Baster bows out a winner
Jockey Stephen Baster began his new life as
a real estate agent, with McEwing and Partners Mornington, on Monday morning after winning
on Gold Fields at his final ride at Sandown on Saturday.
Regular correspondent Robert Hallowell reminded me that Melbourne Cup winning
rider Frank Reys was also able to bow out a winner on 15 May 1976. The Sydney Morning
Herald reported: – “Jockey Frank Reys, 44, was given a standing ovation as he rode Gala Choiceg
back to the winner’s stall after the Koorlong Handicap, 1800 metres, at Flemington today.”
Baster is also 44 and his final victory also brought the crowd to their feet. He celebrates
his 45th birthday on Friday.
Gala Choice was trained by Ray Hutchins who, of course, prepared Reys’ 1973 Melbourne
Cup winner Gala Supreme. The report noted that Reys had also won on the first ride of his career.
Either feat, let alone both, would be noteworthy given that many celebrated jockeys
have had very slow starts to their careers. They include Dwayne Dunn, who had more than
70 rides before he landed his first winner; and Frankie Dettori who began his apprenticeship
with Luca Cumani in 1985 but returned to Italy in less than a year without having ridden a winner.
As to how many have finished on a winning note, well – I might just need a bit more time to
work that out!