Nifty Neville Sellwood @ Scone (St Aubins) Racetrack 1939

Featured Image: Scone Hospital Racing Club 1939:  Did the 16-year-old apprentice ride at St Aubins Racetrack SCONE in 1939?

See also: pp 68 -70

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This meeting marked the rebirth of racing in Scone after a dormant period of a few years. Local agent Stan Keene ignited debate only about three months before the meeting took place. W J Smith of St Aubins generously agreed to host the meeting at his private track.

The winners on the day were:

  1. Maiden Handicap 4 ¾ Furlongs; Mr A E Cooper’s ch g 6yrs ‘Dangar Mark’
  2. Northern Travellers’ Flying Handicap 6 furlongs; Mr S R Johnston’s ch g 6yrs ‘Golden Glass’
  3. Nurse’s Handicap 4 ¾ Furlongs Mrs E M Stewart’s b g aged ‘Bill Gauntlet’
  4. The Corinthian Handicap 6 Furlongs Mr A E Cooper’s ch g 6yrs ‘Dangar Mark’
  5. Scott Memorial Scone Hospital Handicap 1 mile 15 yards; Mr G R White’s ‘Housemaster’
  6. Welter Handicap First Division 6 Furlongs; Mr A McLean’s br g 5yrs ‘Bonnie Don’
  7. Welter Handicap Second Division 6 Furlongs; Mr T J Nugent’s b m 5yrs ‘Broadway Rose’

Neville Sellwood?

Is it possible that the future great international jockey Neville Sellwood rode at the meeting without landing a winner; finishing third in Race 2 (‘Hasten’), second in Race 5 (‘The Ped’) and unplaced in Race 7 (‘Miss Sal’). His mounts were owned by Mr A E Cooper of ‘Alabama’ who also hosted race meetings post-WWII. He was listed as N Sellwood and I have been unable to confirm (or deny) this is one and the same person? The trainer of all three was S Thomas who also won with Mr A E Cooper’s ‘Dangar Mark’ winning two races on the day.

Neville Sellwood would have been a 16 year old apprentice on 26 August 1939. He rode his first winner ‘Ourimbah’ at Doomben, Brisbane on 11 March 1939 when apprenticed to Jim Shean.


The committee organising the Scone Hospital Racing Club’s opening meeting was both ‘heavyweight’ and influential. It was loaded with leviathan thoroughbred racing and breeding men of the day including President Mr W J ‘Knockout’ Smith (St Aubins Stud), Sir Hugh Denison (Sledmere), Mr A E Cooper (Alabama), Mr P Miller (Kia Ora), Mr W H Mackay (Tinagroo), Messrs F L Bragg (Rossgole), A W Riddle (Kia Ora), J L Raymond (Sledmere) and L W Davies (Yarrandi). Any one of them could have enticed the very promising Brisbane apprentice to ride at Scone. The most obvious candidate is Mr A E Cooper of ‘Alabama’ for whom ‘N Sellwood’ rode three starters. How likely is it that there were two ‘N Sellwoods’ around at this time? I prefer to believe that the emerging superstar graced the meeting with his presence. In 1939 no-one would have been any the wiser?