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Qld jockey Merv Wrigley dies

Merv Wrigley, regarded by many as the best apprentice ever produced in Queensland, has died aged 73.

Wrigley was a superstar as a young rider finishing second on the senior riders’ premiership in his first season and racking up 100 winners before his 17th birthday.

His senior career was hampered by weight problems but he still rode more than 500 winners in the late 1950s to early 1970s.

Wrigley and his trainer father Cyril wrote themselves into the record book as one of four father-son combinations to win a Group One race in Queensland when High Society took the 1961 Doomben Cup.

The Wrigleys also combined to win that year’s Tattersalls Cup with High Society.

Merv Wrigley later turned his hand to training and produced several smart horses including Benelate, Plenty of Polish and Joli Bebe.

As a jockey his best wins apart from High Society included the Weetwood Handicap (Wine and Song twice), Doomben Newmarket (Wine and Song), QTC Metropolitan (Cachondeo), Barnes Plate (Cachondeo), Doomben Stakes (Norse, Sir Kade), Risdon Stakes (Queenstar), Hall Stakes (Intrigued), Ahern Stakes (Intrigued) and Chelmer Stakes (Justincase).

Wrigley’s funeral service will be held in Brisbane next Monday.

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