In a post-race horseback interview on Derby Day, a leading jockey spoke about the National Jockeys Trust quest to secure funds for injured jockeys and their families. The Punch asked top rider Stephen Baster to tell us more.
Every jockey wants to win a Melbourne Cup. But the thrill of making it across that line first is something only a select few will ever experience. I’ve been lucky enough to start in six Melbourne Cups with my best finish being third on Mahler for Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien in 2007. Unfortunately I don’t have a ride this year. For the majority of Australia’s 840 professional jockeys, the Melbourne Cup – and the kind of prize money that comes with it – is the exception, not the rule.
We don’t do this job just for the money. If we did, the thousands of other races that take place each year wouldn’t attract much of a field. And we certainly don’t do this job for the security or the health benefits. It’s a tough industry and full of dangers.
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Injuries won’t be stopped in football. Can’t. What can be stopped is the endless supply of car-crash type atrocities rammed down our throats for days on end.
It can be stopped right now. Can you remember a weekend so horrific?
The gory scene of Geelong’s Joel Selwood, body limp, arm stiff and blood trickling out of the side of his mouth, was a Pink Floyd song away from being a Scorsese movie.
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