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Noel “Digger” McGrowdie - Queensland History of Racing

Queensland History of Racing

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Noel “Digger” McGrowdie

The Basics

Categories: Jockeys
Region: South East Queensland


brisbane cup, doomben 10000, doomben cup, murray stream, stradbroke handicap

Noel "Digger" McGrowdie is something of the forgotten jockey of Queensland racing because he lived in the shadow of two of the immortals in George Moore and Neville Sellwood. However, he was an outstanding jockey who rode about 700 winners in a relatively short career.

McGrowdie was apprenticed to George Anderson in Brisbane before moving to Sydney in 1943 where he was an instant success. McGrowdie won a Melbourne Cup and is one of only a handful of jockeys to ride and win all four of the Brisbane Winter Carnival – Stradbroke, Brisbane Cup, Doomben 10,000 and Doomben Cup.

He was killed in a car accident in Malaysia where he began riding in the late 1950s. His best wins included:

Melbourne Cup: Straight Draw

VRC Newmarket: Birdwood

Oakleigh Plate: Birdwood

Stradbroke Handicap: Wedborough

Brisbane Cup: Silver Buzz, Blue Boots

Doomben 10,000: Highstrung, Coniston, High Lea

Doomben Cup: Qualetta

AJC Derby: Valiant Crown

AJC Epsom: Kiaree

AJC Metropolitan: Straight Draw, Night Beam, Murray Stream

Doncaster: Fire Dust, Grenoble

Sydney Cup: Straight Draw, Bank Stream, Opulent

Mackinnon: Snowstream


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An All-Weather Creek

Journalist Malcom Robertson reviews Albion Park (The Creek) - Brisbane's all-weather track for 70 years.