time training in 2012 after exactly 30 years in the business.
He decided to pursue a career in nursing, a move inspired to some extent by what he witnessed after his daughter Erin was involved in a life-threatening fall from a horse six years earlier.
Erin was on life-support for seven weeks during which time Roles and his wife Rosanne virtually lived at her hospital bedside.
But that was far from the trainer's first encounter with the medical profession.
During his training career he broke his hip, nose, neck, leg, shoulder and ribs in various mishaps.
In between injuries, he won countless races. Historian Craig Kettle has researched Roles' career and found almost 100 of those wins were in feature or open-class races.
In Tasmania, he won four Newnham Cups, two Devonport Cups, two Deloraine Cups, the Longford, Sheffield and Easter Cups, the Tasmanian Derby, two Gold Sovereigns and 10 Grand National steeples and hurdles.
In Victoria, his horses won on every metropolitan track and were ridden to victory by the likes of Greg Childs, Darren Gauci and Glen Boss.
His greatest love was jumps racing and he won some of the country's biggest hurdle and steeple events.
Not surprisingly, at the time of his retirement, Roles named two jumps wins as his career highlights.
In May 1995, Inchgower, ridden by Tasmanian Craig Hedditch, won the inaugural Galleywood Hurdle at Warrnmbool. He led all the way and scored by 16 lengths.
Later the same year, Inchgower won the Melbourne Cup Day Hurdle at Flemington, again ridden by Hedditch and again leading all the way to score by six lengths.
"I won 19 races with Inchgower who was one of the state's top gallopers (on the flat) before turning to hurdling later in his career," Roles said.
"He then went on to be a successful show-jumper so he is very special to us."
After giving away full-time training, Roles kept the odd horse to potter around with.
He won his last race with Das Good at Spreyton in September 2014 and had his last runner, Glenferry Road, at Mowbray in January 2016.
Although he reached the pinnacle of his profession, Terry Roles has always been modest and unassuming.
As he once said: "You're only king for a day in racing and you make the most of it when you're on top."
He would probably say the same about life.
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