IT HAS been months since most racing followers and punters have been able to catch a glimpse at the Nursery of Champions honour board at Bendigo racecourse.
With spectators banned from the racetrack since the club's Golden Mile race day on March 28, few people outside of racing participants and officials have been able to set foot inside the premises at White Hills.
But of those allowed on-course with a sharp eye for detail, some might have noticed the addition of a new and 24th name on the honour roll.
It belongs to Rosanna, who won the VRC Oaks back in 1915 and is also a past Bendigo Cup winner.
BJC chief executive officer Aaron Hearps explained Rosanna had 'unfortunately been overlooked' when the Nursery of Champions concept was launched.
"It was pointed out to us that she won an Oaks back in the day, which was hard to verify, but we did come across some newspaper clippings and it does check out," he said.
"So, we added her name to the board as well."
The Nursery of Champions honour board contains the names of horses, who won their maiden race at Bendigo, and later graduated to the rank of Group 1 winner.
A distinguished list includes 1979 Melbourne Cup winner Hyperno, 1990 W. S. Cox Plate and Japan Cup winner Better Loosen Up, and five-time Group 1 winner Santa Ana Lane, who will be lining up in this Saturday's $15m The Everest at Randwick.
The most recent addition to the board (prior to Rosanna) was Miami Bound, who won her second race start at Bendigo in August 2019, before going on to win the VRC Oaks in November.
It was a similar path to the Nursery of Champions as that taken by Rosanna, who scored her first victory at Bendigo in the Encourage Stakes, a race which was scrapped from the spring program just a year later due to a lack of support.
An amazing three-year-old season saw Rosanna finish second in the Caulfield Guineas, before claiming the Oaks and the Alderman Cup in Adelaide the following June.
Her second in the Guineas was behind Patrobas, who went on to win both that year's Melbourne Cup and Victoria Derby.
Trained by Ararat-born James Scobie and ridden by Bobby Lewis, the chestnut won the Bendigo Cup in 1917.
Reviewed in the Bendigo Independent, which later became the Bendigo Advertiser, Rosanna was referred to as 'an honest, one-pace mare, who could go all day."
A perhaps harsh assessment given her status as an Oaks winner and placegetter behind an eventual Melbourne Cup winner.
She was the third Bendigo Cup winner to be sired by Wallace and one of nine race winners in total for her trainer Scobie, who holds the record for the most race wins.
Rosanna's owner John Matthew Vincent Smith, from Bundoora Stud, had previously won the Bendigo Cup in 1909 with Glue.
Following a good dose of winter and early spring midweek metropolitan meetings at Bendigo during the COVID-19 pandemic, there exists the chance of some other maturing youngsters of joining the honour roll in the not too distant future.
Most notably, Persan, who claimed his maiden victory for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace at Bendigo on May 3 over 1600m, and has since sealed his spot in this year's Melbourne Cup with a win in the Group 3 Bart Cummings at Flemington on October 3.
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