Trailblazer Lindop hopes to bow out in style
CLARE Lindop has been hailed as a trailblazer for female jockeys ahead of her imminent retirement in May.
The first woman to win a VRC Derby and the first Australian female to ride in a Melbourne Cup, 37-year-old Lindop will bow out as one of the most decorated riders in history.
With more than 1400 wins, including four at Group 1 level and five jockeys' premierships, Lindop has left an indelible impression on Australian racing, according to Frances Nelson, QC.
Thoroughbred Racing SA chair Nelson said Lindop's legacy would be long lasting.
"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," Nelson said.
"Her fierce competitive desire will be fondly remembered, as her achievements will long be celebrated in the annals of racing.
"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."
Lindop achieved a Group 1 breakthrough on Exalted Time in the 2006 Adelaide Cup and hopes to repeat the feat next week at Morphettville.
"I'm looking forward to riding on Adelaide Cup Day as it's one of my favourite days on the racing calendar," she said.
"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.
"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."
Raised in Victoria, Lindop had her first ride in 1995.
Much of her success revolved around her partnership with Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas but a shocking race fall off Gamblin' Guru in 2014 almost marked the end.
She suffered 15 broken ribs, shattered her right collarbone and spent five months recuperating.
"That year was the toughest of my career, so to come back from that injury and win the 2014-15 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.
"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 groundbreaker for women in the sport, which is testament to an industry that rewards ability over gender or background.
"I am extremely proud of my achievements and the fact that I am part of racing history.
"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."