In 1973, Frank Reys became the first ever Indigenous jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.
By
Kris Flanders

Source:
NITV News
4 Nov 2013 - 4:37 PM  UPDATED 4 Nov 2013 - 5:47 PM

At 3pm tomorrow, thousands will flock to Flemington for the race that stops the nation.

As the barriers open on the Melbourne Cup, the Reys family will pay their respects to a man who dominated the 3200 metre racecourse four decades ago.

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In 1973, Frank Reys became the first ever Indigenous jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.

Despite being drawn the widest possible barrier, Reys rode his horse - Gala Supreme - to victory.

Sitting tightly on the fence, Reys urged Gala Supreme along the inside to eventually beat the favourite, Glengowan, from the third placed Daneson.

At the time of victory, more attention was drawn to Reys’ Filipino heritage. But the jockey was extremely proud of his Indigenous heritage too.

Reys sustained many injuries throughout his career, but true to his character brushed himself off each time and climbed back aboard the saddle.

Frank passed away in 1984 and still remains the only Indigenous jockey to have won a Melbourne Cup.

Reys’ daughter, Shelley, was only six at the time of her father's greatest achievement. She says she would love to see another Indigenous rider come along the same track; a thought she thinks would please her father too.