Arthur Ward Australian Jockey
Arthur Ward Was Universally Admired By Owners, Trainers & Punters
Of all the men who have donned racing silks and taken to the Australian turf, a jockey by the name of Arthur Ward was one of the most successful thoroughbred pilots of all time.
Success in the saddle breeds the opportunity for additional success as owners of horses look to get the best return on what is often a substantial investment, and Ward earned the right to ride some of the most famous that ever lived.
Only a few can claim to have ridden more winners. The list of those above him in victories is a list with fewer than 10 names upon it; names such as Munro, Breasley and Sellwood.
Tulloch And Arthur Ward
Tulloch, Rising Fast, Hydrogen and Redcraze are but a few of the champions Arthur Ward rode during his long and productive career.
It was probably the partnership with Redcraze that was the most successful.
Ward rode the New Zealand native 24 times to compile a record of 14 wins and five second-place finishes that found the pair unplaced only three times, including a victory in the 1956 Caulfield Cup where they so dominated the field that Redcraze was given 65 kg for the 1956 Melbourne Cup, which they very nearly won placing second to the capable staying mare, Evening Teal, that had a 14 kg advantage over Redcraze.
Admired By All
Arthur Ward was universally admired by owners, trainers and punters who appreciated his sense of balance, the ability to sense his mount’s form, and an innate ability to understand the pace and tactics of the races in which he rode.
Ward’s first victory came in 1942 and proceeded an extensive dry spell that lasted all of two years before he again won riding Decorate in the Canterbury Guineas.
He showed promise from that point forward, reaching a peak between 1949 and 1952 that included over a dozen victories aboard the fine sprinter San Domenico. It was during this time, the 1951 – 51 season, that Ward won the first of his Sydney jockey’s premierships.
Arthur Ward succeeded in attracting the attention of T. J. Smith, who offered him a position as a stable jockey following the suspension of his regular rider, George Moore.
1954 - 55 Premiership
It was the beginning of a two year where Ward, riding top flight horses, managed to win over 100 times on the big racing stages of Victoria and New South Wales. He again won a premiership for the 1954 – 55 season.
He was again the beneficiary of great good fortune when falls that put both Bill Williamson and Neville Sellwood on the sidelines for the 1954 Caulfield Cup victory that Ward earned on Rising Fast.
Trainer Smith was so enamored with Arthur Ward for the results he was producing aboard Smith’s horses that he remained the rider of Redcraze even after Moore returned to the operation, the one exception being the 19507 W. S. Cox Plate, when Ward gave up Redcraze to Moore and very nearly pull off an upset while riding Prince Darius.
Arthur Ward retired in 1962 with every one of the major feature races to his credit, except in 1956 Melbourne Cup that narrowly escaped him. He also had experienced success as a writer and Singapore, where he won over 250 races.
He branched out into a career as a trainer, doing well enough to record victories in the prestigious Epson Handicap and the Sydney Cup. He also spent a productive nine years as a trainer in Hong Kong.
He remained an interested spectator of horse racing for many years, where even at an advanced age, he seemed full of life and delighted in relating stories of his riding years and comparisons of the horses he rode and competed against.
He was inducted into the Australian racing Hall of Fame in 2007. Invariably, whenever the subject turns to great Australian jockeys, the name of Arthur Ward is certain to be mentioned early on in the conversation.