In a career that spanned four decades, Des Judd established himself as one of Australia’s leading trainers, winning the Victorian Trainers Premiership three times.
Judd learnt his craft from David Prince, a successful New Zealand trainer who was attracted to Victoria by the land boom of the 1880s. After working as Prince’s foreman, Judd took out his own licence in the 1939-40 season. A prolific winner for Judd in his early years was Prince de Conde, who after running unplaced in his first two starts, then won thirteen of his next fourteen.
During the 1950s and 1960s Judd won a host of feature races including the Victoria Racing Club’s Derby, Oaks, St Leger, Newmarket Handicap, and Oakleigh Plate; as well as the Goodwood Handicap, Australian Cup, Sandown Cup and Doomben Cup. A highlight of his later years was his win of the Caulfield Cup with Beer Street in 1970. Judd also saddled up some notable jumpers, winning the Australian Hurdle in 1965 and the Australian Steeplechase in 1967.
Judd’s first premiership came in 1954-55. In the late 1950s he retired temporarily to become a hotel keeper. He renewed his trainer’s license in 1962-63, and won further premierships in 1965-66 (equal with Angus Armanasco) and in 1966-67.
Judd was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.
‘…one of the best conditioners in the game.’ Kevin O'Reilly, Turf Monthly, June 1963.