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Tales and Thoughts of Yesteryear.

West Australian Racing


  • spinkingspinking    2,980 posts
    STG the Lurky who flat tailed them. Not Lurky Halligan Jacks brother by any chance?

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  • savethegamesavethegame    2,057 posts
    Think taxpayers  helped indirectly,plus government gave 150mil. to bail him out , plus a fella i know got three degree burns with 10 mil. loss in rothwells,----- Rothwells  were providing sponsorship for country cups etc.Laurie done same damage lucky he only lived to 50.

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  • savethegamesavethegame    2,057 posts
    spinking said:

    STG the Lurky who flat tailed them. Not Lurky Halligan Jacks brother by any chance?

    Great blokes Lurky & Jack; a stack of humour Them days  you wanted to go home  broke& bare arsed with your coconuts swinging in the breeze  play  [-X  Jack in pool finished up two times world champion in pool & was captain  of australia.team.

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  • spinkingspinking    2,980 posts
    Agree both terrific fellas. Lucky & Jack. Enjoyed many a alewith Lurky at the Carlisle when owned by another Goldfielder the late Johny Hinchcliffe. Another humorous bloke who told a good tale or two. Lurkky had shares in thar grey horse that won quite a few trained by Wolfe. Moodometer by memory.And as you said about Jack absolute artist with a cuestick in hand

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  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon    1,930 posts
    edited January 17
    paraletic said:

    somebody told me he renovated the Swan River room at Belmont Park himself and at his own expense. The Swan River room is a best private box at belmont park. He was there every weekend entertaining his quests.

     Correct. Mentioned it before here .... I watched Fair Sir win the million dollar Rothwells from that box ....through a casual stable connection. Belmont or Ascot ?? ...the passage of time might have me here!! The box was almost empty....just me and a couple of other bemused crayfish eaters ....the stable movers and shakers were already lined up for the presentation before the race was run. Very salubrious..... but odd air to the place.

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  • thefalconthefalcon    17,377 posts
    "quests" or "guests", para.... ;)
    just out of curiosity were there any little connells running around?

    when he knew he was going down i hear he rang all the big catholic businesses and convents and told them to get their money out. true or not i do not know.
  • spinkingspinking    2,980 posts
    That Swan river room must be at Ascot not Belmont. That million dollar race the Australasion won by Fair Sir was run at Ascot

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  • VoodooVoodoo    930 posts
    JayJay said:

    Alec Epis known as the kookaburra. Well liked has never forgotten his roots he makes the effort to attend back to the Goldfields day at Belmont from Melb. Champion will check in
    but think he played league at 16-17 won all awards in Kalg and had to stand out footy for 2-3 years some wa/) Vic clearance issue
    Never .met the man but his houmor and qui cK wit drove opponents mad hence n/name

    In 1975 as a young bloke, I was at the round with a couple of horses and met the Epis family. Old Mrs Epis had us all around for a meal......a huge feast, no wonder Alex was a big fella......and then on Kalgoorlie Cup day, she rocked up all frock and hat, in (what I think was) and old Pontiac from the 1950s.....immaculate both her and the car. She was delightful, spending time talking with well attired "casual workers" from Hay Street that took the day off to attend the cup. Alex was a colossus at Essendon.....and he did indeed stand out of footy for a time over clearance issues to get to Essendon. The Goldfields League was very powerful and financial in the 70's. I'll never forget that round......we never won a race,  did our shirts and come race 8 on Cup day, pooled our meagre remaining funds to try and get some petrol money to get home. Got tipped a horse by a bookie who must have felt sorry for us ....bloke named Rulyancich or similar.... Horse was Bye Bye Happiness and jockey was Ron Neill.....lost him in the run and was contemplating how we would get back home and then, god bless him, right down the outside, as wide as you could get.....he swamped them, we got 12/1, problem solved and went home with both petrol and a bit of cash in the back pocket. Funny how you recall days like that, I reckon I could even describe the colour of Mrs Epis's hat.
    Was in the sauna with Ron Neil several times. Was fortunate to get some good advice from him and the likes of Johnny Kinninmont, Fred Harvey ,George Appleton and Ron Holdaway all good riders in the goldfields during the late 70's would hold their own anywhere in the state.
    And remember Bye Bye Happiness fondly.....ahhhh the memories....
    edited January 18
    Supposedly they store drug tests for years and then test them with the advance of science (though they never seem to do it). Testing Connell's winners today would be more than interesting.
  • savethegamesavethegame    2,057 posts

    Supposedly they store drug tests for years and then test them with the advance of science (though they never seem to do it). Testing Connell's winners today would be more than interesting.

    Wouldn't be in the best interest of alot sports Athletics,& football plus three racing codes..What trainers used purely as aids for horses &dogs allowing them to compete,& help with there recovery. Plus  might add  trainers who had no fraudulent intent. The % would be over 90% positive with the latest technology, testing equipment.in operation.today.

    Never forget when Tom Ivers was giving a talk regarding the implementation of different form of training horses based on interval training  mid to late 80s..He was a straight shooter for a yank. Said the first 12 horses he trained he broke down.

    But he mentioned a cuban trainer by the name of Oscar Barrera who ran the ''Best magic show in town''' Oscar could claim a horse on a saturday or wed race fit a''''' turbo'''  within a week  go up in class . bingo.

    Said the Authorities had cabinets with OSCAR across the front  going back over them.hadn't come up with anything.  But read were he did return positives later years.. But since read his big play secrets went to the box with him..

    Just found a Barrera gem. Shifty Shiek claimed it after its 40th start,which had resulted in 7 wins. but had just completed a losing streak of 7. Oscar .produced it won by 12 3/4 L went within 2/5ths of track record won first 3 in 13 days then into a group 1 second to a champion slew o gold.

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  • thefalconthefalcon    17,377 posts
    jeez i love these stories... :-bd

    Thunderstruck, jum likes this post.

    edited January 19
    savethegame said: SLIPPERGOLDEN said:Wouldn't be in the best interest of alot sports Athletics,& football plus three racing codes..

    To quote my mate William Shakespeare from Hamlet's famous soliloquy 
    "Aye there's the rub"

    One there for the culture vultures  :-B
  • savethegamesavethegame    2,057 posts
    edited January 21
                                         MERCHANT BANKER IN 100,000
                                             SPONSORSHIP DEAL

    Rothwells Limited the merchant banker headed by Laurie Connell  has committed 100k for sponsorship and promotion during K.B.R.C Annual carnival 86.

    The companys business development manager Miss Dorothy Ridge spent several days in the goldfields. As major sponsor of 70k Rothwells Kalg.Cup.

    Miss Ridge said '''We will entertain our 250 guests on Kalgoorlie Cup day in a huge fully carpeted chiffon -lined marque''' she said.

    Champagne will be served in crystal glasses by Rothwells hostesses wearing riding silks.and a gourmet meal will be prepared including fresh oysters especially flown in for the occasion.

    Rothwells decided to sponsor the Kalg.Cup. following increased business with locally based clients. Connell  is a strong supporter  of horse racing and part of the companys budget is allocated to promoting country sport.

    Curmudgeon did  you  go  A.O.T. at that one on the red ned-- L.J.A. be happy some of the 10 mil. made it back to the home town.

    VillageKid, curmudgeon likes this post.

  • bookieloverbookielover    2,345 posts
    edited January 22
    I've got a story.

    There used to be a punter, a very close  friend of my father's and our  family called Joe.

    He'd go to the country tracks with my old man together with two or three of his staff, depending on the meeting. 

    Anyway, during the course of the day, the staff would buy a block of chocolate to munch on. 

    Everyone would have a piece and the rest would be put inside the betting board where there was a hollow on the exterior, between each of the knobs which the bookie would turn to adjust the prices. 

    Joe would come up and help himself while the boys were distracted, and then, when they wanted some chocolate, it was gone. This went on for a while and they got sick of it, so decided to play a trick on Joe. They bought a packet of Laxettes and substituted the chocolate in the wrapper, with the Laxettes.

    Joe who was a nervous wreck on track, didn't notice the difference and ate the lot.

    Next day when my old man came to pick him up to go to the track, Joe, who usually waited  outside his  house, was nowhere to be seen. My old man rang the door bell and a few minutes later, Joe answered with his strides at half mast. 

    My old man said, why aren't you dressed yet? Joe said, dressed! I can't get off the dunny. I've been sh!!tting all night and I had to get off just to answer the door. I can't go today. I must have eaten a bad piece of chicken last night. He then turned around and ran down the corridor with his pants dangling around his ankles.

    My father got into the car and told the boys what had happened. They p!!ssed themselves laughing and told my dad what they had done, he wasn't in on the joke, but he joined in the laughter.

    On the Saturday, one of the staff called Joe over, and said, we missed you mate. What happened? Joe went into great detail describing each episode of his bowel movements which had everyone, including other bookies and their staff who had tuned in, in stitches. When he'd finished, the staff member let Joe in on the secret.

    Well, Joe let loose a tirade of abuse which reverberated around the track, and stormed off. 

    As it happened, Joe fluked a winner in the first race, and it WAS a fluke, as he was the worst punter God ever put breath into. When Joe backed a winner which was very rare, you could have told him the world was about to end, and it would not have registered. Mind you, his  euphoria only lasted for one race, until he then went back to normal and backed a loser.

    Anyway, after backing the winner, he came back to my fathers stand, apologised for his outburst, and said that he had learned his lesson, and deserved what he got.

    He then said, actually, you boys did me a favour. I reckon I finally got rid of that bully beef that they used to feed us in the army in WW2. It's been sitting in my guts for 20 years. 

    Joe never married, and his only family, a brother was killed in a car accident in 1954, which was remarkable in itself because there were so few cars on the road.  

    Unfortunately, Joe got cancer. He'd never smoked a day in his life, but put it down to all the passive smoke that he had inhaled in the baccarat clubs which existed in the 40's and 50's in Londsdale Street Melbourne, and which he frequented almost nightly. 

    My old man knew the oncologist really well, and went with Joe to the appointment. As Joe was getting dressed, my old man took the oncologist outside the consulting room, and asked him, what's the verdict. He said, he's only got three months to live. My father said, whatever you do, don't tell him. If you do, he'll curl up and die.

    The oncologist, wasn't happy, but my old man had done him a big favour a few years earlier, so he listened. 

    Joe lived another four years. His whole reason for living was going to the track. He couldn't wait for the next race meeting, even planning in Autumn what he would be backing in the Spring.

    He passed away peacefully with our family at his side. 

    But I suppose that the lesson from that experience, was that sometimes, less is more. Some people can handle the truth, a lot, to quote Jack Nicholson, can't. And my dad knew that Joe was one of those. At least by not knowing, he didn't agonise over his impending demise, got on with doing what he loved, and in fact attended his last race meeting, just 6 days before he passed away. 

    This  proved, that even to this day, and I know of recent cases of mates of mine, and these events happened 30 years ago, Doctors can still get it wrong.

    I reckon, every town and State has had their version of characters like Joe. If you have any stories about similar types, who, most of the time, were salt of the earth people, I would love to read them.
  • paraleticparaletic    3,738 posts
    Fantastic story bookie.

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  • savethegamesavethegame    2,057 posts
                                                             DOOSRA   IN  48                         

                                                              TURF SWINDLE
       .                                                     BOGUS TIPSTER

                                              GETS THOUSANDS FROM MUGS.

    Victorian police and postal detectives are investigating a nation wide turf swindle,which has yield its unscrupulous originator .---known to his hundreds of  clients as ''CHAS'' many thousands of pounds.

    This was disclosed  today by VRC bookmakers supervisor,Mr Frank Harding who has received hundreds of requests,seeking information about non-existent bookmaker. The requests have come from every state of Australia except Victoria  which was left out for obvious reasons.

    The Sydney horse Journalist was selected for this turf ramp,regarded as one of the cleverest for many years.Circulars offering a punting service were widely distributed early last week.

    They contained high praise of the consultant and invited inquiries  ,Recipients of the circulars all over Australia rose to the bait of the consultant's  record and replied to a box number at  the Melbourne G.P.O. 

    On Saturday those who had replied received a telegram, saying that their money had been wagered  as requested The next step was the sending of an air mail letter saying the money 10 pound  had been invested on Journalist which won at 10/1.at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

    The letter explained that this had been due to an error  by '''The consultants office staff'''.The punters name had been mistaken and placed on a list of ''old friends'' whose standing bet was 10 pound on each good thing the consultant selected.

    A Properly printed betting voucher was enclosed purporting to be for a bet 100 pound to 10 pound Journalist.As the bet had been made, the money could be collected,the letter said but not until the 10 pound stake had been sent to the consultants G.P.O.box.

    Then the bookmakers cheque would be forwarded The letter also pointed out that the usual fee  for a winner was 10 per cent  of winnings and that fee could be forwarded as soon as the money was received  from the bookmaker.

    Clients all over Australia fell in to the trap and sent off there 10 pound .When their winnings  failed to materialize, they become suspicious Their inquires to Mr Harding brought the ramp to light.

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  • H-BOMBERH-BOMBER    8,514 posts
    The original "Nigerian Scam" =))

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  • bookieloverbookielover    2,345 posts
    edited January 24

    Frank Harding was the bookies supervisor when my old man started bookmaking in 1957. He was as tough as old boots. I don't think I ever saw him smile, and I reckon he intimidated every bookie on the track. 

    Every bookie always called him Mr. Harding. There was no favoritism where he was concerned, and you got promoted, when someone died, rather than on holdings. If you kept a bet out of the book to avoid the turnover tax, and he found out about it, you were gone.

    Dad was a bit fortunate when he started, because in his first few years of bookmaking, quite a few bookies that had been around for a while, decided to give it away, citing the turnover tax. So he got promoted from the flat to the hill to the main ring opposite the rails and was working there by 1960

    One bookie Ray Williams, who was one of the biggest of the day, said, I can beat the punters, but I won't be able to beat the tax and retired. He was only around 50 at the time and a fearless bettor. 

    He was actually famous during Bernborouh's unbeaten run, for declaring that it could not win the 1946 Caulfield Cup. A woman whose name was Mrs. Tacks, traveled up and down the East Coast to back the horse and had accumulated 4,000 pounds from an original 5 pound bet and had plonked the lot on every time the horse won.

    Anyway, the horse was 6/4 and she challenged Williams to bet her 7,000/4,000, he took the bet. The horse started at 7/4 and to this day, any really old timers left will tell yiou that the word around the traps was that Athol Mulley it's jockey, pulled it up. A claim he vehemently denied.

    It finished sixth and probably should have won. A journalist got hold of Mrs. Taxcks and asked her how she felt about knocking off 4 grand. She said, I lost all my money and  I'm going back to cleaning houses in Sydney.

    Just on my fathers first day in the main ring. There was a horse owned by Perc Galea running at Flemington. Couldn't tell you it's name. My dad was working on the first race of the day, in which it was running.

    It was between 1/7 and 1/8 on the rails and considered unbeatable. My father put up up 1/6 to lay it, and was taking one, two, and a few five pound bets on the horse at that price, when up walked a dapper looking man and asked him, how well do you bet son?, 

    My father immediately recognised him as being  Perc Galea, as did the heap of punters around my dad's stand. Dad told me that he broke out badly, but tried to display a great level of calmness and said, how much do you want on it? Perc said I'll have 3,000/500 on. Dad took the bet. Perc handed over the three large.

    The punters around gasped at the size of the bet, and wished Perc good luck and hope it wins. Just to show Perc how fearless a bookie my father was, he said, thank you Mr. Galea, and everyone else who was here when Mr. Galea walked up, you are all on. 

    All the while, he told me, he was absolutely sh!!!tting himself, as he'd only brought around 500 quid to the track, forgetting that he was now opposite the rails, and the betting by the public in the main ring was a lot bigger than either the flat or hill where one and two shilling bets were the norm.

    The horse missed the start by 6 lengths, flew home, and got beaten in photo. After my dad's heart had stopped pounding, he regained his composure, and was walking on air. As he, like just about every bookie would eventually discover, those feelings of euphoria would be short lived, and this was but a fleeting, yet wonderful moment, during the course of his 33 year career as a bookie.

  • spinkingspinking    2,980 posts
    This one will go down in the tales section , but beleive me is as true as me sitting here typing it.Will not mention the name of the culprit but here it is . Years ago on Mathieson road in Ascot there lived just up from the corner of Moreing street and Mathieson road a big German fella bye the name of Zimmerman. Every morning for a few weeks running someone had pinched his home delivered West Australian. Well Zimmerman had had enough so this morning he lies in wait. And the culprit who was riding a lot of work for Col Webster , and to this day still says it was the first time he pinched Zimmermans paper. Pulls up in the darkness and grabs the paper from Zimmermans front lawn. Bang Zimmerman pounces from behind a bulga tree and grabs him. The jockey pleads his case that its the first time he has pinched the paper. Zimmerman is having nothing of it , and to make a statement handcuffs said jockey to the lightpole out the front. You can imagine the look on Col Webster his staffs face as they drive along Mathieson road with their second trip back to the track to see their jock handcuffed to the post. Let alone the look on the jocks face as everyone going to the track spotts him there handcuffed to the post . True story
  • thefalconthefalcon    17,377 posts
    ^^ luv em..
  • ManchildManchild    270 posts
    Spinking, that is correct he was caught red handed . The boy from Collie

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  • spinkingspinking    2,980 posts
    Right on the money Manchild
  • oldhendooldhendo    430 posts
    I recall a few guys chained up to that large tree in the car park in front of the Ascot Inn.

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  • thefalconthefalcon    17,377 posts
    when my step-mother died i inherited a box with some old stuff of dads (that all i inherited!!, the word "step" tells it all). anyway, in the box was on old book, "Sporting Year Book 1948",at the cost of 1/6d.
    boy there is some info in it..the turf picture of the year was rimfire (80/1) winning the mcup, looks like he was #25 as per the saddle cloth. the deciding factor was "the camera-graph".
    Ted Collingwood "Corinthian" wrote the goldfields saga. in the first 50 years since the discovery, 150,000,000 quids worth of gold was "won from the earth"....then his story begins.
    Godfrey White "Brooklyn" was sporting editor of the west for 35 years writes a column, including "barrier draw at the mile".
    Keith Gollan "Orme" writes radio and races.
    Alf. Dunn "Melfort" writes an article on tiger moore.
    a 2 page story on racing in the nineties.
    here is a quiz for you, what was the first WA bred horse to be tried in other states? it goes on to say the question cannot be correctly answered but its a fairly safe bet that it was -----.
    Bill Hughes "Sunstar" of the Melbourne Sun writes an interesting post on "the introduction of counsel at appeals".
    Kevin Murphy, "Phillock" writes a 2 pager on "track times and their value".
    next page is a pic of "in the press box"  Merv. Jarvis who secures the starting prices for the West Aust.  Aubrey Russellof the Sunday Times.  Doug Chatfield race commentator 6PR-TZ-CI and secretary of the WA Racing Writers Assn. Lionel Lewis race commentator 6IX-WB-MD

    there is more sport than racing, so will i continue or not..hate to boor all you young fellas.

    there was also a post card to dad from Jack Dempsey when he heard he was in hospital (ulcers)
    "lots of luck pal" it says. the youngsters will ask who's dempsey??
  • JayJayJayJay    6,174 posts
    They will also wonder what a "post card" is......and will probably think what a Wallabies player is doing writing to Mr Chatfield?

    Guessing our first interstater may have been Blue Spec?

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  • thefalconthefalcon    17,377 posts
    no, JJ, it was bred in the albany district in the 1880's....
    they bred 'em tough in those days..wandering willie won the queens plate of 3 miles with 9st.6b and saddled up for a succeeding race on the same programme, he won again, over 6f (1200m ) with 10st.10b.   3 miles to 6f in one afternoon....!!

    JayJay, bookielover likes this post.

  • savethegamesavethegame    2,057 posts
    edited January 27

    Falc. article  mentions  Rimfire

                          Backed Cups  double  at 8,000 pounds to one pound.

                               SCHOOL TEACHER  SHARED BET

    A Suburban school teacher  sat by the radio  today and heard Rimfire  win the Melbourne Cup and 8 thousand pounds for himself and three others.He is Mr G.A.Allison of east hawthorn, who some time ago invested one pound on the Red  Fury---Rimfire  double at 8000/1 

    Others to share in the newly gained wealth  are Mr Allisons two sons and family friend..

    What influenced me to take the double was the fact that i taught  Bradley& Lawrence Boyden sons  of Rimfire's trainer.

    I couldn't get a bet straight out on the Melb.Cup so  i looked for something to take Rimfire with.Another to catch my eye was Red Fury in the Caulfield Cup.I then invested  one pound and thought afterwards it was to big for me so i allowed others to share it.

    Rimfire was slightly lame day before race and was lame again after winning today.He showed distinct signs of lameness after he cooled off & according to the trainer he will not race again for some time.
    about 170k. to day's money? 100/1 & 80/1.

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  • thefalconthefalcon    17,377 posts
    ^WOW!!..... $-) :!!

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  • savethegamesavethegame    2,057 posts
    Bookie Lover ever cross paths with a  Jack D. who tipped under the name of Joe Win?
  • bookieloverbookielover    2,345 posts
    edited January 31

    Bookie Lover ever cross paths with a  Jack D. who tipped under the name of Joe Win?

    Sorry mate, never heard of him.

    My old man was pretty matey with a  famous racing writer in the 40's and 50's, who wrote and tipped under the name Cardigan for the Argus newspaper. He had a huge following.

    His name was Bert Wolfe.

    Dad said he was a lovely bloke.  He craved anonymity and  liked being on the flat with the ordinary blokes who didn't know him ,and rarely ventured into the main ring because he'd be driven mad by punters there who knew who he was. 

    One day, he'd been invited to a lunch in his honour in the Committee room at Flemington, and afterwords went down to the main ring to have a bet. 

    He very quietly sidled up to dad and had 10 quid on a 5/1 chance. Dad said, "but you've tipped the favourite in the race Bert". Bert said, "You don't reckon I'm that much of a mug to back what I tip in the paper, do you."

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