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By Graham Potter | Tuesday, November 30, 2021

It is indeed a tribute to Robert Thompson that, although he has won more races than any other jockey in Australia, his elevated standing in the sport has as much to do about the type of person he is than it has to do with his achievements on the track.

Fair to say, they don’t make them like Robert Thompson any more.

Never an attention seeker, Thompson blazed his trail in his own particular way. His ruthless competitiveness on the track was matched by his unwavering nerve, unerring judgement and riding skills of the highest order, all honed over the years into the winning machine that he would become on the way to totalling a record 4447 race winners.

Words like ‘legend’ and ‘role model’ are often misplaced.

Not with Robert Thompson.

His record alone puts him in the legendary league … but it is when role model is added to the personal description that, arguably, he stands tallest of all.

Quiet … ever humble … and gracious, Thomson is the personification of a true sporting professional and the impression he made on everybody he met has been consistent with those values.

Even when he officially announced his retirement after forty-eight years in the saddle, there was no ‘look at me’ stance, just a quiet confirmation that he had called time on his great career.

Thompson was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame 2015, the same year in which he received the Member of the Order of Australia (AM), honours well-deserved.

From taking his first ride in April 1973 to his last ride in July 2021, it has been a remarkable journey by a remarkable man to whom racing is indebted.

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Robert Thompson

Photo: Darren Winningham
Robert Thompson

Photo: Darren Winningham
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