In a career which spanned more than 30 years, Pat Hyland rode 2382 winners, including the ‘big four’ of the Australian turf – the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper.
Hyland was born in Port Fairy, western Victoria, in 1941. At the age of 15 he became indentured to Warrnambool trainer, Jim Moloney, who would remain his mentor, employer and friend for the rest of his riding career. Together they formed one of the most enduring and successful partnerships in Australian racing history.
When Moloney moved his stable to Mordialloc in Melbourne in 1956, Hyland went with him. His first metropolitan ride came on New Year’s Day, 1958, in the Standish Handicap, and his first winner six weeks later at Ballarat. Under Moloney’s guidance Hyland became one of the most capable young jockeys in Victoria. In the spring of 1963 he was among the major race winners for the first time when he guided Craftsman to a well judged win in the Victoria Derby. In the autumn of 1964 he confirmed his arrival on the riding scene with wins in the Newmarket Handicap on Rashlore and the Australian Cup on Grand Print. He repeated his Australian Cup win on Craftsman in 1965 and 1966.
Hyland’s success in 1968-69 on Moloney’s champion sprinter, Vain, lifted him into the top rank of Australian jockeys. Their wins included the VRC Maribyrnong Plate and Sires’ Produce Stakes, STC Golden Slipper, AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes, VATC Caulfield Guineas, and the VRC Craven A Stakes, George Adams Handicap and Linlithgow Stakes. In Hyland’s view Vain “is certainly the best sprinter that Australia has ever seen”. Sadly, Vain went amiss on Sydney Cup morning in 1970
Hyland’s success as a big race jockey continued well into the 1980s with wins in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, Cox Plate, Oakleigh Plate, Toorak Handicap, Goodwood Handicap, VRC and AJC Oaks, and other feature races. Injury forced his retirement from riding in 1990, and he then turned his hand to training. His first Group 1 winner came with Saleous in the 1995 VRC Oaks. Hyland believes he is only the third person in history to both ride and train a winner of the Oaks (the other two being Bill Foulsham and Maurice McCarten).
On retirement Hyland continued in his association with racing as a successful trainer based at Cranbourne.
“Rarely, if ever, have there been any to match his courage, dedication, perseverance and tenacity” (Jack Styring).
Image Source: Australian Racing Museum Collection