Talking of Thoroughbred Champions

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15th December 2005

TALKING OF THOROUGHBRED CHAMPIONS

English Author Nat Gould reckons the best racehorse he ever saw during his time in Australia was Carbine, or Old Jack as he was known.  By Musket from Mersey, Carbine was born in New Zealand and purchased as a yearling by Dan O’Brien for 620 Guineas.

In any other era with the assistance of Radio and TV, Carbine  would have been light years ahead of any other thoroughbred in terms of hero status or worship.

Carbine won 33 out of 43 races and was only out of a place once.  He won 15 races in succession and 12 races out of 20 running an unlucky 2nd in the two he lost.

Nat Gould saw all of Carbine’s big race wins and when he was sold for stud purposes to The Duke of Portland for £13,000, Gould travelled to the UK on the same vessel, the Orient Liner “Orizaba”.

Gould says that no horse that ever ran in Australia was a greater idol with the public than Carbine. 

The Pier in Melbourne was crowded with admirers long before the boat sailed, in fact the authorities had decided to place Carbine on board the day before it had been officially announced, to put the expected crowds off the scent, says Gould.

Nat Gould, born in 1857 in Manchester England was a prolific and very successful English Author, mostly of sporting, and in particular racing novels.  He was also a Journalist and was resident in Australia from 1884 to 1896.  He spent time in Australia working on several country and city newspapers.

Nat Gould died on 25/7/1919 at Staines, Middlesex, England.

Carbine stood four seasons at stud in Victoria and sired the winners of 203 races in Australia.  His first crop included Wallace, who won the Caulfield Guineas, VRC Derby, C. B. Fisher Plate, Sydney Cup and more before retiring to stud himself to sire the winners of 949 races, including two Melbourne Cup winners in Kingsburgh and Patrobas, the great stayer Trafalgar and seven Derby winners.

Carbine also sired Amberlite, who became, in 1897, the first horse to win the Caulfield Cup, AJC Derby and VRC Derby in the same year.

His owner, Donald Wallace, who had made his money in the Broken Hill mineral boom, fell upon hard financial times in the 1890s and Carbine was sold to the Duke of Portland to stand with the great St Simon at the Duke of Portland’s stud at Welbeck Abbey.  It was thought that he would be a perfect outcross to St Simon’s female progeny as St Simon was highly strung and Carbine was placid.

Carbine’s son Spearmint won the English Derby in 1906 and went on at stud to sire the dam of the great sire Nearco.  Carbine’s blood ran in the veins of both Northern Dancer and Star Kingdom and he can be found in the pedigrees of over fifty Melbourne Cup winners.

As Spearmint was the sire of Sentiment, the dam of Nightraid who sired Phar Lap … the Red Terror was also Carbine’s great-great-grandson.