Our Roger, who was recently retired by his owner, Mr W A Newton, of Akaroa, had a meteoric rise to the best classes. Although he was not surrounded with the glamour of Johnny Globe, Highland Fling and Harold Logan, Our Roger was an honest and game pacer who gained his place amongst the best in the Dominion through sheer grit and determination.
Our Roger showed ability right from the start, but was considered a 'write-off' when he developed a wind affliction. He recovered quickly following an operation and soon showed his true calibre by going right through the classes to cap a fine career in November 1955 by giving a grand display to win the NZ Cup.
When the pedigree of Our Roger is studied it is not surprising that he reached dress-circle company, as he is directly descended from that grand producer, Berthabell(imp) who was imported to NZ by Mr Etienne Le Lievre in 1914. In the 1930's Mr Le Lievre gave Bertha Parrish, one of Berthabell's last foals to his son-in-law, Mr W A Newton. Mr Newton mated Bertha Parrish with Lusty Volo to produce Sea Gypsy. As a 6-year-old the unraced Sea Gypsy produced her first foal, Our Roger, to Dillon Hall.
J D Litten was entrusted with the developing and training of Our Roger and at his first start as a 3-year-old, he finished third in the Waiutu Handicap at the winter meeting of the Reefton Jockey Club in June 1951. He followed up this forward showing by winning the Lewis Pass Handicap on the second day by three lengths. That was his sole success as a 3-year-old.
As a 4-year-old in the 1951-52 season Our Roger won two races and was then put aside pending an operation for his wind. Following his operation he was spelled on his owner's property at Akaroa and on his return to racing the next season he quickly demonstrated that he had made a complete recovery by winning the Wainoni Handicap at the New Brighton Trotting Club's summer meeting in December, 1953, pacing the mile and a half journey in the smart time of 3.13 3/5. Four more successes came his way that season, including the Ritchie Handicap at Forbury Park.
Our Roger opened his winning account for the 1954-55 season when he won the President's Handicap at Forbury Park in October and he completed a nice double for the day when he was successful later in the Farewell Handicap. It was now apparent that Our Roger was headed for the best classes. He next won a qualifying heat of the Inter-Dominion Championships at Auckland in February, 1955, this being his final success for the season.
At the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club's National meeting in 1955 Our Roger won the Louisson Handicap and immediately entered calculations for the next NZ Cup. His next four starts resulted in two minor placings but his fifth appearance proved him too good from the limit, for Caduceus, Johnny Globe and Rupee in the Ashburton Flying Stakes, when he beat his stablemate Caduceus, and Johnny Globe, by a length, these two dead-heating for second place.
His next and greatest triumph was in the NZ Cup of 1955 when he outstayed such horses as Rupee, Excelsa, Thelma Globe, Caduceus, Our Kentucky and Tactician over the final half mile of a truly-run race, registering 4.12 1/5 for the two-mile journey. His Cup success was his fifteenth of Our Roger's career and his last. He retires the winner of £15,224 10s in stakes.
Our Roger was trained throughout his career by the West Melton trainer, J D Litten, but was driven to win the Cup by D C Watts. On receiving the Cup Mr Newton said: "The credit must go to Mr Litten and his stable boys and to 'Roger's' driver, Mr Watts." Mr Newton later said that he had been trying since 1924 to breed a winner of the NZ Cup and Our Roger was only the second horse he had raced.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 9Jan57
The imported stallion Sandydale, who recently met with an accident and had to be destroyed was imported to the Dominion by Mr H A Jarden in 1937 and was almost immediately passed on to Mr G Youngson.
Bred at Village Farm, Langhorne, in the United States, Sandydale was a black horse by Abbedale from Ioleen McKinney and before coming to NZ he won a number of races including the Champion Stallion Stakes and he took a record of 2.01 3/4 free-legged.
After his first season in Southland, Sandydale stood for about seven weeks in Canterbury in 1938 where he was mated with almost 30 mares. Included amongst his consorts were Slapfast, Tondeleyo, Arethusa, Tairene, Fantine and Midshipmaid. After several seasons in Southland in the ownership of Mr Youngson, Sandydale was transferred to Mr John Johnston at Oamaru in 1946 where he has done continuous service since.
Sire of almost 150 individual winners, Sandydale's greatest claims to fame as a sire are through the deeds of Captain Sandy as a racehorse and Sandfast as the dam of champion Johnny Globe. Captain Sandy was a brilliant racehorse and when considered a back number in NZ he was sold to Australia where he carried on to further successes, including the Grand Final of the Inter-Dominion Championships at Perth for the second time. Prior to that he had won two Auckland Cups and the Grand Final of the Championship series at Melbourne when still owned and trained by J Bain at Oamaru. Captain Sandy was an 'iron' horse and altogether he won 15 races and £43,712 in stakes which is the greatest total credited to a standardbred in Australia and NZ.
Apart from Captain Sandy, Navigate, Good Review (winner of the Dunedin Cup), Te Maru and General Sandy (winner of the NZ Pacing Championship at Addington last November), also graduated to Cup class. Other good winners sired by Sandydale include Heliopolis, Black Douglas, Victory Dale, Dillondale, Mistydale, Gay Dene, Rola Veyor and Invicta.
As well as siring the dam of Johnny Globe, Sandydale also sired the dams of Surfman, Lady Cook, Sandyshore and Highland Glen.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 19Jun57
The death has been reported of Logan Derby, a champion racehorse and a highly successful sire. Logan Derby was for the last year or two located at Mr J M Connolly's Orari stud. Logan Derby was 26 years old.
He was one of the most widely travelled pacers raced in NZ and Australia. He raced in every state in Australia where there was trotting, and also in Tasmania and NZ. he made several trips to Perth at a time when the means of transport were much slower than they are today.
Logan Derby, sire of the two-mile world's champion pacer, Johnny Globe 4.07 3/5 and champion trotter Vodka (3.26, 13f), combined the prepotent strains of Globe Derby and Logan Pointer, both never waning influences for speed and stamina. Logan Derby was by Globe Derby from Bell Logan, by Logan Pointer(imp) from Curfew Bell, by Wildwood(imp) from Bonnie Bell, by Lincoln Yet from an Arab mare.
Logan Derby won more than 60 races and more than £10,000 is stakes prior to 1943 when prizemoney was less than half what it is today. Logan Derby proved both a brilliant sprinter and pronounced stayer and the smoothness of his gait made him at home on both big and small tracks. His consistency and eagerness for the fray earned for him the greatest popularity in all parts of Australia and NZ. He had a mile record of 2.04 against time, averaged under 2.08 in a race of 10 furlongs, 2.09 for 12 furlongs, 2.07 1/2 for two miles, and he was a foolproof racehorse.
In NZ Logan Derby started seven times for three wins and four places. He finished third in the NZ Cup in 4.19 2/5 and in a later event was second in a tick under 4.15 after giving the winner a start of 36 yards. In the November Free-For-All, from a barrier start, he bettered a 2.08 rate for 10 furlongs in beating a field of high-class performers, including Pot Luck, Parisienne, Supertax, Harold Logan, Grand Mogul, Lucky Jack, King's Warrior and Plutus. Following this fine performance, Logan Derby won twice over two miles in 4.22 1/5 and 4.18 1/5.
At the 1936 Championships at Perth Logan Derby went right through without a single defeat, and in another visit to Perth earned Championship honours with his aggregate of points. In a mile race he did 2.05 1/2 from a barrier start, and his 2.09 rate for one mile and a half broke the previous Western Australian race record.
In 'Globe Derby's Greatness,' a book dealing with the career of Australia's phenomenal producer - Logan Derby is referred to as possessing the endurance of a camel and the heart of a lion. He was a model of docility as was his world-famous son, Johnny Globe.
Logan Derby, as the sire of Johnny Globe, Vodka, Rellek and numerous other winners in the Dominion, made his fame as a sire fairly late in life. He was only a moderate stud success in Australia, and was 16 years old when the late F J Smith, of Village Farm, Auckland, bought him fron Mr J P Stratton, Perth, in 1946. Johnny Globe, Vodka and Rellek all came fron Logan Derby's first NZ crop. Logan Derby sired 44 individual winners during his stud career.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 10Jul57
ADIO STAR - Classic Winner Producing Mare
Johnny Globe, the personality pacer of the Dominion over a long period, ran his last race when he finished fourth to General Sandy, Caduceus and Brahman in the NZ Pacing Championship at the Summer meeting of the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club. This dapper little pacing gentleman made his final bow to the public when he was paraded at the New Brighton Trotting Club's on Saturday, December 1st, and he will spend the rest of his days at the stud on the property of his owner, D G Nyhan, at Templeton.
Johnny Globe retires the holder of four world records, winner of 15 free-for-alls and £42,887/10/- in stakes, the result of 34 wins and 45 places. This is the largest amount credited to any horse - galloper or pacer - won solely in New Zealand. His winnings are exceeded only by Captain Sandy, who won £43,712 in New Zealand and Australia.
Like many other champions before him Johnny Globe was sold over the bargain counter. Read in his own words how his owner-trainer-driver D G (Don) Nyhan, came to buy him: "I went over to see Mr F E Ward, of Pahiatua, before he went to England in 1948, and while there he said: 'Make me an offer for that 10-month-old colt by Logan Derby-Sandfast.' He had to be sold before he sailed and my wife offered him £50, which he accepted. The colt was very small and didn't look much of a buy at the time, as he was a late December foal and was very backward."
"I broke him in and he started to do better and look more like a colt should. After a consultation my wife and I decided to put him in the Yearling Sales at Christchurch, thinking we might show a fair profiton our buy, so he was entered; but in the meantime we went on working him, and in January (he was only actually 13 months old) he ran half a mile in 1:06 on a rough grass galloping track at Ashhurst. Needless to say, we knew we had something extra good, and withdrew him from the sales. He was then spelled and we shifted to the South Island in August, 1949."
"After winning the Timaru Nursery Stakes (his first start as a two-year-old) he was affected with his feet and, although he raced well, he was never at his best, as he was continually sore; a lot of credit goes to my wife for curing his soreness, for she spent hours a day with his feet in hot water. Of course," concluded Nyhan, "Johnny is the family pet; in fact he has always been looked on as one of the family."
Debonair Johnny! He was always that way, right through his career, extending over eight seasons. His record as a four-year-old has never been equalled, let alone bettered. During that season, 1951-52, he was the leading stake-winner with £9360. He won won eight races besides finishing a very close second to Van Dieman in the NZ Cup, and he was the first four-year-old to start in the premier event for many years; it is an extreme rarity, even today, for a four-year-old to qualify, let alone go close to winning it.
Addington was the scene of Johnny Globe's greatest triumphs, 13 of his wins being gained there. His greatest performance was undoubtedly his success in the record-breaking Cup of 1954. This event was a supreme test of speed and stamina and the time recorded by Johnny Globe, 4:07.6, shattered all previous times for the race and set new world pacing figures for a race and out of a race. Johnny Globe's 15 free-for-alls is the greatest number credited to any horse in the Dominion, his nearest rival in this department being Gold Bar, with six. Other world records held by Johnny Globe are: A mile against time on the grass at Epsom in 1:59.8; a mile from a standing start in a race in 2:01.2, and a mile and three furlongs in a race in 2:50.2. Johnny Globe also holds the New Zealand mile and a quarter record for a three-year-old, 2:37.6.
After his success in the New Zealand Cup of 1954, few opportunities in handicapping events were left for Johnny Globe, and his racing was restricted to free-for-alls and sprint events. He started at the Inter-Dominion Championships at Auckland in 1955. He was sent out a firm favourite in the Grand Final, but after receiving a check, found Tactician a shade too good over the final furlong.
There is no parallel to Johnny Globe's career in light-harness history. This grand little stayer and sprinter bore many of the characteristics of the previous public idol in Harold Logan. The Johnny Globes and Harold Logans are far too few in our sport, and Johnny's retirement - which has been well earned - leaves a void which may not be filled for some time.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in the NZ Trotting Calendar
Gold Bar, 1:59.6, a champion pacer up till 1946, died at the property of his owner, A Holmes, Yaldhurst in November 1956.
Gold Bar was the greatest individualist ever to wear harness in this country. It was all or nothing with him. He was a horse who strongly resented anything savouring of a "perfect trail." He loved the wide open spaces, and he annihilated many cherished conceptions of rating, pacemaking and driving tactics. Once he reached maturity, there was scarcely a dull moment in any race he contested. Never before in the history of trotting had we seen a horse capable of running the first half-mile, even the first mile and a half, at a speed that would win 99 races out of 100, and carry on to win over two miles.
It was uncanny. Uncanny because mere flesh and blood had never achieved anything like that before; because all staying conventions were throw to the four winds by this machine-like marvel, this pacing Pegasus who left trail upon trail of burnt out carcases in his wake. From barrier-rise Allan Holmes put the trottle hard down on Gold Bar, who responded like Sir Malcolm Campbell's Bluebird. In a matter of seconds they would be away out in front, 50-80 yards, half a furlong clear of anything else. Far from spoiling a race, disorganising a field, or some other uncharitable comment, Gold Bar's lone flights, particularly in Addington's big races, charged the public pulse with an electric anticipation that made him the glamour horse of his day.
Gold Bar first contested the New Zealand Cup in 1941. Until 1945 they caught him every time, but except in 1944, when he burst a blood vessel a long way from the finish, he still beat more than beat him, and in 1945 came his big moment, his greatest triumph: the only horse who so much as saw the way he went in the first £7500 Cup was Integrity. Gold Bar's "scorched earth" tactics proved the funeral pyre of many great pacers generally regarded as "truer" stayers than Gold Bar. Until the 1945 New Zealand Cup the jet-propelled pacemaker had invariably come back to his field, but that year those who sat and waited filed past the post looking for all the world like the remnants of a turtle Derby! Never had the defeat of a Cup field been encompassed with such complete disregard for staying technique, if there is any such thing. And if there ever existed any rules about how big two-mile races should be run, Gold Bar broke the lot of them. He drew up a new set of his own - total warfare from flagfall to finishing post.
There were all sorts of windy perorations about Gold Bar's ruining the Cup as a spectacle. We would have none of this. Many of the same people who later called upon Gold Bar and Allan Holmes to adopt more "reasonable" tactics were just as loud (before Gold Bar put in his appearance) in their condemnation of the crawling pace adopted by pacemakers in big races. You can't have it both ways, and Gold Bar's way was "As You Like It" with the Addington public. Gold Bar's way left no room for the tattered excuse on the part of other drivers that the "got hemmed in" or "met with interference" in a close running field. And the old bogy of club executives of the premier events deteriorating into half-mile sprints was effectively disposed of as long as Gold Bar was on the premises; the sorry spectacle of one horse slowing the field to a jog until all those in attendance were literally climbing over one another and playing hide and seek on the turns was put to rout when Gold Bar was in full cry. The rest had no alternative but to go in pursuit or finish up in a state of total eclipse.
Perhaps all this about Gold Bar has left you with the impression that such a horse, always in a desperate hurry, would naturally be a highly-strung temperamental bloke. Nothing of the kind. He was a docile, beautiful-natured stallion, with a head full of brains. In his yard at home he was as quite as an old sheep, and children could handle him or go into his box with perfect safety.
Gold Bar was retired in 1946, with records of 1:59.6 for a mile, 2:35 for a mile and a quarter, 3:27 for a mile and five furlongs, and 4:14.6 for two miles. He raced from two years (finishing third in the Timaru Nursery Stakes in his only appearance that season), to 11 years, winning 22 races, including six free-for-alls. His stake-winnings amounted to £12,968/10/-. He was by Grattan Loyal (imp) from the Rey de Oro mare Imperial Gold.
At stud Gold Bar's best winners have been Brahman (whose 2:02.2 against time as a two-year-old is likely to stand for some time as the New Zealand and Austalian record), Local Gold, Worthy Gold, Daisy Gold, Congo Song, Bronze Gold, Daisy Bar, Petty Officer, Gold Change, Flagship, Midday, Merry Gold, Regal Gold and Bartender.
'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 12June46
Gold Bar is the most sensational racehorse-sire of modern times, if not of all time in the Dominion.
In the same season that he won the NZ Cup and £5922 in stakes, his son Worthy Gold, has earned £2680, and his daughter, Local Gold, champion 3-year-old filly of the season has won £2585. If any reader knows of a parallel case to this, of a sire and two of his progeny getting into the four-figure class in the same season, the Caledar would be pleased to hear about it.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 14 Nov 56
Wearing her 21 years well the famous broodmare Queen Ayesha poses with her latest foal, a colt by U Scott. This long legged fellow is a full brother to that great pair Highland Fling and Highland Kilt.
Whether he will emulate their deeds on the racetrack remains to be seen but suffice it is to say that his initial appearance, probably in more than two years time, will create much interest.
Queen Ayesha, bred in the purple, is by the imported Frank Worthy from a great-grand-daughter of the staying sire Wildwood junior, a double NZ Cup winner. This Wildwood stallion was a full brother to the unbeaten Willowwood, being from the great foundation mare Thelma.
Highland Fling was undoubtedly the best horse to come from the Thelma family which boasts a host of classic winners including Author Dillon, Onyx, Nelson Eddy, Pacing Power and Centennial Hall.
Credit: NZ Hoof Beats V10 No5
Ribands, in becoming the world's champion pacer over one mile and five furlongs with his record of 3.21 3/5 in winning by a wide margin the NZ Pacing Championship ar Addington on Saturday, paralysed his opposition and left struggling in his wake two other world's record holders in Rupee and Johnny Globe.
No excuses could be made for Rupee, who was skilfully driven by D Townley and went a brilliant and gallant race, and although Johnny Globe had obviously lost some of his fire and was checked in the early stages, he, too, might have met the same fate as Rupee if all things could have been equal. After all, it is no disparagement of any horse to give Ribands full credit for a performance that brought considerable weight to claims of Australian - and a sprinkling of NZ - admirers of Ribands that he is as fast as any pacer in the world today. And nothing but a world beater could reduce a field like Saturday's to minus quantities as Ribands did.
Ribands was allowed to stand at least a length back from the barrier at the start, which must have given him an advantage, because in his earlier races at the meeting he did not go away when required to line up on terms with other horses on his marks. Laureldale, from No 12 position at the barrier, raced across to take charge before a furlong had been covered, and at this stage he was closely attended by Zulu, Our Roger and Rupee, and Johnny Globe and Ribands were not far away.
Zulu broke with about two and a half furlongs covered, and Johnny Globe was among those checked. Ribands had to be swung out to escape serious trouble, and with a mile to go Laureldale was about three-quarters of a length clear of Rupee, with Our Roger and Petite Yvonne next, and Ribands moving up.
It was with half a mile to go that Ribands was sent around the outer with a burst of speed that had everything in difficulties within a furlong. It was not a case of catching anything unawares, either, because D Townley on Rupee obviously anticipated the onslaught of Ribands and was busy on his charge before Ribands actually passed him; but Rupee met more than his match on this occasion, and Ribands streaked clean away from him. Nothing ever looked like gaining on Ribands in the race home: Rupee could get no closer than four lengths to him, and Johnny Globe was three lengths behind Rupee, with Tactician a fair fourth. No more devastating run has ever been seen at Addington, and no victory could be more complete than Ribands's rout of some of the greatest pacers NZ has been able to breed.
There is no doubt that the presence of Ribands at the NZ Cup carnival made a big contribution to a very successful meeting - both sporting and financial - for the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club. It was one of the Club's best meetings for some years, and it was a fitting climax that Mr and Mrs F P Kelloway should see their grand pacer's reputation so thoroughly vindicated, and their own confidence in their champion's ability to win in any company so roundly justified.
The Addington crowd gave Ribands a splendid reception. Cheering broke out long before Ribands reached the winning post, it increased in volume as the horse returned to the birdcage, and was renewed when the world's record was announced. It was obvious that losers and winners alike joined in the clapping and cheering, and Mr and Mrs Kelloway said they were very thrilled by the way the win had been received by the public, the officials of the club, and other trainers and drivers, in the race and out of it.
Occupying a pedestal in public acclaim in Australia to the same degree as Johnny Globe does in the Dominion, Ribands came to NZ Cup discussions when he paced the last half-mile of an exhibition run at Hutt Park a few days after his arrival from Sydney in 58 3/5sec. A very successful ex-trainer who saw that run declared without any reservations that Ribands was the fastest horse he had ever seen. Unfortunately Ribands broke badly at the start of the Cup, but he revealed a champion's calibre when he finished second in the NZ Free-For-All.
In the Cup and the second day Free-For-All Ribands was driven by J D Watts, who flew from Sydney to drive him. Watts had to return to Sydney before the third day, and M Holmes was Riband's driver in his next two races. Holmes needs no testimonials as a horseman: could there be a better one in any part of the world? Holmes certainly worked a revolutionary change in Ribands's starting manners in a couple of short weeks - there must have been some heavy homework between the pair of them between the pair of them between race days!
Mr and Mrs Kelloway and the horse's trainer, C J Muddle, all paid glowing tributes to Holmes's driving of Ribands. Mr Kelloway declared that Ribands made a better beginning on Saturday than ever before in his life, and Muddle acknowledged Holmes "is in world class as a driver." Muddle said Ribands was "really fit" on Saturday. in his previous races at Addington he had not been just right, and he had told Holmes before Saturday's race "not to be frightened to use him if he jumps away with the others - he is the equal of any of them." After the race Muddle, who took Ribands's success with remarkable nonchalance, struck a kindred spirit in Maurice Holmes. Muddle remarked to Holmes when the horse returned to the birdcage: "A pretty fair sort?" Holmes, who is renowned for a combination of wit and understatement, no matter how important the occasion, replied: "Might be alright!"
It is to be hoped that Ribands will be given the opportunity of attacking Highland Fling's mile record of 1.57 4/5 before his return to Australia. He should succeed, because he registered 1.58 7/10 on the half-mile Harold Park track at Sydney, and his connections are certain he has improved since then; and he is nearly a year older now - he is six, and may be just reaching his prime.
Present intentions are that Ribands will be eased in his training and perhaps race at Auckland at Christmas time - there may be some keen competition between the north and the south over this, because it would be a great attraction if the Canterbury Park Club could persuade Mr and Mrs Kelloway to send Ribands against the mile record at it's New Year Meeting. Ribands is no stranger to grass tracks. Mr Kelloway stated on Saturday that Ribands had raced only twice on grass tracks in Australia: his winning margin the first time was 12 lengths and the second time 15 lengths. So Ribands will be in his element at Epsom, whether he races there in December, whether he does not go there until the Championships come round in February, or undertakes both.
Mr and Mrs Kelloway bought Ribands as a young, unraced colt for £1000, and he has won more than £26,000 in stakes. He will win much more if he continues to begin as well as he did on Saturday. Muddle says that apart from his uncertainty at the barrier, due to nervousness, Ribands is "the perfect horse to train." Muddle took over the training of Ribands about a month before he came to NZ.
Ribands's breeding suggests that "you can't get too much of a good thing." He is by Lawn Derby (grandson of Globe Derby), from Marie Walla, by Walla Walla (by Globe Derby, and Marie Walla's dam was an unnamed Globe Derby mare. The Globe Derby tribe may yet be destined to dazzle other race crowds in the home of its ancestors - the United States, where Owyhee, grandsire of Globe Derby, was bred by John F Boyd, of Danville, California, in 1894, and imported to Werribee, Victoria, by D Taylor. Owyhee sired Mambrino Derby, the sire of Globe Derby, among whose innumerable distinctions are that his son, Robert Derby, sired Lawn Derby, 1.59 2/5, the first two-minute horse outside America; that Lawn Derby sired Avian Derby, 2.00, the first two-minute horse in Australia, and also Avian Derby's successor as the Australian mile record holder, Ribands, 1.58 7/10; that Lawn Derby is the only sire in NZ and Australia with more than one horse on the two-minute list; that four of the only seven horses in the two-minute list in the Antipodes are of the Globe Derby male line (the other not already mentioned is Johnny Globe, 1.59 4/5); and that two outright world's pacing records belong to the breed - Johnny Globe's 4.07 3/5 for two miles and Ribands's 3.21 3/5 for a mile and five furlongs, besides Johnny Globe's mile in 2.01 1/5, a world's record from a standing start, and the same horse's 2.33 3/5 for a mile and a quarter, also a world's record from a standing start.
And interest in America in the 'Globe' family - mares as well as sires - is already keen, and the prediction can safely be made that selected representatives of the breed will be going to the United States before very long. The Globe Derby saga of greatness began with himself. He was an out-and-out champion pacer on Australian tracks, and in training he could reel off half-miles in sensational time for his day. His grandson, Lawn Derby, made history in Australia and New Zealand; Globe Derby's son, Walla Walla, was an iron horse who came here late in life and paced an historic mile when he defeated the best horses NZ could muster in 1934 (Harold Logan, Red Shadow and Roi l'Or among them) in the first of an Invitation Match series at Addington, his time, 2.04 1/5, surviving as the world's record from a standing start for 19 years.
The rest of the serial is well known - we say serial advisedly, because there is no apparent end yet to the deeds of this line of succession of champions, of whom Ribands and Johnny Globe are the present incomparable banner-bearers.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 1Dec54
In 1954, Johnny Globe was a 7-year-old and making his fourth attempt at the New Zealand Cup. He had been a good and close second to Van Dieman as a 4-year-old; sensationally collapsed the following year when a hot favourite, and second from 60 yards to Adorian the year before.
He was off 48 yards this time, but such was the quality of the field before him, Johnny Globe was only given a sentimental chance of winning, particularly as Rupee was among those off the front. The record of first starters during the first half century of the Cup was overwhelming and Rupee was among those along with the tough and in-form Denbry and the Australian champion Ribands, who would be handled by Sydney's Jack Watts from 18 yards for trainer Charlie Muddle.
The stellar field also included previous winners Adorian and Mobile Globe and subsequent winner Our Roger along with Soangetaha, Tactician, Vedette and an evergreen and notoriously unsound 8-year-old Young Charles. But Rupee dominated the discussions and 'Ribbonwood' summed it up in the NZ Trotting Calendar a week earlier..."With the possible exception of Indianapolis and Highland Fling, no pacer has arrived in Cup class with more convincing credentials than those held by Rupee." A 5-year-old horse by the NZ Derby winner Gold Chief and bred from a line of unnamed mares by Ashburton's Jack Grice, Rupee had won 10 of 12 starts going into the Cup and been most unlucky to have been beaten in the other two.
His unbeaten run had been ended the previous Easter at Addington, going down by half a head to Excelsa after being three-wide without cover for the last mile and pushed four and five-wide on the home turn. At the traditional Cup lead-up meeting in August, Rupee had made his Cup class rivals "look like hacks" in the Louisson, although Johnny Globe gave him a 60-yard start and was third, beaten less than three lengths. In the National Handicap however, Ruree and Doody Townley ran into a "copper-fastened pocket" and didn't get clear until the race was over, finishing third to Denbry and Our Roger with Young Charles fourth from 24 yards. The New Zealand Cup would be his next race.
Wrote Ribbonwood..."Rupee is a perfect beginner, as smooth a mover in the thick of a race or anywhere else for that matter as we have seen, nothing upsets him, and with any sort of run his dazzling brilliance should carry him through."
Rupee was selected to beat Ribands, who came to New Zealand with a record of 1:58.7 at Harold Park, which was only a fraction outside the world record of 1:58 3/5 for a half-mile track set by Hi Lo's Forbes in America the previous year, and proven two-miler Denbry, a son of 1941 Cup winner Josedale Grattan and a close relation maternally to the 1953 winner, Adorian.
The pre-race hype was about the height of Rupee's career however. He was unsound and raced just once more that season, beating Tactician in the Electric Stakes at Addington over Easter, and while he won fresh-up in the next two seasons, that was about all.
Rupee had been the hottest favourite on record in the Cup, carrying £4719 to win on-course compared to £1783 for the public's second elect, but sentimental favourite Johnny Globe. But when the dust had settled, Johnny Globe's win had been the most popular ever witnessed at Addington, surpassing the scenes when the grand old trotter Monte Carlo won the first Cup in 1904. Roll upon roll of cheering broke out some time before he reached the winning post and continued as he returned to the birdcage. Hundreds of people swarmed over the rails from the inside of the track and massed along the bircage fence to pay homage to the most idolised horse in light-harness history.
Wrote Ribbonwood..."World's record pacing figures of 4:07 3/5 were returned by the indomitable dynamo of character and courage, Johnny Globe, in wrestling New Zealand Cup honours from Young Charles and Rupee after the most scorching and thrilling stayers' epic in harness racing the world over. And his trainer/driver, D G Nyhan, richly deserved all the compliments and congratulations showered upon him. Nyhan had come in for some trenchant criticism of his driving of Johnny Globe in some of his past races. Whether it was all merited is of no moment now. On Tuesday, Don's handling of 'Johnny' was in every sense a masterpiece: the perfect understanding and harmony between horse and driver was an inspiration."
To put Johnny Globe's performance in perspective, the world record had belonged to Highland Fling at 4:10 3/5, an adjusted time from 60 yards, meaning the pace off the front in 1948 had been around 4:16. That time bettered Haughty's race and world record of 4:13 2/5, achieved in 1943 from 36 yards. The gross time in 1954 was 4:11 3/5, from which four seconds was deducted for Johnny Globe's 48-yard handicap.
Johnny Globe actually took six seconds to make up his handicap and was timed post-to-post in the "incredible" time of 4:05 3/5 - the fastest two miles ever recorded at that time was Greyhound's time-trial of 4:06 at the Indianapolis 'speedway' in 1939, when two-mile races for pacers and trotters were not actually uncommon in North America. Johnny Globe's time of 4:07 3/5 would remain the New Zealand Cup record for 26 years, until Hands Down recorded 4:07.2 in 1980, and the national two-mile record until metrics were introduced and then Young Quinn paced 4:06.7 for 3200m during the 1975 Inter-Dominions in Auckland.
Denbry and Ribands broke badly at the start and were soon out of it, while Rupee also tangled away, but soon recovered and took up the running from Star Rosa after half a mile, followed by Tactician, Young Charles, Our Roger, Laureldale, Petite Yvonne, Soangetaha, Thelma Globe, Adorian, Au Revoir and Johnny Globe. Tactician then took over down the back to maintain the pace and positions remained the same until Johnny Globe commenced a three-wide run with a lap to go.
He was sixth and wide at the half and fourth into line as Tactician swung for home from Young Charles and Rupee on the fence. Tactician soon caved in and Young Charles took over and momentarily looked like winning, as Rupee was denied a gap and had to swing to the outside of Johnny Globe. It made no difference though - Johnny Globe would not be denied and won by half a length over the brave Young Charles, with Rupee finishing on for third a half a length away, perhaps a little unlucky but having had his chance all the same, with a space back to Our Roger and the rest filing in with some difficulty. All the honours were however with Johnny Globe, who was decorated with a garland of flowers and paraded down the straight before "hundreds of his enthusiastic admirers who flocked round him, clapping and cheering him on his way."
"Not even in the United States, the acknowledged home and stronghold of the harness racehorse, has there ever been a distance race to compare with the sizzling marathon so bravely sealed by the dapper little personality horse from Templeton," wrote Ribbonwood.
Johnny Globe was by little Logan Derby, a champion son of Globe Derby, and he was his third consecutive grandson to score, following Springfield Globe's sons Mobile Globe and Adorian. He was from Sandfast, by Sandydale from the American pacing mare Slapfast, a yearling record-holder imported by Sir John McKenzie. Slapfast had been sent up for auction at Tattersalls in 1935 and brought only 12gns. She was eventually passed on to F E Ward of Pahiatua, who bred Sandfast and Johnny Globe.
Nyhan bought Johnny Globe as a 10-month-old colt for £50, and the Cup was his 26th win and took his earnings to £32,395 and close to Highland Fling's record of £32,920. Johnny Globe was far from finished though of course. Three-days later he toyed with the same field in the NZ Free-For-All, racing clear of Ribands, Laureldale, Petite Yvonne and Au Revoir, who finished almost in line but some distance from Johnny Globe. His 2:33 3/5 for the mile and a half from a stand broke his own national record of 2:34 and was one of just six such records he held at that point in time.
Later that season, Johnny Globe was a desperately unlucky second in the Inter-Dominion in Auckland, beaten a head by Tactician from the back mark of 48 yards. A star 4-year-old in Caduceus and Doug Watts had taken the field through the first mile and a half in a pedestrian 3:20 3/5, and Tactician's time of 4:19 3/5 from 18 yards reflected what had merely been a sprint for home. Johnny Globe, back on the fence at the half and checked by the galloping Our Roger soon after, went very wide for a run on the home turn and almost overcame the herculean task before him.
Johnny Globe would retire as a 9-year-old as the winner of 34 races (including a record 15 Free-For-Alls) from 99 starts and £42,887, a record for a standardbred of thoroughbred raced solely in New Zealand and only exceeded marginally by Captain Sandy. And he would sire from his first crop for the Nyhans the two-time New Zealand Cup winner and champion, Lordship, who would be the horse to rewrite most of his achievements and records.
Credit: Frank Marrion writing in HRWeekly 8Jun06