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HORSES

 

YEAR: 1980

JOHNNY GEE

Former top trotter Johnny Gee was found dead in his paddock at Central Globe Lodge shortly before New Year. A veterinary examination showed he died of a heart attack. He was 19 years old.

In his racing career Johnny Gee won 28 races and gained 53 placings. His wins included the Dominion Handicap,The Canterbury Park, Banks Peninsula and Waimate Trotting Cups, and three Canterbury Park Stewards' Free-For-Alls, in one of which he set his record of 2:01.2

Johnny Gee was by the great Johnny Globe, four times leading sire, and was out of the Light Brigade mare Atone, who was Broodmare of the Year in 1971-72.

Johnny Gee's progeny are having a good year on the racetrack, led by the good trotter Cool Cat.

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Ron Jenkins: Great Trotters

Johnny Gee retired in 1972 as NZ's greatest stakeswinning trotter - $64,690 - and as holder of the NZ mile race trotting record of 2:01 1/5. He was the winner of 27 of his 127 race starts. Among his successes were wins in the Canterbury Park Cup and the Dominion Handicap - the two prestige events for trotters in NZ.

He was the first foal of the champion broodmare Atone, a mare selected as the 1972 NZ Broodmare-of-the-Year. Sold as a yearling at the National Sales for 460 guineas, Johnny Gee was in turn leased to trainer Wes Butt who looked after the horse until his retirement. He was originally tried as a pacer, but was quickly switched to the trotting gait as he persistently crossfired.

During his career in NZ Johnny Gee won many races from difficult handicaps and was seldom beaten under free-for-all conditions. A number of his races were fought out against his stablemate, the Australian bred Tony Bear.

Credit: Ralph Kermode writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 8Jan80

 

YEAR: 1981

WES BUTT

Wes Butt didn't get an awful lot of pay when he first went to work in a stable. Nor did he get paid very much for training his first outside horse. In fact, he got nothing at all. The veteran trainer, "the last of the old brigade" as he puts it, recalled last week how he'd worked for Dick Humphreys at Templeton for six months before he plucked up enough courage to ask for wages.

And then, a few years later when he was on his own, he trained a horse called Walter Wrack for nothing. "His owner would bring all the feed over and pay me something when he won." Walter Wrack did win, luckily. And, significantly, he was the first horse Butt ever drove in a race. Now, having driven in his last race, at Addington at the weekend, he recalled it was nigh on impossible for a youngster to get drives back in the thirties. That is, unless he had his own horses. "I worked for Dick Humphreys for more than three years and in all that time never drove in a race. That was left to the older men, the top drivers who drove race after race. "The owners always went for the experienced men and the punters would never bet on a horse driven by a youngster."

Wesley Richard Butt turned 65 last Christmas but he's had no misgivings as his turn to retire has come closer. After those tough initial years, trotting, he readily admits, has been good to him. Very good. He regrets nothing. Horses have been part of Wes Butt's life as long as he can remember. Raised in Blenheim where his father had a farm, he used to ride five miles to school every morning and home again at night. It would have been around 1928 when Wes' father sold the farm and the family moved down to Hororata where he was engineer and county clerk. It was school for Wes until he finished standard six and went to work on a farm - "I always liked the land" - and then as a "carpenter's boy."

Once again the family moved, this time to Templeton, a few miles down the road from where Butt is now well established. Jobs at that time were diffucult to come by. Certainly, there was nothing around he wanted in the building line. "I went down with Dad to see Mr Humphreys but we didn't hear anything for a long time. Dad went down again. Mr Humphreys told him this time to send me down for a while to see how I liked it." That was all the encouragement Wes Butt needed. He rode his bike to the stables every day for the week, with only Saturday afternoon off. And got nothing in his pay packet each week. "I had been there six months before I said to him one day 'do you think I'm worth anything to you Mr Humphreys?' 'Yes,' he said, 'ten shillings a week.' which wasn't too bad at that time."

Wes wasn't too much worried about the money at the time anyway. He was sticking to his father's advice. "Never mind the pay: just work hard and learn all you can so that you can get out on your own." He stayed at Humphreys for three years without any rise in pay. "I remember when I said I was leaving he told me I was just getting useful...and then offered me fifteen shillings a week to stay. "And that still wasn't too bad considering you could go to a good dance or the pictures for anything from sixpence to one and six." But the extra five bob wasn't enough to entice him to stay on permanently although he did go back from time to time just to help Humphreys out.

It was a pretty significant piece of trotting country that he was leaving behind. Those twenty-two acres Humphreys had were, in Butt's words: "one of the greatest spots in the country for trotting." Well known tainer Albert Hendriksen had the property and Dick Humphreys worked for him before taking over himself. Humphreys later trained the mighty Harold Logan on the place. Butt recalled his first fast drive, behind the top trotter Huon Voyage who later won a Dominion Handicap. Jim Dalgety owned the property at one time while Snow Upton, Derek Jones, Doug Watts and Jack Pringle were among other top names Butt associated with the stable.

Once away from Humphreys, the young Butt took up a job at the local pipe works, working mainly in the pumice factory and carting concrete pipes. "It was a tough place to work, but it was work which left me time to do the horses," Butt recalled. By this time it was 1936 and Walter Wrack was in his care. Forty-five years ago, so it's understandable if Butt's recollection of the time is perhaps a little hazy. By his calculations he lined the trotter up at Greymouth to finish second - "Humphreys beat me, too" - in the first race before winning later in the day. In fact: the records show Walter Wrack finished third both times that day: but came out the second day of the meeting to win his first race and beat good mare Violet Wrack, driven by Dick Humphreys, into second place. Since then Wes Butt has driven 760 more winners and trained another 704. Violet Wrack later went on to win a number of races for top trotting trainer Bill Doyle. Walter Wrack returned to Greymouth a couple of months later to score again.

The West Coast has always been a happy hunting ground for Butt, especially in those earlier days. Having succeeded with Walter Wrack (he eventually finished up with Roy Berry), Butt concentrated on horses he could race himself. His policy was to lease them and then get them going for a Coast campaign. "It was often the way that if they could finish round about fourth or fifth in Canterbury, they were always good enough to win on the Coast." Native Ruler and Wee Pal were this first of his own he ventured away with, in December 1938. A trotter, Native Ruler won at Reefton ("I think that was his only win.") while Wee Pal really provided the goods at Hokitika. "I think she came second in her first race and then dead-heated for first later in the afternoon. She won again the next day." Which wasn't exactly how it happened. Wee Pal, in fact, dead-heated for first first time out and then won later. She finished second the next day. But what Wes does remember to this day is coming home with "a terrible lot of money." Wee Pal's wins contributed a large part of the 174/10/- she won that term and Native Ruler, with a fair number of placings before the win earned more than 200 for the season. The first thing Butt did on his return from Hokitika, though, was to buy himself a new sulky. "It was a brand new Bryant and it cost me 32/10/-." That sulky is still in use although there's not much of the original left in it.

Butt still savours the memories of those trips away with the horses. No floats in those days, it was trains all the way...or on foot. "It's seventeen miles from here to New Brighton but everyone used to jog their horses in, give them a couple of races and jog them home again." Getting the 50 or 100 miles to Ashburton or Timaru, too, was a bit of an event. A train would come out from Christchurch on the Friday, dropping off boxes all the way down the line with instructions to have the horses loaded by a certain time the next morning. Templeton was one of the main muster points. "We would leave here at four or five in the morning, stopping to pick up more horses along the way. We'd get to Timaru just before the following passenger train. After the races it was the same in reverse. The passenger train would set off first, the horses following to arrive home near midnight. Once back we'd unload the horses and jog home in the pitch dark carrying all out gear on our knees. Even if it rained we didn't worry about it. It was just something that had to be done."

Getting across to the Coast especially to the Wesport meetings, was something more of an event. That train would leave Christchurch early in the evening, arriving finally at Inangahua about eleven the following morning. In between there would be a stopover at Reefton where the local club "would put on a huge spread for nothing. They were great trips," Butt recalled. "The men would play cards all the way, drink, tell yarns, skite...a really good time." Then, once through to Inangahua, the work would start. The horses would have to be unloaded and then jogged through the Buller Gorge to Westport where they'd arrive round about tea-time. The Club would send trucks out to cart all the feed and gear back through for the visiting horsemen. "Most trainers took a team over for the circuit in those days. It wouldn't have been worth while with just one or two horses."

The circuit provided a lot of races in just a few weeks. After the two days at Westport, there was a trek back through the gorge for the Reefton meeting, The on for two days at Greymouth, four races then at the gallops at Omoto, two days at Hokitika, one at Kumara and the two day galloping meeting at Reefton on the way home. If the racing wasn't exactly memorable for everyone, there were good times to compensate. And the occasional buying and selling.

Wes Butt remembered he and a friend buying a horse called Plentiful in Canterbury for 25 and being able to get it going along reasonably well before taking it over the hill. "It wasn't much good but it did run two thirds at Hokitika and then a second and a win at Kumara. I sold it that night for 10...and saved myself the 4/10/- fare home for it," Butt recalled. He must have bet a few bob on it to be pleased with that deal? No, he had been pleased enough to get the stake money which was close enough to 100 in all. Besides, he'd given up betting even at that early stage. "I had more to do with my money than to lose it. Yes, I had a few good bets early on...and missed. I learned early after several misses. Even now I'm not interested. Wouldn't even know how to put a bet on."

Wes Butt has another reason to think kindly about the Coast. For it was a soft drink manufacturer from Greymouth, one Andy Grogan, who really put him on to the road to success. He was the owner of Mankind, the first of two horses Butt was to train with that name and the one he named his property 'Mankind Lodge' after. Mankind, the winner of a couple of races earlier, was trained at the time by E J Smith "just down the road." Grogan asked Butt to get him a horse and Wes thought Mankind was the one. The 250 asking price wasn't too much, even though it was a fair price at the time, so Mankind changed hands. He was five at the time and a gelding. "From the time he came here, he just got better and better," Butt recalled. "He was a great beginner but you just couldn't touch his mouth. And this is where others had gone wrong." There was the day at Addington when Cyril Yeatman rode Mankind for Butt in the last race of the day, a mile saddle event. "I had told him to leave the horse's head and just hang on to his mane. He shot away to a big lead and as they hit the straight Cyril looked around to see where the others were. They were miles away but as he turned he must have pulled on the inside rein. His front foot hit the slippery clay, the horse slipped and dropped his rider."

But even though he lost that one, Mankind was to win a lot of races for Mr Grogan and Butt, more than 4,000 between 1940 and 1944. He was "a lovely horse around the place" who went through to the top classes. 1941 was an especially good year for the team. Mankind won the August Free-For-All, leaving the champion Gold Bar down the track at Addington. Three days later he finished second and third in successive races, the first over a mile and a half with Wes in the sulky, the next time over a mile from 24 yards behind with Jack Carmichael in the saddle. In November, again with Carnichael in the saddle, Mankind ran second to Gold Bar when Allan Holmes' champion ran a world record 2:03.6 for a mile from a stand. This was on the same day as Gold Bar set his world race record of 3:27 for thirteen furlongs at Addington.

Jack Carmichael did most of the riding for Wes Butt in those days and, when Wes was in the army, looked after the small war-years team. Wes remembered the day in September '41 that they took the two horses in the stable - Mankind and Brigadier - to New Brighton and won with them both. Mankind beat Gold Bar over a mile and a half that day, too. Jack had been working for some years with Butt. Originally he had come down from Wanganui for a holiday and he'd never gone back north. He was a cousin of the future Mrs Butt, Beryl Bennett. Wes, a neighbour, used to train on Mr Bennett's track in those early days, and that's how he became 'tangled up' with his wife. Mrs Butt recalled how Jack had lived with them for about thirteen years until he had branched out on his own. Wes was in the army at this time, stationed at Burnham. He was able to get home on Sundays to let Jack know what to do and occasionally at other times as well. "I was in pretty good with the lieutenant-colonel so I was able to get away now and again," he said. He remembered winning a race in 1940 with Mankind at Addington on the Saturdayand then being shipped up to Fiji for service in the Pacific on the Monday. The win was a good farewell present.

Butt used Mankind to illustrate how little young drivers were tolerated by the betting public in those days. Mankind wasn't at the top then but he was on the way up. It was on the old New Brighton track. He started in a mile saddle trot early in the day with Doug Watts aboard. Even from 24 yards behind, the combination won with ease in 2:10. Mankind was hot favourite. Later in the day he lined up in the last race and downed a top field of sprinters, beating the well-regarded Huguenot by a neck. Wes himself was in the cart. "I was just learning to drive then, but I still couldn't believe it. We were eleventh favourites and paid more than 36 to win. The public wouldn't tolerate any young drivers, no matter how good the horse was." Wes hardly ever got into the saddle himself. "I didn't like it. I just wasn't much good at it, I suppose," is his explanation.

But what he did like was a block of land adjacent to the blacksmith's shop further down the road from here he lived at Templeton. He'd had his eye on it for years. "There were 25 acres and it always appealed to me. But there was no way I could afford it at the time it was available." But Andy Grogan was at hand. "I asked him when I came out of the army if he would buy the place for me and I'd train for him until I had paid it off. He agreed straight away. It was he who got me started here." Those original acres have been increased to forty and there's the big covered barn and yards, five furlong track and house to complete the set up.

In the earlier days most trainers in the area worked their teams around the roads. "They were lovely roads then. Cars and trucks were no bother. Most of them belonged to horse people anyway so they did their best to make things easier for you. "Now, a lot of drivers see how close they can get to you," Butt said.

Wes and Beryl were married in July, 1942 and it was inevitable the Butt children would be interested in horses. The boys, Robin and Murray, have already made their mark on NZ trotting themselves as trainers, while the two girls, Christine and Margaret, are winning owners, having raced Right As Rain, a daughter of For Certain with whom Wes won the NZ Oaks. Wes remembered that Robin was especially keen, even helping out with the fast work while still going to primary school. It's Robin and Murray who'll carry on driving members of Wes' team in the seasons to come... and probably so will his seventeen-year-old grandson, Robin's son David, who will have a probationary licence in the new term. That's if he continues with his intent to knock off smoking. "I told him I wouldn't have any boy driving for me if he smoked; he said to me the other day he'd given up, so I'll have to let him drive, too," Wes said.

Wes has had a few men working for him over the years, and some of them have stayed a good long time. "We had the same gang for years and years," Mrs Butt said, while Wes recalled Jack Carmichael, Jim and Bill Smith, Snow Wright, 'Button' White - "he was with us for about 20 years" - Ralph Bonnington and Barry Hamilton. In the early days the team had built up slowly but once the wins started to come, Butt got more and more horses, up to thirty or so in the busier seasons. "We had to work pretty hard in the mornings but everyone was off the place by five. We had breakfast at seven and then got stuck in. He had his biggest teams in the period from the early fifties through to the mid-sixties. It was during this time he took six of his seven trainers premierships. The season immediately after the war gave him his first title with 36 winners. Butt took the crown again in 1952/3 (38 winners), '54/55(33), '55/56(46, his best season ever), '57/58(30), '58/59(23) and '61/62(33). He was also the country's leading reinsman twice, in 1945/46 when he tied with Fred Smith and Alan Holmes (28 wins each) and again in '52/53 when he drove 29 winners over the season.

Over the years Wes Butt has driven the winners of some of the most important events on the country's racing calendar, the Champion Stakes with Golden Oriole ( owned by Murray), three Sapling Stakes with Golden Oriole, Wildwood Chief and Spry Guy, two Rowe Cups with Battle Cry and more recently Even Speed, a Great Northern Derby, again with Golden Oriole, a Dominion Handicap with Johnny Gee, four NZ Trotting Stakes with Johnny Gee, Even Speed, Signal Light and Black Miller, a New Brighton Cup with Bright Highland, a NZ Oaks with For Certain, Timaru Nursery Stakes (Seafield Lad), a Wellington Cup with Anarca Direct, an Easter Cup with Wee Win and an Ashburton Cup with Van Rebeck. He also drove those last two to win heats of Inter-Dominion series.

Of course, he regards Johnny Gee one of the best of all the horses he's had anything to do with in recent years. He won the most money about $60,000, including $20,000 in place money. He won a dozen free-for-alls and went 2:01. He was a top horse. Wes Butt will always remember the 1970 Dominion Handicap when he trained both Johnny Gee, the winner, and Tony Bear (driven by Robin) who took second only half a neck back. These two made a formidable bracket in the big trots around that time, one which the punters could not often resist. The bracket was strengthened now and again with the addition of yet a third top trotter in the stable, Briganelli. Johnny Gee won a lot of races for Butt, including four races at Manawatu from his only four starts on the track.

Golden Oriole was "a nice mare" and Van Rebeck "a good old horse." And then the names of the top liners start running freely...Campbell King, Lucky Law, Jimmy Scott, Liberty Bond, Axis, Admit, Benghazi, Moss Hall, Courageous, Margaret Hall, Captain Sandy - "although he was just about finished here then" - and, about ten years ago, Partisan, who won nine of his seventeen starts for Butt. "If he hadn't been unsound, he could have been the best I ever had," Butt surmises. Easter Cup winner Wee Win would have been one of the toughest horses Butt ever drove, even though he didn't have a sprint, while Even Speed was a good horse, too.

Butt won races on most of the South Island tracks and on many of the northern ones too, even at Trentham. He won a race with good mare Zona Grattan by half the length of the straight there once. The same horse started from 96 yards behind at Forbury soon after the war and beat a top quality field into the bargain. White Angel was another mare he still has a lot of time for. "She gave me my only real chance to win the NZ Cup, but her chances were ruined by a wet track. She did win the Hannon Memorial in 1953." Earlier on, in the 1951 Cup Carnival, Butt started her three times and won each day. There's an asphalt tennis court alongside the Butt home now. It used to be White Angel's yard. The Butt children used to pay her a lot of attention and she'd be as gentle as a lamb with them. Put her around other horses, though, and "she could be a sour old thing." Wes remembers the day she provided the second leg of an 8,000 double at Ashburton. Piccolo, the rank outsider paying something like 96, won the first leg. And White Angel, about eighth favourite, won the second from 12 yards behind. "And she had to go around 39 others to do it."

And that's not the only long price he's been associated with. Two races after he had won the 1964 Sapling Stakes with Golden Oriole he came out and drove Mrs Butt's own horse Stormy Lad to victory. He paid 101/-/6 to win and more than 22 for the place. The next year at Hutt Park he drove Super Glow to win and pay more than 73. Back in April, 1947, for instance, there were two races for trotters on each day of the Nelson Trotting Club's meeting and Wes scooped the pool with Tu Rangi and Statesman. A few years later, he won four of the eight races at Canterbury Park, coming out on the second day to win two more.

So what makes a good driver? Wes Butt has his own ideas on that..."For a start he must be able to get his horse away and then he must be patient. He shouldn't burn a horse out by trying to rush around the world. A top horseman will always have his horse for another day." As for race tactics,"you can only go the way the horse goes best. Some need nursing until well into the straight, so you sit on the fence and take your chances as they come. And then there are the other types, like Wee Win, who like the pace to be on all the way. Then you get out there and battle and make it tough for the rest to keep up." Butt has no preference for either pacers or trotters. "I don't mind what they are if they are good. But I do get a lot of satisfaction from a good trotter."

He also thinks the younger drivers have an easier time these days than they did when he started. Probationary driver's races and series had helped a lot and many of the up and comers were getting a lot of experience even though they are young. "By the time they come out of their time, many are top men." The trend today was for owners to give the drives to the younger men, exactly the opposite situation as Butt encountered early on in his career. "It's not unusual these days to see Doody Townley, Derek Jones or Felix Newfield, all top men, left in the stands race after race."

He regards himself and Cecil Devine, who had to retire at the end of last season as "the last of the old-timers. We're probably the last to have raced against Jimmy Bryce and Free Holmes, for instance. They're a new lot now." Butt couldn't sort out the best he drove against but he had to mention Maurice Holmes, Doody Townley, Derek Jones, Bob Young and Doug Watts..."tough, hard-headed drivers." Himself, he had always done his best and "you can't do better than that." And now that his driving career is over, he had no regrets he'd had a great time all through.

He was just thankful he had come this far relatively unscathed. "I think you're pretty lucky if you can go till your 65 and still be okay. "It wasn't so bad in the old days when tracks were soft. These days the tracks are like shingle roads. If you hit them at 30 miles an hour and get dragged along, you feel it if you are getting on. It's nothing to the youngsters though. They're tough. He had been in hospital a couple of times and still had a little bother with an old injury to his back. But, he had been lucky.

Wes Butt can still remember, however, an aching arm after winning a race at Methven some thirty years ago. It was with the trotter Ascot, a good sort owned by Frank Woolley. Ascot was a 'highly strung' horse who, while a pacer, looked as though he could trot when Butt got him. And so it proved. He could trot very well as long as nothing else came up beside him. And then came the Methven race, September 27, 1952. Ascot started off 36 yards behind, sufficiently far back to avoid a mix-up soon after the tape went up. "We passed that okay and were going forward when Super Claim charged up to us without a driver and started to go round us. I remember thinking to myself 'this is lovely, he'll break my horse up if he comes any closer' so I grabbed him and held him in behind us. Old Ascot kept trotting and we hit the front with a round to go and stayed there. My arm was aching so much when we hit the post I had to let him go. The only reason I held on was to keep him away from my horse. He would have broken for sure." The feat of fine horsemanship was well written up at the time and the Methven Club itself recognised it for what it was with a fine trophy. It was another to add to the many which decorate the Butt home today, momentoes of those good days and some good horses.

So what will Wes Butt do now? Make more use of the tennis court? He has the cups to prove his prowess in that field too. No, Probably not. He will perhaps spend a little more time in the garden. And get his scrap-books and photographs up to date. But really, the horses will remain a seven day-a-week job. No, retirement won't mean much slowing down for Wes Butt. If any.

-o0o-

Article appearing in HRWeekly 15Sep99

The name Butt has flourished since Wes made his start in harness racing more than 60 years ago. After a career as a trainer and driver that few could match and fewer could beat, Wes keenly followed the fortunes of the succeeding Butt generations. Robin, Murray, David, Anthony, Tim and Roddy kept the founding father with continuing interest in racing. News of his daughter Chris's ill health nine months ago took the edge off him, according to his eldest son, Robin. He slipped quickly, and died on Tuesday, aged 83.

He was champion trainer seven times and champion driver twice.

Although he did not win a NZ Cup in 14 attempts, there weren't many other races of note that he failed to account for. He finished third with Wee Win and fifth with Mayneen, who strung together seven successive wins, but he always said his best show was with White Angel. "She struck a wet track the year Mobile Globe won. She was no good in that. She had won three out of three at the Cup meeting the previous year," he recalled.

In more recent times, the trotting triumvirate of Johnny Gee, Tony Bear and Briganelli were his notable colour bearers. They had a field day at the 1970 NZ Cup carnival when open class trots were held on all four days. Johnny Gee won the Dominion Handicap on Show Day. He finished second on the other days to Light View in the Worthy Queen, Inferno in the Free-For-All, and Tony Bear in the Greyhound. Johnny Gee and Tony Bear won 36 races between them.

The first job Wes got was working for trainer Dick Humphreys - no pay for the first six months, then six shillings a week - and his first winner was Walter Wrack at Greymouth in 1936. As a young fellow making his way against some hard heads, Wes developed his own style as a driver. "I would drive on the fence a lot; if you didn't get a go, there was always another day. The boys tell me if they used my style they wouldn't win a race today. We would be embarrassed to sit three wide in my day. I liked to sit and sprint," he said later.

Wes was good at it. He drove 762 winners including his very last drive behind Brow Raiser. He recalled getting lucky that night, hoping onto the back of a horse being driven up three wide by his son Robin, and Brow Raiser brought off a happy ending.

Another moment he cherished was competing in the Wes Butt Trotting Stakes at Addington in 1981 against his sons Robin and Murray and Robin's son David, who was having his first raceday drive.

He recalled jogging a horse from Templeton to the Port Hills, walking it over the Bridal Path, catching the ferry to Wellington, and then jogging the horse to Hutt Park. Wes had the same accommodation as the horse, a bed on the straw in the box next door.

And he would tell the story when times were tough, of racing Margaret Hall and Acropolis in an event at Auckland. Acropolis was the only threat to Margaret Hall, and Wes was driving him. Making his way from the back and chasing Margaret Hall, Acropolis was gradually taken off the track by a rival as he was closing in. The driver apologised to Wes and said he couldn't keep the horse straight. "I sort of believed him," Wes said. "Much later I found out that he had been paid to make sure Acropolis didn't beat Margaret Hall."

His major wins as a included the Louisson Handicap (Golden Oriole), National Handicap (Wee Win, Te Koi), Champion Stakes (Golden Oriole), Wellington Cup (Mayneen, Anarca Direct), New Brighton (Bright Highland), NZ Trotting Stakes (Signal Light, Johnny Gee, Black Miller, Even Speed), Easter Cup (Wee Win), NZ Oaks (For Certain), Sapling Stakes (Golden Oriole, Wildwood Chief, Spry Guy), Great Northern Derby (Golden Oriole), Rowe Cup (Battle Cry, Even Speed), Inter-Dominion heats (Wee Win (three) Van Rebeck, Johnny Gem).

He trained 710 winners, the best of them being Johnny Gee, Tony Bear, Mankind, Jimmy Scott, Stadium chief, Golden Oriole, Partisan, Te Koi, Liberty Bond, Axis, Margaret Hall, Trade Fair, Van Rebeck and Benghazi


Credit: Graham Ingram writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 21Jul81



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