Saturday, July 25, 2009

Waiting for Spring

It’s been a bitterly cold week here in Melbourne, so it’s that time of year when Winter tends to wear on a body and the odd sunny warmish day awakes a yearning for Spring.

And of course reminds me that the Spring Racing Carnival is just on the horizon.

To psych myself up for the season, I’ve been browsing through the old scrap book I compiled back in the early 1960s, which was when I first developed an interest in the sport.

Unfortunately most of the photographs in the book, being old newspaper clippings, do not scan well, nor translate well on photos. But the book has a couple of colour photos from magazines which scanned OK, though the resolution leaves a lot to be desired.


The picture above, probably quite a rarity these days, is of my favourite horse of the time, Dhaulagiri, a magnificent bay stallion who acquitted himself very well during his racing career. He won the 1961 Cox Plate and consistently competed against the top horses of the period, such as Tulloch, Lord, Sky High, Aquanita and Lord Fury. He was named for Mount Dhaulagiri in the Himalayas no doubt inspired by his Sire’s name High Peak.

His wins, according to the Australian Thoroughbred Studbook were:

1960-VATC Caulfield Stakes

1961-MVRC Alister Clark Stakes

1961-MVRC WS Cox Plate

1961-VATC St George Stakes

1961-VRC Blamey Stakes

1961-VRC C.B. Fisher Plate

1961-VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Autumn)

1962-QTC JHS Barnes Stakes

1962-Tatt's QLD Tattersall's Cup

1962-VATC St George Stakes

1962-VRC Blamey Stakes

As well as winning the above races he did place many times in top quality company in other Group races including the Melbourne Cup. He ended up being imported to France and sired one stakes winner Dhaudevi who won the Group 1 French Grand Prix de Paris in 1968.


This next photo is of Tulloch, generally regarded as one of best racehorses in Australian racing history. I remember listening to the races back then when Tulloch and Dhaulagiri were racing, often against each other, with the other great racehorse of the time, Lord being in the mix. They were three horse races and all three horses won or were defeated by each other in consecutive races.

Below are photos from other pages in my scrap book. I find it amusing to contemplate how I meticulously cut out each horse in a decoupage fashion. I certainly wouldn’t bother these days, simply saving newspaper pages over the years marking historic racing events, particularly the Melbourne Cup. These pages are stuffed in the back of the scrapbook in no particular order.

A double page spread of Dhaulagiri

Aquanita and other well known racehorses of the early 60s

A double page spread of Tulloch

Even Stevens

The first race of the spring carnival is the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes on August 1st a mere week away. To brighten the chill, Augusta Proud, a filly I have been following for several years is racing in Adelaide today, so I’ll be listening to that race in the hope she wins.


Anonymous said...

Thanks heaps for sharing those memories.

Dhaulagiri was my favorite too.
Geoff Lane the jockey and trained by Brian Courtney who had Small Time and My Peak around that time.

Anne S said...

Thanks for visiting. I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembers Dhaulagiri - he was Victoria's favourite horse in his day, so I have learned from visiting Google News archive.

Anonymous said...

And the race caller's voice on 3DB (or was it 3AW?) evoked special emotion when "Daulaghiri" rang amongst the names, so often neck and neck with mightly Tulloch at the finish. It was Daulaghiri that ended Tulloch's dominance. Ray Ribbon was another name routinely heard when puffing nostrils crossed the finishing line in a close race.

Anne S said...

I was only 13 or 14 years old when I listened to Dhaulagiri's races, but I do remember they were quite exciting with Dhaulagiri, Tulloch and Lord going head to head. People forget that Dhaulagiri beat Tulloch a few times. Now he's hardly remembered.

But those days instilled in me alove of horse racing which has stayed with me to this day.

Anne S said...

Further thoughts on radio broadcasts. I think I probably listened to the ABC racing coverage with Joe Brown doing the calling. We were a very ABC orienated family and besides we were living in rural Victoria at the time, so city stations were out of range.