Four-time Melbourne Cup winning jockey Harry White passes away

21 October 2022 Written by VRC

It is with great sadness that the Victoria Racing Club advises that four-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Harry White has passed away.

White is revered as one of Australia’s greatest jockeys. He won the Melbourne Cup on four occasions – with Think Big in 1974 and 1975, Arwon in 1978, and Hyperno in 1979 – joining Bobbie Lewis as the most successful jockeys in the race’s rich history. 

In addition to his Melbourne Cup victories, White won the Caulfield Cup twice, the Australian Cup five times, the Newmarket Handicap three times and the W.S. Cox Plate. In his 35-year career in the saddle, he had close to 200 wins in feature races, with 60 at Group 1 level, and won the Melbourne jockeys' premiership four times.

White was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.

VRC Chairman Neil Wilson said Harry White was considered one of the best jockeys that Australia has seen.

“Harry had an intuitive touch with a horse and a remarkable ability to get them to settle and perform at their best.

“He rode in a golden era of jockeys and emerged as not only one of the most successful, but one of the most well-liked to ever compete at Flemington.

“He enjoyed a competitive rivalry with Roy Higgins throughout the late 1960s and 1970s which included one of the great finishes in the Melbourne Cup in 1979 with Harry on Hyperno narrowly beating Roy on Salamander.

“He had a strong association with the legendary trainers Bart Cummings, George Hanlon and Angus Armanasco – all fellow members of the Australian Racing Hall of Fame – and was loved by everyone in racing.

“His popularity accompanied him into retirement which saw Harry gift his entire trophy collection to the VRC and set up the Harry White Trust to assist people in the racing industry in need.

“The VRC extends its condolences to Harry’s children Dean, Brent and Karen,” Mr Wilson said.

The VRC will acknowledge White’s passing throughout the Melbourne Cup Carnival, with further details to be released shortly.

Harry White

Think Big Wins Melbourne Cup

Racehorse, Think Big, ridden by jockey Harry White, is led by part-owner Tunku Abdul Rahman (1903 - 1990) after winning the Melbourne Cup at Flemington race course, 4th November 1975. Rahman is former Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Harry White

Think Big Finish 1975 Melbourne Cup

An annotated view of the finish of the 1975 Melbourne Cup race at Flemington race course, 4th November 1975

Harry White

Roy Higgins Funeral Service

Former jockey Harry White and former footballer Peter 'Crackers' Keenan are seen during the Roy Higgins public funeral service at Flemington Racecourse on March 13, 2014.