The Wootton Family

The Wootton Family

Acknowledge: “Lillye on Legends” by Bert Lillye AJC Racing Calendar, December 1991

Featured Image: The Wootton Family

See also: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/stanley-wootton/

See also: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/stanley-wootton-letters/

History suggests ……… A Racing Relationship Without Peer

Australian Racing has spawned some fascinating father and son relationships … names that spring to mind almost without thought.

Those great Racing Families – some not far removed from dynasties – whose names become household words; particularly in the days when sentiment was not obfuscated by the now all-important TAB numerals.

Has any father and son combination been more popular with the racegoer in general than champion jockeys Bill and Peter Cook who between then won four Melbourne Cups?

The Paytens were a renowned family on thoroughbred expertise …. father Tom and son Bayly each enjoying for lengthy periods, the distinction of being Sydney’s champion trainer.

But there are so many others … the Kelsos, the Cracknells, the Sheans; and across the Tasman, the Didham clan who put their mark on Racing over there, also here … the McGraths, the Hoysteds and the McKennas.

But none was more successful – or colourful – than the mighty Munros!

Father Munro won the 1901 Melbourne Cup with Revenue, stablemate of wonder mare Wakeful which he saddled for the race.

Hugh sired the champion jockeys James and David (“Darby”) Hugh whose deeds put the formidable Kuhn jockey brothers to shame: which says a lot.

Jim Munro won the Melbourne Cup on Windbag and Statesman and rode every champion of the era; while Darby won the Cup on Peter Pan, Sirius and Russia; also  placings on Maikai and Beau Vite.

And more recently, we have the Cummings triumvirate … James, James Bartholomew, and Antony James; “Bart”, the middle pin, carving up the Melbourne Cup like no other., making our greatest race his own!

Hard on the Cummings clan’s heels are Colin Hayes and his sons Peter and David; the last-named making a bold bid to have the initials “LP” stand for “long-playing” as much as “Lyndsay Park”.

My apologies to those great Racing families I have omitted; but the above is sufficient to underline my point.

Dare I suggest that not one of the father and son combinations listed above achieved quiet as much as the Wootton family … father Richard and his sons Frank and Stanley?

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The Dangars of Neotsfield 1890

 The Dangars of Neotsfield 1890

By Ian Ibbett

On January 6, 2018

See: https://kingsoftheturf.com/1890-the-dangars-of-neotsfield/

Prologue (WPH)

Featured Image: Henry Dangar of Neotsfield

In my very modest if not moderate attempt to record the early history of thoroughbred breeding in the Upper Hunter Valley I paid little more than lip service to the Dangar Family of ‘Neotsfield’, Whttingham, Singleton. I probably attributed more cachet to the Hon James White of the legendary White Family of ‘Belltrees’. The scions of the Thompson family of Widden were also high on my radar as were the Moses Brothers of Arrowfield.  

The legend of Peter Pan still resonates with all those who love thoroughbred racing and its history. Very recently I met Bill Dangar of Armidale when actually visiting a school in Tanzania. He was able to tell me a lot about this direct ancestor Rodney Dangar of ‘Baroona’ where Peter Pan is buried. I also had the opportunity to visit ‘Baroona’ which as I write (23/02/2020) is again on the market.In my myopic purview from Scone this is the deep south!

Once again Ian Ibbett has documented the whole story in minute detail as only he can. I will not attempt to plunder his elevated literary chateau but purloin the content as follows.

See: https://kingsoftheturf.com/1890-the-dangars-of-neotsfield/

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Muswellbrook-born Ian ‘Ginger’ Smith always on hand for country trainers

Muswellbrook-born Ian ‘Ginger’ Smith always on hand for country trainers

Acknowledge: Virginia Harvey & Muswellbrook Chronicle

See: https://www.muswellbrookchronicle.com.au/story/6615796/i-love-my-job/?cs=1613&fbclid=IwAR0kipLumJrH4H6T-d35lfdu17IBOVdqAzyUMqLeDr_znrsFplDHiYCe4nQ

Featured Image: Well-known Ian ‘Ginger’ Smith lend a hand with last year’s Golden Slipper entrant, Dubious (a Not A Single Doubt earner of now over $1.2 million). Photo by Virginia Harvey

Fore-note: Although Virginia correctly identifies ‘Ginger’ Smith as Muswellbrook-born he is a bit of local legend at Scone where he was raised. Its well-worn cliché but a truism nonetheless that if you opened any box Ginger Smith would pop out! There weren’t many things Ginger didn’t try. He’s a guaranteed regular at every Scone Cup meeting. He even roped me in on a few occasions to share the rostrum with VRC’s Greg Carpenter at charity functions to raise funds for Aged Care.

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Ross Snowdon

Featured Image: Ross Snowdon & Stan Wicks at White Park Races

Ross is the father of champion trainer Peter Snowdon and rode the ‘card’ of 6 winners at a meeting of the Aberdeen Jockey Club on Saturday 16th September 1950.

The six winners were: ‘Deep End’ (Maiden Handicap 4 1/2 furlongs, 3 starters), ‘Merton Maid’ (Maiden Handicap 2nd Division 4 1/2 furlongs, 3 starters), ‘Guard’ (Flying Handicap 6 furlongs, 2 starters), ‘Dispute’ (Progressive Handicap, 5 furlongs 100 yards, 3 starters), ‘Nanje’ (A E Hardy Handicap, 7 furlongs, 2 starters) and ‘Perfect Melody’ (Welter Handicap, 5 furlongs 100 yards, 3 starters). Four of the winners were trained by Ross’s Master Scott Johnston: Deep End, Dispute, Merton Maid and Nanje.

Sadly Ross was involved in a severe fall at Aberdeen sometime later when riding ‘Deep End’. He was severely concussed and never fully regained his best form.

Stan Wicks trained the first ever winner at the White Park Race Track in Scone. ‘Oxford Lad’ won the Maiden Handicap on the first day of the Cup Meeting in May 1947.

Shuttle Service Worries 1995

Shuttle Service Worries 1995

Source: Harley Walden Archive

Featured Image: Collage of Australian Stud Books

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Stud_Book

Hypotheticals after 25 years:

  1. What is the situation today? How do we compare?
  2. Have we improved the breed?

1995

Concerned Breeders have raised a petition to the Keeper of the Australian Stud Book calling for a restriction on the number of mares a stallion may cover in a southern hemisphere breeding season.

Breeders who sign the petition will ask the ASB Keeper, Dr John Digby, not to register the progeny of any stallion covering more than 85 mares in one Australian season.

The originator/s of the petition have not, at this point, publicly identified themselves, or the particular targets for the restrictions which are sought to come into effect from January 1, 1996.

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Keith Banks – A Racing Legend

Keith Banks – A Racing Legend

By Harley Walden

Most racing legends, long after death, are promoted and perpetuated in the record books. For instance, Tom Smith, will live on by virtue of his 33 successive premierships alone. But there are other legends who do not dominate by their premiership triumphs, their Melbourne Cup victories or similar glories. Sadly, these legends will be forgotten in 100 years simply because those who knew them intimately will not be around to tell the story. To me they are the unforgettable characters; the people who bring great spice to racing reminiscence, but unforgettable only while they are vivid in the minds of those who share the life with them.

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Scone Bypass Community Walk

Scone Bypass Community Walk

Saturday 29 February 2020 9Am – 12PM

See: ‘Featured Image’

See also: https://www.sconeadvocate.com.au/story/6655225/historic-day-for-scone-as-bypass-officially-opened-photos/?cs=2941

This will be one of the paramount occasions in the history of Scone town ship and community. As I have often written before this is the third greatest investment in transport infrastructure ever; arguably the best. The Great North Road was constructed between 1826 and 1832. The railway arrived on 17th April 1871.

See also: https://www.sconeadvocate.com.au/story/6652529/fresh-start-for-kelly-street/

The Melbourne Cup 1915 – Australia’s First Lady Owner

The Melbourne Cup 1915 – Australia’s First Lady Owner

Featured Image: Mrs E A Widdis admiring her winning  trophy

1915

Although the attendance was higher for this year’s Melbourne Cup (88,000) the racegoers were even more subdued than the crowd of 1914. News had just been received that Australian casualties had from an abortive assault at Gallipoli reached nearly 30,000. A message also came through that the famous Australian jockey, Bernard (Brownie) Carslake, had been captured by the Germans, accused of being an enemy alien and interned at an Austrian prisoner-of-war camp. The iron-willed Carslake, who had a severe problem with his weight yet won six English classics, managed to disguise himself as a fireman, escape from the camp and make his way back to England, where he served out the war as a soldier and then resumed his riding career.

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Scone Railway Centenary Celebrations 1971

Scone Railway Centenary Celebrations 1971

Featured Image: NSW Governor Sir Roden and Lady Cutler plus NSW MLA Colin Fisher and Adrienne Fisher at the SRC White Park Race Meeting Saturday 17th April 1971

On April 17, 1871, the Earl of Belmore, the then Governor of NSW, arrived on the first train to Scone. On Saturday 17th April 1971 the Governor of NSW Sir Roden Cutler was at Scone Railway Station to greet the arrival of the vintage steam train. The antiquated train was ‘delayed’ when stormed by the Fig Tree Gully Gang led by the notorious “Black Harry Morton” who looked remarkably like the Manager of the Scone Bowling Club? The gang held Railway Superintendent Colin Gill as hostage who would be released subject to a free pardon for the Fig Tree Mob. Much to his ‘cheerful chagrin’ the Governor eventually acquiesced and Mr Gill’s release secured.

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