Light Fingers was highly regarded for her courage and versatility. She overcame injuries and had the speed to win races over the sprint distance of 1000 metres and the staying capacity to win the Melbourne Cup over the arduous journey of 3200 metres 


TRAINER:Bart Cummings

OWNERS: William Broderick (leasee), V.F Dawson

RACE RECORD/STAKE MONEY: 33 starts: 15 wins, 8 seconds, 5 thirds/$109,370

Major Wins

  • Victoria Racing Club Oaks; Flemington; 1964
  • Wakeful Stakes; Flemington; 1964
  • Edward Manifold Stakes; Flemington; 1964
  • Australia Jockey Club Stakes; Randwick; 1965
  • Melbourne Cup; Flemington; 1965
  • George Ryder Stakes; Rosehill; 1966


Named in honour of her sire Le Filou (meaning “pickpocket”), Light Fingers’ career was kick-started when W.J. Broderick leased her following her brother, The Dip’s, on-track success.

Under the guidance of Bart Cummings, Light Fingers won three minor races as a two-year-old in the autumn of 1964. Brought back in the spring, she dominated her age group by winning the Edward Manifold Stakes, Wakeful Stakes, Victoria Racing Club Oaks and the Sandown Guineas. In the autumn of 1965 she campaigned in Sydney where she was successful in the Princess Handicap and the Australian Jockey Club Oaks. At the end of the season she had seven wins from 12 starts, and was only once unplaced.

Light Fingers started her four-year-old season with wins in Adelaide and in the Craiglee Stakes at Flemington. Her preparation was then interrupted when she was injured in the Caulfield Stakes in which she ran third, before being scratched from the Caulfield Cup. After running third in the Mackinnon Stakes, she was relatively unfavoured in the Melbourne Cup at 15-1. Carrying a record weight for a mare of 52.5kg she scored a courageous win over her stablemate, Ziema, by a short half head.

When she was finally retired in 1967, Light Fingers had 15 wins from 33 starts and 13 placings.

‘She is only a little horse, but has a big heart. I am very attached to her … and if she could cook, I’d marry her.’ Roy Higgins


Image source: Bradley Photographers