Hoof Prints: Leaving a Legacy

Hoof Prints: Leaving a Legacy

Featured Image: Horse Hoof Prints in the sand; acknowledgment ‘depositphotos’

The image is a very poignant because it’s both momentarily transitory; and intangible. The next high tide will eliminate it/them forever leaving a blank canvas. In the infinity of time how ‘permanent’ are any of our imprints? In this context read as follows.

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Harry R Hayes

Harry R Hayes: ‘Breakfast at Harry’s’

Featured Image: Harry Hayes (‘HRH’) (As I write this I’m delighted that Harry Hayes’ great grandson Chester Hall has just won a Bishop Essay Prize for his treatise on ‘HRH’. This little bit helped).

Harry was legendary! He enjoyed the good life but only because he invested in it what he hoped to receive with interest in return. He made adequate preparation by working 25 hours per day then take some time to celebrate the effort. Racing and breeding were his enduring passions after his primary interests of cattle raising, grazing and the meat industry. He was rightfully honoured by the State for his highly significant contribution to community and sporting affairs.

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Horse Away!

Horse Away!

Featured Image courtesy of ‘Bing Images’

Caption: ‘Ginger’ makes a break

It had been a hard day’s night for Tom from Merriwa and his trusty steed Ginger! The annual Scone Rodeo traditionally on the “hot” last weekend in October was a challenging event not to be missed. It had to be celebrated in true bucolic style by as much competitive and social interactivity as was humanly possible and then some! Tom and Ginger were tenacious combatants of the old school and had successfully completed another furious round of camp drafting and pick up. It was very thirsty work of course and it was essential to immediately replenish depleted fluid reserves with gusto! Ginger liked pure water and had his fill. Tom preferred a less pure brew but being a Sunday in the bad old days his poison was much harder to procure. There is always a solution for the assiduously perspicacious bon vivant!

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The Tuesday Boozers Club

The Tuesday Boozers Club

Featured Image: ‘The Little White Bull’ Reg Watts on ‘Norma’, Sydney Royal 1938; Photo courtesy of Chris Winter

The Tuesday Boozers Club (TBC) at the Belmore Hotel was an iconic totem of a bygone era celebrated by a unique cadre of bucolic individuals. The Belmore Hotel Scone was the spiritual home of the TBC! For eons of time the weekly Fat Stock Cattle Sale has been held at the various Scone Sale Yard locations every Tuesday of the year barring major public holiday clashes. This became the pilgrimage destination for many outlying farmers and graziers seeking business transactions allied to social interaction with their agents and associates. For some this included well lubricated sessions of discourse in the select bar of the Belmore Hotel with mine hosts Jim and Audrey Cotton at the helm. There were variable sessions of condolence, congratulation, consideration and commiseration. Wives, girlfriends and de factos were expected to visit and meet with relatives and friends or engage in other social, civic and sporting pursuits for the duration of the sale and its aftermath. They could collect their bread-winner at the appointed hour for the return journey.

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Dr Henry ‘Tup’ Scott’s Cricket Bag on display

Dr Henry ‘Tup’ Scott’s cricket kit bag on display at the Scone Visitor Information Centre

Acknowledge: The Scone Advocate

Featured Image: Dr Henry Scott’s cricket kit bag is now on display for the community to see at the Scone Visitor Information Centre


Caitlin Reid

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Scone tops the list of favourite tracks

The Sportsman Weekend            13 Dec 2019        @NeilEvansmail NEIL EVANS

See: https://www.pressreader.com/australia/the-sportsman-weekend/20191213/281496458168438

TWO more Saturdays before Santa weighs in and let’s reflect on the tracks that can make you most money.

Of course punters, big and small, all have their favourites and the wonderful game can never be an exact science but having scrutinised and absorbed every track in NSW, here is where I love to go.

Weighing up the primary factors – patterns, reliability, durability, recovery and most importantly fewer across-the board hard luck stories – here are my top five punting tracks in NSW:

  1. Scone, 2. Wagga, 3. Dubbo, 4. Canterbury, 5. Rosehill.

As you can see, the most common denominator is the long straight with Canterbury the only course with a shorter run home making the list, primarily because of its outstanding ability to play reasonably fair from good to heavy.

Scone’s biggest advantage is that lovely gradual sweeping turn from the 700m which means riders can exercise all important ‘cover’ for longer and horses remain more composed and tractable because the turn is far less abrupt.

The course, in my opinion, brings runners to their peak more often and it’s no surprise today’s special Christmas meeting drew a staggering 122 acceptors for the eight races.

Both Wagga and Dubbo have terrific long runs in but the turn is a little sharper and horses are more likely to lug off track. That said, particularly in Dubbo’s case, it does open up more accessible gaps for those buried away back on the inside.

Pattern reliability is the overwhelming factor. You could argue there are other metro, provincial and country layouts not too dissimilar but on many of those, the pattern can often be different from one meeting to next, even sometimes on the same rating.

Scone seemingly rewards superior horses and riders more often. This year’s outstanding Cup Dark Jewel Classic Carnival was testament to that.

On pure form depth and quality, with so many immediately going on to win blacktype races in Sydney and Brisbane, I still rate those two days in early May as the highest quality country-based racing at any time in Australia’s history.

As for the Big Smoke, yes Canterbury’s size means there are hard luck stories but the surface across the board is almost without peer.

Rosehill to me is superior to Randwick because of all round reliability – it can boast more days when the winners have come from front, middle and back.

Melody Belle (NZ) & Manto

Melody Belle (NZ) & Manto (GB)

Acknowledge: Brian Russell & ‘Australian Thoroughbred 2019’

Featured Image: ‘Trenton’ by ‘Musket’ (See below)

Melody Belle is the winner of 10 Group I Races (9 in NZ) including the 2019 running of the Empire Rose Stakes (1600 metres). She was also runner up in the L K S Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington to Magic Wand one week later.

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White Park: The Memories

White Park: The Memories

Acknowledge: Harley Walden (the author)

Featured Image: White Park as Harley Walden recalled it; and so beloved by him

The racetrack dominates with the Rodeo Ground in the centre. Centre left is the No. I cricket oval which was very highly regarded by aficionados. No. 2 oval is in the far left corner near the Golf Club clubhouse.

Prologue (WPH)

White Park was fundamental in the life of Harley Walden. His principle passion was the Race Club but clearly the whole ambience resonated powerfully throughout his long innings. He considered White Park to be the spiritual home of the Scone Race Club. He called his historical tribute ‘The Spirit Within’. It’s a most apposite title. For his generation and even before ‘The Park’ was the very epicentre of recreational activity for the citizens of Scone. Harley made the most of it; and this little tribute is an ornament to his written memorial.

There is a metal plaque on the right hand brick column (on entry), one of two which suspend the wrought iron gates referred to by Harley below. The people of Scone are eternally and perennially grateful for the munificent benefaction of Mr A G White of ‘Belltrees’. The plaque states:

Presented to the people of Scone as a Recreation Reserve by:

A G White Esq


White Park

And officially opened for this purpose

*9th June 1924*


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Scone Cup Ring In 2019

Scone Cup Ring In 2019

Featured Image: Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Critto of the Hawks Nest Caliphate returns to Scone for the Scone Races Darley Cup Presentation in 2019! This is Group I gatecrashing at its very best!

Alan Crittenden (‘Critto’) is featured second from the left on the rostrum wearing cloth cap with a fellow Hawks Nest ‘intruder’. The official party are blissfully unaware that neither ‘Critto’ nor his mate had anything at all to do with the running of the race or were associated in any way with any starter; least of all the winner! The Darley/Godolphin supremo presentation group includes Vin Cox (GM), Alastair Pulford (SRC President) and Ross Cole (Company Secretary). I doubt even media host Gary Harley guessed at the identity and/or legitimacy of the intrepid interlopers? There’s also a fabulous photo of the Hawks Nest duo with the winning owners of ‘Special Missile’ holding the Cup! It was a big day out for the boys from the beach!

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Digests From World Turf Writers (1950)

Digests From World Turf Writers (1950)

The following vignettes are taken directly from ‘Thoroughbreds’: The Stud Breeders’ Magazine Volume 1 Number 1: Souvenir Issue 1950. They are ‘dated’ but might still throw some light on the inexact dilemma of breeding superior thoroughbreds; even today?

Featured Image: ‘Nasrullah’ (See the article ‘Right’ below) at ‘Spendthrift’ KY

See: http://sconevetdynasty.com.au/thoroughbreds-magazine-1950/


Many notable breeders of yesteryear postulated their own pet theories of ‘inheritance of ability’ in thoroughbred horses. F K ‘Darby’ Mackay posited that there was what he called an ‘Electric Spark’ factor which came through in some individuals. He was an ardent student of both Mendelian Genetics and Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’. He was the person who once challenged me with the enigmatic conundrum of ‘What Makes a Good Horse’; and conversely ‘What Makes a Horse Good’! I’ll report back later (if I ever solve the riddle).

Both Colin McAlpine (Eureka Stud) and Colin Hayes (Lyndsay Park Stud) debated the concept of the ‘Energy Gene’ which I think might have been directly analogous with Darby Mackay’s ‘Electric Spark’ factor? There is no single simple answer but the following might help?

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