I Am 36 Years Old Can I Start New Career Legends of Australian Racing – George Moore

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Legends of Australian Racing – George Moore

George Moore can truly be called a legend in his own right. He was awarded an OBE (1972) for services to horse racing, and for a career as a jockey and trainer that spanned decades and continents. In 1986, the new Australian Institute of Sport inducted George into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. He was also in the inaugural group of riders inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. In 2007, Australia Post featured George in the Australian Legends series of postage stamps featuring horse racing greats.

George Moore was born in Mackay, Queensland in 1923 and lived until 2008. He began his apprenticeship in Brisbane in 1939 and was soon one of the top apprentices before winning the Senior Jockeys’ Premiership in Brisbane in 1943 In 1949 he moved south to Sydney, where he began working for coach Tommy Smith. His first win in Sydney was the Rosehill Railway Handicap on Bragger. This would be the start of the Smith-Moore partnership, which lasted over 20 years until the end of Moore’s riding career. During the late 1950s he rode the magnificent Tulloch, trained by Tommy Smith, to 19 of his 36 victories.

Moore won the Sydney Jockeys Premierships in 1957 and 1958 but in 1959 was tempted to travel to Europe with trainer Alec Head. In France, his wins included the Prix du Jockey Club and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He also won the 2000 British Guineas.

On his return to Sydney, Moore added eight more Sydney Jockeys Premierships to the two he already had. His record of ten prime ministerial posts is still unbeaten. In 1967 he returned to Europe and had success in Britain where he again won the 2000 Guineas, the 1000 Guineas and his greatest victory in Britain, the 1967 Epsom Derby.

Moore rode his last race in 1971, the VRC Derby. During his riding career he had won 119 Group One races and a total of 2,278 victories over 34 years. Moore never won the Melbourne Cup, although he started the race 17 times. However, he won two VRC Derbies and five AJC Derbies, as well as two Cox Plates, three Sydney Cups and two Golden Slippers. His fierce determination and focus had seen the boy from small-town Queensland come a long way.

After retiring from racing, Moore became a coach – first in France and later in Hong Kong. He eventually retired to the Gold Coast, after living and training in Hong Kong for many years.

Moore had a long and successful career as a jockey and trainer and his legacy lives on in Australian horse racing. His eldest son John has become a successful trainer whose winners include Viva Pataca. Another of his sons, Gary, was also a successful horseman and trainer. Peter Leysham, a Sydney-based jockey for 20 years and later also a trainer, is George’s son-in-law – as was Phillipe Paquet, a former French jockey.

The George Moore Medal, named in his honour, is awarded annually to Sydney’s outstanding horseman.

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