Concorde, the supersonic Anglo-French aircraft enters passenger service.
Saddam Hussein becomes President of Iraq.
The Tangshan earthquake measuring between 7.8 and 8.2 magnitude flattens Tangshan, in the Peoples Republic of China, killing 242,769 and injuring 164,851.
20 July - The Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars
July 31 - Following in the footsteps of Jack Lovelock and Peter Snell, Walker won gold in the Olympic 1500 metres. Black African nations boycotted the Games in protest over the All Blacks' tour of South Africa
September 14 - Inter-Island ferry service between Lyttleton and Wellington ends with the last sailing of the "Rangitira".
September 26 - Orana Park Wildlife Reserve opens.
Credit: Ch-Ch City Libraries
DENIS (DINNY) McKENDRY
The death occurred in Christchurch of Mr Denis (Dinny) McKendry a prominent horseman of past years and closely associated at one time or another of two NZ Cup winners and an Auckland Cup winner.
A member of the well known mid-Canterbury family which has been closely involved in trotting almost since it's inception in this country, Dinny McKendry was driving in races before the First World War. At a Methven meeting in 1915 the McKendry's finished first second and third in the trotting race with Dinny driving the winner General Grant who won a number of races from his stable. Landlord was another good winner for him in earlier days and he once scored at Addington at long odds, a fact which the writer's grandfather, who backed him, never tired of telling.
One of the best horses McKendry trained was Nelson Eddy and from his stable the pacer won the Champion Stakes, All-Aged Stakes and the Dunedin Cup. Dinny McKendry drove the family owned Manoevurein in a number of that pacer's fine wins including the Greymouth Cup. Mr McKendry spent a number of years in the North Island during which time he trained Betty Boop, owned by Paddy Reid, to win the Adams Memorial and the Auckland Cup in the 1944 season. Shortly after he was closely associated with Highland Fling when that great pacer was in the Auckland area. Highland Fling won the Great Northern Trotting Stakes and the Timaru Nursery Stakes with McKendry in the sulky.
In later years Dinny McKendry assisted Freeman (FG) Holmes in the preparation of his team and following Adorian's NZ Cup victory in 1953 Freeman Holmes paid a special tribute to his foreman during the presentation ceremony ascribing Adorian's readiness for the big race to McKendry's care.
Dinny McKendry had been living in retirement in Christchurch for a number of years before his death. He was a brother of Gladdy McKendry who produced any number of good winners including Epigram, Silver De Oro, Gay Piper and the brilliant Burns Night. The McKendry name is in no danger of being forgotten. A grand nephew of Dinny McKendry, Maurice, is one of the most promising reinsmen in the country at present attached to Ivan Behrns stable while another young relation, also named Denis is hoisting his name on the driver's board from Mac Miller's Methven stable.
Credit: David McCarthy writing in NZ Trotguide 14Oct76
The Washdyke trainer, P P Gallagher, has been one of the most versatile light harness trainers and reinsmen in NZ.
Gallagher, a regular patron of Southland meetings for many years, became one of trotting's 'characters', and a successful one at that, a long time ago. He was one of the best saddle horsemen of his day, and a competent reinsman to boot. Even during his last season he was seen out in the odd saddle race.
A regular patron of the smaller Otago, Southland and Canterbury meetings, he also had much to do with the success at the 'Town Hall' of such fine performers as Smile Again, Cabin Boy, Mighty Song, Kid Wolf, Air Flow, Taxpayer, Millisle, Southern Smile, Special Force, Rowi and Helen's Bay, the great grandam of Cardigan Bay. And there were some good lesser lights he held the reins over, among them Chechahco, Lady Dawn, Miss Dean, Kildonnin, Spring Walk, Imperial Grattan, Ben Ledi, Compo Jack, Foreign Lady, Magnificent, Copper Trail, Sunranes, Silver Jack, Love Parade, Deste, Anthum, Bonny Vue, Chiming Billy, Electric Chimes, Stalwart, Trywin, Mighty Imp, Hazel, Russell, Ahuaraka, Andy Watson, Lord Zetland and a lot of others - he also trained most of these himself.
Gallagher was nothing if not versatile, as he proved at a non-totalisator meeting at Ranfurly many years ago when he won two races in saddle trots with Margo and then rode the galloper, Golliwog, to take another 'double' on the same programme.
Gallagher was for some time reinsman for the Roydon Lodge team, and a grand trotter he was associated with while there was Airflow.
NZ Trotting Calendar 14Jul65
One of Canterbury's most distiguished horsemen, Mr Peter Paulrang Gallagher died at Washdyke last week aged 76.
Mr Gallagher had a long and successful career as a trotting trainer ans was among the foremost drivers of his time. He drove close to 400 winners before his retirement in 1965 and was twice second on the national drivers premiership, the first time to Max Stewart in 1939-40 and again to Fred Smith in 1942-43.
However he got his greatest pleasure from competing in saddle races and driving trotters as opposed to pacers. He topped the national list of winning drives with trotters on two occasions - in 1939-40 and 1945-6 - and was recognised as a master of the saddle trot.
As a trainer his two best horses were Cabin Boy and Special Force. Cabin Boy was purchased by Mr Gallagher for $100 but in spite of being troubled by unsoundness throughout his career went on to win nine races and $9000. A sizable sum in the days of much lower stakes. Cabin Boy's first 16 starts resulted in eight wins, two seconds and a third while he was the county's fifth leading stake earner in the 1944-5 season. Mr Gallagher considered Cabin Boy to have been the best he ever trained but maintained the best was never seen of him because of unsoundness.
Special Force was an outstanding juvenile pacer, winning the Canterbury Park Juvenile Stakes and the NZ Sapling Stakes in four starts as a 2-year-old. As a 3-year-old he won the Wellington Stakes, NZ Championship and NZ Champion Stakes before losing confidence after a race fall.
Smile Again was a top saddle horse for Mr Gallagher and in January 1946 set a world saddle race record when winning over a mile in 2:05 2-5. However a month later Smile Again reduced the time still further to 2:04 when finishing third on the same course from 36 yards. Other fine horses Mr Gallagher was associated with included Mighty Song, Kid Wolf, Positive, Logan Hanlon, Millisle, Spring Walk and Imperial Grattan.
Credit: NZ Trotguide 5Aug76
The promising pacer Speedometer was withdrawn from his engagement in the Light Brigade Stakes at Addington recently following the death earlier that day of his owner Mr W F Woolley.
A prominent owner over a number of years, Mr Woolley traced nearly all his major success back to a $80 purchase at Tattersalls bazaar in 1942 when for that sum he bought Tondeleyo offered on behalf of the Durbar Lodge Stud of Ashburton. In later years Mr Woolley recalled that he actually went to the sale primarily to buy some harness but that nobody else wanted the mare he took her on deferred payment. Tondeleyo should have commanded much more interest for she was a full sister to the champion Indianapolis, though she had been a wayward customer when tried at the racing game.
Tondeleyo proved a wonderful success at stud. For Mr Woolley she produced Ascot, the winner of six, Highland Belle dam of Astralight (8 wins) Paramount (5 wins) the dam of Goldmount (6 wins in NZ and more in the United States) and Paranova who won six here and took a 1:59.8 mark in the United States.
Another daughter of Tondeleyo to have great success for Frank Woolley was Loyal Guest the ancestress of 19 winners...one of her daughters True Guest herself won 5 races and produced at stud Speedy Guest (16 wins to date and nearly $85,000), True Forbes and Golden Guest who won 14 between them...Adio Star, another daughter of Loyal Guest left Loyal Adios (7 wins) Colonel Adios (6 wins) Bachelor Star and Main Adios two high class winners.
Another foal of Adio Star in Adio Wren is the dam of the promising Speedometer. From the same line comes the speedy In Or Out. Before Mr Woolley purchased Tondeleyo she had left Margaret Hall, owned by Harold Drewery and later for Bill Bagrie, the dam of Orbiter.
A Lyttelton fruiterer before his retirement, Mr Woolley for some years maintained a training establishment at Aylesbury. In recent years his horses have been prepared by his son-in-law Alister Kerslake at Methven or by Jack Smolenski who was once based at the Aylesbury stable.
Credit: David McCarthy writing in NZ Trotguide 21Oct76
Mr F F (Frank) Scott who enjoyed a long and successful career as a trainer in Blenheim died in his home town last week at the age of 84. Frank Scott trained up until seven or eight years ago and enjoyed good health after his retirement until a short time before his death.
The best horse trained by Mr Scott was Buchanan, a gelding by Captain Adios out of Bonny Heather. Mr Scott Prepared Buchanan for Mr W J Murray and took him to within one win of NZ Cup company on the mid 1960s. Buchanan's best win was in the flying mile at the Canterbury Park meeting on February 11 when he beat Friendly Tom, Adorato and Happy Song in the mobile start event. His time for the mile was 2:00.6, a very good time considering 2:00 miles were a rarity in those days.
Another top horse to receive his early education from Mr Scott's stable was French Pass who did his early racing for Mr C Pateman from Mr Scott's stable. French Pass was then purchased by Mr Roy McKenzie of Wellington and under the guidance of Charlie Hunter went on to win the Dominion Handicap at Addington.
Mr Scott also trained the good performers Land Ahoy and Te Hana and in 1963, he prepared Milngarvie and Great Mystery to finish first and second in the Marlborough Cup at Waterlea.
Mr Scott also produced Royal Victory at his local meeting at Waterlea and when he finished in a place he returned a dividend of £112, and this is a record that still stands.
Credit: Tony Williams writing in NZ Trotguide 24Nov76
ADELAIDE - CARCLEW
The immortal sire Globe Derby was paid a fitting testimonial at Adelaide in 1976 when the Inter Dominions were held for the first time on the track named in his honour. The Grand Finals fell to Carclew and Bay Johnny - both male-line Globe Derby horses, while Carclew's runner-up Pure Steel was a grandson of Bandbox, the 1947 Grand Champion in Perth, herself a grand daughter of Globe Derby.
LORD MODULE - Bargain Buy
Lord Module(1976) $3,000 28 wins $251,000
It was said in later years that Cecil Devine hadn't really done any homework on the Lordship colt he bought at the sales for less than the average price, selecting him chiefly on looks and presence. Not that there was anything wrong with his pedigree either. He was bred on the Lordship/Bachelor Hanover cross and from a family that stood the test of time. As it turned out and, while Lord Module was a horse of freakish ability, Cecil almost certainly did not check out the colt's dam, Module, trained for a time by Hughie Greenhorn.
Module was well known around Addington but not in a good way. The personable Greenhorn enjoyed telling her story in later years. Her favourite party trick, apart from constantly being in season, was lying down on the track and refusing to get up. A contemporary claimed to me that markers were once put around the mare so other horses could get on with their work while she lay there sulking.
Something of the temperament eventually emerged with Lord Module combined with the fact that his feet often hurt and caused the master trainer all kinds of headaches. However, he was still carried into the New Zealand Cup history books and ran an unbelievable 1:54.9 time trial in adverse conditions - one of the greatest performances of a generation.
Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed May 2016
The photo shows Noodlum and Freeman Holmes on Show Day 1974...the day they came off 30m to win the Riccarton Stakes over a top field of 3-year-olds by 14 lengths in 3:21, a national record by almost three seconds.
The brilliant Noodlum, undoubtedly one of the greatest pacers ever produced in NZ and the wonder colt of his era, has been retired to the stud and will this Spring stand his first season alongside the already successful Adios import Jersey Hanover at part-owner Freeman Holmes' Ellesmere nursery, The Manor.
The decision to terminate the dashing chestnut's racing career was made a fortnight ago by Freeman and champ's other part-owner Mrs Ann Wilson of Christchurch. "There was a risk of him breaking a sesamoid bone in his off hind leg as the ligament running along the cannon bone had moved off the bone," said Freeman who trained the horse and drove him in all bar seven of his races.
The trouble actually stemmed from the eve of the NZ Derby of November 1974 when the precocious colt sprung a curb. A look at his record sheet since then would give the impression that he made a complete recovery but as Freeman takes up the story again, "the peculiar thing is that in his endeavour to save the strained ligaments he placed great pressure elsewhere and that is the reason for his recent injury." All Noodlum's troubles originate from the fact that the great drive possessed in his beautiful pacing action caused strain on his stifles and when soreness occurred in these ligaments it placed greater pressure on the lower areas of his hind legs eventually resulting in injuries.
Noodlum's 2-year-old campaign was nothing short of sensational. He was constantly in the headlines from his first public appearance, when he scurried over 1200 metres in 1:36.4 (last 800 in 1:04.4) on a 'cutting out' grass track to down a field of his age group by more than 150 metres at a Waimate trial meeting late in August 1973 until he was eased up for his first Winter spell, with the greatest juvenile pacing campaign ever witnessed in this part of the world, behind him.
He won his debut, taking the Morrinsville Juvenile Stakes at Cambridge, was unbeaten at his next three attempts, the Ellerslie League Pace at Alexandra Park, NZ Springtime Stakes at Addington and NZ Golden Slipper Stakes at Waimate (deadheating with Astro Blue) before tasting his first defeat, running second to Don Lopez in the New Year Stakes at Addington. At his next appearance he bounced back with a brilliant finishing burst to down Commissioner in the Town Hall Stakes at Addington's Commonwealth Games Meeting but then at his following attempt disaster struck.
Coasting home well clear of the field in the Forbury Juvenile Stakes at Dunedin late in January 1974 Noodlum fell victim to the even human tendency of 'star gazing' and 'having a wee dream' when things are going to easily. He suddenly spotted a head number lying on the track about thirty metres from the line, woke up in a panic (as one does whe rudely disturbed during a pleasant day dream) and tried to jump the obstacle. In an instant Noodlum, driver Holmes and a tangled mass of sulky and gear were on the deck - Noodlum receiving abrasions losing two teeth and requiring a fortnight off work to recover from the nasty incident.
Reappearing in the Second Graduation Stakes at Addington in April, Noodlum, from a ten metre backmark, received a shocking run before finishing fourth to Sly Kiwi, Esteban and Golden Nurse - but that was the last time he would taste defeat for fifteen starts, a NZ record winning sequence not approached before or since. He took the NZ Welcome Stakes by five lengths, the Allanton Stakes at Forbury Park by six lengths, the Gladville Stakes at Addington (from a 20 metre backmark) by ¾ of a length, the Oamaru Juvenile Stakes by four lengths, the Canterbury Park Juvenile Stakes (again from 20 metres) by one and a half lengths, the NZ Sapling Stakes at Ashburton by four and a half lengths and the NZ Juvenile Championship at Auckland by eight lengths.
Noodlum's complete juvenile record sheet reads 15 starts, 12 wins, one second and one fourth and $23,162.50. He set a stakes winning record for one of his age, bettering the previous best (credited to Young Quinn) by $9,947.50, equalled the record performance of Robalan by winning 12 races in a single season (the previous best was 11 credited to Nyallo Scott back in the mid-forties) and set race record mile rates in seven classics or semi-classics - the NZ Juvenile Championship, the NZ Welcome Stakes, NZ Golden Slipper Stakes, NZ Springtime Stakes, Canterbury Park Juvenile Stakes, Morrinsville Juvenile Stakes and Oamaru Juvenile Stakes. He still holds three National 2-year-old marks, 2000 metres standing starts at 2:35.4 (set in the Canterbury Park Juvenile Stakes), 2200 metres standing start at 2:54.4 (Allanton Stakes, Forbury Park) and 2200 metres mobile at 2:49.8 (NZ Juvenile Championship, Alexandra Park). In his final seven victorious juvenile appearances Noodlum was handled by the great Maurice Holmes (uncle of Freeman) then in his last season of race driving. Horse and driver certainly formed a champion team.
Noodlum commenced his 3-year-old campaign with a devasting patch of form which saw him unbeaten over an eight race, four month period, thus extending his winning sequence to the record 15. He opened by taking the Waitaki Hanover Stakes at Kurow (from a 20 metre backmark) by three and a half lengths then preceding to blast similar Semi-Classic fields in the Second Canterbury Stakes at Addington (again of 20 metres) by four lengths, the Fourth Canterbury Stakes (20 metres again) by three lengths, the New Brighton Stakes (this time from 30 metres) by two and a half lengths, the Concord Handicap at Forbury (off 20 metres) by six lengths, the Warrington Handicap at Forbury (again 20 metres) by five and a half lengths and the Second Riccarton Stakes at Addington on Show Day. In the latter event Noodlum came from a 30 metre handicap in the 2600 metre contest, reached the lead 1000 metre out then said goodbye to his field with a 58.6 last half to score by 14 lengths, still a National 3YO mark and then an all-age record. In his earlier New Brighton Stakes victory Noodlum has similarly assaulted the record book, cutting the 2000 metre standing start contest out in 2:32.4, a National mark for a 3-year-old and jointly shared with Hi Foyle as an all-aged record.
Although not at his best, being troubled by his earlier mentioned curb, Noodlum had little trouble in downing a vintage field in the 1974 NZ Derby at his next appearance, being hard held all the way in front but still covering his last 800 metres in 57.8 to make it 15 on end.
After a short let-up Noodlum resumed in the North Canterbury Stakes at Rangiora and it was to become the first occasion the champion colt was to cross the line unplaced (his only other failure to earn a stake at that stage being when he fell at Forbury). Badly checked early from his 20 metre backmark Noodlum found himself some 250 metres from the early leader, yet still managed to finish fifth behind the flying Commissioner. Seconds to Commissioner in the NZ Champion Stakes at Ashburton and Parlez Vous in the E F Mercer Mile at Addington (being parked out in the suicide seat throughout both times) followed then, still suffering from the effects of his affected hock, Noodlum was taken out of fast work and put onto a programme of long, slow jogging for a period.
Four months later he was back again and after a seven length victoty in the Russley Stakes ay Addington and a grand second (from 30 behind) to Ganya in the Queen's Birthday Stakes at Ashburton Noodlum ventured across the Tasman for the first and only time, two out of two at Albion Park, Brisbane. He romped away by 35 metres in his qualifying heat of the 1975 Queensland Derby then a week later displayed to the Australians just what a champion he was by overcoming an early lapse from the mobile which cost him a good 50 metres and saw him settle last in the field of budding top-liners including Wilbur Post, Little William, Chief Eagle and the ill-fated Francis Joseph. From there he was forced to race "round the world" on the tight Albion Park curcuit to reach the lead early in the run home and score by a long neck, the 2510 metre journey being snapped out in 3:15.8.
Noodlum returned home to The Manor for a short winter break, his sophomore season record standing at 15 starts for eleven wins, three seconds and a fifth worth $32,100. He had equalled the National all-age 2000 metre standing start mark of 2:32.4 and created a 2600 metre 3-year-old record of 3:21 - both these marks still standing at the time of writing. But just as startling performances were to come the following season as a 4-year-old.
Noodlum commenced his third season on the track with two successive seconds to Lunar Chance at the 1975 National Meeting, going down by a head in the Louisson Handicap and a neck in the National Handicap. A fortnight later he was back in the birdcage first as a result of one of the most brilliant finishing bursts seen in many a long day. From 10 metres behind in New Brighton's A E Laing Handicap Noodlum found himself back near the tail of the field for most of the journey and with just 400 metres to go was still last equal. Asked the question by driver Holmes the gifted sidewheeler swept up eight wide round the home turn and flew down the outside of the track, grabbing a neck victory over Kawarau Gold just short of the line, in a time of 3:23.1. His last quarter was covered in an electrified 27 seconds.
At his next attempt he failed to run in the money after being left in the suicide seat for most of the contest, and this became only the third time of his career Noodlum had failed to earn a cheque. Noodlum's next appearance, from a 15 metre handicap in the Ashburton Flying Stakes, provided a near carbon copy of his magnificent Laing Handicap victory of two starts previous. Buried back near the rear on the inner of the high-class fourteen horse field Noodlum's chances seemed completely extinguished when the leaders dawdled over the majority of the 2400 metre contest, effectively converting it into an 800 metre dash. Still not sighted and far from the lead at the straight most of the champion's admirers had given up hope for their idol when closer to the outside fence than the running rail, the brilliant chestnut appeared, literally swallowing up his rivals to catch Kawarau Gold right on the line and win by a head, with Why Bill and Speedy Guest right up next. His time for the full journey was 3:17.3 but his last half on the grass surface, far from conducive to fast times, was an amazing 57 seconds. Other stars to finish behind him were Lunar Chance and Vanadium.
A sixth after being all but brought down in a scrimmage on the home turn in the Hannon Memorial (won by Kawarau Gold) at Oamaru and a dashing 2:00.9 victory after a wide early run in the Canterbury Park 4-year-old Mile followed. Then just prior to the 1975 NZ Cup Noodlum became troubled by stifle soreness and was forced to miss the Carnival.
An internal blister was successfully applied to the stifle and Noodlum flew north for the Auckland Cup Meeting where he scored a magificent last-to-first victory over Ripper's Delight, Forto Prontezza, Captain Harcourt, Lunar Chance and company in the National Flying Pace (clocking 2:03.8), ran a sound fifth in the Pezaro Memorial then chased Captain Harcourt and Speedy Guest home in the 1975 Auckland Cup after being parked out for a good bit of the journey.
Next it was down to Wellington's Hutt Park, and the Pacific Handicap was to be the last event to fall to the brilliant chestnut, his winning margin (from a ten metre handicap) over Palestine being a long neck. Noodlum contested his last race in the 1976 Wellington Cup, finishing a good third behind Palestine and Speedy Guest, clocking 3:05 for the 2400 metres.
Although due to his injuries it became increasingly difficult for Noodlum to be produced at his best as a 4-year-old, the magnificent entire still managed five wins, two seconds, two thirds and $21,150 from his twelve appearances. His full career record stands at 42 starts, 28 wins, 6 seconds, 2 thirds and one fourth for $76,412.50 in stakes. He was only unplaced on five occasions, and of those five fell once, was all but brought down on the home turn once and was checked loosing 250 metres at the start once. An incredible record by any standards.
Bred by part-owner Mrs Ann Wilson, Noodlum standing 15.2 hands and boasting a heartscore of 140, is by Jim Dalgety's great, late import and once NZ premier sire Bachelor Hanover, sire of other standouts in Arapaho (p5, 1:58.2), Dwayne (p9, 1:59.8), Jondor Hanover (p6, 2:00), Bachelor Star, Bachelor Tom, Boy Friend, Double Cash, Violetta, Walk Alone, First Batch, Royal Nibble and a host of other good winners. Although his first NZ crop are currently only 10-year-olds Bachelor Hanover is already a two-minute broodmare-sire through the deeds of last year's top 3-year-old pacer Bolton Byrd (p3, 1:59.9) while another of his daughters produced Harvey Wilson, undisputed leader of last years sophomore trotters brigade.
Dam of Noodlum is the former high-class racemare Deft who left earlier winners in Eligo and Canny while her foal immediately following Noodlum was champion filly and leading 2-year-old of her last season Olga Korbut. $15,020 being her first season earnings. The only mare to be acclaimed NZ broodmare of the year more than once (she was so honoured in 1974 and 1975) Deft won ten races including two invitations (the Pope and McDonald Handicaps, both at Hutt Park) for Mrs Wilson from the Wyndham stables of Derek Dynes. Like her brilliant son Deft was also a chestnut, being by the dual two-minute siring Roydon Lodge-import Captain Adios from a real broodmare gem and also high-class racemare Tactics who scored eleven wins including the 1953 New Brighton Cup for Mrs Wilson's husband Andy.
At the stud Tactics produced nine winners, Tactile (p7, 1:59.6 - $189,415 - a champion classic colt, the only horse ever to win five derbies, a highly-successful sire in a short stay in North America and now based at Derek Dynes' Wyndham property where he receives heavy patronage), Adroit (a classic victor and now successful Australian-based sire), Tactus (also a successful sire across the Tasman), Master Proof, Tactena, Tacmae, Greek March and Deft herself while she now ranks as either the grandam or ancestress of such good performers as (besides Deft's brood) Ryal Anne, Tactful, Astute Hanover, Tactless, Yankee Score, Young Charlene and Tact Del.
By another of Roydon Lodge's great imports Light Brigade, Tactics is from yet another class racemare in the nine times successful Nell Grattan, dam also of Mighty Song (eight wins) and grandam of yet another star performer in Coral Donna (p6, 2:00). A daughter of Grattan Loyal, Nell Grattan boasted as her dam the prolific producer First Water whose brood included twelve winners, amongst their numbers being such standouts as Rocks Ahead (16 wins), First Lord (ten wins - now a 2:00 sire) and 1940 Auckland Cup victor Ned Worthy. By Harold Rothschild, First Water was from the Prince Imperial mare Red Diamond, foaled in 1907 and founder of this now nearly two hundred individual winner producing family.
No story on Noodlum would be complete without a tribute to Freeman Holmes who always paraded the horse in the magnificent order, truly befitting a champion. Well worthy of mention too is a big thank you on behalf of the NZ standardbred breeding industry, present and future, to Freeman and Mrs Wilson for resisting many overseas offers, some of the magnitude of $¼ million for their champion and standing by their word in making him available to the nation's broodmare owners now his racing days are over. The high regard Noodlum was held in by the breeding industry can be gauged by the fact that within 48 hours of his retirement being announced he was fully booked for the current season, while there are now only a few vacancies left for his 1977-78 season.
But perhaps the greatest tribute paid to Noodlum came from NZ's maestro of the reins Maurice Holmes who in his half century career drove more classic victors than some harness followers have picked winners. Said Maurice "He's the greatest juvenile pacer I've ever sat behind." Perhaps with that quotation we can remember Noodlum, the crowd drawing, newsmaking racehorse and look forward to Noodlum, the horse with all the credentials to be a supersire of the future.
Extract from HRWeekly 15 Nov 89
Noodlum, champion New Zealand sire in 1985-86 and 1986-87, collapsed and died after serving a mare on Sunday.
Aged 18, Noodlum was in good health, and had served 20 mares this season.
Noodlum was a son of Bachelor Hanover and the Captain Adios mare, Deft. A chestnut foal of 1971, Noodlum was a grand racehorse, winning 15 consecutive races, 12 of them as a 2-year-old. His most notable wins were the Ashburton Flying Stakes, NZ and Queensland Derbys, NZ Sapling Stakes, NZ Welcome Stakes and the Benson and Hedges Flying Mile.
On retiring, Noodlum stood at The Manor, the Springston stud of his trainer, Freeman Holmes. He sired a marvellous racehorse in Master Mood, who won the 1986 NZ Cup, the Auckland Cup and the Miracle Mile in the same season, and Race Ruler, who was exceptional at three and won both the New Zealand and Great Northern Derbys.
Another gem sired by Noodlum is Tyron Scottie, who is a superb trotter with good prospects of winning the TV3 Dominion Handicap at Addington on Saturday night.
The early Noodlum mares are now producing, and among their progeny are Mark Hanover, Auckland winner Predator, Zippy Jiffy, Lord Stiven, Shuttle Prime Rate and Fraggle Rock.
Credit: Peter Larkin writing in NZ Trotguide 2Sep76
1976 NZ FREE-FOR-ALL
The ease with which Master Dean won the NZ Free-For-All makes one wonder what might have been the outcome had he not ruined his chances at the start of the Cup.
The Honest Master stallion had no hope in the big event after his duffer's start but from the second line of the mobile in the sprint he gave his opponents no chance only Final Curtain worrying him at all in the latter stages. The power of the Prebbleton-trained horse showed to reach the front with a round to go did not augur well for his opponents and sure enough he went to the line strongly in the comparatively slow time of 2:30.3.
It was also a tribute to the skill of Mike De Filippi in his rating of Master Dean at the front and most certainly a tribute to the horse's trainer Alec Purdon. Alec had given Master Dean an intriguing preparation for the Cup which consisted of only one race. Although there was plenty of comment about this some experienced observers murmured appreciatively that this was a 'old time' Cup preparation when this sort of programme was more common. Purdon did it extremely well, for Master Dean looked like a million dollars on Cup Day. But the training schedule was not to finish the way Master Dean's connection's had hoped. But he made up for it in the Free-For-All - partly anyway - and will be an early favourite for the Matson Free-For-All and the Stars Travel Mile.
A horse with an enviable record as a sprinter Master Dean has now won 12 races and nearly $43,000 in prize-money. But he can stay too and he has one of the best two mile times of all the Cup class horses. Master Dean has always looked an ideal type for North America but owner Noel Borlase has refused all offers to date. On the other hand he has stud potential in this country.
Final Curtain was not well served in the running - he also drew the second line - but Barry Purdon had him up to challenge at the right time. Forto Prontezza, the early leader, didn't have the best of runs at the business end and just held the fast finishing Stanley Rio. Captain Harcourt was a disappointing fifth after enjoying a good run though he did have to go hard in the first quarter (cut out in a tick under 29 seconds) which might have taken the edge off him. He doesn't seem to quite have the brilliance he showed last Autumn on this trip. Palestine really only plugged while Lunar Chance had to improve wide from hear the back and this took the edge off him. None of the others really looked in it, some preferring more ground but Ripper's Delight was expected to go better.
Credit: David McCarthy writing in NZ Trotguide
1976 DOMINION TROTTING HANDICAP
Twelve months ago, the father and son partnership of Syd and Ron Webster had high hopes of winning the 1975 Dominion Handicap with their good mare Armbro Lady. But the Webster's hopes took a tumble along with the driver Bob Cameron, when Armbro Lady was involved in a skirmish 400 metres from home when starting to look a likely challenger. But at Addington this year, the memories of that incident faded very quickly when the six-year-old mare trounced the hot favourite Nigel Craig in the $15,000 event.
Syd Webster was not at Addington, but son Ron geared up Armbro Lady for the big trot an event in which she was not favoured to beat Nigel Craig. Her form leading up to the Dominion had been solid, without being spectacular, and few on-course, who sent her out at 25 to 1, gave her a chance of beating the hot favourite, a brilliant winner of the Worthy Queen Handicap on Cup Day in New Zealand record time.
Those who sent Nigel Craig out such a dominating favourite looked to be right on the mark when the seven-year-old, one of the most improved trotters in the country this season, hit the front at the end of only 800 metres. But it was this front-running, successful on so many other occasions, that proved to be Nigel Craig's downfall. He set a strong pace out in front, one that had all but Armbro Lady struggling a good way from home. But into the straight, it was obvious that Nigel Craig would have very little left if any challenges came, and when Armbro Lady with young driver Kevin Townley pulled out 100 metres out, she had won the race. Nigel Craig tried to hold her off, but went under by a length.
Armbro Lady recorded 4:17.3 for the 3200 metres, a good time considering the track was dead after heavy rain during the previous night. It was a time 4.2 seconds outside Easton Light's race and track record for 3200 metres, but still the second best time since metrics were introduced in 1973.
For Kevin Townley, it was his biggest success as a driver and followed up a win earlier in the day behind Chance Affair, winner of the four-year-old event, the Preview Stakes. Kevin, a son of the Ashburton Trainer-driver Doody Townley, was twice top probationary driver earlier in his career but like many young reinsmen, has found it hard to get top drives once he gained his open horsemen's licence. Kevin's father won the Dominion Handicap driving Lester Clark's top trotter, Mighty Chief. Syd Webster one of the part owners of Armbro Lady, had enjoyed previous success in the Dominion Handicap back in 1946 when Casabianca won.
Third place went to Dupreez who is trotting a lot more solidly this season. If any horse was unlucky in this event, it may have been Dupreez as he had to work off the rails about the 700 metres and was then held up when trying to make progress through the field. He was conceding Nigel Craig and Armbro Lady a good start at the top of the straight but fought on gamely to get within three quarters of a length and a length and a half of the first two.
Petite Evander and Best Bet, two North Island challengers, did best of the others but were six lengths and two and a half lengths further back respectively. Petite Evander made a good beginning this time and put in a big run from the back along with Best Bet. Cee Ar was a further six lengths back sixth ahead of Castleton's Pride, Waipounamu and Frontier. Mighty Lee and Easton Light were the disappointments of the event, Mighty Lee wilting to 11th after working hard to get handy early and Easton Light dropping out from the 700 metres after having to work very hard in the early stages to make up his 45-metre handicap. He tried to improve three and four wide from the 1200 metres but was gone 500 metres further on and beat only three home. It was the first time in six attempts that Easton Light has failed to return to scale in a Dominion Handicap, a race he won in 1972 and 1974 and was narrowly beaten by Hal Good last year.
Credit: Tony Williams writing in NZ Trotguide
Swift Princess probably earned herself the ranking of top three-year-old filly for the season with her clear cut win in the NZ Oaks. For one who didn't score her first victory until Boxing Day 1975 - a race she was subsequently disqualified from over an infrigement of the seven day rule - the Play Bill filly has made dramatic progress and the Oaks win was her fifth in six races.
Still the indications were there earlier than the George Cameron-trained youngster would be well above average. She had only two outings as a two-year-old, at the second of these running third behind Daring Donna and Smokey Lopez in the Rangiora Raceway Stakes. After being beaten a length by Smokey Lopez in the Waitaki Hanover Stakes at Kurow in August, she filled a similar position behind the same gelding in the First Canterbury Stakes on the opening night of the National meeting in August and on the second night of that meeting was fourth, Smokey Lopez, Direct Magic and Scotch Wallace being ahead of her with the winner coming his last half in better than even time. Her form then fell away slightly and she did not reappear at the Cup meeting and by-passed the Champion Stakes at Ashburton to score he initial victory against the maidens.
It was this win which was later taken from her along with a heavy fine for her trainer but the filly was now showing more of her of her true form. After being placed at Reefton, she took the President's Stakes at Hororata and again hit the headlines for the race, alleged interference to Lord Burlington starting something of a controversy in Canterbury which still has to die down. If the headlines bothered Swift Princess it didn't show. She then took the Nevele R Stakes in March, finished brilliantly to take the Richards Memorial at Methven from a c3 field and finished a gallant fifth in the Rattray Stakes on the first night of the Easter meeting against a c4 field after having done most of the donkey work in that event.
Freshened for her Oaks bid with her usual quota of beach training at New Brighton, she stripped for the race a credit to the long experience of her trainer and was given every chance by young Ian Cameron who has handled her in all her races. She didn't look like throwing it away over the final stages and had one and a quarter lengths over Kiatina who made a surprisingly bold bid considering her disappointing recent form.
The favourite Olga Korbut held on for third though inclined to run about in the straight. The Lordship filly seems to lack that shade of brilliance which made Noodlum such an attraction and there is no doubt that her slowness to get into full stride early is costing her dearly. Again well back in the Oaks, she was taken to the front at the 1200m and looked ready to turn on a real staying performance when apparently pacing easily at the 600m. Her earlier effort told over the final stages however. Still I timed her to come her last mile in a shade over 2:05 which was a fine effort in the conditions.
Bronze Queen, who had to come wide on the turn to get a run, being another staying type who needs time to find her feet, battled on for fourth ahead of True Anna. Northerners Gymea Gold and Rondogra didn't really get into the race though neither were well served in the draw and both got well back in the field early. Gymea Gold didn't really fire while Rondogra showed speed to improve from the 800m but died away a little later to finish ninth. Of the other favoured contenders, Billie Burke did her chances by breaking at the start and came home behind Rondogra.
Credit: David McCarthy writing in NZ Trotguide
George Noble, for many years one of New Zealand's leading trainers, experienced his greatest moment in trotting when Stanley Rio won the 1976 New Zealand Cup at Addington
Seventy-six-year-old Noble, born in Australia, has prepared many of New Zealand's top pacers in his long career, but no victory gave him more pleasure than to receive the Cup from NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club president, Eugene McDermott. George Noble races Stanley Rio in partnership with Christchurch farmer and businessman Wayne Francis, and his son John Noble, who drove Stanley Rio to his convincing two and three quarters lengths victory over Captain Harcourt and Fronto Prontezza.
For young Tasmanian Kay Rainbird, it was a nostalgic moment as she sat in the stand to watch the horse she bred with her father, win New Zealand's premier standardbred event. Kay bred Stanley Rio in Launceston in partnership with her father, but on his death, the colt had to be sold to help pay death duties. The Nevele Golfer - Rio Fleur youngster was purchased by Bob and John McArdle of the International Thoroughbred Agency, Melbourne, and they in turn sold Stanley Rio to Wayne Francis and John Noble. Wayne and John then offered a third share in the colt to Gearge Noble.
Stanley Rio did his early two-year-old racing in Australia, where he was successful once at Ballarat, before he was brought to New Zealand where he entered George's stable at Roydon Lodge. As a three-year-old last season, he maintained solid improvement throughout the year and was rated good enough by the partnership to send back to Australia to contest big events there. He won the Southern Cross Stakes, a heat of the New South Wales Derby before receiving a shocking run in the final, a minor race, and then went to Brisbane in June for the Queensland Derby, won the previous year by Noodlum. After winning a heat of this classic, he did not get the best of runs in the final and failed to make it two in a row for New Zealand.
He came through a solid preparation for this year's Cup, already qualified for the event, and showed he was at peak form with a win and an unlucky fourth at Auckland last month. The odds against a New Zealand Cup are always high, for not many even reach Cup class, but Stanley Rio was following in the footsteps of such great four-year-olds as Lookaway and Lordship, the only others of his age group to win the Cup.
The race was robbed of a lot of interest when the top North Island hope Final Curtain backed away just as the tapes were released. He, Master Dean and Lunar Chance, who drifted at the start when trying to avoid the breakers in front of him were out of contention virtually from the start. Stanley Rio bounced out best from Palestine, Fronto Prontezza, Eclipse, Speedy Guest, Captain Harcourt and Mighty Gay, then there was a gap back to Wee Win, who led the straggling remainder. Palestine, Forto Prontezza, Speedy Guest, Mighty Gay, Captain Harcourt all had turns at the front until Eclipse dashed to the lead at the 1200 metres. Stanley Rio, who had been pushed back on the inner, had worked off the rails in the meantime and was well placed in the fourth line on the outer starting the last 800 metres.
He moved three wide to avoid Mighty Gay, who was making no further forward progress, at the 600 metres and though sixth at the top of the straight, he was handy to lodge his challenge. Once asked to go, Stanley Rio soon put the issue beyond doubt and only had to be reminded of his obligations to go to the line nearly three lengths clear of Captain Harcourt. Captain Harcourt looked to be held up for a stride or two behind Eclipse at the top of the straight, but he never looked like bridging the gap to Stanley Rio. Fort Prontezza, who was shuffled back as the lead changed, made a strong bid from the top of the straight where he was seventh, to take third, only half a head fron Captain Harcourt.
Speedy Guest, who had the task of getting a run inside both Eclipse and Captain Harcourt, was nearly two lengths back fourth. He looked as though he could have played a more important part in the finish had he got clear earlier, though he too would have been hard pressed to catch the winner. Final Curtain staged a remarkable run for fifth two lengths back just ahead of Eclipse, Mighty Gay, the well beaten Lunar Chance and Palestine.
Stanley Rio's time for the 3200 metres was not a fast one, 4:11.5, but there is no doubting the Cup went to a very worthy winner.
Credit: Tony Williams writing in the NZ Trotguide
1976 NZ DERBY STAKES
The Roydon Lodge stable of George Noble still jubilant after Stanley Rio's success in the $60,000 New Zealand Cup on the opening day of the carnival had further reason to celebrate after the $25,000 NZ Derby Stakes.
This time, it was Rustic Zephyr who provided the cause for celebrations when he lead throughout to beat an even field of three-year-olds in the 2600 metre classic. Though Rustic Zephyr is owned in Nelson by Mr and Mrs A K Greenslade and Mr and Mrs R L Sanders, he has a lengthy association with Roydon Lodge, though he has been trained there by George Noble only for his three-year-old career. Rustic Zephyr was bred by Roydon Lodge stablehand Murray Steel, from Tiny Frost, a mare he leased from Roydon Lodge studmaster Fred Fletcher. Murray entered the Armbro Hurricane yearling in the Roydon Lodge Sale and it was then Mr Alan Greenslade entered the picture, buying the youngster for $2600. At the same time, he purchased a Scottish Hanover-Adios Heather youngster for $4100. This yearling, Scottish Heath, joined the Noble stable right from the outset and also contested the Derby.
Rustic Zephyr was given to young Richmond (Nelson) trainer Brian Hill and it was from his stable that he showed brilliant early season two-year-old form last term. Rustic Zephyr appeared to train off a little in the latter half of his two-year-old career and it was decided to sent him back to Roydon Lodge for his three-year-old racing, as he would be close to the scene of his regular racing venues. Rustic Zephyr after some smart trial performances, made a start to his three-year-old campaign at Kaikoura on November 1. He was not suited by the slushy track there when finishing second to Kathy Brigade over 2400 metres. He lined up next in the second Riccarton Stakes on Show Day of the Cup meeting and finished seventh in the event won by Worthy Lord. This was a roughly run contest which provided no real clues to the Derby and by the time it came around there was no pronounced favourite for the event.
John Noble, who had also driven Stanley Rio, took Rustic Zephyr straight to the front from an outside barrier draw and set a solid but not spectacular pace. In the home straight he was not too pressed to hold out the Southland colt Arden Bay who had tracked him all the way by two lengths, with a nose to the fast-finishing North Islander Greg Robinson the unlucky runner in the Derby. Greg Robinson was the slowest away and and he was still last starting the last 1200 metres. He started a forward move shortly after and though wide out turning for home maintained a strong finish for his close third.
He was followed home more than a length back by the other Northerner in the field, the favourite, Stephen Charles. Stephen Charles broke briefly at the start, but settled four back on the rails behind Rustic Zephyr, Arden Bay and Sunseeker. Though a little late working clear, it is doubtful he would have had any chance of catching Rustic Zephyr. Sunseeker battled into fifth ahead of Overcheck, Lordable and Scottish Heath.
Credit: Tony Williams writing in NZ Trotguide
ORIGINS OF QEII PARK
Before its purchase by the Christchurch City Council in 1963, Queen Elizabeth II Park, was, for almost 70 years, the home of the New Brighton Trotting Club, all the time boasting that rarity - a grass track at a metropolitan course. And, even before the 1890s, it was an area of some interest.
More than a century ago the land was occupied by Maoris, who built their camp which they called Orua Paeroa. It was by no means a perfect dwelling place as strong east winds beat in from the sea. But its advantages outweighted its drawbacks - the neighbouring Travis Swamp abounded with eels and birdlife.
By 1862 the Maoris had abandoned their camp. In that year Thomas Raine bought from the Government rural sections 4738, 4832 and 5155, which cover the great bulk of the area of the modern sports stadium and reserve. He burned the whares which the Maoris had left but it is doubtful whether he carried out many improvements.
At that time Raine was a major purchaser of land at New Brighton. Perhaps he hoped that the district would become a seaside resort to rival Sumner, then Christchurch's chief watering place. It was not until the establishment of a tramway service in the 1880s that major development took place; and it is doubtful whether the pioneer landowner made any fat sums out of his property. By trade Thomas Raine was a manfacturer of aerated water, being popularly known as "Gingerpop" Raine. A verse, punning on the name of the pioneer Christchurch businessmen, includes the lines: "And strange as it may seem, from Raine we get good soda water."
By the 1880s arrangements had been made for the running of horse races at New Brighton. But the venue was not the Queen Elizabeth II Park site - it was the beach. The beach racing club ran under very primitive conditions, an exceptionally high tide would delay the start of proceedings, and it was sometimes quite dark before the last event was concluded.
Eventually the beach was abandoned, Tom Free, licensee of the Bower Hotel, having laid out a 3/4 mile course at the Queen Elizabeth II Park property. There was then a mixed trotting and racing programme, and the first race on the site was held in 1886. At first conditions were only marginally better than on the foreshore. The judge had to carry out his duties from atop a beer barrel. And the grass having not yet consolidated the sandy soil, the latter could "wander at its own sweet will, and the majority of the visitors retuned to town half hidden in a canopy of dust."
But worst of all was the mountainous sandhill which stood in the centre of the paddock. As one man later recalled: "When horses got behind this they were utterly lost to view from the other side of the course, and here sometimes the riders would take a bit of a pull if they were not anxious to win or run prominently. I recollect that on one occasion the front markers practically all pulled up and the back marker presently came along. He was quite angry and called to the waiting squadron: If you fellows don't go on, I'm going to go back. The race was then resumed.
Still, there were compensations, Tom Free was more than a patron of the turf; as well, he provided the punters with excellent food. Free ran the course through, a business concern, the New Brighton Sports Club. After this had been wound up one of the directors, Harry Mace, took over. He called the place "Brooklyn Lodge" and established there his home, stables, training track and stud. Artesian bores were drilled, and the track top-dressed and graded. It was in Mace's day that the New Brighton Trotting Club was established on the property, the first race being run on March 16, 1895. The sum of £190 was paid in stakes, and the totalisator turnover amounting to £1648.
Like Thomas Raine, Harry Mace was a manfacturer of aerated water. The label on his wares showed a St Bernard dog, the myth being that this illustration was chosen to recall how one such beast had saved Mace from drowning. Maces Road, Bromley, commemorates Mace's service on the Heathcote Road Board, the ancestor of the present Heathcote County Council. An imposing figure in grey frock coat and top hat, Mace played a prominent part in the history of trotting. He was on all deputations urging the Government recognition of the sport; and encouraged Seddon to place a tax on totalisator receipts. This was to counter the strong opposition to the sport by the anti-totalisator section of the public.
Harry Mace died in 1902. The New Brighton Trotting Club continued to function on the Queen Elizabeth II Park land, but the ownership of the property stayed with a single individual, Robert Button, an elderly timber miller who had grown rich through cutting out the totara logs at Mount Peel. Button is, however, best remembered as the father of Bella Button. Indeed, it was for the pleasure of Bella, his favourite daughter, that he invested his money in the park.
Bella was a practitioner of Women's Lib 75 years before the phrase was invented. In the 1890s she was taking part in trotting events within a wide radius of her parents' South Canterbury home and letting them know of any victories through messages attached to carrier pigeons. Her greatest honour came the day that the Governor and his wife, Lord and Lady Ranfurly, having heard of her skill at breaking in the worst of mavericks, visited the family home for lunch and a tour of inspection.
By the time the Buttons bought Queen Elizabeth II Park, women had been excluded from trotting events. Thus Bella never had a chance to try out the New Brighton course at a fully-fledged meeting. Her activities were confined to breaking in the beasts and training them. Sometimes she had a chance to show her prowess, such as at O'Neill's buckjumping show (a rodeo-style attraction) at the grand International Exhibition in Hagley Park in 1906-07. The newspapers described this "tallish woman approaching middle-age" who was "perfectly fearless when handling the biggest outlaws they bring along" and who could not only handle steeds superbly but also "build a trap or nail a shoe on a horse as necessity requires."
In later years Bella married a man named Moore. But her equestrian interests remained unabated. Then, in 1921, she was thrown from a horse named Patience and killed. She was 58 years of age.
Credit: Richard Greenaway