Peter Cook is one of the greatest jockeys Australia has ever seen. This is the story of the trials and tribulations of being a jockey and of being one of Australia's greatest horsemen.
Son of the great jockey Bill Cook, Peter followed in his fathers footsteps, winning 2 Melbourne Cups and more than 1,000 other races - from the Caulfield Cup, to maiden races, to high stakes, high prize money races in France. Peter had his own style of riding and was able to extract the best performances from the horses he rode by using his hands and heels, rather than the whip. Peter clashed with officials because he refused to bow down to the treatment of jockeys as second class citizens, and believed that jockeys were elite, professional athletes who should be treated as such. He rode for many well known and well respected trainers, including Geoff Murphy, Tommy (TJ) Smith and Bart Cummings and some have written tributes to him in this book. In 1990, in Canberra, whilst in a sauna trying to lose the last few ounces so he could make the weight to ride, Peter suffered a heart attack. He lost 47% of his heart function, and although tried to make a comeback, it was too difficult. The loss of his job as a jockey and his livelihood, as well as impending court cases, drove him into a deep depression.