Harris displays his usual impeccable timing in win
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.