Next Crop of Thoroughbred Breeders

Next Crop of Thoroughbred Breeders

Thank you Bernie Kenny! Spread the word.

Posted by: Bernard Kenny at 11:31am on 24/5/2023

Posted in: Breeding

See: Next Crop of Thoroughbred Breeders (


For those ‘young’uns’ wishing to step-up in the Thoroughbred industry then its free admission for all those 36 and under to join the TBA Next Crop in your home state.

“Thoroughbred Breeders Australia believe there is a chance to create a network where young people who are already in the industry,” announced Breeders Australia chief executive Tom Reilly.

“This group is being created with the aim of providing those with the chance to network with their peers in the industry, and the opportunity to continue their professional development.”

“For those who may be interested in taking part, the creation of this new group for young people in the industry, will also provide those interested with access to a number of exclusive events.”

“Meet …Grow …Learn … will be the three key themes to Next Crop and we want to develop a forum for like-minded young people to meet and develop their networks,” said Tom Riley.

“To access learning and training opportunities, so they feel they are continuing their own personal development, and to have a future input to the thoroughbred industry through this group.”

The TBA aims to have a chapter of Next Crop in each state, which will then feed into a national leadership committee with Breeders Australia making a contribution to the group’s activities.

“As an industry, we have to make sure we are continually looking to bring in new people and also retain those that are already involved,” said Thoroughbred Breeders president Basil Nolan.

“This initiative will help both the aims of the TBA and Aushorse who have been talking about this for a while and all of us are excited about the benefits of Next Crop, with its free membership.”

“I think this is something that will be well received and we are looking forward to hearing from this group and acting upon their knowledge and insight,” concluded President Basil Nolan.

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia has brought many young people into the industry through its national traineeship program Fast Track, as this has given the organisation an understanding.

“Some of these issues are faced by those early in their career, especially for those who aren’t on big farms or are working in teams with an older age group,” as Tom Riley continued.

“We know from the graduates of Fast Track that there can be a number of challenges for those coming into our workforce, mainly as loneliness and a sense of isolation can be a challenge.”

“Feedback around this frustration when people don’t feel they’re learning or progressing with more responsibility, especially those who we think they’re more likely to remain in the industry.”

“We think through Next Crop we can provide opportunities to learn – a mixture of formal and informal – that will allow its members to feel like they are building their skills and knowledge.”

“And most importantly, we want the opportunities that Next Crop will provide to be shaped by its members and those who have put their hands up to be involved in its leadership.”

“We want to give responsibility to those involved and I’m sure that, in turn, this will help bring through the next crop of leaders who will push the industry forward.”

Those looking to be a Next Crop member, then register at the Thoroughbred Breeders Australian website, or, if attending the Magic Millions Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale on 23-25 May, just meet a TBA Team Member at their marquee.

How the Preakness got its name

How the ‘Preakness’ Got Its Name


Gratefully acknowledge Greg Tobin and ‘Breednet’ for this fascinating historical feature.

Featured Image: ‘Preaknest’ courtesy of ‘Breednet’ and Greg Tobin

The 148th running of the Preakness Stud will be held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland on Saturday (Sunday morning) 21st. May 2023) our time).

It’s the middle leg of North America’s famous Triple Crown and Mage is favoured to follow up on his Kentucky Derby success two weeks ago. If he can manage the threepeat he’ll become the 14th horse to achieve the feat and the first since Coolmore’s Justify in 2018

But do we all know how the Preakness got its name?

You will get a point (but probably not an invite to Mastermind) by suggesting the Preakness is named after a horse, because it was and it is. Add a bonus point if you’re still around in 150 years to tell someone who the Winx Stakes is named after.

Anyway, the colt Preakness – circa 1867 – was owned by Milton Holbrook Sanford’s Preakness Stud in Preakness, New Jersey and he would win the Dinner Party Stakes on the opening program at Pimlico Race Course in 1870. A grateful Maryland governor would subsequently name the first Preakness Stakes in 1873 after the Dinner Party winner.

Stallion Management by the Duke

Stallion Management by the Duke


Featured Image: ‘The Duke of Hamilton’ courtesy of ‘Breednet’ and Greg Tobin

I’m addicted to many of Tara Madgwick’s erudite posts on ‘Breednet’. The recent inspired column by Greg Tobin featuring the Preakness Stakes is also a classic. During my long apprenticeship in the thoroughbred industry of the Upper Hunter I’ve come across some inventive ploys by stud masters and stallion owners to retrieve some monetary value via insurance claims of ‘failed’ stallions. They are deemed ‘non-commercial’, a euphemism for failure. Their hope is to make a claim for residual value if the horse has a chronic ailment (not uncommon) which might conceivably provide justification for euthanasia. Like I said a few of these claims are ‘creative, innovative, imaginative and resourceful’. I think I’ll leave it there. Nothing, however, matches the extreme measure applied by the Duke of Hamilton to his horse ‘Preakness’ whom he deemed to be unworthy in the serving (covering) barn. Please read on courtesy of Greg Tobin and ‘Breednet’.

Preakness and the Duke of Fiend-ish-ness

Greg Tobin – Thursday May 18

The 148th running of the Preakness Stud will be held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland this Saturday (Sunday morning 21st. May 2023) our time).

It’s the middle leg of North America’s famous Triple Crown and Mage is favoured to follow up on his Kentucky Derby success two weeks ago. If he can manage the threepeat he’ll become the 14th horse to achieve the feat and the first since Coolmore’s Justify in 2018.

But do we all know how the Preakness got its name?

You will get a point (but probably not an invite to Mastermind) by suggesting the Preakness is named after a horse, because it was and it is. Add a bonus point if you’re still around in 150 years to tell someone who the Winx Stakes is named after.

Anyway, the colt Preakness – circa 1867 – was owned by Milton Holbrook Sanford’s Preakness Stud in Preakness, New Jersey and he would win the Dinner Party Stakes on the opening program at Pimlico Race Course in 1870. A grateful Maryland governor would subsequently name the first Preakness Stakes in 1873 after the Dinner Party winner.

Preakness had a fascinating life story.

Preakness would go on to win about a dozen ‘majors’ so, he was a bit of alright on the track, racing until he was nine and putting together a record of 18 wins and 14 placings from 39 outings.

Consequently, Preakness would be sold to stand at stud in England – specifically the farm owned by William Alexander Louis Stephen Douglas-Hamilton, the 12th Duke of Hamilton.

The Duke of Hamilton was not a pleasant man.

However, it appears both Preakness and the Duke were renowned for having poor temperaments, but in the latter’s defence, it’s likely that Preakness had at least one outcross in his pedigree.

With a “frankness of speech bordering on rudeness”, the Duke was a keen racing fan, boxer, yachtsman and, as it turns out, shooter.

Evidently, Preakness was playing up rather badly one day in the covering shed so the Duke promptly went and got his gun and shot the horse.

Despite the Duke’s lofty station, killing the colt led to a huge public outcry, resulting in substantial reform (for those times at least) in laws regarding the treatment of animals.

Quite aside from his homicidal rage, the dickhead Duke was a massive ingrate as well.

It seems that a few years earlier – and despite inheriting a decent whack of real estate and coin – the Duke was about to head out the door backwards due to penchant for partying and serious lack of financial planning.

However, in 1867 the Duke won the Grand National Steeplechase with his horse ‘Cortolvin’ and, aside from the substantial prizemoney, he made (if you’ll excuse the pun) a killing on the punt.

Perhaps only missed by his drinking brethren and assorted hangers-on, the Duke only lived to the age of 50, having suffered several ongoing health problems such as dropsy, gout and kidney issues.

Ironically, the 15th Duke of Hamilton would become a massive campaigner for animal welfare but was as handy behind the wheel as Prince Phillip and got done for drink driving on five occasions, eventually banned from driving on public roads.

Hoofnote: a bit of trivia … the 14th Duke of Hamilton – the first person to fly over Mt Everest – was born in Pimlico, London … which Pimlico Race Course is named after.


Who Is Jeannie Harris?

Who Is Jeannie Harris?

Featured Image: Jeannie Harris is presented with the HTBA ‘Murray Bain Service to Industry Award’ by Dr Cameron Collins, President of the HTBA and Principal of Scone Equine Veterinary Group at the HTBA Annual Dinner on Wednesday 10 May 2023 at the Scone Race Club Convention Centre

Jeannie’s current employer, Widden Stud posted the following on Facebook:

Incredibly proud of Jeannie Harris, the @HunterBred VIP recipient of the Murray Bain Award. More than a valued member of staff and a family member, mentor, and leader to us all. A huge thank you for everything you do for us. #valleyofchampions

See also:

The following is a transcript of Jeannie’s outstanding acceptance speech which I am both thrilled and delighted to present. Jeannie is/was our very first (Equine) Veterinary Nurse and set the benchmark standards for the several hundred who have followed. To a certain extent this award represents the culmination of almost everything one hoped to achieve in 56 years in the Valley.

A lot of you are probably thinking “who is Jeannie Harris?” 

Well back in the day is a phrase I seem to use a lot and really that is where I started my career in the thoroughbred industry.

I worked back in the day when mares didn’t wear their names around their necks and yet we all knew who they were.

I worked back in the day before freeze branding before worm pastes which meant vet would stomach tube every mare and foal with a mixture of thiabendazole and piperazine. Before mobile phones so every appointment on the studs had to be made through the clinic in the landline and communicate with the vets was with a two-way radio in their cars and if we couldn’t reach them, we rang the next place they were going t and left a message.

I worked back in the day when I was the only veterinary nurse for 12 vets, x-rays were Developed by hand. I would take the x-ray cassette into the darkroom, remove the film, dip it into a developer tank, then fixer, then rinse it with water to get a picture. Thank God sale x-rays weren’t a thing then. The practice didn’t have a surgery and elective cases travelled to Percy Sykes in Sydney, it wasn’t unusual to be anaesthetising a horse out the back of the clinic on the grass to do an emergency procedure or conduct a caesarean on a mare out in the paddock. There was no Clovelly offering an intensive care facility for foals, they just didn’t survive.

I worked back in the day when females were a rare sight on a thoroughbred stud and being the foaling attendant for the mares. There were no refractometers, no colostrum meter. If the colostrum you collected stuck to your fingers, it was good!

I would work back in the day when where we are tonight was a dairy farm called ‘Tarrangower’ and this evening was held at the Scone Golf Club and the race meeting was at White Park.

So, over the last 40 years I have seen a lot of changes take place in the thoroughbred industry and I have been very fortunate to be part of that change.

I have worked with some amazing people and some not so amazing, but I won’t mention them.

The people that have been a great influence on my working life are numerous, but I want to acknowledge them as I probably won’t get this opportunity again to say their names. They were: Major James Mitchell and his wife Bunty, their sons Harry, Billy and Arthur, Paul Hennessey, Cliff Ellis, John Morgan, Bill Howey, Nairn Fraser, Jim Rodger, Mark Wylie, Paul Adams, Alan Simpson, Angus Campbell, Greg Mitchell, Paul Ferguson, Cameron Collins, Angus Adkins, Catherine Chicken, Margie McEwen, Rowan Sedgewick, Sandy & Debbie Racklyeft, Jo Holt, Shona Murphy, Alison Sedgwick, Peter Flynn, Nicki Cramsie, Verna Metcalf, Greg Atkins, Darryl Atkins, Stan Cosgrove, David Merrick.

Finally, I would like to thank my Dad Andrew Crawford who if alive today would be turning 100 this year. He taught me so much about working with Animals and having a strong work ethic. To My Mum Jan and Sister Jo for always being my sounding board, to my husband Mike and our children Amelia and Andrew for being my biggest supporters and to my Widden family for just being there.

Thank you HTBA for selecting me for this prestigious award and recognising my work back in the day.

On Wednesday 17 May 2023 Jennie Harris wrote by email:

Hi Bill, that’s wonderful what you wrote. Thank you very much. I feel so privileged to receive an award that recognises my years of working in the thoroughbred and veterinarian industry but to tell you the truth it wasn’t work to me but my passion. The fact that it is the Murray Bain Award means so much as he was a good friend of dad’s. They started the Scone Scots together. Remember how they and Don Scott and Rob Laurie organised the St Andrew’s Day Dinner usually followed by the St Andrew’s Day race meeting the following day? Anyway so many memories that I treasure and in some way I feel complete. Even though I am still foaling mares here at Widden in the season along with looking after children, to be acknowledged in such a way makes me very happy. Thanks again Bill for playing such an important role in my career.      Love Jeannie

See also:

See also:

See also:

Author’s note: Jeannie failed to acknowledge yet another ‘plus’ in her most extensive CV. She operated as the Official NJC Swabbing Steward at Scone (White Park) Races for many years!

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Merv Bennett – Quiet Achiever

Merv Bennett – Quiet Achiever

Equestrian Memories Australia

See: Merv Bennett – Quiet… – Equestrian Memories Australia | Facebook

25 October 2017 ·

Merv Bennett – Quiet Achiever

Featured Image: Merv Bennett and Regal Reign in action cross country – Montreal Olympics 1976

Foreword (WPH)

Having just posted a panegyric to Laurie Morgan I decided to also balance it up with this tribute to legendary but unheralded Merv Bennett. It helps that I know his son John through the RAS of NSW.

Merv Bennett of Worrigee, Nowra (NSW), became one of Australia’s top level equestrian combinations. With his thoroughbred horse Regal Reign, he represented Australia in the Three Day Event at the 1976 Montreal Olympics (bronze), 1980 Fontainebleau alternative Olympics (bronze), 1982 Luhmuhlen World Championships and 1984 Los Angeles Olympics (fifth). One horse. Three Olympics. Amazing man!

He’s had a lower profile than some of our Olympians but is nevertheless highly regarded in the equestrian world and especially in his own district of Shoalhaven. In fact, after Montreal, Regal Reign was to be sold in Canada. However, his hometown of Nowra rallied and raised money to fly him home.

Like most eventers in his day, Merv chose thoroughbreds to ride – there wasn’t really any crossbred options in those days. Once competing against the rest of the world in three-day eventing, the thoroughbreds proved their worth as tough, fast horses, and the Europeans on their heavy warmbloods took notice. In these years, the Australian horses were usually young – often six-year-olds – which showed the talent of our riders, to do so well on relatively inexperienced horses.

Regal Reign was foaled in 1969, and after a short racing career he began life as an equestrian horse with Ian McDonald before being sold to Merv Bennett.

Not really known for brilliant dressage tests, Merv’s talent and courage cross country would often move himself and his team well up the rankings. It says a lot about Merv’s talent and horsemanship that Regal Reign stayed sound and performed so well at international level, including three Olympics, over many years. (* One was the alternative Olympics, 1980 when Australia did not send any equestrian teams to Moscow.)

The 1976 bronze medal team was Bill Roycroft and ‘Version’, Wayne Roycroft and ‘Laurenson’, Mervyn Bennett and ‘Regal Reign’ and Denis Pigott and ‘Hillstead’. Merv placed 12th individually. The whole team were received as heroes upon their return to Australia. The Australian Olympic team collectively won just one silver medal and four bronze medals in Montreal, so the eventing team’s victory was a significant achievement.

This 1976 Montreal bronze medal winning eventing team was inducted into the Equestrian Hall of Fame in 2013.

In 1980 the Australian eventing team scored bronze again, at the Alternative Olympics at Fontainbleau, France, where most of the top equestrian nations chose to compete rather than Moscow. Here the team was Merv Bennett and Regal Realm, Wayne Roycroft and Clouseau, Philippa Glennan and Rangefinder and Andrew Hoy and Davey.

Merv wasn’t just a one-horse success story. His horses always had the prefix ‘Regal’. Regal Realm was sold to the UK’s Lucinda Green. In 1982, Lucinda and Regal Realm represented Britain at the Eventing World Championships in Luhmühlen, where they won the individual gold medal, and were part of the gold medal winning team. Thanks to comments below from the likes of Colleen Brooke, herself an international showjumper, we are reminded that at Los Angeles in 1984 Merv supplied three horses for the eventing team – two went over as reserves.

Merv retired from international competition in 1987. He moved into training racehorses and became even more involved in his community and equestrian administration.

Merv Bennett’s accolades and interests include:

  • Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for service to equestrian sports as a competitor, coach and event coordinator.
  • Australian Sports Medal in 2000
  • Olympic selector, Equestrian Federation of Australia, 1987-1993.
  • Gold Badge of Honour, Federation Equestre Internationale, 2004.
  • Level III Coaches Accreditation 1981.
  • Internationally accredited as a technical delegate and Course Builder for 3 Day Eventing, 1984
  • Established ‘Worrigee Equestrian Common’ dedicated equestrian sporting grounds on his property 1990; built ‘Worrigee House’ Reception and Function Centre, 1991.
  • Chief Horse Steward, Nowra Show Society Committee, 1980-2002; and Ringmaster since 2002.
  • Founded Worrigee Horse Trials Association, 1982.
  • Patron, Shoalhaven Pony Club and Zone 28 Pony Club Association.
  • Inducted into Shoalhaven Sporting Hall of Fame, Elite Athlete Category, 2005.
  • Shoalhaven Businessperson of the Year, 1992.

Thoroughbreds recognised at Paris Olympics

Thoroughbreds recognised at Paris Olympics

Posted by: Bernard Kenny at 1:52pm on 10/5/2023

Posted in: Industry News

See: Thoroughbreds recognised at Paris Olympics (

Featured Image: ‘Salad Days’ ridden by Laurie Morgan, Olympic Gold Medallist(s) at Rome in 1960.

Arguably Australia’s greatest ever Equestrian Olympic combination. Salad Days was a pure thoroughbred acquired by Laurie from a drought-ridden sheep paddock at Wellington NSW. Gratefully acknowledge Warwick Morgan and ‘Too Tough to Lose’ ISBN 978-0-9872431-3-3 ‘Salad Days’ (‘Saddie’, ‘Sad Sack’) bred by Hugh Thompson, Tarwyn Park Stud, Bylong Valley; by ‘Hunter’s Moon’ (Imp. GB) ex ‘Morrak’ by ‘Marconigram’ from ‘Ottrack’. ‘Marconigram’ also sired Melbourne Cup winner ‘’Marabou’ which Laurie stood at ‘Redbank Stud’, Scone for a short time.

In being a first, next year’s 33rd Olympic Games in Paris will recognise all Thoroughbreds competing in the Equestrian disciplines of dressage, show jumping and eventing.

Now recognised in the starting lists and results, all retired Thoroughbred racehorses competing were listed only as ‘breeding unknown’ in past Olympic Games and competitions.

In fact, the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation (EMHF), the World Breeding Federation for Sports Horses (WBFSH), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) and the International Stud Book Committee (ISBC) have agreed for all FEI competitions.

Previously only member stud books of the WBFSH have historically been credited, and the WBFSH only has members that specifically breed horses for the Olympic disciplines.

Dr Paull Khan, Sec-General of the EMHF expressed that “much effort is made around the world to encourage the owners of retired racehorses to explore second careers for them.”

“This furthers that Thoroughbreds do compete with distinction in other equestrian disciples and prompt more owners to consider this retirement option for their racehorses.”

Nadine Brandtner, Gen-Manager of WBFSH added “the WBFSH recognises the extensive influence the Thoroughbred has had on sport horse breeding and development.”

“And undoubtedly the Thoroughbred deserves recognition to encourage second careers for retired Thoroughbreds is a vital effort to maintain the social license to operate.’

“We believe that it is the entire equine sector that must stand together to face this challenge, and so it is natural that the WBFSH would support this.”

The FEI’s Director of Governance and Institutional Affairs, Francisco Lima, also confirmed that this development carries the full support of the Federation Equestre Internationale.

In fact, Simon Cooper, the Vice-Chair of the ISBC, said “the International Stud Book is delighted that Thoroughbreds will be recognised for their success in equestrian sports.”

“Thoroughbreds have consistently shown that their athleticism, attitude and adaptability so often make for a successful second career in equestrian sports off-the-track.”

“The ISBC’s 68 Approved Thoroughbred Stud Books will support IFAR, WBFSH and FEI in promoting post-racing opportunities and ensuring recognition for Thoroughbreds.”

Today, the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation (EMHF) represents the governing bodies for Thoroughbred horseracing in 26 countries world-wide.

In developing relations among European and Mediterranean Horseracing Authorities, it fosters racing administration throughout the region and to represent Europe and the Mediterranean before the IFHA and European Union bodies.

The World Breeding Federation for Sports Horses (WBFSH) is the international umbrella organisation representing sport horse studbooks that breed horses for the Olympics.

In Leading Breeding into the Future, it strives to stimulate sport horse breeding and development worldwide, with around 85 studbook members in 35 countries with some 150.000 breeders.

Yes, There’s Life after Racing

Yes, There’s Life after Racing

Posted by: Bernard Kenny at 5:10pm on 5/5/2023

Posted in: Breeding

See:  Yes, There’s Life after Racing (

See also: Horse Welfare | Equestrian Australia

See also: Off The Track Horses – Life After Racing | Racehorse Rehoming

Featured Image: Lockyer Valley Horses (Q) rehomed and competing. How these Lockyer gallopers excelled in life after racing. Their racing careers might be over, but there’s thoroughbreds in the Lockyer Valley that have gone on to their next ventures”.

“Wherever your horse ends up, there should be a life after racing,” stated IFRA Chair Di Arbuthnot on the highly successful 7th International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses.

Conducted with the 39th Asian Racing Conference on 14 February in Melbourne, Ms Arbuthnot expressed “in addition to the success achieved, there’s still more to do in the aftercare space.”

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How COUNTRY RACING has changed!

How COUNTRY RACING has changed!


With the Scone Cup Race meeting just around the corner as I write (Fri 6th May 2023) I’m reminded of how much things have changed in my ‘neck of the woods’ in the 56 years of my incumbency (1967 – 2023). Thank you, John Hutchinson, and Mandy Logan! I’m indebted to both.

Featured Image: A traditional ‘bush race meeting’


At first, I thought my late great friend and colleague Harley Walden had compiled this dossier. It’s his style although perhaps slightly more erudite and esoteric? The names evoke paramount memories of the best of times. Docket, River Ridge, Queer Street, Solo Lad and Merry Jack were part of racing folklore which John Hutchinson defines as ‘North of the Range’ (Murrurundi) onto the fertile Liverpool Plains beyond. It certainly was very fecund breeding ground for very tough and sound racehorses. This was fully franked later by ‘bush stars’ such as Mac’s Tune. I know for a fact that Merry Jack (conqueror of ‘Cabachon’) was in solid work for 5 years non-stop with Arthur Gore. People’s Champion ‘Gunsynd’ was yet to emerge from the Breeza Nursery of ‘The Dip’ then under the astute tutelage of local legend John Clift.

Prolific New England stallions such as Epistle (originally destined for Kia Ora), Galipar, The Toddler, Tingo and Switch in Time often led the charts for individual winners and races won; at least in NSW.

Carping along similar theme, smaller studs have disappeared from the milieu including ‘The Dip’ (John Clift, Breeza), ‘Rossmar Park’ (Clive Duddy, Quirindi), ‘Stratheden Stud’ (John Park, Tamworth), ‘Okehampton Stud’ (John Nixon, Manilla), ‘Stradbroke Stud’ (John Peterswald. Kootingal), ‘Morvada Stud’ (Max Woods, Inverell), John Cunliffe Bloodstock Sales (Tamworth), Tyrone Stud (Jack Johnston, Scone) etc. This mirrors the situation in the Bylong Valley where ‘traditional’ thoroughbred breeding has terminally foundered.

This scenario seems to have disappeared altogether. I wonder why?

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Phar Lap: The best there ever was?

Phar Lap: The best there ever was?

by Mandy Logan | Oct 22, 2021 | 2012-2014

17th October 2005


Phar Lap: “The best that ever was?” by Ross Stapleton.

October 20, 2005 finally sees the DVD release of “Phar Lap” – the best Australian sports movie ever made. His legend remains familiar to generations as one of our two greatest sporting icons alongside Bradman. But while our most revered champion racehorse – was he “the best that ever was”?

Saturday 22nd October 2005 will mark the 75th anniversary of Phar Lap’s first Cox Plate win in 1930, before going on to launch himself into the most extraordinary domination of a Melbourne Cup Carnival ever seen a week later.

Yet amazingly he escaped an attempt on his life after being shot at from a passing car while out walking just hours before he raced and easily won the Melbourne Stakes on the opening Derby Day Saturday, just three days before the most famous Melbourne Cup win of them all.

Not only did he win the Cup by several lengths with ease, set a new weight carrying record for a four-year old and send a whole clutch of bookies broke as the shortest priced favourite to win the race (11/8 on), but also won on all four days of the carnival. No wonder on his racing record alone it’s a given that there will never be another Phar Lap.

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Fore note: My late great friend Bert Lillye (the ‘Bradman’ of racing journos) had no doubt; ‘Bernborough’ was best. It could have had something to do with Bert’s placement at ‘Toowoomba’ racetrack as a National Service conscript during WWII. I believe SP Bert ‘collected’ very well indeed from the regular early triumphs of the inchoate champion. Coincidentally the appellation ‘Bernborough’ is one of very few mentioned in the same breath as the world’s best ever cricketer?

Featured Image: ‘Bernborough’ returns to scale with Athol ‘George’ Mulley up.

I gratefully acknowledge the following source(s).

Let’s Remember Champion Bernborough

by Mandy Logan | Oct 22, 2021 | 2012-2014


17th August 2004

August, 2004

After the Doomben 10,000 was run last Saturday and the Doomben Cup is run next Saturday, it is timely to just reflect for one moment on the champion Bernborough who was able to win the 1946 versions of both races under crushing weights. At the time he won the 1946 Doomben 10,000, it was called the T. M. Ahearn Memorial.


The term “Queensland’s greatest racehorse” was probably the right call then – and he still is entitled to that title today.

In his book “Keith Noud Recalls”, former great racecaller and journalist Keith Noud wrote “Of all the tens of thousands of races I wrote about and broadcast over the years, four were to trigger the gush of heart-thumping emotion. And in one of these dramas – as the winning number flashed into the semaphore – I was obliged to reach for my handkerchief. The horse concerned (was) Bernborough in his Doomben double wins of 1946”.

It was a testament to a great champion that Keith Noud listed Bernborough’s Doomben 10,000 and Doomben Cup wins of 1946 – and two other wins – those by Auction at Albion Park during the war in 1942 with 10 stone 12 pounds winning a Doomben Newmarket (Doomben was occupied by American troops) and the win by Tulloch in the 1961 Brisbane Cup – as the four most outstanding wins he saw in his lifetime.

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