R F Moses (RFM)

R F ‘Reg’ Moses (RFM)

‘The Star Kingdom Dynasty’ Video has been one of the most popular hits on this website. I have written earlier about two of Star Kingdom’s owner S T Wootton and A O Ellison. The third member of the triumvirate was R F ‘Reg’ Moses.

RFM was born at Randwick in 1900 and taken to the family property at Moree. His father was F A ‘Frederick Albert’ Moses of the famed duo of brothers W & F A Moses of ‘Arrowfield’. They were the most successful of breeders from 1910s to the 1930s. Their sire ‘Valais’ was champion for five seasons in succession 1922-23 to 1927-28. Among many great horses either bred and/or raced by the Moses brothers were ‘Poitrel’, ‘Heroic’, ‘Valicare’ and ‘Manfred’.

The Moses family had been closely associated with Richard Wootton since the time of his return from England in 1915. It was natural that RFM would strike up a relationship with Stanley Wootton (STW). Reg Moses had been breeding thoroughbreds in his own right since the 1920s. He consolidated his interests into the Fairways Stud Pty Limited which purchased the eponymous property at Muscle Creek, Muswellbrook.

At the time Star Kingdom arrived in Australia RFM and STW were already in partnership in the sires ‘Confessor’, ‘Newtown Wonder’ and ‘Port Vista’. ‘Newtown Wonder’ proved to be something of a sensation siring multiple winners of major sprint races including ‘Cultured’, ‘Apple Jack’, ‘Apple Bay’ and ‘Dubbo’. ‘Port Vista’ was initially very promising with ‘Gay Vista’ (bred by STW) in his first crop. Later he faded but still sired good performers in ‘Our Cobber’, ‘Toi Port’ and ‘Regal Vista’. RFM had been an AJC Committeeman between 1945 and 1954. This ended ignominiously with insidious accusations of illegal betting transactions involving a leading jockey.

Many other Moses family members also played major roles in thoroughbred breeding through the Star Kingdom era adding considerable cachet to his outstanding success. Brothers Bill, Fred, Geoff and Henry all purchased shares and/or nominations to Star Kingdom. They bred some of the best racehorses including ‘Fine and Dandy’, ‘Time and Tide’ and ‘Gold Stakes’. A cousin R W (Rupert) Moses bred ‘Magic Night’ who was Star Kingdoms’ fifth successive winner of the Golden Slipper Stakes in 1961.

The Moses’ family tradition in thoroughbred racing and breeding continues to the present day. Fred and Mary Moses (nee Munro) own and run Kanangra Farm at Scone. Henry Field is RFMs great grandson. He is the Principle of the burgeoning gargantuan ‘Newgate Farm’ at Aberdeen.

I was most fortunate to share lunch with Mr & Mrs Reg Moses at ‘Fairways’ every spring season Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This homely privilege dissipated with the failure of RFM’s imported Rockefella stallion ‘Radames’ (Fr).

Of the three owners of Star Kingdom RFM was the most astute observer of bloodstock despite losing an eye as a young man; STW the most sagacious and sapient; AOE the best gardener.

I acknowledge my good friend the late Peter Pring as the source of much of this dialogue in his seminal tome: The Star Kingdom Story (The Thoroughbred Press, Sydney).