Athol George Mulley: Jockey Terrific

The excellent jockeys of Australian horse racing historical past have one experience in prevalent: through their careers, they all experienced the benefit of teaming up with just one remarkable thoroughbred who not only contributed to their earn records, but also attained them good quality rides that further more extra to their achievements.

At most, having said that, these types of a thoroughbred lasts a number of a long time, the place the good jockeys’ professions span a number of many years.

1 fitting example of this declare, possibly the most apt of all, would be described in any examination that centered on a hoop known as Athol George Mulley. He contributed the superior portion of 40 yrs of his existence to the Australian turf, contributing all along the way, but he is ideal remembered for just one extraordinary time span between December 1945 and October 1946.

Through that time he experienced the superior fortune to sit astride a person of the literal and figurative giants of all time, Bernborough. Alongside one another, Mulley and Bernborough reeled off 15 consecutive victories, in the method besting top quality competition this kind of as Neville Sellwood and George Moore and Phar Lap. The partnership arrived to an unceremonious summary when the pair failed to spot in the 1946 Caulfield Cup. Even even though Bernborough by this time had designed a standing adequate to outcome in his staying allotted a large weight, and still managed to run a shut fifth, Mulley was replaced by Billy Briscoe.

Bernborough’s qualifications are unassailable, so significantly so that he was granted induction into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame with the inaugural group of horses that bundled Phar Lap, Carbine, Tulloch and Kingston Town. Mulley himself was to say of Bernborough, “He is a freak. Once he starts to wind up nothing can end him.” One particular of Phar Lap’s strappers, Tommy Woodcock, reported, “A wonderful horse. A bulldog in a complete and also excellent for Phar Lap in a sprint.”

Mulley, far too, has achievements that will substantiate any declare of his inclusion among Australia’s fantastic jockeys.

Maybe most noteworthy of these are the two Sydney Jockeys’ Premierships. He won it in the 1945/46 season, the place he bested his nearest competitor by 15 wins, and once again in 1960/61, which is amazing for the longevity it signifies.

He is also tied for next all-time profitable-est jockey of the Golden Slipper Stakes. The initial of these came in 1958 aboard Skyline, the subsequent in 1960 astride Sky Significant and the remaining in 1964 aboard Eskimo Prince.

As is normally the scenario with a lot of specialist athletes, jockeys getting no exception, Mulley experienced a superstitious streak. He was regarded to use an old singlet for luck beneath his racing colors and he always insisted on being the past to exit the jockeys’ room ahead of a race.

On the observe, Mulley was acknowledged for using with abandon, to the extent that journo Max Presnell claimed of him, “Mulley was a hair raiser, which beats some stereotype, programmed like a robotic,” talking of less flamboyant jockeys.

He also was not higher than trying to gain a psychological edge and get into the heads of his fellow opponents. He often attempted to employ this strategy on George Moore, perhaps his most bitter rival, to varying levels of achievement. While he might have impeded Moore on a single or more instances, it may possibly have backfired on other individuals, with Roy Higgins keeping that George Moore rode much better when he was irritated.

When the verbal jousting was not enough to rattle Moore, Mulley was not previously mentioned acquiring actual physical.

At a race meeting at Canterbury in 1967, soon soon after Moore had returned from an overseas using stint, alongside with bumping Moore and his mount during one particular of the functions on the card, the Frank Underwood Stakes, Mulley tried using to get beneath Moore’s pores and skin even more by usurping Moore’s locker in the jockeys’ place.

The two experienced exchanged verbal hostilities before in the mounting garden which escalated to a fistfight when Moore uncovered Mulley’s equipment in his locker. In accordance to Moore, Mulley experienced, “Queried my breeding,” and uttered some derogatory remarks, “That were uncalled for in a room, significantly in front of minimal boys.” According to one particular witness, Mulley was on the acquiring conclude of a minimum amount of 6 punches from Moore, and each riders ended up remaining fined $200 for their lack of decorum.

Mulley had a person famous run-in with the Flemington stewards. He was aboard 1956 Australian Cup most loved Cambridge when that horse failed to position. An investigation ultimately resulted in Mulley becoming warned off, a ban that was lifted several months later on.

He narrowly prevented yet another confrontation in that identical race in 1961, when claiming health issues, he gave up the journey on Desire King, who took the article at 33/1 odds and received by 5 lengths after running unplaced in his prior 10 activities. Melbourne rails bookmaker Thomas Marney and Hollywood George Edser were some of the persons of curiosity on that celebration.

After 25 years in the saddle, Mulley spent the following 15 several years as a coach.

He died 12 March 2001 from Parkinson’s ailment.

The Athol Mulley trophy is named in his honour and is offered per year to the apprentice jockey who rides the most winners in a racing year at Royal Randwick.

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