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On This Day.....

Harness & Greyhounds
Other than a couple of classifieds, this is my first post. I've been drawn to PTT for the fantastic discussion about the great horses and races at the trots from times gone by.

It's forty years today that we saw one of the best races ever. Where were you?


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  • JayJayJayJay    6,409 posts
    Welcome Yilgarna, a name that reminds me of a pretty good FRK horse by Indian Lake from the great mare Color Glo.
    I was standing shoulder to shoulder about 30 metres past the winning post along with about 30,000 others watching the race unfold in the most electric atmosphere I have ever experienced on any racecourse anywhere.

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  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon    2,041 posts
    edited May 2020
    Big strong no head check type Yilgarna.....good onya.
    I was stacking bricks at Cardup Brickworks in a piecework team of trotting men... Rod Starkie Garry Mills Kim Pollock Peter Hodgson and Ross Beetson.
    Hahaa....Allan Mitchell was foreman and we all had our opinions as to who would win.
    Rod had actually been asked to drive one of combatants at an earlier stage but that's another story.
    We listened to it on the radio separately and disputed each others opinions all day the next Monday. 
    Another horse was initially engaged in that race but illness prevented him being involved.
    Hoddo was a brother to Chris of Racy Prince fame who went from stacking bricks with us to owning a Perth Cup winner at the gallops...trained by Alan Matthews.

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  • YilgarnaYilgarna    25 posts
    Welcome Yilgarna, a name that reminds me of a pretty good FRK horse by Indian Lake from the great mare Color Glo.
    I was standing shoulder to shoulder about 30 metres past the winning post along with about 30,000 others watching the race unfold in the most electric atmosphere I have ever experienced on any racecourse anywhere.

    Thanks JJ. Yes, good old Yilgarna; the horse I had my first ever bet on, one night at GP- and won easily. 
    While there's been great races since, I don't think we've seen anything quite like that night. The build-up was amazing, and you could not have scripted it any better with Steelo letting Satinover know before the start who was the boss. The photo that is timeless. 

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  • ChariotsonfireChariotsonfire    2,311 posts
    Played football with big Peter at Swan Districts, a very likeable bloke Curmudgeon.

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  • VillageKidVillageKid    2,026 posts
    I was there that night Yilgarna but being only 5 at the time my memory of the night is not great unfortunately, but I do remember the massive crowd and being mesmerised by the atmosphere of night pacing.

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  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon    2,041 posts
    Very true @Chariots. Peter was a pleasure to be around. He only joined us on the crew for a short while ....he reckoned he was getting too big in condition and thought a bit of hard yakka would do him some good. We were a rag tag bunch but had a bit of fun in doing what was otherwise a pretty dead end job. By the end of 80 we had all moved on.
    I think Peter may have been married to a daughter of Ted Hickling, Word of Honour was the horse that won the Perth Cup from memory. Its a fair while ago now. 

  • JayJayJayJay    6,409 posts
    edited May 2020
    As I recall, when I was on the committee and timekeeper at Northam Trotting Club, Yilgarna, a big strong, head low to the ground grinder, won a lot of races at Northam with W.J Kersley in the cart. Bill did a lot of the country driving for brother Fred in the 70's on the Wednesday night/Saturday night cold winter meetings at Northam, Cunderdin and York.

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  • spinkingspinking    3,170 posts
    One of the very first times I went to the trots Yilgarna. I was 15 years old jumped the fence . The first thing that got me when we got around the front of the stand was the size of the crowd. The noise and atmosphere like JJ said was amazing. I clearly remember the roar when PS levelled up about a lap and 3/4 out and it just got louder as they straightened up for the bell. Even the build up was enormous who could forget the bumper stickers put out for it. It's a steel pure feel and it's all over go satinover. Not really a trotting person but would that night rate as one of the best at GP?

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  • JayJayJayJay    6,409 posts
    Spin, I think it was the best promotion ever at GP in the relatively modern era. The horses were household names, the place was packed, the atmosphere and build up unbelievable, the media support unimaginable and the pre race and race itself memorable. I don't think we will ever see the likes of it again....just imagine trying to leap the bureaucratic hurdles that would be erected nowadays, whole government departments and their officials would be salivating at the prospect of drawing up all manner of reasons as to why it cannot happen....number of security guards required, pre event ticketing with booking fees, wristbands, liquor licensing regulations, police presence, parking and traffic management plans, metres of urinal space per male patron etc etc. With the best will in the world, Gloucester Park Harness Racing management would be faced with impossible conditions.
    I can recall other fantastic nights, the 1967 Interdominion was the closest I can recall atmosphere and crowd wise with a home town victory, Mount Eden's blazing time trials and race performances......some of the past Pacing Cup Nights (Village Kid and Falcon Strike) were also fantastic and in the very recent era, I'm The MightyQuinn lit up the crowd like few others when he unleashed. And I have probably missed quite a few "big" events, Hondo Grattans win in the Inters had more action than a demo derby at Claremont and the crowd involvement was intense. Those nights drew cross code support, just as the Perth Cup and Railways Stakes days did back then. Anyone and everyone from all three codes rocked up.  Nowadays, sit on the couch, bet on the phone and never even consider going to the track. It is a different world and one that has little appeal to me.
  • MarkovinaMarkovina    1,777 posts
    Would it be fair to say Jay Jay that Satinover  after that race was exactly like Rip Van Winkle - not much good or never as good as they were - and on the downhill slide

    When Pure Steel ( 2nd favourite ) beat Rip Van Winkle ( odds on )  in the  A G Hunter Cup ( sat outside it - after breaking at the start )  at Moonee Valley - the common summary of that race  at the time - and nowadays is that Pure Steel didnt beat Rip Van Winkle  but Pure Steel crushed  Rip Van Winkle 

    And thats exactly what Steelo  did Satinover - crushed it - broke its heart 

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  • ChariotsonfireChariotsonfire    2,311 posts
    I was still in the Bank and worked in the Entry Change Box the night Hondo Grattan won the Inters here and was a bookie for the match race.

    Went the wrong way in the match race and if punters were in the right place at the right time you could have secured better than evens both runners.

    Great memories 

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  • JayJayJayJay    6,409 posts
    It's an often raised theory Marko, but one we will never really know the answer to, as they don't talk lol. Steelo was 8 years old when they met in the match race, 3 years older than Satinover who did have fragile legs and might have already been past his top, different type of horses. But Steelo was a warrior, a war horse, far tougher and to quote Phil, "the ultimate competitor". Whether their encounter crushed Satinover, we will never know but one thing I can say with absolute surety, the pre-race argy bargy whilst circling was no chance encounter. Steelo hated other horses and Coulson wanted to make sure his opponent had experienced a bit of intimidating fear pre race. When Coulson came off his back a lap and a half out and parked up outside Satinover, it was like "I,m back, look out". I well recall seeing Steelo in his box and yard at Herdsman Parade, he was an imposing and intimidating horse. If you watch the extended replay of the race, the run on, turn, and trot back to scale, you will notice Satinover doesnt want to get too close to the victor.
    As far as Rip Van Winkle goes, I think Steelo exerted his authority in Perth in the Pacing Cup when Rip lead and ran time but got thumped over the last 400m. when they met again at the Valley, he delivered the coup de grace. Rip was a mighty fine speed horse but not in the same room as toughness is concerned and the battle hardened old warrior had him for breakfast. Steelo was not the best horse I ever saw but he was the greatest, always my number 1...if that makes any sense.
    Not that it's any comfort Chariots but George Ned Grljuisich also went with Satinover which in a two horse race meant put a line through the chances of the Fremantle horse.
  • spinkingspinking    3,170 posts
    JJ as I said not really a trot man. He was a little before my time but have heard about the legend of Mount Eden . I see from above you rate the PS as your best. You have obviously been around the industry for a long time and very knowledgeable about it . Where do you put Mount Eden on your list if PS is number one ?

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  • JayJayJayJay    6,409 posts
    Mount Eden was the most exhilarating speed horse, incomparable for his time, and his times, but he wasn't a good race horse. And he actually only "raced" very sparingly, maybe 20 or less starts and only $33k in stakes....it was his almost incessant time trialing, possibly to his detriment, that grabbed (deservedly so) all the attention. In full flight, he was magnificent, a thing of rare beauty. The two are not comparable in my view.

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  • YilgarnaYilgarna    25 posts
    For the atmosphere and the anticipation around it, Mount Eden's 1971 Miracle Mile would have been a magic night to be at. One for the ages; the huge crowd packed in at Harold Park booing and hissing when he missed the kick (again) as fav, yet exhilarated as he just blitzed them. 

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  • JayJayJayJay    6,409 posts
    I think all up he went 9 successive time trials all under two minutes in a short period of time, even breaking two minutes around the Melbourne Showgrounds.

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  • PictureSon1973PictureSon1973    74 posts
    Take it back 2000 Years you would have been in the Velodrome in Rome with the 2
    Named Combatants. It was that tribal that night that even as a Grade 1 Student at Primary
    School that my Father and I disagreed on who would win I asked him to put $1 on Steelo
    yeh yeh ill do it he said when the race was done I gave it to him about Steelo winning only
    to be disappointed by asking if he backed it for me to which the reply was a swift No !.
    Don't know if I'm not loosing it but prior or during the 2 horses coming out there was music with drums beating and trumpets / horns going is this correct very Theatric / Operatic music ?
    I can remember at that moment thinking man this is as big as it gets in life for a 6 year old.
    That's when a Horse/ Driver was a Hero unlike the Youth of today fixated on Mine Craft.
    Sweet Nostalgia never tires me .
    Great Post Yilgarna keep them coming

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  • VillageKidVillageKid    2,026 posts
    By any chance would anyone have pics from the complete racebook from that incredible night at GP back in 1980?
  • JayJayJayJay    6,409 posts
    I've got the race book buried somewhere in my office but exactly where, well, that's a good question. Will try and dig it out but it's got plenty of mates.

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  • YilgarnaYilgarna    25 posts
    Take it back 2000 Years you would have been in the Velodrome in Rome with the 2
    Named Combatants. It was that tribal that night that even as a Grade 1 Student at Primary
    School that my Father and I disagreed on who would win I asked him to put $1 on Steelo
    yeh yeh ill do it he said when the race was done I gave it to him about Steelo winning only
    to be disappointed by asking if he backed it for me to which the reply was a swift No !.
    Don't know if I'm not loosing it but prior or during the 2 horses coming out there was music with drums beating and trumpets / horns going is this correct very Theatric / Operatic music ?
    I can remember at that moment thinking man this is as big as it gets in life for a 6 year old.
    That's when a Horse/ Driver was a Hero unlike the Youth of today fixated on Mine Craft.
    Sweet Nostalgia never tires me .
    Great Post Yilgarna keep them coming

    Thanks PictureSon. Your recollection is fantastic reading. It was almost gladiatorial- the two warriors coming out to do battle. Would you get that atmosphere at a bigger track...? Not likely. 

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  • YilgarnaYilgarna    25 posts
    By any chance would anyone have pics from the complete racebook from that incredible night at GP back in 1980?


    image
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    Cover Pic a.jpg
    51K
  • YilgarnaYilgarna    25 posts
    image
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    RB Pic a.jpg
    43K
  • spinkingspinking    3,170 posts
    Great find Yilgarna. If you were a collector of trotting memorabilia what would you give to have one of those rugs or plaques. As I said not really a trotting fella but thoroughly enjoyed this segment,and posters recollections of that night one out of the box Yilgarna well done

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  • YilgarnaYilgarna    25 posts
    Cheers thanks Spinking. Yeah I am a bit of a collector so one of the rugs or plaques would be sensational. A shoe from the great PS or Satinover would be a dream too. For that matter, a shoe from any of our past WA champs is on the list. 

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  • MarkovinaMarkovina    1,777 posts
    Yilgarna said:

    image

    One interesting bit their - 50k stakemoney  - 30k from WATA and sponsors - but the 2 sets of owners put 10k of their own money each 
  • JayJayJayJay    6,409 posts
    The inflation calculator approximates $50,000 in 1980 to be over $220,000 in today's  money.

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  • PictureSon1973PictureSon1973    74 posts
    Petty the Chicago Bull / Soho Tribeca race never occurred possibly a beat up by Gareth.
    Have to admit started to get me thinking of that nights anticipation all those years ago.

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  • spinkingspinking    3,170 posts
    Even having thatframed book on the wall would be ato great conversation starter

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