Redoubtable Thoroughbred Sextet @ Coogee c. 1970

Redoubtable Thoroughbred Sextet @ Coogee c. 1970

Featured Image. ‘Sextet’ @ Miller’s OCEANIC HOTEL (Coogee) in the ‘Back o’ the Moon Room’ c. Easter 1970. Supplied by Paul Hennessy

The ‘Back O’ the Moon Room’ was promoted as ‘for the best in Cabaret-Style Entertainment’. This redoubtable sextet of colourful racing personalities appears to be making the most of their opportunities, probably connected with the Wm Inglis & Sons Thoroughbred Easter Yearling Sale in 1970. The appellation ‘sextet’ refers to the number of people present rather than any prurient insinuation. All were, had been, or were destined for disparate careers in the ‘magnetic’ thoroughbred industry. All of them signed the numbered cover brochure provided by Aviation Photography Pty Ltd, International Terminal, Kingsford-Smith Airport, Sydney NSW. Reprints of the photograph were obtainable for $1:00 per copy.

From L to R, they are identified as:

Tony Moss      

Originally from England Tony accompanied the Vilmorin stallion ‘Vibrant’ imported to Australia by ship for Stanley Wootton and partners. Vibrant stood his first season at Mr A O Ellison’s ‘Baramul Stud’ in the Widden Valley in 1969. Baramul was dispersed in 1970 and ‘Vibrant’ transferred to John Kelso’s Timor Creek Stud before completing his tenure at V C Bath’s Bhima Stud, Scone. I recall the last foal produced by Biscay’s dam ‘Magic Symbol’ was a huge filly later racing successfully as ‘Risca’. Her aged dam took two whole days to recover from the ordeal of delivering the foal. It’s most unusual for a TB mare to suffer ‘obturator paralysis’ due to foetal oversize prevalent in some breeds of cattle. Tony later obtained employment at Sydney Airport possibly connected with the photographer’s introduction.

Paul Hennessy


Paul was a tenant of Jennifer Churchill at this time. He had recently moved to Lomar Park, Werombi from Sylvania Lodge in the Bylong Valley. It was a ‘fertile’ connexion. I’ve written about Paul earlier in my ‘Blog’. See URL above.

Jennifer Churchill

See: TBNSW Tribute to Jennifer Churchill | Thoroughbred Breeders NSW

Thoroughbred Breeders’ NSW would like to pay tribute to the wonderful Jennifer Churchill who sadly passed away yesterday in Sydney at the age of 87.

A well-known face in thoroughbred breeding, particularly in New South Wales, Jenny was a TBNSW member for over 60 years, including 19 years as a committee member. In the 1980s the TBNSW committee presented Jenny with a press award for “Services To The Breeding Industry’ and on her retirement from the committee in 2007 she was made a Life Member of the Association, receiving a further award to recognise her “Outstanding Contribution to the NSW Thoroughbred Industry.”

Jennifer was a journalist who specialised in thoroughbred breeding for over sixty years spending two decades as the Thoroughbreds’ Editor for The Land, Australia’s major rural newspaper.

Earlier in her career various freelance undertakings included being foundation bloodstock writer for Stud and Stable (Australia), New South Wales and Tasmanian representative for Racetrack Magazine and a regular contributor to Turf Monthly.

Jenny was founding editor of the Australian annual stallion register “Stallions” and for many years also compiled the stakes results section of the Australian Bloodhorse Review (now Bluebloods).

The early death of her husband and the necessity to provide for her two children cut short a venture into the practical side of breeding. However, Jenny gained considerable experience in stud and stallion management by running a small stud farm for several years.  She bred several winners including the AJC Villiers Stakes winner, Top Wing, and Grafton Horse of the Year, Sweet Portal. In 2006, Jennifer compiled and was principal co-editor of the wonderful catalogue of global stallions, “Great Thoroughbred Sires of the World.”

TBNSW would like to offer its condolences to Jenny’s family and close friends and to thank her for her wonderful contribution to thoroughbred breeding in Australia.           Jenny is survived by her daughter Amanda and son Richard.

See also: Vale Jennifer Churchill – Thoroughbred Horse Racing and Breeding Forums (

Vale Jenny Churchill.
By Andrew Reichard

It is my sad duty to report the passing of Jennifer Churchill at the age of 87 on Sunday 3rd of January. Jenny Churchill was a true stalwart of the thoroughbred breeding industry and undoubtedly one of its finest minds.

She was a gifted journalist with a truly encyclopaedic knowledge of thoroughbred pedigrees. Over the course of her long involvement in the industry she had turned her hand to breeding winners, to standing a stallion, to night-watching during the foaling season, to being a long serving committeewoman of Thoroughbred Breeders NSW (which honoured her with life membership), and she was successful in all these endeavours.

Professionally she was noted for her column in The Land newspaper ‘Under the Fig Tree’ which she handed over to Virginia Harvey to become the founding editor of STALLIONS 1989. She compiled it and the subsequent 25 editions by hand and remained a valued consulting editor until recently. But arguably her greatest contribution to thoroughbred history will prove to be the seminal 1000-page reference work Great Thoroughbred Sires Of The World, published in 2004. Jenny spent a dozen years meticulously researching the 205 stallions featured in the book. The print run of 2500 was completely sold out and is a testament to her skill. She wrote several of the feature essays and they are a tribute to her erudition and breadth of knowledge.

But Jenny will be best remembered for her love of life, for the great friendships she enjoyed with people from all walks of the industry, for the amazing nibbles and meals she produced on social occasions and stud visits, for her love of a good Scotch or two and for her kind heart.
An obituary will appear in the January/ February issue of Bluebloods.

Lady Jane Brumby

The mystery person; possibly escorted by Phil Thane. Paul Hennessy insists the ‘Lady’ title is accurate and apposite.

Paul Thane

Another mystery attendee. He appears to have his arm around Freddie Sarina on his left.

Freddie Sarina

Arguably the MOST colourful of the group, the appellation ‘colourful racing identity’ could have been invented for Fred? At this time Fred was an ingenue bloodstock agent for Wm Inglis & Sons at Randwick. He was very good at his job and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the thoroughbred industry. Men like Fred don’t stay ‘ingenue’ for very long! Fred Sarina was a fixture at the Annual Scone Thoroughbred Sales at every May. The sale was run in conjunction since 1947 by Wm Inglis & Sons and Pitt Son & Keene, Scone Agents. The sale was a glorious celebration of all things thoroughbred. Fred excelled; especially at the SRC Scone Cup Calcutta. He also kept an eye out for attractive fillies on the dance floor which usually followed the Calcutta Auction. Very light on his feet and adroit at the quick step, he was an attractive proposition for any available ‘wall flower’. Let’s leave it there!

Fred enjoyed a scintillating career as an independent bloodstock agent until some (maybe) nefarious practices caught up with him. He, and many like him, would argue all this was standard practice in the day. The trick was not to be caught. I must say it was a much duller world when he no longer appeared at the Scone Thoroughbred Week celebrations! I would say that, wouldn’t I?