Miss Anne Raymond
Racing Matriarch Always Remembered by Brian Russell
Featured Image: A rather ‘wistful’ Miss Anne Raymond at ‘Sledmere’
August 25 2013 – 10:30PM
OBITUARY: Ann Raymond, horse breeder
BORN: June 9, 1925
DIED: August 2, 2013
FUNERAL: St Luke’s Anglican Church, Scone, August 13, 2013.
ONE of the Hunter’s last links to legendary Australian racehorse Phar Lap has been lost following the death of Ann Raymond, a matriarch of thoroughbred breeding in the Upper Hunter.
Ann Raymond, the owner of Sledmere Stud at Scone for more than 35years, was an accomplished breeder who achieved wide-ranging success during her lengthy career in the thoroughbred industry.
Sledmere was established by Ms Raymond’s father, Guy Raymond, for Sydney businessman Hugh Dennison after World War I.
Before residing in the Upper Hunter, Ms Raymond lived at the historic St Albans Stud at Geelong, Victoria.
Guy Raymond had moved to St Albans in the mid-1920s and when Ann was six, the stud’s stables were used to hide 1930 odds-on Melbourne Cup favourite Phar Lap after someone took a ‘‘pot shot’’ at him a few days before the race.
The new surrounds did not affect Phar Lap and he strode to a comfortable three-length win in the Cup after starting as the shortest-priced favourite in the history of the race.
Ms Raymond’s family did not tell her the big red horse hidden at their stud was Phar Lap because they feared she might let it slip while at school.
Ms Raymond later assisted her father run the stud, which flourished as one of Victoria’s leaders for 40years, producing many outstanding performers.
One of those was controversial 1948 Melbourne Cup winner Rimfire. The 80-1 runner officially took the Cup in a new track record time by a half-head from the more fancied Dark Marne.
But until his final days, Dark Marne’s jockey Jack Thompson was certain his horse had won.
Ms Raymond was jubilant following her father’s Cup win, and she too would taste Melbourne Cup carnival glory as a breeder and owner 22 years later when Sudani, a mare that she bred and raced, won the Hotham Handicap at 100-1.
Produced by a daughter of Enfield, Sudani did not contest the Melbourne Cup but became one of the foundation mares when Ms Raymond, crowded out by encroaching housing development after the death of her father, took up the opportunity to buy Sledmere Stud at Scone.
Here she stood a number of sires over the years, including Eucalyptus, Fayyaad, Avatar and briefly Beaches and Crown Jester.
Ms Raymond bred some very good horses.
One of her mares, the Yeats Sydney winner Cryptic Verse, produced eight winners, all her foals, including the dazzling fast Gold Brose as well as Bewilder, Dyslexia, Listed and Lyrics.
Using Lyrics and Testa Rossa, she bred Pane in the Glass, a winner of the AJC Silver Shadow Stakes, AJC Inglis Nursery and STC Inglis 2 Year Old Classic and second in the ATC Champagne Stakes.
A recipient of the Hunter Valley Breeders Award for Services to the Industry, Ms Raymond is survived by her niece Jennifer, who is the widow of the recently deceased Jaimie Mackay of Cangon Stud at Dungog, and their son, Cangon manager Jock Mackay, and daughter Catriona Murphy.
Ms Murphy now manages Sledmere and is considered the next generation of the family to take up the reins.