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.
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.