Also Known As: Moppy, The Champ, Sir Gordon Richards
With his unorthodox style, long reins, upright and slightly twisted torso, Gordon Richards rode in a class of his own and was Champion Jockey on 26 occasions. He won 14 Classics but the Derby eluded him until on his 28th and last ride in that race he was successful on Pinza. Gordon Richards was a man of absolute integrity, which, together with his amazing racing career, was recognised when he became Sir Gordon in 1953, the year of his Derby triumph.
Gordon Richards was born in Shropshire, one of 12 children of a miner, and was apprenticed to Martin Hartigan at Foxhill in Wiltshire and then Ogborne Maizey near Marlborough. In 1925 he accepted an invitation to ride from Capt Tommy Hogg at Russley Park; in his first season as a full jockey he became Champion. Ill in 1926, he was Champion again in 1927 and accepted another retainer in 1928, from Frederick Darling at Beckhampton.
When Darling retired in 1947, Noel Murless took over his stable, thus creating another partnership which continued when Murless relocated to Warren Place, Newmarket.
Gordon Richards was knighted shortly after his Derby win. Upon retirement Sir Gordon joined the training ranks and was also the racing manager for Lady Beaverbrook and Sir Michael Sobell.
Sir Gordon died in 1986. His funeral service was held at St Mary's, Kintbury, Berkshire, and he was buried at St Mary's Church, Marlborough, Wilts (this information kindly supplied by Mr M Eborall, Kintbury).