Scone Race Club Cup 1976

Scone Race Club Cup 1976

Featured Image:

The third ‘developed print’ of the photo finish of the Scone Race Club Cup at White Park run on Thursday 20th May 1976. The official verdict was a win by a short half head to Number 3 ‘Padang’ over Number 9 ‘Prince of Honour’. It was a very close run thing and perhaps even debatable? Late on Cup Day in May the encroaching autumn weather was closing in with view darkening and vision obscured.  If light faded too badly the single camera did not function!

What’s your verdict? The image is an ‘actual’ of what the judges peruse to arrive at a decision.

At our every Wednesday ‘Camarilla of Country Coffee Morning’ on 03/04/19 I produced a copy of the ‘unofficial’ finish of the 1974 AJC Doncaster Handicap by a pair of streakers marginally ahead of official victor ‘Tontonan’. It was a good conversation starter!

Two of us (AWB and WPH) owned up to having been judges at the Scone Race Club meetings at White Park. There were some ‘hairy moments’ when camera technology is not what it is today! It could be especially confusing if in a very tight finish one or more of the challengers had a white blaze or snip which was difficult to identify?

Harley Walden writes of the 1976 Scone Cup:

“The race proved to be a source of great excitement for the large crowd when the judges called for three photos (‘developed prints’) of the finish to determine the winner. While the crowd waited expectantly the judges carefully examined the prints before giving their decision in favour of Padang, Mr and Mrs A B Sylvester and Mr and Mrs P O’Reilly’s brown gelding which is trained at Broadmeadow by Jim Johnstone. The winner was ridden by Newcastle jockey John Wade and won by the smallest margin of a short half head from 4 to 1 equal favourite Prince of Honour (T Wicks), with the rank outsider of the race, Blue’s Choice at 80 to 1 ridden by J Quill, three-quarters of a length away in third place. Homberg, the other equal favourite at 4 to 1 ran home well to fill fourth place. The time for the 1400 metres of 1 minute 23.3 seconds created a new race and track record.

The suspense of the Cup result was increased when the jockey of the second horse, T Wicks on Prince of Honour, lodged a protest against the winner for alleged interference on the home turn. The protest was dismissed giving a popular decision to the winning connections of Padang.”

David Macintyre was the official Judge but had disqualified himself from the Cup race because he had purchased a horse in the Cup Eve Calcutta the night before. Assistant Arthur Bragg was elevated to Chief Judge. It was a hairy and scary decision. Chief Steward Bob Dawbarn said he didn’t want a dead heat. ‘Forced’ to make a call Arthur did just that. When he ‘posted’ the photo finish print in the glass covered display case at the foot of the Judge’s Tower an irate punter (who disagreed with the judgement) stated “I’ll shoot that c..t Macintyre!” Arthur retired discretely; and quietly!

I think even the judges were relieved at final declaration of correct weight?