Scone Patriotic Race Club 1941
Featured Image: St Aubins Race Track ‘hosted’ most of the war-time race meetings
Acknowledge: Harley Walden and ‘The Spirit Within’
All comparisons are odious; but they do reveal some intriguing insights! The $2 million Scone Cup meeting for 2019 is just around the corner. It was an entirely different scenario for the Scone Patriotic Race Club’s meeting on Saturday 29th November 1941. In the midst of WWII it must have been an extremely ‘patriotic’ time because meetings with a similar appellation were held at Murrurundi, Wingen, Moonan Flat, Woolooma, Stewart’s Brook, Gundy, Aberdeen, Muswellbrook, Denman and Jerry’s Plains.
The report in the Scone Advocate of the meeting is quite revealing. There were some interesting side issues. A horse called ‘Snip’ won the feature double and owner-rider Arthur Holman rode a treble. The latter actually won four races but was relegated to second after a protest was lodged in Race 3, the 3 furlong First Class Scrubbers, by the rider of ‘Amusement’ who was placed 1st. ‘Snip’ was a star of the circuit in those days. He was at least 16 years old and by the ex-Kia Ora stallion ‘Legionnaire’ out of ‘Speedy Mag’ by Magpie. In his day he was a Randwick winner and raced as ‘Le Faire’.
The principle event, the Patriotic Handicap was replete with incidents. As the horses were leaving the saddling paddock, the Chief Steward investigated a complaint lodged by one of the riders against another rider. This was followed up and led to the discovery of a battery in the possession of J McCormack who was posted to ride ‘Dicky Barton’, a brown gelding nominated by R B Perfrement. The stewards ordered the withdrawal of the horse from the race. Immediately after the event the Steward called the Committee together, and their deliberations ended in jockey J McCormack, R B Perfrement and the gelding ‘Dicky Barton’ disqualified for two years for dishonest practices in connection with the rules of racing. (Darren Weir you started nothing!).
It’s intriguing to note that ‘Stella’ started three times on the six-race card. She finished 3rd. in Race 2, the 4 furlong Flying Handicap (won by ‘Snip’), 2nd in Race 4 the 4 furlong Patriotic Handicap (also won by ‘Snip’), and 1st in the final Race 6, the 4 furlong Parcels Handicap. Horses named ‘Check’, ‘Surprise’ and ‘Windred’ also started at least twice each for minor placings.
Scone luminaries made up the officials for the club and meeting including: S Payne (Judge), L Eipper (Assistant Judge), L Breese, F O’Connell, W Rose, F Firth, C Parry (Secretary), J Higman, W Munro, W Tanner, J Hardiman, J Gleeson, F Hutt, R Smith (Stipendiary Steward), J Drew (Assistant) plus gatekeepers and car parking stewards H Poole, C Murray, Adrian Smith, H Barwick, and Les Taylor.
Denman Race Club Coronation Cup Meeting; June 20th 1953
The Scone Advocate (June 26th 1953) reported that Scone racing icon Harry Hayes was central in an intriguing race ruling. His horse ‘Channel Rip’ was first past the post, ridden by apprentice D Mills who claimed a 7lb allowance. He finished officially 5 lengths in front of second placed ‘Guard’ ridden by R Peters and trained by E Cribb. Trainer Cribb had notified Officiating Steward Mr E A (Bert) Bogan before the race that if ‘Guard’ ran 2nd to ‘Channel Rip’ he would lodge a protest under Rule LR54.
Cribb stated that apprentice Mills should have been allowed only a 5lb claim. Steward Bogan dismissed Cribb’s claim after the race and announced that the official placings would stand awarding the race to ‘Channel Rip’ with ‘Guard’ second.
Over 3 months later on 9th October 1953 the AJC ruled that the protest lodged against ‘Channel Rip’ in the Denman Cup run on 20th June that year has been UPHELD making ‘Guard’ the official winner with ‘Channel Rip’ the runner up. I’m not sure how Harry Hayes responded but I can imagine the retort! I know he kept a safe distance himself from ‘Shorty’ Cribb forever after. At least he’d claimed his winnings from bookmakers if not the prizemoney. Who was it said there are no certainties in racing?