“It Ain’t Over ‘Til the Fat Man Spins”!

Featured Image: ‘Himself’ the Sheikh of Tweak!

I wrote the original of this ‘philosophical ‘cricket-related vignette on 22nd December 2006 when I was Director of the University of Sydney Post Graduate Foundation in Veterinary Science. I tried to vindicate it by also calling it by the alternative substitute title of “The Acquisition of Life Skills”. At the time the Veterinary Faculty at the University was debating the desirable ‘attributes’ required by new graduates in veterinary science. This was educational philosophy ‘writ large’.

It’s on again as I write between Australia and the South African Proteas; this time just prior the confrontation at ‘Newlands’, Cape Town, SA. As usual controversy reigns OK! I also posted a ‘blog’ earlier which I called ‘Spun Out’. It’s had zero ‘hits’ as far as I’m aware. I thought I’d try a little new-age re-branding to see what happens? ‘Joe Adventitious Concupiscence’ has enjoyed an equivalent level of popularity. ‘Big Merv’ attracted an audience of zero until I sent it to  a local entrepreneur in the featured image.

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Birth of Bain Fallon Memorial Lectures AVJ

Birth of Bain Fallon Memorial Lectures AVJ

Featured Image L to R: Murray Bain and Peter Fallon. The photo of Murray was taken by a photographer accompanying legendary racing journalist Bert Lillye to Scone. The ‘snapshot’ of Peter Fallon is from a photograph of the triumphant Sydney University Rugby Team in 1945.

I direct you to the following link URL


If ever I leave a solid ‘Hoof Print’ then this is it. Ours is a small nepotistic and incestuous profession with both local and global outreach. Being ‘small’ can have its advantages. We all know one another; at least in the English speaking world.

An esteemed professional colleague Dr Anne Fawcett has very kindly written:

“Scone really was a truly remarkable intellectual hothouse…some amazing concepts, techniques and personalities emerged…and so many great stories!”

I have written extensively about this elsewhere. I append the following tributes to both Murray Bain and Peter Fallon.

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Scone Golf Course Development of New 9-Hole Course 2018

Scone Golf Course Development of New 9-Hole Course 2018

The 9-hole golf course is currently undergoing a re-development due to the Scone bypass road impacting on the course. In an exciting phase in the history of the course, this commenced in September 2017 and we are looking forward to a great course to play in mid-2018. Progress reports on the development can be followed on the website when they become available. The new Scone Golf Course is all a part of the Scone Bypass Progress. It’s actually the start; which answers the many questions I am often asked!

The masterplan and updated photographs of construction progress plus links to other reports can be viewed at:


A tour of progress of the new course was held for members on Monday December 11, 2017.
See Scone Advocate report:


McMAHONS website information

PACIFIC COAST DESIGN website information

COURSE INFORMATION from Golf Industry Website -news

Scone Golf Course redesign Successful tenderer for construction McMahons Pty Ltd; Final design Pacific Coast Design. August 2017.
View “A new beginning for Scone Golf Course”.

This is brilliant news for Scone. I place it on par with the ambitious renovation of the Civic Theatre by the Coroneo family and also work on the Scone Bypass.

See: http://sconevetdynasty.com.au/the-coroneo-family-of-scone/

See: http://sconevetdynasty.com.au/bypass-planning-progress/

Scone Veterinary Protégés IV Dr Richard Malik

Scone Veterinary Protégés IV Dr Richard Malik

Dr Richard Malik DVSc DipVetAn MVetClinStud PhD FACVSc FASM MASID

OK I’m stretching it a bit. It’s what I do best. With over 50 years in veterinary practice and ancillary activities one sees and meets hundreds, if not thousands of undergraduate veterinary students. Most of these seek exposure and experience in ‘real life’ veterinary practice. Think ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. This latter is s a VERY ideological purview. Do I remember them all? Of course I don’t. However a select few are eminently memorable for a variety of reasons. Some of it is blatantly ‘sexist’. Good looking women are very pleasing to the eye; I freely admit.

Someone who is eminently memorable for all the right reasons is Dr Richard Malik. It might be as much as forty years ago. Richard turned up at Scone Veterinary Hospital (then Morgan Howey & Fraser and Partners) straight out of Sydney University. Immediately one knew Richard was ‘different’. He did not fit the ‘old bastard from the bush’, outback-and-way-back mould. Neither was he your average Caucasian private school ‘rugger bugger’ type. Richard had a ferocious intellect and fiercely academic mien. Our aged partner Frank Williams was intrigued. Stroking his droopy moustache as was his wont he intoned to me in his uniquely bucolic way: “Bill, what have we got here? What have we got here”?

Richard was a most attentive student; although I doubt equine and cattle practice was his go? It was mandatory for ingénue veterinarians to explore all avenues. There was one item which attracted Richard’s rapt attention. We were just trialling the use of ‘Xylazine’ and ‘Ketamine’ in combination as induction/anaesthetic agents for short term surgical procedures in horses. I was greatly relieved when my ‘demonstration’ proved faultless. I think even Richard was impressed?

Since then Richard and I have crossed paths often; mainly through the Post Graduate Foundation in Veterinary Science; University of Sydney (PGFVS). This is now known as Continuing Veterinary Education (CVE). Scone actually boasts as the ‘genesis’ of all the Directors of the PGFVS since Tom Hungerford. Doug Bryden came as an undergraduate with his elder brother John who practiced with Murray Bain. Both Michele Cotton and present Director Hugh White were undergraduate students. I’m still there!

Richard pursued a career in teaching and research in feline medicine. He has become a world leader (see below). I’m not surprised. At one International Meeting Richard said ‘he wanted to become the greatest cat veterinarian in the world’. He might have achieved it? Despite many lucrative offers from many Universities in the United States, Richard has remained firmly ‘grounded’ in Sydney despite some unjustifiable local rancour.

Richard is also a farmer of note. He has produced first-class prizewinning fleeces from his flock of one pastured at his eyrie in the Blue Mountains. He also hosts a sanctuary for displaced ‘Brumbies’ and a herd of splendidly horned goats. I think his forte is still ‘herding cats’ however?

He is one of the most passionate and patriotic Australians I have met. His family were part of the noxious diabolical diaspora following cataclysmic events in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. Richard is determined to repay the selected country of their/his choice for the opportunities it has provided. I’m in the same boat, almost literally! Richard has excelled; me less so.

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Duke of York Visit to Scone 1901

Duke of York Visit to Scone 1901

Featured Image: Duke of York 1897; Acknowledge V & A Lafayette

Scone.com (Lis Flaherty) has an excellent historical timeline for Scone

See: http://www.scone.com.au/history/timeline/

Recorded there for 1901 is the following: ‘First Royal visit to Scone, H.R.H. Duke of York, later King George V’. I also reported earlier that the Duke of York patronised the ‘Old’ Golden Fleece Hotel. The present building was constructed in 1934 replacing the original. It’s intriguing to speculate what is meant by ‘patronised’? I doubt he stayed there? Was he caught short; in which case he might have needed the ‘dunny’? It could have been a ‘long drop’? Is it possible that a smidgeon of Battenburg ordure fertilised the Fleece back yard? Just musing.

See: http://sconevetdynasty.com.au/golden-fleece-hotels/

Even Trove did not come up with a better report. I became quite excited with one reference only to discover it was a record of a visit by a Duke of York to Scone; in Perthshire, Scotland!

We’ll just have to take Lis’s word for it. Thank you also the Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society. We do know that King George V’s grandson HRH Prince Charles played Polo at the Yarrandi Ground in 1966 when staying at ‘Belltrees’.

See: http://sconevetdynasty.com.au/royal-hub-capping/

Dark Eclipse Golden Slipper Stakes Winner 1980

Dark Eclipse

Sire: By Baguette by Rego (Imp) by Nasrullah ex Missy Suntan: Out of Dark Jewel by Star Kingdom ex Red Lace

Dam: Marjoram by Major General (Imp) by Court Martial ex Red Shoes; Out of Dark Queen by Coronation Boy (Imp) ex Solar Eclipse

Dark Eclipse 1980 Golden Slipper Stakes Winner

This was a very strong ‘Scone Victory’.

Featured Image: Mrs Mace Bain from Scone leading ‘Dark Eclipse’ back to the winner’s enclosure following a stunning win in the 1980 running of the Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill. Mrs Bain raced the filly in partnership with her daughters Morag and Fiona. I believe they were the very first female owners of a Golden Slipper winner?

Although Murray Bain was not listed as the official breeder of Dark Eclipse he was in fact fundamental in her conception. He purchased both her dam ‘Marjoram’ and a share in her sire ‘Baguette’ when the latter was syndicated by George Ryder to stand at Kia Ora Stud, Scone.

Racehorse Dark Eclipse was foaled in 1977 and was by Baguette out of the mare Marjoram (by Major General). ‘Dark Eclipse’ was actually bred at the Bain’s small farm on Yarrandi Road, Scone. This is not generally known. The farm was later owned by fellow veterinarian Ray Gooley, then named ‘Melness’ when purchased by my late parents-in-law Bob and Ponty Mackay when they handed over ‘Tinagroo’ to son Ranald. Both ‘Tinagroo’ and ‘Melness’ are now owned by local-boy-made-good International Fund Manager David Paradice. David has a keen interest in thoroughbred racing and breeding nurtured during his ‘gap year’ at Widden in the late 1970s.

Main wins:

1980 Tea Rose Stakes

1980 Sweet Embrace Stakes

1980 Magic Night Stakes

1980 Golden Slipper Stakes

Dark Eclipse was trained by Neville Begg and ridden by Kevin Moses. She was actually the ‘second elect’ of the two stable stars in the race. ‘Fiancee’ ridden by Ron Quinton was one of the favourites but drew a very wide barrier. You can view interviews with Neville Begg and Kevin Moses plus a video of the race on:


There is no doubt ‘Dark Eclipse’ was a most impressive winner.

Murray Bain Thoroughbreds

Murray Bain was a very successful thoroughbred breeder from a very small band of broodmares.

Winners included:

‘Tod Maid’:         (Todman ex Ragged Blossom). Winner: Silver Slipper Stakes (Group II) 1966. Other winners of the Silver Slipper Stakes include: ‘Baguette’ (1969); ‘Luskin Star’ (1976); ‘Triscay’ (1989); ‘Pierro’ (2012).

‘Obelia’:               (Sky High ex Ragged Blossom). Winner Keith Mackay Handicap 1969 (Group III; now Percy Sykes Stakes) and five (5) other races.

‘Little Gumnut’:     (Sweet Moss ex Ragged Blossom). Winner AJC Reginald Allen Handicap (Listed) and 2nd; beaten a nose in the VRC Wakeful Stakes (Group I).

‘Dark Eclipse’:    (Baguette ex Marjoram). Winner Golden Slipper Stakes (Group I) 1980. Murray died in 1974 but had purchased both the share in Baguette and the dam Marjoram as a yearling. Dark Eclipse was the first Golden Slipper winner raced in female ownership. (Mrs M. J. ‘Mace’ Bain and daughters Morag and Fiona were co-owners). Marjoram was from the same family which produced the then current champion ‘Taj Rossi’.

‘Dizzie Babe’:     (Major General ex Baby Carriage). Winner of several metropolitan races; raced in partnership with Mr & Mrs D Chrystal Jnr.

‘Blossom Lady’: (Kaoru Star ex Ragged Blossom). Winner.

‘Camomile’:        (Biscay ex Marjoram). Unraced. Dam of Stakeswinner ‘Lemongrass’ (by ‘Horbury’)

Murray also had an ‘interest’ in the following:

‘Chicola’:              Winner AJC Oaks (Group I) 1959

‘Birthday Card’: Winner Golden Slipper Stakes (Group I) 1962


‘Tod Maid’ was dubbed ‘The Flying Pencil’ by racing journalists. She was notoriously ‘light on’ when in full work and in winning form. She later came up for auction and Murray wanted to buy her back. The $20,000 price tag was too much of an impediment. She was purchased by an American and exported to the USA as part of a small package. Being by Noholme’s brother Todman was the potentially lucrative enticement for an American breeder. I remember examining her.  There was ‘something wrong’; possibly gonadal dysgenesis? She had ovaries like small hard pebbles. I don’t believe she ever produced a live foal?

‘Marjoram’ went to stud as a 2yo; she had upward fixation of the patella (‘stifle lock’). Her first foal by ‘Above Water’ was a winner: ‘Suomi’