Kevin Sheedy and Denis Pagan at Flemington Racecourse

AFL legends Kevin Sheedy and Denis Pagan will lead the Resimax Group Rapid Racing teams (Credit: VRC)

Sheedy and Pagan to go head to head at Flemington Racecourse

AFL legends Kevin Sheedy and Denis Pagan will lead a rematch of Victoria’s top country and metropolitan jockeys in a team challenge for the second annual running of Resimax Group Rapid Racing at Flemington Racecourse on Friday 29 January. 

Rapid Racing features a short, punchy program with all races run on the famous Flemington Racecourse straight course over distances ranging from 1000m to 1200m with 30 minute gaps between races. 

The race card is highlighted by the Jockeys Challenge, a competition that will see the top fourteen riders in Victoria do battle over seven races. 

Last year’s inaugural Jockeys Challenge was won by the metropolitan team, led by Denis Pagan. 

It was the start of a winning streak for the budding racehorse trainer, who subsequently took out the AAMI Victoria Derby with Johnny Get Angry.

This year Mr Pagan will be joined by AFL Hall of Fame legend Kevin Sheedy, who will take charge of the country side. Sheedy is also no stranger to the track, as part of the successful Bel Esprit racehorse syndicate. 

Current Victorian premiership leader Jamie Kah headlines the metropolitan team alongside champion jockeys Craig Williams and Damien Oliver, 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup-winning rider Jye McNeil along with multiple Group 1 winners Damian Lane and Mark Zahra and leading apprentice Will Price. 

The country team stars Group 1 winning jockeys John Allen, Harry Coffey, Dean Yendall and Dean Holland, along with young gun apprentice Madison Lloyd and superstar country riders Jamie Mott and Jack Hill.

Metropolitan coach Mr Pagan said he was confident his team could defend their title. 
“Star jockeys such as Jamie Kah and Damien Oliver are normally rivals but I’m delighted that for Rapid Racing they will be on the same team, trying their best to make it back-to-back wins for the metro side,” he said.

“Now that I’ve won the Derby, I’m hoping they might take a bit more notice of me this year!”

Country coach Mr Sheedy said he was thrilled to support some of the state’s regional stars on the main stage at Headquarters. 

“I’m a big supporter of regional sport and can’t wait to see Victoria’s leading country jockeys showcase their skills at Flemington Racecourse,” he said. 

“Denis and I have enjoyed a healthy level of competition in the past and he’ll have to bring his A-game to beat us!”

VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said the Club was looking forward to hosting the quick fire race day as part of the ongoing twilight series. 

“Rapid Racing is an innovative concept introduced by the VRC and this year we have enhanced the on-course experience with new hospitality offerings and post-races entertainment running late into the evening,” he said.

“Kevin and Denis haven’t lost their enthusiasm for coaching or their will to win, and with some of the nation’s best jockeys competing it’s sure to be an entertaining evening for all, whether you are watching it all unfold live from Flemington or via Racing.com.

“One of the unique elements of this race day is that the jockeys are representing a team and there is bound to be some rivalry on the day.”

Gates open at 2.30pm with $5-Before-5 beer and wine specials on offer across the course. 

VRC members can enjoy the on course action from one of Flemington Racecourse’s outstanding dining venues with availability in all restaurants including The Byerley and The Dining Room or relax on the Members Lawn.

As the racing wraps up, the Front Lawn Beer Garden guests can enjoy live music until 9.30pm, with public transport extended to ensure patrons can get home safely.

The Picnic Lawn will play host to an array of free activities perfect for after school including lawn games and an outdoor cinema playing The Incredibles, Ride Like A Girl and The Goonies.  Bring along a rug and a tasty picnic spread, or purchase from our food outlets close by. 

Racegoers must pre-purchase tickets via Flemington.com.au or VRC Customer Service, with prices starting at $12 per person. 

A digital race book will be available on the website and VRC members, owners and all racing fans are encouraged to follow the race day via the VRC social media platforms using our official hashtag #Flemington on social media and via Racing.com, RSN and Sky Racing.