Edgar Britt attends Sydney Cup Day at Royal Randwick in 2012.
Edgar Britt attends Sydney Cup Day at Royal Randwick in 2012. MARIANNA MASSEY

Legendary jockey Britt passes away

EDGAR Britt, who died over the weekend at age 103, was one of Australia's greatest jockey trailblazers.

Britt won more than 2000 races in four continents, from the early 1930s until his retirement in 1959.

He is one of just 39 jockeys in the Australian Hall of Fame.

Britt was 16 when he rode his first winner at Canterbury in 1930, the year Phar Lap won the Melbourne Cup.

He said he raced "and lost" against Phar Lap, "but got close a few times"

Britt's decades-long riding odyssey took him to the US in 1933, accompanied by trainer Mick Polson and two horses, Trevallion and Winooka.

Winooka went on to win the prestigious Baltimore Handicap.

Britt briefly returned to Sydney in 1934, where his wins included Broad Arrow in the Sydney Cup, before heading to India in 1935, where he rode for a decade and won eight premierships.

He rode for the world's elite, including an Indian maharajah and in England as stable jockey for King George VI from 1948.

His European winners included two St Legers, the Oaks, 1000 and 2000 Guineas, as well as an Irish Derby.

In 14 years in England Britt won 1400 races.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V'landys described Britt as "an Australian treasure".