Three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Jim Johnson died on Thursday aged 92

Flags will fly at half-mast at Flemington on Saturday while jockeys will wear black armbands to honour three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Jim Johnson, who died on Thursday aged 92.

Victorian Jockeys’ Association chief executive Matt Hyland said jockeys riding in the Roy Higgins Quality, named after another late champion jockey, would don black armbands as a tribute to Johnson.

Hyland, the son of former champion jockey Pat Hyland, said Johnson was universally respected in racing as a true gentleman of the sport.

“He was just a lovely, kind man,” Hyland said.

“When I told my mum this morning that Jim had passed away, the first thing she said was what a beautiful man he was.

“In that era, he was a really popular figure among the jocks for obvious reasons.”

Jim Johnson bringing Rain Lover back to scale after a win at Flemington.Source:News Limited

Johnson entered the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2009 to commemorate a career that produced more than 2100 winners.

The peaks of Johnson’s illustrious career included winning the 1963 Melbourne Cup on Gatum Gatum and the 1968 and 1969 Melbourne Cups on Rain Lover.

Johnson also won two Cox Plates and a Caulfield Cup in the 1960s on the champion galloper Redcraze.

Johnson started his career in South Australia in 1945 where he won four Adelaide jockeys’ titles before making his way to Melbourne in the early 1960s.

He won the Melbourne Jockeys’ Premiership in 1967 to go along with his four Adelaide premierships.

Johnson also spent three years riding in Singapore before ending his career in Melbourne in 1976 with 36 wins at Group 1 level.

Jim Johnson gave much of his time in retirement to promoting racing, especially the Melbourne Cup, at schools around Australia.Source:News Limited

Johnson continued to give his time to the sport after he retired, working with the Victoria Racing Club to promote racing, particularly the Melbourne Cup.

Melbourne Cup ambassador Joe McGrath marvelled at how Johnson’s love for racing shone through every time he spoke about the sport, irrespective of the venue, be it in the city or the bush.

“A small theatre in the centre of Gulargambone was filled to the rafters with people, and I was interviewing Jim on a couch set up on the stage – although Jim was doing most of the talking,” McGrath said.

“We were deep in conversation when I realised we’d been chatting for some time. I looked around, hoping that no one had tuned out, and saw that Jim had every person in the room hanging on his every word. You could hear a pin drop.

“He was a natural storyteller.”

Originally published asRacing legend Jim Johnson dies aged 92

Source: Read Full Article