CESSNOCK’S champion jockey Robert Thompson is set to reach an historic milestone in the next week after declaring he will ride at Muswellbrook today, Broadmeadow tomorrow, Mudgee on Sunday, Quirindi on Monday and Broadmeadow on Tuesday.
The 55-year-old Thompson notched his 3996th winner when he piloted Unadulterated to victory at Taree on Tuesday.
The laid-back jockey spent the last two days “checking on his cattle” as he prepares for a busy period with five race meetings in succession.
“No pressure. It will come when it comes. The media is getting plenty of mileage out of it but for me it’s business as usual,” Thompson said.
“Obviously 4000 winners is a milestone I will treasure.
“There will be no retirement while I am fit and healthy.”
In July 2008, Thompson broke the late Jack Thompson’s Australian record of 3372 winners.
Only three jockeys have ridden 3000 winners, with Greg Ryan who is closing in on 3200 winners the other.
To average around 100 winners a year in 40 years of riding is an incredible feat by Thompson. He did miss two years of riding when he broke an ankle in a fall at Warwick Farm in 2004.
Thompson has represented Australia in international jockeys’ series in various countries around the world and rode for two years in Hong Kong.
The Cessnock boy has ridden winners in all Australian states and the Northern Territory. He rode six winners in a day at Broadmeadow and five in the one day at Cessnock and all five were trained by his late father, Arthur.
Both Thompson and Ryan will ride at today’s Muswellbrook meeting and again at Quirindi on Monday.
Thompson has seven rides including Big Money in the Autumn Sprint for Scone trainer Rod Northam.
Ryan will ride the Jan Bowen-trained Jest Crewsin in the Autumn Sprint and has a full book of seven other rides as well.
They are currently one-two on the HNWRA jockeys’ premiership, Ryan leading with 48 winners and Thompson next on 43.
Ryan will also ride at Binnaway tomorrow where he has five rides including the Binnaway Cup mount on Luke Griffith’s I Love Legs.