It takes a special sort of talent to succeed in two high-profile fields of work. Talent is something Corey Brown has never been short of.
The former premier jockey is now one of Australian racing’s shining media identities with his commentary and affable personality a feature of Sky Racing’s weekend coverage.
Next Friday the Toowoomba racing public and supporters will find out a little more about what makes Corey tick and his insight into all things racing when the dual Melbourne Cup winner is a special guest speaker at this year’s TAB Weetwood Calcutta Sportsman’s lunch at Clifford Park.
Public speaking is yet another string to Corey’s bow as he forges a new racing industry path after being forced into premature retirement in 2021.
He quit the saddle on medical advice after suffering serious spinal injuries in a 2019 Queensland Derby fall at Eagle Farm. It ended a career run of almost 2,500 winners – including two Melbourne Cups, 49 Group 1 victories, a Sydney jockey’s premiership win and successful overseas riding stints.
But working life remains busy for Corey who combines Sky appearances with his role as head coach of the Racing NSW Apprentices Academy.
“I’ve got my hands full at the moment with 82 NSW apprentices and pre-apprentices,” Corey said. “After bringing up three now adult daughters I’ve got another 82 kids on my hands (he laughed). But I enjoy having the chance to work with them and pass on what I can.
“The thing I miss most about riding is the camaraderie in the jockeys room, and working with the apprentices is an ideal way for me to stay involved.”
Corey still finds his Melbourne Cup successes a popular topic at his speaking functions, but his career-ending injury also sparks plenty of curiosity.
“Years ago it was the Melbourne Cups,” Corey said. “It’s one of those races that’s really special to win when you see what it means to your family and friends. But a lot of people now ask me about my back.”
With the euphoric Melbourne Cup moments comes the haunting memory of his heart-breaking nose defeat aboard Bauer in the 2008 Cup.
“The best part about being able to win the Cup the following year on Shocking was ending the 12-month nightmare of having Viewed beat us by a nose in a cup. We even recorded a faster time than Viewed but somehow didn’t get the photo. It took a bit of getting over, but it’s all part of it.
“I remember being pulled up one day at the races by a bloke who asked would I autograph a photo for him. I said I’m running late and I’m in a bit of a hurry, but no worries I’ll sign it for you.
“I couldn’t believe it when he pulled out this giant photo of Bauer getting beaten in the cup. I told him it was like asking Anthony Mundine to autograph a photo of himself laying on the mat after getting knocked out.”
By Glen McCullough