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Death of a Sire

The Liston family of Three Bridges were dealt a cruel blow with the death of their sire, Unencumbered.

He had a promising career, a lightly raced horse that possessed a stack of ability; he won five of his ten starts, and just on 2 million dollars in stake earnings.

His passing is a big loss to the Victorian Breeding Industry; he covered over 500 mares in his four seasons at Three Bridges.

Replacing him will never be easy as the demand for lightly raced stallions is at a premium, he could have well been on the crest on a wave.

Unencumbered emulated his sire, Testa Rossa, a brilliant sprinter and sire, as both won the Magic Millions Classic.


The Birth of the Slipper

The Golden Slipper Stakes was born on a stormy night, when the fledging Sydney Turf Club was still in its infancy, several decades ago.

The committee of the S T C had visions to sponsor a prestigious race to highlight their Autumn Carnival.

The man that came up with the idea was George Ryder, who owned Woodlands Stud, and was a founding member of the Sydney Turf Club.

Ryder’s proposal was for a rich two year old race, this raised the ire of many members of the Sydney Turf Club, who thought Ryder was feathering his own nest, as he was standing a brilliant sire at the time in Newtown Wonder.

The Slipper was on an unsteady foundation for some time, surrounded by controversy, ridiculed by critics, denigrated by rival breeding factions, who accused Ryder of putting on the race to suit the progeny of his speed sire, Newtown Wonder.

It was a time for back stabbing and insults, George Ryder was disheartened, a lesser man may have quit, but that was not his style.

His forceful personality and unwavering belief that the Golden Slipper would succeed finally carried the day.

Easter 1954, saw entries were taken from 1500 broodmares who were nominated for the Golden Slipper Stakes, later 300 yearlings were entered.

In 1957 was the birth of the inaugural running of the Golden Slipper Stakes in a field of 11 runners, Todman won in record time by eight lengths, starting at 6-1 on.

The race proved an unparalleled success; it became the signature race of the Sydney Turf Club        

Todman was ridden by the late Neville Sellwood, trained by Maurice McCarten at Randwick, and owned by Stanley Wootton, and sired the great, Star Kingdom.

Star Kingdom sired five winners of the Golden Slipper,Todman , Fine and Dandy , the brothers, Sky Line and Sky High, and Magic Night.

Todman turned out a pretty good sire himself, siring Sweet Embrace and Eskimo Prince, giving Athol Mulley his second win in the race, as he also rode Sky High for Brian Crowley, Chairman of the Australian Jockey Club

George Ryder MobileGeorge Ryder with Wayne Harris, youngest jockey to win Slipper.


Racing remembers Maurice McCarten

Maurice McCarten was remembered and honoured with the running of the Maurice McCarten Stakes Group2, at Rosehill on Saturday

He came across from New Zealand to Sydney in 1926 to ride Limerick in the Carlingford Mile at Rosehill; it was his first ride, first winner in Australia.

Limerick soon proved he was up to the weight for age scale when defeating Pantheon, quite a few times, and also Windbag, which was no mean feat.

It was the potential that Limerick had shown as a young horse in New Zealand that encouraged McCarten to come to Sydney, he had ridden over 100 winners at that time.

Dothraki - Maurice McCarten Stks -  Roseh 17-3-18 MobileDothraki winning the Maurice McCarten Stakes 

Later he rode Ajax in the majority of his two and three year old races, winning the Rosehill and the Caulfield Guineas on the chestnut son of Heroic; however, he was committed to riding basically in Sydney so Harold Badger rode Ajax thereafter.

Ajax had won 18 races in succession under Badger, and was about to join elite company as Desert Gold and Gloaming had each won 19 races apiece, and that was more than 20 years ago.

A couple of years later in 1939 he rode in the three horse Rawson Stakes at Rosehill, Ajax was 40-1 on, ridden by Harold Badger , Spear Chief, ridden by Maurice McCarten and Allunga, a slow stayer, ridden by Darby Munro, both were at 33 -1.

Munro always considered Ajax was a corn beef champion, he could be rolled and Darby was out to prove it, he was at Ajax’s girth all the way.

Ajax had no peace in front, Munro made sure of that, Spear Chief had the last run at the pair and won by a half length.

McCarten had a unique record that is likely to stand the test of time, he won the jockey’s premiership in 1938-39 with 88 winners, and was champion trainer four times, giving way to T J Smith who won the title 33 times.

Among his best horses would have been Delta, Knave, Deep Diver, Prince Cautanld , Wenona Girl, Todman Noholme, Columnist ,Sweet Chime, he was never short of a good horse in all those years.

Maurice McCarten was a great jockey, a great trainer, and a great gentleman.

McCarten MobileNeville Sellwood alongside his mate Maurice McCarten


Super double for Hayes Team

Redkirk Warrior kept his record intact as a straight track specialist, when he won his second Newmarket Handicap at Flemington.

He was coming off a win in the Lightning Stakes, and he had also won the Bobby Lewis Stakes in the spring, at Flemington.

After drawing barrier 15, the extreme outside of the field, that was no deterrent, he followed the outside rail as straight as a gun barrel, he didn’t waiver at any stage of the 1200 metres trip.

It would be best described as the perfect ride by Regan Bayliss, pity it had to be soured by an indiscretion that has proved costly for him.

Brave Smash ran a good race, he was clattered up with nowhere to go, it was a good run under the circumstances.

The favourite, Merchant Navy, was too far out of his ground to be a definite threat until the race was almost over, you cannot give starts away to good horses, he came from second last, to be beaten by a short half head.

There is some thought that Redkirk Warrior may return to England, for what? Stake earnings are much better in Australia, and also he is a gelding.

David Hayes quoted” he is the best straight horse I have had”.

Redkirk Warrior 046 Jack Mobile

Redkirk Warrior wins the Newmarket Handicap

Harlem completed a winning double for the Hayes team when he put paid to the favourite in the Australian Cup, Gailo Chop, who shortened considerably in the close of betting.

The Taj Mahal took up the early running, carting the field along at a good clip, Gailo Chop was within ear shot, and Harlem was perched ready to have a crack at the leaders.

Gailo Chop quickly issued the challenge; it looked a case of all over red rover, until Harlem appeared on the scene.

After a head and head issue, the two imported geldings had it between them, with Harlem the victor by a half length.

Harlem 080 Jack Mobile

Harlem lands the double


Blue Diamond - A great Result

The Blue Diamond Stakes was a great result for the Begg family, as the winner, Written By, was destined to be sold as a yearling, but failed to reach the reserve.

Written By remains unbeaten after winning at Sandown and Caulfield; bookies were taking no further risks after he was heavily supported in pre post betting.

“He is a pretty special colt, he is yet to taste defeat, his work leading into this race has been fantastic, he has thrived on racing and never leaves an oat, he is a gem to train,’’ said Graeme Begg.

In reality he never gave his rivals the slightest chance, he left the gate quickly and was soon in control of affaires, and was coasting from there on, no serious challenges were forth coming.

He has already earned $1,133,000 in prize money including the trophy; there are no decisions yet if he will press onto the Golden Slipper Stakes.

Written By 066 Jack MobileWritten By wins Blue Diamond

 Neville and Yvonne Begg opted for the comfortable lounge, in their Sydney home, watching the race on the screen rather than the trip to Melbourne.

It was the biggest win in the career of Jordan Childs, an extremely likeable young man whose father, Greg, rode Riva Diva to win the Blue Diamond Stakes in 1992.

The wide barrier draw didn’t appear to bother Childs, he never pulled the colt about, he had planned to be where he was and he remained there.

There was no ducking or weaving about, he wasn’t looking for any inside runs, or being held up in traffic, it was simply a great piece of strategy.

“That was three runs for three wins, he is a very special colt, as for the Golden Slipper we will let the horse do the talking, he will tell us, he will have a very easy week coming up, we will see, “said Grahame Begg.

As the horses were going up the straight to the barrier the Chief Steward, Terry Bailey, asked the Track Manager, Jason Kerr, if the noise level could be reduced, with some fool banging on a drum, he responded immediately but there was no response.

Racecourses are no place for drums or tin whistles, get rid of the fools before damage is done, before a horse or jockey is injured.

Race clubs are completely oblivious to the ramifications if such an incident occurred.

Childs and Begg Mobile

The winning team - Jordan Childs and Graeme Begg 


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