All the Racing Hats - a master all rounder. ...more
Brian Anderton was a successful jockey on the flat and over fences, starting at age 13 and riding 398 winners – but is even more successful as a trainer, his winning tally now close to 1300.
Brian is a one-time riding master for the Otago Apprentice School, and a past president of the Otago Racing Club and Otago branch of New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association.
In 1956 founded national icon stud White Robe Lodge, where he stood champion sires Mellay and Noble Bijou.
In recent years, White Robe Lodge helped to under pin South Island breeders with Stallions, and has continues through sponsorship and racing to supporting racing in the South.
Sponsor: White Robe Lodge Clients
Administrator Par Excellence ...more
Dr Alex McGregor Grant was an expat Australian who made a huge contribution to thoroughbred racing in his adopted country – New Zealand.
He served on the Auckland Racing Club's committee for 45 years, 23 of those were as the club's president. He also served for lengthy periods on the New Zealand Racing Conference, the Pakuranga Hunt, and the New Zealand Hunts Association.
Grant raced many horses from just after World War One to his death, aged 85, in 1973.
The best of them was Terrific, who was a fine stayer of the late 1960s - a fine reward for a lifetime of commitment to the thoroughbred.
Sponsor: Auckland Racing Club
One of the most successful owners and administrators in NZ ...more
George Gatenby Stead was 12 times leading owner in the 1890s and early 1900s, but this conveys only a part of the influence he wielded on New Zealand racing in the early days. He was treasurer of the Canterbury Jockey Club for more than 30 years and chairman from the turn of the century, at a time when the strength of New Zealand racing was very much based in Canterbury. Active in the formation of the Racing Conference, he was much involved in the formation of a uniform set of rules throughout the country, and oversaw the building of a railway line from the main line to Riccarton racecourse. At first a leviathan punter, he became an enthusiastic supporter of the totalisator and was played a leading role in moving New Zealand racing to an all-totalisator structure. With only two trainers – David Jones and Dick Mason – during a 30-year period, Stead raced many of the best gallopers of his era and won all the country’s feature races on numerous occasions. He also made some stunningly successful raids on Sydney racing. He was a fearless buyer of bloodstock, but also imported some significant stallions and broodmares to New Zealand.
George Stead was proudly sponsored by the Canterbury Jockey Club - the premier racing club in the South Island. Stead is recognised as the founder of the Canterbury Jockey Club.
The father of NZ thoroughbred racing ...more
Commonly described as the Father of the New Zealand Turf, Henry Redwood was a pioneer in the world of thoroughbred breeding and racing.
The English immigrant, who arrived in Nelson, in 1842 at the age of 19, would go on to establish New Zealand’s first thoroughbred stud and become one of New Zealand’s leading owners of his era.
Initially setting up stables in Spring Creek near Blenheim, Redwood imported horses from both Australia and Europe. In about 1852 Redwood brought a shipment of stallions and 20 mares and fillies from Australia. Their progeny would go on to win on both sides of the Tasman.
In 1863 Redwood’s mare Ladybird won the first New Zealand Champion Race against horses from Australia and New Zealand.
Convincing Australian trainers George and Edward Cutts to come and train for him in New Zealand, the previously amateur racing scene in New Zealand took on a professional air.
After establishing stables near Riccarton Racecourse known as Chokebore Lodge, Redwood went into partnership with James Watt, the first Auckland Racing Club President. As testament to Redwood’s historical impact, his stables still stand today after being faithfully restored and recycled with the original bricks; they now house a restaurant.
A man of integrity Redwood was known for his sternness to his stable boys and his kindness to his horses. A story is told of how Redwood successfully raced Strop in Sydney then sold him. Not satisfied with the horse’s treatment by the new owners he bought him back at a loss to give the horse an honourable retirement in Nelson.
Redwood’s colours, a black jacket and red cap were well known throughout New Zealand and Australia. He won the Wellington Cup and Dunedin Cup twice, the Canterbury Cup three times and the Nelson Marlborough Cups four times. His victories were always popular.
A staunch Catholic, Redwood was married to Elizabeth with whom he had two sons and a daughter.
Redwood died on 9 November 1907 aged 85 years. His role in establishing the New Zealand racing industry can not be overlooked.
The doyen of racing writers ...more
More than half a century of racing journalism has earned John Costello a level of respect matched only by his massive contribution in recording the events of an industry and sport that has been his life. His legacy covers the full spectrum of daily newspaper and magazine reporting, a dozen editions of the New Zealand Racing Annual, two editions of Galloping Greats and his account of one of racing’s pioneers, The Linda Jones Story. It is, however, the landmark Tapestry of Turf that sets Costello apart as the doyen of racing writers.
The voice of NZ racing ...more
The voice required for the unique skills of race calling and auctioneering is surely something one must be born with.
Peter Kelly, one of the best known voices in racing certainly had a voice that carried him in both race calling and auctioneering for more than 30 years.
Calling his first race meeting as an 18-year-old in Stratford in 1947 Kelly’s deep rich-timbered voice was distinctively known by punters whether on course or listening on radio.
Debate will always rage as to who the best race caller is and personal preferences may have caused some to choose others such as his counterparts of the time Syd Tonks, Keith Haub or Dave Clarkson.
However, there would be no disagreement in the hard headed and result-orientated world of auctioneering that Kelly was a world class auctioneer and at his prime has been described by more than a few vendors and buyers as the best in the world.
An auctioneer at the New Zealand National Thoroughbred Yearling sales for Wrightson Bloodstock, as it was known then, Kelly retired after 30 years in 1989 as both head auctioneer and a director of the company. In 1989 he sold the $1 million yearling.
In a tribute after Peter Kelly’s death in1997, Manawatu studmaster Gerald Fell said: “Though he was probably better known as a commentator, I believe his greatest talent was as an auctioneer. He was certainly the best auctioneer I have ever seen.”
Kelly’s depth of knowledge extended far beyond being able to call it as he saw it though and his talent and experience as a bloodstock expert were often called into play in pre-sale inspections, advice on importations, valuations and part of the team developing and maintaining the company’s extensive bloodstock records.
Following his retirement from Wrightsons Bloodstock, Kelly continued to operate as a bloodstock agent on his own account.
Racing good horses such as Fun On The Run, Meralini and Greene Street, Kelly also served on the committee of the Manawatu Racing Club, being based in Palmerston North for much of his life.
With many highlights throughout his career, Kelly always rated his call of Great Sensation’s third Wellington Cup win as a stand-out memory.
Another favourite was his trip to Longchamp, Paris where he called Balmerino’s great run for second to Alleged in the Prix de l’Arc deTriomphe. The race was broadcast back to New Zealand listeners.
Having called 28 successive Wellington Cups it was fitting that Peter Kelly’s last call of a memorable commentating career was made at Trentham in 1983.
A great racing administrator & dominant owner of his era ...more
Sir George was born in New Zealand but educated in England at Stonyhurst College, after which he named his sheep and thoroughbred station in North Canterbury. Sir George bred and raced on a huge scale, standing several generations of homebred stallions at Stonyhurst with a good deal of success. Clifford horses, trained at Chokebore Lodge by Edward Cutts, won 181,258 pounds on the turf, eclipsing the tallies of Australia’s most prominent owners of the day, and won 116 classic or semi-classic races over a 50-year period. For the first decade of the 20th Century, virtually his only challenger as leading owner was fellow Cantabrian George Stead. Both frequently travelled their horses north to Auckland to win the major races at Ellerslie. Sir George was unchallenged as president of the New Zealand Racing Conference for a 30-year period, up to his death aged 82 in 1930. Yet he still found time, while running his big breeding and racing operation, to have hands-on involvement in the production of the first official New Zealand Stud Book (1900), and the next two or three volumes as well.
Sir George Clifford was proudly sponsored by Barry and Deidre Neville-White of Auckland. Barry Neville-White is a past Chairman of the Auckland Racing Club. It is interesting to note that the first five inaugural inductees into the NZ Racing Hall of Fame were based or born in Canterbury.