Cobcroft's Record Bequest to Jockeys Trust
Breednet - Media Release - Sunday, 16 July 2017
Prominent breeders, John and Denise Cobcroft had an incredible passion for the thoroughbred racing industry. As such, they have left a wonderful legacy.

On behalf of the Trustees of the Denise Cobcroft Breeding Trust, Mr Bob Charley AO today announced a bequest of $400,000 to the National Jockeys Trust in accordance with the wishes of Denise.

This announcement was made during the National Jockeys Trust luncheon at Caulfield racecourse, and serves as the largest donation from an individual, fundraiser or bequest since the establishment of the charitable organisation in 2004.

The Denise Cobcroft Breeding Trust was established following a conversation between Denise and Bob Charley a few months prior to her passing. Denise made a passionate plea "Darling....I do not want you to sell my mares, I want you to continue to breed with them."

As per her wishes the Denise Cobcroft Breeding Trust was legally formed, with Peter Brown, Fred Moses and Bob Charley appointed as Trustees. The mares remained under the care of Fred Moses and the Trustees continued to breed with them, at the request of Denise, the proceeds to help injured jockeys.

"Denise Cobcroft was known as a charismatic, warm-hearted, titian-haired beauty with dancer's legs and abiding love of animals. It was Denise's desire that the money should benefit injured jockeys so it gives the Trustees great satisfaction to have been able to fulfil the wishes of this beautiful friend," said Bob Charley AO.

Her father a Hollywood actor, her Uncle an Oscar winner, Denise was destined to follow an artistic path. A dancer in London, she made her way to theatre and film in New York, Paris and New Zealand. 

This journey brought her to Melbourne where she would make appearances on the Don Lane & Barry Creighton Shows, and became known for her affinity with animals.

Denise met her husband and soul mate of four decades at the 1966 Singleton Horseshow. 

John was a wonderful horseman, playing polo for Australia alongside brother Brian who represented Australia in the Olympic Games. John and Denise made a striking couple, who loved their life on the horse and cattle property Parraweena, where Denise continued her great passion for horses, dogs and breeding and judging poultry. Denise Cobcroft passed away in 2010, five years after her husband John in 2005.

Stradbroke Handicap winner Under the LouvreThe Cobcroft racing story beings with the success of Caranna (1955 AJC Derby, Rosehill Guineas, Caulfield Guineas etc); raced by John's father. The Cobcrofts raced and/or bred many stakes-winners including Salaam, Big Circle, Hot as Hell, Flaming Hot, Pekalan, Momentaire, Key Issue.

Stakes success continued under the Breeding Trust of Denise Cobcroft with Master Harry, Under the Louvre, In Her Time and Alart.

"The bequest from the Breeding Estate of Denise Cobcroft is the largest donation ever received by the National Jockeys Trust. 
It is extremely humbling to formally acknowledge this donation, on behalf of the National Jockeys Trust Board of Trustees and most importantly the beneficiaries of the National Jockeys Trust. We would like to thank the Trustees Peter Brown, Bob Charley AO and Fred Moses for their management of the Trust and for making this presentation." said Paul Innes, Chairman of the National Jockeys Trust and Chief Executive of the Australian Jockeys Association.

John Cobcroft dubbed his much loved wife "Big Red", her contribution to the Jockeys Trust will be as meaningful to many injured jockeys and their families as the other racing Big Red - Phar Lap - was to those who needed a beacon of hope in his time. 

Denise Cobcroft certainly was one of a kind, and the National Jockeys Trust will remember her that way.
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