Har­ris dis­plays his usual im­pec­ca­ble tim­ing in win

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - DEN­NIS RYAN

Sharks like that. What with the net­ball girls, the gold medal row­ers from Kara­piro, our Waikato mare win­ning the Win­ter Cup and then the Chiefs win­ning the Su­per Rugby fi­nal . . . it doesn’t get much bet­ter than that.’’

A re­minder of a land­mark oc­ca­sion in rac­ing has come with the death last week of suc­cess­ful owner-trainer Sid Munro.

Af­ter farm­ing orig­i­nally in the Tahuna dis­trict, the World War II Spit­fire pi­lot moved to Mata­mata in the mid 1970s.

He had al­ready en­joyed nu­mer­ous wins with the likes of the good jumpers Surg­ing and Kauf­mann and flat per­former Umpah, but it was a low­er­pro­file mare by the name of Daphalee that pro­vided him with his sin­gle most sat­is­fy­ing achieve­ment.

De­bate and pres­sure had been grow­ing in 1970s New Zealand for women to be al­lowed equal rights and be­come jock­eys. Linda Jones was prom­i­nent in the move­ment along with many sup­port­ers, both male and fe­male. In late 1977 Sid Munro pre­cip­i­tated change when he en­gaged Cana­dian pro­fes­sional jockey Joan Phipps – who was in New Zealand con­test­ing a lady riders’ se­ries – for the mount on Daphalee at a Te Awa­mutu race meet­ing.

As a recog­nised jockey in an­other ju­ris­dic­tion, Joan could not be barred by lo­cal rac­ing au­thor­i­ties and she made the most of the op­por­tu­nity by bring­ing the Munro-owned and trained Daphalee home first.

Thus the flood­gates opened, Linda Jones and com­pany got the green light and fe­male jock­eys have since be­come an in­te­gral part of this coun­try’s rac­ing land­scape.

De­served win: Noel Har­ris has time to pose for the cam­era as he brings Art Beat home first ahead of the favourite In­no­va­tion in Satur­day’s $100,000 Win­ter Cup at Ric­car­ton.

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