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HORSES

 

YEAR: 1960

EMULOUS

Emulous, whose death was reported recently, was one of the greatest pacers to race in the Dominion. Many will recall some of the clashes the big Jack Potts pacer had with another undoubted champion, Highland Fling. When these two great pacers were on the way up, opinions as to the respective merits of both were some-what divided, but suffice it to say that they were both champions in their own right and created keen interest wherever they appeared.

A big horse with a tremendous stride, Emulous was what was referred to by some as a 'pile driver' and his tendency to hit the ground hard with his feet brought on periods of soreness and it said a lot for his trainer-driver, W K Tatterson, that he reached the heights he did.

Emulous commenced racing as a 3-year-old in the 1943-44 season, and at his first start finished fourth to Scottish Emperor, Acropolis and Native Scott in the NZ Futurity Stakes which was that year run at Addington. In five more starts that term Emulous recorded a second in the Hutt Handicap at Wellington and a third in the Trial Handicap at Ashburton.

Emulous opened his 4-year-old season on a winning note when he won the second division of the View Hill Handicap at the North Canterbury Racing Club's meeting in October, and he followed up that success by winning the Metropolitan Challenge Stakes at Addington. In the event he turned the tables on Native Scott and Scottish Emperor, who finished second and third respectively. His next six starts that term resulted in four minor placings and a win.

As a 5-year-old Emulous made good judges sit up and take notice when he won nine races, seven of them consecutively. In all he started 15 times that term and was out of the money only once - at his first appearance for the season. His successes included the Le Lievre Handicap at Addington, the St Heliers Handicap, the Ranfurly Handicap, the President's Handicap and the Premier Handicap, all at the Auckland Trotting Club's summer meeting, and the President's and Flying Handicaps at the Addington Easter meeting.

Emulous started only four times as a 6-year-old, but he carried on his winning way to the extent of three successes in a row. He won the President's Handicap at Addington, pacing the mile and five furlongs journey from 12 yards in 3.28; he won the Flying Stakes at the same meeting; and on the third day won the Easter Stakes, returning the fast time of 3.10 2/5 for the mile and a half.

After several placings in the early part of the 1947-48 season, including a second to Highland Fling in the Lightning Free-for-all at Addington, Emulous regained the winning list in the Pacers' Championship qualifying race on the first day of the Inter-Dominion Championship series at Auckland. In the second qualifying race Emulous was beaten into second place by Knave Of Diamonds, but came back on the third day to win the Grand Final from 36 yards. Highland Fling, who was considered his most serious rival in the final, failed to gain a place after losing ground at the start and tangling later when making a forward move.

By this time Emulous and Highland Fling were clashing, and although Emulous gained several places before the season ended, he did not win another race that term. In six appearances in the 1948-49 season, Emulous won one race, the Flying Handicap at Forbury Park, a race he won from 60 yards, pacing the mile and three furlong journey in 2.53. That was his last success. In four subsequent starts he failed to finish in the money and was retired from racing.

Emulous was the 1940 foal of the Peter Chenault mare, Light Wings, who also left Lightning Lady, Sirocco and Golden Lady. He was bred by Mrs M A Haslett, Rakaia, in whose name he raced, and he was trained and driven throughout his career by W K Tatterson, In all, Emulous won £22,654 in stakes, the result of 18 wins and 20 placings.


Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 17Aug60

 

YEAR: 1960

Percy Watson & Purple Patch
PURPLE PATCH

It was away back in 1939 when Purple Patch was foaled and she has always been owned by Methven trotting personality Percy Watson.

A prolific breeder, Purple Patch now spends her days nonchalantly strolling round her fine paddock where she is treated like a cup horse and really is in control of the stable.

By Rey de Oro from a Logan Pointer mare who traces back to the thoroughbred mare Papilla, Purple Patch has thrown many winners. The following are some of the better known pacers from Purple Patch. They were Royal Rey, Countless, Ingle Belmer, Anita Patch, Inherit, Peggy Patch, Dora Patch, Direct Link, Inglewood and Ingleside.

Ingle Belmer who raced with a good del of success has produced Brittania, Royal Brittania and Lady Belmer. These were all by U Scott and by Light Brigade she threw the trotter Ingle Brigade.

For years now Mr Watson has been prominent in South Island trotting circles and it would be the fulfilment of a great ambition if he could win the NZ Cup particularly with a pacer which traces back to his favourite Purple Patch.



Credit: NZ Hoof Beats Vol 10 No 7

 

YEAR: 1960

GOLD HORIZON

The death was reported recently of Gold Horizon, one of the greatest trotters ever to race in NZ and leading stake-winner among those of his gait with £18,260 to his credit.

Gold Horizon won almost every important event on the calendar for those of his gait, several of them twice. He was the poetry of motion when in action and wore a minimum of gear. Apart from the usual harness he wore only shin and ankle boots behind.

Gold Horizon commenced racing as a 5-year-old in the 1947-48 season, when owned and trained by his breeder, J G Gillard. At his first start, Gold Horizon won the Claudelands Handicap at the Waikato Trotting Club's summer meeting on January 3, 1948. At his next attempt, Gold Horizon finished out of a place but made amends by winning at his next two appearances. He finished that season with a third placing and his record was six starts, three wins and a third.

As a 6-year-old, Gold Horizon won two races and gained a second placing, his most important success that season being in the February Handicap at the Auckland Trotting Club's February meeting. The race was run over a mile and a half and Gold Horizon trotted the journey from 12 yards in 3.22. Gold Horizon did not race in the 1949-50 season and won only one race the next term in 10 starts. He had been driven in all his successes up to this time by J G Gillard.

In the 1951-52 season, Gold Horizon was leased by the Leeston owner-trainer, W J Doyle, who has experienced outstanding success with trotters over a long period. At his third start for Doyle, Gold Horizon finished fourth against a field of pacers in the Elgin Handicap at Ashburton and followed that placing by winning the Wishful Handicap at Oamaru, beating Dictation, Highland Kilt and Barrier Reef. Four more successes came his way that season in addition to several placings. He won the Ashburton Trotting Cup Handicap, the NZ Hambletonian Handicap, the R A Armstrong Memorial Handicap and the Hambletonian Handicap at the Canterbury Park Trotting Club's winter meeting. Gold Horizon's improvement under Doyle was remarkable; he became as 'solid as the Rock of Gibraltar,' and developed outstanding stamina.

The next season Gold Horizon won the Wishful Handicap at Oamaru for the second time and followed up that success by winning the Greyhound Handicap at Addington from 48 yards, trotting the mile and five furlong journey in 3.27 4/5, which was then the winning record for the distance. Also for the second time, Gold Horizon won the NZ Hambletonian Handicap at Addington trotting the two mile journey from 60 yards in 4.18. At his last appearance for that term, Gold Horizon easily won the Steward's Trotting stakes at the Easter meeting at Addington, beating Sure Charge by two lengths in 2.42 1/5 for the mile and a quarter journey.

Gold Horizon carried on his winning way in the 1953-54 season to record three wins and two seconds in six starts. His successes were gained in the Christchurch Handicap at the National meeting at Addington, the NZ Trotting Free-For-All and the Steward's Trotting Stakes for the second time. This event, of course, was run under free-for-all conditions.

Although he had reached the advanced age of 12 years when the 1954-55 season opened, Gold Horizon showed he was far from being done with. At his second start for the term he won the Worthy Queen Handicap at the NZ Cup meeting at Addington from 42 yards, trotting the mile and a quarter in 2.39 2/5. Gold Horizon was now racing in the joint ownership of W J Doyle and J G Gillard, but was still being trained and driven by Doyle. Those to finish behind Gold Horizon that day were Slipstream, Fair Isle and Battle Cry. At the same meeting Gold Horizon added the NZ Trotting Free-For-All for the second time. Dictation, Battle Cry and Fair Isle finished in the minor placings.

Shortly after, Doyle's interest in Gold Horizon terminated, and he was returned to his breeder. Although he was raced several times and even tried as a pacer, Gold Horizon did not regain winning form.

Foaled in 1942, Gold Horizon was got by Quite Sure (a most successful sire of trotters), and was the second foal of the Great Parrish mare, Eyre (2.49, P). Eyre was out of Great Eyre, who was got by Great Audubon-Eyrechild, by Rothschild from a Traducer mare. Eyre also left Belcar (3.24, T), to Worthy Belwin. Great Eyre left a string of winners besides Eyre in Golden Eagle, Axminster, Charles Rex, Fighting Friend and Eyre's Last, all of whom were bred by J T Paul at Mangere.



Credit: Írvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 16Mar60

 

YEAR: 1960

DESILU - Classic Winner Producing Mare

Desilu (1960 U Scott-Mischevious) NZ family of Rita Bell; unraced; 17 foals, 12 to race for 11 winners/1 qualifier. Breeder: Jack Ferguson. All foals bred by: DWJ(Dave) Anderson except Mac Splash (Jim Dalgety), Bann Eain (Jack Hughes).

Desilu was sired by U Scott. Her dam Mischievous (Dillon Hall from the Logan Pointer mare Monaive) was purchased for £350 by Dave Anderson in 1962 as a seventeen-year-old from Akaroa breeder Jack Ferguson with the U Scott filly Desilu at foot. Anderson was in earlier years associated with John Butcher's stable that leased and then bought from Ferguson for £500 Desilu's full sister Desiree. This led to a long line of success for the Butchers with Tobias, Josias, Abidias, Samarias, Zedechias, Elias, Mathias just a few from the Desiree branch of the family of Rita Bell. Others of note from the Desiree branch included Stabilizer, Nebulizer, Buck The Odds & Pascale Bromac

The family of Rita Bell (Bellman out of an unnamed Berlin mare) is noteable for two branches emanating from Mischievous - Desiree and Desilu. From Desilu's third dam Galindo Lou (Logan Lou, 10 wins, National Hcp twice) to Monaive (granddam of Nebula, 10 wins; dam of Cloudage, 9 wins, Rangiora Cup) to Desilu, there was a winner or winners of top class.

Desilu was unraced due to a mysterious shoulder ailment likely the result of being kicked as a youngster. She became only the second recipient of two Broodmare of the Year awards in 1980 and 1981 (Deft, Interchange, Sheesadoosie, other dual winners). The most successful of this exceptional family of classic progeny were by Tudor Hanover, full brothers Delightful Pal, Jacron and full sisters Delightful Lady, Daveys Jill. Desilu was humanely put down aged 33 in June 1994 after being afflicted with chronic arthritis for several years.

Desilu's male progeny included:

Davey Be Good, winner of twelve races in Australia (1:59.3, 1700m), four at Gloucester Park.

Top Cash, two win horse (Claudelands, Cambridge) and USA winner ($100k earner, 17 wins)

Davey Jack, unplaced at 2 and 3 before winning 5 as a 4yo (Cambridge - Morrinsville, Te Awaumutu clubs; Hutt Park - Otaki, Masterton clubs; Alexandra Park) before export to North America (1:59.3US, $200k earner, 22 wins)

Delightful Pal, winner of 8 from 24 starts with 5 at three from nine outings (Waikato, Alexandra Park & Cambridge twice each). He won the Kumeu Stakes at 4 off 20m for Roy and Barry Purdon before 2 further wins at Alexandra Park at five were followed by his export to USA.

First Batch, four-win horse for Reg Weatherley. Placed at two, he won 4 races at three (three at Alexandra Park including the GN Derby; Cambridge)and the Franklin Presidents Hcp at four. A further 2 wins were recorded at Claudelands as a 5yo before his export to North America.

Jacron, a nine-race winner for Auckland Trotting Club officials Ron Robertson, Jack Maich and Wayne Fleet, he had three victories in his first season at four (Hutt Park, Alexandra Park & New Plymouth) for trainer Ken Sefonte. Interspersed with 6 wins at six including four at Alexandra Park and 2 at Cambridge (Johnstone Memorial) for Mike Stormont, Jacron did not place at five or seven. He was retired suffering from thrombosis caused by a worm build-up in his blood.

Desilu's fillies included:

Auckland's Lady, unraced, dam of one winner, her eighth and final foal in Electric Kiwi (Caduceus Club Classic at 2, Queen of Hearts, Franklin Breeders Cup), dam of four winners including Electric Chapel (9 wins). Bann Eain, winner of 1 race over four seasons at age three - Cambridge (dam of four including three in Australia, Dark Baron (9 wins), Highfields Gem (5 wins), Son Gorgeous (6 wins). Daveys Gene, unraced dam of two winners, Gene Hills (Otaki Cup, 4 NZ/4 Aus wins).

Daveys Jill, open class trotter, winner of 10 races starting with placings at three. Her first 7 wins came at four (Claudelands, Manawatu twice, Hutt Park & Alexandra Park 3). Sixth in the Rowe Cup at five, her final three victories were in consecutive starts at age six (Hutt Park twice, Alexandra Park) with a third in the Reg Rhodes Flying Mile that year. This was followed by 22 unplaced efforts at seven and eight (fifth in the National Trot). Daveys Jill was granddam of the dual-gaited Hanover Zip (Cambridge, Alexandra Park Winter, Nyah & Echuca Cups).

Davita, unraced due to injury, dam of:
. Davita Lass, dam of Smooth Dave (WA Derby); 3rd dam of Smooth Leyanda (QLD Oaks), dam of:
~ The Holmes Legend, dam of Poacher (Roxburgh Cup)
~ The Falcon Legend (Kawatiri Cup)
~ Jerry Garcia (Akaroa Cup)
. El Davita, 3rd dam of:
~ Kirchberg (Northland Cup)~
~ Kirchdoff (Methven, Manukau & Hawkes Bay Cups)
~ Kirkoswald, dam of Forever Loyal (Otaki & Wanganui Cups)
. Taya Lee, dam of Slugger (NZ 2yo Championship, Cardigan Bay 2yo Stakes; granddam of Grinaldi (NZSS 2yo NHT & Manukau Cup), The Oyster Man (NZSS HI C&G; 3rd dam of:
~ Fake Denario ($¾m, 1:48.2US, Aus 3yoc Breeders Crown)
~ Extra BG, dam of: Kotare Mach (Welcome & Flying Stakes); Granddam of Kotare Roland, Biella Star (Wyndham & Winton Cups)
~ Kotare Jaeger (Methven Cup)
~ Ross The Boss ($½m, 1:50.0US)
~ Tanisa Bromac, dam of Tijuana Bromac (Otaki Cup)
. Zoleine, dam of Beaudene (Macau Caesars Palace Gold Cup), Smooth Jack (Masterton Cup)

Last but not least, Desilu's crowning breeding achievement was the 'Queen of the Park', Delightful Lady. One of this country's greatest ever race mares, her career record stood at 144 starts for 47 wins and 40 placings (3 in Australia) for earnings of $476,250 ($5,250 in Australia). Thirty eight of her victories came at Alexandra Park where apart from her five consecutive NI Breeders Stakes wins (1979-1983), she won two Auckland Cups (1980, 1981), two Pezaro/Mark Memorials, two Inter-Island Challenge Stakes & Down Under Miles, a Franklin Cup, a Benson & Hedges Mile and Lion Breweries Mile. She finished third in the 1982 Auckland Cup, won an Inter Dominion heat and placed third in the 1983 Grand Final (to Gammalite and Poplar Alm, the first NZ finisher). She is remembered for her only win at Addington (NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes) and her epic length of the straight tussle with Hands Down before finishing second in the 1980 NZ Cup.

Bred by Dave Anderson, Delightful Lady (Tudor Hanover-Desilu) was 1980/81 NZ Harness Horse of the Year. Her then lessees, Fred & Paul Grant were leading owners ($178,305)the same season. Trained at various stages during her career by Mike Stormont (36 wins, 35 winning drives0 and Gary Hillier (11 wins, 11 winning drives), Paddy Timmins was her other successful driver making up her tally of 47 wins. Nine of those wins came at one mile (1:58.7). Most wins and her highest stake winning seasons came at six (14 wins) and seven (12 wins). She set a number of NZ records over varying distances during her career.

Delightful Lady received the ultimate accolade being elected the eleventh member of the NZ Trotting Hall of Fame. A replica of her in full race trim is located in the NZ Trotting Hall of Fame and the Delightful Lady Lounge at Alexandra Park is named after her. She proved unable to conceive due to a chromosome abnormality, hence no foals were produced by Delightful Lady.

Minor winners from Desilu: Good Time Chief, 5 wins in Australia; Mac Splash, winner at Ruakaka (Northland TC); Daveys Devil, 1:58.3US winner.







Credit: Peter Craig writing in Harnessed Sept 2015

 

YEAR: 1958

LEYAVA - Classic Winner Producing Mare

Leyava (1958 Garrison Hanover-Pollyapolis), Aus family of Lady Ajax; 2:09.6, $1,710; 2 wins; 11 foals, eight to race for seven winners and 1 qualifier. Breeder J S Sellars. All foals bred by A M Sellars.

Leyava raced briefly from four to seven winning at Roxburgh (4yo) and Winton (5yo). Placed at six and seven, she became a very successful broodmare.

Equal with Lordship for number of winners produced, Leyava's sire Garrison Hanover was imported to NZ in 1955 standing at stud for 28 years for Bill Denton having to be humanely destroyed in March 1981. His was a quality pedigree by Billy Direct from a Guy McKinney mare (Gloria Hanover) from Peter The Great mare Queenly McKinney. He was a good winner in the USA against the best horses of his day. He was sire of Garry Rowan, who sired Garry's Advice and Classic Garry who left Chandon in Australia. Leading sire for three consecutive years 1966-7 to 1968-9, Garrison Hanover was leading broodmare sire in 1982/3.

His 501 winners included Caledonian Garrison (GN Derby), Cardinal Garrison (GN & NSW Derbies, AK Cup), Dandy Briar (AK Cup), David Garrison (NZ 2yo Championship), Game Adios, Main Adios & New Law (NZ Derby), Garry Dillon (NZ Cup), Lady Nugent & Shalimar (NZ Oaks), Speedy Guest (GN Derby, Messenger), Waitaki Hanover (GN Derby, NZFFA, AK & Hunter Cups).

Garrison Hanover's broodmare sire credits included Albas Reign (NZ 2yo Championship, NZ Derby), Balcove (NZFFA, Easter Cup), Classiebawn (NZ Breeders Stakes), Harvest Gold (GN Oaks)& Hilarious Guest (refer Loyal Guest)

Dam Pollyapolis was by Indianapolis from Fortune's Favourite, a grand daughter of Miss Fortune, most prominent of Edith's foals. Pollyapolis was a six-race winner spread over four seasons (Invercargill, Wyndham, Ashburton twice, Addington & Forbury Park). Besides Leyava, Pollyapolis left Gore Cup winner Trigside; Va Vite, dam of Calton Hill (winner of the inaugural NZ 4yo Championship); granddam of Karalea (Roxburgh Cup), Glen Moira (Winton, Roxburgh & CPTC Winter Cups); third dam of Rapture (Southland Oaks), Kildonnan (Riverton, Yarra Valley & Warragul Cups)

The Australian family of Lady Ajax was founded in 1880's, the result of mating Ajax with Lady Fisher. Two of her offspring were sire Piccaninny (9 Sydney wins; sire of 46 winners; sire of the third dam of Lawn Derby) and Edith, who when exported to NZ began a very successful branch of this family through her filly Miss Fortune. Those tracing to this family include Free Hall (ID Pacing Final), Tobacco Road (NZ Derby), Radiant Fortune (WA Cup), Trevira (Easter Cup), Pacific (USA Breeders Crown), Yankee Loch (Rowe Cup, ID Trot Final), Flight South (AK Cup), Pullover Brown (VIC, NZ, & Aus Oaks, NZ Breeders Stakes), Moment In Time (AUS Oaks), Fleur De Lil (WA Oaks, Aus 3f Breeders Crown, 1:53.4AUS), Sovereignty (GN Trotting Derby, National Trot, T1:56.7) with the quickest being Montecito (1:49.2US).

Leyava's male progeny include:

Profiteer, winner of six races, the first 2 at four (Wyndham, Forbury Park). The Reefton Cup and 2 Addington wins followed plus second in the Hororata Cup at five with a final win at Addington as an 8yo. Profiteer sired five winners.

Ryal, a good Southland pacer for owner/trainer Jim Dynes, whose 9 wins were recorded from three to five. His single win at three was at Oamaru before finishing second in the Queens Birthday Stakes. At four, 7 wins with 3 at Invercargill, 1 at Wyndham and 3 at Addington (at Easter - Rattray & Plains Handicaps, NZ Autumn Stakes). His single win at five was at the NZ Cup carnival in the Canterbury Restricted FFA. Ryal was exported to North America.

Sassanach, a classy twelve-race winner before he was exported to North America. Sassenach recorded 4 wins at three. The major win was the NZ 3yo Championship at Addington. His outstanding season at 4 included the NZ Cup meeting wins in the Hayward & Churchill Hcps, CPTC Presidents Hcp before 2 heat wins at the 1971 Addington ID's (2nd in another heat but unplaced in the final). His Final 2 NZ wins were at Addington as a 5yo in the Le Lievre & Ollivier Hcps. Sassenach placed in each of the following three seasons - at 6, third in the Miracle Mile, fourth in the Ollivier Hcp; at seven, third in the Clarendon FFA and at eight, second in CPTC Presidents Hcp.

Shavande, winner of five races in Southland starting with 2 wins at three (Wyndham & Gore). Further 2 wins at Wyndham at four before his final win at five (Gore Cup). he raced for two further seasons without success before export to North America.

Stampede, winner of 11 races over four years reaching Cup class. He started with 6 wins as a 4yo (Winton, Invercargill, Hutt Park(2), Addington(2)) with a second in the Wyndham Cup and fourth in the NZ 4yo Championship. Stampede's 4 wins at five were at Forbury Park, Addington and Alexandra Park twice including ID Consolation as well as running third in the Easter Cup (Hands Down). A solitary win at six was recorded in the Ray Coupland Stakes (previously the Ollivier Hcp) during the Addington Cup carnival. At seven Stampede placed second in the Kaikoura Cup and fourth in NZFFA. The Young Charles stallion sired 51 winners (Defoe 1:53.00TT, Taylor Mile, 4yo Superstars, ID Heat; Lady Bonnie, Ashburton Cup; Stands To Reason NZSS 2c, Cardigan Bay Stakes at 2); damsire of 35 winners (Wingandaprayer, Riverton Cup; Les Lisle, Waimate, Amberley & Tuapeka Cups; Onedin Crusader, Kurow &Timaru Winter Cups; Onedin Lecacy, Invercargill Cup).

Zabadak, Stampede's half brother was an open class pacer who won on eleven occasions. A winner at three at Invercargill, where he also finished second in Futurity and third in Southland Challenge Stakes. t four, Zabadac won at Winton, Invercargill and twice at Wyndham (Wyndham Cup). At five, wins were recorded at Wyndham, Forbury Park and Addington (Pan Am Mile consolation) together with second in the Gore Cup and fourth in the Easter Cup. Zabadac's 3 wins at six included Forbury Park (beating Bonnies Chance) and a double at Addington (Firestone Junior FFA, Wee Win FFA). He finished second in the White Heron Travelodge FFA, third in ID heat and fifth in Auckland Cup. He Placed at seven and eight; second in the Winton Cup, third Pan Am Mile consolation.

Leyava's fillies included:

(My) Saligna, born in NZ, unraced dam of Silken Smooth (2 wins, 2:00.8, fastest progeny), exported to Australia, her 10 foals produced six winners from seven to race mostly for Solid Earth Pty Ltd, Queensland.

Socialite, unraced, dam of Lady Megan, granddam of Greek To Me, Tom and Grace; Susan Who, dam of Flashbang, 1:55.0, Menangle

Credit: Peter Craig writing in Harnessed Aug 2015

 

YEAR: 1958

VODKA

Vodka, winner of 11 races in the United States and holder of the NZ winning record for one mile and five furlongs, had to be destroyed recently at Saratoga Springs, USA. In a race there, Vodka suffered a badly shattered pastern.

When first campaigned in America by owner-trainer J S Shaw, Vodka won eight races, finished second twice, third once and fourth once in 17 starts. On the return of Mr Shaw to NZ, Vodka was leased to Earl Nelson, who won three more races with the Logan Derby gelding. Mr Shaw stated to the calendar that Nelson, who had grown very attached to the horse, was very upset over the loss.

Prior to the accident, Vodka had been working exceptionally well and it was thought he would win. Including his NZ winnings, Vodka has won over $34,000. Before being put into training this season in the USA, Vodka was taken to Canada, where it was thought he might not encounter so many difficulties, as that country is under the British flag. However, his career there was stopped before it ever started, as the powers that be refused to register Vodka. The reason given was that Vodka was not a standardbred. No horse is a standardbred over there unless it is completely American-bred. Vodka was registered in America as non-standard-bred.

In one race at Saratoga in which Vodka finished fifth after losing a big stretch of ground at the start, he was timed to trot the last six furlongs on a half-mile track in 1.29 1/5sec.

Vodka was a champion of scintillating brilliance when raced in the Dominion, and he made history when he crossed the Pacific Ocean to race in America. It was a gigantic undertaking and Jack Shaw did not fully realise what he had taken on till he was well on the way. A rough passage on the ship was experienced to start with and on arrival there, Vodka took some time to settle down in the new climate and different surroundings. Change of feed was also no small hurdle to surmount. However, Vodka, in the skilled hands of Shaw, eventually won out, but it was not without a grim struggle. Dollars were short and Vodka and his owner-trainer-driver were almost on their own in a strange land. Jack Shaw had previously been to the States to buy two stallions for two well-known NZ breeders and he was well received on that trip.

Vodka had always been very fast. When he was winning races in the North Island for his first trainer, J K Hughes, he already had amazing speed. He beat horses of all ages as a 3-year-old, winning four races that season. Vodka started out as a pacer - he finished fourth in the Manawatu Futurity Stakes, for 2-year-olds, to Red Slipper, Johnny Globe and Ohio and had several more starts as a pacer that season. Then he took time off from the racetrack while Hughes converted him to the trotting gait. He was an apt pupil.

At his third start as a 3-year-old he was a winner, and he took two more winning tricks in a row. He finished up that season on a tight line for a 3-year-old trotter, line 11, or marks of 3:33 for a mile and a half, 3:52 for a mile and five furlongs and 4:47 for two miles.

He opened his 4-year-old career by winning at his first start and he won two more races for Hughes that season before being sent south to Shaw, in whose colours he has raced since. As a young trotter Vodka had an ungainly action. At the outset he used to hit himself behind. Later he trotted cleanly and he did not touch himself anywhere, as his exceptional speed showed. "It used to take really half a mile before he got trotting," Shaw said. "Due to his early experience as a pacer he got confused at the start of his races and was liable to go away on the pace."

Vodka gradually overcame those disabilities and in his record-breaking winning run at Addington before leaving for America he was at full speed within a furlong; for the next half mile he put up the astonishing time of 58 2/5sec - a 1.56 4/5 mile rate. The 'hop, step and jump' method of locomotion once employed by Vodka in the early part of his races had been practically ironed out of his system by patience and careful study of his feet and shoeing and the improvement in his speed after he conquered his tendency to 'put down three and carry one' was phenomenal. It seemed certain that, given the opportunity, Vodka would have been the first two-minute trotter in NZ.

Mr Hoskings received several substantial offers for Vodka as a 3-year-old, one of £1500, but he would not sell him. J S Shaw asked him one day: "What are you going to do with him?" "When he runs out of the North Island classes I'm going to give him to you and you'll have a trotter who will take Worthy Queen's place, because some day he will be fast enough to break her record and will be the best two-mile trotter in the country as well," declared Mr Hosking.

In one race at Addington Shaw timed him the last mile and a quarter in 2:34 3-5, the last half mile in 1:00 4-5. On several occasions, after breaking at the start, he trotted the last mile and a half in 3:06 4/5 and 3:09, and on one notable occasion a middle mile in 2.00 2/5.

It is of interest to note that Vodka's pedigree was predominantly pacing. Both his sire, Logan Derby, and dam Cyone Girl, were pacers, and so were all four of his grand-parents, Globe Derby and Belle Logan (sire and dam of Logan Derby), and Tsana and Cyone (sire and dam of Cyone Girl). All too, were winners of the pacing gait. Vodka carried no fewer than three strains of the blood of Logan Pointer, a famous American-bred pacing sire who left very few trotters, although one of those was a champion in Trampfast. Vodka was by Logan Derby, a champion pacer by Globe Derby from Belle Logan, by Logan Pointer, and Vodka's dam, Cyone Girl, was got by Tsana, a little-known sire by another famous pacing sire in Jack Potts (who left only one trotting winner, Implacable), from Abyssinia, by Logan Pointer. Cyone Girl's dam Cyone, was also by Logan Pointer.

Cyone was out of Mavis Bingen, by Huia Dillon (Harold Dillon, imp-Grattanette, imp) from Belle Bingen(imp) by Bingen (famous American sire), from Bertha Belle(imp), the dam of champion pacers Great Bingen and Peter Bingen, and several other good winners, including the trotter Worthy Bingen, the sire of Worthy Queen, whose mile trotting record of 2.03 3/5 has now stood since 1934. Shaw trained and drove Worthy Queen.

-o0o-

'Irvington' writing in the NZ Trotting Calendar 1956

Vodka returned one of the finest exhibitions of trotting ever seen at Addington when he won the Holmes Handicap from the long mark of 102 yards and set a new world's winning record for one mile and five furlongs, lowering his own record by one second. He trotted one of his half-miles in 58.4 secs, probably the fastest for a trotter ever recorded in the Dominion.

Vodka began safely, and it was apparent passing the stands with a round to go that he had more than an average chance of winning. The crowd was quick to recognise this fact and he was given a good hand as he approached the showgrounds bend. The Logan Derby trotter moved forward at the three furlongs, and when the field straightened up for the run to the post he soon gathered up the leaders to win by a length and a half. The merit of his performance was fully appreciated by the crowd, who gave him and his driver, J S Shaw, a wonderful ovation on their return to the birdcage.

This was Vodka's final race appearance in New Zealand before leaving for America.

Postscript:
Vodka and Jack Shaw made light-harness history when they left for the United States at the end of February 1956, for this was the first occasion that a standardbred had been taken fron New Zealand to be raced in America.

Dave Cannan, in his book Unhoppled Heroes, notes that "There were no overnight flights to the states in those days. For Vodka and Shaw it was a 4000-mile sea voyage which lasted nearly five weeks and proved very arduous for both horse and owner."

Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 17Sep583

 

YEAR: 1958

TACTICIAN

The 12-year-old Tactician gave further evidence that he is a hard-wearing veteran when he scored his fourth win under free-for-all conditions in the Forbury Handicap on the opening day of the Forbury Park Club's summer meeting. Leading all the way, he was not asked to over-exert himself - he averaged a 2.09 mile rate - and he was not in serious danger in the run in. In spite of his years, Tactician continues to be produced in great heart by his owner-trainer, M C McTigue, and the manner in which he scored his latest success indicates that he will hold his own under free-for-all conditions for some time yet.

Tactician is one of the greatest winners to have raced in the Dominion, and has now won £25,765 in stakes, the result of 19 wins and 28 placings (including 14 seconds) in 93 starts in his nine seasons of racing. The Springfield Globe gelding had perhaps lacked the personality to become an idol of racegoers like some pacers, but he has proved a grand performer, and has beaten all the best pacers of his time - and decisively at times, too. He seems to have specialised in upsetting the champions when it was least expected. A late start in racing - he did not have his first race until well on in his 4-year-old season, in March 1950 - probably accounts for him being able to turn in winning efforts in free-for-alls at the age of 12.

Tactician scored his greatest triumph at Auckland three years ago when he won the £10,000 Inter-Dominion Grand Final. But he has not proved a really genuine two miler when the pace has been on all the way, and he had Lady Luck on his side when he won the Inter-Dominion, for Johnny Globe was badly checked by a breaking horse with five furlongs to run, and then came with a paralysing finishing run, failing by only a head to get up.
Tactician has contested 6 NZ Cups, his best effort being at his first attempt in 1952 when he finished second to Mobile Globe on a track which did not suit him. His best effort over two miles was at the Easter meeting at Addington four years ago, when he beat Maori Home in the Rattray Handicap in 4.14 3/5.

At the Easter meeting in 1954 he won the free-for-all Electric Stakes by two lengths from Johnny Globe and Soangetaha, and followed this up by beating Johnny Globe, to whom he conceded six yards, in the Au Revoir Handicap on the final day, running the mile and a quarter in the then NZ record time of 2.34 1/5. Early in the 1954-55 season Tactician egualled the NZ record of 2.52 1/4 for a mile and three furlongs in running second to Caduceus from the 60 yard mark in the All-aged Stakes at Ashburton. He also ran some grand races at the NZ Cup meeting a little later. He set the scorching pace which enabled Johnny Globe to hoist the new world figures of 4.07 3/5 in his NZ Cup win; he ran Rupee to half a length in the Ollivier Free-for-all recording 3.07 2/5 for the mile and a half; and finishing fourth to Ribands, Rupee and Johnny Globe in the NZ Pacing Championship. His time fot the mile and five furlongs was 3.23 2/5.

Three months later he won the Inter-Dominion Final at Auckland, first qualifing with a brilliant win over Laureldale and Caduceus in a mile and five furlong heat. He wound up a highly successful season by running Rupee to a neck in the free-for-all Electric Stakes at Addington in 2.36. His winnings of £8655 placed him second to Johnny Globe (£10,105) on the leading stakes winner's list for the season.

Tactician scored only one win in the 1955-56 season, and it came in typical style when he raced right away to beat Johnny Globe by four lengths over a mile and a quarter in the NZ Free-For-All on the second day of the Cup meeting at Addington. On the third he finished fourth in 3.06 to Caduceus, Rupee and Johnny Globe in the record-breaking Ollivier Free-for-all, and on the final day he ran third to Johnny Globe and Rupee in the NZ Pacing Championship in 3.25 1/5. He had only one other start at Easter at Addington that season, when Johnny Globe beat him under free-for-all conditions.

Tactician scored two brilliant wins next season, the first being at Oamaru in October when he beat Johnny Globe and Our Roger in the Hannon Memorial Handicap. He marked another highlight in his career at Addington at Easter when he downed False Step and Local Light in the Rattray Stakes, recording 1.59 4/5 for the mile from a flying start to become the first pacer outside America to break two minutes under race conditions. On the second day of the meeting he was runner-up to False Step in the Electric Stakes, a race in which he had recorded one win and three seconds in the past four years.

The veteran had not won this season before his success at Forbury Park, but he was runner-up to Lookaway in the NZ Free-For-All at the NZ Cup meeting, and finished third behind Caduceus and False Step in the NZ Pacing Championship. A glance at Tactician's time record over all distances gives some idea of his greatness - 1m, 1.59 4/5; 1¼m 2.34 1/5; 1m 3f, 2.52 1/5; 1½m, 3.06; 1m 5f, 3.23 2/5; 2m 4.14 3/5.

Tactician has been a great money-spinner for M C McTigue, who has had a long association with the light-harness sport. Not only does he own, train and drive the veteran Springfield Globe gelding, but he also bred his dam, Berengaria, who is the dam also of Impresario. Berengaria, who was foaled in 1938, was by Jack Potts from Waress, by Man O' War from Ivy Mac, by General Mac from the Wildwood mare, Manuka, a sister to Ribbonwood. Waress, who was also bred by McTigue, was a particularly smart 3-year-old, winning five races at that age. She also won four times as a 4-year-old. At the stud she proved a great success, leaving several winners, all by Jack Potts. Plunder Bar (winner of 12 races and £16,554, and twice runner-up in the NZ Cup), Indigo (winner of eight races and £6436 10s), Vimy Ridge (winner of five races and £2378) and West Point were four fully related to Berengaria which McTigue raced with notable success.

Credit: 'Stopwatch' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 5Feb58

 

YEAR: 1958

GLENROSSIE

Glenrossie, a great pacer over a lengthy period of years, died last week at the advanced age of 32 years. This Matchlight-Alice Dillon gelding was bred at Tai Tapu by the late Mr R M Morton, and was purchased as a 2-year-old by Mr J McDonald of Wellington for 80gns. He was trained throughout his career by L O Thomas, then located at Hutt Park.

Glenrossie had his first race as a 3-year-old, running unplaced, but he opened his winning account at his second attempt, scoring at Hutt Park in February of 1930. He was third in his next appearance and in his fourth and final as a juvenile he won the Wanganui Cup. The race immediately prior to the Wanganui Cup, the Eastbrook Handicap, was won by Harold Logan, then about really to commence his sensational climb to fame.

At four years Glenrossie made a rapid rise, winning six races and going into top-class company. In his final win at that age he was successful in the C F Mark Memorial at Epsom, Jewel Pointer and Mountain Dell filling the minor placings, with the also started division including Satin King, Reremai and The Abbey.

In his next season Glenrossoie maintained his form and in the main his opposition then and later included such great performers as Harold Logan, Roi L'or, Imprint, Satin King, Red Shadow, Indianapolis, Royal Silk, Dundas Boy, Pluto, Lindbergh, Logan Chief, Native Prince, Jewel Pointer and Mountain Dell - pacers who contributed richly to our light-harness history.

In the 1932 NZ Cup Glenrossie went under by two lengths to the mighty Harold Logan. Glenrossie raced for 11 seasons, retiring at 13 years. His last win was in the 1937-38 season, when as an 11-year-old he won the First Consolation Race at the Inter-Dominion championships at Addington.

A hardy performer, Glenrossie, in the words of his trainer, was "never sick, sore or sorry." He never won a race of greater value than £600 to the winner, but during his long period of racing he amassed a total of £6210 in stakes, the result of 15 wins and 27 minor placings from 132 races.

In retirement Glerossie had everything of the best and for the last 10 years he was in the care of Miss S Hutchinson of Christchurch. He was a great racehorse during a period rich in great performers.

Credit: 'Bystander' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 29Jan58

 

YEAR: 1958

Airflow & her 1951 foal Highland Air, Auckland Cup winner
AIRFLOW

Airflow, one of the best trotters in the Dominion in her period, and an outstanding success as a broodmare, had to be destroyed recently at Roydon Lodge, Yaldhurst.

Airflow was imported from the United States by the late Sir John McKenzie and commenced racing in the 1934-35 season as a 3-year-old. She had her first start in the Improver's Handicap at the New Brighton Trotting Club's autumn meeting, a race in which she finished out of a place. Her next three starts resulted in three wins; the Allenton Handicap at Ashburton, the Bayfield Handicap at Forbury Park and the Waikoura Handicap at Oamaru. She was trained for those successes by R Dunn and driven by P P Gallagher. Airflow won one more race that season and that was against the pacers in the Washdyke Handicap at the South Canterbury Hunt Club's meeting in July, and her share of the stake was £49. In all that season for her four wins, Airflow earned £344 in stake money.

As a 4-year-old Airflow started 14 times for four wins and five placings. At her first start at that age she won the Introductory Handicap at the August meeting at Addington, trotting the mile and a half journey in 3.24 2/5, and beating Mataunga by two lengths. Her other successes were gained in the Hornby Handicap at the Canterbury Park New Year meeting, the Stewards' Handicap at Ashburton and the High Class Handicap at Addington.

Airflow won only one race as a 5-year-old but she was placed five times in her other seven starts. She beat the pacers again in the Stewards' Handicap at New Brighton, included in the field being Play On, Red Flyer and Navy Blue. That was her last season on the race track and in all she raced 31 times for 9 wins, 10 placings and £1509 in stakes in a period when prize-money was at its lowest.

Airflow produced her first foal in 1938, Scottish Air. She produced foals fairly regularly up to and including 1955 and besides the winner Scottish Air she left Carlow (by Great Bingen); Aerial Scott (by U Scott), a champion trotter, one time record holder and big stake winner; Risingholme (by Dillon Hall); Slipstream (by Spencer Volo or U Scott); Red Emperor (by Light Brigade); Air Command (by Light Brigade); Highland Air (by U Scott).

Airflow was got by Guy Day from Willina Chenault, by Peter Chenault-Willina H, by The Harvester-Sis Derectum, by Directum.

Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 10Dec58

 

YEAR: 1958

BURNS NIGHT

The death was reported recently of the 1949 NZ Derby Stakes winner, Burns Night. Burns Night died suddenly on the property of his owner, the Methven trainer, G McKendry.

Burns Night, a son of U Scott and Festival, was one of the best pacers of his era and won over all distances, being outstanding over a mile and five furlongs journey.

On the third day of the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club's Easter meeting in 1953, Burns Night accomplished something unique in the annals of the light-harness sport when he created two world records in the one day. That day he won the Easter Handicap in 3.22 for the mile and five furlong journey and in the concluding event, the Au Revoir Free-for-all he paced the mile journey from a standing start in 2.02 3/5, both records. Those times have since been lowered, the first by Ribands and the second by Johnny Globe.

Burns Night was bought by McKendry for £500 when 10 days old and he won £18,020 in stakes. In all, Burns Night gained 16 wins and 25 placings, two of his wins being in free-for-alls. He may not have been an idol of the public such as Harold Logan, Highland Fling or Johnny Globe, but there is no doubting he was a grand pacer.

-o0o-

Two world's records were broken by Burns Night at Addington on Saturday, the concluding day of the NZ Metropolitan TC's Easter Meeting. He won the Easter Handicap in 3:22 for the mile and five furlongs lowering the previous record of 3:22 3-5 standing to the credit of Vedette since 1951.

Three hours later Burns Night made short work of a great field in the Au Revoir Free-For-All, his time for the mile being 2:02 3-5, a world's record from a standing start. The previous record in harness was Walla Walla's 2:04 1-5, put up in the first of the Invitation Match Races at Addington in 1934. In saddle, from a standing start, Gold Bar won in 2:03 3-5 on the same track in 1942.

Burns Night won the Easter Handicap to the accompaniment of a noisy demonstration from a section of the crowd. It appeared, however, that there was as much clapping and cheering as booing. An inquiry was held into Burns Night's previous unplaced performances at the meeting and it was decided to take no action. Burns Night was never near the fence over the last mile of the Easter Handicap, and it was a great effort on his part to come from sixth - very wide out - at the home turn and win going away by a daylight margin. Burns Night's time, 3:22, is a 2:04 2-5 mile rate, a phenominal run from an exacting handicap and over a good deal of extra ground.

The mile free-for-all was just as easy for him. Drawn in the second line, about 6 yards behind the front row, he overcame this disadvantage with a fast beginning and he was soon racing close up on the rails about the middle of the field. He had Petite Yvonne and Johnny Globe measured off at the distance, and although Vedette finished well, he had no chance with Burns Night, who won most convincingly. This time the whole crowd cheered wholeheartedly. Burns Night gave a superlative exhibition of pacing and the fact that he went at least 6 yards more than a mile adds to the merit of probably the greatest sprint race performance registered outside America - it is certainly the greatest ever recorded the world over from a standing start.

Now a 6-year-old, Burns Night was out in strong juvenile seasons; among his contemporaries at two and three years were Young Charles, Van Dieman, Soangetaha and Morano. Burns Night was the hard-luck horse of the 2-year-old classics in the 1948-49 season. He made only four appearances, being beaten by a length by Morano in the Timaru Nursery Stakes, going under by the same margin to Young Charles in the Welcome Stakes, coming second, six lengths behind Young Charles,in the Oamaru Juvenile Stakes, and trailing along a poor fourth behind Farlena, Young Charles and Van Dieman in the NZ Sapling Stakes.

But things brightened up considerably for him when he turned three. At his second start he brought off one of the big surprises of the NZ Cup carnival by defeating the hot favourite Young Charles, with Van Dieman third and Soangetaha fourth, in the NZ Derby. He gave that form some endorsement by running Morano to a neck, with Vedette third in the NZ Metropolitan Challenge Stakes a week later and decisively winning the NZ Champion Stakes at Ashburton, from Van Dieman at his next start. Van Dieman beat him narrowly in the Charles Cross Stakes at New Year, but that was no disgrace as things turned out: Van Dieman developed into a NZ Cup winner.

Burns Night, as a 4-year-old, opened the 1950-51 season with a flourish, winning at his first appearance, the Geraldine Cup. He looked a coming young stayer the day he won the Moorhouse Handicap at the Canterbury Park New Year Meeting, 1951, in the good time of 4:19 4-5 in this 4:40 class and, following a lapse of form for the next two months, he came into his own again with a slashing victory over a seasoned field in the Timaru Centennial Cup in March, 1951.

During the 1951-52 season Burns Night developed into one of the finest handicap horses in the land. He made a somewhat timid opening with his third placing behind Te Maru and Realm Again in the Heathcote Handicap at the Metropolitan August Meeting and a poor showing in hs following race at New Brighton, but at his next appearance he rang rings around Star Rosa and Palava in the Methven Cup. In successive starts at the 1951 NZ Cup Meeting he finished second to Laureldale in the Empire Handicap, won the Australasian Handicap from Adorian and Mundanity, and the Flying Mile from Adorian and Mighty Song in 2:05 2-5. His next three runs resulted in a meritorious third from 48 yards in the Boxing Day Handicap at Ashburton, in which he registered 3:10 3-5 for a mile and a half, and wins in the Canterbury Handicap and the Mason Handicap at New Year, 1952. In these latter two races he defeated such high class pacers as Van Dieman, Vedette and Parawa Derby.

Came the NZ Metropolitan TC's Easter Meeting, 1952, and Burns Night, after finishing third in the Rattray Handicap to Maori Home and Johnny Globe, proved much too good for Zulu and Maida Dillon in the Williams Handicap on the second day and, started in the Electric Stakes, of a mile and a quarter, later the same afternoon, he gained his first free-for-all success, the minor placegetters being Zulu, Vedette and Van Dieman.

This season Burns Night's form has not been easy to follow. He took some time to reach his best in the early part of the season. He had a profitable time at Forbury Park in January, finishing second in the Forbury Free-for-All to Soangetaha on the first day, and winning the principal event, the Irwin Handicap and finishing second to Johnny Globe in the Champion Free-for-All, on the second day.

He was one of five champion pacers to go to Timaru for an exhibition mile race last month, but he went very poorly indeed. Again on the first two days of the Metropolitan Easter Meeting his performances were abject in the extreme, and the public were scarcely prepared for his sharp recovery on the concluding day, hence the annoyance of some of the onlookers.

Burns Night was bought by G McKendry from his breeder, Mr N G Mason, before he raced. Burns Night has now won 15 races and £16,430 in stakes. He is a good type of brown entire by U Scott from Festival, a mare picked up on the bargain counter by Mr N G Mason, of Rangiora, who has bred Burns Night and Gay Piper from her. Mr Mason bought Festival at the late E C McDermott's dispersal sale in 1938 for a few pounds. Dunmore one of Festival's earlier foals bred by McDermott, was a good performer for McKendry as far as he went - in his first season on the racetrack his record was six wins, five thirds and three fourths in 16 starts.

Festival was a tidy stake-winner for McDermott in depression times when £100 to the winner was quite a pile of money. She began racing as a 3-year-old and won her first two starts, both at Nelson. At four she started ten times for the very creditable return of four wins and a second. She won two races and was once second in 15 starts as a 5-year-old. She was more than useful over all distances, and in training she could reel off a mile and a quarter in 2:41, which was well above average in the early 1930s. Festival was got by the American horse Sonoma Harvester, from a mare by Prince Imperial. It is one of the shortest pedigrees in the Stud Book, but the calibre of her progeny - all of her five foals that have raced have all been winners - indicates that there must have been a good deal more behind her than these meagre details suggest. She was certainly no nondescript herself, being a clean-gaited, level-headed pacer, and her two sons, Gay Piper and Burns Night, both show breeding.

Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 12Nov58

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