He didn’t ride any winners but at least champion jockey Chris Munce finished his riding career with a smile.
Munce’s best effort was his fourth placing in the opening race on Homehill but the rest of the Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast on Saturday didn’t live up to expectations.
He was given the honour of leading the field out for his final ride aboard Into The Red in the Magic Millions Cup.
Into The Red hit the lead in the straight but wound up in ninth place.
“For a fleeting moment I thought Into The Red was going to win,” Munce said.
“But that’s it. I am going into the jockeys’ room for the last time after a ride.
“It will be the hardest thing to walk back out of it and no longer be one of the boys.”
Munce will wake up on Sunday a racehorse trainer after nearly 30 years as a jockey which reaped more than 2500 winners, including the big four of Australian racing – the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper.
He won five Brisbane premierships and set a record for Brisbane winners in a season.
Although born in the northern rivers, Munce is an adopted Queenslander having served his apprenticeship with trainer Eric Kirwan at Eagle Farm.
He rode a winner on his first day as an apprentice jockey aboard Voyager at the Sunshine Coast in 1986.
Munce had seven rides at the Gold Coast on Saturday and finished with seven unplaced runners.
He said he hoped to get his trainer’s licence on Monday and take over a team of 12 horses.