Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment for sabotage, treason and violent conspiracy. He was held at Robben Island until 1990. For his work to end apartheid he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and the following year, after South Africa's first all-race elections, was elected President. He retired from politics in 1999.
Harewood becomes NZ's first jet airport.
New Zealander, Trevor Norton harpooned the last whale killed in New Zealand waters.
February 27 - Lyttelton road tunnel opens.
June 27 - large crowds for visit of Beatles pop group.
July 17 - The Government Life Building in Cathedral Square was opened. It was the city's first "high rise glass box." The building was subsequently demolished because of damage caused by the 2011 earthquakes.
October 21 - Peter Snell wins second gold in Tokyo.
Snell had successfully defended his 800m title earlier at the Tokyo Olympics before completing the coveted middle-distance double with gold in the 1500m. Fellow Kiwi John Davies won bronze.
Credit: Ch-Ch City Libraries
This building was situated in what is now the main car park facing the back of the Twiggers Stand.
The display board showed the approximate win and place dividends and the drivers and scratchings, as well as the total investments on the separate pools.
Investments were made from the windows at the front of the building with seperate batches of windows for 10/-, £1, £2, £5, £10 investment units. Successful investments were collected from the payout windows at ther back of the building.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 5Aug64
EARLY SULKY DEVELOPMENTS
Recently the writer paid a visit to Bryant & Co's workshop in Dalgaty Street, Christchurch, in search of information on early sulkies. The above firm is now carried on by Mr W B(Bill) Cooper, and his son Russell.
Mr Cooper was unable to clear up the question as to who used the first real sulky in a race, but old records of the firm, dating back to 1890, show who were the first men to use the first sulkies manufactured by Bryant & Co. In 1890 the firm built the first high-wheeled sulky used in Christchurch. This vehicle had four-foot diameter wheels with solid iron tyres. A similar cart, of the same design, but with heavier wheels, was used for racing by Mr H('Soda Water') Mace in 1890. A Mr H Reece also used the same type of cart. In 1892 Mr J G Grigg, of Longbeach, purchased a high-wheel sulky. He bred many trotters from the imported mare Jeanie Tracey. A Mr Lascelles and a Mr McLean, of Hawkes Bay, were also the owners of this build of sulky about the same time as the Longbeach owner.
The first pneumatic tyred sulky built by Bryant & Co appeared in 1893, and it was owned by a Mr Jack McGregor. This cart was somewhat similar in design to the ones used today, the main difference being that the seat was set much higher. The hubs for this sulky were imported from America, and the wheel was built around the hub. The spokes and rim were made of wood, and the pnuematic tyre - tubeless - was bolted onto the rim. In 1894, Bert Edwards purchased one of these Sulkies from Bryant & Co, and no doubt he used it for racing, as also did M(Manny) Edwards who ordered on the same year.
A horse called General Tracey, who set a three miles record of 8min 15 1/2 secs back in the 1890s, pulled a sulky of this type.
These are only a few of the names of the earlier school of owners, trainers and breeders which appear in the records of the firm. Bryant & Co built carts of all types, and many of the high wheeled carts were only put to private use. However many of them were pulled by high-spirited trotters, and the owners were not averse to challenging one another in trials of speed on the roads.
During the 1920s - earlier and later - the wide, short-shafted American type of sulky made it's appearance, and all of these were not imported from America. Bryant & Co built a number of this design, but as fields increased in size, the wide sulky went out of favour. The last time the writer saw one on a racetrack was when the trotter When went against time at Rangiora just before her departure for America. The vehicles used almost universally in NZ today - for years past for that matter - are traditionally known as speed carts.
The firm of Bryant & Co was established in 1872, in Papanui Road, Christchurch: "fine carriages, dog carts, gigs, pagnal carts and racing sulkies" were among the special merchandise built by the 'old firm'. Records kept by Bryants from the eariest days embrace, over more than 70 years of production, such well known names as Bert Edwards, Manny Edwards, Jack McGregor, Andy Pringle, W J Doyle Snr, Geo Murfitt, A Kerr, H W Kitchingham, Alf Wilson, Free Holmes, Thos Roe, Dave Price, Ben Jarden, W J Morland, James Bryce, Tom Fox, Roy Berry, J J Kennerley, W J Tomkinson and D A Withers. There are legions more.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 29Apr64
A defection from the third round of heats with an arthritic affliction that had made him markedly lame, and passed by the official vet as fit to start only a little more than three hours before the Grand Final, South Australian 4yo Minuteman handsomely took out the 1964 Final in Melbourne. Tactile driven by Robert Cameron finished third from 12 yards behind.
This year's Inter-Dominion Championship which started at Melbourne on Saturday will continue on February 26 and 29, and conclude on March 7. Commentaries of all-events will be broadcast through the all-night programme of 2YA Wellington.
Where NZ horses are placed, the commentary will be repeated through YA and YZ stations at 7.18am, 8.19am and 12.36pm the next day. If no NZ horses are placed, only the result of the heat will be broadcast at the above stated times.
Forty-eight horses are contesting the pacing series, and 24 horses the trotting series. At least half of the horses in each section were bred in this country, giving further proof of the influence of NZ horses in Australia.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 26Feb64
Dictation, who died recently, was one of the greatest trotters ever to race in the Dominion. At one time during his career he held seven records, including a world record. Like the majority of champions, Dictation was an individualist. He was possessed of unbounded, almost atomic energy, and his inclination to keep on the move may have contributed in no small measure to his death.
Dictation was spending his retirement in a spacious paddock with Ordinance on the farm of Mr Geoff Hammond, at Lismore. Both horses were well fed, had plenty of shelter and water, with acres of room in which to move. Their feet were trimmed regularly, and they were always fat. One day recently both horses took to galloping around the paddock, Dictation no doubt being the chief instigator. The 'workout' however, proved too much for Ordinance, who dropped dead. Dictation was in a lather of sweat, and shortly afterward developed pneumonia, and complications set in. Nothing could be done for the old fellow, who was 20 years old, and owner-trainer, Mr J (Jim) Wilson, was in no doubt that the kindest thing to do was to put Dictation down. Both Dictation and Ordinance are buried on Mr Hammond's farm.
Dictation always pulled hard, in work and in races, and Wilson was often criticised unfairly by 'grandstand' drivers for his handling of Dictation. Dictation only knew one pace, 'flat out'. In a race it was useless trying to drive Dictation in behind, for if anything in front slowed up or broke, Dictation and his driver were immediately in trouble. Dictation was just as likely to carry on at his own pace and run into, or go over the top of the sulky in front. He could not be controlled, and had to be let run along. These tearaway tactics were not confined to racedays. Dictation was the same at home, and could never be jogged quietly in harness. He did on more than one occasion take off across the centre of Mr Wilson's private track, and it was hopeless attempting to keep Dictation on a set course, if Dictation decided otherwise.
This wilfulness on the part of Dictation led to a change in training methods. Dictation did the bulk of his work on the lead. On jogging days his trainer would use two horses, one after the other, from which to lead Dictation, as he naturally required more work than a lot of other horses. Dictation even did his fast work behind a horse galloping in the sulky. "He was a great leader," said Mr Wilson, "and never once did he touch the wheel of a sulky when in training." When Dictation could work over different distances at a 2.10 gait in this manner, he was considered ready to go to the races.
Mr Wilson said that never, during his racing career, did Dictation walk from the birdcage after a race, no matter how hard that race. He always trotted out. Often too, he went a lot further than the rest of the field before he could be pulled up. He had remarkable powers of recuperation after a hard contest - two or three deep breaths, and he was back to normal. Dictation would not have been retired when he was if Mr Wilson had not reached the age limit when he could no longer hold a driving licence. Only one other driver handled Dictation in races, but the combination did not click.
Dictation had another side to his nature. Around the stable, in his yard or paddock, he was as docile as a lamb, and the easiest of horses to handle. And he could handle all types of going, wet or dry, grass tracks or dirt tracks, but he was at his best on dirt tracks, as he was a line trotter. A line trotter does not spread behind as some do, each hind foot in turn driving straight up behind the corresponding front foot.
By Josedale Dictator from the New Derby mare, Seal Globe, Dictation was bred by Mr P J Andrew, Ashburton, and was first tried as a pacer. He showed very little promise in this department, and Mr Wilson bought Dictation for £200 and converted him to the trotting gait. He made his first appearance as a 3-year-old at the Kaikoura Trotting Club's annual meeting held at Rangiora in 1948. Dictation finished third to Tatsydale and Steel Sword in a division of a novice race for horses of that gait. Dictation next lined up in the NZ Trotting Stakes, and this time was third to Signal Light and Cottesloe.
Dictation had three starts as a 4-year-old before he won a novice trotter's race at Ashburton, and that was his final start for the season. As a 5-year-old, Dictation really began to show what potential he had, and he won five races, including the Railway Handicap at Forbury Park, and the Stewards' Handicap at Auckland.
The 1950-51 season was a record-breaking one for Dictation. Among his successes was the Sockburn Sprint at Addington, in which he trotted the mile and a quarter journey in the Australasian race-winning time of 2.38 3/5. Dictation later clipped 1/5 sec off this time when he finished third to Highland Kilt and Gay Belwin in a qualifying heat of the Inter-Dominion Championship at Addington. At the same meeting at which Dictation won the Sockburn Sprint, he also won the Dominion Handicap in the then record winning time of 4.16 2/5. At the Inter-Dominion Championship meeting that same season, Dictation failed by only a head to give Swanee River 36 yards start in the Trotters' Championship Qualifying race. In running second, Dictation recorded the amazing time of 3.10 4/5 for the mile and a half, time which still stands as an Australasian record for trotters.
Dictation won only one race in the 1951-52 term, and that was the NZ Trotting Free-For-All at Addington, in which he trotted the mile and five furlong journey in 3.28 4/5 to add yet another record to his growing list. Dictation also trotted the distance in 1951 in 3.27. In 1954, at the National meeting at Addington, Dictation lowered these figures to 3.25 1/5 (a world record) when he finished fourth to Battle Cry, Precaution and Excellenza in the Winter Handicap when conceding starts up to 96 yards to this high class field, which also included Vodka and Fair Isle. This record was equalled by Durban Chief in 1959, and broken by Moon Boy in 1960, who went 3.23 4/5.
Four more successes came Dictation's way in the 1952-53 season, including the Reta Peter Handicap at Addington, when he met on even terms (60 yards) and beat, Gold Horizon. One of his best performances that term was in the Dominion Handicap. From 72 yards, Dictation trotted the two miles in 4.15 4/5, a new Australasian record for the distance.
After two unplaced performances in the 1953-54 season, Dictation created his seventh record when he won the Greyhound Handicap from 48 yards, in 3.12 3/5. In reviewing the race 'Ribbonwood' had this to say: "Dictation returned to all his former glory by winning the Greyhound Handicap from Correction, Red Valley, Lady Inchcape and Vodka in a finish that was nothing short of colossal - no fewer than 12 horses charged acoss the line with only about four lengths separating them. The speed was on from start to finish...It would exhaust all the light-harness superlatives and cliches ever thought of to put on paper adaquately the intrepid run Dictation had to make to win Saturday's race from the back mark of 48 yards. He was certainly on the fence at one stage in the middle part, but J Wilson soon dropped the idea of going the shortest way round, and he took Dictation three, four and even five out over the last six furlongs to come home at two minute speed to nose out Correction in a finish that must have delighted everyone on course." It was voted one of the best races witnessed anywhere in the world.
To that stage of his career, Dictation also held the outright mile and a half record with his 3.10 4/5 for a place, the mile and a quarter record 2.38 2/5 and the winning record for the same distance, 2.38 3/5, the mile and five furlongs record of 3.27 and the two miles record of 4.15 4/5, as well as the winning record for the same distance, 4.16 2/5. To hold so many records at one time was a record in itself. That same season, Dictation also won the Otago Handicap at Forbury Park from 60 yards, and the NZ Hambletonian Handicap at Addington.
Dictation failed to win a race in the 1954-55 season. However, that was the term in which he set the fresh figures of 3.25 1/5 for one mile and five furlongs. The next term was Dictation's last on the racetrack. He made three appearances, but did not get into a place. In one particular race, when racing four carts out, Dictation was privately timed to trot his last mile in 2.02 2/5.
Dictation raced at a time when there was a wealth of champion trotters about, including Precaution, Gay Belwin, Highland Kilt, Fair Isle, Single Task, Swanee River, Barrier Reef, Signal Light, Battle Cry, Vodka and Gold Horizon, to mention a few. In all, Dictation started in 84 races for 17 wins, 30 placings and £16,330 in stakes.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 20May64
Sun Chief, one of the Dominion's top pacers in his heyday, is to be retired from racing. He had more than his share of bad luck after reaching five years of age.
During the last two seasons, Sun Chief failed to return to his earlier good form, his failure to do so being due, no doubt, to his being involved in more than one accident in races.
Sun Chief commenced racing as a 2-year-old in the 1958-9 season, and met defeat only once in six starts - in the NZ Sapling Stakes. That season Sun Chief won the NZ Golden Slipper Stakes, the Canterbury Park Juvenile Stakes, the Timaru Nursery Stakes, the NZ Welcome Stakes and the Oamaru Juvenile Stakes.
At three years Sun Chief won four races, including the NZ Champion Stakes and the Great Northern Derby in 3.14 1/5. Sun Chief was also narrowly beaten in the NZ Derby by Stormont after meeting with interference.
Sun Chief commenced his 4-year-old season on a winning note in the Louisson Handicap, a success which brought him right into favour for the NZ Cup that year. His prospects of success in the big event were further strengthened when he beat a strong field in the Hannon Memorial Handicap by a length and a half. Sun Chief made a game effort to win the Cup at four years, but was caught and beaten in the last furlong by False Step - an out-and-out champion.
Sun Chief won the final of the Dunedin Festival Cup as a 5-year-old, his sole success at that age. Since then, Sun Chief has raced removes below his best form, but last season he managed a fourth in the NZ Cup won by Lordship.
Sun Chief is a handsome bay horse by My Chief from the Dillon Hall mare, Jenny Dillon, a direct descendant of the imported mare Bonnie Jenny. In all, Sun Chief won £12,360 in stakes in the Dominion, the result of 12 wins and 14 placings in 62 starts. He also won a substantial amount in Australia.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 1Apr64
Caduceus, who died at Wyndham last week as a result of an accident, returned from the United States in March, 1963, after virtually circumnavigating the globe and proving himself a champion in all of the four countries in which he raced - his own, Australia, the United States and Canada.
The Calendar, on Caduceus's retirement, claimed for him the following distinctions:-
*The most travelled racehorse the world has ever known. The distance from NZ to the United States of America, on to England and then back here is nearly 27,000 miles alone. Add to this his several trips to Australia - Perth is 6432 miles return, Adelaide 3798, Sydney 2642, Melbourne 2990; and his excursions into Canada from the United States; and how many more thousands of miles did he cover in his home land, from Auckland to Southland?
*The biggest stakewinner, galloper or harness horse, ever bred in NZ or Australia, with a total of $329,937, which is computed in NZ currency as approximately £116,000. [Cardigan Bay may now be slightly ahead on this total.]
*The highest light-harness stakewinner in NZ and Australia with a total of £68,204 10s in these countries.
*The fastest pacer or trotter ever imported into NZ - he had a mile record of 1.57 3-5 against time when he left NZ, and a race record of 1.57 2-5 when he arrived back. [Arania, 1.57, returned to NZ later]
*The holder of three NZ records: the mile, 1.57 3-5 established in 1959 [since lowered by Cardigan Bay to 1.56 1-5]; the mile and a quarter, 2.31 4-5 (1960), and the mile and a half, 3.04 2-5 (1955).
*"The mightiest pacer ever to hit these shores"- a tribute paid him by a leading USA publicity man on the eve of Caduceus's return to NZ.
Caduceus, trained by J D Litten, won the NZ Derby, NZ Champion Stakes, NZ Futurity Stakes and was the champion 3-year-old of his season. At four years he won the All Aged Stakes, the Metropolitan Challenge Stakes and Auckland Cup. At five years he won the Sydney Lord Mayor's Cup and a Harold Park free-for-all; and back in NZ he won under free-for-all conditions over a mile and a half in the world record figures of 3.04 2-5 from a standing start, which still stands. Caduceus finished a close second - beaten a head by False Step - in the NZ Cup of 1958. He finished third in 1959 to False Step and Gentry; and third in 1956 to Thunder and Laureldale.
At seven years Caduceus entered the 2.00 list for the first time, and at nine years he created new Dominion and Australian figures by running one mile against time at Addington in 1.57 3-5; he returned 2.31 4-5 for one mile and a quarter (still a world record from a standing start), and his phenomenal success in the Grand Final of the 1960 series of the Inter-Dominion Championship at Harold Park, Sydney, remains indelibly impressed. It was his sixth consecutive appearance at the Championships.
At nine years Caduceus not only retained all his zest for racing and work, but he had actually achieved the impossible by improving! The Yonkers promoters were quick to recognise this, and soon the ruling light-harness monarch abdicated his Australasian throne to invade the citadel of trotting - America! A crowd of 14,000, the largest Easter attendance for some years, packed round the birdcage and rails at Addington when Caduceus, the Moore Bros., and J D Litten, on the eve of their departure for America, were given a farewell by the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club in April, 1960.
Caduceus competed against all the American champions - Adios Butler, Bye Bye Byrd, Bullet Hanover and Irvin Paul included - and he won no fewer than nine races in the United States and Canada. "Caduceus impressed American horsemen not only with his gameness and stamina, but also with his speed at an unfamiliar distance, one mile. Not only was he clocked at the age of 12 in 1.57 2-5 under race conditions at Santa Anita, but he raced the best American pacers, including Adios Butler and Widower Creed, as well as 'Down Under toughie' False Step." declared a Yonkers spokeman. "Caduceus is held in great esteem at home, discounting the old 'saw' that no one is a hero in his own backyard," concluded the Yonkers tribute.
Caduceus raced for ten seasons and won 55 races. He remained incurably light-hearted wherever he went, the eternal youth. He was feted and fanfared on radio, motion picture and television - even banquetted in carpeted, chandeliered New York dining halls! He became a drawcard wherever he appeared in the United States. He was called the "Mighty Atom" here and the "David among the Goliaths" in America. He was only 14.1 hands when registered as a 2-year-old and was always a valiant "pocket edition."
His globe trotting apparently affected him little. He continued to look forward to every day with relish. It was, unfortunately, his seemingly endless supply of energy and exuberance that contributed to his untimely death: the injuries from which he died were the result of his rearing up on his hind legs and crashing down on his chest on a concrete post. Caduceus did his first full stud season on the property of his owners, Messrs D D and D R Moore, Templeton, Canterbury, last season, and he served over 40 mares. He had just started the current season in Southland last week and had covered only one mare.
Ron Jenkins: Great Trotters
Bred in NZ in 1950, Caduceus was a pony-sized pacer nick-named the 'mighty atom'. He amassed more than $320,000 in prizemoney in NZ, Australia, America and Canada.
Caduceus did not race in Australia until he was a 5-year-old and in 1956 he won the first of two Lord Mayor's Cups. He was again successful in this race in 1957 and, in addition, won the 1959 Summer Cup at Harold Park. These three successes were all of the 36 yard handicap. His time of 3:30 in the 13 furlong 98 yard Summer Cup at a fast 2:05 rate created a track record which stood for nearly 10 years until bettered by Halwes when he rated 2:04 1/5 in 1968.
At one time Caduceus held track records at Harold Park, Melbourne, Wayville, Gloucester Park and Addington. His Addington mile rate of 2:02 4/5 over 1 1/2 miles was a world record. Caduceus recorded many sub two-minute times, his fastest being 1:57 2/5 in America.
Caduceus had contested six Inter-Dominions when he competed in the Sydney series in February, 1960, as a 9-year-old. A record crowd of 50,346 attended the final and to their delight saw the gallant New Zealander, from the back mark of 36 yards, get up to defeat Apmat (12 yards). After this win Caduceus was invited to compete in America. In typical American promotion Caduceus was feted during his stay in the US from dining with celebrities in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to a rousing farewell upon his retirement.
When he returned to NZ in 1962, Caduceus stood at stud and sired the two good Harold Park performers, Born To Trot and Royal Society. Unfortunately, Caduceus injured himself in a paddock and as a precaution a veterinary surgeon was called. An injection was given but Caduceus proved allergic to it and died within hours.
Caduceus was the winner of 82 races in 10 seasons of racing.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 21Oct64
The death was reported recently of Snowflake, whose 3-year-old record of 4.18 for two miles, established in 1947, still stands. By Dillon Hall from Silk Stockings, Snowflake was registered as a 2-year-old as a skewbald filly, and won, and lost, her first and only race at that age. Snowflake won the Great Northern Stakes by three lengths, but was later disqualified on a registration technicality.
At her first start as a 3-year-old, Snowflake was beaten by half a head in the Canterbury 3-year-old stakes by Free Fight. At her next race attempt, Snowflake again had to be content with second place, this time to Branford at Geraldine. Three starts later Snowflake took her place in the NZ Derby Stakes, and once again Free Fight proved her master.
Snowflake later struck a solid patch of form, winning three consecutive races - the Great Northern Derby, the Bruntwood Handicap at the Waikato meeting and the Campbell Handicap at Auckland. Snowflake's record-breaking two mile effort came in the Liverpool Handicap at Addington, in which she started from 48 yards, her 4.18 lowering Indianapolis's long-standing record by five seconds.
Snowflake won at four and five years and gained one second at six years. Her career was brought to an end when she met with an accident. Snowflake won £6030 in stakes, the result of six wins and 12 placings, and at stud she has been represented by the winners Moray, Elegant and Reputation.
Credit: Írvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 28Oct64
Light Brigade, who would have been officially 27 years of age on August 1 next, died at Roydon Lodge last week from a colic condition or a twisted bowel. He had been in good health and condition right up till the last and had practically completed another full stud season. Among the mares on his final list were Local Gold(dam of Arania), Malabella(dam of Bellajily), Merval(one of the best pacing mares of her day), Lady Belmer(another top class pacer), Vanity Scott, Virginia Scott(dam of Trade Fair), Sure Phoebe(dam of Harbour Light), Royal Triumph(dam of Junior Royal), Inglewood(dam of Glenurquart), Autumn Sky(dam of Lochgair), Highland Silk(full sister to Highland Fling), Circlette(U Scott-Within) and an as yet unregistered royally-bred mare by U Scott-Haughty.
With one or two seasons excepted, Light Brigade had been a sire of high fertility. Even with advancing years he had been reaching a percentage of more than 70 - the 1961-62 statistics show that he covered 48 mares that season for 29 live foals, a percentage of 71.73. His 1960-61 figures were 61 mares covered and 42 live foals, 77.59%. In 1959-60 he did the big season of 91 mares, which produced 67 live foals, 83.53%. The season prior to that the 57 mares he covered produced 30 live foals, 60.38%. A year earlier he had covered 60 mares for 46 live foals, 84.21%. His 1956-57 figures were: 58 mares, 42 live foals, 79.3%; 1955-56, 62 mares, 48 live foals, 83.61%; 1954-55, 64 mares, 32 live foals, 50%; 1953-54, 74 mares, 53 live foals, 82.85%, 1952-53, 78 mares, 50 live foals, 65.38%; 1951-52, 90 mares, 66 live foals, 77.11%; 1950-51, 84 mares, 57 live foals, 75.31% - that was the first season these statistics were compiled.
Light Brigade was foaled at Walnut Hall Farm in 1937 and was imported from America in 1940 by the late Sir John McKenzie. Light Brigade, who was a trotter when he was purchased, took some time to become adjusted to the hopples when first tried at Roydon Lodge by G B Noble, and he looked anything but an elegant pacer in one of his early trials at an Addington matinee. He apparently took some ironing out, because he was a 3-year-old on arrival, and he did not race here until the latter half of the 1942-43 season, when he was officially a 6-year-old.
Unplaced at his first two starts, he opened his winning account in the Trial Handicap, a maiden two miles at Ashburton in June. Driven by his trainer, G B Noble, Light Brigade won impressively by half a length in 4.39 in his 5.1 class. The following season, 1943-44, Noble produced Light Brigade in six races for the excellent tally of three wins, a second and a third placing. He won a sprint race at Wellington very easily, stayed much too well for a 4.48 class field over two miles at Auckland, and in his final appearance of the season he won again over two miles at the NZMTC Easter meeting - the going was heavy, and he created a big impression that day by making his final run down on the heaviest part of the track next to the rails to beat Claremorris and Scottish Lady (both very capable pacers) going away by two lengths. At his only appearance in the 1944-45 season Light Brigade scored another very easy win on a dead track over two miles in the Canterbury Handicap on NZ Cup day.
Light Brigade was now proving a difficult horse to keep sound and had to be sparingly raced in the 1945-46 season. He was a heavy-topped horse, and was afflicted by splints all his racing life. He ran a meritorious fourth from 48 yards in the two mile Craven Handicap at the Metropolitan meeting, and from 36 yards in the Cashmere Handicap, another two mile race at the same meeting, he ran fourth to Belhall, scr, Sir Michael, scr and Tam O'Shanter, scr. The first and second place-fillers were good horses, particularly Sir Michael, a free-for-all winner later on. One unplaced performance the following season saw the last of Light Brigade on the racetrack.
Minus his splints, Light Brigade could have been anything. In training he was more than a match for some of the top pacers of his day. On one particular occasion, when he was still racing in the improvers' class himself, he thoroughly trounced a champion pacer who had already been a free-for-all winner and subsequently ran third in a NZ Cup. The champion shall be nameless, also the champion's trainer - one of the most successful we have had in this country - who was so astounded by Light Brigade's performance that he declared then and there that the imported stallion was "the greatest pacer I have ever seen." And that trainer prepared three NZ Cup winners!
Already started on a stud career, he had been by no means rushed by breeders when first advertised at the microscopic fee (by modern standards) of "7gns a mare, with return privilege." That was soon altered when he sired a NZ Derby winner, Free Fight, from his first crop of foals, a mere handful though it was - he had served about half a dozen mares as a 5-year-old. Light Brigade's fee eventually climbed to 150gns, and he had a 'waiting list' even at that figure. Season after season he was fully booked, and had been right up to the time of his death.
It followed in the natural course of breeding events that a double-gaited stallion like Light Brigade (a son of Volomite, who left many champions of both gaits), should leave winners of both gaits; but no other sire, with the possible exception of an earlier progenitor in Wrack, and Light Brigade's companion Roydon Lodge sire, U Scott, has been credited with so many great performers of both gaits as has Light Brigade.
His pacers are headed by Vedette(Inter-Dominion Champion and free-for-all winner), Thunder(NZ Cup), Lookaway(NZ Cup), Soangetaha(two Auckland Cups), Patchwork(Easter Cup), Le Mignon(13 wins including NZ Saplind Stks), Tactics(11 wins including New Brighton Cup), Scottish Light(12 wins including Lightning Free-for-all), Attack(14 wins including Dunedin Cup), White Angel(12 wins including Oamaru Hannon Memorial) and Masterpiece (11 wins including free-for-all)
His top trotters make just as impressive a team. Ordeal, 1.59 3/5, the only NZ-bred two-minute trotter(17 wins in NZ, including the Dominion Handicap, Rowe Memorial Cup and free-for-alls), Battle Cry(Inter-Dominion Trotters' Championship Grand Final and Auckland Mark Memorial when competing against top-class trotters), Recruit(17 wins including Dominion Handicap, Rowe Cup twice, and free-for-alls), Fair Isle(12 wins including Dominion Handicap), Signal Light(Ashburton Cup and free-for-all), Light Oak(11 wins including Bridgens Free-for-all), Our Own(11 wins including Worthy Queen Handicap), and When 2.02 4/5, NZ and Australian mile trotting record-holder(18 wins including NZ Hambletonian Handicap and free-for-alls).
These are but the cream - there are dozens more of both gaits any trainer would be glad to have in his stable. In the classic field too, Light Brigade has built an indelible name as the sire of the following winners:
Timaru Nursery Stakes: Dresden Lady, Bon Ton.
Oamaru Juvenile Stakes: Vigilant, Golden Hero.
Great Northern Stakes: Scutari.
NZ Sapling Stakes: Forward, La Mignon, Golden Hero.
NZ Derby Stakes: Free Fight, Fallacy, Bon Ton.
NZ Champion Stakes: Fallacy, Bon Ton, Lochgair.
NZ Futurity Stakes: Fallacy, Lookaway.
GN Derby Stakes: Soangetaha, Scottish Brigade.
NZ Trotting Stakes: Signal Light, King's Brigade, General Lee, Battle Cry, Winterlight, Our Own, Asia Minor.
Canterbury Park Juvenile Stakes: Bon Ton.
NZ Welcome Stakes: Bon Ton.
NZ Oaks: Zany, Balcairn.
Light Brigade is taking time to come into his own as a brrodmare sire, but he is in good company in this respect, because U Scott was also late in making his mark as a sire of producing dams; but he eventually made it, and Light Brigade now looks certain to follow suit. Light Brigade made a sharp advance from seventh on the Broodmare Sires' List in the 1961-2 season to fifth last season, when his daughters were represented by such winners as Min Scott, Peerswick, Deft, Lakeda, Meadowmac, Adioson, Belle Vue, Black Treasure, Field Chief, Filet Mignon, Notify, Queen's Cord, Rapine and Uteena. In earlier seasons his mares produced the champion trotting mare Au Fait, as well as Gay Baron, Adioway, Raft, Zenith, Stormy Parade, Dawn Smoke, Ivy Scott, Estelle, Retreat, Spangled Princess, Adroit, Josie Gay, Satyr and others.
Light Brigade's sons have bred on, notably Fallacy(sire of False Step, Falsehood and Dignus), Masterpiece(sire of Master Alan), Local Light(sire of Blue), Court Martial(sire of Moon Boy and Reprimand), Forward(sire of Avante), Fourth Brigade(sire of Fourth Edition), Red Emperor(sire of Blue Emperor) and Attack(sire of Responsive, First Attack and Doctor Kyle).
Light Brigade's sire, Volomite, 2.03 1/4, will ever remain one of the cornerstones of the standard breed. Sire of 33 in the two-minute list, and who was the leading sire of America over a long period, he has now been the leading broodmare sire for many years. Light Brigade's dam, Spinster, 2.05, was the dam of five winners, and belonged to the famous Minnetonka family, which has produced a record number of Hambletonian winners, including Hoot Mon, 2.00, the first two-minute Hambletonian winner, and who is now an eminent sire (11 in the 2.00 list) - he has been fully booked for years past at a fee of $5000. Spinster was by Spencer, 1.59 3/4, who was the leading sire of the United States in 1937. The Minnetonka family abounds in trotters and pacers in the very top flight, one of the most notable pacers being Dancer Hanover, 1.56 1/5.
Light Brigade has already been the leading sire of the Dominion three times, and he has also been second six times and third four times, in the last 13 seasons he has not been further back than third. His grand total to date in NZ is approximately £740,000, which places him second to the record-breaking U Scott (approximate total to date in NZ £987,000), and in front of Dillon Hall (£731,000, approx.), who was second until this season. Light Brigade, in the 1956-7 season, established a record for one season that still stands - his progeny's winnings totalled £72,337 10s
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 29Jan64
Blue Mountain, one of the top pacers in the Dominion in his day, died recently in his 37th year.
Blue Mountain, at the time of his death, was being cared for on the property of Mr O H Sprott, Pendarves. He was grey in colour when registered as a 3-year-old in 1930, but was pure white in later years. Blue Mountain commenced racing as a 4-year-old, and was retired at 10 years.
J M Maconnell, who trained at Drummond, Southland, first produced Blue Mountain, who was later trained by E Todd at Wyndham. After he won his way out of Southland classes, Blue Mountain was transferred to L A Maidens's Methven team, and for a short time after that was trained by J S Shaw at Addington, only to be taken over again by Maidens, for whom Blue Mountain won the majority of his races.
In 1934, Blue Mountain finished second to Indianapolis in the NZ Cup, and in the same year won the Ollivier Handicap in 4.17 3/5. Blue Mountain also finished third in the Auckland Cup to Roi l'Or and Worthy Light. He took a record of 2.38 3/5 for one mile and a quarter, and won 16 races altogether.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 3June64
Lordship produced his best form in the NZ Free-For-All. He hesitated a little at the start but was into top gear quickly and was soon handily placed. He waited on the leaders till well inside the furlong before challenging. Lordship caught Orbiter 24 yards out and went on to win by a length in the smart time of 2:34.6 for the mile and a quarter journey, a 2:03.6 mile rate. The leaders sprinted their last half mile in 60.2, the final quarter in 28.8 secs. Lordship appeared to be a much keener pacer than he was on Cup day, and he was given a rousing reception on his return to the birdcage. Lordship has now won £25,930 in stakes, the result of 24 wins and 21 placings.
Orbiter made a game attempt to win but found Lordship just too good on the day. Orbiter was alongside Cairnbrae racing to the straight and had that pacer covered after turning for home. He looked a winner until Lordship put in his claim, and he was far from disgraced in going under to a pacer of the calibre of Lordship.
Jay Ar finished in good style for third after being several places back at the home turn, with Vanderford in fourth place, followed by Cairnbrae and Waitaki Hanover, with three lengths to Flying Blue, who was followed in by Gay Reel and Dandy Briar, with Grouse tailed off.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar
Doctor Barry proved what a really good three-year-old he is when he overcame difficulties in the running to win the NZ Derby Stakes in one of the roughest contests in living memory. The majority of runners were buffeted or checked at some stage of the race.
Form worked out well, the first three horses, Doctor Barry, Donald Dundee and Golden Oriole being the best supported. No excuses could be made for those who finished behind Doctor Barry, as he had nothing in his favour from barrier rise; and the leaders paced the last half-mile in 61.8, and the final quater was paced in 29.4 secs. Doctor Barry won by a length and a half from Donald Dundee.
Doctor Barry, who was near the rear early, was beginning to improve at the half-mile, but he ran into trouble at the three furlongs, tangling for a few strides. However, he did not loose much ground. He continued his run, and it was obvious half-way up the straight that he had the result in safe keeping. He ran on strongly.
Donald Dundee raced right up to earlier efforts this season in finishing strongly to cut Golden Oriole out of second place. Donald Dundee did not look like catching the winner, but his performance was a sound one. Like Doctor Barry, Golden Oriole was badly served in the running and she did well to finish where she did. Lady Nugent was in the leading division from the start, and battled on for fourth, followed in by La Garrison, then came Douce, Waiuku, Black Tryax, Russell Gee, Sunset Chief, King Gypsy, Mister Chips, Paranova and Smokey Range last. The last-named was knocked out of the contest after a furlong.
Doctor Barry is a big plain looking three-year-old colt with a prominent roman nose, but very powerfully built. He is by Fallacy from Weekender, a half-sister by Dillon Hall to Falsehood. Doctor Barry was bred by Dr B W Nixon, president of the Greymouth Trotting Club, and Mr J R Steel, Greymouth, and is raced by Dr Nixon and Mr H B Steel, formerly of Greymouth, but now of Christchurch. Doctor Barry is the first horse in which Mr Steel has had an interest, but his father, Mr J R Steel has been a prominent owner and administrator for many years. Mr Steel's interest in Dr Barry is the result of a "lend-lease" arrangement with a brother, Mr R Steel, who owns Weekender in partnership with Dr Nixon. Mr B Steel was loaned his brother's share of Weekender when she was mated with Fallacy. Mr Steel's mother was also represented in the Derby by Russell Gee, who is trained by C S Donald.
Doctor Barry only started racing on October 3, and he has had six starts for a fourth, a second and four wins worth £2495 in stakes. Trained and driven by J D Litten, Doctor Barry gave the West Melton trainer his fourth training and driving success in the NZ Derby. Litten also trained Congo Song up till a short time before the pacer won the event in 1947, but he was not credited with the success as he had to enter hospital a few days before. 'I got the trainer's percentage from the win, so that was something," said Litten.
It is interesting to note that Doctor Barry and Golden Oriole are both by Light Brigade sires, Fallacy and Local Light respectively. Light Brigade, of course, is by Volomite, as is also Flying Song, sire of the second horse, Donald Dundee.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar
Veterans both, Cairnbrae and C S Donald gave nothing a chance of heading them in the NZ Trotting Cup after taking charge with about half the journey covered, tramping the last mile in 2:04.2 and the last half in 60.2 and crossing the line two lengths and a half clear of Orbiter.
Cairnbrae qualifies for the veteran circle because he was one of three eight-year-olds in the field, the oldest group in this year's Cup.
C S Donald qualifies in age and ability - and with honours thick upon him as the most successful trainer of all time in the Dominion.
Cairnbrae's celebrated family - on both sides - has now produced the winners of seven New Zealand Cups - Cairnbrae's sire U Scott has been represented by Highland Fling (winner twice), Van Dieman and Cairnbrae; and on the dam's side Cairnbrae traces to Tairene whose great tribe included the dual NZ Cup winner Lucky Jack.
For Donald it was a second Cup victory - in 1940 he owned and trained Marlene, who beat Dusky Sound in a desperate finish. Incidentally, Donald also bred that fine mare. This was Donald's first driving success in the Cup. Marlene was driven by his brother Ron.
Records galore became a habit with Donald long ago - his success as leading trainer in the 1962-63 season meant that he had by then headed this list nine times, thus beating the record previously held equally by himself and the late James Bryce. Bryce's record of heading the trainer's list eight times was established as far back as the 1923-24 season, and Donald equalled it in the 1960-61 season. Donald has now held a trainer's licence for more than 42 years. It was in April 1922, that he took up the training of light-harness horses, and his score of winners to date has reached 857, easily a record for the Dominion.
Cecil Donald has consistently affirmed that the outstanding event in his training career was his win with his own splendid mare Marlene in the 1940 New Zealand Cup, especially since that milestone in the Donald fortunes was attended by the wins of Tan John in the Dominion Handicap and Plutus in the Free-For-All at the same 1940 NZ Cup meeting. That is believed to be a unique 'triple crown.' And at the same carnival he won the mile saddle race with Repeal and the Australasian Handicap with Superior Rank. Donald's first training and driving success was with the trotter Mangoutu in the Seaview Handicap at the New Brighton Trotting Club's Summer Meeting on Thursday, December 14, 1922. Donald has had a mighty cavalcade of great horses through the stables; perhaps the best remembered of his 'greats' of the past would be Lindbergh (a NZ Cup heat winner in 1931), Plutus (a free-for-all specialist), Carmel, Quality, Ferry Post, Clockwork, Bayard, Brahman and Falsehood; and he has also prepared a glittering band of trotters, among them Kempton, Rangefinder, Writer, Wahnooka, Great Way, Captain Bolt and John Mauritius.
Dandy Briar, Jay Ar, Oreti, Gay Reel, Waitaki Hanover and Orbiter were all slow away, Orbiter losing a good 36 yards, and he was well back when the field settled down. After going half mile, King Hal had charge from Vanderford, then came Valcador, Garcon D'Or, Urrall, Deft, Lordship, Cairnbrae, Oreti, Orbiter, Dandy Briar, Waitaki Hanover, Jay Ar and Gay Reel, most of the field racing in pairs. Cairnbrae moved up smartly soon after, and was in front with a mile to run. Following Cairnbrae was King Hal, and then came Vanderford and Valcador, Garcon D'Or and Urrall, Deft and Lordship, Orbiter, Dandy Briar and Oreti. Cairnbrae led into the straight, and it was obvious a furlong out that he had the result in safe keeping. Lordship and Orbiter made game attempts to bridge the gap to Cairnbrae, but neither could do any better, and Orbiter then came on the scene with a strong run to cut Lordship out of second place, with Vanderford fourth. Orbiter could be regarded as a shade unlucky. Oreti was fifth, then came Garcon D'Or, Gay Reel, Deft, Waitaki Hanover, Dandy Briar, Jay Ar, King Hal, Urrall and Valcador last.
Safeguard, the dam of Cairnbrae, was a performer above the average and took a two miles record of 4:18.4. She was bred by the late Mr W T Lowe, who also bred Cairnbrae, now owned by Mr Lowe's son, W E Lowe, of Hinds, where his late father bred many high-class pacers and trotters, notably Lucky Jack, a leading stayer in the late 1930's. He also owned Trampfast, the champion trotter of the early 1930's. Safeguard was by Springfield Globe, a champion Tasmanian pacer trained for many important wins in New Zealand by the late R B Berry, who trained and drove Lucky Jack. Safeguard was out of Molly Direct, a high-class pacer by Jack Potts from Real Girl, a useful winner by imported Real Guy from Tairene. Tairene was by Wildwood Junior (winner of the NZ Cup in 1909 and 1910) from Jessie B, to whom trace close to 100 individual winners.
Cairnbrae has now had 13 wins and 13 placings for £11,680 in stakes. Cairnbrae had the fastest two mile time of 4:12 among the Cup candidates before Tuesday's race. That was recorded when he finished third from 42 yards to Orbiter (Limit) and Great Credit (36 yards) in the New Brighton Cup last February. In his Cup victory he went slightly slower.
The result was a triumph for the blood of U Scott - Cairnbrae and Orbiter were sired by him and Lordship is out of a U Scott mare. Lordship was a warm favourite. On-course he carried £3108 for a win and £1644 10s for a place; off-course he had £640 for a win and £5747 for a place. The Cairnbrae-King Hal-Urrall bracket carried on-course, £789 10s for a win and £1975 10s for a place, and off-course £584 for a win and £1419 for a place. Total investments on the race were down on last year's figures: the on-course total was £22,503, against £24,147 10s last year; off-course investments totalled £35,013, against £35,930 last year. The totalisator turnover on-course for the day was £216,064 10s, a substantial increase on the £192,254 handled last year, and a record for one day at Addington. This year there were nine races, last year eight. The off- course total this year was £196,592 10s compared with £180,714 15s last year. The attendance was 18,000, compared with 18,500 last year.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar
Flaming Way confirmed his winning run in the Worthy Queen Handicap on the first day with the gamest of performances to win the Dominion Handicap. Flaming Way's effort was all the more meritorious as he dragged a punctured sulky tyre for the last half-mile of the two mile journey. Flaming Way was skilfully handled by A K Holmes, one of the youngest drivers in the game. Flaming Way had to work hard to catch and beat Queen's Cord, and he stuck to his task with rare determination. Flaming Way's breeder-trainer, J Wilson trained and drove a former champion in Dictation to win the Dominion in 1950, and he was also responsible for the early education and training of Acclamation, who won the race in 1949 when Acclamation was trained by J Young and driven by R Young.
Queen's Cord broke twice during the running and there was a good deal of merit in her performance to beat all but Flaming Way. Queen's Cord has only been lightly raced this season and she could be a much improved trotter later at the meeting.
Front Line made up a big stretch of ground from the half mile to finish third, and he is obviously very close to being right back at his best. Mighty Hanover broke after going less than five furlongs and his lapse made his task a difficult one. He finished on gamely for fourth without really appearing a real danger
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar
1964 NZ OAKS
Lady Nugent brought her record to four wins and a fourth placing in five starts when she won the New Zealand Oaks at Addington Raceway in clear-cut style. Her fourth placing was in the NZ Derby Stakes.
Lady Nugent was up handy to the leaders early but was later pushed back to about eighth place. Racing to the straight, she had moved up to seventh, and continuing her run she had charge at the furlong to finish on gamely to have a length to spare from Douce at the post, with Golden Oriole and Compromise dead-heating for third.
Lady Nugent is a beautifully-mannered filly. She appeared to be quite unconcerned when the cooler type of rug was being put on her in the birdcage after the race. Her unconcern was so marked that one was led to believe that having a new rug fitted was a everyday occurrence for her. She received a great hand from the crowd lining the birdcage and is another feather in the caps of the Hunter training partnership.
By Garrison Hanover from Golden Circle, Lady Nugent is a chestnut, and she belongs to the same notable family from which have come such winners as Doraldina (winner of the first contest for the NZ Sapling Stakes), Special Edition, Great News, Gold Chief and Daphne de Oro, classic winners in abundance. Golden Circle is by Light Brigade from Melody Maid, by Grattan Loyal-Duslina, by Drusus-Doraldina, by OYM.
In the absence of C S Hunter, who is still recovering from an accident, Lady Nugent was driven by the Prebbleton trainer-driver A M Purdon.
Douce paced a splendid race for second. Golden Oriole and Compromise also performed very creditably. A hot favourite, Golden Oriole became awkwardly placed and had to change course more than once to get a run in the straight. When an opening did appear down on the rails, she made a game attempt to gather in the leaders, but she did not really finish with the dash expected of her by many. Compromise was one of the slowest beginners, and others to loose ground at the start were Douce, Lee, Lornaway, Killin and Snowline.
The result was a triumph for the Billy Direct horse Garrison Hanover, as Lady Nugent, Douce and Compromise are all by the sire.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar