Book launch: Aborigines and the ‘Sport of Kings’

Almanackers are invited to attend the launch of the third edition of AIATSIS Deputy Chairperson Professor John Maynard’s fabulous books about Aboriginal jockeys.


1pm, Friday 8 November, Champagne Bar, Flemington Racecourse

(See the launch invite for details about security and gaining access during Race week)

Speakers will include Bob Charley, Darby McCarthy, who’s sure to have some great anecdotes, and John Maynard. MC will be Russ Taylor, Principal AIATSIS.

Refreshments available.

Books available for sale at the launch, and from 8 November from all good booksellers and from ASP.

RSVP to [email protected] by 1 November.

Download the launch invite


  1. Great to know that Darby McCarthy is still kicking. He finished his riding career in Adelaide in the 70’s and was often “indisposed” come race day. He was the most glorious judge of pace on a front runner. Had beautiful balance and rarely resorted to the whip.
    Adelaide racing of the time had vigorous whip riders like Jimmy Johnson and Johnnie Letts, but there were also the canny craftsmen like Darby and Des Coleman who used guile, judgement of pace and kind hands to get front runners home.
    Darby rode an AJC Derby and Epsom winner on the same day, but Victorian stewards racially crucified him. Max Presnell wrote that he was an “outstanding jockey, boozer and playboy, self-destructor and wonderful worker for the Aboriginal cause.”
    The only other aboriginal jockey that I remember was a bloke called Glen Pickwick who rode winners in Sydney as an apprentice, then knocked around as a bush jockey in the SE NSW country region around Canberra in the 80’s and 90’s. I can recall him riding winners at Braidwood, home of the first Melbourne Cup winner, Archer.
    Crio and Flynny et al – any other memories?

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