Burnett, Bill


Gentleman Rider


Early life and career in Australia

  • 1944-07-24, Bill was born in Edinburgh Scotland Uk.
  • 1956, 12 years old, migrated to a country town in New South Wales, Australia.
  • 1957, started riding in Mudgee.
  • 1961-10-28, got his first victory in Rosehill Racecourse riding MARTIAN KING.
  • 1970/1973, President of NSW Jockeys Association.
  • Served on the Murrumbidgee Turf Club Committee 5 years.



Professionalization Pioneer


Important Wins in Australia Group and Listed Races:


Year Horse Race
1967 SHAKEDOWN The Tramway
1968 SOMEBODY The Shorts
1968 RAAD The Autumn Cup
1969 TOP YARN STC Winter Cup
1970 REGAL GAUNTLET Breeders Plate
1970 REGAL GAUNTLET Silver Slipper
1970 ROYAL YARN Hawkesbury Cup
1970 BOY DANDY George Ryder
1971 ALL SMILES CW Cropper Plate
1971 CHANCELLOR Newcastle Cup
1972 LADY LIDO Gimcrack Stakes
1972 DOCKET Ramornie
1973 LORD BEN Prime Ministers Cup
1974 ITCHY FEET Liverpool Cup
1974 ITCHY FEET George Ryder


Total victories in Australian Career: 400 Wins




Later Achievements and career in Hong Kong:


In Hong Kong, got 143 winners, 182 seconds, 221 thirds from 1962 mounts.



Trophies won In Hong Kong:


Teamed with trainers:

Chu Po Ming, George Sofronoff, Peter Supple, Clifford Robertson, Wong Tang-ping.


Remarkable Chinese trainers:

Cheung Hok Man, Brian Ping Chee Kan, Wong Tang Ping, Alan Chan.


Remarkable Expatriate trainers:

George Moore, Gordon Smyth, Arthur Ward, Lawrie Fownes,Peter Supple.


Remarkable Horses:



Remarkable Hong Kong Jockeys:

Bill considers that he was fortunate to witness the development of Tony Cruz into a world class rider by far the best local rider HK has ever produced.


Remarkable Overseas Jockeys:

Lester Piggott, Pat Eddery, Joe Mercer, Brian Taylor and many talented Australian riders rode in HK and the tradition continues today.


Remarkable Race:

In his time in HK there were no remarkable races as HK had not yet reached the world stage.

That has all changed now and HK hosts a number of remarkable races today.


Memorable Incidents:

  • Sha Tin Racecourse opening.
  • The terrible accident that ended Phillipe Paquet’s career.
  • The tragic death of his good friend Brian Taylor.





Entire career got 545 winners


His Grandfather on his Mother’s side was an amateur jockey in Ireland In the late 1800’s.






Bill’s Sincere Advice To Young Jockeys:


They must realize they have been given a gift. They should appreciate how lucky they are.

It is great to see so many talented young riders coming through each year especially young women who now are getting the recognition they deserve.

The future of racing is in good hands.

Finally I would remind young riders when an owner puts you on his horse he is Saying, “I trust you”…..

honor that commitment and honor yourself.





1978-06-16 Happy Valley Keeps jockey Bill in Clover – Sydney Morning Herald


2008-01-21 BRITT STILL TOPS – Sydney Morning Herald





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