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The death has occurred of the great little pacer Roi l'Or at the ripe old age of 24. Equally at home on dirt or grass tracks, Roi l'Or built up an imposing record over all distances to reach championship class. Although overshadowed by Harold Logan during his career, he had many victories in important events, including the Auckland Cup of 1934 in the record time of 4.15 2/5, a record for the race that still stands. He also won the Free-For-All at Addington in 1932 (which is now called the NZ Pacing Sprint Championship) pacing the mile and a quarter in 2.38 1/5.
Other important events won by Roi l'Or were the Ashburton Trotting Cup in 1928, the August Handicap in 1929, and the Dunedin Cup in 1930.
Roi l'Or, who was by Rey de Oro-Gold Queen, by King Cole-Dorothy, by Viking, was bred by Mr P Brown, Waimate. He was the first foal of Gold Queen, being foaled in 1923. Gold Queen also left Louis Bingen to Nelson Bingen.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 3Dec47
The mirth that greeted the running of earlier contests for the NZ Trotting Stakes subsided on Saturday when three of the field - Acclamation, Flame and Balmoral - provided an interesting race with Acclamation winning in the excellent time of 3.29 3/5.
One can imagine the shudders that must have run through the stalwart frames of Mr A Matson and Mr C S Thomas when ridicule was heaped upon the four-horse fiasco for the Trotting Stakes in 1944. But they were men of courage, idealists who knew that the trotter is an integral part of the light-harness sport and must be catered for. "Carry on at all costs" was the slogan.
Saturday's contest was the best yet provided by the baby trotters, with progeny of Certissimus, the greatest juvenile trotter yet bred in the Dominion, finishing first and second after good exhibitions. Acclamation and Flame are daughters of this popular and handsome horse, and they are among his only crop of foals, as he survived only one season at the stud before meeting with a fatal accident.
All three place-fillers were bred to trot, Acclamation being out of Raclaim, a good-class trotter by Wrack from Trix Pointer, Fame from Belle Lorimer, winner of races at both gaits, and Belmoral by Worthy Belwin-Bessie Bingen, both sire and dam being trotting winners.
J Wilson trained three of the four place-fillers - Acclamation, Flame and Sandwrack (fourth). He must have expended a great deal of patience on his charges, who are a credit to him, and he is performing a service to the pure-gaited horse that will be recognised by every lover of the trotter throughout the Dominion. We could do with a dozen of him.
There are only nine living 3-year-olds by Certissimus.
D Teahen, who bred, trained and drove this greatest of all juvenile trotters seen on Dominion tracks, gave the Calendar some interesting information regarding his old favourite's only crop of foals.
Apart from Acclamation, Flame and Carissima, who started in th NZ Trotting Stakes, there are six of the progeny of Certissimus in various parts of Canterbury. They are a filly from Wee Wrack, a filly from Morewa, a gelding from London Tan, a colt from a Denver Huon mare, a filly from Random, and a filly from a Logan Fraser mare. All are trotters except the one from the Logan Fraser mare, and all, of course, are 3-year-olds.
Betty Jinks produced twins to Certissimus, both of which died, and the same fate befell a colt from Paying Guest and a colt from a Jingle mare. This Jingle mare, which is out of Lluvia de Oro, is the dam of several winners, namely, Royal de Oro, Guncase, Maximum, Walter Jingle and Rustle. Teahen related how a passing drover, with the best of intentions, climbed through a fence to help the Jingle mare, which was having difficulty in foaling. The mare unfortunately took fright, which caused the death of the foal, a fine colt
"Considering the old Jingle mare could not leave a bad one, I took that colt's death to heart a bit," said Teahen, "but I can never hope to sit behind a greater horse than Certissimus. He was just too good to be true - speed, looks, manners, and anything else you like."
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 10 & 17Apr46
YEAR: 1945GREAT BINGEN
Dan Glanville went to Akaroa to play tennis and came home the owner of Great Bingen. He had never owned a horse in his life before. In fact, he was not at all keen to embark on a racing career; but J N Clarke and the late E X Le Lievre, between them, made up his mind for him, and parted him from £400 in cash for what the late Etienne Le Lievre was justified in describing as "the best-bred colt in NZ." Mr Glanville later sold a half share in the colt to Mr J R McKenzie.
Great Bingen was not named then. No one could so much as suspect his race-track eminence, because he had not even been tried when Mr Glanville bought him. But he was a grand-looking 18-months-old colt, built to order for the most exacting connoisseur of blood stock, and he had character written all over him. That character, inherent in Great Bingen from the day he was nothing but a twinkle in his mother's eye, manifested itself throughout a dazzling career, a career that will always live as one of the most stirring in light-harness history.
He was a personality horse - plus. We have not had many personality horses. Of all the great ones I have seen I would put only Great Bingen and Harold Logan in that category. Great Bingen's personality began to find expression from the very day he left Akaroa on his long trek over the hills to Little River. There were no horse-floats in those days, not in Akaroa, anyhow, and Mr Le Lievre, then an active man of about 67 years of age (he lived till he was nearly 90) rode a hack and led Great Bingen on the steep arduous walk. Everything was going as merrily as a wedding bell when suddenly, right in the middle of the township of Little River, Mr Le Lievre's hack fell from under him, and Mr Le Lievre broke a leg. Great Bingen was free, but did he panic? Not he. He merely cropped the grass on the side of the road and finished up licking Mr Le Lievre's face as he lay on the ground. Help was not long in arriving, and, to cut a long story short, this unsung, unnamed, untried colt, later to bring thousands to their feet as a race-course idol, was safely entrained for Christchurch.
Of all the sidelights of Great Bingen's career, his unrehearsed swim in the Swan River, West Australia, followed by an unbridled gallop through the heart of Perth, is perhaps the best. It is certainly the funniest, the way Mr Glanville related it to me.
Great Bingen, as a 6-year-old, was taken to Perth for a series of championship races. He was accompanied by Mr Glanville, Mr McKenzie and James Bryce, who was his trainer and driver on the trip. Great Bingen won his first two races of the series very easily, but then followed a poor showing, and stories of doping fairly screamed from the Perth papers. "Somebody has got at him," was the general cry. The horse was certainly listless. He had lost his fire. So Bryce decided that a swim in the Swan River was what the doctor would order. In they went, Bryce rowing the boat, and an attendant holding Great Bingen on a tow-rope. Soon they were out to swimming depth. After a few preliminary plunges and snorts, Great Bingen settled down to a regular Olympic stroke. So well did he master the water at this, his first acquaintance with aquatics, that he was soon outstripping the boat, Bryce and all in it.
Mr Glanville and Mr McKenzie looked on with mixed feelings from the bank. Soon these feelings developed into misgivings as Great Bingen put his head over the side of the boat and nearly upset it. "There are sharks in these waters," murmured one of them. All of a sudden the attendant with Great Bingen on the lead was forced to let go his hold. Things had reached a climax. Bryce was thinking about the sharks, Mr McKenzie and Mr Glanville were thinking about the horse, the horse was probably thinking about his dinner and enjoying his newly-won freedom.
The Swan river is nearly a mile wide where this little drama was being enacted, and for one horrible moment the men on the bank thought their noble steed was about to strike out for the opposite bank. He was swimming like a born Weismuller, and was nearly in the middle of the stream when, quite suddenly, he turned round and headed homewards. Thank heaven!
By now Bryce and his boat had returned to terra firma. All that remained to be done was for the horse to be caught when he made dry land. That's what they thought! But they reckoned without one thing - the horse's co-operation. And you can imagine their dismay when the chief actor in this mounting drama, now landed safely, shook himself disdainfully and took of for goodness knows where. The last his owners ever expected to see of their pride and joy was a wild, galloping Great Bingen, hurdling a hefty obstacle in his stride and disappearing into the heart of the city of Perth.
When this breath-taking turn of events had subsided, the three gentlemen left on the banks of the river Swan proceeded to take stock of one another. "Who's idea was it anyway?" "Mon, who'd have dreamt yon horse would ha done a thing like that." "What did you let him go for?" "Dinna ye ken aboot the sharks?" "He's done for now, anyhow." And a lot more in the same vein - but stronger. Disconsolately, the three pig-islanders groped their way back home, back to the stables which had only recently sheltered their champion. What sort of muts would the Aussies think they were? Mortification, tribulation and humiliation entered the stable-yards hand in hand. "Wonder if he ended up in a ditch or ran head on into a tramcar?" one of his owners asked himself.
But by some miracle, or tremendous good luck, Great Bingen had done neither. He had 'seen Perth first,' or a large part of it, anyway, and with the instinct of a homing pigeon, had come back to his boots and manger. Yes, there he was, with a casual whinny for his dishevelled countrymen as they sidled into his stall.
The escapade could have done him little harm, because he won his next two races at the championships, both over two miles, and finished a close second to Taraire in the final. Great Bingen had many drivers in his lengthy career. All of them will testify to his indomitable courage, his almost uncanny intelligence in difficult situations or tight corners, his robust health and physique.
The late W J Tomkinson never had anything to do with Great Bingen, except to see him, more often than not, streaking past him in races. But Tomkinson had a very high regard for him. He used to say: "He's no better than he looks!" That was a round about way of paying the brown stallion a high compliment, because, in racing condition, he looked fit to race for a Kingdom.
Great Bingen won £13,320 in stakes in the Dominion, which still stands as a record. To this has to be added £800 which he won in Australia. Great Bingen was a famous free-for-all pacer, winning six events of this kind. He was the first pacer in NZ or Australia to better 4.20 for two miles, and he won against good horses from long marks, such as his victory in the York Handicap from 108 yards.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 30May45
Wrack came to NZ from the United States in 1924 with outstanding track and breeding credentials. He first stood at a fee of 40gns, the highest up to his time, and higher than any fee being charged today. Wrack reached the head of the sire's list for the first time in the 1932-3 season and remained there in 1933-4 and 1943-5. For the next eight seasons he was either second or third on the list. In 1943-4 he was fourth, and last season he was fifth.
A few of Wrack's early progeny were good, but some of them wavered, and so developed one of those strange 'sets' against the breed that beleaguers many a leading progenitor at some stage of its career. But Wrack survived all prejudices eventually to become the greatest sire of horses of both gaits yet imported to the Dominion. He is the sire of the winners of five NZ Trotting Cups, namely, Wrackler(1930), Indianapolis(1934,5&6) and Bronze Eagle (1944); and of three Dominion Handicap winners, namely Wrackler(1932), Sea Gift(1935) and Peggotty(1941).
Wrack was foaled in Pennsylvania in 1917, imported to NZ by Mr H F Nicoll, Ashburton in 1924. Wrack later went to Southland, and was sold to Tasmania in 1938. He died in New South Wales in 1939. He was by Peter The Great, 2.07¼, the most famous fountainhead of speed ever known. Peter The Great sired more than 600 standard performers, 161 of whom had records of from 1.58¼ (Miss Harris M) to 2.10. He also sired the dams of many hundreds of standard performers, including those of 278 pacers or trotters with records of 2.10 and better. Among the most famous out of Peter The Great mares were Margaret Dillon, 1.58¼, Tilly Brooke, 1.59, Mr McElwyn, 1.59¼, Spencer 1.59¾ and Zombro Hanover 2.00.
Wrack's dam was The Colorado Belle, 2.07½, by Colorado E, 2.04¾, a champion at three years. The Colorado Belle was out of The American Belle, by Rex Americus from Beautiful Chimes, a celebrated brood mare by Chimes, who topped the list of American sires on one occasion. Beautiful Chimes was out of Maid of Honour, by Mambrino King-Betty Mac, etc. Wrack's official record was 2.02¾, but he was credited with running second in a heat in 2.01½, the last half in 58½secs. Wrack raced for three years on the Grand Circuit, and never wore a hopple.
To date Wrack has sired 169 individual winners, but the end is not yet, as he still has a few novices racing who may enter the winning list. Wrack's first winner in the Dominion came to light at Westport in sensational circumstances. This was Bonnie Wrack, a 2-year-old pacer who won an event over eight furlongs and a half at the mid-summer meeting, 1927; but as it was discovered after her fine performance that it is against the rules to race a 2-year-old over more than eight furlongs so early in the season, Bonnie Wrack looked like being deprived of the fruits of her precocity. However, someone stretched a point sonewhere, and she was allowed to go down in the records as the rightful winner of the race. Bonnie Wrack, it is scarcely nesessary to add, was one of Wrack's first season foals, and others foaled in the same year were Wrackler and First Wrack.
Wrackler still ranks as the greatest double-gaited horse bred in the Dominion; for that matter one of the greatest in the world. After finishing third in the Sapling Stakes when a sick 2-year-old, he soon recuperated and scored comfortably in the NZ Derby and Great Northern Derby. Like his sire, Wrackler well earned the title of 'iron horse.' Many of the leading pacing events on the calendar fell to him, culminating in his heat and final victories in the 1930 series for the NZ Trotting Cup. In the final he ran right away from the opposition in the straight for one of the most convincing wins ever seen in the premier event. After finishing fourth in the NZ Cup the following year, Wrackler was changed over to the trotting gait, and with very little race experience he beat a high-class field of pacers in a two-mile event at Addington. He went on to win the Dominion Handicap and other important trotting races, and at one time he held the mile and a half record for a trotter, 3.15 4/5, as well as taking a two-mile record of 4.23 2/5. Only now, nearly 13 years afterwards are Wrackler's great double-gaited feats placed in true perspective. His like may never be seen again.
Wrackler's full-sister, Arethusa, was a great little filly. She was 'ugly as sin,' but what a heart she had! She won the Sapling Stakes and NZ Derby, and at three years she won over two miles in seasoned company and finished up with a two-mile record of 4.24, which stood as a 3-year-old record for some years. She carried on to win many other important races, and was one of the gamest and best of her inches seen up to her time.
Soon after the retirement of Arethusa, the 'set' against the Wrack breed was at its height. This unwarranted prejudice became so strong, and the depression years so accentuated it, that the Wracks could scarcely be given away. That is probably the main reason why Tattersalls saw a lot of them go under the hammer for a mere 'song'. There was Sea Gift at 6gns; Nicoya at 4½gns; Peggotty at 4gns, just to mention three of the greatest sale-ring bargains the world over. As is well known to the majority of trotting followers, these three cast-offs developed into trotters of the highest class and won thousands for their lucky purchasers. With the coming of Sea Gift and Nicoya coincided the high-class pacing performances of Cloudy Range, Tempest, Ironside and Reporter, and there also followed a regular stream of high-class juvenile as well as aged trotters. For instance, White Satin and Gerfalcon, both of whom were 3-year-old trotting record holders in their day.
Most of these were in the top class by the time a rangy, overgrown-looking colt named Indianapolis set tongues wagging the day he ran rings round a field of novices of all ages in his very first race as a 2-year-old. He was narrowly beaten by Taxpayer in the Sapling Stakes and the Derby, but after that he rapidly climbed to champion class, winning the NZ Cup three years in succession and taking a mile record of 2.00 2/5 against time. Many trotting men still regard Indianapolis as the greatest pacer foaled in the Dominion. It is certain he would have broken two minutes if he had been specially trained for the purpose, and his best time of 4.15 4/5 for two miles was probably seconds slower than what he would have done if he had not struck wet tracks for his second and third NZ Cup victories.
One could go on for pages and pages writing about this versatile family by Wrack. Members of it, beside all the rich races mentioned above, have won five NZ Derbys(Wrackler, Arethusa, Ciro, Aldershot and Imperial Jade), and Wrackler is not the only trotter of the breed to win against high-class pacers: Sea Gift gained similar distinction, and this great mare's two-mile trotting record of 4.21 2/5, established eight years ago, still stands.
This saga of the Wrack family would by no means be complete without special reference to the somewhat belated greatness of Bronze Eagle. Enough has already been written in these columns about that aspect of his chequered career. Now he ranks as the Dominion's leading stayer, and is sure to be one of the favourites for the NZ Trotting Cup, a race he won last year by sheer grit and superb racing qualities.
Very few of the Wracks were left entire; the greatest of them, Indianapolis, is the sire of Indian Lad, a winner as a 3-year-old last season; Casanova is the sire of Casabianca, a very fine trotter who defeated Fantom, Desmond's Pride and Blue Horizon in the Addington Trotting Stakes as a 4-year-old.
Wrack mares are proving good producers, among the winners out of them being the present champion trotter Sea Max, one of Auckland's crack pacers Medical Student, Canterbury's leading 4-year-old Jack's Son, and other winners in Larissa, Margaret Hall, Poppotunoa, Punctual, Manpower, Maalesh, Ordinance, Turco, Moana Tama(Sapling Stakes), Night Porter, Tara's Hall, Windermere, Mistydale, Calumella, Betty Maxegin, Oregan, Chinook, Jervis Bay, Fire Water, Forecast, Jill, Radiant Scott, Durability and Frank Scott.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 3Oct1945
For several seasons around the World War Two era, Clockwork knocked about the best classes. He was second in an Auckland Cup and placed in other good races but never made the breakthrough to the headlines in spite of all the efforts of trainer Cecil Donald. The spring of 1945 looked like the same old, same old. Clockwork had been off the winning list for a year and while third in the Hannon Memorial in October he had been a long way from the winner.
So far in fact that the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club hardly raised a murmur when it eliminated Clockwork from the New Zealand Cup. That Cup was a spectacular race, won at last by eternal crowd hero Gold Bar.
However, a few days later in the New Zealand Pacing Free-For-All, Ron Donald hunted the despised Clockwork out of the barrier and drove him hard to ensure Gold Bar would not put his usual big break on the field. The plan worked. Gold Bar was never more than a length in front of Clockwork and the veteran ran him down. That was sensational enough because Clockwork was at 35/1. But more was to come.
Clockwork had pushed Gold Bar so hard they had run a new national record for the 2400m of a mile & a half which stood for some years before being equalled but never beaten by the champion Highland Fling. As for Clockwork? Well, he never pushed the watches anywhere near any record times ever again.
Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed Feb 2016
1944/45 Season (3 Year Old)
Sat Dec 30 Winton – Novice Hcp (Second Division)
3rd behind Turi Queen
Sat Jan 20 Forbury Park – Navy Hcp
Unplaced behind Radiant Scott
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 31 January 1945
“Aberhall is a novice above the average. He failed to show up on the first day at Forbury after being slow away, but the Dillon Hall three-year-old finished a good third at Winton during the holidays. A good opinion is held of him and he may justify it this week.”
Sat Feb 3 Winton JC – Otapiri Trot Hcp (First Division)
2nd by ½ length to Grattan Wave. Trained & driven by L L Abernethy
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 7 February 1945
“Aberhall confirmed the opinion that he is a three-year-old above the average when he fought on very gamely in endeavouring to overhall Grattan Wave at the finish of a division of the Otapiri Trot at Winton. The Dillon Hall gelding was in the firing line all the way, and he should not be long in graduating from the novice ranks.”
Sat Feb 24 Invercargill – Novice Handicap (Saddle)
Won by 5 lengths from Lauder Girl & Haste. Ridden by D M Kerr
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 28 February 1945
“Aberhall was having his fourth start when he won the Novice Handicap on Saturday, having been placed in two of his three previous outings. The Dillon Hall three-year-old is a pacer of promise, as not only did he win in hollow style on Saturday but he is a level-headed customer and a good pacer to boot.
Aberhall is a member of a rather interesting family. His dam, Moradine, did not go far in the handicaps, but she took a mile and a half record of 3.29 1-5. She was got by Adioo Guy from Myola, an OYM mare who left others in Desert Star (2.13 3-5). Myola was out of Fitzella, by Fitzjimmy from Miss Sherwood. OYM the sire of Myola, was a son of Owyhee (grand-sire of Globe Derby). OYM is probably better known as the sire of Our Thorpe, Agathos ( a Trotting Cup winner), Desdemona, First Alarm, OIC, Gipsy King and others.”
Mon Apr 2 Beaumont R C – Freybery Hcp Trot (Saddle)
3rd off 36yds behind Saskatoon & Jolly Biddy (both off Scr)
Ridden by D M Kerr. Margins Neck, 6 lengths
Sat Apr 14 Southland RC – Otatara Harness Trot
Unplaced behind Fashion Clue, Lou Hall & Trevathan
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 18 April 1945
“Aberhall has furnished into a fine type of three-year-old. He was confidently expected to show up at the Southland meeting, but was standing the wrong way round when the field was despatched.”
Sat Sept 29 Otago Hunt – Wingatui Trotting Hcp
3rd Trained & Driven by L L Abernethy
Sat Oct 13 Forbury Park – Hurricane Hcp
Won from Plunder Bar & Radiant Scott. Driven by D M Kerr
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 17 October 45
“For some time Aberhall has been regarded as one of the most likely improvers racing in Southland, and his winning performance in the Hurricane Handicap at Forbury Park on Saturday confirmed this contention. The Dillon Hall gelding displayed outstanding form as a three-year-old last season when he was a winner in an open novice race, but unfortunately he was not engaged in the Southland juvenile classics. He has furnished into a grand type of four-year-old, and no success at Forbury was as convincing as that achieved by the Gore pacer.
Being by Dillon Hall from an Adioo Guy mare, he is a representative of a cross which has been bred from rather extensively in Southland in recent seasons, and there is good reason to believe that Adioo Guy mares will breed with some success. Moradine, the dam of Aberhall, raced with moderate success and took a mile and ½ record of 3.29 1-5. She was out of Myola, an OYM mare.”
Sat Oct 27 Invercargill – Thomson Hcp
Won from Understudy & Lou Hall. Driven by D M Kerr
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 31 October 1945
“If there was an occasion to name the likely favourite for this year’s Gore Cup, to be run on Boxing Day, there would be no hesitation in selecting Aberhall. There has been some style about the manner in which he has won at his last two starts, and at Invercargill on Saturday the Dillon Hall gelding accounted for a field of improvers in convincing fashion.
As a three-year-old last season Aberhall was not the most reliable at the start of his races but in his latest appearances he has not made any mistakes, and his winning efforts have been achieved with something in hand.
On Saturday he was one of the leaders immediately the field had settled down, and he was a winner a long way from home. He has furnished into a grand type of four-year-old and there does not appear to be any doubt about his winning over further ground.”
Sat Nov 17 Southland Racing – New River Harness Trot
Unplaced behind Happy King
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 28 November 1945
“Aberhall’s failure over two miles at Invercargill was a nasty pill to swallow. He had won up to a mile and a half in great style, and if ever a horse appears fitted to run out two miles it is the Dillon Hall gelding. There was no room to make excuses for his Invercargill failure; he was simply not good enough on the day.”
Wed Dec26 Gore – Gore Trotting Club Hcp
Unplaced behind Monagh Leagh
same day F Walls Memorial Hcp
Won from Windermere & Scatterbrain. Driven by D M Kerr
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 3 February 1946
“Aberhall won well over a mile and a quarter at Gore after failing to begin correctly over two miles earlier in the day. Aberhall’s effort in one of the best class fields he has yet met indicates that he is not far short of some of the early opinions expressed of the Dillon Hall gelding, although he has yet to prove his staying qualities.”
Wed Jan2 Southland Racing – Oreti Harness Trot
3rd to Lou Hall & Grelba. Driven by D M Kerr
Sat Jan 6 Southland Racing - Rosedale Harness Hcp
Unplaced behind Battle On
Sat Jan 19 Forbury Park – Flying Hcp
3rd behind Dillondale &Elvo’s Pride
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 230January 1946
“Aberhall was far from disgraced in the Flying Handicap, and his third placing was one to enthuse over. At the end of a furlong he was well back in the running, and even with half a mile to go he only had three runners behind him. Aberhall had not made up much ground by the time the home turn was reached, but in the straight he finished very strongly. There is good reason to respect Aberhall’s worth as a sprinter.”
Sat Jan 26 Forbury Park – Au Revoir Hcp
Won from Margaret Hall & Technique
Sat Feb 9 Canterbury Park – Wigram Hcp
4th behind Plunder Bar, Princess Maritza & Red Setter
Sat Feb 16 New Brighton – Eclipse Hcp
2nd behind Dillondale. Driven by J Walsh
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 27 February 1946
“Aberhall was asked the question of a super horse to win the Eclipse Handicap at the New Brighton meeting and he had to be at least above the average to hold off all but Dillondale, who had a much better passage.”
Sat Apr 6 NZ Metropolitan – Craven Hcp
Unplaced behind Scotch Music. (Light Brigade was 4th)
Sat Apr 13 NZ Metro – Wilkin Hcp
Won from Princess Maritza & Radical
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 17 April 1946
“Moradine, dam of Aberhall, was a winner, but she did not go very far. She is one of many Adioo Guy mares producing winners. Her dam was Myola, the dam of Desert Star, was probably the best stayer in Southland in his day. Myola was by OYM, sire of Our Thorpe, a champion stayer in his day, winning the Free-For-All, finishing second in the NZ Cup, and holding the mile record for a number of years.
Aberhall, like others by Dillon Hall, shapes like a stayer. In the Wilkin Handicap on Saturday Aberhall had only two horses behind him with half a mile to go, and even when he improved to fifth position at the home turn he did not appear to be travelling well enough to be a winning possibility. But from that stage he cut down the leaders in great style and won going away from Princess Maritza and Radical.
Aberhall, only a four-year-old, is trained at Gore by his owner, L L Abernethy. He was driven on Saturday by J Walsh. Aberhall has won five races this season. Altogether he has won six times and been in the minor money seven times for £2275 in stakes.”
Sat Apr 20 NZ Metro – Autumn Stks
4th behind Great Belwin, Navigate & County Clare
Sat Aug 24 NZ Metro – Speedway Hcp
2nd behind Catalpa (2 lengths). Driven by R Stevens
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 28 August 1946
“Aberhall was staying on better than Dunmore in the Speedway Hcp and is a young stayer of above average ability, no matter what the state of the track. Aberhall’s reputation with Addington patrons goes on improving.”
Sat Aug 31 NZ Metro – Advance Hcp
Won off 12 yards from Pre-Eminence. Driven by R Stevens.
Extract fro NZ Trotting Calendar 4 Sept 1946
“Aberhall decisively outstayed a strong field in the Advance Hcp, after being badly placed in a rear position for a mile and ¾, he was still pocketed, with 8 horses in front of him, as the field rounded the home turn, and his progress under difficulties from that stage stamped him as a very fine young stayer. Only a 5-year-old, his latest assessment is 4:26 for 2 miles.”
Sat Sep 7 New Brighton – Electric Hcp
Unplaced behind Sir Michael (1945 NZ Derby winner)
Sat Nov 2 NZ Metro (Cup Day) – Final Hcp
Won by a neck from Great Belwin & Dillondale. Trained & Driven by G S Smith.
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 13 November 1946
“Aberhall is an interesting experiment in breeding, as he is got by artificial insemination, a form of breeding widely used in America and England, especially in the breeding of cattle and sheep.”
Fri Nov 15 NZ Metro (3rd day Cup Mtgn, Postponed from 9/11) –
William Hayward Hcp – Won by a length from Plunder Bar, Acropolis and War Form.
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 18 December 1946
“Aberhall. a staunch favourite for the Auckland Cup, which this year carries a record stake of £3500, took the highest honours in his class at the New Zealand Cup Meeting by inflicting the only defeats registered against two of the best pacers at the carnival – Plunder Bar, winner of a treble over the four days, and Great Belwin, winner of two races.
Only now five years old, Aberhall is a genuine stayer and also a sprinter of very high calibre. He was successful in his only two appearances at the Metropolitan Cup meeting, and the manner in which he outsprinted Great Belwin and outstayed Plunder Bar after giving them both a start at the top of the straight sent him right to the top in Auckland Cup discussions. He is likely to remain there.
Aberhall, winner of nine races and £4880 in stakes since he made his first appearance in a race less than two years ago, is a fool-proof racehorse; he has a job to do and goes out and does it with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of efficiency. He has arrived at his present high estate in a much shorter period than most horses who eventually reach New Zealand Cup class, and his elevation to that circle appears to be only a matter of time.”
Fri Dec 27 Auckland – Auckland Trotting Cup
3rd behind Loyal Nurse & Great Belwin. Driven by G S Smith.
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 1 Jan 1947
“The firm win fancy Aberhall was never going comfortably and when he failed to jump away cleanly soon got into a difficult position. When he got into the clear along the back he moved forward, but lagged badly crossing the top and into the straight, which gave him no chance of getting near the two ahead of him.
G S Smith expressed the opinion afterwards that the right handed track was not to Aberhall’s liking. The Dillon Hall pacer is not the first Cup favourite by any means to be tricked by the reverse method, when running like champions in the south.”
Sat Dec 28 Auckland – Champion Hcp
Unplaced behind Loyal Nurse & Great Belwin.
Tue Dec 31 Auckland – President’s Hcp
4th behind Great Belwin, Knave Of Diamonds & Acropolis. Driven by G S Smith.
Sat Mar 22 NZ Metro – Speedway Hcp
Unplaced behind Nyallo Scott
Sat Apr 5 NZ Metro – Au Revoir Hcp
4th behind Dundee Sandy, Great Belwin & Navigate. Driven by G S Smith.
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 23 April 1947
“Aberhall, conqueror at the Metropolitan November carnival of Plunder Bar over two miles, and Great Belwin over a mile and a quarter, failed later as a strongly-fancied candidate for the Auckland Cup, but he made a fine showing to finish a close fourth in a sprint race at Easter. That was a performance that should bring him into favour for the Ritchie Memorial.”
Sat Apr 26 Forbury Park – Ritchie Memorial Hcp
Unplaced behind Highland Fling, Gold Peg & Lucky Loyal
Sat May 3 Forbury Park – James Memorial Hcp
Unplaced behind Gold Peg, Jack’s Son & Highland Fling
Sat Aug 23 NZ Metro – Winter Hcp
Unplaced off Scr behind Highland Fling
Sat Aug 30 NZ Metro – National Hcp
2nd (2 lengths) behind Plunder Bar. Driven by L Frost
Sat Sep 6 New Brighton – Electric Hcp
3rd (Nose, 11/2 Lengths) behind Bellhall & Plunder Bar. Driven by L Frost.
Sat Oct 11 Forbury Park – Flying Hcp
Unplaced off 12 yards to Loyal Peter
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 15 October 1947
“There was no excuse for Aberhall against the sprinters on Saturday, as he had every chance in the running. The race would probably do him good.”
Sat Oct 18 Forbury Park – Farewell Hcp
Won off 12 yards by 3 lengths from Jack’s Son. Driven by L Frost
Trained by L L Abernethy
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 22 October 1947
“Aberhall, who made a poor showing against the sprinters on a fast track the first day, was a much different proposition when the going was at its worst in the Farewell Hcp on Saturday. Over the last half-mile he had the result in safe keeping, and it was an effort which showed the Dillon Hall gelding in his true colours.”
Sat Oct 24 Oamaru – Hannon Memorial
Dead-heated for 3rd with Battle Colours. Race won by Knave Of Diamonds from Integrity. Aberhall driven by L Frost.
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 29 October 1947
“Aberhall, continues to race consistently. He was responsible for a solid effort in the Hannon Memorial Hcp at Oamaru.”
Sat Nov 1 NZ Metro (Cup Day) – Empire Hcp
Won off 24 yards by a length from War Form. Driven by L Frost
Trained by L L Abernethy
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 5 November 1947
“Aberhall, under this year’s conditions has qualified for the NZ Cup. He reached the 4.22 mark by a convincing win in the Empire Hcp. He has won £7370 in stakes, and is a genuine all-rounder.”
Sat Nov 8 NZ Metro (Cup Meeting) – Ollivier Hcp
2nd by a nose to Navigate finishing ahead of Plunder Bar, Loyal Realm, Turco, Highland Fling, Shadow Maid, Loyal Nurse, Knave Of Diamonds.
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 12 Nov 1947
“Aberhall finished so fast down on the fence in the Ollivier Handicap that in another stride he must have won. He is a model of consistency, having won twice, finished second twice, and third once in his last six starts. His stakes winnings to date are £7870.”
Sat Nov 15 NZ Metro (4th Day Cup Mtgn) – NZ Pacing Free-For-All
Unplaced behind Integrity, In The Mood, Turco & Highland Fling.
Sat Feb 7 Auckland (Inter Dominion Champs) – Qualifying Heat
Unplaced off 12 yards behind Loyal Peter, Globe Direct & Knave Of Diamonds
Sat Feb 14 Auckland (Inter Dominion Champs) – Qualifying Heat
Unplaced off 12 yards behind Knave Of Diamonds, Emulous & Globe Direct
Sat Feb 21 Auckland (Inter Dominion Champs) – Consolation
Unplaced off 12 yards behind Turco, Double Peter & Doctor Ted
Sat Mar 13 NZ Metro – A I Rattray Hcp
4th behind Highland Fling, Plunder Bar & Emulous
Sat Mar 27 NZ Metro – Easter Stakes
Unplaced behind Highland Fling & Emulous
Sat Apr 24 Forbury Park – Dunedin Centennial Cup Hcp
Unplaced behind Acropolis, Highland Fling, Dundee Sandy & Plunder Bar.
Sat Oct 9 Forbury Park – Flying Hcp
3rd off 24 yards behind Emulous(60 yds) . Driven by L Frost
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 13 October 1948
“...Aberhall, too, must be rated as a first-class prospect. He finished late from a pocket in the Flying Handicap last week.”
“Aberhall made a promising reappearance when he finished with a late run to get up for third behind Emulous and Henry Of Navarre. The Gore pacer has rarely stripped in better order and the race should tune him for immediate engagements.”
Sat Oct 16 Forbury Park – Farewell Hcp
Unplaced off 24 yards behind Minoru
Sat Oct 25 Oamaru – Hannon Memorial
2nd by ½ Length off Scr to Navigate. Highland Fling & Emulous unplaced
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 27 Oct 1948
“...Aberhall was not disgraced in being beaten into second place after being responsible for the pace. His was the effort of a game racehorse...”
Sat Oct 30 NZ Metro – NZ Cup
12th to Highland Fling. Driven by L C Frost
Sat Nov 6 NZ Metro – Ollivier Hcp
Unplaced of 12 yards to Single Direct
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 10 November 1948
“The unlucky horse in the Ollivier Hcp was Plunder Bar, who was completely eliminated when Aberhall swung across and stopped him at barrier rise. Aberhall also behaved badly in the New Zealand Cup and is fast earning a reputation as a problem at the start of his races.”
Sat Jan 1 Canterbury Park – Canterbury Hcp
Unplaced behind Monagh Leagh, Plunder Bar, Highland Fling & Dundee Sandy.
Mon Jan 3 Canterbury Park – Mason Hcp
3rd (Length & ½ Length) off 24 yards to Plunder Bar(24 yds) and Highland Fling(96 yds). Driven by R Stevens
Sat Jan 22 Forbury Park – Flying Hcp
Unplaced off 24 yards behind Attack
Sat Jan 29 Forbury Park – Au Revoir Hcp
Unplaced off 24 yards behind Captain Sandy
Sat Oct 8 Forbury Park – Flying Hcp
Unplaced off 24 yards to Victoy Globe
Extract from NZ Trotting Calendar 19 Oct 1949
“Aberhall, a New Zealand Cup candidate, was the outsider of the sprint field and he was the last to finish.”
Sat Oct 15 Forbury Park – Farewell Hcp
Unplaced off 24 yards to Baby Grand
Tue Dec 31 Canterbury Park – Canterbury Hcp
Unplaced off 12 yards to Attack
Thu Jan 2 Canterbury Park – Mason Hcp
Unplaced off 12 yards to Checkmate
Sat Jan 21 Forbury Park – Dunedin Cup
Unplaced off 24 yards to Gantree
Sat Jan 28 Forbury Park – Champion Free-For-All
Unplaced to Integrity
Sandydale, 2.01¾, is one of the fastest-performed three-year-old pacers to come from America to the Dominion. He campaigned against some of the best ever produced, such as Edna Brewer 2.00, and the "Greyhound" of the pacing world, Little Pat, 1.58, who closed the 1941 season's racing with ten world's championships to his credit, and leading pacing gelding in the two-minute list. On over 100 separate occasions he has been a mile in 2.05 or better, a feat which has never previously been approached in light-harness history.
Sandydale's exportation was regretted by American breeders. His actual speed was never tested and he went his record 2.01¾ in winning the Championship Stallion Stake at three years. He was afterwards purchased for stud purposes for New Zealand.
By the world-renowned sire Abbedale, 2.01¼, from Ioleen McKinney, his pedigree, on both sides, is a combination of the most prominent pacing families in the world today. The best evidence of this is the record prices realised for Abbedale male line yearlings offered at the annual yearling sales, which is distinct proof that they are the most popular pacing family now before the public.
The success of Abbedale's sons as progenitors of sensational speed is really phenomenal. Since being first represented on the sires' list their two and three-year-olds have been most successful. Sandydale is the sire of several winners, including Navigate, Heliopolis, Sandiways, Blackdale and Sandstone.
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 13 September 1944
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 18 October 1944
Mr W T Lowe reports the death of Jewel Pointer, one of the greatest pacers of his day. Mr J S Shaw, who trained and drove Jewel Pointer in most of his successes, still regards the little brown stallion as the best all-rounder he ever had anything to do with.
Jewel Pointer was good in saddle or harness. He won £9075 in stakes, and one of his notable feats was to win three £1000 events in succession and all within the space of eight days. Mr Shaw put a small fortune the way of Mr M J Moodabe when he took Jewel Pointer on a fortnight's trial and decided to buy the horse for the Auckland owner.
Jewel Pointer raced from three years to 13 years without a season off. He contested 151 races for 16 wins, 23 seconds, 14 thirds and five fourths that carried prize money.
He was fairly successful at stud. The best horse he sired was Great Jewel, who was the leading stake-winner in the 1939-40 season with £3000. Incidentally, Jewel Pointer was the leading stake-winner in the 1927-28 season with £3545.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in the the NZ Trotting Calendar 18 Oct 1944
CAPTAIN SANDY - Bargain Buy
Captain Sandy(1944) Cost £550 - Won £43,000(Australasian record when set)
The most remarkable thing about this bargain buy was that it was not made as a yearling or as an untried horse. It was paid after Captain Sandy had won two Auckland Cups and the 1949 Inter Dominion Grand Final!
He had also once ran the mighty Highland Fling at his best to a nose after giving him two lengths start at the top of the Addington straight and had beaten all the other champions in pacing's golden age. He was the leading stake earner of 1949.
However, his trainer Jock Bain had raced Captain Sandy on a lease without options and, when it was up, owner Bob Ludemann tried him with Wes Butt and George Benny without success. The Captain really looked well over the hill, not having won for two years, so Ludemann(and Benny) accepted an offer of £1100 from Aussie trainer Dinny Nolan.
Nolan famously carted Captain Sandy all over the continent on a single horse float including to Perth where he won the 1953 Inter Dominion Final, the first to win two of them.
He set a Standardbred Australasian record in stakes and ran a world record 1:59 in Perth, though it was subsequently disallowed. It remains possibly the most amazing comeback in our harness history.
Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed 2016