A record-setting thoroughbred, Kingston Town recorded some of the most impressive wins in Australian thoroughbred history.
The first horse to win three Cox Plates, Kingston Town suffered defeat in only 11 of his 41 starts, which was an incredible effort in a time with plenty of quality thoroughbreds.
He was the first Australian horse to pass the $1 million barrier and with an incredible timeform rating of 137, he remains rated higher than the likes of Makybe Diva and Northerly.
Kingston Town’s Record
Trained by T.J. Smith, Kingston Town kicked off his career as a two-year-old where he ran last. The decision was made to geld him and he won his next six races.
His final win of that season came in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes; his first major win and his only Group 1 win in 1979.
From 1979-1982, Kingston Town was a perfect 21/21 in Sydney but only 5/13 in Melbourne. However, three of those five wins came in the Cox Plate – a race he made his own.
The Cox Plate will always be synonymous with Kingston Town, who became the first horse to win three consecutive Cox Plates. The most famous came in 1982 when the commentator said he couldn’t win, but he picked up the opposition and put them to bed.
“Kingston Town can’t win…he might win yet the champ…Kingston Town’s swamping them… Kingston Town…”
His two other wins in Melbourne came in the 1981 and 1982 Caulfield Stakes, but the majority of his wins came in Sydney. He won the Sydney Cup and Tancred Stakes in 1980, and he also added wins in Brisbane and Perth.
Kingston Town won the 1980 Queensland Derby and ended his career in Australia with a win in the Western Mail Classic. It has subsequently changed its name to the Kingston Town Classic and is raced at Ascot.
In 1984, Kingston Town was sent to the US to help with his consistent leg injuries, which marred his career. He didn’t race in the United States and returned to Australia for one more run, but he was scratched from the race and subsequently retired.
The people behind Kingston Town
Kingston Town was trained by champion trainer T.J. Smith, who had trained many champions throughout his long career.
Enigmatic jockey Malcolm Johnson rode Kingston Town in 25 of his 30 career wins, including his 1981 Melbourne Cup effort where he disappointed for 20th.
He was bred by David Hains, who sold a share to G. Monsborough and his wife. Kingston Town failed to reach the reserve as a yearling, so they decided to keep him.
Kingston Town’s Achievements and Statistics
Kingston Town won 14 Group 1 races, including three Cox Plates and two George Main Stakes’ victories.
He was awarded the Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year in 1980 and his timeform rating is one of the highest ever recorded for an Australian horse.
He was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame and he’s one of the modern-day pioneers of the industry.
Kingston Town finished out of the money in only four of his 41 starts, which is credit to his consistency and toughness.
Kingston Town Statistics
Race record: 30 wins from 41 starts
Career earnings: $1,605,790
Group 1 wins: 14
Breeding: Bletchingly x. Ada Hunter
Trainer: T.J. Smith
Jockey: Malcolm Johnson
Breeders: David Hains
Owners: David Hains and G. Monsborough
Years active: 1979-1982