The suspected graves are of St Albans’ foundation mares Mischief and Musidora, and Briseis, which famously won the 1876 Melbourne Cup, Oaks and Derby days.
“These former champions of the people need to be left to lay in peace; that’s what they deserve,” Neville said.
The protection requires the property owner, Guy Wilson-Browne, to undertake archaeological assessments and receive heritage approval before undertaking the subdivision and planned development.
Wilson-Browne, who is a City of Greater Geelong director, declined to comment and said he had removed himself from the planning process because of his employment. He referred questions to his planning consultant.
Brendan O’Loan, planning manager at Geelong-based St Quentin consultancy, said Heritage Victoria had not contacted him about the property’s inventory listing. But he said it was unlikely to deter plans for the subdivision and development at the front of the property.
“I don’t think this is going to necessarily stop this subdivision,” O’Loan said, adding the tree was kept in revised plans submitted to the council last month.
“The new lot is well away from the tree.”
The stud property was where trainer Harry Telford sent Phar Lap to shelter after the 1930 Melbourne Cup favourite survived a shooting on the morning of Derby Day.
Any burial sites would be of importance to Heritage Victoria if the remains were intact or contained items such as bridles, DNA of racehorse bloodlines and evidence of burial practices.
Few signs of the area’s horseracing past are still visible in the estate, apart from a heritage-listed homestead and former stables.
Streets carry names such as Carbine Drive, after the 1890 Melbourne Cup winner, which has ancestral links to the property and was an inaugural inductee of the Racing Victoria hall of fame.
“That sort of history needs to be passed down or allowed for future generations to know,” Neville said.
“Now it’s official in a heritage inventory listing, it gives future generations an avenue of reflection and study to take forward into the future.”
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