The Auckland Trotting Club held a very successful daytime championship at Alexandra Park in February 1948 racing on its then six furlong grass track where the inaugural ID Trotters Championships were held in conjunction with the seventh Pacers (Auckland’s first) Championships. The grass track was replaced by an all-weather surface (five furlongs inside grass track) on New Year’s Eve, Wednesday 31 December 1958 with night trotting commencing on the same evening. A new five furlong limestone track opened on 16 September 1961.
Alexandra Park, six furlong grass track
The Trotters Championships are fully covered in the harnessbred article of 27 March 2018.
The Pacers Championships were determined over two heats of ten (1¼m) and twelve (1½m) furlongs, with the Grand Final over two miles for a prize of £7,500 and a £100 trophy. A consolation was run over one and a half miles for the same stake as the heats of £1,500. The ID heats were run in February 1948 on Saturday 7th and 14th with the Grand Final on Saturday 21st. A total of £35,000 in stakes was distributed during the championship with £15,000 plus £100 trophy allocated to the Pacing series (Trotters received £5,500 plus £50 trophy). Maximum handicaps of 36 yds for the heats and 48yds for the final were declared. The President and Secretary of the Auckland Trotting Club for the seventh edition of the Pacers Interdominion were Dr MG (George) Pezaro and Alf Forest.
The winner of the Grand Final automatically became the Grand Champion, unlike the first six Pacers championships where the Grand Champion was declared on points won in heats and a final. All three days racing were conducted in fine conditions on a fast track. Australian representatives were 1947 Tasmanian Grand Champion Bandbox (later grand dam of Pure Steel) and South Australian Para Derby.
Saturday 7 February, 10 furlongsSS, £1,500 ($3,000) : first round of heats
First Round heats
Heat One – LOYAL PETER, tr/dr Swanee Smith, 2:38.0/2:06.4, Lt; Globe Direct (dr Maurice Holmes) 2nd; Knave Of Diamonds (dr Ossie Hooper) 3rd
Apart from the placegetters in the first heat, strongly supported candidates in Highland Fling (failed to run on finishing sixth) and Bandbox sent out favourite (slow, broke with three furlongs to run) failed to perform up to expectations. Loyal Peter led all the way going through the first half mile in 1:04 2/5, six furlongs in 1:36, home by a neck from Globe Direct with a further four lengths to Knave Of Diamonds and Dundee Sandy. Loyal Peter returned double figure odds even after an outstanding trial the Thursday prior.
Heat Two – EMULOUS, tr/dr Wally Tatterson, 2:39.0/2:07.2, 24 yds; Loyal Nurse (dr Clarrie May) 2nd; Gold Peg (Bill Doyle) 3rd
In the slower heat of the night, Gold Peg led to the half mile in 1:06 3/5, six furlongs 1:39 being headed in the run home by Emulous and Loyal Nurse. Emulous was the winner by a length from 1946 Auckland Cup winner Loyal Nurse (won 1949 NZ Cup) with front running Gold Peg a head further back, Turco placed fourth ahead of Heliopolis.
Trotting heat winner was Fantom.
Saturday 14 February, 12 furlongsSS, £1,500 ($3,000) : second round of heats
Second Round heats
Heat Three – HIGHLAND FLING, tr/dr Leo Berkett, 3:09.8 (equalled NZ/Australasian race record)/2:06.4, 36 yds; Dundee Sandy (dr Vic Alborn) 2nd; Countless (dr Gordon Collison) 3rd
Current NZ Cup holder (1947) Highland Fling made up for his first day failure, easily winning by three lengths in a NZ/Australasian race record equalling performance (record held jointly with Clockwork, Addington 1945; previous Epsom record of 3:12 2/5 held by Worthy Need), a fifth of a second outside Van Derby’s Australasian record of 3:09.6TT. Highland Fling who ran his first mile in 2:07 was clear of Dundee Sandy who finished a head in front of Countless with Loyal Nurse and Loyal Peter close up. Australian Bandbox was again unplaced.
Highland Fling, second day
Heat Four – KNAVE OF DIAMONDS, tr/dr Ossie Hooper, 3:14.0/2:09.4, 36 yds; Emulous (dr Wally Tatterson) 2nd; Globe Direct (dr Maurice Holmes) 3rd
After shooting out to a lengthy lead again in the fourth heat, Gold Peg fell after two furlongs where ten year old Knave Of Diamonds took over going through his opening mile in 2:11 3/5. Emulous only just failed to make a clean sweep of the championships by finishing a half head in arrears of Knave Of Diamonds in a much slower time for the mile and a half. Globe Direct was only a head away third followed in by Turco and Para Derby who had only arrived from Australia the day before (missed opening round of heats).
Trotting heat winner was Aerial Scott.
Saturday 21 February – PACERS GRAND FINAL, 2 milesSS £7,500 ($15,000) plus £100 trophy
Whilst Emulous as a result of his win and second in the heats was leading qualifier for the final, it was Highland Fling off a 48 yds back mark that was a clear favourite for the Grand Final. Alas, another example of a really top class horse unable to win an Interdominion final. He pulled very hard covering considerable extra ground before choking down and breaking three furlongs from the finish, then tiring out of the race to finish a distant last in the nine horse field. A record crowd of 31,000 witnessed racing on a fast track.
EMULOUS (1940 Jack Potts/Light Wings entire, family of Green’s thoroughbred mare (A3), owner Mrs MA Haslett, trainer/driver Wally Tatterson, 36 yds, 4:12.4 (Australasian race winning record and world record)/2:06.2, 3l, ½l, 2/3 in betting [2:05.8, $45,310]
Loyal Nurse, tr/dr Clarrie May, 36 yds, 2nd
Knave Of Diamonds, tr/dr Ossie Hooper, 36 yds, 3rd
(also in finishing order) : Dundee Sandy, Loyal Peter, Countless, Globe Direct, Gold Peg, Highland Fling
Emulous in birdcage after GF Victory
Trainer/driver Wally Tatterson’s Grand Final day dawned dark due to news that a sister who had been in poor health had died. Emulous came from near last at the three furlong peg to win by three lengths over Loyal Nurse in a New Zealand, Australasian and world record two mile race winning time on a grass track of 4:12.4. Loyal Nurse finished a half-length in front of third place getter Knave Of Diamonds who shaded Dundee Sandy with Loyal Peter who led in the middle stages fifth.
Presentation by Mrs Allan Matson, Dr George Pezaro
Consolation : 12fursSS, £1,500 ($3,000)
TURCO, tr/dr Swanee Smith, 3:12.8/2:08.4, 36 yds; Double Peter (dr Fred Smith jnr) 2nd; Doctor Ted (dr John McLennan) 3rd
Turco (36 yds) prevailed in a tight finish to the Pacers Consolation (head, neck) in 3:12.8/2:08.4 from Double Peter and Doctor Ted with Australia representatives Para Derby and Bandbox next home.
Trotters Grand Final was won by Aerial Scott.
Emulous was by leading imported son of Walter Direct in Jack Potts (Walter Direct/Margaret Steiner), bred by Mrs M.A. Haslett of Rakaia and originally leased by local Rakaia, mid Canterbury trainer Wally Tatterson. Emulous raced in Mrs Haslett’s name during his Auckland Interdominion campaign.
Jack Potts (1920, 2:11.9, $10,489) was bred in the USA and imported to New Zealand in 1923 as a two year old by Alex Anderson of Christchurch through Robert A Smith who imported many stallions into NZ. Racing out of Ces Donald’s stable, despite a leg injury suffered as a young horse he managed to win nine races, placed in an Auckland and two NZ Cups. His victories included NZMTC Metropolitan, Victoria, Advance, Hagley and Mid-Summer Handicaps, Prince Of Wales Hcp (Forbury Park) and two major handicaps at Auckland (Presidents Hcp).
Jack Potts was nine times leading NZ sire (consecutive years 1937/8 –1945/6) and six times leading NZ broodmare sire (1948/49, 1951/2 – 1955/6). He sired 275 winners (273 pacers, two trotters; 21 Aus winners) of over $900,000 with his daughters leaving over 320 winners. He stood all but two seasons for Ces Donald (initial stud fee of seven guineas), two seasons at Dil Edwards Yaldhurst property. His stud fee increased to twenty five guineas at its height and fifty guineas in his final season.
His winners included Interdominion Pacing winners Emulous and Pot Luck, Auckland Cup (Marlene, Betty Boop), NZ Cup (Lucky Jack twice, Marlene), NZFFA (Pacing Power), numerous Derby winners and other fine pacers in Knave Of Diamonds, Countless, Horsepower, Fine Art, King Potts, Plunder Bar and many more. Jack Potts had three representatives (Emulous, Knave Of Diamonds, Countless) in the 1948 Pacing Grand Final (dam sire also of Globe Direct).
Jack Potts broodmare credits included Interdominion Pacing winner Tactician (NZFFA), Auckland Cup (Thelma Globe, Macklin), NZ Cup (Thunder, Van Dieman), a number of Derby/Oaks winners and many fine pacers including Rupee, Young Charles, Merval, Globe Direct among others.
NZ Trotting Hall of Fame inductee Jack Potts died aged 28 in 1948.
Emulous’s dam was unraced Peter Chenault mare Light Wings from Lightnin’ an Australian bred mare from the Greens thoroughbred mare (A3). Lightnin was brought to NZ by Jack Kennerley and moved onto (Sir) John McKenzie (founder of McKenzies retail chain and father of [Sir] Roy) who was the breeder of Light Wings. Lightnin raced successfully in both Australia and NZ in the early 1920’s. Light Wings who was a cast off selling for only seven guineas at auction left nine foals, seven listed as classic progeny, three of them winners, the two by Jack Potts being full brother and sister Emulous and Lightning Lady. Lightning Lady recorded fourteen wins and thirty one placings for Tatterson before breeding on to produce three time winner Ladyship the dam of champion pacing/siring son of Johnny Globe in Lordship and his brother Lords. This branch of the family bred on superbly.
Emulous commenced racing in NZ as a three year old from Tatterson’s Rakaia stable being placed on three occasions from six starts. An inaugural win at four was in the View Hill Hcp Trot at the North Canterbury Jockey Club meeting on Labour Day Monday (23 October 1944). From eight four year old starts, he also won at Addington off 24 yds in the NZMTC Metropolitan Challenge (3/4yo’s) and at Ashburton’s Winter meeting in the Tinwald Hcp while placed on three occasions.
As a five year old his best season wins wise with nine in total (seven consecutive), three seconds and two thirds from fifteen starts. His stake earnings of £8,534 were a national record. Wins were recorded at Alexandra Park (Orakei Hcp and at 1945 Christmas carnival, four wins in St Helier’s/Ranfurly Hcps and on same day Presidents/Premier Hcps), Addington (Le Lievre/Presidents/Flying Hcps) and at Oamaru (Dash Hcp).
Wally Tatterson and Emulous
Limited to four starts resulting in three wins at six at Addington (NZMTC Presidents Hcp, Flying Stakes, Easter Stakes) due to a recurring injury that kept him out of the 1947 NZ Cup, Emulous was primed for his Interdominion tilt racing in Mrs Haslett’s ownership. With his heat win and placing plus the Grand Final victory, Emulous’s earnings had reached £20,854 ($41,708) which were the highest of any pacer racing exclusively in NZ. Emulous was to win only one more race the following season when aged eight (Forbury Park’s Flying Hcp) from six starts. In total Emulous won on eighteen occasions together with twenty placings from fifty four starts for earnings of $45,310 prior to retiring to stand at stud.
Emulous’s stud career whilst successful was not outstanding, he produced winners of minor Cups (Westport, Waimate, Taranaki) and was broodmare sire of several provincial NZ Cup winners, Bendigo Cup winner, Space Cadet (New Brighton Cup) and NA winners in Errols Song, Fuse, Kalamas Peak and Upper Class. In addition, Golden Rule (Garrison Hanover/Envy by Emulous), dam of Ima Rule was dam of Franco Ice and a family branch including Partyon, Jason Rulz and Tuckers Rule.
Peter Craig // 26 November 2019
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