June 8 - New "Wahine", at the time described as "the largest vehicular ferry in the world", begins on the Lyttelton - Wellington run.
Credit: Ch-Ch City Libraries
The NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club building on the corner of Oxford Terrace and Armagh Street, Christchurch, which has housed the staffs of the three Christchurch trotting clubs and the NZ Trotting Conference, for well over 40 years, was sold at auction last week for £38,500. The government valuation was £32,350.
The Christchurch trotting clubs now occupy ultra-modern new premises at Addington Raceway, and the Conference will shift to a new building on the Lincoln Road frontage of the Addington property next year.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 29Jun66
N C PRICE
The death has occurred of Mr Nelson C Price, a prominent trainer of more than 40 years ago. He trained the 1922 NZ Cup winner, Agathos, one of the biggest stake-winners of the 1920s.
Mr Pringle also trained Glenelg, a leading 3-year-old who won the Great Northern Derby in 1924. Glenelg went on to good company, as did Berenice, a smart mare in the Price stable.
In later years Mr Price trained a top-class saddle pacer in Chef, the Auckland Cup winner of 1945, Sea Born, the 1945 NZ Sapling Stakes winner Sprayman, and he trained and drove Peter Locanda for several wins.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 23Nov66
C M LAING
Charles McMenamen Laing, who died at Tinwald, spent more that 25 years training and breeding racehorses.
He raced several well performed pacers and trotters and was also associated with the breeding or breaking-in and early training of several outstanding horses, which later achieved Cup standard, including a top trotter in Dictation, Mobile Globe, who won the NZ Cup, and Acropolis, who won the Dunedin Centennial Cup.
Mr Laing owned a racehorse and dairying property and mixed farm, Wairiri Lodge, at Tinwald. His trotting career began in the 1940s when he became attached to the stable of the late Mr P J Andrew as trainer-driver. He married Miss Rona Andrew. On Mr Andrew's death some years ago, Mr Laing took over the property and continued to breed and train racehorses. He raced some horses in part-ownership with Mr F W Jarman, Darfield.
Among many horses he bred, trained or had an interest in were Scott Axworthy, Jimmy Warton, Gay Note, Wairiri Girl, Captain Eddy, Scotty's Double, Anitra, Kennoway, Te Par, Thumberlina, Kyran, Friendly Tom, Alvean, Melissa, Nirvana, Phillonic, Marcina, Horatio Nelson, Pilot Peter, Seal Globe, Nelson Eddy and Rainstorm.
Mr Laing was a foundation member of the Mid-Canterbury Trotting Owners and Breeders Association and served on its committee for 10 years after its foundation in 1952.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 6Jul66
SYDNEY - CHAMFER'S STAR
Tasmanian pacer Chamfer's Star (a son of the good Maurice Holmes trained 1950 NZ Cup winner Chamfer) driven by former NZ 25 year old Brian (Mouse) Forrester, completed a clean sweep of the heats and final when after leading all the way from the front mark, to hold out Robin Dundee driven by Maurice Holmes by a long head.
As a yearling Highland Kilt was bought for me for $800 from his breeder, Mrs K Barre of Templeton. This was just before his full brother Highland Fling and his three-quarter brother Caduceus, hit the world headlines. He was by U Scott out of Queen Ayesha by Frank Worthy.
He made his race track debut as a 2-year-old in 1949 at Addington in a time trial against Todd Lonzia's 2-year-old record which had stood for 17 years. There was great intertest in Highland Kilt's appearance as the year before his full brother, Highland Fling, had paced to a world record on the Addington track of 1:57 4/5. He didn't let the family down; he ran the mile in 2:19 1/5 to take the record by 3/5 of a second. The next season he won at Marlborough then took the prestigious NZ Trotting Stakes.
As a 4-year-old he won the Addington Trotting Stakes and two other races, one a heat of the Inter-Dominion championships over 1¼ miles in 2:40. In the middle of a packed field in the final he struck interference, broke, and lost 40 yards yet still finished a good fifth. He was at his peak in 1952, beating a field of the best trotters including Fair Isle, Single Task, Dictation and Gold Horizon. From 36 yards behind he won in the record time for the Forbury track of 3:31 1/5. It was a remarkable performance and he ran the last quarter in just under 30 seconds.
At Kaikoura, in another time trial, he recorded 2:04 3/5, running his last quarter in 29 without being driven out. It is one of my regrets that he did not go against time again while at his peak.
As a 5-year-old Highland Kilt won five races and the last of these, on a wettish track, again confirmed his top ranking. This was in the Wellington Champion Free-For-All and the field included all the top trotters of the day, Dictation, Barrier Reef, Signal Light, Precaution, Gold Horizon, Gay Belwin and others. Normally he was not suited to wet tracks but as it was the end of the season we decided to start him. We need not have worried; after running in the middle of the field he took the lead with a quarter to go and won handsomely from Dictation and Barrier Reef.
The following season he had a few starts off difficult marks before retiring to stud. With Light Brigade leaving top trotters there were only limited opportunities for him and he was eventually leased for stud duties in the North Island. He left some good trotting winners, one of the best being our own Highland Flight 2:03 2/5 raced on lease by E W Lockyer who trained at Raetihi. Highland Glen 2:02 3/5 was another of his offspring; he raced for some years in the States for Eddie Cobb.
Highland Kilt's mares have proved good breeders of trotters. One, Pipetre, was the dam of Nigel Craig, 'Horse of the Year' in 1977 and the first trotter in NZ to better 2:00. The second dam of Castleton's Pride, Highland Gift was also by him; She was out of Esprit, one of Roydon Lodge's original imports.
Highland Kilt meant a great deal to my wife and me. He was racing for me not long after we had been married and as he improved so did out home furnishings. He would have been an ideal trotter to race in the States where at his best he would have become NZ's first 2:00 trotter.
NZ Trotting Calendar 23Mar66
Highland Kilt, whose death is reported, was a champion juvenile and aged trotter.
In 1949 he lowered the 2-year-old trotting record against time to 2:19 1/5. The previous record, Todd Lonzia's 2:22 2/5, had stood for 19 years. Among his three wins as a 3-year-old was the NZ Trotting Stakes.
He won four races at four years, including the Addington Trotting Stakes, the Nicoll Handicap (two miles), and a Qualifying race of the trotters' section of the Inter-Dominion Championships, held at Addington. His five wins as a 5-year-old included the Metropolitan Greyhound Handicap and the Wellington Champion Free-For-All, in which he led home Dictation, Barrier Reef and Signal Light. Another in that field was Gold Horizon. Among his successes in later seasons were the Metropolitan Worthy Queen Handicap and the Ashburton Cup.
Highland Kilt was bought as a yearling by Sir John McKenzie from his breeder, Mrs K Bare, Halswell, and raced throughout in the McKenzie interests.
Credit: Roy McKenzie: The Roydon Heritage
The death occurred last week of a former champion juvenile pacer in Blue, who is still the holder of the world mile yearling record of 2:09 1/5 put up in 1957. Blue was at stud at the Ascot stud of Messrs G R Shirley and G A Thomas, Invercargill.
Blue was something of a sensation from the day he first appeared in public - at the 1957 National Yearling sales when he was knocked down for the record price for a standardbred yearling at 4250 gns. Shortly after he established his world record which still stands.
Blue went on to firmly establish himself as the best two and three-year-old pacer in the country, and actually he proved himself in world class. In six starts as a two-year-old he was unbeaten, his wins including the 1958 NZ Sapling Stakes in which he established a NZ mile and a half two-year-old record of 3:15 4/5.
As a three-year-old he won the NZ Derby in 3:12 2/5, the NZ Metropolitan Challenge Stakes in 2:36 4/5, an Australasian record at the time, and also the £4000 New South Wales Derby
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 2Feb66
1966 DOMINION TROTTING HANDICAP
The Dominion Trotting Handicap proved a real test of stamina and Tronso, winner of the Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup earlier in the season, finished on just a little better than her rivals. Tronso was always going well and gave her driver, F E Newfield, his most important success with a trotter. Tronso came from sixth place at a fairly late stage and she was fourth into the straight. From then on Tronso always looked to have the result in safe keeping. The race was run at a solid pace, the first half mile taking 68.6 and the mile 2:13.8. The leaders sprinted their last half mile in 32.4 sec.
Tronso is the first horse C R Berkett has trained since renewing his training licence this season. Berkett races Tronso on lease from Mrs E Jamison. Tronso is an eight-year-old brown mare by Light Brigade from Bettagain, a daughter of Desmond's Pride and a top trotting mare of 20 years ago in Betty Maxegin, who was successful against the pacers. Betty Maxegin also produced Mighty Hanover, Robert Medoro and Rapparee, all bred by Mrs Jamison.
Queen's Cord trotted her best race in several starts to beat all but Tronso. She came from several places back at the home turn but found Tronso just too good on the day. Uteena, who had more or less been out of form for some time, trotted a sound race for third. She came right into the picture over the concluding stages and her effort shows she is far from a spent force. Asia Minor made up ground for fourth in the Dominion without looking a real danger, after being checked in the running. A feature of the race was the failure of the two favourites, Le Chant and Johnny Gee. Le Chant finished last and Johnny Gee was pulled up. Johnny Gee was troubled by the grit being thrown up in his face, according to his owner-trainer, W R Butt.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar
1966 NZ OAKS
Stylos displayed rare determination in winning the New Zealand Oaks. She was quickly in front and led from that stage. Nearing the three furlongs Stylos was challenged for the lead by Corwar, but Stylos was not to be denied and did not give away her advantage. Kept up to her work in the straight, Stylos proved just a little too good for Corwar and had three-quarters of a length to spare at the post. Stylos is the second Oaks winner sired by Johnny Globe, who also sired Wendy Dawn, winner of the classic in 1962.
Corwar was nor disgraced in going under to Stylos. She raced one out without a trail practically all the way, and an attempt to wrest the lead from Stylos nearing the three furlongs, took some of the sting out of her. Light Thaw was handy most of the way and her third placing was encouraging.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar
1966 NZ FREE-FOR-ALL
Waitaki Hanover gained an all-the-way win in the NZ Free-For-All and beat Lordship pointlessly when it came to the run to the judge. It was a very easy drive for D J Townley, who considered he was most unlucky in the NZ Cup. Waitaki Hanover paced the last mile in 61.8, the final half in 59 secs, and the last quarter in 29.8.
He covered the mile and a quarter in 2:35 and ran to the post two and a half lengths clear of Lordship. Lordship did not quite show the dash which earned him NZ Cup honours, in the NZ Free-For-All. He trailed Waitaki Hanover from the start but could make no impression in the run home.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar
1966 NZ DERBY STAKES
Holy Hal overcame a slow beginning to win the NZ Derby Stakes at Addington Raceway and his performance entitles him to be classed with the greatest of his age.
Holy Hal was having his first start at a totalisator meeting since June when he won the NZ Sapling Stakes and he did not have to do his best to beat Killadar and Cardinal King. He has now won six successive races and has earned £4385 for his owners, Messrs D Keenan of Wyndham and J R Rodgers of Christchurch.
Holy Hal was driven by K Balloch who drove Tactile to win in 1962 when that pacer established the race record of 3:10.4. Holy Hal's time on Saturday was only one fifth of a second slower. The race was run at a solid pace, the last half mile taking 61 and the last quarter 29.4 secs.
When he tangled at the start, Holy Hal lost several lengths and had only Wyambie and James behind him when he settled down. Killadar went fast over the first two furlongs and Holy Hal was left out wide. However, Holy Hal went to the front with seven furlongs to go and in the race to the post he never really looked in any serious danger of defeat.
Killadar raced right up to his winning run earlier in finishing second. He came home strongly along the rails and there is no doubt he is a pacer well above average. Cardinal King was half a head behind Killadar and then came Fort Nelson who was responsible for a fine showing. He was stopped almost dead when checked at the three furlongs. Miles Gentry weakened to fifth and then came Stewart Hanover and Dark Sun who were well beaten.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar
Lordship loitered with the NZ Cup field in a convivial sort of way for the best part of the last three furlongs. The manner in which he eventually won merely confirmed that he is a world class champion fit to rank with the Cardigan Bay-Bret Hanover-Adios Butler circle. He actually passed the post in little above second gear, certainly with a lot up his sleeve.
"I had to go to the front sooner than I meant to," said D (for Denis) Nyhan after driving Lordship to his second NZ Cup victory. "Lordship began to pull up of his own accord when well clear," continued Nyhan; and this compensated for a middling run in the early stages for the champion.
My own impression of the Cup race, run on a 'sticky wicket' was that Lordship was in a class of his own. He was not required to get into top gear until Tobias loomed up as a momentary danger at the straight entrance and, finally, Robin Dundee got to within two lengths of him only because he was actually easing down in the last 50 metres or so.
Oakhampton, Cuddle Doon and Doctor Barry broke at the start and Tobias was slow to muster speed. This left Full Sovereign to lead out from Waitaki Hanover, Disband, Lochgair, Master Alan and Robin Dundee. Lordship had made a splendid beginning and was already close up. Lochgair was the leader with half a mile covered and he was still there with a round to go, where Cuddle Doon (the pacemaker in the middle stages) had given way, and Oakhampton was lying third. It was at this stage that there was some jostling for positions, and the worst sufferers in the chain reactions that followed were Robin Dundee and Tobias, who finished up in the rear leaving the front straight for the last time. With half a mile to go Disband was half a length in front of the swift-moving Lordship, who went effortlessly to the front in another half-furlong and stayed there. The only time he looked in any sort of danger for the remainder of the race was when Tobias swept round the outer from the three furlongs and almost got on terms with Lordship at the furlong post. However, Tobias blew out almost as soon as he caught Lordship, who obviously won with plenty in reserve by two lengths from Robin Dundee.
Another valiant defeat was the lot of Robin Dundee. She was standing up Lordship fully half a dozen lengths with half a mile to go and battled on very gamely to beat Waitaki Hanover as decisively as she was beaten. Tobias was a creditable fourth, a bare head away, with three lengths to the fifth horse, Disband. Cuddle Doon was two lengths behind Disband, with a gap of four lengths to Master Alan, six lengths to Oakhampton, and then came Full Sovereign, Lochgair and Doctor Barry - last.
The first quarter was run in 35 secs., half-mile 67.8, six furlongs 1:41.8, mile 2:15.2, mile and a quarter 2:49.2, mile and a half3:20, mile and three quarters 3:52, and the full journey (gross) in 4:22.6. Lordship's net time was 4:19, an excellent return under the conditions. Lordship, whose racing career to date has been confined to New Zealand, has now won £48,170 in stakes and trophies. His first NZ Cup, in 1962, was also run on a wet track. Like many an out-and-out champion before him, he can handle all sorts of tracks, dirt or grass, wet or dry, with equal confidence.
Lordship is by Johnny Globe, the 1954 Cup winner. Lordship's dam, Ladyship, a U Scott mare, traces back to the Australian mare Lightnin' who reached good company on NZ tracks and was also ancestress of Emulous, a champion pacer of the 1940's who won the Inter-Dominion Championship at Auckland in 1948. Lordship was bred by his owner, Mrs D G Nyhan, wife of the trainer, D G (for Don) Nyhan, who has now trained three NZ Cup winners - Johnny Globe and Lordship (twice). D D Nyhan has driven Lordship in both his Cup wins.
The presentation of the Gold Cup on Tuesday was made to Mrs Nyhan by Mr C S Thomas, a past-president of the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club and the NZ Trotting Conference, and at present treasurer of the Metropolitan. In his introduction to the Cup presentation, Mr Saunders paid a tribute to Mr Thomas's outstanding work as one of the principal architects of the Totalisator Agency Board.
Robin Dundee ran her third second in the race: she was runner-up to Cardigan Bay in 1963 and to Garry Dillon last year. Her stake-winnings in New Zealand have reached £37,340 and she has also won £10,000 in Australia. Lack of experience and racing in seasoned company could have told against Tobias, who is obviously a talented young pacer and a potential champion. He should show to advantage on dry tracks later at the carnival.
The on-course betting on the Cup, £26,395, was slightly down on last year's figures of £27,358; but the off-course total of £37,958 10s was commensurately up on last year's turnover of £36,842. After showery weather for some days beforehand, and up till a late hour on Cup day, the attandance of 18,250 was well up on expectations. Last year's attendance was 17,483.
The on-course totalisator receipts, £248,932, were a new record for a trotting meeting, and also a South Island record for trotting and racing. Last year's Cup-day total, £230,015, was the previous record. Tuesday's off-course total was £238,706, also a new record for a trotting meeting. The previous record was last year's total of £211,674 15s.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar