April 22 - First stage of the new Teachers College opens at Ilam. Complex completed in 1978.
Credit: Ch-Ch City Libraries
A Sydney consulting engineer, Mr B W Ireland, flew into Christchurch last week with a film on a moving starting barrier which he showed to officials of the three Christchurch Trotting clubs and the NZ Trotting Conference. Called the Space Mobile Barrier, most of the gathering seemed fairly interested in its potential, and Mr Ireland was then put through the grill after the six-minute colour film was run twice.
The barrier is controlled by a starter who can control the speed or make it uniform. It consists of tapes stretched across the track attached to high poles on the running rail. The tapes come down to between the ears and eyes of the horse, travels 50 yards, and then is lifted high above the runners.
The apparatus was set up at Harold Park for the experiment. The trials involved four horses off the front and four off the 12 yard mark. They were marshalled two furlongs from the start where they proceeded to walk up to the barrier. Their speed was increased to nothing more than a jog, the tapes then came down from above, and travelled at that speed for 50 yards before the start was reached.
Although the experiment seemed full of merit, there were a number of difficulties that would have to be overcome before the system could be practical under NZ conditions or applied to our tracks. Shadows littered the track during the daytime; these would have to be kept to a minimum. Mr Ireland also advised that the distances of some of our races would need to be changed as the barrier's operation on bends had not as yet been contemplated. The only other problem that would eventuate is that of starting a large number of horses off different marks and catering for the second liners, the latter an awkward one. Undoubtedly the system has merit and if these initial problems were to be solved consideration would need to be given regarding its introduction to this country.
Mr Ireland has kindly allowed the film to remain in NZ so that other club officials and representatives may receive the opportunity of viewing it and assessing the worth of the scheme. Obviously those in charge of the film should make every endeavour to ensure that a number of trainers and drivers see it. Their reaction to the Space Mobile Barrier is imperative; they should be in the box seats.
Credit: Mike Grainger writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 15Apr70
One of the many pleasures of working within the trotting industry is meeting people. Such a meeting was that with dapper Doug Mangos. A proper little gentleman, Mangos is in the top flight of NZ reinsmen, and his services are now keenly in demand. Short and stocky with an affable character and a dry sense of humour, Mangos has worked at Roydon Lodge Stud since he left school some 18 years ago.
An ex-West Coaster, he was born in Reefton and came to live in Christchurch with his parents when aged 14. He spent a year at the Christchurch Technical College and then terminated his education to join the Roydon Lodge staff under the watchful eye of private trainer to Mr R A McKenzie, George Noble. It was in 1952 when he started work at 5am in the morning as a stablehand, and shortly after marrying a Christchurch girl in 1957, he received his probationary driver's licence.
His first win came behind the top class Highland Air at Forbury Park in the Winter Handicap. It was important in more ways than one because the second horse, La Mignon, was driven by 'the boss,' George Noble. With six wins the next season his career was taking shape, and he displayed the potential necessary to reach the top of his profession. But it was going to take time. his winning share in the next four seasons was not great and with seasonal winning totals of six, six, five, three, four and four progress appeared slow.
In the 1964-65 season he drove 10 winners, and then when George Noble retired from driving the next season on reaching the compulsory age limit of 65, Mangos came into his own with 21 successes. That was the turning point and from that stage on he has not looked back. The next season brought in 18 winners followed in the 1967-68 season by a record 22, which put him in ninth place in the drivers' premiership. Last season when fellow stable horseman John Noble scored well, Mangos's total dropped to 11.
However he is making amends this season and so far has reined 11 winners, including two in a row at the recent Canterbury Park meeting where he won with Robin Rose and Valencia. This pushed his total winning drives to 122. "Arania was a terrific horse for speed," he replied when I asked him the name of the best horses he had driven in his career. He added that he won a lot of races with her, but remarked that Jay Ar "was the best horse I got results with." Others to hold special memories for him were Danny's Pal and Julie Hanover. His greatest thrill came when he drove La Mignon to victory in the Louisson Handicap at the NZMTC's national meeting at Addington in 1958. Trainer George Noble was in America at the time, and the team was under the management of R H Bonnington. That day he defeated Invicta(R Morris), Light Nurse(C R Berkett) and Auditor(F E Newfield).
A proud possession in the Mangos home is the trophy he won by scoring the highest number of points in the drivers' championship at the Auckland Inter-Dominions two years ago. At the conclusion of the racing on the final night, Kevin Newman, Peter Wolfenden and Mangos all totalled the same number of points. So they decided to toss coins to see who would take the expnsive tea set. Reg Lewis, president of the Auckland Trotting Club loaned them a coin each, and on the first toss all three turned up heads. On the play-offs all three coins turned up tails, and it was not until the third flick that Mangos threw up an odd face. This meeting was the most successful one away from home recalled Mangos. With George Noble, he took seven horses north and all of them won races. Mangos has played no small part in the success of the Roydon Lodge Stud racing team. He has now taken out a trainers' licence in the absence of Noble in Australia and he will be in charge of the team until the end of June.
Mangos, a family man with three children, is a credit to the trotting industry. He has many good years ahead of him, and if and when he decides to branch out on his own accord, there will be no dearth of people anxious to assist him to become established. Meatime he will remain in his present capacity at Roydon Lodge Stud where over the years he has proved a tradesman of the highest order. Trotting would be well served by more persons of the calibre of Doug Mangos.
Credit: Mike Grainger writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 25Feb70
The death last week of Yonkers Raceway president Martin Tananbaum removed one of trotting's world figures.
Mr Tananbaum, who died at his New York home of a heart attack, aged only 54, entered harness horsedom in 1956, he and his brothers Alfred and Stanley, buying the controlling shares in Yonkers Raceway. As Yonkers president, Marty (as he became widely known) quickly realised the great public appeal of international racing.
At the suggestion of former Aucklander Noel Simpson, now of NSW, Mr Tananbaum first visited NZ and Australia in 1960, and, after seeing the crack NZ pacer of the time, Caduceus win the Inter-Dominion Championship Grand Final at Harold Park, Sydney, he persuaded the horse's owners, the Moore brothers, and trainer-driver Jack Litten to race Caduceus in the first running of the now-famous International Pace Series at Yonkers. Caduceus performed with distinction in that series and in his subsequent American racing became a public idol, as he had been in NZ and Australia.
Every year after that Mr Tananbaum made his annual 'Down Under' crusade, scouting for talent for his Raceway. He did not buy. He merely offered enticements to owners of top horses to either accept invitations to Yonkers or sell to American owners who would. Apmat, False Step, Arania, Smoke Cloud, Cardigan Bay, Cardinal King and First Lee were among the better-performed NZ and Australian horses whose owners yeilded to the Tananbaum entreaties.
And the Yonkers chief was proudest of all about his accomplishment in persuading successful New Jersey horseman Stanley Dancer to buy Cardigan Bay as an aged gelding for $100,000 in 1964. It is now history that Cardigan Bay swept all before him in America to become the sport's one and only million dollar earner.
Convinced of the worth of NZ and Australia as breeding grounds, Mr Tananbaum in recent years shipped all of 20 fashionably-bred stallions to stand at stud on lease in this part of the world. It was his intention to breed and race young horses here before shipping them to his homeland for further racing and eventual stud service at his newly-established White Devon Farm in upstate New York. And, with this in view, he was a ready spender at various standardbred sales in NZ and Australia on his latest visit made only weeks before his death.
The $9500 he paid for a filly at the national sales in Christchurch earlier last month was a record. She was from Arania, a Roy McKenzie owned mare he invited to America in 1961 and who, before returning home, distinguished herself in no uncertain terms with a 1:57 time trial around the big Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky.
In his brief time in trotting Martin Tananbaum pushed the sport along in grand style. Future generations will look back on his contribution as of great significance to this Dominion in its emergence as a world trotting nursery.
Credit: 'R B' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 1Apr70
F W JARMAN
The death occurred recently of Mr F W (Frank) Jarman, a stalwart not only in the trotting world but especially so in the farming community of Canterbury.
Mr Jarman, a fine figure of a man, was a committeeman of the Canterbury Park Trotting Club and although he did not race a vast number of horses he devoted considerable time and energy to trotting. Among the horses he raced were Wairau Princess, Kaboon, Te Par, Kennaway, Jeanna, Copper Khan, Friendly Rival and Friendly Jane, winner of the Cardigan Bay Stakes at the recent Gore Trotting Club's meeting.
Mr Jarman was better known as the owner of the Lea-Avon Stud at Darfield, one of the best appointed and managed farms of its kind in Canterbury. With his wife, Jean, he established a Suffolk sheep stud many years ago, and today the Suffolks are probably the best in the Dominion. In 1955 Mr Jarman was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship, which took him around the world studying all branches of farming in many countries.
Mr Jarman is survived by his wife and two daughters, Anne(Mrs G Cameron) and Barbara(Mrs L C May).
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 29Apr70
J F HAMILTON
A man who had a lifetime association with trotting in Southland, Mr James Francis Hamilton, died at his home in Winton recently. He was 80.
Born in the Winton district, he was a member of a family closely associated with trotting since its formative days in the province. He farmed in the Oreti district before retiring to Winton some years ago.
Hamilton bred and raced a champion straight-out trotter in Bellflower, one of the best of her time, who put up some phenomenal performances under the saddle. She was trained and ridden by Mr Hamilton, who sent her to Canterbury when she was handicapped out of Southland classes to be trained by the late Andy Pringle.
In August 1916, Bellflower beat a field of pacers over two miles at Addington, and she repeated the performance in the Australasian Handicap at the NZ Cup meeting the same year. The following season, at her last appearance before being retired, Bellflower again beat the pacers over two miles in the saddle in the Australasian Handicap, winning by 10 lengths in 4:35 2/5. She was then 12 years old.
When racing in Southland, Bellflower, after winning five races, became so badly placed in the handicaps that Mr Hamilton did not race her for a season and he bred her to Marvin Dillon to whom she produced a winner in Flowerbell. Bellflower had nine foals. Two of them, Nelson Bell and Bon Fleur, were useful winners, but the best of her progeny was Arctotis, who developed outstanding form. He was sold for a record price at the time of $1200 but later developed unsoundness. Bellflower's daughters bred on to some purpose and today the family is widely and successfully represented. A top juvenile trotter of a few seasons back in Halberg was a member of it.
Mr Hamilton held a trainers' and horseman's licence for more than 40 years and a short time ago recalled driving in a race at Invercargill involving a 'ring-in' in 1924. This was the notorious case of Willie Lincoln, a Cup class horse who raced under the name of Lookout.
Mr Hamilton raced, educated and bred many horses over the years. Azaleas, whom he drove at Invercargill in Willie Lincoln's race, later bred to advantage, leaving such winners as Tritoma, Picotee, Azure, Arabia and many others. An early winner for Mr Hamilton was Bellfashion, who won the first mile and three furlong race at Forbury Park. Bellfashion, a son of Bellman, proved himself an able pacer and was unbeaten in the show ring.
For some years Mr Hamilton was a member of the committee of the Winton Trotting Club, being a vice-president for a time. On his retirement he continued to take a close interest in every phase of the sport and had a keen and studious knowledge of the breeding side. Mr Hamilton is survived by three sons, Ian, Colin, Murray, and one daughter, June(Mrs Smith, Edendale).
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 10Jun70
In October, 1858, the good ship 'Strathallan' grated against the side of a newly-built wharf in the settlement of Lyttleton after a rough sea crossing lasting many week from the old country...England.
On board and full of hope for a new life in a new land was a Mr John Murfitt, his wife, and son Harry, who was born during the voyage. The young family arriving only eight years after the first four ships had deposited the first of Canterbury's colonists, trekked over the 'bridal path' and settled in Woodend, a 20 mile journey from Christchurch, where John started work as a timber carter. Work was hard with the horse and cart as the trip from Oxford to Christchurch was over unbroken rugged country unable to be called roads. Harry, when he was old enough, went to work with his father, and then afterwards began a career that was to involve his son, Mr G H Murfitt, of Southbrook, for approximately 88 years.
Times were difficult in those early pioneering days before the turn of the century and Harry's new livelihood of training both gallopers and trotters was a hard struggle. Before long Mr G H (George) Murfitt was in the saddle breaking in young horses, and like most of the young boys in those days possessed 'no fear'. He was soon riding in races - at Oxford, Riccarton, Amberley and Ohoka, and these were nearly all either steeplechase or hurdle races. At one Amberley meeting in the late 1890s before a very big crowd and the 'bookies' he vividly recalls winning the first four races - all over jumps.
As well as riding for his father he also rode for a Mr Cassidy and a Miss Buttons. Cassidy, who lived on the West Coast, ran stage coaches which connected the Coast to Christchurch. His uncle, Mr G B Murfitt, also raced a large team of gallopers and trotters from Cobden. One day his uncle raced a pacer called Daystar at a Coast meeting, and tied his three stone son, Eddie, onto the horses back to make sure he didn't fall off. The horse won, but little Eddie was later killed in the Great World War. George also cackles when he thinks about the time when the late 'Free' Holmes was running second to him in a race at Ohoka. After the race 'Free' entered a protest against George's horse, who was owned by a banker, as it was on the forfeit list. The stewards had little option but to disqualify George's mount and promote the second horse.
When the First World War started in 1914, weight problems and family ties finally forced George to hand in his galloping licence, and he then took on trotters. Rangiora, where George trained his horses, was nowhere near as big as it is today, and his stable was in the middle of the township. As well as training horses, George ran the livery stable and two days a week this was a thriving and bustling concern. "It was sale day every Tuesday and shopping day every Friday, and they would all come to town, and leave their horses at the livery," he explained. "Sometimes we would have over 100 horses and have to run a wire along to tie them all up. It cost a bob a stand and a bob a feed." Among those who used the livery was Mr Jack Matson, a well known auctioneer with the old stock firm of National Mortgage and Agency Company for many years.
Between the First and Second World Wars a horse fair was held one day a month in Rangiora, George had the responsibility of trucking the 40 or 50 unbroken horses, ponies, and other types to be sold from the railway trucks to the saleyards. After noting the markings on them all, the horses would be driven at midnight past the Red Lion Pub, through the main street of Rangiora to the yards, where they were all assembled back in the same groups as they were when they disembarked.
One of his cunning tricks was to buy an unbroken quarter draught horse at one sale - take it home and run the clippers over it after quickly breaking it in. At the next monthly sale he would take it back looking
every bit a show horse, and after prancing it around the ring with a pair of sharp spurs on, sell it at a handy profit.
Getting on towards 30 years ago he sold his Rangiora stables to a panel beater and the Rangiora Fire Brigade and moved out to his present 100 acre stud at Southbrook.
Since he began training many good pacers and trotters have passed through George's hands including Header, Pearl Logan, Harvestin, Karaki and Harbour Light. Header, an attractive black gelding by Sonoma Harvester out of a mare by Wildwood Junior, was probably the best horse he had. At the Wellington Trotting Club's meeting back in 1935, Header, driven by M Holmes, raced twice and won twice on the same day, the second time off 84 yards. In March, 1936, Header returned to Wellington finishing second at his first start, then winning later in the day off 60 yards. Purchased by Sir John McKenzie, Header reached the very best class of trotters. Karaki, is the horse he reserves most affection for, and in his words "he was never done." He too, reached the top class of trotters.
One incident he recalls was on board the horse train going to a meeting in the North Island. "The train was going through Palmerston North and we heard that the brakes wouoldn't work. Three or four hundred yards past the station the brakes suddenly locked and the horses were all thrown forward. When the train stopped a bolt had stuck in his horse's head. There was no compensation from the railway in those days, so we patched up the wound and had to race Header on one of the later days to get some expenses," he relates.
On another occasion he was at the Wellington meeting with Header. At the same meeting was M Holmes, who had gone to the meeting to drive Renegade in the same race as the Murfitt owned and trained trotter. For some reason Maurice, according to George, was taken off Renegade, and came to him to ask for the drive behind Header. Maurice was anxiuos to beat Renegade. And he did, for Header won both starts, while Renegade could do no better than a third and a fourth. This continued a long association between the Murfitts and the Holmes's.
Harbour Light would undoubtedly be the most profitable winner that he has raced. She was bred in 1957 by Light Brigade out of Sure Phoebe and won $26,095, the result of 14 wins and numerous placings against the best trotters in the Dominion. Harbour Light's wins included the Canterbury Park Trotting Cup (twice, once dead-heating with Flaming Way after a late run from the back), the Greyhound and Stewards' Handicaps at Addington, and the first heat of the NZ Trotting Championship at Addington in 1966 when she also dead-heated, this time with Grand Charge.
For more than 30 years, since he stood his first stallion, Proud Child, at his Rangiora property, he has always had a horse at the stud. Highland Chief is one that he particularly remembers. Bred in 1944, Highland Chief was by U Scott out of Pearl Logan, who also left Frank Logan, Calumet Pointer and Logan Scott. His present stallion is Larnie Scott, who was bred in 1950 by Light Brigade out of Lady Scott. Although he reached the best class as a trotter, 'Larnie' was also a competent pacer. His oldest stock are now 8-year-olds and his progeny include a top race mare in Stereo Light, recent trotting winner in Doctor Scott, as well as Kilarno, Haughty Scott, Copper Wire and Shot Silk.
As well as seeing to the day to day running of the stud, George, and his good wife, Wyn, are working about seven horses, most of them yearlings. George Murfitt still takes part in all stable chores, and drives all the team, including young horses in training. At 88 years and with every faculty working perfectly, he is a remarkable old gentleman, who would surely claim the honour of being the oldest active trainer in NZ.
He could relate interesting yarns on the old days for hours and hours. "Just recently," he said "the parson at Amberley asked me to write a book on my life. And I said to him I might be put in goal if I did." With too many stories like the Sunday mornings he would meet his mates in a Rangiora barn armed with their bantam roosters, he would certainly be running a close race with the law. "After all the fighting was over, we would bring them home, put them in a basin of water to wash the blood off and get them ready for the next Sunday," he recalled. "Life was hard in those days," he sighed.
But what a life and what terrific memories he must have collected through his 88 eventful years. And it's by no means over yet.
Credit: Mike Grainger writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 21Oct70
MELBOURNE - BOLD DAVID
Alf Simons, trainer of 1970 winner Bold David felt sure he could satisfy his compulsion to prove his horse was worthy of Grand Champion status, however there weren't too many in his corner, not even the locals. Before the series opened Alf placed a photo of Bold David on the desk in his den to remind him of the luckless event the year before when he finished last. Bold David beat Bylaw by two lengths in the final.
SUE ADIOS - Classic Winner Producing Mare
SUE ADIOS (1970 Jerry Adios-Cuidado), NZ family of The Brat; 2:02.0, $21,919, 17 wins. 10 foals, 8 to race for 8 winners. Breeder: Mrs F J Scott, Christchurch. Foals bred by Delvan G Rickerby, NSW and formerly a trainer at East Eyreton(Even Trick, Adios Trick, Senator Sue); Solid Earth Pty Ltd, QLD(Sweet Valentine, Sir Galahad, Sweet Sue, Woy Woy Lad); Standardbred International Pty Ltd, QLD(Sweet Liberty, Sweet Clementine, Vanston Adios).
Her Adios line sire Jerry Adios left over 100 winners and was damsire of a similar number in Australasia(UK/USA credits also). His winners included Eastwood Jerry(UK National Pacing/Lakeland Derbies), Rippers Delight(NZ Derby, Ladyship Stakes, GN/NZ Oaks); dam sire of Adios Trick(GN Oaks), Countess Gina(WA Oaks), Sweet Clementine(QLD Oaks).
The dam of Sue Adios was the Van Dieman mare Cuidado from The Brat family. She left four winners including Curragh Dan, winner of the Lightning Hcp at Addington. The Brat was the family of champion pacer Young Quinn(AK Cup, ID Pacers Grand Final, CAN Provincial Cup twice), Sole Command(AK & NZ Cups), Tapuwae(Rowe Cup), Godfrey(NZ 2yo Championship, GN Derby), Cool Hand Luke(Taylor Mile).
Sue Adios, born in NZ, was purchased at 1972 National Yearling Sales by Delvan Rickerby and exported to Australia in November 1973 where she raced for the next six seasons. She was to win a total of 17 races for Little River publican Delvan Rickerby who retained a share in her. She commenced with 5 wins at three including the inaugural Ladyship Mile(Ladyship Championship, 2350m), at Harold Park in 1974. Sue Adios only raced on four occasions at four for two placings. She managed 8 wins at 5(5 'old' Menangle track, 1 Harold Park), a further one from three 6yo starts, 3 wins at seven(Harold Park, Mooney Valley, Gold Coast FFA) and was placed in her only start at eight.
Her first three foals were by ill-fated sire Overtrick(champion American pacer and arch rival of Cardigan Bay) who stood in NSW and then to Land Grant, Gatwick and Vanston Hanover. The only progeny of Sue Adios to race in NZ was her second foal, born in Australia, the well-performed filly Adios Trick.
Sue Adios male progeny included:
Vanston Adios, 13 wins(6 Harold Park, 3 Albion Park), NSW Christmas Gift and Sir Galahad, 15 wins(8 at Harold Park, 1 at Albion Park).
Sue Adios fillies included:
Adios Trick, her 23 starts yielded 9 wins in NZ for the Win A Trick Syndicate(Manager Delvan Rickerby). At two, she was the top southern juvenile filly winning 4 of her 5 starts(Stan Andrews, Rangiora Raceway, R M Cameron & Forbury Park Stakes), placing fourth in the Sapling Stakes. First up at three, Adios Trick won the TS Harrison Stakes(Methven), as well as at Addington, Timaru, Alexandra Park twice including the GN Oaks. She was unplaced in four 4yo starts, unraced at five and unplaced in her only start at six. Adios Trick produced nine foals for five winners/ two qualifiers including Hanover Trick(5 wins, 1:54.3US), Smooth Ghia(7 wins, Harold Park twice, Sue Dreamer(6wins, NI Breeders Stakes).
Credit: Peter Craig writing in Harnessed Oct 2015
MASTER DEAN - Enigma
Had mobile racing been as firmly established in the mid 1970's as it is today Master Dean would probably be toasted as one of the biggest stars of his era. But it wasn't and he wasn't. Pity.
Trained by Alec Purdon for Noel Borlase, Master Dean's barrier manners eventually exasperated his first driver Robert Cameron and Mike De Filippi used the opportunity to put his name in the headlines with some of his brilliant horse's most notable performances. But only from mobiles.
Typical of his career was his 6yo efforts when he was already established in open class. He broke early at his only start previous to the New Zealand Cup where, typically, he broke badly early and was never in the race. Three days later he was a brilliant winner of the NZ Free-For-All and was not beaten again that season in New Zealand.
He beat all the topliners again in the Allan Matson FFA close to the national record and added the Stars Travel Miracle Mile over Stanley Rio, thanks to a brilliant drive from young De Filippi who had to work off a tricky position on the rail to win in the days when drivers could master mile racing on the track. On a cold night on a wet track he only went 2:00 but won well. In Auckland he destroyed them in the Benson and Hedges Flying Mile and then ran 1:57.5 to win the Clarendon FFA over a mile at Addington, a tick outside Young Quinn's national record.
Master Dean, in spite of his great speed, had not won a race after his first 16 starts, sometimes just pulled up. He won two in a row at Hutt Park in his first mobile starts at three and things changed. In fact all 16 of Master Dean's wins were mobiles. He had over 40 races from standing starts and could never finish better than second. And remember that not many horses Alec Purdon's training skills.
Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed July 2016
MIGHTY GAY - Enigma
George Shand's pride and joy of the mid 1970's was an unlikely star on breeding who put up some phenomenal performances.
Trouble was, they invariably came after a gallop at the start and so his full potential was never found. George was a "don't die wondering" sort of driver who did not accept 100m behind the field was a lost cause. On Show Day at Addington in 1973 when the horse was a 3yo, he was lined up in the 3200m Author Dillon Handicap against horses of all ages, something rarely attempted in such a tough race at that time and certainly not now. He did 100m at the start, looped the field to lead at the top of the straight and went on to win.
As a 2yo he was pulled up in two of his first four starts, won a couple at the Nelson winter meeting, floated to Auckland to win first up at Alexandra Park and then lost 150m in the Juvenile Championship.
It was often all or nothing. From 98 starts in NZ he was placed in only 15, nine of them wins. It is probably a record without equal among top line performers. Mighty Gay inherited superior speed from his fast, tough but erratic sire, Gay Gordon, who left about a dozen winners. Some took fast times in the US.
Mighty Gay's form fell right away as an older horse. Then as a 6yo, having won one race in three years, he won the rich Ashburton Flying Stakes at 35/1. That was your Mighty Gay. We may never know how good he really was. He seemed to prefer it that way.
Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed July 2016
1970 NZ DERBY STAKES
New Law made his owners, Templeton trainer, F E Newfield, and Mr L Law, feel mighty pleased they decided to pay the late penalty price of $500 by squeezing home narrowly to win the rich $11,000 New Zealand Derby Stakes at Addington Raceway.
According to Newfield, New Law was actually entered for the classic but somehow the papers arrived much later than he anticipated. And while New Law's owners are still recovering from the spirit of success, the owner of the dam of New Law, Mr G W Brown must now be feeling some pangs of regret. About two months ago he lost New Law's dam, Sirretta, because of an internal complaint as well as her foal by Garrison Hanover, and just to make his consternation worse some weeks earlier he had sold a full sister to New Law to G B Noble. Now two, the filly is shaping up nicely at Roydon Lodge.
New Law's preparation for the Derby was completed when he won the Second Riccarton Stakes on Show Day. In the Derby his bracket with Royal Ascot appealed to the majority of bettors and they paraded favourites for the event. New Law was well away and soon was nicely placed with the cover behind Courtesy Tedlo, while Royal Ascot settled down with only Noble Lord behind him. Coming into the stretch for the run in Courtesy Tedlo ran wide and New Law forged through and quickly stuck his head in front. He had them all covered, until Royal Ascot, who was the first to move going past the half mile, made a healthy sort of claim into his lead on the line that even made the judge mention him first in the visual call. This was a bit of a surprise for Newfield raised his hand in the air (Stirling Moss style), and had a victory grin on his dial when he looked across to A M Harrison, the driver od Royal Ascot just after passing the post. Scottish Warrior dashed home from midfield for third ahead of Noble Lord, who lost ground at the start and followed Royal Ascot when he moved. Next home was Lee Frost, with Violetta and Allenton not far away.
Siretta (2:07.6, 13f) was by Adorian out of Fightaway, by Free Fight out of Alloway, by Dillon Hall out of Ochiltree, by Wrack out of the imported Trix Pointer. There is no shortage of winning blood here for Trix Pointer has had a great influence on New Zealand breeding since she was purchased in America by the late Mr Freeman Holmes many years ago and over 100 winners stem from her. Fightaway, the secon dam of New Law, has left other winners in Sirrah Jay, Sirrah, Sironto and Sirrella, while her sire Free Fight, won the 1946 NZ Derby from Snowflake and County Antrim
Credit: Mike Grainger writing in NZ Trotting Calendar
James, the little black iron horse from Tinwald, gave his owner-trainer, Jim Donaldson, the greatest of all pleasures with a magnificent stamina-loaded performance to win the $25,000 New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington on a glorious Tuesday afternoon.
The manner in which he won and fought of the likes of True Averil and Stella Frost at the furlong scotched once and for all the frequently expressed view that James was no good "down here." In that final and bitter quarter James never flinched an inch, and the huge crowd that jostled into every vantage point in sight thrilled to one of the grandest finishes ever witnessed.
Before going on it must be mentioned that while James won with sheer grit and courage, Manaroa must be classed as being desperately unlucky not to have won. His break after pacing for the first few strides must have cost him a good 60 or 70 yards and one private clocker had him giving the leaders eight seconds on settling down. One watch tabbed him with gross time equivalent to 4:03 - to storm home within half a length of the winner after losing so much makes his effort astonishing to say the least.
Still thats racing - the Cup has gone to James and his wandering owner who entered the light harness sport 15 years ago. Jim, who must have been close to slipping into the roaring forties at the time, decided to have an interest in trotting after the success his brother, Hugh, had with a grey mare called Quite Contrary. His first horse was La Valla and then came horses like Dresden Blue, one of the Dominion's greatest trotters in Control, Tarseal and Rockin Robin. And ever since La Valla, every horse he has raced has won races.
Then in 1959 he arranged to go down to Gore where a dispersal sale of Mr J H Peterson's racing stock was being held. Up for sale was Responsive, an Attack mare who had already won five races and been 19 times placed, but at 275 guineas bidding stopped and she was passed in. A short time later Jim bought her for 300 guineas, and she carried on for him to win another four races including a Methven Cup, earn a total of $11,715 in stakes and compete unsuccessfully in the 1960 NZ Cup. Unfortunately, Responsive's stud career was a brief one, and James is her only progeny. Her first foal, a colt by Thurber Frost, died, her second foal was James, and 12 months later she died before foaling to Thurber Frost.
It would be hard to find a tougher piece of horse than James anywhere in the country. Up he comes week after week and from 109 all time starts has pocketed $45,425 which makes him second only to Chequer Board in total stake money won amongst all horses still racing.
Responsive was sired by Attack, a quality black horse by Light Brigade and a very good racehorse. Attack reached NZ Cup class and at one stage won eight races in succession. He gained further fame some seasons ago when his son First Variety sired the Inter-Dominion Grand Final winner, First Lee. Attack has been at stud in Australia for some years and has about 50 individual winners to his credit. Responsive was out of Russley Girl, by Grattan Loyal from Ecstatic, by Jack Potts from Ecstacy, by Logan Pointer, and thus claims three of the strongest pacing strains New Zealand has had. Responsive was the best winner left by Russley Girl, who also left Australian winners in Leyoro, L'Etoile, and others in On Probation, Russley Song and Russley Boy.
The race was soon underway with Stella Frost, James, Intrepid and Co Pilot comprising the front group, while Monsignor, Manaroa and Upper Class failed to keep their gait and Rhinegolde and Radiant Globe were slow. Shortly after the start Wipe Out and True Averil broke. For a few furlongs it was a bit ragged with James in command for a while, but he was challenged by Lords who quickly took over and led them into the last mile. James had the run with Stella Frost on his back and then we saw Co Pilot, Intrepid on the fence, Chequer Board, Garcon Roux, Radiant Globe, Wipe Out, Cuddle Doon,Leading Light, True Averil just beginning a dab three wide, Rhinegolde and Manaroa. Upon reaching the half some cards were starting to be played. James had run up and passed Lords with True Averil pressing on from Stella Frost, Radiant Globe, Intrepid, Co Pilot, Garcon Roux, Rhinegolde, Leading Light and Cuddle Doon, with Manaroa still appearing miles out of his crease.
On sweeping into line five had broken away from the bunch and True Averil was the first to tackle James with Stella Frost coming out and Intrepid not being able to produce anything extra. James fended them off with stout heart and then came Manaroa's whirlwind sprint down the fence that nine times out of ten would have won any race in the world. What a finish it was. Stella Frost was beaten in the battle for the $15,000 by a neck with Manaroa a head back, half a length to True Averil and then came Radiant Globe, Leading Light, Intrepid, Garcon Roux, Wipe Out, Chequer Board, Monsignor, Upper Class, Cuddle Doon, Co Pilot, Rhinegolde and Lords - last.
There was no loitering this year - unlike last year's contest - and the winner finished racing after 4:11.2. The first quarter was passed after 32.4, with the first half taking 64.2 and the six furlongs in 1:35.8. The first mile came up in 2:07.5, the mile and a quarter in 2:40.4, the mile and a half in 3:10.6, the mile and three-quarters in 3:41, and so the last mile was run in 3:03.3. Only those on course could appreciate the speed of the rabbit's run (Manaroa), but his last mile must have been cut out in close to two minute time or even better.
Few of the drivers had much to report after the event, although Derek Jones said he was "tickled pink" with Leading Light's great race for sixth. Before signing off one must commend Peter Wolfenden for the masterly way he handled James in winning his third New Zealand Cup. His tactics and terrific driving intuition played no small part in the success of James. Previously "Wolfie" had won with Cardigan Bay in 1963 and Garry Dillon in 1965. Generally the race lived up to everybody's expectations and the finish was as exciting as one could have ever thought possible. There were some disappointments including Intrepid's failure to do better than a plodder's seventh, Rhinegolde's 15th and Monsignor's 11th. On the other hand Radiant Globe, Leading Light and True Averil, the first three to arrive behind the placegetters, all ran solid races and appear likely to collect some of the cash prizes during the meeting.
Credit: Mike Grainger writing in NZ Trotting Calendar