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Caulfield swan song for retiring Gauci

Retiring jockey Darren Gauci will be recognised at Caulfield with the final race he competes in named in his honour.

Gauci, a four-time premiership winner in Melbourne in a career spanning more than 30 years and more than 2500 wins, will hang up the saddle after Saturday’s meeting at Caulfield where he has three rides on the program.

The final race of the day, in which Gauci will ride Longeron for Hawkes Racing, has been named the Darren Gauci Farewell Handicap.

Gauci, 51, decided to retire from riding when an opportunity arose to become an apprentice jockey coach with Racing Victoria, something he said he was looking forward to.

He had his final ride at Sandown racecourse on Wednesday and is scheduled to compete at Terang on Thursday, Moe on Friday and then Caulfield.

“It feels pretty strange,” Gauci said at Sandown as he counts down to his final meeting as a jockey.

“It has hit me but I know Saturday it is really going to hit me, especially when I have my last ride.”

He said it would mean a lot if he could sign off with a winner on Saturday.

“More important is the support I’ve got this week from the trainers,” he said.

“I hope I ride a winner. It would be great if it happens.

“If it doesn’t, I’m still proud and happy and appreciative of all the support I’ve had.”

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