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A look at jockey Darren Gauci’s career


Age: 51

Apprenticed to Frank King at Caulfield

First Win: Terbla, Bairnsdale, April 1982

Career Wins: 2500 plus

Group One Wins: 35.

Melbourne jockeys’ premierships: 1983/84; 1984/85; 1985/86 (as an apprentice); 1995/96

Melbourne Cup: Runner-up three times on Chagemar, 1984; Super Impose, 1989; On A Jeune, 2005.


SUPER IMPOSE: 20 rides, five wins including 1990 Epsom Handicap. 2nd in 1989 Melbourne Cup.

“Probably the best horse I rode.”

“He was amazing in an era when I thought there was really a good bunch of weight-for-age horses.”

LONHRO: Two rides, two wins in 2001 Caulfield Guineas and 2004 St George Stakes.

“A beautiful horse. Gentleman. Amazing turn of foot.”

SHAFTESBURY AVENUE: Five rides, two wins in 1991 Newmarket Handicap and Caulfield Stakes. Third in 1991 Japan Cup.

“He was just a lovely horse. He had heaps of ability and he had a big heart.”

TAJ ECLIPSE: Four rides, two wins including 1983 VRC Oaks as a 17-year-old.

“When I won the Oaks on her I thought ‘I can’t wait to ride this horse in the Melbourne Cup’ because I reckon I’ll win a Melbourne Cup. That’s how good she was, but she went amiss. She was just an out-and-out great stayer.”

RIVER ROUGH: Eight rides, four wins including back-to-back Group One wins in 1983 and 1984 Pure-Pak Stakes (now Darley Classic) at Flemington.

“He was a jet black horse. Beautiful-looking horse and a great athlete. In a sprint race, his turn of foot for about 50 metres when you said ‘go’, he’d put a space in them.”


“Not only has he been a rival and one of the top jockeys that we’ve had in Australia, he’s also been a great role model. He’s always been there for advice and you wouldn’t get a better person and a more competitive and stylish jockey. The role that he’s stepping into now is only going to be a compliment to the next generation of jockeys coming through if they learn from Darren Gauci,” – Melbourne’s reigning premier jockey Craig Williams.

“When you look at the evolution of the riding styles in Australia, he was at the forefront of style change. More aerodynamic and the shorter style, he was one of the leaders of the evolution,” – Craig Williams.

“As a young fella he was bloody hard to beat. I think it’s a great thing for the game that he’s going into this new role,” – former champion jockey and now trainer Pat Hyland.

“Darren and I have sat next to each other at Caulfield since I started riding in town and he’s always been a very good mentor. There are times when you’re having a tough day and Darren would always be there to pick you up. He’s an absolute gentleman and I think because it was a while ago people tend to forget his record was just astonishing. He’ll be missed in the rooms but he’s a great asset for the apprentices,” – Victorian jockey Daniel Moor.

“It’s pretty well documented that he’s a thorough gentleman. He’s conducted himself in a fantastic manner throughout his career and his record really speaks for itself,” – leading jockey Dwayne Dunn.

“He’s the perfect guy for the job. His longevity in the business tells you that he’s the most experienced person for the job and he’s a perfect role model,” – New Victorian Jockeys’ Association chief executive Matt Hyland who Gauci replaces as RV apprentice jockey coach.

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