Race honours Tassie icon

Caption: The late Shane Yates with his beloved Devonport football team. The racecaller is honoured with the running of the Shane Yates Memorial now in its third year.

By Brennan Ryan

A COVETED trophy, a rug, and cheque for $12,050 await the winner of this year’s Shane Yates Memorial (461m), to be decided at the Devonport@Hobart meeting on July 26.

Over the past 21 years the Tasbred event for greyhounds in Grades 3,4 and 5 has held different names .

It started out as the Minister’s Gift, then changed to the Winter Tasbred Cup before being renamed to honour the late Shane Yates.

Wynburn Lethal claimed the first edition in 2020 with Twisted Reality the victor last year.

This year’s heats will be run on July 19 with the final on July 26.

It’s three years since Yates, the iconic racing broadcaster, succumbed to pancreatic cancer, leaving behind a legion of friends and colleagues who held him in the highest regard.

Shane was a fair dinkum sports fan with football and racing being his two main passions.

From the age of 17 it was clear that Shane had great talents for sports media. He started working as a commentator with TNT9 in Launceston where he covered all sports.

He broadcasted races in all codes and would present the sports segment on the nightly news.

Shane loved his Devonport Football Club (Devonport Magpies) becoming a long-serving president and helped it through harsh financial difficulties, even putting up his own money.

Throughout those years Shane held down a few jobs, even running his own trophy business and a driving school. But sport and Tasmanian racing in particular was definitely in his blood.

When you think of the North-West coast you come up with Shane Yates. He loved the people of that region and everything to do with Devonport and the surrounding community.

Peter Hayes, Greyhound Racing Operations Officer for Tasracing across all three tracks, is very much looking forward to the race named in honour of his great mate.

“It is a great way to remember a great mate, and I was thrilled when all three clubs supported its introduction and it is now the fifth biggest prizemoney race in Tassie,” said Hayes.

“Shane was one of a kind, passionate to the core in everything he did, from racecalling to media and footy administrator. And he was a fabulous father to his two daughters Montanna and Layla.”

Hayes spoke about his earliest memories of coming into racing when he first met Shane Yates.

“I started as the Hobart GRC secretary in January 1998 and Shane was the caller way back then, so every Thursday night we would have a chat about life, greyhounds, sport and betting,” he said.

“He could call a race and make the hair stand up on the back of your neck with his exciting finishes.

“It was a true gift he developed throughout his career in all three codes.

“Shane would always love to think up ways of beating the bookies and arbitrage options were discussed. Yatesy, as he was known, was proudly North-West Tassie oriented.”

Hayes said when Shane was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer he was tough right to the end.

“Shane always gave it 100 per cent and in his dark days when cancer consumed him, he was always up for a coffee even though he had to have a weak tea with no sugar. His shout, of course!

“Just a true character of Tassie racing, a great mate and father struck down in his prime.”




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