Shane Dye: One of horse racing's finest

Racing in Australia

Horseracing dates back centuries ago during the times of the Roman Empire where chariot races were commonplace. In Australia, horse racing is embedded in the culture and fabric of the society. It was founded in the early years of the Australian nation as we know it today. This industry has grown vastly propelling Australia into one of the leading racing nations of the world. The popularity of the sport in Australia is best reflected by the reference to the nation’s premiere racing event, the Melbourne cup, as ‘the race that stops a nation’. The first racing club in Australia was established in 1852 at Wallabada.

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In Australia, the sport is administered by the Australian Racing board (ARB) although in each state, there is a principal racing authority that enforces the ARB’s rules of horse racing. Racing in Australia is not just about the racing itself. It provides employment opportunities (both full time and part time) to a many people across the country.

Victoria is the home of Australia horse racing and hosts the world famous Melbourne cup, the Victoria Derby and the VRC Oaks.

The Victoria Derby

The Victoria Derby is a thoroughbred horse race that is held annually on the first day of Melbourne’s annual spring racing carnival. It is held at the Flemington racecourse in Melbourne and takes place before the headline race i.e. the Melbourne Cup itself. It is often figuratively described as the appetizer before the main meal. In fact, the Victoria Derby is known as much for the horse racing as it is for the fashion show where upscale male socialites dress up and compete for prizes and a spot in the country’s elite fashion and style publications.

The VRC Oaks

This event also takes place at the Flemington racecourse. It is the third day of the of the Melbourne spring racing carnival and it occurs the day after the Melbourne cup race. Though it is held on a weekday, it still attracts a large crowd. It is the where the sideshow is the stylish wear of the ladies attending. In recent times, the VRC Oaks has come to be referred to as Blokes day.

The Melbourne Cup

This is the most coveted cup in horse racing in Australia. This event is the culmination of any jockey’s career and is one of the leading horse racing events in Australia. It takes place at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne and occurs on the first Tuesday of November every year. This event sees jockeys and thoroughbred horses from all over the world gather to compete for the main prize. During this time, Australia literally comes to a standstill. The Melbourne Cup is a high value horse race with the purse upward of 5.5 million dollars. Due to the popularity of the cup, many have not-so-accurately compared the popularity of horse racing in Australia to soccer in England. This may not be an accurate statement but there is no doubt of the size of horse racing fans in Australia.

Shane Dye

Australian jockeys are up there with the best in the world. They were among the first to try out the crouched riding style. Women in earlier times were not allowed to be professional jockeys but this is something that has since changed. But when you mention major jockeys in Australia, one name crops up in the minds of many fans: Shane Dye.

Shane Dye has been variously described as a jockey, icon, mentor and champion. His achievements are legendary. The New Zealand-born champion jockey is popularly known as the golden boy in racing circles. He has a record that is the envy of most jockeys. After holding New Zealand’s champion apprentice title in 1983-1985, he moved to Australia where he landed himself two Sydney premierships.

Shane Dye has ridden 93 Group One winners and various Group or Listed Race winners. He rode in the Melbourne Cup in 1989. In the list of achievements, he also won the Golden Slipper in the years 1989-1992. He has held the record of being the first rider to ride one hundred winners in a Sydney season. He went to Hong Kong where he managed to hold his own.

This great jockey has conquered various counties and in Mauritius he bagged his 27th win of the season to win the anniversary cup in 2009. Shane has a passion for horse racing. His career though has not been without controversy. Case in point was when he rode the horse Veandercross in the 1992 Caulfield cup in a way that prompted an investigation from the event organisers.

Despite his horrific brush with death in Hong Kong in 2006 at the Sha Tin racecourse, he stepped back into the arena faster than expected. Due to his injuries, doctors had predicted that he would be out of the game for at least 6 months. Despite this and to everyone’s surprise, he was back on the saddle in 3 months though he admitted himself that he was not 100 percent. Such is the passion of Shane Dye. He said he was born and bred to be a jockey and that is all he had ever wanted to be so the accident was just a bump on the road.


All major horse races represent an opportunity for punters to win by predicting not just the winner of the race, but many other race events. Like any honest bookie would tell you, when placing a bet timing is everything. Timing can make you a loser or a winner. Horse racing can be unpredictable but this is where the thrill of betting comes in. No one can guarantee a horse racing result 100% so always treat advice from seemingly-experienced friends or family. Even bookmakers make mistakes. That said, there are factors that raise the chances of one horse winning a race.

Thanks to technological advances, you can get in on not only the racing action but also the betting one from the comfort of your house. Betting on horse racing in Australia actually supports the race themselves as big betting houses such as TAB channel back proportion of the return back to the sport you bet on. Of course big names like Shane Dye have a way of swaying the odds in their favor; however, always remain objective when placing your bet.