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Harold Russell Maddock

File:Maddock in Royal Colours.jpg
Russ Maddock in Her Majesty's colours

Harold Russell (Russ) Maddock (born March 11, 1918) was an Australia-born Champion jockey who rode in Queensland and the United Kingdom.

Maddock was born in Brisbane and began his career as an apprentice in 1934 and in 1936 rode his first winner "Camogean" at only his 2nd ride in a race, in Toowoomba, a provincial city about 80 miles west of Brisbane. He was apprenticed to a horsetrainer named Mitchell. He became one of the top Australian jockeys with many jockey's premierships to his name. In 1959 he was named "Jockey of the Century" during the Queensland Centennial. In Australia he rode the great "Sefiona", High Rank", "Timor", Earlwood", "Auction", "Proletaire", to name but a few. Despite regular attempts to tempt him overseas he remained in Brisbane until a short venture to Malaysia in 1960 followed by a contract in the United Kingdom saw him move to horseracing Utopia. He settled into the UK racing scene quickly with a win at his first ride in the UK at Aintree on Mix n Match in the Earl of Sefton Plate on 25 March 1961 and the wins soon mounted up. He was successful in the UK and France. A few of the horses he was associated with in the UK are "The Pouncer", "Althrey Don", "Mountain Call", "Laureate" and "Park Top". In 1969 he was injured in a racefall at Brighton. It was the end of his career but he continued to live in the UK at his London home. His wife Brenda Pitt Maddock (from a family (Grenier and Pitt) involved in Qld racing since the 1840s) an artist continued her painting career and both daughters were on UK stage and TV and finally in 1981 he returned to Queensland and settled on the Gold Coast, Queensland where he still resides.

He won 9 metropolitan Premierships in Queensland and many of his achievements have not been repeated before or after. His style has been compared to the great Scobie Breasley and in the UK it was sometimes hard to pick the two apart in a race except by the racing colours they wore. When he received his UK licence to ride it was with the comment that his riding record was the cleanest the Authorities had ever come across. More than one Australian jockey had to get a licence in France to enable them to ride in the UK as the UK officials took a stern view of their riding in Oz. His second Premiership August 1946/July 1947 was won by riding 32 winners over 19 meetings (4 and a half months) A very bad race fall put him out of the saddle for the rest of the season (7 and a half months) He was so far ahead of the other jockeys that he still won by 3 winners after the full 12 months. I understand that the trophy he was awarded was the first proper trophy awarded to a jockey in Australia. Up to then a jockey was lucky to get a mounted whip. His judgment of pace and the ability to ride a horse out to its best by hands and heels without the use of a whip was legendary and many times a flourish of the whip to appease stewards who thought that violence was necessary was in fact hitting his own leg instead of the horse. His major race wins are too numerous to list here. Sufficient to say they were in Australia, Malaysia, France and UK. In his career he rode 1803 winners including 244 doubles, 44 trebles, 4 quadrillas and two quinellas.
—Extract from autobiography manuscript[citation needed]

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