Cover photo: Bradley Photos
By Andrew Smith
Alan “Jock” Gollogly is being remembered as one of racing’s great characters following his passing overnight, aged 72.
Gollogly wore many hats throughout a long career in the racing industry, including stints as a Group 1-winning jockey, media personality and most recently as a trackwork clocker for Newcastle and Gold Coast trainer Kris Lees.
Originally from Queensland, he spent five years boarding at Nudgee College on Brisbane’s northside, finishing school in 1968.
Jock certainly came from an impressive local racing pedigree – he was the grandson of legendary horseman Fred Best, who took out 17 Brisbane Trainers’ Premierships and was an Australian Hall of Fame inductee.
He was also the nephew of champion rider and trainer Noel Best, who also passed away earlier this year.
Speaking to John Tapp on a podcast two years ago, Jock said that his celebrated grandfather wasn’t too keen on the youngster working in racing – so much so, that he paid for his school fees at Nudgee.
But that did little to deter him from his dreams and after being apprenticed to his grandfather, it was in 1972 that Gollogly achieved his crowning glory, taking out the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 on Bengalla Lad.
An eight-month stint in Hong Kong with George Moore followed in 1975, before the hoop returned home to base himself in Newcastle.
What started as a one-month trial ended in a permanent move, with Gollogly claiming several jockeys’ premierships and even a trip north to claim the Port Moresby Cup.
Hanging up the saddle in the 1980s, he turned to racing media, and was one of the pioneers of interviewing riders post-race while on horseback.
In his later years, Jock again found his niche in a different role at the track, working six days a week identifying and clocking a large number of horses for Lees.
The trainer said Gollogly was a unique character who loved the sport and was familiar to those throughout the entire industry.
"He was mates with Dad back in the day and from that period on, I was with him on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for about the last 30 years or so," Lees told Racenet.
"When you sit with someone for three hours a day, three days a week you get to know plenty about them and he was extremely loyal to our stable.
"Everyone knew he was a scallywag and it added to his aura.
"During the Newcastle Knights’ halcyon days, you'd find him having lunch with Andrew Johns two or three days a week - he always kept himself in the best company.
"We sound like dinosaurs but characters like Jock, they're not coming through again.
"Jock would hold court wherever he was. Whether he was telling the truth or not, it didn't matter.
"He'll be sadly missed."
A race at Royal Randwick will be named in Jock’s honour this Saturday.
Racing Queensland extends its deepest condolences to Jock’s family and friends.