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John Letts (jockey)

John Richard ‘Johnny’ Letts (born 1943 in South Australia) is a former Australian jockey whose career spanned almost 30 years, retiring from race riding in 1988.

Letts began riding as an apprentice in 1959, aged 16 years old and eventually rode over 2,300 winners.

He was immortalized by winning the Melbourne Cup twice on Piping Lane in 1972 and Beldale Ball in 1980.

Apart from his Melbourne Cup successes he rode a host of big race winners including three SAJC Adelaide Cups on Rain Lover (1968), Grand Sale (1976) and Amarant (1983). He also had success in the 1977 AJC Epsom Handicap on Raffindale, the 1975 Victoria Derby on Galena Boy and the 1980 VRC Australian Cup on Ming Dynasty.

In recent years, Letts has been prominent as a mounted interviewer for 7 Sport's TV coverage of major races in Australia, including the Melbourne Cup. Riding on the course immediately after a race finishes, he uses a hand-held microphone to do live interviews with the winning jockey within seconds of the finish of the race. Visual coverage is from trackside cameras.


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