Ailing jockey Marlon Dolendo in happier times bringing another winner back to scale at Coffs Harbour.
Ailing jockey Marlon Dolendo in happier times bringing another winner back to scale at Coffs Harbour.

Fundraiser for ill jockey

A GOLF day and auction fundraiser is being organised to benefit seriously ill jockey Marlon Dolendo.

The winner of the 2008-09 Northern Rivers riding premiership has been struck down with kidney disease and unless a transplant can be urgently arranged, his future prospects look grim.

A suitable donor may be found among his family, and a sister living in Port Macquarie is undergoing tests, while a brother has just arrived from the Philippines to have tissue-matching done.

Dolendo requires daily dialysis and with a wife and three young children to support, a committee headed by Darren Sage has been formed to organise a benefit.

“We have a day set up at Port Macquarie Golf Club on Wednesday, February 2, and with only two weeks to go, we need the word to spread through the racing fraternity quickly,” he said.

“Marlon has ridden plenty of winners at Coffs and Bowraville and I’m certain the people in those parts will be glad to support him in return.”

Already, the ‘fundraising network’, run in partnership by Joe Janiak and Takeover Target, has slipped into gear and a portrait of the champion duo has been sourced from the UK and will soon be on its way to join the auction prizes.

After arriving in Australia as a young teenager to begin a racing apprenticeship at Tulloch Lodge under the tuition of training legends TJ Smith and daughter Gai Waterhouse, Dolendo became a leading city rider with winners up to Group 2 level.

Since seeking better opportunities on the North Coast and Northern Rivers, 15 years in the top echelon of riders has returned around 900 career winners.

Darren Sage said those who can’t attend the golf day can send in their bids for the auction to email darrensage65@gmail.com

Prizes include items of signed racing memorabilia, two $1000 Betezy vouchers and a raceday package for four persons to Rosehill Gardens, supplied by Mark Brassel at RacingNSW.

“Ian Mackay from Tabcorp has donated a $500 betting voucher which would probably go hand in hand,” Sage said.



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