Where Is The Pro Football Hall Of Fame Located Bill Duncan: Australian Champion Jockey

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Bill Duncan: Australian Champion Jockey

Bill Duncan, career best with 893 wins, which included major races including two Melbourne Cups and the Caulfield Cup, major handicap and weight for age races. His 11 championships was a record equaled only by Roy Higgins.

Bill Duncan was one of Australia’s greatest champions in the interwar period. Born in 1900, Duncan was a natural heavyweight and apprenticed in 1916, where he won his first race at Menton. At the age of 18, he won his first major tournament in 1918, the Kungi Handicap. Nicknamed “Little Billy”, he weighed under seven stone when he first entered the Melbourne Cup in 1918. He was chosen to ride the Richard Bradfield-trained Night Stallion because there were few riders who made 42.18 lbs. kg. The 1918 Cup was the fifth and last World War I Cup. Duncan led Night Watch to victory in 3:25.75, with Kennaquhair second and Gadabut third.

Duncan’s other memorable victory was in the Caulfield Cup in the spring of 1925, driving the 7-1 second favorite to win by 2 ½ lengths, the first of his two Cup wins. He also won the Sydney Cup and other weight-for-age events. At the Melbourne track, Duncan won 11 Melbourne Jockeys Premier titles, including one as an apprentice. The 1925 AJC Derby was a race in which he showed exemplary skill, guiding Manfred to victory despite being stopped in the 100m hurdles. Duncan was also a VRC Derby winner.

Duncan’s last race was to be the 1932 Melbourne Cup on Peter Pan, an early crowd favourite. In a fast-paced race, Duncan moved to control Peter Pan from the distance while the horses raced inside. However, the horse crashed, but was saved from stumbling head first after stable mate Denis Boy was kicked. Peter Pan then regained his balance and stormed home to win by a neck. Soon after, a serious fall at Rose Vale forced Duncan to retire in 1933 to finish with 893 wins. 74 of his wins were in stock races, the rest were from a large number of handicap and weight-for-age races.

After his retirement, Duncan served on the committee of the Fitzroy Football Club from 1952 to 1955. His achievements were recognized by being inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2003. Duncan’s record of 11 premiership titles was equaled by Roy Higgins. However, Duncan’s first prime minister was only counted since official records were kept.

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