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Edgar Britt dies at 103

Jockey, Edgar Britt, who passed away over the week-end, rode his last winner here in Australia when he won the 1933 Futurity Stakes on Winooka, for his master Mick Polson.

Britt was apprenticed to Polson in the coal mining township of Cessnock, in New South Wales.

When Polson was invited, all expenses paid, to take Winooka for a series of match races in Seattle, he readily accepted.

After Jim Pike, who had won a string of races on Winooka declined to go, Britt was the substitute, he accompanied Polson, and Trevallion was also included.

The trip was a disaster, the track was a virtual bog, a grader had to be called in to grade the track, Mick Polson was not impressed, nor was Britt.

Jim Munro, a brother to (Darby), who had won the Melbourne Cups on Winbag and Statesman, received a lucrative retainer to ride in India.

He encouraged Britt to seek out a retainer that was the beginning of a great career; Britt never looked back after he received a retainer with the Maharajah of Baroda.

The Indian Princes were rolling in money, if jockeys didn’t receive a wad of notes for winning a race; they were rewarded with diamonds or other precious gifts, such as luxury motor cars.

When the English racing season closed for three months there was a quick exit of jockeys, including Charlie Smirke and Doug Smith, for the spoils that racing in India offered.

The Maharajah of Baroda began to race extensively in the U K, he built luxury stables at Newmarket, known as Warren Place, for Sam Armstrong and later used by Sir Noel Murless, and in turn, by his son in law, Henry Cecil.

Edgar Britt rode frequently in the U K, among his several big wins was the St Leger at Doncaster on Sayajirao, he could have almost retired then on the sling received.

Britt never rode in Australia again, he found peace and tranquillity at Avalon, on the northern seaside of New South Wales, when he retired.


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