A - Z of New Zealand greats - Shane Dye

Caitlin O'Sullivan
10 June 2020
Fiercely competitive, never lacking in confidence and brilliantly charismatic - all descriptors one of the greatest jockeys to come out of New Zealand, Raymond Shane Dye.

A career as a jockey was a natural choice for Dye. He was born in Matamata, a small Waikato town considered to be thoroughbred heartland and his father and grandfather were both jockeys. Shane took out an apprenticeship under fellow Hall of Fame-er, Dave O'Sullivan. He relished in the stable, dominating the New Zealand apprentice jockey ranks from 1982-85.

One to always strive for greatness, Dye left New Zealand shores and headed to Australia to pursue his dreams of winning a Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate and the Golden Slipper - all of which he achieved, including the later on four consecutive occasions from 1989-1992.

Before the age of 33, Dye had recorded 93 group 1 wins, including the 1989 Melbourne Cup on Tawrrific, 1995 Cox Plate with Octagonal, five derbies, five BMW's, nine Oaks and that famous Golden Slipper four-peat.

Shane headed to ride in Hong Kong at the start of the new millennium where he was licensed to ride for the prestigious and lucrative Hong Kong Jockey Club. Shane thrived in the highly competitive environment and quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with. Over an eight year stint in Hong Kong, Dye recoded 382 winners, over $300million in stakes and 7 group 1 races.

A horrific fall in 2006 left Shane with serious head injuries. Doctors feared he may never ride again - they didn't take into account Shane's incredible tenacity and determination. Dye was back riding raceday in just 3 months before heading to Mauritius where he won the jockeys premiership in the last race of the season.

After a stunning 30-year-long career in the saddle, Dye retired from raceday riding in 2013.

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