Racing mourns the loss of Cliff Clare

Cliff Clare after the 1967 Golden Slipper win on Sweet Embrace.

The Thoroughbred Racing Industry is today mourning the loss of former jockey Mr Cliff Clare who passed away yesterday aged 93.

Mr Clare had a long and distinguished career in the saddle spanning 45 years that was mostly spent in New South Wales where he accumulated more than 1500 winners.

“Cliff Clare was a quietly spoken, modest gentleman who was greatly respected by all,” said

Racing NSW’s Chief Executive, Mr Peter V’landys AM.

“Aside from being a leading jockey competing against some of the best we’ve ever seen, Cliff was always generous with his time and gave back to the industry, having been a much-valued member of Racing NSW’s Appeal Panel for two decades.

“We would like to pass on our sincere condolences to Cliff’s family and friends.”

Cliff Clare came from a large family in Denman (Hunter Valley) being the youngest of 10 children before the family moved to Muswellbrook. When he turned 16, Cliff’s mother took him to the Australian Jockey Club in Sydney to arrange for his apprenticeship after Cliff had heard an advertisement on radio.

His first win arrived at his favourite racecourse Kembla Grange aboard Fort Game, and last year Cliff was inducted into the inaugural Illawarra Turf Club Legends program at that course.

Mr Clare enjoyed a successful association with Rosehill trainer Ted Stanton with one of his career highlights being his 1967 victory in the Golden Slipper aboard the Jack and Bob Ingham-owned 40/1 roughie Sweet Embrace:

“Can you believe it is the only Golden Slipper that has no vision due to a technical malfunction,” Cliff rued.

Cliff always said George Moore was one of the best jockeys he rode against: “George was a great thinker; he’d know whether you were a right or left-hand whip rider and could predict which way your horse was going to shift.”

Mr Clare also took part in a famous movie ‘The Sundowners’ in the mid-1950s: “That was a lot of fun, a few of us had to ride these racehorses up and down the straight on the dirt.”

Another story was from July 1990 when Cliff found a narrow inside passage to get up and win on Crown Joker at Rosehill.

Racecaller John Tapp announced over the course broadcast as the horses were pulling up that Cliff was nearly 60 and pointed out he’d ridden a “dashing and daring race for a rider of his years”.

“I came back to a reception like I’d won another Golden Slipper – I thought what’s going on here?”

Cliff continued riding in races up until he was 62 before retiring and being appointed to the Racing Appeal Panel where he served from 2001 to 2022.