What Country Won The First World Cup In 1930 Australia’s Best Jockey: Darby Munroe

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Australia’s Best Jockey: Darby Munroe

Born into a racing family, David ‘Darby’ Munro was destined to make it big on Australian racetracks. Darby followed in the footsteps of his older brother Jim, an outstanding jockey in the 1920s. Darby was an apprentice when his brother won the Melbourne Cup in 1925. In 1927 he defeated his brother’s mount by a head, which was Darby’s first victory apart from Release, aged 14. In 1930 he steered Venetian Lady to victory in the Australian Jockey Club Challenge and Doncaster Handicap.

These two wins caught the attention of leading coaches including Peter Riddell, Jack Holt, and Bailey Payten.

Munro was popularly known as ‘The Demon Darb’ for his close finishes in races and was soon rated as Australia’s premier jockey. In 1933, Darby won the AJC Derby and VRC Derby ahead of Hall Mark. No gambler doubted his riding ability and his courage on the racecourses, especially his ability to ride out and control his mounts. One of his most famous victories was in the 1934 Melbourne Cup on Peter Pan. His next Melbourne Cup was outside Sirius in 1944 and Russia in 1946. Darby hardly disappointed the champions with three Sydney Cups and one Brisbane Cup in the bag.

A master tactician, Darby was a strong rider who was known to use the whip when he was sure of riding home to victory. He also had the uncanny ability to build a tired strength back into strength, which is one of the main reasons why he has managed weight for ages during his career. Darby’s quick judgment gave him nine winners at the 1940 AJC Easter carnival. This included the Doncaster Handicap and the Sydney Cup. Shannon brought the best in the Darby at Epsom 1946 at Randwick, where although he carried 61 kg. and missing the kick, Darby moved his mount to shoot forward and won by half a head.

Darby Munro had a constant battle with his weight, always struggling to keep it down. A row with the race stewards led to his license being suspended for six months in 1941. In June 1942, Darby joined the army despite being medically discharged in February 1944. Returning to the mountain in 1948, Darby received Another 2-year suspended penalty for his mount on Vagabond at Caulfield Racecourse. Many claim that the stewards misread his handling of the horse that lost its head. The suspension of his license made him ineligible to ride in England in 1953. However, he received mounts in the United States and France in the same year.

Darby, who retired in 1955, did not have the same success as a coach. Unfortunately, he lost his left leg to diabetes in 1964. The chief tactician died of a cerebral haemorrhage on 3 April 1966 in Sydney Hospital. The Australian Post honored Munro posthumously, featuring him on a 22-cent stamp. He was inducted into the Spot Australia Hall of Fame in 1986. Munro continues to be an inspiration to many young riders with the Darby Munro Stakes being run annually by the Sydney Turf Club in his memory.

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