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‘Pioneer and visionary’: Octagonal and Lonhro owner Bob Ingham dies aged 88

Known as the chicken kings within racing circles, they established Crown Lodge stable and the Woodlands Stud, which was the biggest racing and breeding operation in the country.

When the Inghams’ father died he left his sons a broodmare, Valiant Rose. From that small beginning Woodlands Stud emerged. Their cerise silks were carried to victories in countless group 1s, including Golden Slippers and the Cox Plate, and by champions Octagonal and Lonhro.

Cox Plate winner Octagonal was another popular champion for the Inghams.

Cox Plate winner Octagonal was another popular champion for the Inghams.Credit:Dean Sewell

“Bob always had a passion for horse racing. Along with Jack they turned this passion into the largest thoroughbred racing and breeding operation in Australia at the time,” the statement continued.

“He was a pioneer and visionary of his day whose work and legacy will live on for many years.

“His hard work, commitment and philosophy of ‘doing the right things and doing things right’ underpinned everything he did. He made us very proud. We will miss him greatly.”

Ingham’s wife Norma died 10 years ago. He is survived by children Lyn, Debbie, Robby, and John, as well as 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys paid personal tribute to Ingham.

“I’m personally very saddened by the passing of Bob – when I first entered the industry, he was of great assistance to me and provided much learning and information,” V’landys said.

“Bob was a very kind man who had presence and a great personality; the industry is so much the poorer for the loss of one of our legends.

“Bob was also well-known for his philanthropy, with his daughter Debbie Kepitis carrying on the racing tradition as a part-owner of the great Winx.


“Bob’s son John served as vice-chairman on the committee of the Australian Turf Club.

“We would like to pass on our sincere condolences to Mr Ingham’s family and friends at the loss of such a well-respected individual in both racing and business.”

Ingham sold the Ingham Bloodstock operation in March 2008 to global powerhouse Darley Stud, owned by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It is now the Godolphin brand in Australia.

Bob and his brother Jack were inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2004.

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia chief executive Tom Reilly remembered Ingham as a legend of the industry.

“Bob and his brother Jack were great racing men and breeders and their legacy will live on in Australian racing for generations to come,” Reilly said.

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