A thoroughbred runs once a day, often with many days and weeks intervening between events and occasionally with long spells.

Contrast this with the other member of the equation: jockeys who frequently ride every contest of a meeting, day in, day out.

Then, consider that even the most productive horses, in terms of longevity, seldom compete for more than three or four seasons, with the rare exception of a few that go on for one or two more years, while the brightest stars of the world of Australian jockeys measure their careers in terms of decades.

The great jockeys of Australian racing history were the ones listed here who had more than their diminutive size to their credit. They survived difficult times, injuries, persecution at the hands of stewards who levied suspensions for subjective reasons and battles with the various demons and temptations that surround the sport of racing.

They were the hoops without whom thoroughbreds such as Kingston Town, Phar Lap and any of the other legends of the track might have been nothing other than interesting anecdotes in the tales of the Australian turf.

Copyright © 2011 Pro Group Australia

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