Belmore Heights ‘Old Course’
Featured Image: The subdivision of ‘Belmore Estate’ in 1905
Belmore Estate was the original property of Scone builder Mathew Miller who constructed his home ‘Belmore House’ (now ‘Geraldton’) on the site as shown. This is now my home. The ‘Old Course on Belmore Heights’ was further up the ‘Public Road to Scone Sale Yards and Scone Common’; now Susan Street. It ran close to the common and the finishing post was near what is now Scott Memorial Hospital in Stafford Street.
The final meeting on the ‘Old Course on Belmore Heights’ may have taken place in 1941? It was recorded in the Scone Advocate as:
‘Springs to Life’
Old Course on Belmore Heights
Hospital Carnival Races Attract Large Crowd
Spasm and Snip Win Principal Double
Interesting Racing and Busy Officials
The old racecourse on Belmore Heights, the scene of many meetings when ARC racing flourished in this and other centres, sprung to life on Saturday, when the major attraction of the Hospital Carnival – the races – was held. There were about 600 people on the ground, and that gate takings amounted to approximately £80. This was a very good result, all things considered, and not alone emphasised the popularity of the sport but proved, once more, one of the best means by which money can be raised for charitable or patriotic purposes.
The meeting was held on property owned by a Miss Wilson. Preparation of the track of ‘about 4 furlongs’ was undertaken by a Mr J T Aisbett who had previously prepared the successful Red Cross Race Meeting at Segenhoe in August 1940. Perennial volunteer Mr Cec Parry attracted lavish praise as Honorary Secretary; as usual. Other luminaries named in the honour roll were Mr H G Horder (Honorary Teasurer), Messrs F C Nutt, G N Lochhead, J J Hardiman, J F Drew, Mr George Clark (Clerk of the Course), brother Steve Clark, H R Poole, H Barwick, C W Murray, P Fincher and G Erranati.
Clerk of the Scales was Mr J D Tierney, Mr W Rose (Starter), Mr F Firth, Judges S Payne & A W Cumming with Stipendiary Stewards A F Smith, D Hogan and S Felton while both Mr Smith and Mr Felton acted as handicappers. Schoolteacher Mr J Thistlethwayte provided the blackboard and vital information pertaining to the meeting. The lot of classing the ‘Scrubbers’ fell to Messrs E L Eipper, R Breese and A W Cumming.
Seven bookmakers attended the meeting with the broadcast arranged by Mr G H Davies. The popular publican’s booth was conducted by Mr P O’Brien of Wingen with the Gundy Members of the Hospital Auxiliary providing afternoon tea and other light refreshments.
In all six races were contested. The controversial runner was ‘Royal Voyage’ who was nominated in three races as pronounced favourite only to be declared a non-starter in the Nurses Handicap (Race 2) due to ‘standing at the post’ and a ‘tardy starter’ in the First Class Scrubbers Race No 4. He managed to win Race 6, the Consolation Handicap in a two horse contest against H Wicks’ ‘Cowboy’. The main double of the Nurse’s Handicap (Race 2) and Hospital Handicap (Race 4) were won by respectively by ‘Spasm’ (D Gilltrow) and ‘Snip’ (W Holman). Only about 10 or 12 runners actually competed in the six-race programme; most starting at least twice?
The President of the Hospital Auxiliary Mr F W Croaker (Petwyn Vale, Wingen) stated no one could be more gratified with the meeting and remarked that he was pleased to see the public respond so generously in these trying times as per usual.