Multiple Group 1 winning jockey Rodney Griffiths has died after a long battle with illness.
Griffiths rose to prominence as an apprentice in the 1980’s before going on to ride more than 1400 winners in Australia and Europe in a career that ended following a fall at Caulfield at the age of 32.
Raised in Devon Meadows near Cranbourne, Griffiths was always destined to be a jockey, with a father who was a horse breaker turned trainer with both parents being keen show riders, while younger brother Robbie was also a jockey before becoming a successful Cranbourne trainer.
Griffiths had the first of 15,000 race-rides in August 1983, before going on to be a multiple Group 1 winning jockey, with one of his biggest days coming in 1995 at Caulfield winning two Group 1 wins on the same day, the Blue Diamond Stakes aboard Principality and the Futurity Stakes with Schillaci.
He also etched his name in Irish horse racing history winning the Phoenix Stakes, the Irish equivalent of the Golden Slipper, on Bradawn Beever in 1991.
Victorian Jockeys’ Association chief executive Matthew Hyland said Griffiths was an elite rider who was held in the highest regard by past and present jockeys.
“I have fond memories as we worked our way through the ranks as apprentice jockeys,” Hyland said.
“Rodney was a great man, and a good friend to a lot of people within the racing industry.
“He was a trailblazer as a rider. After spending time aboard, he brought home that European style of riding, which so many jockeys have adopted in Australia today.
“On behalf of the VJA and all jockeys, past and present, I send my condolences to all of Rodney’s family and friends.”