Racing mourns the loss of Bob Milligan

Bob Milligan. Photo: Manning River Times.

The racing industry is mourning the passing of Taree trainer Bob Milligan who died on Friday morning.

Mr Milligan, 80, trained 952 winners during his distinguished career including 326 wins at his beloved Taree Racecourse.

“We are all saddened to hear of Bob Milligan’s passing,” said Racing NSW’s CEO, Peter V’landys AM.

“Bob was an old-fashioned trainer who was hard, but fair, and very professional. He spoke it as it was and never left you in any doubt about his thoughts.

“Bob was also humorous and well loved – his passing is a big loss to our industry.”

Bob’s best horse was Carael Boy who won an incredible 20 races including eight Stakes events.

The gelding won the Group 2 Villiers Stakes at Warwick Farm along with victories in the Liverpool City Cup, Wyong Cup, Hawkesbury Cup and a dead-heat in the Newcastle Cup.

Bob’s other horses included Centre Fire (16 wins including the Listed-Razor Sharp), Bullet Express (14 wins incl. four in town), Our Apache (eight wins) and Grand Feeling (eight wins).

Bob took out the 2021 Mid North Coast Country Championships at Scone with Charmmebaby who also won two Stakes races as well as the Taree Cup.

Bob’s last starter was a winner with Courageous Queen who scored at Port Macquarie on 20 January.

Mr Milligan’s two runners tomorrow – Courageous Queen in the Highway at Royal Randwick and Texas Storm at Newcastle – will both compete under his name for the final time.

“I’ve known Bob since the mid-seventies and he has been part of the mid north coast and northern rivers regions for as long as I can remember,” said Michael Beattie, CEO of Clarence River Jockey Club in Grafton.

“I have dealt with him as a steward, handicapper and CEO – he was a great bloke and was always easy to deal with, a true gentleman.”

Mr Milligan is survived by wife Margaret and his extended family.