YEAR: 2010


Doug Mangos, who started life in Buller, became a prominent figure in Canterbury and New Zealand harness racing over many years, chiefly through his long association with the famous George Noble stable at Roydon Lodge, Yaldhurst. He talks to David McCarthy.

I suppose with a name like yours you must have spent some time in Lyell. That is where the Mangos name came from?
I was there until I was seven. There are actually about three main branches of the Mangos family in the country, one of them from Timaru and they are distant relations. My parents were storekeepers and moved to Inangahua when I was just a youngster.

Where did the horses start?
There was a fellow at Inanguhua, Plugger(W E) Taylor who had the butcher's shop and had a few horses. I remember Battle Flight was one. I used to do a bit with them, lead them into the birdcage and that sort of stuff. The local publican bought a horse called Elation for one and sixpence about that time and won four races with it. I was 14 when I came over to Christchurch. I wasn't doing a lot at school - I didn't go often enough for that - and in the end they thought I was better off out of it. I went to Roydon Lodge soon after that. (Wife) Eileen had a brother working there and he got me a job.

You stayed a long time?
Nearly 35 years. It was actually the only job I ever had, working for George Noble. I loved every day of it. Wouldn't swap a day.

But you must have thought of going out on your own for bigger rewards?
No, I didn't, at least not seriously. With the travelling we did to Auckland I looked at those trips as three paid holidays a year for a start. No, I was quite happy and George was such a great horseman and boss you never got tired of learning from listening to him. He liked good listeners and I think he thought I was one.

You seem to have finished up all right anyway?
After I left Noble's I used to race a few, usually of my own, and look to sell them. We've done alright over the years. One of the first was a nice trotter called Isa Rangi which we raced with Bill Prendeville. She was pretty good. We beat Ilsa Voss twice. Anyway we agreed her price was $15,000. Then Les Purdon rang up and wanted to buy her. I was a bit cheeky, because I knew Les well, and reckoned we couldn't sell under $25,000. "I don't know about that but I could do $20,000," Les said. Anyway we got the 25 which was a big bonus. We bought this house with what we got from Isa Rangi. It won a few in America.

Was it hard work at Roydon Lodge?
We started at 6 o'clock and got £3 a week. There were 15 horses in full work then but it wasn't as simple as that. The boss used to double heat them all the time so actually it was just like working 30.

Double heat. What was that?
We would work them, not fast, over 2000m, bring them back, take the carts off and rub them down, then later on go out and work another heat brushing home the last bit. It made for a long day.

Was it long before you got a raceday drive?
A couple or three years I suppose. It was good to get a drive. Every one was a week's wages so the competition was keen. I drove Highland Air to win at Forbury Park when he qualified for the New Zealand Cup. I had run a second in a probationary race with Wha' Hae. But my first drive at Addington was on Royal Minstrel which had dead-heated in the New Zealand Derby (with Single Medoro in 1954). He all but fell going into the back straight. It wasn't a great start but we made up for it over the years.

You must have been a very young bloke then when you had your first New Zealand Cup drive?
Yes, on La Mignon the year Lookaway won (1957). She ran third. I think the first three were all by Light Brigade. The boss drove Highland Air (it was the first year of Cup runners for Roy McKenzie after his father's death). There was quite a go after the race.

What can you tell?
We got a nice run and got home well. I was quite pleased with myself. The next thing the chief stipe, Fred Beer, was calling me into the room and there was talk about us being put out.

What was that about?
They reckoned I had checked Roy Butterick on Roy Grattan and Beer gave me a speech. He said to me,"This is a very good race with a big stake that people spend a long time getting ready for. Every horse should have an equal chance of winning this race. I don't think you gave Mr Butterick an equal chance."

How did you get out of that?
I just said,"Well, I don't think Mr Butterick has done too badly out of it". Beer, an arrogant bloke, said pretty sharply,"What do you mean by that Mangos?" So I told him.

Which was?
Soon after the start General Sandy shot away to the front and Lookaway, which could be tricky at the start - Maurice Holmes could be a genius at getting them away - came up but Bob Young on General Sandy wasn't giving it away. Roy Butterick was in the trail and I heard Maurice call to him, "There's £500 for you to pull back". Butterick did and Lookaway got the run of the race. They just walked around and sprinted home and you couldn't have beaten him. The Cup was worth £7500 but £500 was a good payday in those days. I said that nobody was doing anything about that, while I didn't even know what I was supposed to have done.

What did Beer say to that?
"You can go now, Mangos," was all he said.


The Press 23Jan10

Roydon Lodge had some great horses over the years and you got the chance to drive a lot of them. Which ones do you remember most?
We had some terrific seasons, but we had some bad ones, too. I remember one season we only won one race with 15 horses, which was right out of character. It is hard to remember all the good ones. Sounds silly, but there were a lot of them. Roydon Roux was one I had a bit of luck with in Australia.

Roydon Roux? She was a champion young horse which had a sad end.
I think she won seven as a two-year-old and, at three, she won the Great Northern Derby for me, beating Bachelor Star and Van Glory. It was then that we took her to Autralia. She was out of La Mignon and so was Garcon Roux.

What happened there?
She won the Wraith Memorial Series, which was a big go then in Sydney. She was hot favourite in a leadup, but knuckled over at the start and I had to drive her back. She ran second. When the final came around, the winner of the leadup had drawn in and was the favourite. Before the race, I was taken into the stipes' room. They wanted to know how I was going to drive her.

"The best I can." I said, but they wanteed to know more than that, so I said I would try to get to the lead and, if I couldn't, I would sit outside the leader and I'd beat him anyway. They seemed happy with that. I sat her out and she just bolted in and broke a record. I wasn't too popular on the lap of honour. A few empty cans came my way and they booed. Funny thing was that though she had won all those races, they dodn't count for handicapping and she wasn't actually eligible to run at Harold Park in the classes.

The news was not so good after that?
She broke a pastern bone; just shattered it, running around that little showgrounds track in Melbourne. She couldn't be saved.

Garcon Roux had a big reputation?
The old boss (Noble)thought he was one of the very best. I drove him in a time trial at Bankstown in Sydney and there was a bit of drama. When we started off, there was some bloke crouched under the inside rail taking a photo and the horse balked. He went his furlong(200m) in 16 seconds and ran the mile in 2:01.2. That was some performance.

Jay Ar was one of your favourites, I suppose?
He won a trial at Ashburton one day and even the old boss was amazed at the time. "He couldn't have done that," he kept saying. I can't remember now just what the time was, because the trial was over six furlongs(1200m), which was very unusual, even then. Whatever it was, it was a record.

He dead-heated in an InterDominion Final, of course.
I didn't drive him in that series - the boss did - but I won a lot of races with him, especially in Auckland. He just got beaten in the Auckland Cup by Lordship just before the Interdominion. He was a bit of a nervy horse whe he got out on the track...he wasn't quite as good from a stand because of that. But, gee, he was good. He was in a 3200m free-for-all one day and Garcon D'or had drawn out and we had drawn in. The boss said to me,"You might as well lead till the other one comes around." Jar Ar was off and gone. We haven't seen the other horse yet.

Wasn't there a story over his low heart score?
Taking heart scores had just come in here and a few were very keen on them. The experts seemed to think a horse had to have a high heart score to produce top runs in the best company and Jay Ar was a bit below average. But there's a few stories about those early scores.

Such as?
A lot of the top trainers were sceptical of them. The boss was one of them. Allen McKay came down from Wellington and did the heart scores over quite a few years. When he first came, we were under instructions not to identify the horses, and we mixed them up a bit in the queue. One horse came out at 123 and they were all excited about it. The next time he came, he kept asking when Jay Ar was coming, and when we told him, he couldn't believe his read, which was about 100 then. I think he thought he was the 123 one, originally. Jay Ar won about $100,000 and the horse which was 123 won a small race somewhere in the Central Districts. It was all quite experimental here then and scores could vary a lot. This one showed that judging a horse just on its heart score was a ticket to trouble.

Samantha was another good one you drove?
Yes, I won a Wellington Cup with her - she won two of them - and beat Lordship just. I learnt a big lesson from George over that.

Which was?
Well, I won the race and when I got home everyone was very happy and the boss congratulated me on my drive. A couple of days later, though, I got a call to go up to the house. When I got there, George, who had a special way of telling you things, started talking about the Wellington Cup and how Samantha was the best-gaited horse in the race. It was just as well, he said, otherwise she wouldn't have beaten Lordship.

What was that about?
Well, there was no video or anything in those days. But during the week, in the paper, they published a photo of the finish. I had my left hand high in the air holding the reins and I was weilding the whip with the other one. George wasn't impressed. He didn't think he could go on putting me on top horses if I was going to throw everything at them like that. I knew without him actually saying it that I was getting a good dressing down. I never forgot it. There was no more of that.

You didn't do so much driving later on, but it wasn't because of things like that?
The main reason was that John(George Noble's son) decided to work full time with the horses. In those earlier years, John was a mechanic in town and wasn't able to drive them much of the time. When he came into it, naturally, I was going to miss out, but it didn't persuade me to leave. I was quite happy.


The Press 6Feb2010

General Frost was a brilliant young horse you drove?
Gee, he was good. He won the first Juvenile Championship in Auckland. It was a great effort because he was hopeless right-handed. We had a problem about what to do going into the race.

What did you do?
The old boss (George Noble) gave me unusual instructions. He said not to drive the horse around final bends no matter where he was. He wanted me to just let him find his own way; that even if he lost a lot of ground he would still be too good. Well, he lost a good bit of ground on the bends all right but he picked them up and dropped them in the straight. Won easy. He had incredible speed, General Frost. It was a shame he went in the wind. They couldn't do anything about it.

You had a lot of big moments at Alexandra Park?
I won my biggest trophy there - the one I value the most. it is the only one I have really kept. I was the leading driver at the 1968 Interdominion Championship at Auckland. I actually tied with Peter Wolfenden and Kevin Newnam(Sydney) so I was in pretty good company. They decided there would be a toss and George stood in for me. I reckoned I had always had a bit of luck with the toss and George did the right thing. It was an odd man out toss. The first two came up heads all round and then one head and two tails. It was quite an honour when you consider the opposition.

Julie Hanover. I think Andrew Cunningham and their wives raced her. Did you handle her much?
I should have won an Auckland Cup with her. A really top mare. She was usually foolproof but that night she missed away. She ran fourth to Allakasam. John (Noble) usually drove he but he was on a holiday. However, I still blamed myself. It was a terrific effort. She raced for Martin Tannenbaum who organised all the international races at Yonkers at the time when she went up to America. She raced well there and left some good stock. Vista Abbey was another one and I won with Arania (New Zealand's first mare to beat two minutes in a race) off 36 yards up in Auckland on day. She was phenomenal when she was right.

You drove quite a few outside horses at that time too. I hadn't realised you handled Holy Hal. He had been a terrific young horse?
He was older when I first came across him. They had brought him up from Southland for the Auckland Cup. They said he could break down at any time and Kenny Balloch wanted to come up and drive him in the cup so,"Would I be happy to drive him in the lead-ups under those conditions?" I knew he was a smart horse and leapt at the chance. They were hard-case blokes those Southlanders.

They came to me after we'd done the final feeds one night and asked if I minded giving him an extra feed before I left. I said,"why, you have given him his tea? Yes, they said but they wanted to give him a bit of his breakfast in case they were late in the morning! I think they were going out for a big night. Anyway, the horse dodn't mind.

He had had problems as I remember it. What was his form like then?
Sensational. He was a moral beaten in the Auckland Cup. I couldn't believe it. He won both nights I drove him and I thought he was a good thing in the cup.

What happened?
They had reintroduced lap times. Every time they came round Holy Hal was not just in front but well clear. He was six lengths in front one round. He still ran third. I could have cried.

Did you get another chance with him?
Yes, and we proved a point. We had a chat about the Cambridge Flying Mile and I was to drive him in that. They didn't like it when he drew out but I told them he would still win. Sure enough, outside draw and all, he bolted in. Many people never realised how good Haly Hal was.

Did your success at Alexandra Park bring many extra drives?
Yes, quite a few. One of the more unusual was Merv Dean whose wife, Audrey, owned Cardigan Bay. Merv ran a billiard saloon. He was a big guy and y the standards of those days a huge punter but a really top bloke with it. He started flying me up to Auckland just to drive one horse and it was a lucrative operation for a while there. One time I drove down here during the day and caught the plane to Auckland to drive one for him. Merv met me at the airport and gave me five hundred and he had the colours for me to put on on the way. The horse won. It was Great Return which won a few down here. He gave me another five hundred after that and paid all the expenses. We had a great strike rate for a while there.

You probably liked a bet youself. Any huge collects?
I learned after a while it was quite hard. A lot of people have learned that. I did put 100 each way on La Mignan as a four year old. She had been working so well and she won. I remember going to Forbury one night with Ohio which George trained. It was pouring early in the night and Jimmy Walsh had a horse in earlier in the nightthat we knew loved it like that and it won. The rain stopped and the track improved so it wouldn't bother Ohio with his problem, and he won.

Ohio. He was a top horse?
He would had been but he was tubed. Horses that couldn't breathe properly then, they opened up a breathing passage through the chest - they called it tubing - and put a stopper in it which they took out for the race. It was not uncommon then though I think he might have been one of the last allowed to race. The trouble was you had to be very careful on the wet grit and sand tracks because of the danger of the tube getting blocked and the poor buggers would run out of breath. The boss tried ever sort of gauze over the tube to make sure it was kept clear but we weren't going to risk any tragedies and he had to be retired because of it.

Credit: David McCarthy writing in The Press 16Jan2010


YEAR: 1993


John William (Jack) Hewitt, who died in Invercargill on Monday, aged 76, became a household name in harness racing as the owner of champion racemare Robin Dundee in the 1960s.

Robin Dundee, who was trained by the late Jack Walsh of Gore, was actually bred by owner Hewitt's late Gore relations by marriage, Myra and Bob Ritchie, who virtually gifted the Hal Tryax-Cherry Blossom filly to him. The favour was extended to Mr Hewitt in return for his generosity in grazing Cherry Blossom free of charge for the Ritchie's on his Mataura Island farm.

Robin Dundee (1:59) won $229,272 in NZ, Australia and USA. She was the first pacer to better 2:00 in a race in Australia when she won the 1967 Craven Filter Miracle Mile at Harold Park, Sydney. Bob Cameron reined her in that feature win. Maurice Holmes drove the mare in many of her earlier NZ races.

Having her first race start, Robin Dundee served notice of her exceptional ability when she won the Southland Stakes by 16 lengths at Invercargill on October 29, 1960. She was reined by Charlie Franks, then attached to trainer Walsh's operation. They again triumphed in their next outing, the 1961 NZ Oaks at Addington. Robin Dundee won 33 other races outright and shared the major honours with Jay Ar in the 1965 Inter-Dominion Pacing Grand Final at Forbury Park with 'Doody' Townley at the reins. The NZ Free-For-All and Auckland Cup were feature wins for her that year.

Robin Dundee was three times runner-up in the NZ Cup - to Cardigan Bay (1963), Garry Dillon (1965) and Lordship (1966). Blossom Lady, her close relation from the Fashion Queen (by Bellfashion) taproot, won last year's NZ Cup. After her demanding career and when her powers may have been waning, Robin Dundee still won further races in North America for the late Eddie Cob, of Adios Butler fame, who part-owned her there. Easily Robin Dundee's best son was Genghis Khan (1:51.8), a world champion son of Meadow Skipper, subsequently a fine sire who has also stood in Australia.

Born in Palmerston North in 1917 and the second of six children, Mr Hewitt shifted to Winton with his family as a child, being educated there before spending two and a half years at Southland Technical College. Mr Hewitt later settled on and developed a 550-acre farm at Mataura Island and on September 5, 1946, married Joan Ritchie, who died six years ago. In 1975, Mr Hewitt sold his farm and shifted to a 14-acre section on the corner of Mill and Findlay Roads on the outskirts of Invercargill.

Credit: Don Wright writing in HRWeekly 13Oct93


YEAR: 1983

George with Stanley Rio's Inter-Dom spoils

G B Noble's effort to top the trainers' list for the Dominion this season was a fitting reward for an association with trotting in this country which began in 1941 when he was appointed private trainer of the Roydon Lodge team. Of the record total this season of £28,361 15s won by Mr R A McKenzie, horses trained by Noble won around £23,000 of that amount.

Before coming to NZ, Noble had trained at Harold Park from 1918 to 1941. Besides being a horse trainer and reinsman, Noble is a qualified architect and a farrier of no mean ability. He had made a study of the horses foot and its footwear and it was this fact that weighed heavily in Noble's favour when in 1941 Mr J R McKenzie was seeking a private trainer.

Noble's early interest in trotting was through his father, a trainer, and it is more than 40 years since he drove his first winner, Elmo Chief, at Harold Park. In his early years of training at Roydon Lodge, Noble prepared the outstanding trotter Fantom, who won the Dominion Handicap at Addington and the Rowe Cup at Auckland twice.

One of Noble's best records is in the Oamaru Juvenile Stakes, a 2-year-old semi-classic, first run in 1941. He trained and drove Scottish Emperor to win the event in 1943 for Sir John and for the same owner won with Royal Minstrel in 1954. In 1956 he produced Golden Hero to win for Mr R A McKenzie and was successful for him again with Jar Ar in 1960. Two years later he drove Thunderboy to win the race at odds of more than 70 to 1.

With La Mignon (1954) and Golden Hero (1956), Noble won the NZ Sapling Stakes, driving both himself.

After the death of Sir John, Noble continued to train the Roydon Lodge team for Mr R A McKenzie. The establishment has produced some good winners, including two of the best mares to have raced in NZ, Arania and Samantha. Arania won nine races and £8960 in NZ. Her successes included the NZ Oaks, Dunedin Festival Cup and two heats of the 1961 Inter-Dominion series at Addington. She then went to America, where she ran a 1.57 mile against time - the third fastest of all time for a mare and just outside the world record time for a mare of 1.56¾, held jointly by Rosalind(T) and Her Ladyship(P). Arania did not race a great deal in the United States, but won six races and was 11 times placed for $45,400. Samantha, who, like Arania, was by U Scott, took a mile record of 2.01 4/5. She won 15 races, including the Wellington Cup twice, and £14,910.

As a driver, Noble has been associated with many of the winners he has trained, and has also met with success in the odd outside drive. He has more than 250 winning drives to his credit. This season he has driven 25 winners, his best total ever, placing him eighth on the drivers list. Asked who was the best horse he ever drove, Noble unhesitatingly plumped for Light Brigade, and one of his greatest earlier thrills in the Dominion was when he drove Bronze Eagle (trained by R B Berry), to win the NZ Cup in 1944.

NZ Trotting Calendar 14Jul65


George Noble, one of NZ's most capable and respected trainers over the past 40 years, died in Christchurch last Thursday at the age of 85 after a brief illness.
During a career which commenced in New Zealand in 1941, the former Australian trained and drove some of NZ's greatest pacers and trotters to win here, in Australia and in the United States. He was leading trainer in New Zealand on two occasions.

George, or "G B" as he was known to his great number of friends, was born in New South Wales, the son of a farmer who also raced standardbreds. George received his early education with the family horses and drove his first winner at the age of 18. However, he decided to follow a career as an architect and did so until the depression in 1930. He then decided to return to the world of harness racing, and in one of the toughest periods of Australian trotting, made a success of his new career.

He was among the top trainers in New South Wales when the late Sir John McKenzie chose him to take over the training and stud management at Roydon Lodge in Yaldhurst. It was a partnership which was to prove highly successful, as a string of champion racehorses went forth in the McKenzie colours to win many of the country's top races. Horses such as Red Emperor, Flight Command, Commander Scott, Royal Minstrel, La Mignon, Highland Air, Slipstream and Highland Kilt saw J R McKenzie head the owners' list on three occasions and following his death in August 1955, the success continued as his son Roy headed the owners' list on seven successive occasions. Scotch Paree, Golden Hero, Garcon Dór, General Frost, Valencia, Bonheur, Adioway, Jay Ar, Heatherloch, Samantha, Bewitched, Arania, Garcon Roux, Roydon Roux and Hurrania continued to keep George Noble and Roy McKenzie to the forefront.

When Roy decided to expand Roydon Lodge's stud activities and transferred the stud and training operation to Templeton in 1970, George Noble remained at the Yaldhurst property he had operated from so successfully. It was from here that George performed one of the training feats which will probably go unequalled in NZ harness racing history. In November 1976, he turned out the Australian-bred 4-year-old Stanley Rio to win the NZ Cup, took him to Auckland to win the NZ Messenger Championship in March 1977, the across the Tasman to win the Inter-Dominion Grand Final at Albion Park. Stanley Rio is the only 4-year-old ever to win such a demanding treble, and only a trainer of George's expertise could have programmed it. He raced the Tasmanian-bred pacer in partnership with his son John and Wayne Francis. The same year, he trained Rustic Zephyr to win the NZ Derby at Addington and was justly named 'Racing Personality of the Year' by the NZ Racing Writers' Association.

Few major NZ races escaped George Noble in his long and successful career, but he also made his mark in international competition. He won the Inter-Dominion Grand Final twice, deadheating in the 1965 event at Forbury Park (with Robin Dundee) with Roy McKenzie's Jay Ar whom he drove himself, then winning the 1977 event with Stanley Rio. He won the NZ Cup with Stanley Rio (1976), the Auckland Cup twice with Highland Air (1957) and Garcon Roux (1971), the Sapling Stakes twice with La Mignon (1954) and Golden Hero (1956), the Rowe Cup with Fantom (1943 & 1944), the NZ Juvenile Championship with General Frost (1968), the NZ Messenger with Stanley Rio (1977), the Great Northern Derby with Garcon Roux (1968) and Roydon Roux (1971), the Dominion Handicap with Fantom (1945), the NZ Derby with Royal Minstrel (1954) and Rustic Zephyr (1976), the NZ Trotting Stakes with Highland Kilt (1950), the NZ Oaks with Arania (1959), Bonnie Frost (1969)and Hurrania (1974), the NZ Futurity Stakes with General Frost (1968), Bonnie Frost (1970), Roydon Roux (1971) and Fabriani (1975), the NZ Sires' Produce with Garcon Roux (1968), the Timaru Nursery Stakes with Meadowmac (1963) and Garcon Roux (1968), the North Island Oaks with Bonnie Frost (1970), the NZ Golden Slipper Stakes with General Frost (1967) and Roydon Roux (1970), the Wellington Cup with Samantha (1962 & 1963).

George also campaigned successfully in Australia. He won the NSW Southern Cross Stakes at Harold Park in 1970 with Bonnie Frost and again in 1976 with Stanley Rio when the race was renamed the Prince Stakes, won the NSW Oaks - Victoria Oaks double with Bonnie Frost in 1970, the same year she took out the J L Raith Memorial at Harold Park, and won the NSW Derby and the R C Simpson Sprint at Harold Park in 1969.

Under his guidance, Garcon Roux became the first 3-year-old ever to better 2:00 in New Zealand when he time-trialled at Hutt Park in 1:59.6 while, when campaigned in the United States, his champion mare Arania narrowly missed becoming the then fastest mare in the world when she time-trialled in 1:57 at Lexington when driven by Bill Houghton. Only Her Ladyship (1:56 3/4), Dotties Pick (1:56.8) and the trotter Rosalind (1:56 3/4) had gone faster at the time.

Arania, one of NZ's best mares, was narrowly beaten in the sensational finish to the 1961 Inter-Dominion Grand Final, which saw Massacre, False Step and Arania locked together at the post. Arania and False Step then went to the United States for the 1961 International Series at Yonkers, and, though she performed dissappointingly during the series, she was to win at Roosevelt, and George also drove his Inter-Dominion winner Jay Ar to win at Santa Anita, California, in 2:01 and Garcon Dór to win on the same track in 1:59.

As a trainer, George Noble may have been equalled by few, but never bettered, and he earned the respect of everyone in the industry for his willingness to help others. He was, in every respect, a 'Gentleman' and harness racing is the poorer for his passing.

Credit: Tony Williams writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 28Jun83


YEAR: 1975

Young Quinn and John Langdon

As the 1975 Inter-Dominions in Auckland loomed, New Zealand's chances of repelling the formidable Australian assault and ending their almost complete domination of the Championship for a decade seemed to be on very shaky ground. Outside of Stella Frost's promoted win at Addington four years earlier, following the disqualification of Junior's Image, and Phil Coulson for seven years - later remitted to four years by the NZ Trotting Conference - after a caffeine positive, New Zealand had not looked even close to winning an Inter-Dominion since the 1965 series in Dunedin was shared by Jay Ar and Robin Dundee.

This included the previous Inter-Dominion at Alexandra Park in 1968, a series dominated by Tasmanian champion Halwes and following his shock withdrawal from the Final with a quarter crack less than a hour before attempting a clean sweep, ultimately won by NSW's First Lee. This was Australia's first Inter-Dominion win on New Zealand soil, which was not supposed to happen. And the Forbury Park success had hardly counted, what with Blazing Globe being the only Australian contender of any note. A son of Stormyway and the grand NZ mare Thelma Globe trained by Perc Hall at Penrith, Blazing Globe won a heat on the third night, but a couple of fourths in the heats was the best that could be managed by the combined efforts of Guiness (NSW), Palpitate (Vic) and Minton Hall and Pacing Lawn from WA, and their trip seemed mostly about taking in the scenery.

The 11-strong Australian challenge for the Pacing Championship in 1975 though was spearheaded by two-time winner Hondo Grattan and well established stars in Paleface Adios, Just Too Good, Tarcoola Frost and Royal Gaze, all but the latter from NSW. Hondo Grattan had won 44 races at that point, while Just Too Good had won 46 and Paleface Adios 43 and Royal Gaze had just won the Hunter Cup.

Then a week out from opening night came the devastating news that Robalan had been withdrawn after being troubled by an abscess on the chest. The 8-year-old free-legged champion had brilliantly won that season's NZ Cup and NZ Free-For-All, the latter for the third consecutive year and in world record time, where a 5-year-old Young Quinn had arrived in Christchurch off the back of eight straight wins and proved fallible.

A few months later, New Zealand's hopes of an Inter-Dominion win seemed to rest squarely on the shoulders of the Auckland and Wellington Cup winner Young Quinn. The likes of Hi Foyle, Speedy Guest, Vanadium, and the 4-year-olds Captain Harcourt, Master Dean and Kotare Legend were considered good class, but hardly capable of beating the Australian champions even with a head start in the handicaps. But this was Alexandra Park of course, and a whole new ball game, or direction, for the visitors. And they were about to run into a horse who by the end of the Championship, would be talked about as the best seen since Cardigan Bay.

Young Quinn, affectionately nicknamed 'Garbage' by his Edendale connections due to his habit of eating everything in sight as a youngster, including his bedding, would also by the end of his 5-year-old campaign earn the label of 'the Mighty Quinn' from none other than Peter Wolfenden, who since being spoiled by 'Cardy' had rarely been heard to utter a generous word for any other horse.

When the dust had settled on the season, Young Quinn had raced 22 times in New Zealand for 19 wins, two thirds and a seventh, and in Australia, three times for two wins and a fourth, the latter in a heat of the Lord Mayor's Cup at Harold Park from 25m not long after brilliantly downing Mitchell Victory, Royal Gaze, Hondo Grattan, Paleface Adios and Adios Victor in the Miracle Mile, and Hondo Grattan in the Hurricane Stakes. Robalan had set the record for wins in NZ in a season the previous year at 12, while Young Quinn's 10 consecutive wins to complete his campaign was also a record within a NZ season. He earned $149,961 when no other horse had topped $100,000 in a year and became the first horse in Australasia to top $200,000 in career winnings, at a point when the only other six-figure winners were Robalan ($164,020), Arapaho ($128,345) and Lordship ($113,790). In today's terms, it was easily a million dollar-plus winning season.

He set New Zealand race records for one mile (1:57 in the NZ Miracle Mile) and two miles (4:06.7) and his records for 2200m, 2600m and 2700m from a stand were faster than the records from mobiles.

Bud Baynes and his son Des had bred Young Quinn after the former had bought his out of form dam, the Hal Tryax mare Loyal Trick, for a few hundred dollars in what was just his second venture into standardbred ownership, having earlier won a race with a son of Hal Tryax in Hal Away. Convinced he could get the Southland 3yo Stakes winner back into form, Baynes soon discovered that Loyal Trick was too far gone with arthritis to be a racing prospect and bred her to Young Charles, who was standing at stud for his brother Colin at nearby Ferndale. The resulting filly in Judy Charles was sold as a yearling to Christchurch's Colin McLachlan and had three wins, losing one on a protest, while Loyal Trick's third foal and first colt, by Young Charles, died of tetanus. Des Baynes was 19 and working for Colin, who coincidentally then offered him a free service to Young Charles, and Bud loaned Loyal Trick on the understanding they would race the foal together.

A very precocious youngster, Young Quinn had won seven juvenile trials before making his debut in the Mercer Stakes at Addington in January, 1972, where Baynes had asked a polished former Southland horseman in Robert Cameron to drive. Cameron agreed, but during the float trip to Christchurch he said to Baynes "they're pretty good up at Addington; I think we'll be lucky if we finish about sixth." Young Quinn was 12th at the half but got up to impressively down smart sorts in Willie Win and Marc Bohan and by the end of the season had won eight races from 10 starts, equalling the juvenile record for races won by Sam Tryax, and taken out the prized double of the Sapling Stakes and Juvenile Championship.

An early knee injury cost him dearly as a 3-year-old, and attempting to win the NZ Derby in his season's debut when not ready set him back even further. But after being placed with Charlie Hunter at Cambridge for a failed Great Northern Derby tilt, Young Quinn began to fulfil his considerable earlier promise at four, a season he started in open class. He chased Arapaho home in the NZ and Auckland Cups and came up half a head short of Robalan in the Miracle Mile, won in 1:58, but his wins included the Allan Matson and Ollivier at the NZ Cup Meeting with Hunter at the helm.

His failures however included the Perth Inter-Dominions, where he made no impression after not travelling well and failing to settle at all in the heat. Returning home to romp away with free-for-all in Auckland in March, Young Quinn went for a well earned rest, and was soon back in the new season and sweeping all northern rivals aside with seven straight wins in the hands of Wolfenden heading into the NZ Cup carnival. Starting hot favourite in the Cup, he got hooked up in an early speed duel and pulled himself into the ground, and only class carried him into third as Robalan carried the day in his fourth attempt over Kotare Legend, while he recovered from last early to finish a distant third in the FFA.

Another Allan Matson from 25m in record time was a mere formality in Robalan's absence however and then came the Miracle Mile in Australasian record time of 1:57, where Robalan was favourite but went off stride challenging at the furlong. Freshened for the Auckland Cup carnival, Young Quinn led up and inexplicably faded to seventh in the National Flying Pace as arch-rival Robalan swept by brilliantly, but this would be the last time he would meet defeat in New Zealand.

Going into the Inter-Doms, Young Quinn had bolted away with the Auckland Cup by 10 lengths over Robalan (30m) in very wet and slushy conditions, as well as the Waikato Flying Mile by eight lengths and Wellington Cup by five from 35m. Hunter had taken back the reins after the NZ Cup Meeting and must have been on good terms with himself when Young Quinn proved much too good for pacemaker Just Too Good and Royal Gaze on the opening night of the Inters. Jack Smolenski won the other pacing heats with Speedy Guest and Vanadium, as Paleface Adios finished a bold second to the latter and Hondo Grattan ran into strife after Tony Turnbull left his shadow roll at home and had to borrow an unsuitable one. But on the second night, Hunter was brought back to earth with a thud - literally - when involved in a pile-up which wiped out half the field, and put both his arms in plaster. Three races later, up stepped Hunter's 27-year-old right-hand-man John Langdon to not only quide Young Quinn safely through the remaining heats, but win the Trotting Final with Castleton's Pride for Roy McKenzie and trainer Hunter.

Come the $61,000 Grand Final and over 30,000 were on-hand to cheer Young Quinn on from 15m, with only Hondo Grattan behind him on 25m. The rest of the country tuned in to watch on television, this being still very much a novelty reserved for major events. Young Quinn was favoured, but it would not be easy, and the Australian record in the Final was to be not only respected, but feared.

Previewing the big event for the Trotting Calendar, Ron Bisman wrote "Young Quinn starts on 15m in one of the best fields of pacers to assemble for a race in New Zealand. He came from a similar mark to win in record time at 3200m on Saturday night, but had to work hard to do it and has a shorter distance here. Grand Finals are usually go-stop-go affairs, and the one thing necessary for a backmarker to get around the field to challenge when he wants in such big-time races in the fastest turn of speed. Young Quinn has shown this time and again, and with John Langdon driving very confidently and adroitly, they just have to be first choice. Big bold challenges are expected to come from Victoria's Royal Gaze and NSW star Hondo Grattan after their fine third night form, but just the same the second choice in this quarter will be the brilliant free-legged pace Final Decision."

With Smolenski opting to handle Vanadium over Speedy Guest after returning to top form with wins on the first two nights, he was Bisman's third choice, but also accorded chances of threatening off the front were Hi Foyle, Kotare Legend, Master Dean and Why Bill along with the aforementioned. Just Too Good had lost form during the heats and started rank outsider from 10m for Keith Pike, while Colin Pike's 5-year-old Paleface Adios had lost it altogether and couldn't even make an impression in one of the Consolations.

Nursed away by Langdon to avoid any trouble, Young Quinn still copped several checks and settled all of 80 metres behind the tearaway pacemaker Master Dean and Bob Cameron. His chances of success looked remote with only a couple of stragglers in Bomber Bill and Why Bill behind him in a strung out field with a lap to go, and then Final Decision was checked, broke and came back on him with just 800m to go. But that was also the point where Young Quinn turned on the stuff Champions are made of. Gradually but inexorably moving into contention wide down the back and around th last bend, Langdon brought Young Quinn into line six-wide and he stomped down the centre of the track to in the end win quite comfortably. Hi Foyle found a gap late to come on for second for Henry Skinner and ironically, the first two home were the two horses lured to Perth the previous year by travel subsidies to 'make' that Inter-Dom Series, and performed so dismally.

By everyone was just playing bit parts in the Young Quinn Show. The accolades flowed for 'the Mighty Quinn' and so did the invites. On-hand for the Inter-Dominions was Dr Thomas Siciliano, who had been a partner in Cardigan Bay's US campaigning, but Hunter advised against any lease deals and $100,000 was not enough to buy him. Young Quinn would instead head to Sydney for the $50,000 Miracle Mile and so emphatically dispose of a truly great field there from the dreaded six alley, and while withdrawn from the Lord Mayor's Cup after being checked and hurt in his heat, he had recovered to bolt away with his farewell Down Under race at Alexandra Park in May.

Two days later he was winging his way to America to compete in the rich International Series at Yonkers in New York and Sportsman's Park in Chicago, but that of course is the start of another story.

Credit: Frank Marrion writing in HRWeekly 28Jun06


YEAR: 1970


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


YEAR: 1965

"It is a dead heat between Jay Ar and Robin Dundee" came the shock announcement over the public address system - to the accompaniment of a roar from the crowd of 15,760. For Jay Ar had already been decorated as the winner and was parading alone on the track wearing the victory sash. Disband and Derek Jones were third.


YEAR: 1964

Ted Lowe, Ces Donald & Cairnbrae

Veterans both, Cairnbrae and C S Donald gave nothing a chance of heading them in the NZ Trotting Cup after taking charge with about half the journey covered, tramping the last mile in 2:04.2 and the last half in 60.2 and crossing the line two lengths and a half clear of Orbiter.

Cairnbrae qualifies for the veteran circle because he was one of three eight-year-olds in the field, the oldest group in this year's Cup.

C S Donald qualifies in age and ability - and with honours thick upon him as the most successful trainer of all time in the Dominion.

Cairnbrae's celebrated family - on both sides - has now produced the winners of seven New Zealand Cups - Cairnbrae's sire U Scott has been represented by Highland Fling (winner twice), Van Dieman and Cairnbrae; and on the dam's side Cairnbrae traces to Tairene whose great tribe included the dual NZ Cup winner Lucky Jack.

For Donald it was a second Cup victory - in 1940 he owned and trained Marlene, who beat Dusky Sound in a desperate finish. Incidentally, Donald also bred that fine mare. This was Donald's first driving success in the Cup. Marlene was driven by his brother Ron.

Records galore became a habit with Donald long ago - his success as leading trainer in the 1962-63 season meant that he had by then headed this list nine times, thus beating the record previously held equally by himself and the late James Bryce. Bryce's record of heading the trainer's list eight times was established as far back as the 1923-24 season, and Donald equalled it in the 1960-61 season. Donald has now held a trainer's licence for more than 42 years. It was in April 1922, that he took up the training of light-harness horses, and his score of winners to date has reached 857, easily a record for the Dominion.

Cecil Donald has consistently affirmed that the outstanding event in his training career was his win with his own splendid mare Marlene in the 1940 New Zealand Cup, especially since that milestone in the Donald fortunes was attended by the wins of Tan John in the Dominion Handicap and Plutus in the Free-For-All at the same 1940 NZ Cup meeting. That is believed to be a unique 'triple crown.' And at the same carnival he won the mile saddle race with Repeal and the Australasian Handicap with Superior Rank. Donald's first training and driving success was with the trotter Mangoutu in the Seaview Handicap at the New Brighton Trotting Club's Summer Meeting on Thursday, December 14, 1922. Donald has had a mighty cavalcade of great horses through the stables; perhaps the best remembered of his 'greats' of the past would be Lindbergh (a NZ Cup heat winner in 1931), Plutus (a free-for-all specialist), Carmel, Quality, Ferry Post, Clockwork, Bayard, Brahman and Falsehood; and he has also prepared a glittering band of trotters, among them Kempton, Rangefinder, Writer, Wahnooka, Great Way, Captain Bolt and John Mauritius.

Dandy Briar, Jay Ar, Oreti, Gay Reel, Waitaki Hanover and Orbiter were all slow away, Orbiter losing a good 36 yards, and he was well back when the field settled down. After going half mile, King Hal had charge from Vanderford, then came Valcador, Garcon D'Or, Urrall, Deft, Lordship, Cairnbrae, Oreti, Orbiter, Dandy Briar, Waitaki Hanover, Jay Ar and Gay Reel, most of the field racing in pairs. Cairnbrae moved up smartly soon after, and was in front with a mile to run. Following Cairnbrae was King Hal, and then came Vanderford and Valcador, Garcon D'Or and Urrall, Deft and Lordship, Orbiter, Dandy Briar and Oreti. Cairnbrae led into the straight, and it was obvious a furlong out that he had the result in safe keeping. Lordship and Orbiter made game attempts to bridge the gap to Cairnbrae, but neither could do any better, and Orbiter then came on the scene with a strong run to cut Lordship out of second place, with Vanderford fourth. Orbiter could be regarded as a shade unlucky. Oreti was fifth, then came Garcon D'Or, Gay Reel, Deft, Waitaki Hanover, Dandy Briar, Jay Ar, King Hal, Urrall and Valcador last.

Safeguard, the dam of Cairnbrae, was a performer above the average and took a two miles record of 4:18.4. She was bred by the late Mr W T Lowe, who also bred Cairnbrae, now owned by Mr Lowe's son, W E Lowe, of Hinds, where his late father bred many high-class pacers and trotters, notably Lucky Jack, a leading stayer in the late 1930's. He also owned Trampfast, the champion trotter of the early 1930's. Safeguard was by Springfield Globe, a champion Tasmanian pacer trained for many important wins in New Zealand by the late R B Berry, who trained and drove Lucky Jack. Safeguard was out of Molly Direct, a high-class pacer by Jack Potts from Real Girl, a useful winner by imported Real Guy from Tairene. Tairene was by Wildwood Junior (winner of the NZ Cup in 1909 and 1910) from Jessie B, to whom trace close to 100 individual winners.

Cairnbrae has now had 13 wins and 13 placings for £11,680 in stakes. Cairnbrae had the fastest two mile time of 4:12 among the Cup candidates before Tuesday's race. That was recorded when he finished third from 42 yards to Orbiter (Limit) and Great Credit (36 yards) in the New Brighton Cup last February. In his Cup victory he went slightly slower.

The result was a triumph for the blood of U Scott - Cairnbrae and Orbiter were sired by him and Lordship is out of a U Scott mare. Lordship was a warm favourite. On-course he carried £3108 for a win and £1644 10s for a place; off-course he had £640 for a win and £5747 for a place. The Cairnbrae-King Hal-Urrall bracket carried on-course, £789 10s for a win and £1975 10s for a place, and off-course £584 for a win and £1419 for a place. Total investments on the race were down on last year's figures: the on-course total was £22,503, against £24,147 10s last year; off-course investments totalled £35,013, against £35,930 last year. The totalisator turnover on-course for the day was £216,064 10s, a substantial increase on the £192,254 handled last year, and a record for one day at Addington. This year there were nine races, last year eight. The off- course total this year was £196,592 10s compared with £180,714 15s last year. The attendance was 18,000, compared with 18,500 last year.

Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar


YEAR: 1964


Lordship produced his best form in the NZ Free-For-All. He hesitated a little at the start but was into top gear quickly and was soon handily placed. He waited on the leaders till well inside the furlong before challenging. Lordship caught Orbiter 24 yards out and went on to win by a length in the smart time of 2:34.6 for the mile and a quarter journey, a 2:03.6 mile rate. The leaders sprinted their last half mile in 60.2, the final quarter in 28.8 secs. Lordship appeared to be a much keener pacer than he was on Cup day, and he was given a rousing reception on his return to the birdcage. Lordship has now won £25,930 in stakes, the result of 24 wins and 21 placings.

Orbiter made a game attempt to win but found Lordship just too good on the day. Orbiter was alongside Cairnbrae racing to the straight and had that pacer covered after turning for home. He looked a winner until Lordship put in his claim, and he was far from disgraced in going under to a pacer of the calibre of Lordship.

Jay Ar finished in good style for third after being several places back at the home turn, with Vanderford in fourth place, followed by Cairnbrae and Waitaki Hanover, with three lengths to Flying Blue, who was followed in by Gay Reel and Dandy Briar, with Grouse tailed off.

Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar


YEAR: 1963


Club officials would have every reason to be jubilant when Cardigan Bay's name appeared among the acceptors for the Allan Matson Handicap, principal event on the inaugural night of night trotting at Addington Raceway. His task from 54 yards over a mile and five furlongs should not be beyond him: the main question exercising the minds of trotting enthusiasts is whether anything in front of Cardigan Bay is capable of making him go fast enough to lower the world record for a mile and five furlongs.

The stake of the race is £3500, but it will be possible for Cardigan Bay to win an additional £500. This amount will be paid to the horse finishing in the first four and breaking False Step's world record of 3:21 for a mile and five furlongs.

Cardigan Bay's time, 2:34.6, for a mile and a quarter in the NZ Free-For-All was little more than an 'exercise gallop' for the 'Pacing Powerhouse from Pukuranga'. It is many a day since a free-for-all field was reduced to such minus qualities as were Sun Chief, Vanderford and Co. from the word go last week. The further they went the more assured was Cardigan Bay's victory. Without any intention of detracting one iota from the champion's facile victory, the mountains of effort on the part of the rest of the field yielded only a mouse of competition. The alarming frailties of our free-for-all class - with one horse standing out from the remainder like Mount Everest among the Port Hills - is drawn in bold relief by the times of the minor place-getters: Sun Chief 2:35.2; Vanderford 2:35.8; King Hal 2:36.2. These are fast but not phenomenal times. Why, free-for-all horses were capable of better than that more than 29 years ago!

How poverty stricken is our top class going to be when Cardigan Bay returns north, thence back to Australia...Lordship can't return to the fray quick enough. The remainder of our top horses are very much at sixes and sevens, some of them on the down grade, some of them jaded, and only one or two with their futures in front of them. The top draw will assuredly fill up again, but it will take time. And there are so few left to hold the Cup fort...One consulation is that smart improving pacers such as Flying Blue, Admit, Kingsdowm Patch, Junior Royal, Rustic Lad, Jay Ar and Cairnbrae are among those on the brink of Cup company ...a gloomy picture could brighten overnight.

In the meantime, the Metropolitan Club may be fortunate in retaining Cardigan Bay - for its second night as well - as trotting's greatest drawcard. Not infrequently, some club officials become apprehensive about an 'invincible' champion cramping the betting. This complaint proved to have no substance in fact as far as the NZ Free-For-All last Friday was concerned - it was the largest betting pool of the day, with a combined on and off-course total of £35,231. That is big betting by any standards, and its own answer to the recurring fears of club officials that a 'certainty'in a free-for-all decimates the public's wagering. It has also to be kept constantly in mind that the champions are the horses which make the turnstiles click. 'Monopoly phobia' has invariably proved groundless.

A dominating favourite in the Free-For-All, Cardigan Bay just played with the opposition to gain the easiest of wins by three lengths. From number eight at the barrier he was in front before going 75 yards, and no other runner was prepared to challenge him for the role of pacemaker. At the three furlongs, trainer/driver P T Wolfenden asked his charge for a little more acceleration and he steaked away on his own, nothing else being capable of getting near him.

Cardigan Bay ran the mile and a quarter in 2:34.6, a 2:03.2 mile rate. He took 32.8sec for his first quarter, reached the first half mile in 63.2, clocked 1:35.8 for the first six furlongs and paced his first mile in 2:06.8. Cardigan Bay returned 58.4 for his final half mile, his last quarter being run in a sizzling 27.4sec. He received a rousing reception on his return to the birdcage. Cardigan Bay's success was his second in the race and he was second to Lordship 12 months ago.

As a result of Friday's win the Auckland pacer's stake winnings reached £49,747 15s, and he has won 36 races and been placed several times.

Sun Chief raced in third place most of the way and although no match for Cardigan Bay, he beat the others comfortably. It was his best performance for some time. Vanderford received a good run throughout, in a trailing position, one out, but could make no impression in the run to the post. He has done his share of racing for a four-year-old. King Hal did not get the best of runs and his fourth placing was a useful effort in the circumstances.

Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 20Nov63


YEAR: 1960


The Auckland owned and trained three-year-old, Student Prince, caused a minor surprise when he finished too well for King Hal in the NZ Derby Stakes to give his owner, Mr H S Barry, his most important classic success to date. He beat King Hal by two lengths with Jay Ar a similiar distance away third and Flying Note fourth. Student Prince had paced useful races in his earlier appearances at the meeting and received a fine trail behind his stablemate, Paysan Bleu, and later behind Moose. Driver, M Holmes, pulled Student Prince out inside the furlong and after collaring King Hal, soon had the result in safe keeping.

The start was marred to some extent when Southern Cross, Jar Ar, Flying Note and Wekin all gave ground, and King Hal was also slow to become balanced. Paysan Bleu made a quick beginning and he was followed early by Student Prince, then came Morsel, with gaps to Moose, Master Alan (who broke), King Hal, Wekin, Flying Note, Southern Cross, Jay Ar, Adios Heather and Summit Road. The whole field was strung out at this stage. At the end of six furlongs Paysan Bleu began to feel the strain and Moose raced clear. King Hal had improved at this stage and was doing slightly better than Moose racing to the straight, with Student Prince just behind. Jay Ar, Summit Road, Flying Note and Southern Cross were all handy.

King Hal soon worked clear once into the straight, but Student Prince was not done with by any means and set out after King Hal at the furlong. These two were together half a furlong out but Student Prince did best. After the four placed horses came Summit Road, Adios Heather, Morsel, Southern Cross, Wekin and Paysan Bleu last.

Student Prince's success would no doubt be most heartening to Mr H S Barry, who has spent a lot of money on the sport, paying big prices for handicap horses and younger stock and he has also built an up-to-date training and breeding establishment at Mangere. Student Prince is trained by R Stockdale, private trainer to Mr Barry, and was at one time attached to M Holmes's stable at Yaldhurst when Holmes was public training. He drove several winners for Holmes, including champion trotter Recruit and Lookaway.

Student Prince is a bay colt by Hal Tryax from Little Toff, a winner herself, and the 1947 foal of the prolific broodmare, Rustic Maid, dam of the NZ Cup winner Chamfer, and others. Little Toff was got by Dillon Hall. Bred at Gore by Mr G Youngson, Student Prince was purchased at the 1959 yearling sales for 625 gns when offered on account of Mr J W G Irving, Oamaru. Student Prince's win gave M Holmes his 11th driving success in the classic.

King Hal made a gallant attempt to add this classic to his already fine record and was far from disgraced in defeat. He had a fair stretch of ground to make up to reach the lead and the effort to do so told when it came to the concluding stages. Jay Ar also paced a fine race after being towards the rear in the early stages and the same could be said of Flying Note.

Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 23Nov60

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