Easy With The Practice
Leon was born in Inverell, Northern District, NSW, Australia.
He has his inborn flair for horsemanship.
Leon’s father is a trainer.
Leon started riding at age four.
1957 September, first winner on COLHARVE in Texas, Queensland, Australia.
He became leading apprentice, passed the 200-winner mark with many doubles and trebles.
HKJC Stipendiary Steward Norman MacFarlane granted him a licence to ride.
1973 January, arrived in Hong Kong.
1973-02-06, first winner in Hong Kong on SORCERESS.
1973-02-06, first trophy winner in Hong Kong on SUNCOURT in the C.R.C. Cup.
1980-04-12, last winner in Hong Kong on SURE MOUNT.
1980-04-12, last ride in Hong Kong on CHOSEN DOLL.
Easy With The Practice
Trainers teamed with in Hong Kong:
Trainers teamed with internationally:
Remarkable horses ridden internationally:
GOLD FIDDLE, GILI, COMPASS, TEA BISCUIT, APA, ES’S CHOICE, MERRY JACK, SCOTTISH CRAG
Remarkable races won in Hong Kong:
Q E Cup on WING TAKE
H.K. Champions-Charter Cup on MONEY TALKS
Remarkable races won internationally:
1962-10-24, GOLD FIDDLE winning two races in the one day at Warwick Farm, Sydney.
Last horse to achieve this in Metropolitan Racing in Australia.
Remarkable trophies won in Hong Kong:
Charter Cup and Q E Cup
Remarkable trophies won internationally:
3 Inverell Cups [also trained an Inverell Cup winner] 3 Tamworth cups (over 50 cup winners]
Remarkable racing incident in Hong Kong:
Bomb scare at Happy Valley.
Remarkable racing incident Internationally:
[Leon was so busy talking to the Duke that he didn’t realise the jockeys had mounted. In his haste to do so brushed past a lady and turned to apologize & realized it was the Queen!!!!!!!!!!!]
1988-12-31, 10 horses fall during Inverell Cup race. He went on to win the race after his horse PARRARGUNDY also dipped. [one of the worst race falls in Australia]
At 5 feet 9 inches most of his riding was in country N.S.W. due to weight problems.
Leon did make frequent trips to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
1965, he rode on Melbourne Cup Day [not in the cup] and ran second on BRANDY LAD beaten by Roy Higgins
Now watching John Moore & Tony Cruz [who Leon also rode against] train so many winners makes Hong Kong racing a very special time in his life.
Jim Mcgrath was Leon’s friend just starting out & to see him do so well in the U.K. as a racing commentator is a big thrill.
Leon had 6046 rides & won 1572 races at an average of one win every 3.8. rides over 32 years. A record for Australia at that time.
32 four winners
5 five winners
1 six winners [the programme at Inverell]
2 winners on the same horse at Warwick Farm [trainer by Darby Munro]
9 straight winners
Over 50 Cup winners
Leon had out for 27 months with a broken leg.
He retired from racing in June 1989 with a treble.
2014, he officially retired as a trainer, due to ill health.
RECORDS IN HONG KONG:
Total Wins: 82
CRC Cup (SUN COURT)
St George’s Cup (JELIK)
P & O Cup (HI-POWER)
HK CHAMPIONS-CHATER CUP (MONEY TALKS)
St Andrew’s Quaich (BRAVADO)
IRC Cup (AMANTE)
QUEEN ELIZABETH II CUP (WING TAKE)
CRC Cup (THE JUDGE)
Acknowledgement to Mr YU Chi Hung for supplying and verifying data.
Acknowledgement to HKJC Racing Registry for offering record data.