Gundy Spurts 1939





The Scone Advocate, Friday 6th January 1939

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“Babe” Singleton wins the “Snake Gully” Derby on “Ajax” at Gundy on New Years’ Day 1939. Starters and riders in the ‘Snake Gully Derby’ included ‘Babe’ Singleton on ‘Ajax’, Bill Holmes on ‘Socks’ who ran second and Bill Phillips riding ‘Static’. The ‘ladies’ in the race asked for no quarter and received none! ‘Babe’ and ‘Ajax’ won by half a lap, with ‘two lengths of the paddock between second and third’! The journalist writes (in parenthesis) ‘the third horse had not passed the post when this edition went to press’. The race took place on January the 1st; even the great Ken Howard would have had trouble describing the result?

When Babe Singleton was stallion groom at Widden there is a famous photograph of Babe ‘boxing’ with ‘Brueghel’ who is rearing on his hind legs. Babe was also featured in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald written by Steve Crawley. He is outside the ‘Linga Longa’ accompanied by a gaggle of geese!

Best boy riders at the Gundy Carnival were A Reid, J McInes, N Watts, D Watts, C McPhee and R Wharton.

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First Doctor in Scone

First Doctor in Scone

Featured Image: Dr Michael Macartney; native of Enniskillen, Ireland

Acknowledgement: W E M Abbott and the Scone Advocate/Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society

The script is taken from an article appearing in the Scone Advocate on 23 October 1970. This was to mark a celebration of the success of the Scott Memorial Building Appeal. Appeal Chairman Mr W A Bishop announced contributions totalling $45,700 towards an initial target of $50,000. As Sir Alister McMullin said at the launch of the campaign: “Our hospital has always been a personal and local institution and by rendering our support we are keeping it that way”

Dr Macartney was one of many early immigrants to Scone and the Upper Hunter from what is now Northern Ireland. Many more came from the River Foyle Valley of County Tyrone. Like their Scottish ‘cousins’ they made very sturdy settlers, colonizers and pioneers. It is very probable that Dr Macintyre knew contemporaneous valiant lawman and noble magistrate Edward Denny Day, also from Ireland, who died in Maitland. It may well be Dr Macartney was the initial professionally qualified person to settle in the district although Dr William Bell Carlyle (Satur) preceded him in taking up a land grant. Government surveyors, many of whom became ‘grand at land acquisition’ also arrived before him.

The Redbank Hospital was described as ‘pioneering’ but that could equally equate to ‘primitive’?

End note:

The Scott Memorial Hospital is now administered by the Hunter and New England Area Health Service (HNEAHS).

Wayne Harris II

Wayne Harris II

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“Class and Courage All The Way”: Acknowledge ‘From the Track’; NH & CC Racing News Spring 2018


See also:

See also:

My initial ‘blog’ on Wayne Harris has been so popular I decided to add the following as well. I’ve totally purloined the cosmic content from the excellent Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast Horse Racing News publication: ’From the Track’; Spring 2018. At the time Wayne was riding as an apprentice I represented the Scone Race Club on this organisation. I feel justified in repeating it; otherwise it would not be available in public and ‘searchable’. Wayne is one of the truly inspirational people I have been privileged to meet in my (now) over 50 years in the thoroughbred industry in the Upper Hunter Valley. Peter Snowdon is another along with Murray Bain, George Ryder, Stanley Wootton, Reg Moses, A O Ellison, Bert Lillye and Bim Thompson to name a few others. Wayne’s career and example are stratospheric. I’ll leave it to the unnamed journalist to recount the stellar tale.

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Racing Reminiscences along the Glenrock Track

Racing Reminiscences along the Glenrock Track

Featured Image: ‘Echo Flat’ racecourse at Belltrees

Gundy Races

Gundy Races 10th March 1886: See:

By Wanderer:

To make St. Patrick’s Day as much of a holiday as possible it was decided to have a day’s racing at Gundy to celebrate the day.

A very meagre attendance saw the opening race, the Maiden Plate, 1½ miles. After a chestnut gelding run his spin of a quarter of a mile, Juan cantered away from him and won by 150 yards.

Mr. B. Houseman’s b c Juan, 6st. 11lbs. (Dodds)   1

Mr. B. Houseman’s b g Sovereign, 9st. 2lb             2

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‘Horsemen of the First Frontier (1788 – 1900) and the Serpents Legacy’

Horsemen of the First Frontier (1788 – 1900)

I have just learned (SMH 29/09/18) of the passing of my good friend Keith R Binney; late of Cremorne.

Featured Image: Front Cover of ‘Horsemen of the First Frontier (1788 – 1900) and the Serpents Legacy’

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Keith left a most enduring bequest. He was the author of the seminal tome ‘Horsemen of the First Frontier (1788 – 1900) and The Serpents Legacy’. I have found this book to be perhaps the most fascinating, accurate and complete record in existence. I will leave it to another close friend and sadly departed colleague John Digby, erstwhile Keeper of the Australian Stud Book, to present the eulogy.

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