Racing at ‘Alabama’

Racing at ‘Alabama’

Featured Image: Program for Scone Jockey Club Race Meeting at “Alabama” Racecourse on Saturday 28th April 1945

The 2018 Scone Race Club Annual Cup Carnival is in full swing as I write with two days of highly competitive racing and almost $2 million available in prizemoney. Gai Waterhouse has just won the Cup; again!

Reflection relates how much ‘progress’ has been made in just over 70 years. I am the lucky current custodian of the hand written minutes of the Scone Jockey Club from 07/12/1944 to Tuesday 2nd July 1963 (Scone Race Club). The minutes are in two beautifully bound hard back foolscap-sized legers. The flowing hand writing is both exquisite and neat. These books are a precious commodity which came to me via Jack Johnston, his daughter Lesley and Harley Walden. No-one in authority appeared to want them? I will make sure they find a permanent and secure home; probably the Scone & Upper Hunter Historical Society.

The minutes for the 3rd. Committee Meeting of the Scone Jockey Club on 8 March 1945 are signed off by Chairman Mr D H Robertson and Honorary Secretary Mr C Parry. Recorded as attending the meeting in the Office of Stan G Keene and Co are: Messrs Robertson (Chair), Johnston, Morgan, Readford, Price, Keene, Loomes, Riddle, Clark, Howell & Parry. Apologies were received from Messrs Lochhead & Duncombe. Here were some exceptional luminaries named there!

The main item on the agenda was to set the program for the upcoming meeting of the SJC on Saturday 28th April 1945: See Featured Image above. Another major decision was to award the proceeds of the Race Meeting to the Scone Red Cross 40% for their Ball and 60% to the Jockey Club. It was then customary, indeed mandatory, to subscribe to local charities. Business items also included provision for a Pluvius (Rain) Policy for £300 covering 3 hours 10am to 1pm, and also Public Risk & Worker’s Compensation. Bookmakers Fees were set at £3/3/-.

The Scone Advocate reported on ‘the successful fixture at “Alabama”’ in its detailed report on Tuesday 1st May 1945. Host property “Alabama” was then owned by Mr R M Bowcock who was ‘thanked for his nice gesture’. The most successful combination on the day was jockey L P Duncombe who rode three winners.

It appears the Scone Jockey Club had no permanent home at this time also conducting race meetings at St Aubins and Aberdeen. The grand opening of the Scone Race Club’s new track at White Park on Wednesday 7th May 1947 was still over 2 years away. See next post.