Jockey Robert Thompson holds up four fingers for his fourth Ramornie win with Big Money.
Jockey Robert Thompson holds up four fingers for his fourth Ramornie win with Big Money. Adam Hourigan

Four decades in racing, four Ramornies

IT TOOK Robert Thompson 30 years to win a Ramornie Handicap and when he bounded over the finish line atop The Jackal in 2007, it snowballed with wins in 2008, 2013 and 2014.

Since the first Ramornie Handicap in 1910, the only other jockey to win four was the legendary 'Skeeter' Kelly.

Racing for more than four decades, Thompson is one of the most prolific jockeys in Australian racing history and as he neared his 60th birthday earlier this year he told The Daily Telegraph he had no plans to retire.

It's estimated that he's run more than 27,000 races in his incredible career which kicked off in 1973.

When Thompson spoke to racing reporter Tony White (who died this year), for On Track in 2015, he said The Jackal, trained by Paul St Vincent, was a talented sprinter.

"He was a big strong horse with a very extravagant galloping action. You had to keep him well balanced during the run. He was a horse that liked the speed on to produce his best, otherwise he could get pulling," Thompson said.

"As usual he came back from in the field in his first win. He came down the middle and raced away from them. It was a good strong win."

But that wasn't the end of the winning partnership, it took out the same race the next year.

"The second time he was bolting all the way and never going to get beat. He virtually pulled his way up there, hit the front early and won really well."

In their second triumph together, The Jackal set a new record, carving out the 1200m trip in 1.08.02, which was only broken by Calanda last year with a time of 1.07.56.

Thompson's next win on Youthful Jack wasn't a sure thing at first.

"The old fella (Youthful Jack) had been out of form but on Ramornie day, he pulled his socks up," Thompson said.

"Coming to the corner I thought he could run a race and he finished hard to win. The old boy could gallop in his day."

His fourth win, Big Money, was 'too good' on the day, according to Thompson.


1998 - Kidlat; T: John Morrissey; J: M Cahill

1999 - Eyes To Spy; T: Peter Dombkins; J: C O'Brien

2000 - Mother's Gift; T: John Shelton; J: S Traecey

2001 - Juggling Time; T: Ron Quinton; J: M Newman

2002 - Citichy; T: Nick Flouskos; J: K Bell

2003 - Sir Breakfast; T: Liam Birchley; J: A Robinson

2004 - Takeover Target; T: Joe Janiak; J: J Ford

2005 - King Rex; T: Stephen Hood; J: M Cahill

2006 - For Valour; T: Mitchell Hudson; J: L Morrison

2007 - The Jackal; T: Paul St Vincent; J: R Thompson

2008 - The Jackal; T: Paul St Vincent; J: R Thompson

2009 - Battlefield; T: Paul Messara; J: D Ganderton

2010 - Pinwheel; T: Paul Snowden; J:D Nikolic

2011 - Jerezana; T: Paul Snowden; J: A Gibbons

2012 - Howmuchdoyouloveme; T: Con Karakatsanis; J: B Avdulla

2013 - Youthful Jack; T: Ross Stitt; J: R Thompson

2014 - Big Money; T: Rod Northam; J: R Thompson

2015 - Rock Royalty; T: Liam Birchley; J: C Whiteley

2016 - Smart Volatility; T: John Sargent; J: T Angland

2017 - Calanda; T: Peter and Paul Snowden; J: J Byrne