Queenslander Chris Munce, quickly rose to fame on the Australian race tracks.
Chris Munce as a jockey par excellence, winning the Australian Racing Grand Slam despite all odds.
In between his triumphs, Munce underwent a prison sentence in Hong Kong and Sydney for his alleged role in a cash-for-tips scandal with businessman Andy Lau.
While Chris Munce maintains his innocence, he is back to his winning ways back home in Queensland once again.
Queensland jockey, Chris Munce was born on 17 May 1969 in Casino, New South Wales, who later moved to Sydney to take up full time racing. During his early days, Munce built strong connections with the racing fraternity in Sydney, where he was offered many mounts from owners and trainers.
For a while, Chris Munce was a stable jockey for the Waterhouse stables, going on to win several prestigious races.
His early triumphs were in the Epsom Handicap in 1995 and 1997, the Goodwood Handicap in 1996, the AJC Metropolitan Handicap in 1996 and 2000, and the Stradbroke Handicap in 1997 and 2000.
He also won the Doomben 10,000 in 1997, and two Golden Slipper Stakes in 1998 and 2004.
Chris Munce dream came true in the 1998 Melbourne Cup where he steered the Brian Jenkins trained Jezabeel to victory, earning his connections $1,680,000 plus trophies.
He also won the Doncaster Handicap in 2001, and the Sires Produce Stakes, Spring Champion Stakes, and Champagne Stakes in 2004. On Savabeel, Munce took home the 2004 W.S. Cox Plate.
His major wins in 2006 were the Salinger Stakes and LKS MacKinnon Stakes.
Chris Munce ability to control horses on the track made him a sought after jockey overseas including Hong Kong. However, Hong Kong proved to be a stumbling block in Munce's career when he was jailed by a Hong Kong court in 2007, serving a 30-month sentence after he was found guilty of selling racing tips.
Chris Munce allegedly accepted favours in the form of bets in return for tips from businessman Andy Lau between December 2005 and July 2006, a charge which Munce denied.
Chirs Munce was arrested at a hotel where he was found in possession of around US$32,000 and a few pieces of paper listing bets he had made in July 2006.
However, Chris Munce maintained that the money was a farewell gift from the businessman. He was shocked and dismayed at the decision that put his career on hold, spending 20 months in jail in Hong Kong and Sydney as well.
While the Hong Kong Jockey club imposed a 30-month ban to be run concurrently with penalty in both jurisdictions, Racing NSW did not honour the final penalty since the offence was associated with criminal code of Hong Kong, which technically wasn't a reason for conviction in Australia.
Shutting his mind off to the outside world during his sentence was Munce's way of coping with the situation while in prison. He came out on a silent note, with a different perspective on life and simple thoughts of riding winners once again in smaller races rather than Melbourne Cups, which became his first priority.
For the most part, the silence was his way of leaving behind the punishment, which many in the racing fraternity believe was far beyond the crime. Chris Munce was released from Silverwater Jail on 30th October 2008.
Chris Munce was back at Randwick Racecourse in December 2008 and finished sixth in the jockeys' premiership with 46.5 wins. He moved back with his family to Queensland to ride winners once again, making it to the top 3 in the Queensland Jockey Premiership by the start of the 2010 Spring Carnival.
His shot at the Grand Slam came in the 2010 Caulfield Cup, where he partnered the Gai Waterhouse trained Descarado to victory in a well timed ride. Munce and Mick Dittman share the record in the Magic Millions Classic with three wins each.
Chris Munce won on Sunblazer in 1989, Excellerator in 2001, and Dance Hero in 2004, and looks forward to another shot at the Millions as he continues to ride winners in regular succession.