Thompson legendary jockey
of a youthful Jack Thompson ( born in Cessnock) was taken in 1939
when he was just 18. It was also the year he won the Summer Cup on
a horse called Bunga.
in Australian races for nearly 50 years and rode his last winner in
Wyong in 1985.
He won a
Golden Slipper, the AJC and Victoria Derbies, four Doncaster Handicaps,
two Epsom Handicaps, and a Sydney Cup.
won a Melbourne Cup but did run three close seconds.
In his long career he had
ridden 3322 winners, including 41 at Group I level.
To put Thompson's riding
record into perspective, his winners have to be compared with some
of the greatest.
The late George Moore, considered to
have no peer in the saddle, had more records to his name than The
Moore returned from a two-and-a-half-year
suspension in 1956, and from then until he retired in 1971 he had
3403 rides in Sydney for 1040 wins, 620 seconds and 447 thirds.
Athol George Mulley, who is best known
for his association with Bernborough, said before his death that he
never kept records but reckoned he rode "about 2000 winners".
Roy Higgins, regarded as a champion,
rode for 30 years, had 2312 winners and won the Melbourne jockeys
premiership 11 times.
In 1948 the photo finish was introduced
to Australian racing and of course to the Cup. Its beginnings are
somewhat dubious in the fact that the finish of the that year's Cup
was a very close encounter. The well backed Dark Marne 10/1 went to
the line locked with Rimfire, a 66/1 outsider.
To those punters on the line and to the
jockey, Jack Thompson on Dark Marne, it appeared his well backed horse
had burst through on the rails to win. To the cheers of bookmakers
however Rimfire was announced the winner after the photo verdict and
the questions ensued. Was the camera set up correctly and was there
an error in its placement and this created an inaccurate angle?
Six months later at the Australian Cup
meeting another controversy occurred and an adjustment was then made
to the position of the camera......so to this day arguments still
continue. Eyewitnesses swear "blind" that the Dark Marne
won the day and jockey Jack Thompson can consider himself very unlucky
not be in the Melbourne Cup winners list.
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