William Henry “Bill” McLachlan Snr.

(1887 - 1964) | Inducted in 2021

Bill McLachlan

Image: Australian Racing Museum Collection 


William McLachlan, affectionately known as “Midget”, became the first jockey in history to win three Melbourne Cups when he steered Westcourt to victory in the famous race at Flemington in 1917. His two earlier wins in 1909 and 1910 were on Prince Foote and Comedy King respectively. As an apprentice jockey, he embarked on a successful career in South Africa, where he was mentored by Australian trainer Richard Wootton. Returning home to Sydney in 1906, he continued to be ranked amongst the country’s leading riders for the better part of two decades. His successes included dual Caulfield and Sydney Cup wins. From 1923 to 1925 he rode in England – winning more than 50 races – alongside his equally talented son and namesake, W.H. Junior.

Major wins

  • Metropolitan Handicap; 1908; Royal Randwick
  • Caulfield Cup; 1908; Caulfield 
  • Craven Plate; 1908; Royal Randwick 
  • Melbourne Cup; 1909; Flemington 
  • Caulfield Cup; 1909; Caulfield 
  • Melbourne Cup; 1910; Flemington 
  • Sydney Cup; 1910; Royal Randwick 
  • Champagne Stakes; 1913; Royal Randwick 
  • Craven Plate; 1913; Royal Randwick 
  • Sydney Cup; 1914; Royal Randwick 
  • AJC St. Leger; 1915; Royal Randwick 
  • Melbourne Cup; 1917; Flemington 
  • Champagne Stakes; 1918; Royal Randwick 
  • Metropolitan Handicap; 1918; Royal Randwick 
  • Epsom Handicap; 1919; Royal Randwick 
  • Champagne Stakes; 1921; Royal Randwick 
  • AJC Sires' Produce Stakes; 1921; Royal Randwick