German Rudolf Diesel invents the Diesel engine.


June 10 - The first kindergarten in NZ was opened at the Walker Street Mission Hall in Dunedin.

December 1 - First NZ built locomotive completed at Addington railway workshops. Now the site of the Tower Junction retail centre.

Abolition of non-residential or property qualification to vote - "One man, one vote" becomes law.

Unions form the Trades and Labour Council.

Credit: Ch-Ch City Libraries


A deputation, comprising Messrs Mace, Brooks, and Rattray, representing the Canterbury Metropolitan Trotting Association, waited on the Colonial Secretary this morning, complaining of the restriction placed on the use of the totalisator at their trotting meetings. After hearing the views of the deputation, Captain Russell admitted their claims, and at once granted a permit for the use of the machine at the Christchurch meeting on Saturday. Captain Russell also gave the deputation to understand that the necessary permit would be issued to all Trotting Clubs affiliated to the Trotting Association. He would recognise the latter body in the same way as the Metropolitan Jockey Clubs.

Credit: Star 18 November 1889



Though some may find it hard to concede with the present ever growing list of super sires, there is a strong case for suggesting that the greatest sire that ever stood in NZ is not Light Brigade, U Scott, Jack Potts, Dillon Hall or even Logan Pointer.

Rothschild, now a name that is only come across well back in modern pedigrees has as good a claim as any when it comes to rating sires in order of merit. For one thing he sired over 300 winners. That's a cracking total today but at the turn of the century it was a sensational achievement, difficult to appreciate now. There were fewer meetings then and so fewer races.There were fewer finely bred mares and it took some time for Rothschild to attract the ones that were available. What is more, Rothschild had to do everything on his own achievements. His name appears only once in the list of winning sires, in 1915-16 the first year records were officially kept. But no one doubts that he was the leading sire for many years before that, and had the records been kept he would have more premierships than anyone.

Bred in Australia in 1889, Rothschild was by Childe Harold, an expensive, but somewhat disappointing sire who has Harold Park named after him. Rothschild's dam Belle Briggs was considered to be the best bred mare to come into Australia to that time and but for being unsound it is doubtful that she would ever have left America. Rothschild had a brother called Osterley who was a top rachorse across the Tasman, only Fritz being able to beat him. Dan O'Brien, that most colourful figure of the turf, recommended to NZ friends that they buy Osterley, but they were unable to do so so bought his younger brother instead. It was just as well, for Osterley was a major disappointment at the stud.

Rothschild started in a number of races but never won, and as late as 1902, when 13 years old he was still making the odd appearance, though most owners would have given up by then. He stood at Mr W Jarden's Stud in Gloucester St, Christchurch and his breeding enabled him to command a five guinea fee. The bright bay stallion did not take long to make an impression. From his first crop came a sensational juvenile trotter Jessie Palm who streeted her opponents at two starts at two and went on to become a champion trotter. From his first crop too came The Baron who was a top performer in the last days of the Lancaster Park track in Christchurch.

The following year he produced Almont who was the sensation of his day. When he retired Almont took with him a three mile record of 6:50 which was actually never beaten. When he started his career the record was fully two minutes slower. Sal Tasker was another fine Rothschild mare going 2:20 for a mile at two years of age away back in 1906. She eventually went 2:12 and was the champion of her time. So was Emmeline a NZ mile record holder at 2:08.6 and placed in the NZ Cup. About the same time was the trotter Revenue, holder of the mile trotting record for 22 years with a time of 2:11.8 recorded at Forbury in the saddle. He often took on and beat fields of pacers.

Dan Patch, bred in Ashburton, but perhaps better known in Australia than his homeland, was another fine son of Rothschild. A free-legged pacer, Dan Patch held the Australian mile record of 2:10 for many years and in NZ he went a mile in 2:09.4 on Auckland's grass track. A genuine champion Dan Patch unfortunately died before starting a stud career of any significance.

Rothschild sired three NZ Cup winners. Belmont M upset winner of the 1906 Cup was the first, Albert H in 1912 the second and Ravenschild, second to Albert H the previous year, won easily in 1913. In the 1912 Cup in fact Rothschild horses filled the first three places while other sons and daughters to fill places were Evelyn, Lord Elmo, Moneymaker and Bright.

Harold Rothschild, later a very successful sire was another of Rothschild's offspring to do well and other sons who were fine racherses and sires were Gold Bell (one of the finest pacers the North Island ever saw), St Swithin and Jingle. Master Raymond was an outstanding trotter by Rothschild winning eight times over two miles. Pearlchild, Aileen, Capitalist, Lord Chancellor, Lady Sybil, Emilius and Coin were other very successful racehorses.

If he was a great sire himself Rothschild gained even greater fame through his daughters. Many of his most successful matrons were themselves good on the track and easily the best known was Pearlchild. Winner of many races for Mr H F Nicoll, including the National Handicap, Pearlchild, a daughter of Verity, produced ten individual winners at stud. Among them were three Derby winners (Ciro, Childe Pointer and Nantwich) a successful sire (Casanova), First Wrack, winner of 11 races and outstanding mares Vanity Fair, Pearl Pointer and Double Measure. The great record of the Verity family owes much to Pearlchild. Vanity Fair in particularly was an outstanding broodmare herself.

Another Rothschild mare now well known was Moonbeam, the grandam of Horotane and therefore ancestress of current Broodmare of the Year in Nancy Lee. Henrietta produced Haymetta, the winner of five and in turn dam of Duncraig who won nine. Jessie Fraser produced the successful racehorse and sire Logan Fraser. Cocaleen was the dam of four winners including the earlier mentioned top pacer Moneymaker and Logaleen who won five.

An unnamed Rothschild mare produced Golden Square the dam in turn of Graticulate who won eight. Sweet Daphne was a most successful mare being the founder of the family best known in recent years though the deeds of horses like Bright Highland and Bright Enterprise. Bright Alice, another daughter of Rothschild produced Cup winner Kohara who later did well at stud, and the Rothschild mare Kola Nut produced King Cole the mile recordholder of his day and a very successful sire. It was from King Cole's matings with Norice which has produced one of the greatest breeding lines in the Stud Book, a line commonly associated with veteran breeder Ben Grice.

A mare by Rothschild was the dam of Yenot who gained fame through the deeds of Parisienne and later La Mignon, Garcon Roux etc. Another Rothschild mare was the ancestress of Van Dieman and yet another unnamed mare the founder of the family to which Vanadium and Van Glory belong. Sal Tasker produced Coldstream Bells, a successful sire in the first quarter of the century. Another great Rothschild mare was Ocean Wave, dam of Muricata who produced two champion pacers in Ahuriri (two NZ Cups) and Taraire and who is the fourth dam of the trotting sire Great Evander.

Auckland Girl, who won eight races herself, was another successful mare at stud as was Dollar Princess who produced seven individual winners. Among them was Doraldina, winner of the Sapling Stakes and Derby and who herself produced five winners. Recess, grandam of Aldora was a member of the same family as was Gold Chief a Derby winner and sire of the champion Rupee. Another Rothschild mare Lady Derby founded one of the best branches of the Norice family which includes Maudeen, Queen Maude and Indecision among it's members. A mare by Rothschild founded the Gentle Annie family which claims among others the champion trotter Moon Boy and top pacer of yesteryear in Betty Boop. Then there was Olive Child, dam of Audubon Child, who in a colourful career won eight races.

The full relations Emmeline, Emilius, Aileen and Evelyn did great work for Rothschild's reputation and they may have set a record when three of them appeared in the same NZ Cup field and two were placed. Aileen produced at stud the Cup class pacer Ronald Logan and Emmilene founded a successful family, one prominent recent member being Cuddle Doon. Evelyn won five races herself and was the dam of four winners. Emilius had some success as a sire.

Altogether Rothschild daughters produced over 300 individual winners. Rothschild had much more success than many imported sires as far as his sons were concerned and a number of them are well known stud names. Harold Rothschild did very well down south and as a son of one of Southland's most successful foundation mares in Harold's Rest he played a prominent part in two other big Southland families, particularly in that of First Water whom he sired.

Capitalist sired the fine racehorse and good sire in Gold Bell. Lord Elmo sired some good mares in particular and so did Almont. George M Patchen appears in the pedigree of Cardigan Bay and Globe Bay and another son St Swithin sired the dam of Springfield Globe. Woodchild, Lord Chancellor, Imperial Crown, Proudchild, Prosphorous, St Kevin (a brother to Dan Patch) and Pygmalion, were other Rothschild horses to make an impression at stud while his Cup winner Ravenschild did well also.

Rothschild spent his declining years in the unlikely location of the Wellington Zoo and he died there in the early 20s at the age of 32. Shortly before his death his stock held the Australian and NZ mile pacing records, the Australasian trotting mile record and the world record over three miles. Though he officially topped the sires list once he remained in the top five for many years, even into the 1920s which shows the hardiness of his stock. Indeed his last representative on the tracks was still going in 1929. At one stage in his hey day just before World War I the sons and daughters of Rothschild held every official record in Australasia, a feat few can equal.

He was a horse of quite remarkable disposition and an existing photo of him shows him being confidently led by a lad not five years old. I wonder how many of our much boomed later sires could have fashioned a record equal to Rothschild if serving the class of mare which dominated his court. It might be worth noting that during his stud career Rothschild, in NZ alone sired more winners than the great Globe Derby managed across the Tasman. He was a remarkable influence in the development of the standardbred as we know it, and it would be a brave man who could state with certainty that any of his successors was a greater sire.

Credit: David McCarthy writing in NZ Trotguide 23Mar77



Bettor's Delight in just about ready to make the list as a "Cups King"- the most influential stallion in the two major all-aged races on out calendar, the Auckland and New Zealand Cups. He already has three winners and given his domination that might grow rapidly.

But topping some of the "old timers" won't be that easy, even if he has gone past many already. Who are the best? My top 10, based on the following statistical model.
- 10 points for each winner of the New Zealand or Auckland Cup.
- 5 point bonus for each individual winner greater than one.
- 5 points for each broodmare sire win.
- 1 point for each winner sired by a stallion son.

(Childe Harold-Belle Briggs-James Lick)(Died aged 32)

Rothschild, Australian foaled, but of all American blood, was the leading sire for about a decade from 1904. When he died at the Wellington Zoo in 1921 he had left the winners of over 1000 races.
Rothschild sired the fastest pacers, fastest trotters as well as the fastest fillies in Australasia. He had a wonderful temperament. A famous photo shows a small boy holding his lead. Note also that some of his best son's race careers pre-dated the New Zealand Cup.
Rothschild didn't have much ability but it is remarkable that a year after his third NZ Cup winner Ravenschild won, a son of Rothschild, King Child sired the Cup winner, Win Soon. Another son, Harold Rothschild, was a key influence in all three of Southland's most famous families.

TRIVIA FACT - Rothschild's sale to William Jarden's stud (in Gloucester Street, Christchurch) was organised by Dan O'Brien who earlier trained the legendary galloper Carbine at Riccarton. O'Brien wanted to buy Rothschild's brilliant brother, Osterley. When he couldn't he advised Jarden that the much slower Rothschild might be as good as a sire. Osterley was a flop at stud and Rothschild the Champion.

Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed Nov 2016


In the event that you cannot find the information you require from the contents, please contact the Racing Department at Addington Raceway.
Phone (03) 338 9094