Legendary jockey who won an incredible 1500 races dies, throwing the racing industry into mourning

  • A legendary jockey has died at the age of 93
  • Cliff Clare won more than 1,500 races
  • He retired from horse racing at the age of 62

The racing world has been thrown into mourning following the death of legendary former jockey Cliff Clare.

Racing NSW has confirmed that Clare, who won more than 1500 races during a career spanning 45 years, died on Wednesday.

“Cliff Clare was a quietly spoken, unassuming gentleman who was hugely respected by all,” said Racing NSW’s Chief Executive, Mr Peter V’landys AM.

‘As well as being a leading jockey competing with some of the best we have ever seen, Cliff was always generous with his time and gave back to the industry, having been a highly regarded member of the Appeal for twenty years Panel from Racing NSW.

“We would like to express our sincere condolences to Cliff’s family and friends.”

Legendary jockey Cliff Clare has passed away at the age of 93

The Australian raced for 45 years and won more than 1,500 races

The Australian raced for 45 years and won more than 1,500 races

Clare came from a large family in Denman (Hunter Valley) and was the youngest of 10 children before the family moved to Muswellbrook. After he turned 16, his mother took him to the Australian Jockey Club in Sydney, where he took up an apprenticeship after Clare heard an advertisement on the radio.

His first win came at his favorite racecourse Kembla Grange aboard Fort Game, and last year Clare was included in the inaugural Illawarra Turf Club Legends program at that track.

Mr Clare worked with Rosehill trainer Ted Stanton and enjoyed a hugely successful partnership, with one of his career highlights being his win in the 1967 Golden Slipper aboard the 40/1 rough Jack and Bob Ingham. Sweet Embrace: ‘Can you believe it? is the only Golden Slipper to lose its view due to a technical glitch,” said Clare.

George Moore was, according to Clare, one of the best jockeys he rode against: ‘George was a great thinker; he knew whether you were a right or left-handed whip rider and could predict which way your horse would go.”

Clare also starred in the famous film ‘The Sundowners’ in the mid-1950s: ‘That was great fun, a few of us had to ride these racehorses up and down the straight.’

Clare retired at the age of 62 but was still heavily involved in racing

Clare retired at the age of 62 but was still heavily involved in racing

In July 1990, Clare somehow found a narrow passage to rise and win against Crown Joker at Rosehill.

A surprised John Tapp, the race commentator, announced during the broadcast of the course that Clare was almost 60, pointing out that he had ridden a ‘dashing and daring race for a rider of his years’.

‘I came back to a reception feeling like I had won another Golden Slipper. I thought, what’s going on here?’

He continued racing until he was 62 before retiring. He was appointed to the Racing Appeal Panel, where he served from 2001 to 2022.