The Berlin Wall is erected.
Amnesty International founded to campaign for those imprisoned for religious and political beliefs.
Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space.
John F Kennedy becomes US President.
Rudolf Nureyev, principal dancer at the Kirov Ballet, defects to the West.
Under the Antartic treaty of 1961, 27 countries agreed to ban mining to keep the Antartic unspoiled. They allow only scientific research.
11 Sept: World Wildlife Fund formed
Capital punishment is abolished (except for treason) when 10 National MPs cross the floor. Eight executions had been carried out since capital punishment was re-introduced in 1951.
The four University Colleges of the University of NZ become separate Universities.
After fifty years, barmaids are allowed to work in bars again.
June 1 - Television transmission begins from CHTV 3, Ch-Ch.
Credit: Ch-Ch City Libraries
In December 1957 the Architect advised that the new Stand at Addington could not be completed in time for the 1960 Inter-Dominion Championships allocated to the Club. An approach to the Inter-Dominion Council resulted in the New South Wales Trotting Club holding the Championship in 1960 and this Club in February 1961.
CHRISTCHURCH - MASSACRE
The glorious uncertainty of racing was seldom better illustrated than when Massacre landed the Grand Final at Addington in Christchurch 1961 - in one of the closest finishes on record. Massacre, a rugged sort of a 4-year-old but a virtual unknown, had won a mere four races before the Series. He was placed in two of the heats and scraped into the final.
But the merit of his performance could not be written down. He joined the select band to win the race as 4-year-olds when, after measuring strides with champion False Step through the telling home-stretch duel, he prevailed by the barest of margins over that great performer - to the dismay of thousands who were willing False Step to win and thought he had. False Step conceded Massacre 48yds, but had the race been run under ordinary handicap conditions the difference in Massacre's favour would have been 216yds.
What a finish it was. Massacre was declared the winner by a nose over False Step, and in fact the margin was a bare inch. Arania was a half-length back, third, and Lady Belmer was right up fourth. The outsider but one at 10-10 in the order of betting, Massacre paid £31/13/6 for £1 to win and £5/15/6 for £1 for a place.
It was the ultimate result for Massacre's amateur trainer, Duncan Campbell, who raced the gelding in partnership with Mr A Wilson on lease from Mr T E Prendergast, all of Ashburton, Mid-Canterbury. Campbell, a milk-bar proprietor, had served his time as an apprentice jockey before a stint as a coalminer on the West Coast of the South Island, and Wilson was a mechanic in a knit-wear factory. Neither had enjoyed anything out of the ordinary in the way of racing success, although a couple of years earlier, Campbell, treating trotting merely as a hobby, had raced the mudlark Bedivus for several wins in looser grades. He had leased Massacre as a weanling and driven him as a 3-year-old to win at the South Island country courses Reefton, Methven and Waikouaiti.
When Massacre was included in the line-up for the heats, experienced reinsman Doug Watts was engaged. Watts, a former jockey himself, and a driver with past Inter-Dominion experience, had achieved a record of some distinction when he drove the first seven winners on an eight-race card at Reefton in 1954. He had also won New Zealand Cups driving Integrity (1946) and Our Roger (1955), and the 1956 Auckland Cup with Unite.
Rather modest about the part he played in Massacre's Grand Final win, Watt gave a large slice of the credit to fellow reinsman Maurice Holmes. Said Doug "the horse was not going away at the start and Maurice told me not to let him begin but to wait for him." This amounted to not giving the horse his head immediately the barrier strand was released, and resulted in Watts getting Massacre away safely.
Holmes had driven Massacre in his other win before the Championship, a dead heat with Kingsdown Patch in the Templeton Handicap at Addington in August 1960. And Holmes was on the sideline during the 1961 Series with injuries he received in a race fall at the inaugural night meeting at Forbury Park, Dunedin, a month earlier. He had been driving star 4-year-old Sun Chief, who was also forced to miss the Series. Earlier that season, Sun Chief had won the Louisson Handicap at Addington and the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru and pushed False Step to the brink in that outstanding pacer's third New Zealand Cup win.
The absence of Holmes and Sun Chief prefaced a series of setbacks for the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club in staging the 1961 Inter-Dominion carnival. Another came when prominent pacers Rustic Lad (third top points scorer), Invicta and Lookaway were barred from starting in the £10,000 Final because their connections had not obtained the special permission of the Championship Programme Committee to withdraw their horses on the first day.
Trainer Jim Ferguson had left the scratching of Rustic Lad as late as possible in the hope that his good pacer would recover from a bruised foot, and had overlooked the relevant clause. While it was acknowledged that the onus was on the owner or his agent to observe the conditions, it was claimed that the club should have drawn the attention of the trainers to the clause when the scratchings were made, giving them a chance to seek the required special permission to 'pass'. The condition had applied to Inter-Dominion programmes in New Zealand and Australia for some years. It was introduced because trainers of horses who had gained sufficient points to earn a start in the Final had scratched from the last set of Heats. The condition decreed that, unless a veterinary certificate could be produced saying the horse was not fit to start, the three Heats had to be contested.
False Step stole the limelight on the first day when runner-up to Diamond Hanover (Doody Townley) in the world record time of 3:21.4 for 13 furlongs. False Step had added to his 48yd handicap by galloping at the start, then improved to join the leader near the half-mile, fighting back in his best style. Scottich Command, given every chance, was third, NSW rep Redwin fourth.
Teryman, stablemate of False Step, and by Cecil Devine's 1951 NZ Cup winner, the U Scott horse Van Dieman, won his heat well from Smokeaway, with Massacre making up ground for a creditable third. Robert Dillon, driven by F G (Freeman) Holmes, took his heat in clear-cut style from Guiseppe (who had been forced by a shoulder abcess to miss the Grand Final in Sydney a year earlier) and the NSW visitor First Kiss.
USA horseman Delvin Miller provided a sidelight on that first day when he piloted the Jack Litten trained Lavengro to win the Sydney Handicap under a vigorous drive. Miller, the man who bought and developed as a sire the immortal Adios, three days later guided trotter Jewel Derby home at Alexandra Park in Auckland from 66yds. New York trainer Eddie Cobb also drove the same day at Addington as Miller, without success, but showed his worth driving Stormymaid to win at Hutt Park, Wellington, the same week.
Rustic Lad buried his rivals for speed in the first heat, at a mile and a quarter, on the second day, clocking 2:35.6, a 2:04 mile rate. It was after this that the announcement came that although he would be allotted any points he should earn on the third night to add to his then equal top score of seven, he would be ineligible for the final.
Before False Step lined up for his heat on the second day, it was revealed that Devine had raced him in illegal gear when he set his world record on the first day. Chief Stipendiary Steward Len Butterfield ordered Devine to remove a neck pricker from False Step. The pricker consisted of a few tacks with points blunted, protuding through the inside of the neck-band. It was used with the object of preventing the horse veering out at the start of his races. A pricker of a type approved by the NZ Trotting Conference is a leather disc, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter, fitting between the bit and the jaw.
Writing in the Melbourne 'Sun', Jack McPherson commented: "the False Step scandal rocked Australians in Christchurch, but this city of horse-lovers took the cruelty quite placidly. Chief Stipeniary Steward Mr L A Butterfield, while admitting the use of neck-band prickers is absolutely forbidden, said 'often the use of unauthorised gear will provoke a fine, but in this case Devine won't be penalised." Cecil Devine, trainer/driver of False Step, did not consider the use of prickers made 'all that difference'. Earlier McPherson expressed the discontent of his fellow countrymen driving in the Series: "Australian drivers, after trying to observe the NZ rules, said that in the three-heat Series they would drive hub to hub in Australian fashion and take the consequences. Western Australian driver Bob Johnson said that he did not want to drive in New Zealand again, because he would be tempted to 'flatten NZ driver Bill Doyle'."
The second sensation concerning False Step on the second day came when he fell at the start. He paced off the mark, became unbalanced and tipped Devine from the sulky. False Step did not attempt to bolt, and Devine jogged him back to the enclosure, the horse minus some skin and a little stiff. That heat resulted in an all-the-way win for Damian, owned and trained by Aucklander Les Barrett (for whom he was driven by Doug Watts) and one of three progeny of the grand producer Bashful (Grattan Loyal-Bonny Logan by Logan Pointer) in the Series. Her two other sons, Guiseppe (also owned by Les) and Diamond Hanover (raced by J H G Peterson), along with Damian, qualified for the final. It was a unique distinction for the broodmare Bashful. Queen Ngaio (Felix Newfield)and Redwin (Pere Hall) followed Damian in.
A win in the other second-day heat for Arania sparked off a rowdy demonstration, as she had raced poorly on the first day. At an inquiry into her form reversal, an explanation that she had been left in the open on the first day was accepted.
Misfortune, which seemed to be doing the rounds, carried over to the Australian camp. Filling developed in the foreleg of Sultana and Kiwi Dillon failed to settle to his surroundings. The West Australian pair were forced to withdraw from the third and final days.
The third day, however, belonged to Australia. Redwin and Three Aces (SA, Rex Robinson)won two-mile heats, in each case having to fight off all challengers in the run home for narrow verdicts. The grand mare Arania, then a 4-year-old and seven months later to become the fastest mare bred outside of America with a 1:57 mile on Lexington's Big Red Mile in Kentucky, wound up leading point scorer when she annexed the other two-mile heat.
Trainer George Noble had one regret about Roy McKenzie's Arania:"in my opinion she went to America too soon; before she really had an opportunity, to show her real worth in New Zealand," he said. Noble, long-time trainer for Sir John McKenzie and then Roy, had been a top horseman in his own right in Australia before immigrating to New Zealand, where he was also to be to the top of his profession. Arania, by U Scott, was from Local Gold, a daughter of one of New Zealand's first 2:00 horse, Gold Bar. After her American campaigning, Arania returned to New Zealand to prove a successful broodmare.
With points awarded on the basis of 4,2 and 1 for the first three placegetters and 2 for the fastest time among the first four, the final table read: Arania(11), Damian(10), Rustic Lad, Three Aces(7), Diamond Hanover(6), Robert Dillon(5 1/2), False Step, Teryman, Redwin, Invicta(5), Guiseppe(4), Massacre, Gentry(3), Queen Ngaio, Smokeaway, Maestro's Melody, Samantha, Lady Belmer(2 1/2), First Kiss, Scottish Command, Fourth Edition(1).
With Rustic Lad and Invicta ineligible, Victoria's Maestro's Melody (third behind Caduceus and Apmat in Sydney a year earlier and fourth and second in the Addington heats) and Lady Belmer were chosen from the five with two and a half points to make a field of 13 for the Final. Cecil Devine had wound up with Jim Smyth's False Step and Teryman, whom he owned himself, in the Final. He applied though his solicitor to drive False Step. When the Executive endorsed the Rule of Trotting stating that no licensed person having an interest in any horse competing in a race shall drive any other horse not owned by him, Devine solved his own problem by scratching Teryman.
The pace was on from the start in the Final, with Guiseppe (Fred Smith) going for the doctor. It was apparent that False Step, who had added 12yds to his 48yd handicap when he swung out at the start, was faced with a stupendous task. Throughout the race all eyes were on False Step as he steadily whittled down the deficit. Recovering like the great horse he was, he straightened up for home wide outside and almost on terms with Diamond Hanover and Robert Dillon, who had drawn past the tiring Guiseppe. Massacre was coming fast into the picture wider out than False Step; Arania was diving for a wide gap on the inside; Lady Belmer was just in behind in the middle of the track and back on her outer was Redwin, making a remarkable recovery after tangling twice in the early running. Arania drew up to False Step and Massacre, and the three fought out a battle royal. False Step and Massacre flashed past the post locked together and only a neck ahead of Arania. Most, including the drivers, were sure that False Step had won and capped a remarkable New Zealand career in his last start before departing for the United States.
There were incredulous mutterings when judge Harry Spicer called Massacre first before calling for the photo, adding that "it was close for first and second". Doug Watts congratulated Cecil Devine on his success as they returned to the birdcage. Recounts Watts: "I finished a wheel behind Cecil, and we thought he had won by half a length." But the camera had the last say, and False Step, though he had won three NZ Cups, had been denied the triumph that would have capped his great 'Down Under' career.
Devine, who had come confidently back to the birdcage at the head of the field, was dumbfounded by the result of the photo-finish. "I would have been prepared to wager any amount at all that I had won. I have driven a lot of winners at Addington and have never made that mistake before," said the former Tasmanian, who had in his great New Zealand career won five NZ Cups and a Royal Cup. False Step was for all that credited with a world record for the 13 furlongs, of 3:21, cutting .4 sec from the record he clocked when second in his heat on the opening day. Lady Belmer had got up for a good fourth, a long neck from Arania, while Redwin headed the others.
The 1957 NZ Cup winner Lookaway, owned by Clarry Rhodes and now trained at Invercargill by veterinarian Cliff Irvine, emerged to win a consolation race. He had missed the second day after injuring a shoulder in a fall the first day. Scottish Command (the Auckland Cup winner of 1959) took the other consolation in a close finish with Invicta (who was to win the NZ Cup the following November) and Queen Ngaio.
Massacre's sire Whipster had been a good racehorse before being injured and retired to stud, and among his other progeny was Overdrive, the dam of an Australian champion, Lucky Creed. Whipster was by the imported Peter Volo horse Quite Sure, eight times leading sire of straightout trotters in New Zealand. Whipster's dam Bantam was by Jack Potts, sire of the first Grand Final winner at Addington, Pot Luck. Terrace Lass, the dam of Massacre, was by Nelso Derby, a son of Nelson Bingen and Norice, imported American-bred parents. A good winner herself in New Zealand, and runner-up to Monte Carlo in the first NZ Cup in 1904, Norice became ancestress of a prolific winning family.
Credit: Ron Bisman & Taylor Strong writing in 'The Inter-Dominions
As a student with duties I missed the 1961 NZ Cup. My first question as I hopped on the Lincoln bus home was, "Who won the Cup?" Bus drivers knew a lot about racing in those days. I was told, with disbelief on both sided, that it had bee Invicta. Invicta? How did that happen?
Happen it had. Given the run of the race by Steve Edge one of the younger trainers to have won a Cup, the old horse, an eleven-year-old, held out the unlucky Patchwork in a desperate finish. Nothing approaching that age has won the Cup since. As became known, Edge had employed staff especially to walk Invicta up to five hours a day on the roads through the winter of that year but could still give him only two lead up starts, unplaced runs in the Flying Stakes and the Hannon Memorial. So it was no surprise he paid 19 pounds to win. In spite of his chronically bad legs, Invicta managed to make the post in the 1962 Cup but the magic was long gone.
The irony was that but for a racing scandal Invicta may have been Cecil Devine's unprecedented fourth successive Cup winner. When Devine and Jack Litten were given six months over the 'whip incident'(suspensions were what they meant in those days) Devine dispersed several of his racing team. Invicta then going through the grades was won of them. Owner Les Duff gave the horse to his son-in-law Edge who was then training a small team at Rakaia. Edge also later trained a star in Light Lord from the same family as Invicta for the Duff family.
Ironically Percy Watson whose Purple Patch breed was then one of the most famous in the country, gave Lady Belmer to Devine to prepare for the Cup but she broke early and ran exceptionally well for sixth. Two years earlier her driver Maurice Holmes had been tipped from the cart in the race. Watson's other runner in 1961 was Patchwork. One man's luck in racing is inevitably another man's poison.
Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed Feb 2016
The death was reported recently of Pot Luck, one of the Dominion's outstanding pacers of his era.
Bred by Mr J D Smith at New Brighton, Pot Luck was secured as an early 3-year-old by Mr H J Stafford for whom he was trained by M Holmes. His most important success was gained in the Grand Final in the Inter-Dominion Championships of 1938, but Parisienne was declared Grand Champion on a points system.
Pot Luck had three starts as a 2-year-old for his then breeder-owner-trainer, J D Smith, but failed to gain a place. After five unsuccessful appearances at the beginning of his 3-year-old career Pot Luck drew attention to his future prospects when he finished second in the Riccarton Stakes to Double Great. For that placing he was trained and driven by Smith.
Shortly afterwards he was bought by Mr Stafford and entered the stable of M Holmes. In the NZ Champion Stakes at Ashburton that year he beat all but Frisco Lady. Four successes in a row followed, and after being beaten into second place by Stirling Lady in the Final Handicap at the Wyndham Trotting Club's meeting in March, he made amends by winning his next two starts. One of those wins was in the All-Aged Stakes at Ashburton, which was his last start for that season.
As a 4-year-old, Pot Luck made 28 appearances, winning six races and gaining eight placings. He opened his winning account as a 5-year-old when he was successful in the Burwood Handicap at New Brighton in September of that year and later added the Louisson Handicap and the Inter-Dominion Grand Final to his record before the season had closed. In addition that term, Pot Luck was in the minor money on seven occasions.
Pot Luck did not win a race as a 6-year-old but returned to the winning list at seven years, winning the Wellington Cup and the Jubilee Handicap at New Brighton. He was also placed 11 times that season. His sole success the next term was gained in the King's Handicap at the National meeting at Addington when he beat Lightning Lady by half a head. After failing to regain form the following season Pot Luck was retired.
By Jack Potts, Pot Luck was out of a Harold Dillon mare, Hope Dillon, who also left another winner to Jack Potts in Wishful. In all Pot Luck won 18 races for stakes amounting to £8092. Stakes were on a much lower scale when he raced. As a comparison, the stake for the Grand Final in Pot Luck's year was £2350, compared with £10,000 this year. He was 28 when he died.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 9Aug61
Winner of the NZ Cup in 1956 and second to Lookaway in the same race the next year, Thunder, one of the greatest stayers ever to race in the Dominion, has been retired from racing. He was being prepared for racing at the Inter-Dominion Championship series but was very sore when he raced in a heat at the Addington trials last week.
Thunder was by no means the smoothest pacer to race, and was often called ungainly and clumsy; many were so uncharitable as to tag him carty. But he was still the complete answer to any question of the fastest passage between any two given trotting or pacing points when in his prime.
Thunder's meteoric rise from maiden class to the top of the tree was accomplished within the short space of 19 months. During his career Thunder won £18,762 10s in stakes in NZ, the result of 16 wins and 14 placings. He also won a consolation race at the 1960 Inter-Dominion series at Harold Park and earned £940.
"This is the only breed of horses we have ever raced," said Mr Erik Rutherford, in replying on behalf of the partners who raced Thunder, when the NZ Cup was presented after Thunder's success. "The family goes back to Acron and other good winners."
Mr Rutherford was a partner in Thunder's dam, Busted Flush, a very good winner herself. From Millie C, the foundation mare of this family - a very brilliant as well as a good staying line - stemmed a previous NZ Cup winner in Marlene, and a champion of the early 1920,s in Acron. Busted Flush was got by Jack Potts(imp) from Millie de Oro, by Rey de Oro(imp) from Millie C, who was by Wildmoor from a mare by Ha Ha(imp). A host of good winners trace to this taproot.
Thunder was the first NZ Cup winner sired by Light Brigade and he took records of 3.10 1/5 for one mile and a half, 3.24 2/5 for one mile and five furlongs and 4.13 4/5 for two miles.
Thunder was trained for all his successes by the Templeton trainer, C C Devine.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 8Feb61
The death was reported recently of champion pacer Rupee who, in a racing career extending over six seasons, had 24 starts for 14 wins, five seconds, two thirds and one fourth for £14,880 in stakes. He was undefeated in his first nine starts.
A bay horse by a NZ Derby Stakes winner in Gold Chief from the Jack Potts mare, Canister, Rupee was bred by his owner, J Grice, who trained him throughout his career. He was driven in practically all of his races by D Townley.
Rupee first drew attention to his ability when he won the Timaru Nursery Stakes at his first race start from Tatsy Hall and Van Dyke. He had only two more starts that term, winning the NZ Welcome Stakes and the NZ Sapling Stakes.
As a 3-year-old the following season he won the NZ Derby Stakes, the NZ Champion Stakes and the NZ Futurity Stakes. They were his only appearances that term. Rupee chalked up three more wins as a 4-year-old before he met his first defeat which came in the Autumn Stakes at the Addington Easter meeting when he was narrowly beaten by Excelsa.
Throughout his career Rupee set a main for winning first up after being away from racing for several weeks. His first start as a 5-year-old was in the Louisson Handicap in August at Addington, a race he won comfortably by a length and a half. At the same meeting in the National Handicap, Rupee was beaten into third place. Denbry won from Our Roger.
Rupee did not appear again until he took his place in the field for the memorable NZ Cup on 1954. He was installed favourite over Johnny Globe who won in the world record time of 4.07 3/5. Young Charles was second and Rupee third. On the third day of the same meeting, Rupee made amends by winning the Ollivier Free-for-all from Tactician, Au Revoir and Johnny Globe. Ribands proved too good for Rupee on the concluding day of that meeting in the NZ Pacing Championship. Ribands paced the mile and five furlongs journey in the then world record time of 3.21 3/5, beating Rupee by four lengths. Rupee went 3.22 2/5. His last appearance for that season was in the Electric Stakes at Addington, in which he beat such pacers as Tactician, Thelma Globe and Petite Yvonne.
Rupee won only one race as a 6-year-old - the Farewell Handicap at the Addington National meeting. That season he made his second attempt to win the NZ Cup but had to be content with second place behind Our Roger. In only two starts as a 7-year-old, Rupee won the Lightning Handicap in August and was unplaced in the Ashburton Flying Stakes - his last race appearance.
In the NZ Cup of 1954, Rupee returned 4.12 for the two mile journey and registered 3.07 1/5 for the mile and a half in the Ollivier Free-for-all. When making his second attempt to win the Ollivier Free-for-all, Rupee paced the distance in 3.05 4/5 when second to Caduceus.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 31May61
1961 NZ FREE-FOR-ALL
Making his first appearance in free-for-all company, Cardigan Bay won his ninth consecutive race when he led practically throughout to win the NZ Free-For-All at Addington on Friday.
His performance was all the more meritorious as he paced a little roughly for the first two furlongs and then was challenged for the lead by Smokeaway, whom he quickly shook off. When tackled by Scottish Command in the run home it momentarily appeared as though Cardigan Bay was going to be hard pressed to win but 30 yards from the post trainer-driver, P T Wolfenden put his whip away and Cardigan Bay won comfortably.
Cardigan Bay's nine wins on end equals the winning sequence of Rupee, and the Hal Tryax pacer requires one more win at his next appearance to equal the winning run of War Bouy who won 10 races in a row before tasting defeat. Just how good Cardigan Bay might be is difficult to assess. He beat the best pacers in commission on Friday pointlessly, and he appears to be a foolproof pacer. He is already being discussed as a racecourse 'certainty' for the Auckland Cup next month.
Cardigan Bay was sent out a short priced favourite, paying £1 16s for a win and £1 6s for a place. No official time was taken but Cardigan Bay was privately timed to pace the mile and a quarter in 2:39. Scottish Command, although no match for the winner in the run home, paced a sound race, and there was some merit in Smokeaway's third placing after disputing the lead in the early stages. Lady Belmer finished fourth, just shading Lookaway who paced a grand race. Lookaway stood at the start and was checked later when Diamond Hanover broke. Another to be checked was Johnny Guitar. Teryman was right up sixth ahead of Earl Delta and Panui.
Bred by D Todd, Mataura, under whom he did his early racing, Cardigan Bay is a five year-old bay gelding by Hal Tryax from a capable pacer in Colwyn Bay who had her racing career cut short by unsoundness. Colwyn Bay is a half sister by Josedale Dictator to Scotch Girl, Snow Jane (dam of Slick Chick), Toucher, Scotch Pleasure and Dorstan. Cardigan Bay raced last season in the interest of Mr A Todd, Mataura, and was purchased before the present season by Mrs A D Dean. He has been trained and driven for all his engagements this term by the Pakuranga trainer, P T Wolfenden. Since he began racing as a three-year-old in the 1959-60 season Cardigan Bay has won 11 races and been placed twice for £5690 15s in stakes.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Harness Weekly 15Nov61
1961 DOMINION TROTTING HANDICAP
Au Fait added further to a brilliant career when she prevailed over Dianthus Girl in a battling finish to the Dominion Handicap on Friday. She was driven a most patient race by her trainer, R Young, who followed Dianthus Girl round the home bend and did not pull Au Fait out to make her bid till well down the straight.
Both trotters were feeling the effects of a fast-run race and showed rare gameness towards the end of the gruelling contest. Au Fait beat Dianthus Girl by a length and a half with Coronet Lass six lengths further back, then came Moon Boy, Kennoway, Indianna, Mighty Hanover, When, Merry Nora, Supervise and Reprimand. Resistor, With You and Ordeal were pulled up.
Reprimand set a scorching pace out in front and it was a grand sight to see the trotters literally 'flat out' from barrier rise. They were all tired as they passed the post - not surprising in the circumstances. From 36 yards Au Fait trotted the two mile journey in 4:15.8 to equal the New Zealand record for the distance jointly held by Dictation and Moon Boy. Her time also beats Dictation's winning time of 4:16.4, made when he won the Dominion Handicap in 1950. Some idea of the torrid pace is given by the fact that the backmarker Ordeal, from post to post was privately timed to trot her first mile in 2:03.2 and mile and a quarter in 2:34.
Au Fait is a seven-year-old bay mare by Johnny Globe from Dauphine, who took a record as a pacer of 3:26.6 and 3:43.8 as a trotter for one mile and five furlongs. Au Fait was educated and did her early racing under D G Nyhan, for whom she won the New Zealand Trotting Stakes in 1958. Au Fait was also sent over a mile against time as a two-year-old, going 2:13.2, figures which still stand. To date Au Fait has won 14 races and been placed 20 times for £9677 in stakes.
Au Fait is raced by Mr J McKay, of Wellington, whose wife is a daughter of the late Mr E X Le Lievre, of Akaroa, who imported Bertha Bell, the fourth dam of Au Fait, who is by Johnny Globe 4:07.6, from Dauphine, by Light Brigade from Belita, by Guy Parrish from Bell Bingen, by Bingen-Bertha Bell. Bell Bingen, also bred in America, came to New Zealand with her dam as a foal at foot. She was injured on the journey and never raced. R Young also drove Acclamation to win the Dominion Handicap in 1949. He has an impressive record with trotters, including the winning drive on Gay Belwin in the trotter's Grand Final of the Inter-Dominion Championships at Addington in 1951.
Dianthus Girl trotted a grand race and was gallant in defeat. She broke at the start and was second last in a fairly strung out field with a mile and a quarter to go. The outsider of the field, Coronet Lass battled on for third. Moon Boy was thereabouts all the way and appeared to be a little sore on returning to the birdcage. Ordeal began brilliantly from 54 yards and was given little respite. She soon raced up to be handy, but wide out, and as was stated earlier, was forced to develop speed that would have done Gold Bar proud in any of his lone runs in important races. It was hardly to be wondered at that she broke and collapsed with a round to go, dropping right out of the contest after switching to the pace. Mighty Hanover had every chance, but never really looked a serious threat.
Reprimand must be given credit for his part in this record-breaking contest. He raced clear just after the start and was in top gear from that stage till he reached the end of his tether racing into the home bend. His was a grand effort while it lasted.
Credit: 'Irvington'writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 15Nov61
Invicta, the veteran of the field, came through on the inside from fourth place at the home turn and hung on in determined style to hold off the strong finishing Patchwork in the 1961 NZ Trotting Cup at Addington. His official wining margin over Patchwork was a neck, and two lengths further back came Scottish Command who beat Lookaway by a head. Lady Belmer was fifth.
From the limit Invicta clocked 4:14.4 for the two mile journey after receiving a good run all the way. He was driven a most patient race by trainer S D Edge, who was never bustled at any stage of the race and reserved his run until the right moment. The race was a good one and few excuses could be offered for those who finished behind Invicta. The win favourite Sun Chief had every chance but he was a beaten horse soon after reaching the front early in the run home.
At the start Lady Belmer, Panui, Scottish Command and Diamond Hanover were slow and the early order was Queen Ngaio, Highland Heath, Robert Dillon, Zany, Fourth Edition, Patchwork, Invicta, Sun Chief, Damian, Fitment, Guiseppe, Scottish Command, Diamond Hanover, Lookaway and Lady Belmer. After covering half a mile Zany took over the role of pacemaker and was showing the way to Fourth Edition, Queen Ngaio, Highland Heath, Invicta (down on the rails), Robert Dillon, Patchwork, Sun Chief, Damian, Fitment, Guiseppe, Lady Belmer, Scottish Command, Diamond Hanover, Lookaway and Panui, with the field in fairly close order, mostly running in pairs.
Excitement quickened when Sun Chief moved up to be one place behind Zany on the outside of Fourth Edition. With a mile to run Zany still had charge and the order was much the same, and with a round to go Diamond Hanover made a forward move but was three wide, and Sun Chief was one out without a trail alongside Fourth Edition. Lookaway was also starting to improve from the back. Zany and Sun Chief turned for home almost together with Diamond Hanover next and Invicta on the rails. Lookaway was coming into the picture wide out and Patchwork, Fitment and Scottish Command were also handy. Sun Chief appeared to be pulling hard approaching the home turn and it looked as though driver M Holmes only had to let him go to race right away from the rest.
Sun Chief headed Zany, but was done almost immediately and Invicta shot through to gain an advantage a furlong out. Patchwork lived right up to the form she had shown in recent weeks and her effort to get within a neck of Invicta was a good one. Scottish Command was one of the tail-enders for a good part of the way and there was a good deal of merit in his placing. Lookaway's performance shows he has lost very little of his brilliance, and Lady Belmer made up a big stretch of ground. Next to finish were Queen Ngaio, Sun Chief, Damian, Guiseppe, Highland Heath, Robert Dillon, Diamond Hanover, Fitment, Panui, Zany and Fourth Edition last.
Of those who finished behind Invicta, Patchwork, Scottish Command and Lookaway were the most impressive and Lady Belmer must be given credit for her fifth placing. Sun Chief looked as though he had done his fair share of work but lack of racing took its toll when it came to the run home. After a slow beginning Diamond Hanover covered some extra ground in the middle stages. Zany was responsible for most of the pace but had had enough at the home turn.
An 11 year-old bay gelding by Sandydale from Globe's Advice, Invicta is a member of the famous Thelma family, which also produced Wildwood Junior, the winner in 1909 and 1910, and Author Dillon, who won in 1918. Invicta is the oldest horse to win the Cup in recent years. He was making his third appearance in the race, having finished out of a place in the 1959 event and fourth last year.
Invicta is the first foal of Globe's Advice, and was bred by Mr L Duff, a steward of the Forbury Park Trotting Club. Mr Duff has raced Invicta throughout his career, which began under the guidance of C C Devine. Globe's Advice was got by Springfield Globe from Bingen's Advice, by Great Bingen (who finished a close second to his full brother, Peter Bingen in the sensational finish to the New Zealand Cup in 1928), from the grand race mare in Free Advice, by Blue Mountain King-Intaglio, by Logan Pointer-Cameos, by Galinlo-Thelma, by Kentucky.
Globe's Advice was bought by Devine from her breeder, Mr C M Archer, of Southbrook, for Mr Duff, who did not know at the time what he was getting. On the journey from Rangiora to Dunedin, Globe's Advice was dropped off at Oamaru to be mated with Sandydale, and Invicta was the result of the mating.
Invicta's present trainer-driver, Steve Edge, has had the horse since he was seven years old and has done particularly well with him, taking him right through to the top classes. Edge and Invicta had the satisfaction in the past of beating the mighty False Step twice - in the Ollivier Handicap at Addington last season and in the Timaru Centennial Cup in 1959, a race which was run under invitation conditions. Edge belongs to the younger brigade of trainers (he is 30 years old). He has only been training horses for six years but has enjoyed his fair share of success. Interviewed after the race, he said: "I got a good run all the way and Invicta had some in reserve when it came to the home run." Invicta is the defunct sire Sandydale's first Cup winner, but two other champion pacers he sired were Captain Sandy and General Sandy.
The race was run at a solid pace from the start. The first half-mile took 64secs, the six furlongs 1:37, the first mile 2:10, the mile and a quarter 2:42.4, mile and a half 3:14.4, the last half in 60secs and the last quarter 29.4secs. Investments on the race were: On-course £21,328; Off-course £28,234 10s. Last year's on-course total was £21,673.10s, and the off-course total £25,977.
The day's racing was held under almost perfect conditions on a fast track, but due no doubt to the curtailment of complimentary tickets, the attendance was down on last year. This year's figures were 18,000, compared with 19,600 last year. On-course the totalisator handled £185,496 5s (including £21,571 5s on the double), compared with £189,199 15s last year. Off-course investors wagered £198,872 (including £98,020 on the double), compared with £182,914 5s last year. The combined on and off-course total was £384,368 5s, compared with £372,114 last year, an increase of £12,254 5s.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 8Nov61
1961 NZ DERBY STAKES
The Dominion's champion three-year-old Lordship, backed down to £1 5s for a win and 19s for a place, gained the easiest of wins in the NZ Derby Stakes at Addington on Saturday. He coasted home ahead of his nearest rival Belroy by six lengths, with Rembrandt three quarters of a length further back. Rembrandt was followed by Trade Fair, then came Adioson and Ruling Caste.
From the second line Lordship received a good run through and was in third place before the end of a furlong, at which stage he could have gone to the front with little difficulty. The race took a sensational turn in the back straight where Lordship had become awkwardly placed. D D Nyhan, driver of Lordship appeared to be weilding his whip against either the driver of Southern Smoke (G L Mitchell), or Southern Smoke himself, or both! It was a disgraceful incident, to put it mildly. Racing to the three furlongs Lordship was still in between Belroy (rails) and Southern Smoke and the whip slashing was resumed. When Lordship eventually pushed through he quickly asserted his authority and then sprinted right away.
Lordship paced the journey in 3:12, only 1-5sec slower than Stormont's New Zealand and Australian record established two years ago. There is now shadow of doubt that Lordship could have established new figures
if he had been pushed.
The Chief Stipendary Steward (Mr L A Butterfield) issued the following report:-
"After the running of the NZ Derby Stakes an objection was lodged against the first placing being awarded to Lordship, on the grounds of interference to Southern Smoke, driven by Mitchell. After hearing the evidence it was decided to dismiss the objection. Arising from this evidence a complaint was lodged against Nyhan on the grounds of striking Mitchell with his whip during the running of the event. After the evidencehad been heard Nyhan was found guilty of striking Mitchell. Therefore his horseman's licence was suspended until February 17, 1962, inclusive."
"I am thrilled that my colt has won the Derby," said Mrs Nyhan in reply to the decoration of Lordship by Mrs J K Davidson, wife of the president of the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club. "I would like to thank my husband, who trains him, and my son who drove him and had a terrible lot of difficulty trying to get out," she said.
Lordship, whose sire Johnny Globe won the NZ Derby Stakes in 1950, has now won £5235 in stakes, the result of eight wins and six placings in 14 starts.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 22Nov61
1961 NZ OAKS
For Certain justified her solid support in the New Zealand Oaks at New Brighton on Saturday when she gained success over the fast finishing Atlanta by a length, with Swietenia in third place followed by Hiya. Kinell was next, then came Gay Reel, with a long gap to Ruling Caste and another to Kelso Lady and Sara Black. For Certain's win was very popular with the public and she received a fine ovation on her return to the birdcage.
For Certain lost at least 24 yards at the start, but soon made up her self-imposed handicap to be just in behind the leaders going through the straight for the first time. For Certain was restrained in behind until just inside the final furlong and when pulled out to challenge gave her many supporters a few anxious moments when she ran towards the outside fence. The majority of the field lost their chances at the start, but Atlanta impressed by the manner in which she made up ground for her second placing. Sweitenia also put in some good work for third and Hiya showed speed approaching the half-mile to be on terms with the leader, Gay Reel, racing into the straight. Gay Reel was done with shortly after turning for home.
For Certain cannot boast much in the way of size, but she is a nice mover and possesses a useful tern of speed. Owned, trained and driven by W R Butt, she is a bay in colour and is by Meadow Chief from Little Doubt, a full sister to Quite Obvious, Quite Probable and Call Boy, and a half-sister to Meadow Cheer. Previous to Saturday, For Certain this season had started five times and been placed on four occasions, two of her placings being a second to Rembrandt in the Riccarton Stakes and third to Rembrandt and Aiblins in the NZ Metropolitan Challenge Stakes. Last season, as a two-year-old, For Certain was placed four times in seven starts, her best effort being in the NZ Sapling Stakes when she ran Lordship to a neck.
Atlanta was making her first race appearance and is bred to make fine progress, being by Light Brigade from the grand race mare in Excelsa. She is owned by Mr M T Baker and trained at Springston by J H Winter. Sweitenia was also making her first race appearance and her effort suggests she will develop useful form. She is by Flying Song from a non-stud book mare in Flight de Oro, by a speedy pacer in Red Flight from Agnes de Oro. Hiya, owned and trained by Mr A W Stark, Addington, is by Stormyway from Arizona, and is thus a half-sister to Ordeal.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 6Dec61
Club officials estimated that there were about 1,000 patrons in the stand when the warning was given. The fire tender used by the Club on racedays arrived at the stand soon after the smoke was first noticed. The smoke thickened and it became apparent that the fire had a very strong hold.
The fire tender crew, assisted by racecourse staff and members of the public, ran a hose quickly from the fire hydrant near the corner of the stand to the front and played water on the fire from above until the first engine arrived about five minutes later. A few items of catering equipment piled on the ground just outside the stand were removed but most of the caterers’ equipment was lost in the blaze. By 5:30pm thick smoke was pouring out of the building and while the firemen attacked the fire the crowd spilled out onto the race track and many gathered on the embankment at the top of the straight. The crowd on the course at the height of the fire was estimated at 20,000 and many went to the inside of the track and to the birdcage to obtain a better view. It was announced over the public address system that the last race would be run later than scheduled and the crowd was asked to keep away from the fire and let the firemen get a really good go at it.
No one was injured although one of the firemen who dived clear when the burning roof collapsed was kept under observation in the ambulance room for a time before being allowed to return to duties. A newspaper report on the fire said that the first notice of the fire given to the public was a laconic announcement over the course loud speaker system “Please evacuate the stand”. There was no panic and the controlling of the crowd was no problem to the police according to Inspector J G J Fitzpatrick, who was in charge. He stated that the crowd behaved excellently. The crowd was kept well back from the Stand on the lawns in front and behind but as more firemen arrived and the smoke thickened the crowd was moved off the lawns and the concrete area in front of the Totalisators, which was soon covered with water. The extension ladder was brought into operation but failed to be of any help as the dense smoke blinded the firemen operating it.
By 6:30pm the stand was gutted and by 7:00pm only part of the end wall near the Stewards Stand and the big chimney at the other end of the building were standing. Flames were still licking the wreckage at 7:30pm and the Chief Fire Officer, Mr L R Osmond, predicted that it would still be smoldering the following morning. The fire which was at first thought to have started in the kitchen occurred after two earlier outbreaks in the Stand and one in the Tea Kiosk had been extinguished. The Chief Fire Officer said the fire took hold on the centre floor well inside the building and the sprinkler system which was installed after fire destroyed the outside Public Stand 8 years previously did not hold the fire and it burst away along the ceiling above the sprinklers. Mr Osmond said that the wind and the cavity nature of the construction of the building made the firemen’s efforts ineffectual and because of the nature of the construction it was almost impossible to play water onto the seat of the fire.
The New Zealand Free-For-All, the last race on the programme was run at 6:00pm forty minutes late when the fire was at its height. The event was won by Cardigan Bay with Scottish Command second and the appropriately named Smokeaway third. Before the race could be run several hundred persons had to be cleared from the track and at the conclusion the horses were driven back along the straight and led off through a small gate near the mile and five furlong barrier.
The loss of the stand was a major blow to the Metropolitan Trotting Club and the administrators of the Course for it left the Club with greatly reduced accommodation and catering facilities for the Public on the third and forth days of the Meeting. At an emergency meeting the Committee decided that limited seating would be available on the Members Stand for the Public but there would be no stand accommodation for visitors. The Canterbury Jockey Club and the New Brighton Trotting Club offered assistance to the Metropolitan Club and as a result there was extra seating available on the banks in front of the stand areas. A marquee, which was used on Cup and Show Days, was retained and half the Tea Kiosk made available to the Public as a cafeteria and the other half as a buffet luncheon area. A public bar was provided by erecting a marquee behind the burnt out stand. After investigations it was agreed that the fire did not begin in the kitchen as many thought but underneath the seating about three rows from the front at the Western end. The general opinion was that a cigarette butt was probably the cause.
Many persons commented on the extraordinary lapse of time that occurred before the arrival of the Fire Brigade. The Chairman of the Fire Board, Mr W R Campbell, stated “I have checked with the Chief Fire Officer and found that there was positively no delay. The first call was registered from the sprinkler system at 5:01pm and the first machine from Headquarters reached the fire six minutes later. Taking into account the amount of traffic on the route at the time it can be fairly said that this represented a smart response”.
Three of the four major fires at Addington occurred during the Cup Meeting, the first on Cup Day 1916 and the latter two on Show Days 1953 and 1961. On each occasion a strong Nor’ West wind had been blowing.
On the Sunday following the fire the Directors considered the problems associated with the loss and at a later meeting the representatives of Wormald Brothers explained why the stand protected by their sprinkler system had been destroyed. The System installed had conformed to the Underwriters requirements and it was obvious that these would need to be amended to include the provision of sprinkler heads in the small areas directly under the seating as was eventually installed in the Members Stand.
Credit: NZMTC: Historical Notes compiled by D C Parker