Frank Bullock Australian Jockey
Frank Bullock Rode In Australia For Several Seasons Before Returning To England In 1908
Long before the practice of sending stallions to the northern hemisphere to take advantage of the natural reproduction cycle, it was not uncommon for jockeys to ride abroad to test their skills on foreign soil.
There were some who made the transition successfully and posted remarkable results on other continents.
Frank Bullock Provides Apt Example
Born in 1885, Bullock rode in Great Britain in 1903, and won in 1905 when he took the victory in the Steward’s Cup at Goodwood race track.
Later that year, in what would come to be described as a holiday, if a jockey leaving England to ride in Australia could rightly be considered such, he came to Australia to ride Blue Spec.
That combination produced wins in the Perth Cup and entirely more significantly, the Melbourne Cup.
He rode in Australia for several seasons, and then returned to England for the 1908 racing season in that country.
He then went to the European continent, Germany specifically, where he enjoyed more than average success in winning that country’s jockeys’ premiership five times in the years immediately preceding World War I.
Frank Bullock Returns To England
When the war broke out, Frank Bullock returned to England and took the German horse Cyklon along with him.
At the conclusion of the war, he shipped Cyklon to Australia, even though the logistics of such an undertaking at that time were far from convenient. Cyklon and Bullock together won several races before Bullock set the stallion to stud.
It was Cyklon’s combination with the Australian mare Trey that produced multiple stakes winner Trivalve, that won big races in abundance, including the AJC Derby and BRC Derby in 1927, along with that year’s Melbourne Cup.
Between the years of 1918 and 1935, Frank Bullock was to be found splitting his ridding efforts betwixt Europe and Australia.
In 1919 and 1919, Frank Bullock won seven major races in Australia including two Caulfield Cups, and also won in Western Australia. He returned to England next and won another seven major events there. Three Eclipse Stakes fell to him, a 1000 Guineas/Oaks double and the Ascot Gold Cup and Cesarwitch.
In 1920, Frank Bullock won the inaugural edition of what was to become France’s version of the Melbourne Cup when he won the Prix de l’Arc de Triompe whilst steering Comrade. He took that race again in 1922, courtesy of Ksar this time.
In that earlier era where intercontinental air travel was the stuff of dreams, Frank Bullock demonstrated that it was indeed possible to ride successfully all around the world.
In total wins, Frank Bullock is perhaps not up to the level of modern jockeys, or even some from around his time that stayed close to home, it should be taken into consideration that he had far fewer attempts.
It is entirely possible to conceive of someone undertaking a similar transcontinental approach to jockeying where travel times have been reduced to hours rather than weeks posting considerably higher win totals.
Frank Bullock’s contributions to Australian horse racing were considered more than adequate to result in his being posthumously inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2006.