JJ Flash

Interdoms- A little piece of Otago History

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The Otago Daily Times counts down the 150 greatest moments in Otago sport.

No 50: Dead heat at Dunedin Interdominions (1965)

 

The official photo finish from the 1965 Interdominion pacing final, with Robin Dundee (outside)...
The official photo finish from the 1965 Interdominion pacing final, with Robin Dundee (outside) and Jay Ar (rail) crossing at the same time. Photo from <i>ODT</i> files.

February in Dunedin of 1965 started with a visit from the Rolling Stones, but towards the end of the month began an event which really gave the city some satisfaction.

 

The 1965 Interdominions at Forbury Park were talked about at the time as Dunedin's biggest drawcard since the South Seas Exhibition of 1926 and, on the front page of the Otago Daily Times of January 15, ran an article predicting the series would prove to be the biggest money-spinner for Dunedin since the goldrush.

The Forbury Park Trotting Club was only awarded the Interdominions after Auckland, whose turn it was to stage the series, turned the opportunity down in 1963. That left the club 16 months to prepare to host Australasia's premier harness racing contest.

The racecourse's existing facilities were deemed insufficient and so a new stand - considered at the time as the most up to date in New Zealand - was constructed at a cost of £106,000 (the average wage at the time was under £50 a week).

The Forbury Park Interdominions marked the first time the series had been held under lights in New Zealand and the first time the races were broadcast live (on radio) since the club had changed to night trotting in 1961.

The series lived up to expectations in many ways, with 15,760 people attending the final night on March 3 ( a Wednesday!) and 52,354 attending the four nights in total.

The £147,901 on-course betting total on final night was a record for Otago and Southland, while the off-course figure of £182,362 was the largest bet on a night trotting meeting to that point.

The ODT of March 4 recorded that over the series the racegoers consumed 45,000 cups of tea, 50,000 pies, 2000 gallons of beer and chips equivalent to 100 sacks of potatoes.

The racing itself had a sensational climax when the pacing final ended in a dead-heat between Jay Ar and classy mare Robin Dundee, but only after Jay Ar was originally decorated as the outright winner and was parading with the victory sash while Robin Dundee was taken to the stabling area.

Robin Dundee's driver, Doody Townley, who had kept insisting the presentation was premature, had told Jay Ar's trainer-driver, George Noble as the horses eased down: "I think I got you, George" to which Noble had replied: "Yes, I think you did."

In the trotting final, champion South Australian mare Gramel, who had won her three heats from the back mark of 36yd, was upset by Southland mare Poupette.

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Remember that 1965 Final night well.....certainly was packed.

Exchange doubles.

I remember the confusion after the race before dead-heat announced and Robin Dundee trying to return to the birdcage.

I used to stand next to the birdcage past the post where horses returned to he stables , with a group of Port Chalmers lads.

Pie and chips and hot dogs was the standard food available ,the concession was run by Jim Brown who owned the Auckland Galloping Cup winner Lucky Son.

The trotting final won by Southland's Poupette ...Harry Cox ...granddad of Johnny Cox.Dunedin trotter White World won a heat[Viv Anngow].

I think Disband [DGJones] was 3rd in pacing final. Mark Jones ' granddad !

Unsure if many Aucklanders went down.....probably didn't know where Forbury was ....still dont !

 

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And most of the 15,000 plus would have paid to get ii ,and most would have bought a race book too....on a Wednesday night !

No entry fee now ,free race book and much easier to stay at home ,view the action on TV and budget the weekly LOTTO purchase.

Minimum bet then was 10 shillings [$1] win and place and 5 shillings for doubles.....less now for % bets.

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The Chinese green grocers used to wait behind the tote where the collecting was done. Rounded up everything to make it viable to those with winning tickets , purchased them and thus evaded tax on earnings. probably the earliest form of Money Laundering

Greg

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I did it for a bloke 40 years ago.hed give me 4k a week and I used to have a bloke  on the tote.he would not stamp the tickets and would give him the money  so it balanced.gave the bloke the tickets and he d give me 400.good wage then. He eventually went bankrupt .He owed the tax dept.haha.

 

Top of the old stand at Alex park.

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The green grocers and small retailers in the area I raised in Otago would go into the TAB late Friday or Saturday and back a scratching with their cash for safe keeping over the weekend.

Of course TAB's not open too late because bets had to be placed some 2 to 3 hours prior to the race start to allow all the 'hand written' tickets to be collated and notified to the Head Office . Of course only win/place and doubles back then.

Some 'whiz' introduced computerised betting  which vastly increased the number of betting options but decimated some pools ....ultimately ,though overall betting increased it has turned off many.

Doubles often paid 400 to 500 Quid when a house was less than 10,000 ! When trebles stated there was one per meeting , so pools and dividends attractive etc etc..then the floodgates opened !

Most of us have drowned...at least I now don't have to find a hole in the fence at a neighbours to get in free !

 

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Disband and Derek Jones ran third and Blazing Globe and Percy Hall ran fourth in the Pacing Final. Poupette and Harry Cox won the Trotting Final from Snow Globe and Dennis Nyhan. Grand Charge ran third and Gramel fourth. The Pacing Consolation was won by Lochgair and Derek Jones from Vanderford and Maurice Holmes and Bonnieburn and Sam Miller and Deft and Robert Cameron. The Trotting Consolation was won by Queen’s Cord and Bob Young from Astralight and Bob Nyhan and Harbour Light and Maurice Holmes and Minnow and Ken Balloch. Some top drivers there!

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3 hours ago, tasman man 11 said:

Of course TAB's not open too late because bets had to be placed some 2 to 3 hours prior to the race start to allow all the 'hand written' tickets to be collated and notified to the Head Office . Of course only win/place and doubles back then.

And all hand written on the yellow sheets, those were the days

 

Greg

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3 hours ago, tim vince said:

Ron langsford trainer rebel and many good horses got the biggest treble ever 156 k midweek.now look at treble pools

 

That would be back in the days before First 4s, head to heads and all up bets.  Are pools being diluted by having too many options leading to a counter productive effect on overall betting?

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U right 100 percent .destroyed the good punters with small pools,only way u can get 9n is get a nice clip on fixed odds.othher pools betting against yourself especially with big takeout.still what would we know the suits have all the answers. Unfortunately no going back. I so enjoy watching late night trifecta pools.cop 3 twenty dollars shot and u get the pool .Haha 150 bucks

 

 

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12 hours ago, JJ Flash said:

And all hand written on the yellow sheets, those were the days

 

Greg

I remember those days as a  sixteen year old betting at the Howick TAB. The woman's surname was Stroobant and she could write tickets at 100 miles an hour. An $8 winner paid $3 odd for the place in those days.

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White World was owned by Jim Barnes. Later Mayor of Dunedin. Can remember when Bagdad Note won the Melbourne Cup, the owners arrived back in Dunedin with a miniature replica of the cup. Some local lads thought they could make some money by nicking the cup and get some ransom money. The story was in the ODT and the lads found out the cup was worthless so left the cup beside the road and rung the ODT and told them where the cup was.

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54 minutes ago, Value Bell said:

White World was owned by Jim Barnes. Later Mayor of Dunedin. Can remember when Bagdad Note won the Melbourne Cup, the owners arrived back in Dunedin with a miniature replica of the cup. Some local lads thought they could make some money by nicking the cup and get some ransom money. The story was in the ODT and the lads found out the cup was worthless so left the cup beside the road and rung the ODT and told them where the cup was.

1970: Melbourne Cup glory for city breeder

 
 
 134 5 
 

 

Fifty yards to go in the 1970 Melbourne Cup and eventual winner, Bagdhad Note (No 4) had a...
Fifty yards to go in the 1970 Melbourne Cup and eventual winner, Bagdhad Note (No 4) had a winning grip on the event. Photo by Herald-Sun.
 
NOV 4: MELBOURNE: Mr E. C. S. Falconer, the veteran Dunedin breeder, who claims he has never bred a loser, yesterday won the richest race in the southern hemisphere - the Melbourne Cup.

 

His strapping 5-year-old grey gelding Baghdad Note charged down the outside of the Flemington straight in the last furlong of the two miles race to overwhelm the leaders and score an easy win.

Baghdad Note, a 25/1 chance, scored by three-quarters of a length from Vansittart. Lightweight Clear Prince was half a head away, third.

Baghdad Note, trained at Wingatui by Bob Heasley, was ridden by leading New Zealand jockey E. J. Didham.

Didham, who rode a great race on the grey, had a grin from ear to ear as he trotted the horse back into the enclosure after the cup presentation.

PROUD MOMENT

It was a proud moment for Mr Falconer.

Photographers and television cameramen clustered round him after the presentation ceremony, urging him to hold the cup higher.

The crowd cheered, and Mr Falconer, a retired businessman, kissed a pretty blonde hanging over the enclosure fence.

He was remarkably composed as he accepted the Melbourne Cup from the Governor-General, Sir Paul Hasluck.

Mr Falconer told the crowd: "Baghdad Note's trainer, Bob Heasley, inspired me to bring Baghdad Note across the Tasman. In fact, he had to talk me into bringing him here."

FULL SISTER

Mr Falconer said he had flown home to Dunedin from Melbourne last week, and while he was there a full sister to Baghdad Note had been foaled. "I think we'll call her Ararat Note," he added.

Congratulating Mr Falconer on another New Zealand win, Sir Paul commented: "We Australians will have to do better."

Trainer Heasley (44) was a successful Dunedin jockey before he took up training.

"Absolutely fantastic," said Wingatui jockey Ernie Didham - his nickname "Midge" is used mainly in the family - after riding Baghdad Note to victory yesterday.

Last night when the Daily Times telephoned Ernie in Melbourne, he was so excited that he was almost lost for words.

But one thing he did make clear - Baghdad Note's performance was absolutely fantastic. "He got out and ran them down."

In praise of the horse's performance he dismissed his own efforts, although he received wide acclaim for a brilliant ride.

"I followed Tails, and at the four and a half furlongs I got round him and came in again and ran the field down," Ernie said.

He summed it up by saying, "She was a great race."

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1 hour ago, gubellini said:

tasman man11 White World ran unplaced on the first night. She ran third on the second night driven by Doug Watts behind Fourina and Jim Donaldson. She was unplaced on the third night. She did make the Final but was unplaced.

Thanks.....was there a pacer called Soanfra in series.From memory trained by a Keats from Canterbury. As a youngster I used to lurk around the stables in the hope that some crumbs of information would fall my way ,then rush off and tell my parents. I heard the connections tell the driver to ping out fast then trail and ??????.

Possibly standing starts only back then [ 1965 ] at Forbury. Remember in the early days of mobiles there a bit of southern rain would give the mobile the 'skids' and a jog up using the clerk of course was introduced.

Forbury back then had its main meetings during Festival week late January ,with heats leading into the Festival Cup. Prominent Canterbury raiders were WELowe with Wag ,Pun, Humphrey ,Urrall etc and TMMay with Palestine ,Walk Away ,Stroll Away [a roan] and Tasman [trotter] and of course Colin MacLaughlan with Manaroa ,Royal Ascot ,Manawaru and Allakasam. Lord Module won well one night and CCDevine often there as were the powerful CSDonald and GBNoble stables.

Ahhhhh the memories.....then there was the champion youngster Noodlum ,such a standout he had to fall over to lose ,and he did after some paper blew on to the track !

Personally I followed 2  battlers Sam Henderson [Orari] and Doug McCormick [ Charlie Wood ,dual gaited ] while my father loved GD Shand.

Fine memories of Forbury.......built on a swamp , next to the ocean and one sandhill away from the South Pole !

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tasman man11 yes Soanfra did compete in that Interdominion Series. He won on the first night beating Trade Fair and Wes Butt. He was unplaced in the second and third heats but made the final and was again unplaced. He was owned by W Adair and CC Keats and trained and driven by CC Keats of New Brighton.

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On 12/11/2019 at 12:52 PM, tasman man 11 said:

Thanks.....was there a pacer called Soanfra in series.From memory trained by a Keats from Canterbury. As a youngster I used to lurk around the stables in the hope that some crumbs of information would fall my way ,then rush off and tell my parents. I heard the connections tell the driver to ping out fast then trail and ??????.

Possibly standing starts only back then [ 1965 ] at Forbury. Remember in the early days of mobiles there a bit of southern rain would give the mobile the 'skids' and a jog up using the clerk of course was introduced.

Forbury back then had its main meetings during Festival week late January ,with heats leading into the Festival Cup. Prominent Canterbury raiders were WELowe with Wag ,Pun, Humphrey ,Urrall etc and TMMay with Palestine ,Walk Away ,Stroll Away [a roan] and Tasman [trotter] and of course Colin MacLaughlan with Manaroa ,Royal Ascot ,Manawaru and Allakasam. Lord Module won well one night and CCDevine often there as were the powerful CSDonald and GBNoble stables.

Ahhhhh the memories.....then there was the champion youngster Noodlum ,such a standout he had to fall over to lose ,and he did after some paper blew on to the track !

Personally I followed 2  battlers Sam Henderson [Orari] and Doug McCormick [ Charlie Wood ,dual gaited ] while my father loved GD Shand.

Fine memories of Forbury.......built on a swamp , next to the ocean and one sandhill away from the South Pole !

I think it was Forbury where Lochie got into a spot of bother one night for suggesting a horse wasn't trying too hard to win. Who was that horse? In the 80s I think. A decent type with a single word name I think. They used to have a big 4yo series down there.

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