Vrc To Pay Tribute To Les Carlyon

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Flags will fly at half-mast at Melbourne’s feature autumn race meeting at Flemington as part of a tribute to renowned journalist, author and historian Les Carlyon who has died aged 76.

Carlyon had a passion for racing and was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame in 2016 for his contribution to broadcasting and documenting the history of racing.

The Victoria Racing Club said the on-course flags would be altered to half-mast at Flemington on Saturday during the race meeting featuring the Group One Newmarket Handicap and Group One Australian Cup and a tribute would be played on screens around the course.

The VRC said Carlyon would also be recognised in Saturday’s race book while the club will consider a more permanent tribute.

“Les was a cherished friend and Life Member of the VRC, indeed Flemington was his favourite racecourse,” VRC chairman Amanda Elliott said.

“He will be greatly missed.”

Racing Victoria has also paid tribute to Carlyon.

“Racing has lost one of its greatest ever storytellers, a man whose ability to so eloquently portray the competition and theatre of thoroughbred racing by pen or word was admired and loved by generations of racing fans,” RV chief executive Giles Thompson said.

“He was an avid and passionate fan of the racehorse who sits fittingly as a member of the Australian Racing Hall of Fame for his wonderful contribution to our sport.”

A journalist and then editor of The Age at 33, Carlyon was a dual Walkley award winner and his book Gallipoli documented the disastrous armed forces campaign in the Dardanelles during the first World War.

His 2006 book, The Great War, is the story of Australian forces on the Western Front in France and Belgium also during World War I.

He served on the Council of the Australian War Memorial for more than a decade and was an advocate for the manner in which those who served in the defence forces are commemorated.

True Grit is a volume of stories about his beloved racing spanning four decades while he also wrote The Master, about the late Bart Cummings.

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