Champion jockey Robert Thomspon salutes at Grafton carnival

Robert Thompson
Robert Thompson

It wouldn’t be a Grafton July Racing Carnival without Robert Thompson figuring somewhere on the winner’s list.

And, Australia’s most winning jockey didn’t disappoint last week when he took out 1000 metres dash on Patriot for young Port Macquarie trainer Matthew McCudden.

The win saw Thompson at his awesome best coming from last on the turn to post an emphatic win on the 3-year-old Reward For Effort gelding.

Thompson has been a visitor to the time-honoured Northern Rivers racing carnival for more than three decades claiming the 1981 Grafton Cup on the brilliant stayer My Star Sapphire, trained by his late father Arthur.

Added to his huge port folio of carnival winners there have been Ramornie Handicap successes on The Jackal in 2007 and 2008, Youthful Jack in 2013 and Big Money in 2014.

Local success

It didn’t take long for Thompson to keep the winners coming after returning to his home track for Monday’s Cessnock meeting.

Fresh from his Northern Rivers sojourn Thompson booted home a double on the well supported Pluck and Lucky for Wyong trainer Alan Denham and outsider Pierone for Scone trainer Rod Northam.

These recent winners took Thompson’s total of winners to 4358.

Jockey Aaron Bullock notched up his 100th winner taking out the third on the card with the favourite White Boots for Wyong trainer Kim Waugh.

Thompson’s winners take him to eight on The Advertiser’s Jockey’s Premiership, an almost unbeatable lead over Chloe Baker with five, with just one meeting remaining at Cessnock on July 31 before the season ends.

Jason Deamer and Brett Partelle are locked on three wins each in the East Cessnock Bowling Club Trainer’s Premiership.

Talented rider Chloe Baker can’t be beaten on the Cessnock Leagues Club Apprentice’s Premiership with five wins.

Big future

Newcastle Jockey Club CEO Matt Benson says industry support for a proposal for Cessnock Racecourse to becoming dedicated pre-training centre should be clearer next month.

“That suggestion was put into the mixer during industry consultation last year with Racing NSW and early indications are that it may have some traction,” Benson said.

“However, we don’t know how that is going to play out until Racing NSW Strategic Plan is released in August.”