A TIRELESS dedication to preserving harness racing history has landed Bendigo's Noel Ridge industry acclaim.
Ridge, the curator of the Bendigo Harness Racing Club's history and memorabilia collection at Lord's Raceway, was bestowed with a Harness Racing Australian Meritorious Service Award.
The award was presented at a function on night two of the Summer of the Glory at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night.
Ridge said the award came as 'a total shock'.
"I am still shocked, I had no idea this was coming," he said.
"Judy Rothacker, from the Harness Racing Victoria board presented it, and it was to do with my researching harness racing industry, particularly in central Victoria and the other bits and pieces I do, like writing.
"I was there under the guise of being invited to the official function and low and behold this happened."
Noel Ridge at Lord's Raceway in 2016.
The award is the third industry honour for Ridge in the past five months.
In September, he was appointed to the Victorian Harness Racing Hall of Fame (VHRHoF) selection committee.
He also picked up the Graham Goffin Memorial Award for best historical feature for an article he penned on the late former horse owner, breeder, trainer and driver John Phyland.
For Ridge, his passion and dedication for racing history is a labour of love.
"If we haven't got a history, we haven't got an industry," he said.
"I'm thrilled (by the award win), particularly from a club point of view.
"What the Bendigo Harness Racing Club has established with the collection is a pretty unique point of difference."
The meritorious service award was the only one presented on Saturday night.
Bendigo Harness Racing Club committee member Paul Campbell said there could be no more worthier winner than Ridge.
"I'd hate to think how many hours he puts in behind the scenes trying to capture history, and to store it and display it," he said.
"It's a real labour of love for him.
"Even the other night when the award was being presented he was still chasing history while were there (at Melton).
"He doesn't stop. He's tireless and he is infectious as well.
"Because of him, I and a lot of others, have a greater awareness of the history of our sport and the fact we need to store it and display it because once it's gone it's gone for good."
More greats of the trots will join Victoria's Hall Of Fame at Bendigo next Friday, a star-studded honour roll that already includes trotting great Grand Voyage, a hero of Belmont Stud.
The latter was one of two important pioneering trotting stud farms that operated in the early 1900s in Huntly, 10 kilometres north of Bendigo. Earlier this month we shared the story of Adelaide Hill (click here) and today we celebrate Belmont Stud.
It was in 1908 that George Greaves, licensee of the Albion Hotel in View St, Bendigo, established Belmont Stud Farm at Mandurang, 10 kilometres south-east side of Bendigo
He never could have dreamt how close he would come to achieving his ambition of breeding champion trotters. When the Tye brothers, owners of the Allendale Stock Farm at Mentone disposed of stock in 1911, Greaves was quick to buy the stallion First Voyage (1908, by Bon Voyage USA from Elsie Downs USA) for 235 guineas.
He acquired an additional two stallions, the imported Billy Mac USA and the New Zealand pacer Dan Patch (not to be confused with the US Legend of the same name).
The Bendigo Independent newspaper reported on an open house at the new stud.
BELMONT STUD FARM - A PICNIC GATHERING
An open house, and a general invitation from the proprietors of the Belmont Stud Farm, drew some hundreds of people along the road to Mandurang yesterday afternoon. The afternoon was one of a glorious, soft sunshine, and by 2 o’clock the buggies and traps were streaming through Spring Gully on the way to see the trotters. The news that the brilliant horses of the stud farm - Dan Patch, Billy Mac and First Voyage - would show their best paces on the speedway on the farm brought out all who loved horses who could get away.
Picture: Large framed stud advertisement for Belmont Stud from the collection of the Bendigo Harness Racing Club.
Greave also purchased three imported broodmares including Blonde Grattan (1901, Grattan – Blonde Beauty). Blonde Grattan was a stud gem. Her first 10 foals all won races.
In 1913, Blonde Grattan dropped a black colt foal to First Voyage. It was subsequently named Bonnie Voyage.
Less than two years later, a hapless George Greaves disposed of the entire Belmont operation.
Again the newspapers of the day reported:
BELMONT STUD FARM CLEARING SALE
Cordner, Reynell and Co., had a very successful clearing sale at the Belmont Stud Farm on Saturday (15th March 1913), when the well-known stud horses were offered for sale. First Voyage and Dan Patch each realised 550 guineas, and were purchased by Mr. A. Williams, on behalf of a buyer who intends establishing a stud farm to the north of Bendigo. Billy Mac fell to Mr. F. Nelson at 95 guineas, while Blonde Grattan and Crucible S were bought by Mr. Williams for 95 and 60 guineas respectively Among other sales were: a yearling, Abbey Belmont, by Abbey Bells from Blonde Grattan realised 50 guineas, Black Jack (yearling, Abbey Bells - Myrtle Dean) realised 42 guineas, a grey Wilie Whips mare (stinted to First Voyage) realised 25 guineas. A weanling (First Voyage - Blonde Grattan), the yet to be named Grand Voyage, realised 30 guineas.
The Belmont Stud business was acquired by local businessman, P.H. (Harry) Busst and functioned as a breeding and racing stable. Busst took as his training partner the outstanding horseman Paddy Glasheen, formerly of Charlton.
The partners relocated the stud from Mandurang to Huntly on the other side of Bendigo, just off the Echuca Rd. The new location was on the flats of the Bendigo Creek, just a few hundred metres as the crow flies from Robert Matchett’s Adelaide Hill stud.
The Bendigo Advertiser reported:
BELMONT STUD FARM - WELL ESTABLISHED AT HUNTLY
Until a few months ago the Belmont Stud Farm of trotters was located at Mandurang, where everything was convenient, but when the lease of the premises expired the proprietors very wisely removed to Huntly. The farm is now on Cr. P. H Busst's land in Huntly, an ideal spot for a stud farm with scores of advantages over the Mandurang site. It is only a quarter of a mile from the main Echuca road and very handy to the Huntiy railway station, being connected directly by a very good road. One hundred acres of splendid grazing land are well subdivided by strong fences at the Huntly site, while a little further north are 250 acres of first class land. This is an ideal spot for mares and foals and is close to the Bagshot railway station. The proprietors undertake to meet all mares visiting the stallions at the station, and will then take every possible care of them, but no responsibility.
Picture: The now demolished stables of the Belmont Stud Farm, Pitt Street Huntly.
Grand Voyage’s reputation preceded him to the racetrack, and when he was produced at the Richmond Racecourse in 1916 for the main Victorian classic for young trotters, the Futurity Stakes, all of his opposition had pulled out of the race except one rival, whom he beat at 20-1 on in the first heat and again disposed of easily in the second heat, in which there was no betting.
The potential of Grand Voyage (originally named Bonnie Voyage) was recognised by all, including the handicapper who saw to it that the black champion won no race easily. After his Futurity win, Grand Voyage was spelled and did a light season of stud duty.
At his second start, in January 1917, the three-year-old won from 60 yards behind against older horses at the Richmond track in a time barely slower than in which the Richmond Cup, run the same day, was decided. In subsequent starts he raced from 85 and 115 yards behind, the latter occasion producing another fantastic winning performance.
As a rising five-year-old Grand Voyage defeated the hoppled pacers for the first time, subsequently a common sight. In June 1919 he won twice on the day at Epping (Harold Park) in Sydney, each time setting a record, then at the Melbourne Showgrounds where he set a mile record of 2:16 3/5 after a tremendous battle from even marks with the very good pacer Sarilla, the winner of 23 races at Richmond. In 1921, back in Sydney, Grand Voyage reduced the winning record at Epping to 2:13.
Picture: The champion trotter Grand Voyage won the first Boort Pacing Cup in 1921,starting from 280 yards behind.
1921 BOORT CUP – 50 pounds – One & half miles: GRAND VOYAGE**, 280yds (P Glasheen); Margins: 6 lgths X 10 lgths; Time: 3m 54s.
He was then taken to New Zealand. His victory in the 1922 Otahuhu Cup at Alexandra Park in Auckland worth 1000 Sovereigns (then $2000) against the best New Zealand pacers from 48 yards in a race record 4:31 3/5 was considered by Glasheen his most outstanding effort.
On return from New Zealand, he won further races including the original Bendigo Cup at the Bendigo Jockey Club track at Epsom in 1924.
For 10 years Glasheen drove the greatest trotter since Fritz to race in Australia. Grand Voyage went on to win 37 races over all distances on both sides of the Tasman. He was a brilliant beginner capable of beating the best pacers of his era. Indeed, some experienced observers still rate him as the finest Australian trotter of all time, rating him at least an equal of both Fritz and Maoris Idol.
The End of an Era (The Herald, 30 Jan, 1924)
Under instructions from Messrs H. Busst and P. Glasheen, proprietors, Campbell and Sons, auctioneers, will sell by auction on Tuesday, March 11,1924 at the City Horse Bazaar, the whole of the trotting stock, sulkies, and gear of the famous Belmont Stud Farm, Huntly, Victoria. In the stock to be offered are some of the best bred trotters in the world, including First Voyage (imp.), Grand Voyage (late Bonnie Voyage), Grattan's Voyage and Blonde Grattan. Queen Pirate, who was imported from New Zealand, and recently won at Kyneton, will also be put under the hammer, as will Peter Vole, a Richmond winner, and the famous old performer, Derwent Jack.
Death of Paddy Glasheen (Narrandera Argus, November 5, 1946)
Considered by many to be Australia's leading trotting driver, Paddy Glasheen died suddenly at the residence of his son at Young, NSW. Aged 75 at his death he was in good spirits right up to his sudden death and at the time had a team of horses in training.
Paddy Glasheen was survived by his brother Ted of Elmore, Jim, who was attached to J. E. Smedley's stables at Caulfield; and a sister (Mrs. J. G. F. Nolen) at Narrandera.
Paddy had three sons: Jim (Young. NSW.), Ted (Charlton), who at one time played football
for Golden Square, and John (East Preston).
John (known as Jack) and his wife ran a “corner store” opposite the Preston Primary School. Jack trained at Gower Park in Preston and raced at the Royal Showgrounds as a hobby. He had the good pacer Major Miracle. His son is the well known 'Pacing Priest', Father Brian Glasheen.
Picture: The 'Pacing Priest' Father Brian Glasheen with the sulky used by his grandfather, Paddy Glasheen, on legendary trotter Grand Voyage.
Death of P H (Harry) Busst (Bendigo Advertiser, January 1933)
In 1914 Harry Busst established the Belmont Stud Farm at Huntly, the home of some of the finest light horses ever seen in the state. Of the host of horses he bred and raced none brought him greater fame than the magnificent trotter, Grand Voyage, who was foaled in 1913. Mr Busst owned the sire, First Voyage, and dam Blonde Grattan, of Grand Voyage, who for 10 years raced with success in Victoria, New South Wales and New Zealand, and was a public idol wherever he appeared. Queen Pirate, Grattans Voyage, First Trip, Belmont Chimes, Stormy Voyage, Tradesman and many other trotters were bred or raced by Mr Busst.
• President of the Victorian Owners and Breeders Association
• A member of the Government Licensing Board
• A member of the Trotting Appeal Board
• Member of the Bendigo Trotting Club
• A life member of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, and a member of the council of the Bendigo Agricultural Society
For 14 years he was a councillor of the Shire of Huntly and was on three occasions its president. He relinquished the Belmont Stud Farm at Huntly six or seven years ago.
Did You Know?
The Belmont Stud stood three stallions
1. Dan Patch NZ (P.TT. 2.9.4), 1902 by Rothschild from Ruahine
Wins included NZ Great Northern Hcp, NZ Stockburn Hcp, NZ Christchurch Hcp.
He stood initially at Allendale Stock Farm at Mentone in 1907, 1908 and also in Brisbane 1909.
Sire of 25, three trotters 22 pacers, including Belle Patch 2:13.0, Bronze Patch 2:15.4 and Ivy Patch 2:17.0.
Daughters of Dan Patch, mainly through the Classic Families A12 Fair Nell family are ancestors of
Dons Ayr 1945 - 2:07.8, Teeny Rena 1962 - 2:04.3, Jikk Adios 1976 - 1:59.9 $251,740, Quantum Lobell 1991 - 1:53.1 $442,592, Elite Rena 1992 - 1:59.8 $152,847 and the three times Inter Dominion champion Our Sir Vancelot 1990 - 1:55.4 $2,197,990.
2. Billy Mac (IMP USA) (P2.29-Aust), 1904 by Boreal from Lilt by Eagle Bird
Imported as a two-year-old in 1910 by Allendale Stock Farm, he stood at Belmont Stud from 1915-1917.
Wins included 1912 Carisbrook Turf Club Trot, 1914 Richmond Flying and 1914 Ballarat Trotting Club Flying.
Sire of 11, two trotters and nine pacers, inclluding Willie Mac 2.19, Rowdy Mac 2.23 and Royal Mac.
One of his daughters is the ancestor of Gambling Raid (2.09.6), winner of a heat of the 1959 Inter Dominion.
3. First Voyage (i.i.u.)(tr,TT2.18.4), 1908, by Bon Voyage from Elsie Downs (imp)
Imported in uterus with his dam Elsie Downs by Allendale Stock Farm.
Stood at Belmont Stud 1916-1923, then Melton 1924 until his death in 1935.
Wins included 1914 Richmond Handicap, 1914 Ballarat TC Open, 1914 2 Richmond Cups, 1917 a Boort TC Flying.
Sire of 136, 78 trotters, 58 pacers including Grand Voyage, Huon Voyage, First Cast, Surprise Journey.
First Australian stallion to sire 100 trotting winners.
First Voyage’s daughters are ancestors of an impressive array of high class pacers and trotters:
Bingen Redmond, Harwood Brigade, Prince Mimosa, Nancy Irene, Zig Zag, Abidair, Did It Alone, Roman Chapel, Cooma Maree, Just Money, Illawong Ian, Illawong Byron, My Lesson, Crescent Glory and the $2 million earner Flashing Red.
Picture: Descendent of 1914 First Voyage mare Olive Voyage Dual NZ Cup and $2,000,502 earner Flashing Red.
Some of the Belmont Stud partnership race horses:
The Belmont Stud partnership of Harry Busst and Paddy Glasheen raced a long list of successful trotters and pacers.
Among them, with some of their wins, were:
Queen Pirate NZ (Normintson - Wild Pirate), whose wins included 1920 NZ Thames Pacing Cup, 1920 Northland Cup, 1924 Bendigo Cup and 1926 Richmond Flying.
First Trip (First Voyage – Crucible S), who won the 1915 Victorian Trotters Sires Produce, 1916 Victorian Trotters Derby and 1921 Tasmanian Northall Park Cup.
Belmont Chimes by Abbey Bells from Blonde Grattan was the first horse bred at Belmont. On July 9 1915 at Richmond, Melbourne, in the Sires Produce Stakes of 250 Sovereigns, Belmont Chimes succeeded in winning two straight heats. In the second heat Belmont Chimes gave a brilliant exhibition of two-year-old trotting and succeeded in establishing a new record of 2.40. Among Belmont Chimes other wins were the 1915 Victorian Trotters Derby and 1920 NZ New Brighton Cup.
Stormy Voyage (First Voyage-Nellie), who won 921 and 1922, three MTC Trotters Handicaps, 1922, two Richmond Handicaps and 1923 NZ Alexandra Hcp.
Grand Voyage (First Voyage-Blonde Grattan), whose 37 wins include the 1916 Vic Sires Produce, 1917 MTC Trotters Hcp, 1918 two Richmond Hcps, 1919 Boort Flying, 1920 two Richmond Flyings, 1921 Boort Cup, 1921 Epping (NSW) Hcp, Epping NSWTC Flying, 1922 NZ Otahuhu Cup, 1924 Bendigo Cup, 1925 Bendigo JC Open, 1926 Elmore TC Open. VHRMA Hall of Fame.
Fair Voyage (First Voyage-Blonde Grattan), who won the 1917 Ballarat TC Open.
Constellation (All Style-Quality), who won the 1925 Castlemaine TC Cup (at Campbell’s Creek).
Derwent Jack (Grattan Bells – Kestrel), who won the 1918 Richmond Hcp, Ballarat TC Open, Ascot Cup and 1919 Richmond Hcp.
CONCESSION DRIVER OF THE YEAR AWARD
James Herbertson 70
Kima Frenning 68
Zac Phillips 43
Darby McGuigan 41
LORD'S Raceway has played host to plenty of history-making events, and the the Bendigo Harness Racing Club was not about to let Chris Alford go without a reminder of where one of his biggest achievements happened.
The champion reinsman notched up his 7000th career winner, when he steered the Kelvin Barker-trained No City Chick to a trademark conspicuous win in the second race on Friday night's card in Bendigo.
The 50-year-old, known as 'The Puppet' brought up his 6999th victory aboard the Graeme Dalton/Sutton Grange-trained Missus Matilda on Thursday at Maryborough.
He would need just two more drives to become the first in the sport in Australia to get to 7000.
BHRC marked the milestone with the presentation of a plaque to Alford, who earlier this year nabbed his 100th Group 1 winner.
The popular reinsman left behind a permanent reminder of the night by signing a racebook below the magical 7000 number.
The book will soon be framed, to be preserved in the Bendigo Harness Racing Museum, operated by historian Noel Ridge.
An appreciative Alford was quick to praise the generous support of owners and trainers in helping him reach the milestone.
"It's good to have something I can say I've done and that no one else has done before," he said
"In years to come that will be broken I'm sure by all these young ones coming through; they are doing very well.
"I will just have to try and keep on getting more winners as we go along just to stay in front of them.
"I can't thank the owners and trainers enough for putting me on. I go out there and make blues as much as anyone else, but I get to drive lot of fast horses too.
"I'd like to thank my family - I don't get to see them much as I am always away racing, but I am sure they would have been screaming at the TV at home.
Chris Alford is interviewed post-race.
"Hopefully I can keep doing a good job for a little bit longer."
Alford's 7000th career win capped a big August for the brilliant reinsman, who earlier in the month went past 400 winners for the 2018-19 season.
His last 1000 winners have come in the period from May 2017 and tonight (August 30).
BY KIERAN ILES
By Noel Ridge
The spotlight shines on Bendigo for Saturday night's TAB Breeders Crown semi-finals and for race goers it's a chance to also visit the History and Memorabilia Collection at Lord's Raceway, which features some prized trots treasures including these silks.
The donation by John Phyland's granddaughter of a faded set of racing colours (right), dark blue with yellow stars, to Bendigo's collection has led to the uncovering, with the help of researcher John Peck and website www.classicfamilies.net, of the remarkable story of Phyland and his horses.
Balranald, in the south-west Riverina district of NSW, is on the western edge of the vast Hay plain at a place once used to ford the Murrumbidgee River. It was during 1890 to 1918 that Phyland, son of Irish immigrants, born in 1866, ran a 2000-acre sheep station. The property, Lake Vale, was south of Balranald, towards the Murray River town of Swan Hill.
This would seem to be an unlikely location for a harness racing breeding operation, being more than 400km from Melbourne, where harness racing was centred on the Richmond track.
But, undeterred by distance, Phyland purchased his first trotter in 1882 and proceeded to acquire expensive, high quality standardbred mares and stallions and embark on a venture that saw him:
• Breed and race winners of major races including The Melbourne Thousand, Bendigo JC Handicap (raced almost continuously on the grass track at Epsom, Bendigo, from 1867 to 1946), Boort Cup and numerous races at the Melbourne metropolitan tracks at Richmond and Ascot;
• Acquire Soultline Villa and training stables adjacent to the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds so he could race at metropolitan tracks;
• Develop a large self-contained training facility (including resident blacksmith) and home at 19 Raleigh St, Essendon;
• Become the chair of the Victorian Trotting Horse Owners and Breeders’ Association, which lobbied strenuously for night trotting in the 1930s;
• Breed from imported and locally bred mares that left families that are still active today. Heaven Rocks, the Ballarat Cup, New Zealand Jewels three and four-year-winner, and 1:49.6 ($554,529) export to the US, is six generations on from the Phyland bred mare Dusky Ribbons;
• Saw the start of the training career of colourful and controversial Cedric (Ced) McLean, Phyland’s son-in-law, with a mare left when Phyland died.
Phyland’s training and driving career commenced in 1906 at the Lake Charm Race Course in Victoria, between Swan Hill and Kerang, where he trained and drove Roaney to win the two-mile trot.
1906 Lake Charm Trot (six sovereigns): J Phyland’s ROANEY, 20yds (J Phyland) 1; A Bence’s Nipper, scr (Wall) 2; J Donaldson’s Molley, 20yds (Donaldson) 3.
Driver Donaldson was World champion sprinter Jack “Blue Streak” Donaldson, born at Raywood and brought up at Inglewood. That same year (1906) at age 20 Donaldson started favourite in the Stawell Gift with a handicap of 11 yards, but was narrowly beaten.
The following year, 1907, at the Sandown (Melbourne) track, Phyland trained the winner, Little Wonder (pictured, sired by the Robert Hunter stallion Honest Harry), winning in 2:28.2, and later used as a stallion at Lake Vale.
In 1916 he trained a winner, Kanakee Girl, at a Swan Hill Jockey Club meeting. It started from the handicap of 340 yards in the Distance Handicap Trot.
Phyland was a serious standardbred breeder. His acquisitions included the stallion General Ribbonwood, nearing the end of a successful racing career. He raced General Ribbonwood and among the wins for Phyland was the Ladies Bracelet (below) at Geelong in 1922.
General Ribbonwood, foaled in 1914, was by the champion sire Ribbonwood from the broodmare gem Winona. Winona (1900) for whom the annual Australian Broodmare award is named, was the dam of eight winners and three successful sires (General Ribbnwood, Major Ribbonwood and Win Alto). She was the grand dam of Australian record holder Walla Walla and great grand dam of mile Champion Uncle Joe.
Phyland stood General Ribbonwood at the Lake Vale property at Balranald and also at Ascot Vale. He left 17 winners, most of them trained by Phyland and ridden or driven by his son Frank.
Phyland also had son of the imported Mauritius and the imported mare Lady Inez in Direct Mauritius foaled in 1911. It also stood at stud at Lake Vale and Ascot Vale. Direct Mauritius was the sire of 60 winners, 54 of them pacers.
One of the mares that Phyland had progeny from was Belle Patch. Belle Patch’s second foal for Phyland — in 1921 — was the open class pacer Princess Mauritius, winner of the 1930 Bendigo Cup by his stallion Direct Mauritius.
Direct Mauritius’ greatest offspring was Vin Direct, who excelled by winning the first 1925 Australasian Championships at Gloucester Park, the forerunner of the Inter Dominion. A Direct Mauritius mare Katie Mauritius is the ancestress of the 1992 Bendigo Cup winner Lord Muckalee.
In 1919 the Lake Vale property was leased and a dispersal sale of horses held.
The auctioneers were favoured with “Instructions from Mr John Phyland, to sell by public auction, on his Lake Vale estate, the whole of his stock, plant and sundries including his well bred trotters and pacers, blood mares and foals” such as: Direct Mauritius (brown stallion, five years, by Mauritius (imp)); Timely Bells (bay stallion, by Abbey Bells (imp) from In Maytime (imp) from America); Arion Direct (brown colt, registered trotter by Direct Mauritius from Rosario (imp) from America); Major Belmont (bay gelding, four years, natural pacer by Belmont from Kate Beiden); Jess Mckinney (bay mare, five years, by Clarke Mckinney (imp) from America); Floredo (black mare, placed several times at Richmond, by Tuxedo (imp).
Phyland then relocated his family and horses to Soultline (see the red circle on the map at right), the impressive villa and stables less than 200 metres from the track in the main arena at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds.
Soultline racing stables had been offered at auction. The property was sold on instructions of Mr S. P. Mackay, the owner of the classy galloper Soultline, winner of the 1909 Newmarket Handicap. It was first passed in. Subsequent negotiations resulted in an offer of £2000 cash for the property.
Alice Bell (Directway (imp) from Adelle) was one of the horses that was trained from Soultline and won seven classic races, including the 1919 Bendigo Jockey Club Open.
Ruby Ribbon won a second Bendigo Jockey Club Open (pictured) for Phyland at the Epsom racecourse in 1921, when ridden by his son Frank.
Phyland often made news.
In 1924, The Argus reported: John Phyland, owner of two recent Richmond winners, is a retired farmer from the
Balranald district of Victoria (actually NSW), whence one of the winners Balranald Maid takes her name. At present Mr J. Phyland is a resident at “Soultline", Flemington, the former home of the late Mr S. P. Mackay. He has a fair number of trotters in work at Ascot. He is a well known identity at Richmond, where although he is close on 18 stone, he is occasionally seen behind some of his horses. At present, however, his son, Frank Phyland, is doing the majority of the riding and driving for the stable.
During the 1920s Phyland acquired land at 18 Raleigh St in Essendon, where he established a large property including a home and stables. The property was so extensive it had its own blacksmith.
In 1931 Divitius, a pacer bred and sold by Phyland, won the prestigious Melbourne Thousand at the Richmond track. Shortly before this, this article was published in the Swan Hill Guardian headlined 'Pacer for £1': Mr. John Phyland (pictured) of Ascot Vale (Vic.), who has spent some thousands in the breeding industry, remarks the “Australian Trotting Record,” was naturally pleased at seeing Divitius, a horse bred and sold by him, victorious at the Melbourne Show. Divitius is by Direct Mauritius from a buggy mare and put up the fast time of 2.21 in winning the Maiden Pacing Competition. Some time ago Mr. Phyland at a Swan Hill horse sale offered a fully-related pair to Divitius, and rather than take them back to his station across the border, accepted £1 apiece. Now that the dam has made a name for herself as a producer the owner of these bargain horses should make a little profit. But just fancy a pacer for a pound.
Thanks to www.classicfamilies.net, we now know that the “buggy mare” was Ivy, by Phyland’s stallion Little Wonder from the mare Comet.
During the 1930s Phyland was the President of the Victorian Trotting Horse Breeders and Owners’ Association, which had for many years been affiliated with the Royal Agricultural Society and the Chamber of Agriculture. The association was very active in presenting the case tor night trotting to Members of Parliament.
A newspaper of the day, The Argus, reported: The president of the association (Mr J. Phyland) who has pastoral properties at Lake Vale, Swan Hill, and Balranald, and who for years has been a leading breeder of trotting horse, took the chance of urging the introduction of night trotting when thanking Members of Parliament in a circular for the BOA. The bill was defeated in Parliament, preventing the introduction of Night Trotting in 1936.
Among the winners Phyland continued to train was 1934 Boort Cup winner Daphne Ribbon. Later in 1938, Balranald Pride was a winner at the Epsom track in Ascot Vale.
Phyland passed away at his residence in Essendon in March of 1945, aged 79.
Did You Know?
John Phyland was the father-in-law of colourful and controversial trainer of the Showgrounds era Cedric (Ced) McLean, who was associated with top trainers Dave Wilson, Alph Phyllis, Frank Shinn, Jack Barron, Howard Craig, Ron Peace and Jack McKay.
He also was a close associate of master builder, owner, concession punter and later champion jumps trainer Bendigo’s Jim Houlahan.
McLean, a World War 2 returned serviceman, was employed in the catering industry. He married Rose, the youngest daughter of John Phyland.
The last of Phyland’s horses was Daphne’s Own and, as no-one was interested in training this last of Phyland’s breeding enterprise, Ced McLean started training it.
One of McLean’s first plunges, for which he later became renown, was with Daphne’s Own at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds in 1951, when it was backed from 33/1 to 14s before saluting.
Not only did Ced (pictured) inherit Daphne’s Own, he also inherited the colours of his late father-in law. However, he had to seek alternate colours when the blue with yellow stars were registered to former South Australian trainer-driver Dick Benger, who re-located to Eddington from his former base at Avenue Range in South Australia while Ced was on one of his many “holidays” from training.
Ced’s daughter, Cheryl, related when handing his colours and some photos to the Bendigo collection:
The Phyland breeding dynasty is stlll influential today, with the enigmatic but brilliant 2018 Ballarat Cup winner Heaven Rocks, who traces back to the Phyland bred mare Dusky Ribbons, racing in the USA.
The 2019 Bendigo Bank Trotters Cup has tonight been won by MCLOVIN in a new track record. Trained by Andy Gath and driven beautifully by Kate Gath.
Congratulations to all connections on their win.
HE MIGHT have stepped down from the Bendigo Harness Racing Club Committee, but Peter Svanosio is not walking away from the sport he loves. Anything but.
The Bendigo and indeed Australian harness racing stalwart and former trainer was honoured for 42-years of service at a gathering of past and present committee members on Tuesday night.
It officially marked the end his time on the committee.
But the BHRC life member has no plans on exiting the harness racing scene.
"I just felt my time was up on the committee, but I will still be helping around the club," he said.
"I'll still drive the mobile for them and I'll still have my horses.
"I'll help out when I can. (Son and trainer/driver) Chris and I have got plenty of horses and I'm busy at the trials.
"We have got a mobile driver, who I trained up. I drove it for a while last year when they didn't have anyone. If he goes away or has a week off, I won't let them down and I'll step in.
"If there's something else that needs to be done, I'll do it.
"I had probably been trying to give it away the last three or four years, hoping someone would come along and take my spot, so the president was well aware that if there was something wanting to fill a spot it was there."
Svanosio officially tendered his resignation the day after the 2019 Bendigo Pacing Cup meeting.
He said he looked back with great pride on his involvement with both the committee and a progressive club.
Svanosio felt privileged the club's members had continued to show faith in him throughout his more than four decades on the committee.
"When I came onto the committee, you had to be elected and face an election every two years - I was in people's hands," he said.
"It's not like these days when clubs and organisations struggle to get people on to committees.
"I take some pride in the fact that members of my club continued to re-elect me.
"That is why I was still there all those years and then went off on my own volition."
Svanosio said the horses he raced with son Chris would continue to take up plenty of his time.
One of those, Artful Christian will line up on Bendigo Powder Coating 2019 Anniversary Cup night at Lord's Raceway on Friday.
The six-year-old gelding, who was breed by former BHRC executive Dennis Bice, will contest a C2 to C3 event, and will be driven by emerging driver Tayla French.
A high-calibre field for the Anniversary Cup (C6 or better) is headed by the Emma Stewart-trained Somerocksomeroll and Idealsomemagic, who is chasing a fourth-straight win for the Tindale stable.
BHRC general manager Erik Hendrix praise 42 years of 'wonderful' service from Svanosio.
"Introduced to the club as a young boy, Peter has truly seen this club built from the ground up," he said.
"I have never seen anyone serve such a long time on any type committee.
"It's a testament to Peters character and shows how well loved he was around the club to be continually voted on as a committee member.
"Peter will now have time to concentrate on helping trainer, driver and son Chris Svanosio with his growing stable.
"As a life member you will still see Peter around the club and at most meetings."