Pat Glennon Australian Jockey
Pat Glennon Hall Of Famer And Melbourne Cup Winner
Many jockeys have endured a career where they labored in obscurity despite having considerable results to their credits; a few have done so to eventually arrive at the pinnacle of their profession.
That brings us to our exploration of Pat Glennon. As a rider, he tasted victory early on. He was only thirteen when he rode his first winner at a bush track to the west of Melbourne where he steered Alares that had been trained by his father.
Pat Glennon was to pursue his craft for several more years before he received the opportunity to relocate to Adelaide and ride for the Cummings operation, at which time Bart was a junior member.
Pat Glennon Top Apprentice
Pat Glennon soon became one of South Australia’s leading apprentices.
This is also where he first battled the weight demons that would plague him, limit his opportunities and ultimately force him out of racing as a jockey.
The first major breakthrough of his career, one of obvious great import, was when he was chosen to ride Comic Court in the Melbourne Cup for the win in 1950.
Accounts are sketchy as to why Jack Purtrell was not aboard, with some claiming that Purtrell himself had decided against the ride and others maintaining that some run-in with Cummings caused him to be stripped, but whatever the cause, it cost Purtrell a record-tying fourth Melbourne Cup victory.
Melbourne Cup Winner Again
Pat Glennon was to duplicate his Melbourne Cup heroics in 1959, this time courtesy of Macdougal.
As for notable thoroughbreds that served well beneath him, Matrice, a South Australian sprinter of considerable prowess, provided Glennon with 26 wins in both South Australia and Victoria.
Pat Glennon ventured far from home in the 60s, seeking fortune in Ireland and France. He acquired a jockeys’ premiership riding for trainer Vincent O’Brien, whose name suggests that this was a feat accomplished in Ireland, just as trainer Etienne Pollard might have had a role in Glennon’s French exploits, where he rode what some consider the greatest flats performer of all time in Sea Bird.
The two won everything of significance in 1965, including five Group 1 races such as the British Epsom Derby and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Those two wins, along with the Melbourne Cup, place Glennon as the only Australian jockey to have won those three races.
Pat Glennon Retires
Serving as one example of those athletes that have chosen to exit at the top rather than lingering for the melancholy decline to which others have clung, Pat Glennon was to retire soon thereafter.
It could be said that he had wearied of fighting to keep his weight in check, but whatever his reasons, he left racing leaving others to wonder what might have been had he remained.
Pat Glennon was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2005 just over a year after he died in early 2004.
For Pat Glennon, the ultimate recognition of his peers and his profession came just a bit too late for his appreciation, but it could be said that just a little late is better than not at all.