Chris Munce Australian Jockey
Chris Munce Seeks Fame And Fortune In Hong Kong
Many of Australia’s great jockeys had to deal with various and sundry obstacles on their rise to fame and did so despite these issues.
Difficult circumstances growing up, dealing with the fame their achievements brought on from fans or even incarceration in the case of some didn’t prevent them from producing high performance in their chose endeavor.
Chris Munce was a jockey who dealt with these issues successfully to triumph against the odds.
Chris Munce Born And Bred In NSW
Born in New South Wales and raised in Casino, Munce initially found himself in Brisbane at the age of 15 upon securing employment in the stable of trainer Eric Kirwan.
Within two years, Chris Munce rode Voyager to his first victory in the Sunshine Coast. His first major race win was the 1989 Magic Millions when he rode Sunblazer to the winning post. He won no less than six Brisbane premierships during this stretch, demonstrating to all concerned parties that he was the top of that class.
Chris Munce And Lee Freedman
In what could be called a rare occurrence, Chris Munce did no mesh well during his stint as a rider in Lee Freedman’s operation.
He was compelled to return to Queensland for a while before returning to the major metropolitan arena and an opportunity to ride for Gai Waterhouse in 1995. This produced dividends for Munce with big wins in the Metro and the All Aged Stakes. That same year also saw Munce taking a victory in the Epsom Handicap. The following year, 1996, featured feature wins in the Goodwood Stakes and the AJC Metropolitan Handicap.
1997 More Big Wins Continue
The Doomben 10,000, Stradbroke Handicap and a repeat in the Epsom were the highlights of 1997.
The following year saw Chris Munce attain the elusive and highly coveted pinnacle of Australian horse racing when he piloted Jezabeel to victory in that year’s Melbourne Cup. Brain Jenkins was the trainer responsible for that mare’s performance. Munce further enhanced his reputation in the premier event for two-year-olds when he brought Prowl to the line at the head of the pack.
More significant wins followed. There was a W.S. Cox Plate provided by Savabeel and the Salinger Stakes when he paired with the estimable Dance Hero. Next came a win in the 2006 L.K.S. Mckinnon Stakes courtesy of the efforts of Desert War.
Hong Kong Riding
At this point, Chris Munce decided to seek fame and fortune riding in Hong Kong.
This was to supply the one stigma to an otherwise flawless career. The wild ways of Asian racing proved too much for Munce to handle. He was found guilty of tipping races and then riding in such a way as to make those tips profitable for those that had enlisted his unscrupulous services.
Munce In Trouble With The Law
Honk Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption, the agency tasked with cleaning up Hong Kong’s anything-goes racing reputation, caught Munce with a large quantity of cash, as well as numerous betting slips, linking him to a Hong Kong businessman name Andy Lau. The sensational expose of the scheme resulted in Munce receiving a decidedly harsh penalty for his participation. It seems that greed got the better of Chris Munce.
Unwilling to be content with the nine percent of the winner’s purse proved his undoing, somewhat inexplicable given the fact that Munce should have been very comfortable financially from his effort in Australia.
Chris Munce, along with the entire racing community, was shocked to learn that the jockey was the recipient of a 30 month jail sentence, rather than the fine and suspension that had been expected.
The surprising aspect of this harsh penalty was that it appeared that Chris Munce was being made an example of, since other jockeys, including David Brosnan and even Darren Beadman were banned for less than a year. Many in Australia thought Munce’s penalty was unfair and out of proportion, so much so in fact, that New South Wales did not honour the ban in Australia.
Chris Munce was released 10 months early on October 30 2008.
The experience impacted him to the degree that he felt compelled to focus on smaller events, riding again at Randwick in the latter part of 2008. His talent found him rising through the ranks once more, and by the time the Spring Carnival of 2010 rolled around, he was back to his old self.
Caulfield Cup Win In 2010
Now 41 years of age at time or writing, riding again for Gai Waterhouse, he took first place in the 2010 Caulfield Cup aboard Descarado on 16 October with a brilliant come-from-behind victory.
Wins in significant races, earning the trust of trainers in receiving assignments to ride top line horses and substantial payoffs for connections are some of the primary criteria that result in recognition as one of the all-time greats and Chris Munce provided all supplied all of these is health quantities.
Small wonder then that his name is frequently mentioned along those such as Dittman, Moore and Higgins.