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Round The Traps

The Melbourne Cup claims the attention like no other sporting event in the world; it is all over in the space of just three minutes.

Besides the venue of Flemington, 10 races were decided at Ellerslie in New Zealand, plus 39 race meetings were conducted throughout Australia, with 6 country meetings alone in Victoria.

Billy Egan doesn’t come to town that often but when he does, beware! he is a very capable jockey, he rides regularly for Patrick Payne and Pat is a very good jockey himself.

Barbados, hereby hangs a story of the best bred horse in the country, who sired a two state double, yet he will get little recognition from breeders.

He sired Garner, who had impeccable form leading into the Schweppervescence Plate, and Nasifi a, winner at Morphettville.

He was valued at leased $10 million, or even more, however, Barbados broke his pelvis, you could kiss the money goodbye, it was just a chance he could be saved.

Barbados is now 11 years of age, he is by Redoute’s Choice from Virage De Fortune by Anabaa from Emancipation, he was the best bred sire up to that stage.


Champion Jockey Dies

Former champion jockey, Geoff Lane, has passed away earlier this week in Brisbane at the age of 80.

He was apprenticed to Phar Lap’s trainer Tommy Woodcock, they had a remarkable relationship, more like father and son there was never a cross word uttered between them.

When he came out of his time, Geoff and Brian Courtney formed a great relationship, they combined to win numerous races with Dhaulagiri, including the Cox Plate; he was also the regular rider for Lord who was a top weight for age horse, trained by Ken Hilton.

Geoff was always smiling even if his mount didn’t win, the women still loved him, he was the pin up boy of racing but he only had eyes for Joanie, whom he married.

Together they opened a night club on St Kilda Road, that was a night I shall never forget, he played a great role as ‘Mine Host’

Geoff faded out of Australian racing after he had an offer from Hong Kong as a Steward for the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club, where he remained for several years.

Our paths crossed again in Hong Kong, he was popular where ever he went

I shall always remember Geoff Lane as a great mate, wonderful jockey; no one could wipe the smile off his face.


Power Scheme for the Derby

Whilst the Derby is still some weeks off, it won’t concern Power Scheme, he can wait, that was a very good pre trial for the classic and he can improve.

He is built like a stayer and races like a stayer; he carried the 60 kgs with ease and could have gone around again and still won.

Power Scheme is now a well matured three year old gelding, he is a promising young stayer with a bright future, to geld him was obviously the best decision.  

That was a good run at Moonee Valley; he quickened when called upon and went strong to the line.

He is right on track to give his sire Fiorente his first stakes winner, and he will race on as he is not likely to go to stud.

Fiorente is chipping away at this stage as his progeny need maturity, they are now four year olds, this is likely to be his best season.

He did run second to Green Moon in the Melbourne Cup, he came back the following year to win at weight for age at Moonee Valley over a mile, third in the Cox Plate and capped it off winning the Cup in 2013.

Fiorente returned to Flemington in the autumn to win the Australian Cup, that doesn’t happen very often

Fiorente 084 Jack CustomFiorente winning at Flemington

Well known Flemington trainer, Russell Cameron, passed away earlier this week after a long illness.

He was born at Balranald just over the border from Swan Hill, his father Ted was also a trainer and so was his grandfather, they would survive where others would starve. .

Bookmakers feared Ted when he entered the betting ring, he wasn’t there for the good of his health, he meant business and business was done.

Russell was just a kid at that time but it didn’t take him long to figure it out, he was a quick learner, a chip off the old block.

His uncle Ken was an outstanding jockey but unfortunately he never completed an apprenticeship, hence he was restricted from riding in the city area.


Boots and All

When Les Boots walked into the stables of Harry Butler, he just wanted to be a jockey just like Alec Fullarton, the great jumps jockey.

The previous day he had been to Oakbank when Kinjin, ridden by Alec Fullerton, won the Great Eastern Steeplechase, he was that hoarse he could hardly speak from all the cheering and shouting.

He eventually became apprenticed to Harry Butler at Glenelg, he rode of much of the work, he mucked out the boxes and all basic chores an apprentice expected to do all in a day’s work.

Harry called Les in and told him he could ride Umtalia in a few weeks in a jumping race at Cheltenham, the horse was a safe jumper and he would have no troubles.

The horse kept his side of the bargain but obviously Les didn’t, they parted company at the first jump, the horse galloped off while Les was left behind counting all his bruises.

After two more rides with the same result, his wife had a brain wave, she would pack a set of pyjamas in his racing bag, they were sure to come in handy.

At this stage his strike rate was hardly impressive, three rides, three falls, three trips to hospital, the pyjamas served a useful purpose.

One of the nurses at the Adelaide Hospital noticed the matron was paying some attention to the form guide in a newspaper, ” having a bet?” she asked, “no, just checking if we have to make up a bed for Mr Boots”.  

Les Boots rode in 39 races and had 40 falls, one horse he fell from he remounted and fell off again.

He had no trouble riding work, but once he put the colours on for a race he always fell, they seemed to be a jinx.

The racing administration didn’t show much interest in invoking his riding licence; they believed he did no harm to racing in any way.

You could say Les had a checked career, even the race starter when he sent the field away would call out, “see you later in the week Les”.

Les had two ambitions to ride a winner, and ride over the fences at Aintree in England.

Everyone said I’d probably have been the first jockey to have drowned at the water jump.

Les Boots died at 80, he was a jumps jockey for 18 years, 12 of those years was spent in hospital, he had broken every bone in his body except his nose.            


Magic Albert passes On

Magic Albert was laid to rest at Kooringal Stud, the Lamont family property at Wagga Wagga.

He was just a few days short of his 21st birthday; the Lamont family will surely miss him as he was a proven sire with an excellent record.

Originally he saw service at Yarraman Park for several seasons before moving down to Kooringal Stud, which is a well known stud, he was being prepared for the forthoming breeding season that commences in early September.

Magic Albert had just 13 race starts; he won 7 times to Group 2 and the Peter Pan Stakes at Rosehill.

He had limited racing which could be seen as a huge advantage as many stallions are worn out before they ever get to stud.

That was not the case with Magic Albert, he sired over 590 foals with progeny earnings of $48 million, 4 Group 1 races, he will be surely missed and there will be an empty box at Kooringal Stud.

Magic Albert 2015 resize MobileMagic Albert

Rebel Raider still going Strong

Dual Derby winner Rebel Raider is still going strong getting ready to face up to another season, he is in good shape and ready to go.

Rebel Raider is somewhat an underestimated sire really; he doesn’t receive the support that he really deserves.

His sire Reset was a very good three year old, raced by Lloyd Williams, Lloyd was careful with him and it certainly has paid off.

Rebel Raider has an impressive top line; there are no weak links in this pedigree, and a bonus plus, a double cross of Sir Trist ram.

Leon McDonald trained Rebel Raider throughout his racing career, including, both Derbies, furthermore, the season before last he also had 22 winners relating to Rebel Raider.

Rebel Raider entered stud duties in 2011, he has had 108 runners for 50 winners, and $4.1 million stakes earnings, there is a lot to like about him, he still has that bloom about him.

Rebel Raider Mobile

Rebel Raider


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