Champion jockey and great Australian punter Harry White has died aged 78.
Popular hoop won four Melbourne Cups in the 1970s with wins on Think Big in 1974-75, Arwon in 1978 and Hyperno in 1979.
He rode Arwon for George Hanlon, but his other three wins in Australia’s most famous race were on jumpers trained by “King of Cups” Bart Cummings. His victory on Hyperno in 1979 was a famous battle he had with Roy Higgins riding Salamander in the last 100 meters as each jockey pushed his mount to the line.
Inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2003, he won two Caulfield Cups, on Sobar and Ming Dynasty, a WS Cox Plate on Rubiton, five Australian Cups and three Newmarket Handicaps.
He won the Victorian Jockey Team Championship four times and won 60 Group One races during an era when jockeys were among the biggest sporting names in Melbourne.
VRC chairman Neil Wilson paid tribute to White’s skill and praised his contribution to racing.
“Harry had an intuitive touch with a horse and a great ability to get them to settle down and perform at their best,” Wilson said.
“He rode in a golden age of jockeys and became not only one of the most successful but one of the most popular to ever compete at Flemington.