I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published February 24th 2014
Champions in Retirement
You've probably heard of them, perhaps even had a little flutter on one or two of them. ROGAN JOSH, MIGHT AND POWER, EFFICIENT, BREW, DORIEMUS, famous names of the turf and now resident at Living Legends, a retirement home for some of our elder-statesmen of the race track.
Living Legends is only 20 minutes north of Melbourne and right next to Melbourne Airport
Living Legends occupies part of the Woodlands Historic Park, 68 Hectares of land at Greenvale, 22 Kilometres from the city and just 5 minutes from Melbourne Airport.
Winner of the 1995 Caulfield and Melbourne Cups DORIEMUS (foreground) lives a relaxed retirement at Living Legends
For the price of a Living Legends guided tour you can mingle with past champions, including Melbourne Cup winners, and learn about them and their feats on the track. Stories like that of EFFICIENT, raced by the Lloyd Williams stable and winner of the 2007 Melbourne Cup.
In his first campaign as a three-year-old in 2006 EFFICIENT strung together five consecutive wins, the last the prestigious VRC Derby. He'd been entered into the Melbourne Cup just three days later but pulled up sore from the Derby and was scratched.
The following year, 2007, he was again entered into the Cup but was in poor form having been unplaced in six previous starts, the last the Cox Plate where he was beaten into 9th place 6 ½ lengths behind the winner.
Trained by Graeme Rogerson and ridden by Michael Rodd EFFICIENT went to the barrier a 16 to 1 chance. He went on to beat PURPLE MOON by a half-length and paid $22.70 for the win, the biggest winning dividend for more than 10 years.
Plagued by injury after his history making run EFFICIENT was eventually retired in 2011.
This monument to EFFICIENT's 2007 Melbourne Cup win stands outside LLoyd Williams Mount Macedon training facility
All the horses here have a story to tell, not all of them as successful as EFFICIENT.
It's a laid-back lifestyle at Living Legends for past champions such as BREW, winner of the 2000 Melbourne Cup
Living Legends is home to some of Australia's great ex-racehorses. With the added attraction of the opportunity to tour historic Woodlands Homestead, a pastoral lease established in 1843 and a property with strong links to early horse-racing in Victoria, a visit here makes for a terrific family day out.