YEAR: 1951


Plunder Bar, winner of 16,554 in stakes, and twice runner-up in the NZ Cup, has been retired by his owner-trainer, M C McTigue. Foaled in 1940, Plunder Bar has compiled an excellent record and he is one of the best stake-winners of recent years. He raced for nine seasons.

Plunder Bar commenced racing as a 2-year-old in the 1942-3 season and after four unplaced performances he ran second in the NZ Sapling Stakes, going under by a neck to Acropolis. The following term he started five times, running third in the Wellington Stakes, second in the Riccarton Stakes and fourth in the NZ Derby, won that year by Bonny Bridge. Plunder Bar throughout his career as a 4-year-old started 13 times for seven minor placings, including three seconds, and in his first six outings during the 1945-6 season he was four times second and once third. Plunder Bar was not destined to win a maiden race, his first success being registered in the Forbury Handicap, a 3.33 class race of one mile and a half, at Dunedin, when he won from 24yds behind in a big field. He continued to show to marked advantage and he completed the 1945-6 season with four wins and seven placings in 14 starts.

In the following term Plunder Bar maintained his progress towards the best classes, winning four races and running unplaced six times in 15 outings. His most important win to this stage was in the Smithson Handicap, of two miles, at Addington, in which Dundee Sandy and In The Mood finished second and third respectively from a strong field.

Plunder Bar won his way to NZ Cup company in August of 1947 when he won the National Handicap of two miles. He started from 24yds behind and covered the distance in 4.17 4/5 to beat Aberhall and Cameronian. However, sent out 2/2 in the betting, he failed badly in the NZ Cup, won that year for the first time by Highland Fling. Plunder Bar's only other win in that season came to him in the Final Handicap at New Brighton, but he also gained five minor placings during that period.

In 1948, after a third placing in the Louisson Handicap, won by Sprayman from Ingle Belmer, Plunder Bar made a second attempt on NZ Cup honours, and on this occasion he registered a notable contribution to light-harness history by carrying the field along at a solid pace, forcing the brilliant Highland Fling to return 4.10 3/5 - a world's pacing record for two miles - to beat him home. At a later meeting the same season Highland Fling again beat Plunder Bar at Addington, in the Canterbury Handicap, but Plunder Bar turned the tables on Highland Fling when on a heavy track he won the Mason Handicap, of one mile and five furlongs. At the same meeting, Canterbury Park, Plunder Bar also won the principal sprint event, the Farewell Handicap, from Checkmate and Globe Direct.

Last season, Plunder Bar started nine times, including an unplaced performance in the NZ Cup, and his only placings at that period came in the Au Revoir Handicap, in which he was second, and in the Auckland Cup when he finished third behind Captain Sandy and Dundee Sandy. This season Plunder Bar has been in action on 10 occasions. He has not been a winner, but he was again second in the NZ Cup. In this event he was prominent early and he took over the role of pacemaker with little more than a mile still to go. However, he found Chamfer his master and he was beaten by three lengths, Single Direct and Lady Averil being third and fourth.

Throughout a career extending over nine seasons, Plunder Bar started in 95 races, winning 12 and being placed on 37 occasions, to work his way to marks of 2.08, 2.42, 3.12, 3.29 and 4.19 over the various distances. His best times were 4.15 4/5 for two miles, 3.28 for one mile and five furlongs, and 2.39 for one mile and a quarter.

Plunder Bar, bred by his owner, is by Jack Potts from Waress, by Man o' War from Ivy Mac, by General Mac from Manuka, a full-sister to the famous Ribbonwood. This family has produced a number of winners, and Waress is also the dam of Vimy Ridge, Indigo, and West Point, all winning Jack Potts progeny, but Plunder Bar is easily the best of this line.

Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 20Jun51


YEAR: 1951


Pearldchild was one of the greatest producers in the stud book. 10 of her 12 foals being winners, viz, Childe Pointer, Verey Light, Sea Pearl, Nantwich, Cornelian, First Wrack, Flying Cloud, Ciro, Vanity Fair and Casanova.

Pearlchild, foaled in 1908, was by Rothschild from the Vancleve mare Verity, who came from New South Wales. Pearlchild was a high-class pacer in the colours of Mr H F Nicoll, for whom she was trained by A Pringle. She won her only two starts as a 3-year-old, and in later seasons won the Metropolitan August Handicap and National Cup.

At the stud she was an immediate success. Her first foal, Childe Pointer, by Logan Pointer, won the NZ Sapling Stakes and NZ Derby Stakes and trained on to win important handicap races. Pearlchild's fourth foal Sea Pearl (by Nelson Bingen)also went through to good handicap class. Nantwich, full-sister to Sea Pearl, won the NZ Sapling Stakes, Great Northern Derby and other races.

Pearlchild's eighth foal was First Wrack, a champion 2-year-old trotting filly. She finished third in a maiden race at Ashburton at that tender age and although beaten by Koro Peter, another great 2-year-old trotter, in a special match race at Auckland, she acquitted herself well. J S Shaw, who drove Koro Peter in that match race, which created Dominion-wide interest, held a very high opinion of First Wrack. In speaking of the match race between these good youngsters he said: "These 2-year-olds were the only troters of their age to have shown any form for many years. In fact, it is the exception rather than the rule, even up to the present day, for a 2-year-old trotter to race, let alone perform with any degree of success."

The match race, run over a mile and a quarter, took place in June, 1928. Shaw relates: "It was a terrible day. The going was fetlock deep in slush, and the two horses had to frighten thousands of seagulls off the track as they went along. These birds frightened First Wrack more than they did Koro Peter, and Koro Peter managed to win after a great struggle all the way up the straight. After the match Koro Peter was sold to Mr G McMillan for 1000 and entered R B Berry's stable, from which he had a lot of success. First Wrack also reached the top flight of trotters."

Ciro, a full-brother to First Wrack, was a NZ Derby winner, and Casanova, a brilliant though erratic pacer, ranking as a full-brother to First Wrack, has sired a number of winners, including the top-class trotter in Casabianca.

Nicoya, a son of Wrack and the unraced Pearl Pointer (Logan Pointer-Pearlchild), was one of the greatest bargains in the history of the sport. An un-gainly youngster, he was described by a trainer at the ringside as a big, soft-legged, carty type who "might be useful in the harrows." The great majority who saw him sold evidently subscribed to this opinion, because Nicoya was knocked down to a West Coast sportsman at 4gns. When he eventually came into the ownership of Mr J Manera, and was handed over to L F Berkett to train, Nocoya became a star among our best handicap trotters, and finished up by beating Huon Voyage in the Champion Handicap, one mile and a half. The 4 quinea cast-off was one of the greatest trotters produced in this country. It is certain that the best of him was never seen.

Kempton, who was by Nelson Bingen from Pearl Pointer, was one of the best trotters of his day. Owned by Mrs E A Berryman and trained by C S Donald, he won in the best trotting company, his successes include the Rowe Cup and Metropolitan Stewards' Handicap.

White Satin, a full-sister to Nicoya, was trained by the late R B Berry to become the champion 3-year-old trotting filly of her day, and her mile and a half record stood for some years. She also reached the top flight of trotters, in the comparatively short span of two seasons, as she was retired as a 5-year-old, being a winner at her last start. She went to Australia where she has been a big success at the stud.

Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar16May51


YEAR: 1951


Wrackler, the only horse to win the NZ Trotting Cup and the Dominion Handicap, the principal events for pacers and trotters in NZ and one of the greatest double-gaited performers the world over, had to be destroyed at Ashburton last week because of a injury. He was 27-years-old.

The champion double-gaited horse of all time in the Dominion, Wrackler recorded many outstanding performances which made him a firm favourite with racegoers 20 years ago. He showed early signs of his ability, and as a 2-year-old in the 1927-8 season he raced twice, finishing third in open novice company and third in the NZ Sapling Stakes, in which he was not as his best.

Wrackler soon opened his winning record as a 3-year-old. In that season he won the Great Northern Derby and the NZ Derby. He won the NZ Trotting Gold Cup at Hutt Park as a 4-year-old, and in 1930 he won the NZ Trotting Cup. Wrackler started from 12yds in the second division and won by two lengths from Jewel Pointer, with Logan Chief third. He won the final more easily, finishing four lengths ahead of Arthur Jinks. Wrackler's owner, Mr H F Nicoll, had another notable success that day, Arethusa, the Cup winner's sister, winning the Derby.

In 1931 Wrackler ran third to Harold Logan (48yds) and Kingcraft (scr) in the final of the NZ Trotting Cup after finishing second to Free Advice in the second division. He started from 36yds. Soon afterwards he was converted to the trotting gait.

Wrackler won the Dominion Handicap from 60yds in 1932, and at that same meeting he recorded 4.23 2/5 for two miles when he started off 120yds and finished second to Todd Lonzia (36yds) in the Sockburn Handicap. It was madnificent trotting. Another of his notable achievements as a trotter was to beat a strong field of pacers over two miles in the Owners' and Breeders' Handicap at Addington in 1932. The runner-up was Sir Guy, one of the best pacers of his time. Though he trotted a mile and a half in the splendid time of 3.15 4/5 (an Australasian record at the time), he was unable to win the Middleton Handicap from 84yds, Arcotis (12yds) keeping clear of his challenge.

Later in the season Wrackler won the Champion Trotters' Match Race, over a mile and a half, from a flying start, at Addington. He was followed home by Olive Nelson and Todd Lonzia. Until he reached marks from which his tasks were hopeless, Wrackler continued to be an outstanding performer at trotting meetings in those days. At Addington one day he won as a trotter and then reappeared to fill a place as a pacer. Performances such as those at the centre of NZ trotting firmly established the Wrack gelding as the greatest double-gaiter NZ has seen.

The dam of Wrackler was Trix Pointer, the NZ Trotting Cup winner of 1919. D Warren was Wrackler's first trainer. Later J L Behrns and still later, L A Maidens, trained him. In most races M Holmes drove. Wrackler was well cared for by Mr Nicoll in his retirement. He was hacked about a little on the farm, and at times took the children to school, but his was a life of ease in recent years.

Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 12Dec51


YEAR: 1950


It is scarcely credible these days that an unregistered horse could win several races and become one of the best pacers and sires of his time. Yet Young Irvington, who was something of a star in the very early days of trotting and who became the most successful broodmare sire of his day, could not be included among the Colonial-bred sires in Volume X of the Trotting Stud Book because there was no official record of his registration.

Young Irvington, by Irvington-Bess, was a handsome black horse, one of the best-loking stallions ever seen on a race-track in NZ up to his time. Among his get were the dams of such notables as Ribbonwood, Our Thorpe, Almont, Lord Althorpe, Ghoai, Fushia, Manuka, Silver Princess, Monica, Miss Florrie C, Mauretania, Weary, Woodthorpe Maid, Ianto, Roseberry, Bright, Lady Child, Inwood and Prince Akwood.

Young Irvington was a natural pacer, never wearing a hopple or boot.

Credit: 'Old Timer' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 24May50


YEAR: 1950

SPANGLED QUEEN - Classic Winner Producing Mare

Spangled Queen (1950 Light Brigade - Spangled Scott), USA family of Lady Cabot, unraced, 16 foals, 10 winners.
Breeder: Roydon Lodge Stud Ltd, Yaldhurst and breeder of all foals bred except Honey Bun (J.W.G.Irving; Garrison Hanover colt(1970 Mrs Rona Mackay).

Her sire Light Brigade was one of the greatest stallions in the history of the breed in the Southern Hemisphere. Imported to NZ by Sir John McKenzie from Walnut Hall Farm, Kentucky in 1940 at a cost of US$2,500, Light Brigade won five races. A son of Volomite from the great broodmare Spinster, who founded a top family led by daughter The Old Maid, Light Brigade led the sires list on four occasions, topped the broodmare sires list eight times, leading trotting sire on 15 occasions and leading Australian broodmare sire once (winners). Light Brigade sired 451 winners with top performers including Battle Cry (ID Trotters Grand Final, Rowe Cup), Lookaway (NZ Cup & FFA), Thunder (NZ Cup & Easter Cup twice), Soangetaha (GN Derby, @ Auck Cups), Ordeal (US1:58.3, Dominion Hcp, Rowe Cup), Vedette (ID Pacing Grand Final, NZFFA) and numerous group race winners.

Light Brigade's daughters sealed his great siring career, damsire of Au Fait, Berkleigh, Bonnie Frost, Dainty's Daughter, Easton Light, Garcon Roux, Globe Bay, Gramel, Humphrey, Johnny Gee, Miss Debra, Petite Evander, Precocious, Rondel, Roydon Roux, Speedy Guest, Spry, Tactile, Yamamoto to name a few.

Unraced granddam Spangled Maiden (Volomite/Margaret Spangler) arrived as a 2yo in 1939, another Sir John McKenzie purchase. She produced Spangled Scott in 1942 who left 14 foals including Jay Ar (ID Pacing Grand Final), Spangled Brigade (dam of Scottish Laddie (GN Derby); Scottish Warrior (Messenger); Julie Hanover, (10 wins) and Spangled Queen. Spangled Maiden's other fillies were Scottish Maiden (Argent-VIC/NSW Derbies & Oaks, 18 wins, dam of Gyro, NSW Derby, 20 wins, sire), Spangled Star (3rd dam of champion Australian trotter Court Jester - NSW/VIC/SA Trotters Derbies, Dullard Cup) and Great Star (dam of eight winners).

The Lady Cabot family influence in NZ comes from Spangled Maiden whose dam Margaret Spangler left outstanding North American performers Chief Counsel, Blackstone, Kings Counsel and Attorney. Australasian descendants include Vanderport, Table Card, Howard Bromac.

Spangled Queen, unraced, became a very productive mare primarily for Roydon Lodge. She died in 1977. Spangled Queen's male progeny included:
1 Adioson, won on five occasions during three seasons of racing. Winner of the Rangiora Raceway Stakes at two (NZR 2:39.9, 1m), placed second in the Timaru Nursery and third in the Golden Slipper & Kindergarten Stakes. Three wins at three came in 3/4yo events at Alexandra Park as did his final win at four.
2 Adioway, plagued by unsoundness was a smart performer winning nine races spaced over five seasons of racing from two to eleven. He did not race at three, five, six, eight or nine. At two, Adioway won the Canterbury Juvenile Stakes at his first start and was placed in his other start. Seen again at four, he won two of four starts at Stratford and Oamaru. His best season came at seven when successful on five occasions (Hutt Park, Alexandra Park-3 and Churchill Hcp, Addington, fourth day of Cup carnival), placed third in a Forbury ID heat (1965). Not seen again until aged 10, he won CPTC Flying Mile FFA (2:01.2), was second in the CPTC Winter Cup and unplaced as an eleven-year-old before siring a few winners.
3 Frosty Junior, a dual-gaited winner of 11 races in Australia during an eight-year career. Four of his wins were at Harold Park (NSW Summer Trotters Cup).
4 Meadowmac, won the Timaru Nursery- two races at his first start, placed second in the Welcome Stakes and third in the Oamaru Juvenile Stakes, Meadowmac was placed at three and four.
5 Roydon Prince, Trans Tasman winner commencing his career in NZ as a 2yo winning on three occasions (Addington, Hutt Park - Hosking Stakes, Alexandra Park). Placed at three, he was exported to Australia as a 4yo where he had 4 wins.

Spangled Queen's fillies included:
1 High Spangle, won three in Australia including her first start at Kapunda. She was the dam of:
. Rosso Cute, WA Champagne Classic-2.
. Tarport Spangle, granddam of Vero Prince (WA Golden Nugget & Romeo Hanover-4.
2 Honey Bun, successful in Australia (dam of Humouresque) and granddam of Heros Knight (WA Parliamentarians Cup, WA Championship-4&5), Holme And Away (Manawatu Cup).
3 Loch Katrine, two unplaced starts at three before producing:
. Brigadoon, dam of Brickcam (WA Narrogin & Harvey Cups), Hanover Lad (WA Spring Gift-3, WA Triple Crown-3c), Smooth Lord (USA Fireball series); granddam of Diwali (NSW Albury Pacers Cup).
. Spangled Mary, dam of Spangled Lord (Westport & Nelson Cups), Shirls Lord (Invercargill Breeders Stakes); granddam of Spangled Chance (Central Victoria Pacing Championship), French Lord (Southland Futurity, Timaru Cup); 3rd dam of Howard Bromac ($m, Southern Supremacy-3, AK Cup, NZFFA, ID heat, Waikato Flying Mile).
. Spangled Time, granddam of Wendy The Witch (NZSSSI 4/5 mares)
. Spangled Win, dam of El Trafford (VIC Gurry Cup)
4 Spangled Derby, three unplaced starts as a 6yo before foaling:
. Sarah Derby, granddam of Joe Albert (Bathurst 2yo Classic)
. Spangled Reign, granddam of Red Check Raider (WA Central Wheatbelt 3yo Classic).
5 Spangled Key, a five win trotting mare. Four wins at four (Marlborough, Addington-2, Forbury) with final victory in the Dictation Hcp on the second night of the Cup carnival as a 5yo. Dam of:
. Game Key, dam of Toomuch To Do (Canterbury Park Trotting Cup, ID heat)
. Spangled Game, granddam of Rockolina (VIC Lightfoot Laurels; dam of Miracle- VIC Lombo 2T)
6 Minor winners: Spangled Princess, winner at Banks Peninsula and second day of 1961 Addington InterDominions (4yo Stakes), injured in a float accident and destroyed. Shortland, two wins at Kumeu equalisator meeting as a 4yo and Rotorua as an 8yo.

Credit: Peter Craig writing in Harnessed July 2015


YEAR: 1950

BRAHMAN - Enigma

Here was a trotting fan's dream. He was by one world record holder at a mile and NZ Cup winner Gold Bar, from another world record holder and dual NZ Cup winner Haughty. They had once had a match race at a picnic meeting which Haughty just won...and here was their second foal setting a world record for a mile as an unraced two year old at Addington.

The world seemed to be his oyster. But there was a flaw in the brilliant Brahman's DNA and it was soon to emerge from the results of crossing the blood of the two Cup winners. However that is not to underrate his great time trial at Addington in June 1953. Brahman paced the mile in 2:02.2 in perfect conditions. Ok you say, hardly earth shattering. Well it was. It took SIX SECONDS off the Australasian record for a two year old. It was only 1.8 seconds outside the world pacing juvenile record of Knight Dream. Owner Ben Grice had hoped for 2:04. Allan Holmes, owner of Gold Bar who organised the trial worked him 800m in a minute a few days before also thought 2:04 was probable. But nearly two seconds quicker is a huge cut over a mile. At the time this trial caused high excitement.

Brahman was no failure. He made NZ Cup class, ran in a NZ Cup and won some nice races. Sent to Cecil Donald when Grice had run out of ideas early on he received the supreme compliment from the first trainer to have 1000 winners here. He said Brahman was the best horse he had trained. But the mental strength was never quite there. Brahman couldn't master the standing start and niggling injuries affected him. He didn't make classic company at three winning his second race at Hawera. He worked through the classes but broke hopelessly in the 1956 Cup, his only attempt at the race and finished last. Again. But he was sixth favourite because "if he went away..."

At least he was a lot more successful than his brother Whiz. Whiz was, to put it bluntly, as mad as a hatter. Holmes sent him on a West Coast circuit and he was a sensation winning his first three races easily. He featured in the newspapers as a horse who enjoyed a beer after his races. But he did not enjoy a long career and quickly disappeared from the racing scene as unmanageable. Two wise racing men, Grice and Holmes had worked out by then that foals by Gold Bar from Haughty might not be what they seemed on paper.

Haughty left a much more sensible horse in Jaunty to Josedale Grattan and he won a number of nice races starting with the Sapling Stakes. But he wasn't a match for Brahman whose brilliant performance as a 2yo still ranks right up there.

If only he could have begun.

Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed July 2016


YEAR: 1948

Harold Logan & Maurice Holmes at the start of a NZ Cup

Harold Logan died last week at the age of 25 years. The owner, Mr E F C Hinds, stated that Harold Logan's heart weighed four pounds. His lungs were still perfectly sound, but his teeth and gums were gone.

Harold Logan was a horse who became an institution with the racing public. His name was a household word. He was almost human. Everybody idolised him. Can't you still hear the cry re-echoing through the grandstands? "It's Harold Logan coming through." The cry was taken up by thousands, until it swelled into a mighty roar as the hero of a hundred fights broke another world's record. Harold Logan's deeds live on as an epic. He was, indeed, one of Nature's finest little gentlemen. Homer never sang of a greater hero than this courageous piece of pacing dynamite.

Harold Logan rose from comparative insignificance. His dam, Ivy Cole, was never threatened with fame, and when Harold Logan was born in a yard at the back of the Springfield Hotel, he was regarded by the natives as just another horse. But what a horse! As near perfection in racing qualities as we are ever likely to see. Harold Logan's third dam, Charity, was a thoroughbred, but was a poor galloper, and her track performances would scarcely have done credit to a back-country hack. To Duncan Abdullah she produced Wisconsin. For some years Wisconsin did duty as a shepherd's hack. Later she was raced, but was a decided moderate. Her owner, Mr J J Coffey, mated her with King Cole, the result being Ivy Cole, a good-looking sort; but she was injured and did not race. Ivy Cole, if she had never left another foal, earned immortality as the dam of Harold Logan.

Harold Logan had his first race at a Waimate Hunt Meeting as a 5-year-old in the 1927-28 season, when with his owner, the late F R Legg, in the saddle, he won easily over the mile and a half journey. He raced four times as a 6-year-old, but without any return. In fact, it was not until he came into the ownership of Miss E Hinds, at the small outlay of 100, and joined the late R J Humphrey's stable, that he began to show his real worth.

Nothing succeeded quite like Harold Logan. His onslaught on the West Coast of the North Island curcuit in the 1929-30 season was one of the cleanest sweeps on record. He took everything before him, and was later successful at Addington and Auckland, in all sorts of going. Each of his wins was more impressive than the last, and already he was recognised as a coming champion. By the time he had passed the 8-year-old mark he was among the stars. His victory in the Oamaru Handicap that year is still regarded by many experienced observers as one of his greatest performances. Buffeted from pillar to post, he was apparently out of the contest more than once, and it was a supreme effort in the straight that enabled him to get up and win in a blanket finish between four of the best stayers of that time. The public could not believe the watch when the world's record race figures of 4.13 2/5 for two miles were hung up for his third placing in the Midsummer Handicap at Addington in 1931. The previous best figures were Peter Bingen's 4.18 4/5. Harold Logan was time in 4.11 from post to post. Already he was one in a million.

His first victory in the NZ Cup came when he was nine. A brilliant win in the Weston Handicap at Oamaru pointed to success, but in the first division of the NZ Cup he was driven wide out practically all the way and just managed to struggle into fourth place and qualify for the final. He was allowed to go out second favourite in the final, but, more judiciously handled, he came away from Kingcraft in the straight after pacing his last half-mile in the sensational time of 58 2/5secs. The Free-For-All fell easy prey to him.

Harold Logan had now reached ten years of age, and he celebrated his birthday by returning after a spell to down Red Shadow in the National Handicap. He set new record figures for a mile and a quarter when he finished third in the Avon Handicap at New Brighton in 2.38 2/5, and subsequently won the NZ Cup Trial, a prelude to his second victory in the NZ Cup, in which he set a new race record of 4.16 2/5.

The following season he created a surprise at the August meeting by winning from a long mark over a mile and a quarter. His dividend was well into double figures and many and varied were the tales of people who 'let him go.' But now was to follow a period of eclipse for the champion. He failed to gain a place in the NZ Cup, was beaten by Red Shadow and Kingcraft in the Free-For-All, and it seemed that the new champion in Red Shadow was entitled to the crown.

It was soon after this that the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club made arrangements for the Australian champion Walla Walla, to appear in match races with Red Shadow, Harold Logan, Roi l'Or and Jewel Pointer - and tremendous interest was displayed by the public in the track work of all these horses weeks before the event. Such an impression Red Shadow made by his NZ Cup and Free-For-All victories, that he was a firm favourite over Walla Walla and Harold Logan. The first of the invitation races was run over a mile, and Walla Walla, beginning very fast, set a new world's record of 2.04 1/5 from a standing start and narrowly defeated Harold Logan, with Red Shadow a fair third. This was the only race in which Walla Walla was seen at his best, and in all but one of the other five - run at Auckland, Forbury Park, Oamaru and Wellington - Harold Logan was the victor. These highly exhilarating contests - they put new life and enthusiasm into the sport throughout NZ - were the crowning glory of Harold Logan's 12-year-old career.

Enthusiasm knew no bounds when he opened up his winning account in the Avon Handicap, of a mile and a quarter, at New Brighton the following season. He started from the seemingly impossible mark of 84 yards. Those in front of him included such proven sprinters as Silver de Oro, Kingcraft and Craganour. Once again Harold Logan paid a large dividend; but winners and losers alike put their hands together and roared themselves hoarse when they realised that the irresistable Harold had bagged another world's race record. His 2.36 3/5 was then a world's winning race record.

This would have been enough for one season for most champions, but just by way of variety Harold Logan gave the record roster another jolt by finishing third from 72 yards in the NZ Cup and clocked 4.12 2/5. This was a world's pacing record for two miles, with no reservations whatsoever, and it stood for thirteen years. For this meeting a special two-mile Free-for-all, with lap prizes had been included in the programme, and Harold Logan was equal to outstaying Roi l'Or decisively after taking the prize from the second lap and collecting an additional 50. The mile and a quarter Free-For-All was just as easy for him.

Now wearing on for thirteen, Harold Logan was evidently at last beginning to take toll of his years, but his vitality still proved invulnerable, and he gained another victory in the NZ Cup Trial at Wellington. He did not contest the NZ Cup, in which his handicap would have been 84 yards. In the Free-For-All he was beaten out of a place. He again failed from a long mark at Easter, but one was still loath to write 'C'est finis' to a grand and glorious career.

And just as well, because, without Dr Voronoff or anybody else, he came back as a 14-year-old, finishing fourth in the NZ Cup, third in the Louisson Handicap, and winning another Free-For-All. He was given an official farewell at this meeting, and enthusiasm ran high when a garland of roses was placed around his neck by Mrs J H Williams. The crowd went hysterical with delight. One dear old lady showered the 'horse that time forgot' with rose petals, and children round the birdcage gave him a warm 'hand.'

Everybody loved this horse. His uncanny intelligence, unflinching courage, and perfect manners appealed to all. His terrific bursts of speed from rear positions round the best of fields always sent the pulse doing overtime and brought thousands to their feet to do honour to the horse who proved time and time again that nothing was beyond him.

At the barrier! He would stand there, the whole field in front of him, and, ears pricked and not a move out of him, he would watch the starter, as keenly as any driver ever watched him. And I heard one of his drivers admit that on more than one occasion old Harold was into his stride and full speed ahead before even his pilot realised that the barriers had been released. He has a sense of anticipation that would have lined up with Bert Cooke's!

In training Harold Logan was also little short of human. He knew the training track from the racetrack as well as any trainer, and he would not go any faster than he had to. But if any strange horse was brought along to work with him, he would go like fun to beat it, just to prove he could, and once he had done so he would not bother his head about it again. Now, that's one for Ripley, because it is on record that Harold Logan could size up his opposition as well as his trainer or driver. At the races, however, he was just the opposite, becausehe never stopped trying, no matter how gigantic the task.

They are not foaled better than Harold Logan.


Frank Marrion writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 8Feb84

Harold Logan was a gelded son of Logan Pointer and a non-standardbred mare in Ivy Cole, who was by King Cole (by Ribbonwood) from Wisconsin, she being out of a poorly performed thoroughbred mare. Harold Logan rose from total obscurity to become a household name in NZ, the idol of thousands. But it wasn't so much his perfect manners, devastating turn of speed nor undeniable will to win that saw him rise to such heights of popularity. It was his character. Harold Logan was virtually human, so intelligent he was known to train himself and run his own races. One famous instance was after one of his many wins at Addington, his driver commenting Harold Logan was into full stride before he realised the starter had let the field go.

Nobody had heard of Harold Logan when he began his first serious campaign as a seven-year-old, having just been purchased by Mr E Hinds for 100 and joined the stable of R J (Dick) Hunphreys. However, after a North Island campaign in the winter of 1930, where he was unbeaten in four starts at Wanganui, Hawera and Taranaki in the space of a fortnight, he was already among the stars. After winning at Addington, Harold Logan travelled to Auckland where he scored a double, his final start of the season resulting in a five length win in the featured Adams Memorial Cup.

He won his first three starts as an eight-year-old later finishing second in the Auckland Cup from 36 yards to Carmel (front) and winning the NZ Trotting Gold Cup at Wellington by four lengths. He was placed in his final three starts at Addington that season, including a third from 84 yards over two miles. Nobody could believe their eyes when his time of 4:13.4 was posted, the previous best being Peter Bingen's 4:18.8. He was timed from post to post in better than 4:11, figures unheard of and unequalled until Highland Fling appeared on the scene some 15 years later.

As a nine-year-old Harold Logan won his first NZ Cup, coming off a 48 yard handicap to easily beat Kingcraft (front), Free Advice (12) and Wrackler (36). The stake of 1500 sovereigns was half what the Cup had been run for in the mid 1920s. He also won the Free-For-All on the final day pointlessly. Harold Logan returned the following season to win the National Handicap from 60 yards, set new figures for a mile and a quarter in finishing third at Addington in 2:38.4, win the NZ Cup Trial at Wellington, and win his second NZ Cup from 60 yards, beating Glenrossie (12), Roi l'Or (24) and Red Shadow (12) by two lengths in 4:16.4, a race record.

Now trained by his owner at New Brighton, Harold Logan returned at the advanced age of 11 to win at Addington in August, beating Mountain Dell (front), and Red Shadow (36) from 60 yards over a mile and a quarter in 2:38 2/5. However, he was overshadowed by Red Shadow at the Cup meeting, finishing fifth from 72 yards in the Cup and being soundly beaten by that horse in the Free-For-All after uncharacteristically beaking in the run home. It seemed youth was about to be served, but Harold Logan still had other ideas.

Thus when Walla Walla stepped into the Addington birdcage to do battle with New Zealand's best, the scene was unprecedented, or at least for 30 years when Fritz and Ribbonwood had set the trotting world alight. It is impossible to recapture the excitement of the day in words now, so for a while we will step back into history, remembering we are 50 years in the past, and let the noted scribe of those years, "Ribbonwood" (or Karl Scott as he was better known) recall the events.

(Published April 5, 1934, NZ Referee).
"From a very early hour the trams and taxis did a roaring trade. People were seen walking to the course from 9:30am and by 11:30 traffic control at the course entrances was a most difficult task. They continued to arrive in thousands until the appointed hour of the Invitation Match, and by this time grandstand accommodation was at a premium. Inside and outside the course every possible vantage point was taken. The Showgrounds fence, and the back fence of the course, cattle trucks and carriages in the railway yard, the workshops roof, and the roofs of private houses adjacent to the course were loaded with humanity. From the crowd covering the lawns came a steady drone that could be likened to the roar of an Eastern market place.

"But the crowd round the totalisator dispersed much earlier than usual, and five minutes before closing time the totalisator was being patronised by only a few stragglers who were probably imbued with purely gambling instincts, and who were not particularly desirous of obtaining the best possible view of the race. It is safe to say that many thousands did not make any investment on the race. They went solely to see the champions in action, and monetary interests became a secondary consideration with many of the 22,000 present.

"The CJC as well as retailers, hotel keepers and bording house keepers have benefitted by the enterprise of the Metropolitan Trotting Club in arranging the match races. One incident will give some idea of the tremendous interest it has engended. Of nine men staying at one hotel, six admitted that it was the first trotting meeting they had attended. That is a large percentage and does not hold good in all cases. But one can safely assume that the increase of 11,985 in the totalisator investments on the first day was represented by the drawing influence of the Invitation Match.

Walla Walla was the first horse to enter the birdcage and when he was driven round by his owner, unstinted applause came from the dense crowd around the birdcage. It had an unsettling effect on Walla Walla, who got on his toes immediately and showed nervousness during the preliminary that his owner stated was due to the surroundings and a multitude his champion had never seen before. When Harold Logan appeared, prancing along to the plaudits that only a public idol receives, the hero of 'ten thousand' fights was given the warmest reception of all the contestants. He has gained a place in the estimation of the sporting public that will never be surpassed, even when his memory is dimmed with time. Red Shadow, the best conditioned horse of the field, made a marvellous impression in his 'Sunday waistcoat' as he was enthusiastically received. Roi l'Or, who, perhaps, did not look as though he had all his medals on, also came in for a tremendous round of applause, and little Jewel Pointer was received as a battle-scarred old veteran with a runner's chance.

"Walla Walla and Roi l'Or were both restive at the start, and they held up the despatch for nearly two minutes. Harold Logan stood like a statue, and Red Shadow and Jewel Pointer gave little trouble. Walla Walla continued to rear up and back out, but eventually they were all caught nearly in line. Walla Walla began ver fast and was soon showing out from Harold Logan and Red Shadow, while Roi l'Or and Jewel Pointer were slow to muster their speed. Walla Walla drew out by two lengths clear of Harold Logan at the end of a quarter, and Red Shadow was about the same distance back, and then Jewel Pointer and Roi l'Or at close intervals. Jewel Pointer moved up to be almost on terms with Red Shadow three furlongs from home, but from this stage the race was a duel between Walla Walla and Harold Logan. Walla Walla reached the straight with Harold Logan challenging on the outside of him.

"The crowd had cheered wildly from the outset, but when Harold Logan drew up to Walla Walla a furlong from the post, the mingled advice and exhortations were deafening. 'Harold Logan wins' came from thousands of throats and halfway down the straight the New Zealander certainly appeared to have the measure of the
Australian. About 50 yards from the post they drew level again, but Walla Walla had a little in reserve, and gradually drew out from Harold Logan, and passed the post a neck in front. Red Shadow, flat out, was three lengths away, Jewel Pointer four lengths farther back, and Roi l'Or about two lengths away.

"The crowd literally went mad with delight. They would have liked to see our champion beat Walla Walla, but the fact that the Australian came again when apparently beaten, and won the most hair raising duel ever witnessed at Addington, left them hoarse but satisfied. It took the police all their time to prevent a section of the crowd from mobbing the winner when he was returning to the birdcage, but more was to follow. On their way back to the sheds, Walla Walla and Mr Martin were effectively mobbed. Police protection had to be availed of, and, before the crowd dispersed, several volunteers had to be called upon to protect the police, or assist them. 'My greatest hope has been realised,' stated Mr Martin. 'The demonstration fairly staggered me.' 'The best horse won,' said Mr E F C Hinds, owner of Harold Logan. 'I am quite satisfied.'"

The best horse had won and in world record time for a standing start mile of 2:04.2.

The subsequent invitation races at Addington, Alexandra Park, Forbury Park, Oamaru and Wellington were understandably anti-climatic, with Walla Walla failing to reproduce his best.

The second day of Addington's Easter meeting saw Walla Walla, Harold Logan, Red Shadow, Jewel Pointer and Ces Donald's Lindbergh return for a clash over a mile and a half. Harold Logan won easily after Walla Walla had put his foot through Jewel Pointer's cart with about a mile to run. Walla Walla had begun slowly and was trying to get out of a pocket on the rails when the incident occurred. A youthful Maurice Holmes who drove Harold Logan throughout the series, received some criticism for "walking" the field in the early stages. With Harold Logan reeling of his last half mile in close to 59 seconds, he gave nobody a show, beating Red Shadow by a length with Lindbergh and Walla Walla six lengths away. Harold Logan recorded 3:16.4 for the journey, more than two seconds slower than Worthy Queen took in the main trot later in the day, recording 3:14.2 from 60 yards. Worthy Queen's time was to stand as a record for almost 20 years, Dictation reducing it in the early 1950s.

The third and fourth rounds of the invitation races were held at Alexandra Park. Harold Logan was an easy winner of the first, leading throughout to beat Auburn Lad and Red Shadow, but in the second he drifted off the rails at a vital stage and allowed Impromptu and Red Shadow through to beat him narrowly. Walla Walla had not travelled north but he and Harold Logan clashed at Forbury Park where the track was so bad they were forced to race in the centre of the course. Walla Walla set a strong pace in the early stages but had no answer when challenged by Harold Logan in the straight. The concluding invitation events at Oamaru and Wellington also fell easy prey to Harold Logan, with Walla Walla struggling. However it was later revealed that the stallion had been suffering from a severe cold.

For Harold Logan the series with Walla Walla could easily have been his crowning glory, but still there was much more to come. He returned the following season and stunned the trotting world when he won the mile and a quarter Avon Handicap at Addington from 84 yards. Eleventh favourite in the 13 horse field, Maurice Holmes got him home by a length in 2:36.6, a record which stood until the suicidal Gold Bar clocked 2:35 in 1942.

Starting from 72 yards in the 1934 NZ Cup, he found Indianapolis (12 yards) and Blue Mountain (front) impossible to beat, but on the second day he easily won a free-for-all over two miles, beating Roi l'Or and Red Shadow, and on the final day he won the mile and a quarter free-for-all by three lengths over Roi l'Or. In the Cup that year Harold Logan recorded 4:12.4, a record which stood for 13 years.

He was back again the following season to win the NZ Cup Trial Handicap at Wellington by three lengths after starting from 60 yards over a mile and a quarter, but did not attempt the Cup. Some idea of the ridiculous handicaps now imposed on Harold Logan was in evidence when he lined up on the second day, starting from 72 yards in a mile event. Indianapolis won fron 48 yards. He was a close fourth on the final day in the free-for-all won by Indianapolis over stablemate Tempest and Roi l'Or.

By now one could easily have been excused for writing "C'est finis" to a grand and glorious career but still Harold Logan had other ideas, returning as a 14-year-old in 1936 to finish a fine fourth in Indianapolis' third NZ Cup, then win the free-for-all on the final day over Tempest, Red Shadow, Roi l'Or and Indianapolis. This was finally Harold Logan's crowning glory and gave rise to a highly emotional scene when he was decorated in the birdcage afterwards. It was his last start for the season and seemingly he was retired with a record of 29 wins and 20 times second or third in 108 starts, earning just over 10,000.

But, incredibly, Harold Logan was leased and brought back into work as a 16-year-old, recording a couple more placings before the curtain fell on the career of a horse who really defied description. Appropriately Harold Logan's final start also brought to a close the career of his remarkable sire Logan Pointer, having been foaled only a year or so before Logan Pointer was fatally kicked by a pony, dying at the age of 15.

Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 21Apr48


YEAR: 1948

JOHNNY GLOBE - Bargain Buy

Johnny Globe(1948) $100, 34 wins $85,375

This story has been told so often it literally has fur on it. How Don Nyhan and his wife, Doris, were visiting English expatriate breeding and saddle horse riding fan, Frank Ward, before he left to return to England. They were discussing what to do with the Ward horses in his absence. After some discussion Doris offered the $100 she had been saving for a fur coat for an unimpressive Logan Derby colt foal from Sandfast. Don went to his grave claiming he "wouldn't have given $20 for him."

It turned out to be Johnny Globe. He won 34 races(one in every three starts) and 15 Free-For-Alls(the next best in our history then, Gold Bar, won six). He retired the highest stake earner of either code raced solely in New Zealand; held four world records, and became a champion stallion. A few fur coats there! He had already made the Nyhan family fortune before he sired Lordship for Doris and he went on to break all his old man's records - a story for the ages. But was it all that it seemed?

Don entered Johnny Globe in the National Sales thinking it was the only way Doris would get her fur coat money back. Then, in what was a life changing moment, he trialled the colt over 800m on the rough old Ashhurst grass track and timed him in 1.06. Johnny Globe and the Nyhan family were headed south all right - to a West Melton stable not the sales. A pencil line went through the catalogue page.

In truth Doris Nyhan was just being practical. There was history in the stable of the family through a horse called Gold Flight, a half-brother to Sandfast. Sandfast herself had shown potential before a mishap in a bog ended her career. Johnny Globe was her first foal and apparently she hadn't done him well.

But Gold Flight had won 8 races including 3 Addington staying features for the stable and Don always maintained he was a NZ Cup horse. He died as an 8yo in tragic circumstances. The muscle powders he was treated with were banned from import to New Zealand. The Veterinary experts could find no successful replacement treatment and the old soldier just faded away

Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed May 2016


YEAR: 1948


Bettor's Delight in just about ready to make the list as a "Cups King"- the most influential stallion in the two major all-aged races on out calendar, the Auckland and New Zealand Cups. He already has three winners and given his domination that might grow rapidly.

But topping some of the "old timers" won't be that easy, even if he has gone past many already. Who are the best? My top 10, based on the following statistical model.
- 10 points for each winner of the New Zealand or Auckland Cup.
- 5 point bonus for each individual winner greater than one.
- 5 points for each broodmare sire win.
- 1 point for each winner sired by a stallion son.

7= FALLACY 1948
(Light Brigade-Diversion-Rey-de-Oro)(Died aged 24)
Five WINS, Three WINNERS, Two BROODMARE WINS = 70 points

Like Wrack he had a triple NZ Cup winner in False Step but he added True Averil, Auckland Cup winner Allakasam and sired the dams of Royal Ascot and Hands Down. It is an outstanding record for the then unfashionable "colonial bred" stallions.
He left a number of other top liners such as Falsehood, Junior Royal and Kotare Legend. Fallacy never had more than 70 starters in any season. The locals always had to do it the hard way.

TRIVIA FACT - Despite strong support from owner Jack Litten, Fallacy's first crop was of just eight foals an he was later doing 30 mares when unproven imports were hitting 80 in their first season. In the mid 1960's he left his biggest crop of 61 foals but left many fewer than he deserved.

Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed Nov 2016


YEAR: 1947

Worthy Queen & J S Shaw

"I am certain, if conditions had been ideal that day she would have trotted two minutes." J S Shaw was discussing his champion of 13 years standing, Worthy Queen, a trotter who made history on a windy, dusty day at Addington in April, 1934, by trotting a mile against time in 2.03 3/5. "It was partly my own fault. There was a gale blowing, and it was the first time she had ever had a horse galloping beside her. I was under the impression I could trail the pacemaker, but was told I couldn't. Over the first three furlongs she was trying to beat the galloper, trying to go faster than she could. She was pulling hard and trotting all in a heap. She was hitched to a short sulky and round the showgrounds bend her hock was hitting my leg. It wasn't until she reached the back straight that she flattened out to really trot. But the first half in 61 1/2 took as much out of her as 58 or 59 would have if she had been trotting kindly.

"She was a really wonderful mare. She didn't know what it was to do anything wrong. She never broke in a race unless something took the legs from under her, which happened on only one occasion to my knowledge. She had her funny little ways," continued Shaw. "On race day you had no chance of driving her on the roads or on to the tracks. She had to be led, and even then she insisted upon stopping now and again to gaze at things. Nothing would thwart her."

Worthy Queen's 2.03 3/5 is not her only record that remains unassailed after 13 years. Her 3.14 1/5 in a race was also established in 1934, and she was clocked from post to post on that occasion in 3.09 - and round the field.

Worthy Queen, by Worthy Bingen from Queen Chimes, a Coldstream Bells mare from Vanquish, was bred by the late J R Corrigan, of Hawera, and sold as a yearling to Mr T Agnew, of Hastings. "A mutual friend of both, the late Harry Jones, saw her trotting in the paddock and told Mr Corrigan what a wonderful filly she was," related Shaw, "with the result that Mr Corrigan leased her back. For him she won several races under the direction of Alex Corrigan and afterwards, when I shifted from Auckland to Christchurch he sent her down to me. That was in 1931. I won several races with her for Mr Corrigan. When he became ill and restricted his racing activities he sold the mare's racing rights to me, and she continued to win races."

"Although Worthy Queen was the best trotter up to a mile and a half ever seen in this country, she was not a top-notch two-miler. The best two-mile trotter I ever had was Peter Dean, by Petereta-Ivy Dean. Mrs Sweetapple and I bought him five minutes before a race on the third day of the Auckland Christmas meeting of 1932. He was 144yds behind in a mile and a half race, and although I had never driven him before, he won; and he also won a two mile race the same day. He cost us 1000, but in the first three months we owned him he won 1025. He won three times and was second in his first four starts for us. Shortly after I brought him to Christchurch he kicked at another horse in an adjoining paddock, injuring himself behind, and although he won races afterwards, he was never sound again. His action changed altogether. I consider he is easily the best two-mile trotter I have ever seen. In a trial before leaving Auckland he came the last half-mile in 61sec and the last quarter in 29sec. When I make this claim I am not forgetting Hardy Wilkes, Electrocute, Bellflower, Submarine, Muricata, Quincey, Whispering Willie, Sea Gift, Trampfast, Wrackler, Huon Voyage, Moneyspider and other great staying trotters."

Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 20Aug47

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