She is the first Australian woman to ride in a Melbourne Cup, the first female winner of the Victoria Derby and one of the most accomplished female jockeys of all time, but a new chapter in Clare Lindop’s remarkable story now beckons as she today announces her retirement from racing.
Lindop’s announcement coincides with next week’s UBET Adelaide Cup, the stage of her first Group 1 success on Exalted Time in 2006.
“I’m looking forward to riding on Adelaide Cup Day as it’s one of my favourite days on the racing calendar. I am also excited to continue riding through to May and enjoy racing for the last time during Adelaide’s Festival of Racing, including the Derby, the Oaks and the Goodwood,” Lindop said.
“As those who know me will attest to, I possess a fierce competitive streak and an unrelenting desire to succeed; to go out on a high would be the ultimate end to my riding career.
“I want to thank everyone who has helped and supported me throughout my career. I’ve enjoyed the journey and have been privileged to work with some wonderful colleagues, trainers, officials and administrators, many of whom I consider dear friends,” she said.
Lindop began race-riding in 1995 and her 23-year career has included four Group 1 wins, more than 50 black-type race victories, 22 country and metro cups and more than 1,400 winners in total. However, Lindop is now thinking about what lies ahead.
“Since marrying Damien Wilton last year, I have been thinking about my future beyond racing and together we decided that now is the right time to announce I am hanging up the saddle,” Lindop said.
“I’m excited for my next chapter, whether I remain involved in the racing community, or pursue new challenges in business or parenthood. I’m extremely passionate about racing, women in sport and I hope to become more actively involved with charity work,” she said.
A trailblazer for women in racing, her maiden SA Metropolitan Premiership in 2005 was the first time a female jockey had won the coveted title. Since becoming a senior jockey in 2000, she has also won two state championships and finished in the top-5 on the Metropolitan Premiership table 13 times.
“Racing has treated me as an equal from the outset and it has only been recently that I have taken the time to reflect on my role as a ground-breaker for women in the sport, which is testament to an industry that rewards ability over gender or background,” she said.
“I am extremely proud of my achievements and the fact that I am part of racing history.”.
Like any good sporting tale, Lindop’s career has not been without its share of adversity. A heavy fall off the Leon McDonald and Andrew Gluyas trained gelding Gamblin’ Guru in March 2014 nearly spelt the end for Lindop, who broke 15 ribs, her right collarbone and shoulder, and was kept off the track for five months.
“That year was the toughest of my career, so to come back from that injury and win the 2014-2015 Premiership was amazing,” she said.
“I also had a fabulous year last season finishing runner-up to Jamie Kah, and enjoyed being part of the team that contributed to the Training Premiership win for Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas.”
TRSA Chair Frances Nelson commended Lindop for her ability and impact upon racing, saying she leaves behind a legacy that will have a lasting impact on the industry.
“Clare is one of the finest jockeys to have graced Australian racetracks and we have been privileged to witness her ride for more than two decades. Her fierce competitive desire will be fondly remembered, as her achievements will long be celebrated in the annals of racing,” Nelson said.
“Clare’s contributions to racing have paved the way for increased female engagement in the industry at all levels, and we wish her well in all her future endeavours.”
Clare Lindop – Career Achievements
Clare has ridden more than 1400 winners, including 50 Black Type wins:
Group 1 Wins (4):
2011 Goodwood Handicap “Lone Rock” trained by Robert Smerdon
2009 SA Derby “Rebel Raider” trained by Leon Macdonald
2008 Victoria Derby “Rebel Raider” trained by Leon Macdonald
2006 Adelaide Cup “Exalted Time” trained by Jim Smith
Group 2 wins (3):
2010 Euclase Stakes “Majestic Music” trained by Leon MacDonald
2009 Edward Manifold Stakes “Majestic Music” trained by Leon Macdonald
2008 Herbert Power Stakes “Dolphin Jo” trained by Terry & Karina O’Sullivan
Lindop is a 3-time SA Metropolitan Premiership Jockey winner and two times State-wide Championship Premier Rider. Since becoming a senior jockey in 2000, Lindop has finished in the top 5 riders on the SA Metropolitan Premiership table an astounding 13 times.
2016-17 Runner-up Metropolitan Jockey
2014-15 Premier Metropolitan & State Jockey
2010-11 Runner-up Metropolitan Jockey
2007-08 Metropolitan & State Jockey
2006-07 Runner-up Metropolitan Jockey (sustained broken ankle during season)
2004-05 Metropolitan Jockey
2003-04 Country & Provincial Jockey SA (broken collarbone during season)
2002-03 Leading Jockey Pt Lincoln Season
2001-02 Premier Country Jockey SA
99-2000 Leading Apprentice & Jockey Pt Lincoln Season
1997- 98 Champion Apprentice Southwestern District Victoria