“He is an ornament to racing. Robert is not only a great rider, but he is a person of great integrity (Guy Walter)

In a career spanning nearly 40 years, Robert Thompson has ridden more winners than any jockey in Australian racing history, and he shows no sign of retiring from the profession he loves.

Thompson was born and raised at Cessnock in the Hunter Valley. He came from a racing family, and was apprenticed to his uncle, Norm Collins, His first win came at Wyong in March, 1973, and by the time he completed his apprenticeship he had 499 winners to his credit.

Although the great majority of Thompson’s wins have been on country tracks, he has from time to time made forays into the city, and has three Group 1 wins to his name: the Canterbury Guineas on Sharscay in 1995, and in 2008 the Arrowfield Stud Stakes and the AJC Oaks on Heavenly Glow. The highpoint in his career came in 2008 when he surpassed the Australian record of 3322 wins held by namesake Jack Thompson.

In May, 2014, Thompson’s winning tally reached 4000, and he has no intention of retirement in the near future. His love of racing keeps him going. As he said when he broke the record: “I really love it. I love the animal. I love riding the animal and all that. I really love my job”

Robert Thompson was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2015.

Image Source: Bradley Photographers