Frank Dempsey Australian Jockey

Frank Dempsey Australian Jockey

Frank Dempsey By The Time He Was 16 Had Won A Caulfield Cup

There has never been any question that racing thoroughbreds at top speed entails high risk to life and limb.

Many have died and more have suffered injuries that brought a premature end to a career. Someone who managed to avoid these dangers for thirty years and win many major races as part of the bargain is represented by the story of jockey Frank Dempsey.

Frank Dempsey: Australian Jockey

Dempsey Born Turn Of The 20th Century 1899

He began riding at an early age, and by the time he was 16, he could claim to have won the Caulfield Cup, the race many consider to be the toughest of all. He was riding Lavendo for that win.

More amazing perhaps is that Dempsey turned in a repeat performance the next year, this time steering Bronzetti to the win. He then, for some inexplicable reason, waited until he was 21 before again winning the Caulfield Cup in 1920, this time aboard Eurythmic.

Three Caulfield Cups in an entire career would be considered Hall of Fame worthy, but three in the course of five years borders on inconceivable.

Frank Dempsey On Eurythmic

Frank Dempsey and Eurythmic formed a formidable partnership, producing twenty wins. Their other major victories in 1920 were in the Futurity Stakes and the Sydney Cup.

1923 found Dempsey, courtesy of his impressive earlier results, this time teamed with the outstanding filly Frances Tressady. They posted a Victoria Derby/VRC Oaks Derby. He also took the Doncaster Handicap aboard Whittier. Those two also took many other races under Whittier’s preferred weight-for-age conditions.

Dempsey never captured racing’s ultimate prize, the Melbourne Cup. His best showing was a second place finish he achieved riding Manfred. They did have some consolation out of winning the W.S. Cox Plate and the Victoria Derby together.

One testament to Frank Dempsey’s abilities came in his selection to ride for trainers such as Jack Holt and Fred Hoystead.

Those men had the credentials to assure that they could enlist the services of any jockey they chose, a choice neither would regret even though they at various times had available to them riders of high calibre, such as Billy Duncan, Bill Williamson and Scobie Breasley.

Victorian Jockeys Premiership

This period of Frank Dempsey’s career featured no fewer than five Victorian jockey’s premierships. Included along with that accomplishment were more than 40 victories secured in Great Britain during the 1926 season.

After that, Dempsey rode with distinction for another 13 years, finally retiring in 1939, whilst still a relatively young man by some standards associated with jockeys, but nonetheless after a career that extended for 30 years.

Frank Dempsey remained involved in the sport of racing, serving as a starter for the VATC and the Moonee Valley Racing Club.

Frank Dempsey was granted entrance to the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2008.