JOHN (J.J.) Miller) is one of Australia’s most renowned jockeys. In a career spanning more than 40 years and one that he admits had its "controversial" moments, Miller rode over 2000 winners.
His greatest fame came as the rider of Galilee, the gelding claimed to be Bart Cummings’ greatest champion. Miller rode Galilee to win the 1966 Melbourne Cup, a year after missing out by the narrowest of margins on Ziema, owned in the same connections. Ziema was beaten by his stablemate Light Fingers, ridden by Roy Higgins. The tight finish provided Cummings with the first of five quinellas in the Cup. The Miller-Higgins quinella was repeated in 1966, with Light Fingers a brave second to Galilee.
Miller rode two winners of the Perth Cup—the first, Ullyatt for his trainer wife Kay in 1986, and made it back-to-back wins with Rocket Racer in 1987, trained by Buster O’Malley. Rocket Racer, owned by the flamboyant businessman Laurie Connell, won by nine lengths, but post-race could hardly stand and had to be assisted to the stables by six handlers. Miller told Clark his problem was “dehydration”, although suggestions were rife the stayer had been “assisted” in his path to glory. The post-race on YouTube says more than words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PLE0BSKc6Y
Many years later, Tony Bourke, then the chief racing writer at The Age, wrote: “As Rock...