The Hungarian revolution breaks out.
John Osbourne writes Look Back in Anger.
September 1 - Watched by 66,000 at Eden Park, Auckland, the All Blacks beat the Springboks 11-5 and win the series.
November 8 - Last trolley bus runs in Ch-Ch.
Credit: Ch-Ch City Libraries
J S(Jack)Shaw has been almost everything connected with racing and trotting. He has had through his hands some of the best horses of the three great contesting gaits - galloping, trotting and pacing - won races with saddle horses and jumpers, and had an incredible number of different experiences.
J S has been associated with horses since his youth and his first ride in a race was about 35 years ago on a horse called Bribery, one of the T G Fox team, for whom Jack was head lad. Years later he received his most thilling experience in a race at Wanganui. Driving Jimmy Richmond, Shaw faced a crisis when the rein broke, for he was running in the middle of a packed field. He climbed up on to the horse's back, gathered the rein and continued on to finish third.
Jack Shaw became a prominent trainer at Epsom in the twenties and among his most noted and strongest patrons at that time were Mr M J Moodabe and Mrs Sweetapple. Of the many topline horses through his hands during that period the greatest was Worthy Queen.
The late J R Corrigan, of Hawera, was a major breeder of trotters at the time and between days at the Hawera meeting each year used to sell large numbers of stock, which did much to build up trotting through the Island. Alex Corrigan, a well-knowm driver in his day, now a member of the Trotting Conference, was handling his father's horses back about 1930. Worthy Queen, by Worthy Bingen from Queen Chimes, was bought by a Hastings owner, but on the advice of a friend, her breeder, J R Corrigan leased her back. Alex Corrigan won a number of races with the mare, but she soon reached tough marks for the North and in 1931, when Jack Shaw moved from Epsom to Christchurch, the owner sent Worthy Queen to him. Later, when Mr Corrigan was ill, he sold his racing rights in Worthy Queen to the trainer.
She won many races, but ubdoubtedly her greatest performance was when she established a trotting record against time of 2.03 3/5. Perhaps if conditions had been ideal she would have trotted two minutes. The was a minor gale blowing and it was a remarkable effort. In a race she set up the record of 3.14 1/5 for a mile and a half, and this record, established in 1934, still stands.
The first horse Mr Shaw trained was whispering Willie, who at odd times won races for every trainer who had him, including J Bryce, J Wilson, G Murfitt and W Orange. A number of horses were bought in Australia for Mr Moodabe and trained by Jack, and included amongst them was Torpedo Huon, a rather handsome entire, who did well. Another horse he bought for Mr Moodabe, and perhaps the best pacer Shaw had, was Jewel Pointer, who won many races over all distances and under all conditions. He only cost £300. He once ran three firsts and three seconds within eight days, all in £1000 races, and starting at Auckland had to travel to Christchurch to complete the project.
Perhaps J S's favourite horse, judging from his conversation, is Native Prince. He was bred by Ben Shadbolt of Hawke's Bay, and sold to Chris Rokkjer, who took him to Australia and who, incidently, is still a keen follower of the light harness game. Peter Riddle, later to become famous as the owner of Shannon, bought him and a number of others to Auckland at the time the Aussies were winning everything at Epsom and Otahuhu, and sold him to Mrs Sweetapple. Native Prince won numerous races and worked his way through to New Zealand Cup class.
Gus Cameron sold a chestnut colt by Our Thorpe from the Grattan Abbey mare The Abbess in a consignment of draught horses, for 14gns to the Richmond brothers. Incidentally, the number of horses this breeder has sold must run into big numbers, and the story is told that he "keeps his own five studbooks in his head." The colt became known as Carmel and won races for Jack, who leased him. After being sold Carmel went into C S Donald's team and scored in the Auckland Cup, among other races.
Florrie Bingen, raced in partnership with Mrs Sweetapple, proved a grand bargain. Costing only £150 she won numerous races while under the Shaw mentorship. The greatest stayers through his hands among the trotters were Man O' War and Royal Silk. Mar O'War was in his care for 12 months after the brilliant champion had won two Auckland Cups. Taking Royal Silk over, that smart performer missed once and then won the big race at Dunedin, the Auckland Cup and two other races at Epsom, and the New Zealand Gold Cup at Wellington - in a row.
In 1930 he gave up horse training and he and the New Zealand champion wrestler, George Walker, opened a gym in Auckland. Jack Shaw returned to training the following year, shifting to New Brighton. He continued to be highly successful as a trainer of pacers and trotters until the end of the 1936 season.
When Shaw first went south he had Impromptu, who up to that time had shown useful form. Impromtu eventually beat Harold Logan in a Free-For-All and took a record of 3.13. Other noted horses he had at various times and stages of their careers were Koro Peter, the Petereta trotter Peter Dean, The Abbey, Peter Pirate a noted mudlark, Ironside for a time, The Squire, Ballin, Jewel Wood, Golden Eagle a neat trotter, Overate, Arachne, Fairyland and Great Change, while he drove many others.
In 1937, J S Shaw took a position as stipendiary steward to the New Zealand Trotting Conference, and held this office with distinction until he resigned in 1946. Jack Shaw then transferred his attention almost entirely to gallopers, although he followed both sports with keen interest, he established himself quickly, and among the winners he early turned out were the NZ Oaks winner Idle Jest, All Serene, Eulogize, the useful Peridot, and others.
The most eventful day in his long and varied career was at the 1948 Yearling Sales at Trentham. A colt by Beau Repaire from Mabel Rose was offered. Mabel Rose, being a half-sister to the NZ Derby winner Pensacola, Mrs Shaw, formerly Miss Sutherland, was attracted by the entrant in the ring, as her sister had raced Pensacola in partnership with Mr H Edgington. Early bidding for this colt soon stopped and Jack Shaw and William Dwyer were left to outbid each other. Such was not the case, however, and William Dwyer became the owner at 300 guineas. Using more than astute judgement, Jack went straight to the new owner and purchased the colt at a lesser figure than if he had kept bidding.
That colt then established himself as the hardiest top-class horse since the immortal Carbine and was known to the racing world as Beaumaris. He established a single season stake winning record. Among the mostr remarkable of Beaumaris' feats was his third as a three-year-old in the Auckland Cup and his success in the Wellington Cup. His duels with the flying filly Sweet Spray and the tough gelding Tudor Prince will be talked about when you and I are gone. He has set the name of Jack Shaw firmly in racing history as Carbine did Dan O'Brien, or Liberator Patsy Butler.
It is doubtful if any other trotter in the Dominion can match Vodka for speed but his ability to hold a position early has cost him races here. In America horses race to the start at top speed and under these conditions Vodka should shine. Mr Shaw will stable his star at the famous Roosevelt Raceway, 17 miles from New York, and Vodka should race towards the end of April. The season opens on April 1 and continues over 100 days until July, whilst at other New York tracks the curcuit continues until the end of November. The sea trip to the States takes about one month and Jack expects Vodka to be in racing trim six weeks after his arrival. Vodka will be competing once a week, mostly over a mile. The stakes are worth $6000 (roughly £1900). Fifty per cent goes to the winner, 25% to the second horse and 15% to third and 10% to fourth. Should Vodka strike form it is possible that the Americans will invite him to test their best in the American Trotting Championships, which are run over one mile and a quarter in July. America's best are invited to start and this test is the highlight of the American season. This distance would suit Vodka who proved his staying power in NZ.
Well known in Northern trotting circles, Mr W Hosking, of Waiuku, bred Vodka, but he was originally educated to pacing by young Pukekohe trainer J K Hughes. Vodka's early career was not much too enthuse over and he only started five times as a two-year-old, running one fourth. Next season he was converted to the trotting gait and gained immediate success, although at times losing all chances by starting in a pace. At four years Vodka showed real ability by beating the the good trotter Willonyx and later winning two races at Hutt Park. It is understood at this stage of Vodka's career that Mr Hosking gave the horse to Mr Shaw, who recorded one placing with him that season.
At five years Vodka won first up in the Addington Trotting Stakes and at the Cup meeting beat Mountain Range...the final win recorded that season was at the winter meeting when he beat Swanee River. At the Easter meeting he finished fourth but ran the two miles in 4.17 4/5 - a really smart time.
Now a six-year-old, Vodka won four races and was placed six times, earning £5170. his smart time of 3.26 2/5 after going under to Slipstream in the mile and five furlong Freyberg Handicap, was recorded early in the day, and later he won the Fergusson Handicap. Last season was Vodka's leanest so far as winning was concerned and he failed to head them. He registered seven placings however to pay for his keep, but even though he did not win he displayed remarkable speed from almost impossible positions. Over eight starts this season he has won one and been three times in the money. His latest racing was at the Auckland Cup meeting where hw started mostly from impossible marks.
Vodka is by Logan Derby from Cyone Girl, a winner at the pacing gait, by Tsana from Cyone - by Logan Pointer, tracing back to the imported Bell Bingen, ancestress of many winners, including Our Roger, winner of the last NZ Trotting Cup.
Vodka, incidentally, holds the New Zealand winning record for one mile and five furlongs of 3.27. He has trotted the mile and a half in 3.13 4/5, and two miles in 4.16.
Credit: NZ Hoof Beats Feb 1956
J R SIMPSON
The death has occurred of Mr James Ryan Simpson, one of Karamea's best-known residents, at the age of 82. He had lived in the district for many years, farming on a large scale.
Mr Simpson was on of the most successful trotting owners and trainers in Buller for many years. His best performer was Olive Nelson, at her time one of the champion trotters in the Dominion. At the 1931 NZ Cup meeting she won three races, including the premier event for square-gaiters in the country, the Dominion Handicap. Mr Simpson also raced Bingen Palm who reached NZ Cup class.
Mr Simpson trained his horses on a remote bush-fringed beach track and had as much success as trainers with to-day's modern methods. His horses were invariably produced in perfect condition, and he was a popular figure at Addington.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 21Nov56
W F E WARREN
The death occurred at New Brighton recently of Mr William Fredrick Ernest Warren, who was for many seasons New Brighton's most successful trainer.
'Bill' Warren trained a large team for Mr C M Ollivier, including Glenelg (Great Northern Derby), Berenice, Orphan and Young Carbine. For the successful partnership of Messrs J C Clarkson and F E Graham, he trained Countryman, Oratoria and Lady Matchlight. On his own account Mr Warren bred and raced both Dilnon and Betty Wrack.
Old-timers will recall his many successes with Gleaming, who reached NZ Cup company, Nancy Star, Irvar, Asturio, Dusky Locanda and The Whip.
The late 'Arty' Butterfield was first horseman for the stable for many seasons.
Mr Warren is survived by Mrs Warren and two daughters.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 11Jan56
One of the most popular men in light-harness circles in Southland is C C 'Clem' Scott, master of 'Evensong Farm' stud, Charlton, just outside Gore. A son of the late A J Scott, a noted trainer whose association with horses was one of 40 years standing, Clem Scott has made his name as a breeder and educator of standardbreds; and his stud is as attractively laid out as any in the south.
A well-watered 50-acre property, 'Evensong Farm' holds a great deal of sentimental value as far as Clem Scott is concerned, for it was on this property that his father was established many years ago as private trainer to Mr J B Thompson, one of the Dominion's leading owners. Cathedral Chimes, winner of the 1915 Auckland Cup and 1916 NZ Cup when trained by J Bryce for Mr Thompson, was broken in and gaited by the late A J Scott, while other successful performers trained by him on that property were Soda, Until, Dora Derby and Reyburn. In more recent years, not long before his death, he prepared useful winners in Sea Scout and Saga.
Returning from World War II, in which he lost a leg, Clem Scott set up as a trainer, and one of the first horses he bred, educated and raced was the Josedale Grattan-Mary Hall gelding, Denbry, with whom he won four races. After his fourth win, Denbry was passed on to Mrs A and Mr J Darwell of Christchurch, and he won his way right through the classes to Cup company. Another good pacer to receive his early education under Clem Scott was Sea Rover, who first raced in the interest of the trainer and Mr J W Agnew. After two wins for the partnership he was passed on to Mr E J Smith, for whom he built up a good record.
During the last few seasons, Clem Scott has been represented as a trainer by two impressive youngsters in Scottish Brigade and Guard's Brigade. J B Scott, a brother of Clem, has done most of the driving of the horses from the stable, and he also drove some of the horses his father prepared in the years just preceding his death. The trainer has no horses in work at the moment, but he intends to prepare two or three of his own pacers and trotters in future on the well-surfaced half-mile track on his property.
In June, 1954, Clem Scott and Mr Lionel Denton, of Yaldhurst, imported to NZ two beautifully-bred American stallions, Flying Song and Garrison Hanover. Flying Song has been standing at 'Evensong Farm' and Garrison Hanover at Mr Denton's 'Russley Stud,' but under an arrangement the studmasters will change stallions within the next few seasons. The landed cost of the two stallions was in the vicinity of $20,000 each.
Flying Song is a dark bay horse, six years, by Volomite, from Evensong(2.08 3/4,2), by Nelson Dillon(2.05 1/4). Flying Song took a record of 1.59, and he is a brother to Gay Song(1.59 1/4), Volo Song(1.57 3/4), Victory Song(1.57 3/4), Lovesong(1.59) and Mighty Song(2.00 2/5,2), and a half brother to Peter Song(2.00), Twilight Song(2.01 1/4), Promoter(2.04 3/4), Leading Man(2.06) and Hit Song(2.01 2/5). Flying Song's dam, Evensong, is famed as the greatest producing mare in the world.
Garrison Hanover is a bay horse, five years, standing 15.2 hands. His sire is Billy Direct, whose long standing mile record of 1.55 has yet to be bettered. His dam is Gloria Hanover(2.03 3/4,2), by Guy McKinney(1.58 3/4). Garrison Hanover has a winning record on a half-mile track of 2.02 2/5, and a placed record (for second) of 1.59 4/5 on a mile track. He raced against and beat some of the best horses in the United States, winning a little more than $39,000.
Flying Song has come through a big season in excellent order, as has Garrison Hanover. Both sires were well patronised, and the appearance on the tracks of the first of their progeny will be anxiously awaited.
Credit: Ron Bisman writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 1Feb56
Mr John Bruce Thomson, an Invercargill businessman widely known throughout the province, and throughout the South Island for his associations with racing and trotting, died suddenly in Invercargill last week, aged 83. Mr Thomson had a lifelong association with both the Southland Racing Club and the Invercargill Trotting Club, and was president of the NZ Trotting Association when it was absorbed in the NZ Trotting Conference in 1950.
Mr Thomson was managing director of Thomsons Ltd, cordial manufacturers and wine and spirit merchants. Known as a public-spirited citizen, who supported many charitable organisations, Mr Thomson will also be remembered for his part in the May Day carnivals which were a regular feature of Invercargill life 30-odd years ago. He was held in high esteem by all sectors of the community and was known for his generosity and fairness. He was known almost universally among his friends as 'J B.'
It was through the sports of racing and trotting that he became widely known. A number of attempts were made to establish a trotting club in Invercargill in the early days, and when the Southland Trotting Club was re-registered on March 5, 1913, Mr Thomson was elected president. For the next few years the club conducted non-totalisator meetings. Because of the lavish stakes, it was necessary each year for members of the club to make up the deficiency. With the promise of totalisator permits in 1924, a meeting of light-harness enthusiasts was held and the Invercargill Trotting Club as it is constituted to-day was formed. Mr Thomson became the first president, a position he held until he retired in 1952, thus ending 40 years as president of the trotting Club in Invercargill.
As early as 1927 he was elected an executive member of the NZ Trotting Association, was later made vice-president, and in 1947 president. He was president in 1950 when a change of administration embodied the Association in the NZ Trotting Conference. He was for many years a member of the stipendiary stewards committee of the Association. Soon after his arrival in Invercargill in 1906, Mr Thomson was elected a member of the committee of the Southland Racing Club, and he remained a member until his death.
Before World War I, Mr Thomson had his own stud farm and a private training track at Charlton, near Gore, with A J Scott as trainer. It was there that Cathedral Chimes, who won the NZ Cup in 1916 in his colours, and other good winners in Louvain Chimes, Dora Derby and Raeburn did their early training. At this time Mr Thomson raced on an extensive scale, and in Canterbury he had horses like Cathedral Chimes, Muricata, the best free-gaited trotter of her time, Antonio, Zara, and the great pony pacer Soda, as members of J Bryce's team at Sockburn. Zara later became the dam of Zincali, who at one time held the NZ mile and a half record of 3.10 3/5.
Cathedral Chimes was one of the greatest pacers of his day. When he won the 1916 NZ Trotting Cup it was the first time that trotting races were run from a standing start. Cathedral Chimes won a number of other big races in NZ, was second in the NZ Cup in 1917, and after being retired to the stud he sired the winners of three NZ Cups, Ahuriri (twice) and Kohara. Before leaving for service overseas in World War I, Mr Thomson sold his stud, with the exception of Cathedral Chimes whom he leased to J Bryce during his absence. His interest in horses also led to a long association with agricultural and pastoral shows, and he was a prominent exhibitor of show jumpers.
A bachelor, Mr Thomson was at the time of his death, and for something like 40 years previously, a full-time boarder at Invercargill's Grand Hotel. He took a keen interest in all organisations established for the good of the community and was a foundation member of the Invercargill Rotary Club. He was also a past president of the Invercargill Club. A keen lover of bird and forest life, he was Southland representative on the council of the Forest and Bird Protection Society. He had a fine collection of native trees at his holiday cottage.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 28Nov56
The present Challenge Cup for the winner of the New Zealand Cup was presented for the first time in 1956. The gold cup was insured at the time for £850 and was retained by the winning owner for a year. In 1956 a silver salver was also presented with the cup, this was retained permanently by the winning owner.
In announcing the change the retiring President of the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Cup, Mr C E Hoy, reported that over the last few years the club had experienced great difficulty securing suitable gold cups. Costs had risen steeply, and cups in keeping with the occasion were almost impossible to secure. If imported, they were subject to heavy import duty. Numerous specifications were obtained both in New Zealand and overseas for the challenge cup, and a cup of outstanding design had been ordered from an English firm.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar
SYDNEY - GENTLEMAN JOHN
In 1956 Gentleman John recorded his 24th and most important win the Inter-Dominion Final. He was gifted to 26 year old Eric Rothacker by his father and took his stake earning to 1956 £19,000. Caduceus was a gallant third after beginning from a 36yd handicap.
INTERDOMINON EARLY HISTORY
Claims have been made to the effect that the Championship meeting, now an accepted annual NZ-Australian standardbred duel, originated in 1925, but the official record of the series takes us back to 1936. The history of this now world-famous series is as follows:-
In March 1925, a gathering of enterprising trotting supporters in Perth held what was termed an Australasian Championship. This took the form of two heats and a final over three different distances - one mile and a quarter, one mile and a half and two miles. The winner was the NZ horse, Great Hope, a handsome chestnut stallion by Great Audubon from Sadie Dillon. He was taken to Perth by his renowned trainer and driver J Bryce.
The following year, under the same conditions, Great Bingen and Taraire emerged with eight points each. The run-off resulted in Taraire (J Shaw, of Perth) beating Great Bingen (J Bryce). Great Bingen was trained and driven for the Championship by Bryce, who, incidentally, trained and drove Taraire for numerous successes before he was sold to a Perth owner. Bred at Tai Tapu by the late R M Morten, Taraire was by Four Chimes from Muricata, dam also of the dual NZ Cup winner, Ahuriri, and other winners.
The so-called 'Championship' then lapsed until June, 1935, when Mr J P Stratton, the leading figure in Western Australian Trotting, and the late Mr H F Nicoll, the president of the NZ Trotting Conference, convened a meeting in Sydney which was attended by delegates from every Australian State and NZ. This conference discussed a yearly Inter-Dominion Trotting Championship, and was quick to realise the benefits which would be derived from it. It was decided that such a meeting would be held in 1936 and conducted annually thereafter. Since that date 14 contests have been staged.
The first Championship, held in Perth in 1936, was won by Evicus, a Globe Derby mare who raced well in NZ for a period. The Grand Final was actually won by Logan Derby, but on a points basis he was relegated to second place. Evicus was driven by veteran Free Holmes, who made the trip specially to drive her. No NZ horses took part in the second of the Inter-Dominion series, held in Adelaide in February, 1937. The winner was Dan's Son, from Wrinkle and Joy's John.
The first Championships held in NZ were at Addington in 1938. Bad weather seriously retarded the running off of the divisions. Parisienne, who succumbed to Pot Luck in the Grand Final, was declared the Champion on points. A brilliant pacer, and later a successful sire, Springfield Globe, was the winner of the fourth Championship held in Launceston, Tasmania. He was followed home in the Grand Final by Globe Dorell and Radiant Walla. Perth again set the stage for the 1940 series, and although the Grand Final was won by Grand Mogul, bred and owned in NZ, the Grand Champion on points was Logan Derby.
The series had to be suspended during World War II, until 1947, when they were again allocated to Perth. Stake-money had greatly increased in the interval - in 1940 the Grand Final was worth £3000; in 1947 it had jumped to £8000. The winner was Bandbox (Van Derby-The Mirror).
A very successful meeting resulted for the Auckland Trotting Club when the Championships were held there in 1948. For the first time trotters as well as pacers were catered for, and the innovation was attended with such bounteous results that the square-gaiters earned a permanent place in the Championship set-up as far as NZ is concerned. After Loyal Peter, Emulous, Highland Fling and Knave Of Diamonds had won divisions, Emulous, from 36 yards, put up a slashing run in the Grand Final (worth £7600) to win decisively in the then world's winning record time of 4.12 2/5 for the two miles. Emulous, a bay horse by Jack Potts from Light Wings, was trained and driven by W K Tatterson. Emulous was a mighty pacer who was Highland Fling's only recognised adversary over a fairly long period and he beat him several times. Division (or qualifying race) leaders in the trotting section were Fantom and Aerial Scott. The last named won the Grand Final from Toushay and Willie Winkie.
Adelaide, for the second time, was the venue of the 1949 Championships. Among the division winners were Victory Speed, Amorous, Raidella, Hatteras, Single Direct and Plunderer. In the Grand Final, of £8500, Single Direct, driven by his trainer, E N Kennerley, completely outclassed his opponents. The crowd, 45,000 was a record for an Adelaide meeting. Captain Sandy raced brilliantly in the Grand Final of the 1950 series, held in Melbourne, and beat two other NZers in Glob Direct and Sprayman. The Grand Final stake of £10,000 set a new high for stake-money at the Championships. Division winners were Globe Direct, Claude Derby, Avian Derby, Tivoli Star and Derby Globe. Much of the gloss was taken off the Grand Final when Claude Derby could not start because of an injury. He was then the recognised champion of Australia, and his presence that year created the widest interest.
The scene of the Championships returned to Addington in 1951 and must go down as one of the most memorable in the history of the series. A field of champions including heat-winners in Vedette, Soangetaha, Parawa Derby, Blue Mist, Zulu and Ada Scott faced the starter for the Pacers' Grand Final. In one of the greatest races ever staged at head-quarters, Vedette worked clear from an almost impossible position to beat his younger rival, Soangetaha, by a length and a half. Vedette's effort brought the huge crowd to it's feet in appreciation of a wonderful performance on the part of both horse and driver. As late as two furlongs from the finish Vedette appeared to have no earthly chance of finding an opening, although he was close enough to the leader, lying about seventh; but the field was closely packed on all sides of him and time was running tantalisingly short. It is now history how M Holmes extricated his charge to win the Grand Final, and run the mile and five furlongs in 3.22 3/5, which was then an Australasian record. Trotters were also catered for in 1951 and in a fine contest Gay Belwin took the honours from Signal Light, Dictation and Barrier Reef. Gay Belwin was trained by the late J Young - a master with trotters - and was driven by his son, R Young.
Fittingly, the 1952 Championships, the first to be held at Harold Park Raceway, coincided with the 50th anniversary of the formation of the New South Wales Trotting Club. On the Grand Final night, the largest crowd ever to assemble there - one of 38,090 - saw Avian Derby take the major honour. It was also very appropriate that this son of Lawn Derby - and therefore a descendant of Childe Harold, the great horse after which the Raceway is named - should rise to one of the greatest occasions in the club's history.
All roads led to Perth for the 1953 series and the ex-NZ pacer, Captain Sandy, after running prominently in the heats, was first home in the Grand Final from Ribands and Kellett. Captain Sandy thus became the only horse to win the Championship twice. His performance was all the more remarkable as, prior to his sale to Australia at a moderate figure, he had lost all form in NZ.
At Wayville, South Australia, in March 1954, 13 runners lined up for the Grand Final - Floodlight, Ribands, Merchant, Sparkling Max, Andi, Recovered, Beau Don, Captain Sandy, Goulburn Monarch, Wilber's Hope, Dainty Rose, Hedonist and Tennessee Sky. The winner was Tennessee Sky, who had barely qualified in the heats; but the Sky Raider-Lily Direct pacer was considered the unlucky horse on the early nights of the carnival. In the Grand Final he was skillfully handled by the Perth reinsman, Frank Kersley, and won brilliantly from Recovered and Andi.
Last year's carnival was held at Epsom, Auckland. In a stirring finish to the Grand Final M C McTigue's brilliant gelding, Tactician, a son of the 1939 winner, Springfield Globe, sprinted clear rounding the home turn and held off the determined challenge of NZ's idol, Johnny Globe, a son of 1940 winner, Logan Derby. Petite Yvonne was third and Laureldale fourth, with Australia's Ribands unplaced. Mr and Mrs E S Baxter's Battle Cry won the trotters section from Vodka, Precaution and Ecosse.
Credit: Ron Bisman writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 8Feb56
Gold Bar, 1:59.6, a champion pacer up till 1946, died at the property of his owner, A Holmes, Yaldhurst in November 1956.
Gold Bar was the greatest individualist ever to wear harness in this country. It was all or nothing with him. He was a horse who strongly resented anything savouring of a "perfect trail." He loved the wide open spaces, and he annihilated many cherished conceptions of rating, pacemaking and driving tactics. Once he reached maturity, there was scarcely a dull moment in any race he contested. Never before in the history of trotting had we seen a horse capable of running the first half-mile, even the first mile and a half, at a speed that would win 99 races out of 100, and carry on to win over two miles.
It was uncanny. Uncanny because mere flesh and blood had never achieved anything like that before; because all staying conventions were throw to the four winds by this machine-like marvel, this pacing Pegasus who left trail upon trail of burnt out carcases in his wake. From barrier-rise Allan Holmes put the trottle hard down on Gold Bar, who responded like Sir Malcolm Campbell's Bluebird. In a matter of seconds they would be away out in front, 50-80 yards, half a furlong clear of anything else. Far from spoiling a race, disorganising a field, or some other uncharitable comment, Gold Bar's lone flights, particularly in Addington's big races, charged the public pulse with an electric anticipation that made him the glamour horse of his day.
Gold Bar first contested the New Zealand Cup in 1941. Until 1945 they caught him every time, but except in 1944, when he burst a blood vessel a long way from the finish, he still beat more than beat him, and in 1945 came his big moment, his greatest triumph: the only horse who so much as saw the way he went in the first £7500 Cup was Integrity. Gold Bar's "scorched earth" tactics proved the funeral pyre of many great pacers generally regarded as "truer" stayers than Gold Bar. Until the 1945 New Zealand Cup the jet-propelled pacemaker had invariably come back to his field, but that year those who sat and waited filed past the post looking for all the world like the remnants of a turtle Derby! Never had the defeat of a Cup field been encompassed with such complete disregard for staying technique, if there is any such thing. And if there ever existed any rules about how big two-mile races should be run, Gold Bar broke the lot of them. He drew up a new set of his own - total warfare from flagfall to finishing post.
There were all sorts of windy perorations about Gold Bar's ruining the Cup as a spectacle. We would have none of this. Many of the same people who later called upon Gold Bar and Allan Holmes to adopt more "reasonable" tactics were just as loud (before Gold Bar put in his appearance) in their condemnation of the crawling pace adopted by pacemakers in big races. You can't have it both ways, and Gold Bar's way was "As You Like It" with the Addington public. Gold Bar's way left no room for the tattered excuse on the part of other drivers that the "got hemmed in" or "met with interference" in a close running field. And the old bogy of club executives of the premier events deteriorating into half-mile sprints was effectively disposed of as long as Gold Bar was on the premises; the sorry spectacle of one horse slowing the field to a jog until all those in attendance were literally climbing over one another and playing hide and seek on the turns was put to rout when Gold Bar was in full cry. The rest had no alternative but to go in pursuit or finish up in a state of total eclipse.
Perhaps all this about Gold Bar has left you with the impression that such a horse, always in a desperate hurry, would naturally be a highly-strung temperamental bloke. Nothing of the kind. He was a docile, beautiful-natured stallion, with a head full of brains. In his yard at home he was as quite as an old sheep, and children could handle him or go into his box with perfect safety.
Gold Bar was retired in 1946, with records of 1:59.6 for a mile, 2:35 for a mile and a quarter, 3:27 for a mile and five furlongs, and 4:14.6 for two miles. He raced from two years (finishing third in the Timaru Nursery Stakes in his only appearance that season), to 11 years, winning 22 races, including six free-for-alls. His stake-winnings amounted to £12,968/10/-. He was by Grattan Loyal (imp) from the Rey de Oro mare Imperial Gold.
At stud Gold Bar's best winners have been Brahman (whose 2:02.2 against time as a two-year-old is likely to stand for some time as the New Zealand and Austalian record), Local Gold, Worthy Gold, Daisy Gold, Congo Song, Bronze Gold, Daisy Bar, Petty Officer, Gold Change, Flagship, Midday, Merry Gold, Regal Gold and Bartender.
'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 12June46
Gold Bar is the most sensational racehorse-sire of modern times, if not of all time in the Dominion.
In the same season that he won the NZ Cup and £5922 in stakes, his son Worthy Gold, has earned £2680, and his daughter, Local Gold, champion 3-year-old filly of the season has won £2585. If any reader knows of a parallel case to this, of a sire and two of his progeny getting into the four-figure class in the same season, the Caledar would be pleased to hear about it.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 14 Nov 56
Johnny Globe, the personality pacer of the Dominion over a long period, ran his last race when he finished fourth to General Sandy, Caduceus and Brahman in the NZ Pacing Championship at the Summer meeting of the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club. This dapper little pacing gentleman made his final bow to the public when he was paraded at the New Brighton Trotting Club's on Saturday, December 1st, and he will spend the rest of his days at the stud on the property of his owner, D G Nyhan, at Templeton.
Johnny Globe retires the holder of four world records, winner of 15 free-for-alls and £42,887/10/- in stakes, the result of 34 wins and 45 places. This is the largest amount credited to any horse - galloper or pacer - won solely in New Zealand. His winnings are exceeded only by Captain Sandy, who won £43,712 in New Zealand and Australia.
Like many other champions before him Johnny Globe was sold over the bargain counter. Read in his own words how his owner-trainer-driver D G (Don) Nyhan, came to buy him: "I went over to see Mr F E Ward, of Pahiatua, before he went to England in 1948, and while there he said: 'Make me an offer for that 10-month-old colt by Logan Derby-Sandfast.' He had to be sold before he sailed and my wife offered him £50, which he accepted. The colt was very small and didn't look much of a buy at the time, as he was a late December foal and was very backward."
"I broke him in and he started to do better and look more like a colt should. After a consultation my wife and I decided to put him in the Yearling Sales at Christchurch, thinking we might show a fair profiton our buy, so he was entered; but in the meantime we went on working him, and in January (he was only actually 13 months old) he ran half a mile in 1:06 on a rough grass galloping track at Ashhurst. Needless to say, we knew we had something extra good, and withdrew him from the sales. He was then spelled and we shifted to the South Island in August, 1949."
"After winning the Timaru Nursery Stakes (his first start as a two-year-old) he was affected with his feet and, although he raced well, he was never at his best, as he was continually sore; a lot of credit goes to my wife for curing his soreness, for she spent hours a day with his feet in hot water. Of course," concluded Nyhan, "Johnny is the family pet; in fact he has always been looked on as one of the family."
Debonair Johnny! He was always that way, right through his career, extending over eight seasons. His record as a four-year-old has never been equalled, let alone bettered. During that season, 1951-52, he was the leading stake-winner with £9360. He won won eight races besides finishing a very close second to Van Dieman in the NZ Cup, and he was the first four-year-old to start in the premier event for many years; it is an extreme rarity, even today, for a four-year-old to qualify, let alone go close to winning it.
Addington was the scene of Johnny Globe's greatest triumphs, 13 of his wins being gained there. His greatest performance was undoubtedly his success in the record-breaking Cup of 1954. This event was a supreme test of speed and stamina and the time recorded by Johnny Globe, 4:07.6, shattered all previous times for the race and set new world pacing figures for a race and out of a race. Johnny Globe's 15 free-for-alls is the greatest number credited to any horse in the Dominion, his nearest rival in this department being Gold Bar, with six. Other world records held by Johnny Globe are: A mile against time on the grass at Epsom in 1:59.8; a mile from a standing start in a race in 2:01.2, and a mile and three furlongs in a race in 2:50.2. Johnny Globe also holds the New Zealand mile and a quarter record for a three-year-old, 2:37.6.
After his success in the New Zealand Cup of 1954, few opportunities in handicapping events were left for Johnny Globe, and his racing was restricted to free-for-alls and sprint events. He started at the Inter-Dominion Championships at Auckland in 1955. He was sent out a firm favourite in the Grand Final, but after receiving a check, found Tactician a shade too good over the final furlong.
There is no parallel to Johnny Globe's career in light-harness history. This grand little stayer and sprinter bore many of the characteristics of the previous public idol in Harold Logan. The Johnny Globes and Harold Logans are far too few in our sport, and Johnny's retirement - which has been well earned - leaves a void which may not be filled for some time.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in the NZ Trotting Calendar
Thunder loitered with the New Zealand Trotting Cup field in a convivial sort of way for a mile and three-quarters and then went hot-foot for probably the easiest win ever seen in the race.
Call him clumsy, ungainly, or be even so uncharitable as to tag him carty, he is still the complete answer to any question of the fastest passage between any two given trotting or pacing points! Thunder is not by a long chalk, as smooth a pacer as Indianapolis was; but, barring accidents, he is the one horse racing at the present time who is capable of equalling that giant's supreme feat of winning the Cup three years in succession. It is a big errand, but Thunder is geared for the job. Big in physique, big in heart and gigantic in stride and staying power, we can still only have a faint suspicion of how good he really is, because on Tuesday he annihilated some of the best pacers in this or any other country, including two world record holders in Caduceus and Thelma Globe. A field of novices having their first outing at a matinee meeting could scarcely have been so utterly vanquished as the 10 good and true racehorses who struggled along in Thunder's wake. Such is the acid stamp of class.
The track, slushy on top to start with, had dried out remarkably well by the time the Cup - the third race - was due to be run, and a couple of feet out from the rails the going was firm all the way round. It was a pity the pace was allowed to slacken so deplorably in the middle stages. The sectional times reveal how close the field came to a "walk" in the second half-mile, which occupied 1:09.8! The first quarter was run in 35.6 sec, half in 1:06.4, six furlongs in 2:46, mile and a half 3:17.6 and the full journey 4:21.8. From the mile post to the mile and a quarter post the tramped like champions are expected to - this section was left behind in 29.8 sec. Thunder paced the last mile in 2:05.6, but the extent to which to which he was enabled to ease off at the end is shown by his last half-mile in 1:04.2.
His official winning margin was six lengths, and he was slakening pace towards the close. "Although the slow pace early did not suit Thunder, he was always going like a winner," said C C Devine, "over the last half-mile in particular I felt very confident. He was a little sore before the race, but he soon got over that. The way he nods when he is going gives the impression of lameness, but that is just his style."
Cecil Devine won the 1951 New Zealand Cup with his own horse, Van Dieman, another accomplished stayer. Devine, a native of Tasmania, came to New Zealand about 20 years ago. The road to the top for Devine was not an easy one from the depth of the depression when he was glad to be a stropper to a good pacer of those "seldom" days in Evicus. Devine first came into prominence as owner and trainer of the useful little trotter, Teddy Greg. He had the bad luck to lose a promising colt named Viceroy, but he was compensated soon afterwards by some driving success behind the trotter Flying Scott. In the 1949-50 season Devine trained and drove the sensational filly Vivanti, whose mile and a quarter in 2:41.2 still stands as the New Zealand and Australian two-year-old record for a mile and a quarter. Van Dieman was well on the harness stage by then too, and he won the Royal Metropolitan Cup in January 1954, as well as the 1951 New Zealand Cup and a number of free-for-alls. Thunder's meteoric rise from maiden class to the top of the tree has been accomplished in the short space of 19 months. The New Zealand Cup win was worth £4975 (including the silver salver valued at £100) and brought his total stake-winnings to £12,097.
Excelsa was the only one of the field to make a bad break at the start, and Dancing Years showed the way out to Thunder, Roy Grattan and Caduceus, who made one of the best beginnings of his career. There was no inclination on the part of anything to "turn on the heat," and Thunder was in front with two furlongs covered. A furlong further on Caduceus took charge, and it was Worthy Chief's turn to lead by the time the first half-mile had been covered. They were closely packed by now, with Tactician bringing up the rear. Worthy Chief still lead at the mile, with Te Koi just shading him at the end of another two furlongs. Caduceus was third at that stage, and Thunder had drifted back to seventh. Down the back they sprinted, and by the time the three furlongs was passed Caduceus and Thunder were in charge. Two furlongs to go, and Thunder had ranged up on the outside of Caduceus. It was all over at the straight entrance: Thunder left Caduceus standing and he was all by himself at the winning post. Caduceus just failed to hold off Laureldale, who made a suprisingly fine showing for second, and Roy Grattan and Dancing Years were at the head of the remainder.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar
The New Zealand Derby Stakes ended in a dual between Bon Ton and Lookaway over the final furlong, with Bon Ton eventually asserting himself as by far the best three-year-old of the season to date.
Drawn in the second row, Bon Ton shot through brilliantly at barrier rise and was trailing the pacemaker Gentry, within half a furlong. Reputation then dashed through to take the lead from Gentry, with Bon Ton close up and Dignus and Golden Hero next.
The leading positions did not change until Lookaway moved up from sixth with a round to go, to have a clear lead at the furlong from Bon Ton, who had worked clear of a pocket at the quarter post. Bon Ton did not collar Lookaway until as late as 100 yards from the post, and it was a solid effort on the part of Lookaway (who was also drawn on the second line), to have Bon Ton stretched out at the finish, and also beat the third horse, Dignus, so easily. Golden Hero was a fair fourth, followed by Gentry, Aksarben, Overdrive and Crimson Star. Shantung and Sextant extinguished their chances at the start.
Bon Ton dispelled all doubts about three-year-old supremacy to date this season. He had been described as desperately unlucky to go down in defeat to Gentry in the Riccarton Stakes on the first day of the Cup carnival
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar
1956 DOMINION TROTTING HANDICAP
J Walsh, who has been one of Southland's leading trainers for well over 30 years, gained his most important success in the straight-out trotting section when he brought Cabra home at the head of a strong field in the Dominion Trotting Handicap.
Cabra owed his success to his solidness and reliability - no trotter in the top class at the moment is as imperturbable as Cabra; no amount of bustle or breaking of other horses around him will put him off. He keeps steadfastly on the beam, and any lack of brilliance on his part is more than balanced by his pronounced stamina.
In the Dominion, Cabra was always one of the first three, and he took the lead with half a mile to go, only to be outsped racing round the top by Scotch Paree. Scotch Paree drew away from Cabra and entered the straight with such a handy lead that he was being hailed as the winner. He was in difficulties at the half-furlong, however, and Cabra, who had kept on keeping on all the while, headed him with about 100 yards to go.
Prestbury, who had broken up when in the lead at the end of three and a half furlongs, was travelling fast in second place only a head behind Cabra, and a length back third was Recruit. Recruit showed remarkable speed after two breaks - the first costing him at least 50 yards - and on the running he could be regarded as a "racecourse certainty" beaten. He trotted his last mile and a half in 3:10. Several of the field broke badly at different stages, including Centennial Star, Enfilade, Slipstream and Quick Silver.
Cabra is a triumph for Walsh in more ways than one. A few seasons ago he showed little ability when sent north to a Canterbury stable and was sent back to his owners Messrs P J Bourke and A A Matheson, of Southland. Walsh, whose patience is proverbial, has succeeded in making a star performer out of a gelding who once went in danger of being a cast-off. Cabra, an eight-year-old gelding, is one of the few Dillon Hall progeny who favours the trotting gait - another top-class square-gaiter by him was Swanee River, and Shirley Dillon promises well.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar
Caduceus topped off a tidy record for himself over the three-day Cup carnival - his four starts yielded two wins, a second and a third - and gave J D Litten his fifth training and driving successes for the meeting, when he held on under keen competition from Johnny Globe to win the NZ Free-For-All.
Taking charge with seven furlongs to go, Caduceus was not afterwards headed. The only one who ever looked like taking it off him was Johnny Globe, who was weakening a little at the end after being forced to race over a good deal of extra ground.
Caduceus, only now six years old, has won 18 races, including three free-for-alls (two in New Zealand and one in Australia). His New Zealand stake-winnings have reached £16,694/10/-, and he won £5675 in Australia last season.
Cup victor Thunder did not start in the Free-For-All and has been put aside for a long spell. He will not race again until next season. His trainer, C C Devine, had difficulty keeping Thunder sound before the Cup, and after his easy win he was showing signs of weakness. It was decided that a lengthy spell would prevent the trouble becoming serious, and he is to be turned out on the Parnassus property of part owner Mr E Rutherford.
Credit: 'Ribbinwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar
1956 NZ OAKS
Overdrive won the New Zealand Oaks at New Brighton from end to end and increased her lead when the pressure was on over the final furlong.
A smart beginning saw her open up a clear lead from barrier rise, and she never looked like losing it. This is the second year in succession that the Oaks has gone to a daughter of Whipster. Last year's winner, Glint, also proved a cut above her opposition.
Overdrive's superiority was not surprising because she had already rated well against some of the top two-year-olds of last season, when she finished third in the Geraldine Invitation Stakes to Arnhem and Shantung, second to Bon Ton in the New Zealand Welcome Stakes, and third to Finestra and Golden Hero in the Methven Two-year-old Stakes.
Mr S T Webster, breeder-owner of Overdrive, also raced a previous classic winner from the same family, Jack's Son. Overdrive is out of Lucky Sweet, a daughter of the dual New Zealand Cup winner Lucky Jack, and the Wrack mare, Correct, dam of Jack's Son, a Champion Stakes winner and high-class performer in New Zealand and Australia; Correction, a good trotting winner in New Zealand and Australia; and Morning Wings another good winner at the trotting gait. Further back the family traces to the thoroughbred mare Idasa, fountain-head of the famous family which produced Springfield Globe, Cloudy Range and Ironside, all pacers of the top class.
Allanah Marie, Teremoana, Shantung, Our Bridget and Double Dale broke at the start. Gay Alabama and Stellar were the closest to the winner at the home turn, and Stellar made a spirited effort to race away from Gay Alabama from the furlong post. Stellar is a bay filly by Springbok from the smart pacer Star Ace (dam of Star Rose, Mayenga, Consul and other winners).
The bracketed pair from Gore, Ley's Pride and Mooloo, were disappointing. Mooloo broke up early, and Ley's Pride was struggling to hold her position with about three furlongs to go and finished a poor sixth.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar