Sad news – the passing of the great man himself

Sadly John Brown passed away from a heart attack on Thursday 10 October. His funeral was held on Wednesday 16 October at 2.30 pm at the Eastern Suburbs Funeral Service, 61 Military Road, Matraville NSW 2036. Emma and I would like to thank everyone who attended, sent their condolences and...
Read more

Max Crockett – a true blue horse whisperer and showman

  MAX CROCKETT   Max Crockett – a true blue horse whisperer A day at the Easter yearling sales at Newmarket used to be like going to the greatest show on earth. There was colour and excitement around every corner with the aroma of young horses, straw, feed and leather....
Read more

David Vandyke and Bryson Hayes

        A perfect day in every way David Vandyke and Bryson Hayes At this stage of my career I am usually described as a hardened old gorilla that has seen it all. Then a perfect day comes along when I am touched in a most tender and...
Read more

JOHN STOCKER- An apprentice that soared to dizzy heights

John Stocker – a star apprentice that soared to dizzy heights My maths teacher at Urrbrae Agricultural High School in Adelaide, Mr Gaunt, knew he was fighting a losing battle when he discovered that there was a form guide in the middle of a text book between John Stocker and...
Read more

A TRULY UNIQUE AND COLOURFUL IDENTITY THAT REALLY LOVED RACING

        A TRULY UNIQUE AND COLOURFUL IDENTITY THAT REALLY LOVED RACING RUSS HINZE Love him or hate him Russ was an absolutely unforgettable and colourful character. This was especially true when he was attired in his black glitter dinner jacket. His lovely wife had it made for...
Read more

The Bon Vivants Brian Sweeney and Jim Killen

    Brian Sweeney and Jim Killen Never has there been more distinguished, debonair, sartorially splendid or convivial company on a racecourse than this pair. They could exercise charm over swooning woman like no one I have ever seen before or since. Both extraordinary Australians they had received many honours...
Read more

Souran Vanian. A real life James Bond.

SOURAN VANIAN.  A Real life James Bond   I was alarmed when travelling along the Champs-Élysées my driver, Raphael, mounted the kerb and sped along the footpath. Pedestrians scattered in all directions fearing for their lives in the balmy Paris evening. Amazingly there was not a single casualty except for...
Read more

BETTY LANE and TIGER HOLLAND

  BETTY LANE and TIGER HOLLAND Absolutely genuine horse people   There may have been more successful horse trainers at Randwick but very few as trustworthy, decent and fair dinkum than Betty Lane and her ex Jockey husband Tiger Holland. Betty has an impressive intellect and was a journalist before...
Read more

More colours than Joseph’s coat

        ERNIE SMITH Goolgowie must have exotic minerals in the ground that leached into the water table of the dry, barren plains. The outback New South Wales town did not produce much culture, agricultural products or anything great except the two best horsemen that I have seen. The brothers...
Read more

LORD BALLINA was a noble friend

          The writer and his great friend LORD BALLINA No horse has touched me more than that the magnificent LORD BALLINA. My mate Ernie Smith was a friend of Captain Tim Rogers of Airlie Stud in Ireland. Captain Rogers asked Smith in 1983: “Find me a...
Read more

NOEL SOUTER

          AN AUSSIE ABROAD I enjoyed international jet setting for the adventure and most importantly to sell Australian horses and only rarely to buy a stallion. I prefer to promote the Aussie product instead of buying European horses. I know that in recent times imported sires...
Read more

Doc Seaton. Sportsman and gentleman

            Doc Seaton pictured with the writer and his wife Doc Seaton was a sportsman and a gentleman   Albury in the 1960’s was a wonderful town, gentrified and genteel. It was home to the Southern NSW squatocracy, their relatives and the people that serviced...
Read more

MOUNTAIN HORSES

              MOUNTAIN HORSES As Banjo Patterson once wrote   “He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko’s side, Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough, Where a horse’s hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride, The man that...
Read more

CLASS

              In a London cab one day the cabbie was telling me how he was a boxing trainer and part-time cab driver. I asked him if he had any good boxers in his team. He said that he had a really good fighter that...
Read more

Australian of the year

  AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR IVORY’S IRISH Watching a race from the stands or on television you can miss a dimension that is very real to the participants particularly the horses. There is something missing regarding the effort and quite often suffering that the animal endures to achieve. I have...
Read more

A Star was born when STAR WATCH foaled

Star Watch winning the Golden Slipper stakes STAR WATCH I have some idea how Dr. Livingston must have felt when he first saw Victoria Falls or how ancient travelers felt when they gazed upon the hanging gardens of Babylon. That is how I felt when I first saw STAR WATCH...
Read more

Robert George and Swiftly Carson

Two top performers Robert George and Swiftly Carson It is amazing how one thing leads to another in this fascinating industry. When I had LORD BALLINA and discovered just how much ability he possessed I noticed in a catalogue for a mixed sale at Tamworth a twin filly that was...
Read more

WHAT A CHAMPION BOB COOK

Bob cook jumping the last on Gay Comic BOB COOK WHAT A CHAMPION To this day I don’t think that I felt as much atmosphere at the races as when Bobby Cook broke the record for riding the most jumping winners in a season in 1962-63. He had a colossal...
Read more

CLIFF FAHLER the king of the kids. One of the all time greats

            CLIFF FAHLER and STAGE HIT. Not in the history of racing in Australia would there have been a better training partnership producing two year olds than Cliff and Vanda Fahler. Nor has there rarely been a more colourful character than Cliff. Resplendent in his...
Read more

Never look a gift horse in the mouth?

  TAPAROO Sometimes kind deeds do come back to return favours. A kind deed did return to me in 1990. I had sold a Group 1 winning mare called MA CHIQUITA to Jim Fleming. She had won the Group 1 Epsom Handicap. The owner found himself in difficult circumstances at...
Read more
  • Facebook
  • Twitter