Regularly Defeated but still an Immortal

Hello everyone

Amounis was an immortal champion of the Australian turf, yet on going through his record it appears as if he was beaten very regularly. However he was quite often beaten by the absolute best of the best. Amounis won a Caulfield Cup that was part of the biggest betting coup in the history of the Australian turf, but this was by no means his only good win.


He also won a Cox Plate…



And the Epsom Handicap twice, the second of which with 60.5kg.



He also won a Rosehill Guineas, a Caulfield Stakes to make a total of 33 wins from 79 starts. Overall, if Amounis was awarded retrospective Group One wins, he would sit happily with 17 Group One wins. Of course there were no Group One races back in the late ‘1920s.

However despite being in the Hall of Fame and an all-time immortal champion, the most interest in regards to Amounis comes from his defeats.

Well first lets have a look at the five occasions in which the great gelding had to race Phar Lap.

The two champions first clashed in the Craven Plate in Sydney in October 1929. Phar Lap just beating Amounis in the process. The second meeting was in Melbourne in the St George in Feb 1930; Amounis won and Phar Lap ran 3rd. Interestingly Amounis who was an older horse carried 61.5kg in this race while the three-year-old Phar Lap had just 55.5kg. Race three was in the Chipping Norton in Sydney in April 1930. Phar Lap won this race easily with Amounis back in 2nd. The 4th clash was in the Warwick Stakes and again Amounis won defeating Phar Lap (2nd) and another immortal Nightmarch (3rd).


It was after this race where the connections of Phar Lap and of Amounis got together and realized if they stopped running against each other they could plan a coup and plan a coup they did in the form of the famous Cups double of 1930 (in the search bit over on the right of this website, type in ‘Fourteen and a half Million’ for the full story about this betting coup).

At this stage Phar Lap and Amounis were two all after four encounters. The final race between the two (in which they both placed) was in the Mackinnon on 1 November 1930, the Saturday before Phar Lap won the Melbourne Cup. Phar Lap won this race thus giving him a 3 / 2 edge over Amounis.

So there is three races that Amounis would have won had it not been for a fellow immortal champion. And these are not the only three. Other best of the best champions Gothic, Nightmarch and Limerick all on multiple occasions beat Amounis into 2nd.

Gothic was one of the greatest milers Australia has ever seen and his absence from the Australian racing hall of fame in an absolute outrage. He won the Newmarket twice (one of only four two time winners) and also won plenty of now Group One races at around the 2000m. Gothic defeated Amounis in the 1928 C.M. Lloyd Stakes in Melbourne, in the Caulfield Stakes in 1928, the Melbourne Stakes in 1928 and the Linlithgow Stakes in 1929. All these races are now Group One races. There is another four Group One races that Amounis would have won had it not been a complete era of champions.

Then there is Limerick. This boy also deserves to be in the Hall of Fame but is not. He was one of the best WFA horses of all-time and at one stage over 26 races won 22 and ran 2nd in four. He beat Amounis in the 1927 Warwick Stakes in Sydney, in the 1927 Hill Stakes in Sydney (Gothic also placed in this race thus making it an immortal trifecta).


Limerick also beat Amounis in the 1928 Rawson Stakes. There is another three Group One races that Amounis would have won had it not been for the presence of regular immortal champions.

Then there is the 1930 Autumn Stakes. On this day in Sydney it was Nightmarch who beat Amounis. Here is another retrospective Group One that Amounis just missed out on due to the presence of a 4th generational immortal champion. Nightmarch is in the Hall of Fame and he was not as good as Limerick or Gothic but he did beat Phar Lap (when Big Red was a three-year-old) in a Melbourne Cup.

So what have we learnt? We the first thing is that if it was not for Phar Lap, Gothic, Nightmarch and Limerick, Amounis would have won another 12 feature races, thus giving him 29 Group One wins in today’s climate. That is almost twice as many as Black Caviar!

The second lesson is that the 1920s was truly an era of immortal champions. Just the five horses that are mentioned in this story – Phar Lap, Nightmarch, Amounis, Limerick and Gothic, well they all fit comfortably into the top fifty of all time and there are plenty of other champions that applied their trade in the ‘1920s also.  Limerick and Gothic would beat any horse currently in training in Australia at any distance (up to 2000m) comfortably. The other three are of course in the Hall of Fame.

Good luck and stay tuned.

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Words can’t describe…

Hello everyone


Please have a look at this video before we go any further…

Do these people get paid to go to The Ellen Show and act like morons? Well to be fair, they probably had very little to do heading into the show and are just acting like themselves. But do they get paid to act like they do? Or do they pay huge money to go to the show and just act naturally. Surely the people in the above video are actors and are being paid by Ellen to make the show look better than it is. Or they are paid to keep up appearances in that Ellen wants the television audience to believe she can inspire people to simply rise out of their chairs and dance the day away. She is not the Messiah! Being paid is the only reason I can think of to justify acting like this on television! If the people in the audience have paid to attend the show (which I know full well is more than likely), then maybe with the ladies in particular, you could understand. Ellen is a huge star and the ladies love her so maybe they can be excused for suffering a little Beatlemania when being face to face with the great woman. But what about the blokes! Please tell me they are dragged to this show by their wives and they are not going there voluntarily? And on that, what the hell could a wife possibly offer a husband to convince him to go to that show and sing and  dance in the isles and put up with that crowd for two hours? I know what you are all thinking, but come on, lets be honest.

Come on fellas, smarten up!

And how about my man! This almost cost you an election Obama. Smarten up also!

Michelle gets a pass…


Best of the day – A two peat. Back Inkling (Randwick race 1 number 2) into Lord of the Sky (Caulfield race 5 number 5). It should pay about $3.40 and both look very close to morals. Inlking will storm over the top in his race and Lord of the Song should just lead and win. Good value!

Second best – Rebel Dancer (Doomben race 1 number 1). Going for three in a row and simply looks better than his rivals. Big weight but it should not matter. Each way value also.

Bernborough is back – Baron Archer (Caulfield race 2 number 5). This boy is huge and he can storm from the back even against the pattern. He won brilliantly last time and as long as the track is allowing back markers to run on, he should be running well at over $5.

In the spirit of today’s wisdom – Wanna Dance (Caulfield race 3 number 10). Can you believe that this gelding run and won at $1.10 last start? Not many thoroughbreds start at that price so he must be pretty good. He is at around $20 so just a small each way bet.

Kill the Caulfield curse – Kristy Lee (Caulfield race 4 number 2). This mare is so much better than every other mare in this race. But Sydney horses have traditionally struggled around Caulfield at their first attempt. That is the only thing that is stopping her from being $1.50 and a certainty. But she has enough in hand to handle this curse and still win.

A tough filly in form – Written (Caulfield race 7 number 11). This girl is so tough and she can lead or take a sit and still win. She is weighted to win and will be very hard to get past. Maybe also have a little saver at the big odds on Zebrinz.

A potential superstar – Impulsive Spirit (Randwick race 5 number 9). This horse won so well last start and a repeat of that run will again see it very hard to get past in this race. However, once a horse has produced a career best, it is hard to do it again at its next start. Having said that, this thing might just be very very good.

Kristy Lee form – I’ve Got the Looks (Randwick race 7 number 1). This girl beat Kristy Lee last time, so simple.. she gets tipped again!

Blind Loyalty –  Excellantes (Doomben race 2 number 1). If Adebesi goes to Sydney, this hall of famer is very close to a moral. Keep an eye on the scratchings.

Best longshot – Grey Assignment (Doomben race 4 number 1). This bastard of a horse has not won for a long time, but this is a terrible race and he should be hard to beat at $17.

Last chance – Black Cash (Doomben race 7 number 2). Last chance stakes for this boy.

Good luck and stay tuned.


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The Great Debate

Originally posted on A Turf Fascination:

Hello everyone. You can now give us a like on facebook. That’s right everyone, we are moving up in the world! Tell all your internet friends! The more likes the better the content; so like away!

Is is possible to determine Australia’s greatest ever racehorse? No not really unfortunately. However a Turf Fascination together with the godfather of the classic department at Newcastle University have invented a system that can come closer than ever before to determining Australia’s greatest ever horse.

We will have a look at the five original inductees of the Racing Hall of Fame plus Makybe Diva in our attempt to use this newly developed system to find our greatest ever horse.

Now it is important to mention that this exercise is an attempt to find Australia’s greatest ‘all-round’ horse. All round means exactly that ‘all-round.’ This exercise does not take into account ability alone, nor does it take…

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The greatest match race ever

Originally posted on A Turf Fascination:

Hello everyone

Over Christmas, if you are stuck for ideas on how to pass the time, then please enjoy the following story. Thanks to Ron Hale for his help with this post.

Since Thoroughbreds were first brought to the American colonies more than 300 years ago, match racing — featuring one man’s horse against another man’s horse — has been an important part of the sport of racing. In the 1800s, match races took place with regularity.

By the 20th Century, however, important match races grew fewer and fewer. A series of important international match races were held in 1923. During the 1930s and 1940s, there was another spike in interest in match racing, with a dozen or so contests being held involving national champions. Alsab met Whirlaway; Armed met Assault; Busher met Duranza; Capot met Coaltown; etc.

Arguably, the most famous match races of the current century could probably…

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Kingston Loch or Tulloch Town

Originally posted on A Turf Fascination:

Hello everyone.

What horse was best Tommy Smith ever trained? Tulloch right? Or was it Kingston Town? Even Redcraze might have a chance and lets not forget Gunsynd. For the sake of time management lets just assume it is between Kingston Town and Tulloch. It breaks my heart to say, but they are probably just a little bit better than Redcraze. So, who was the best? Tulloch surely. Or was he? Yes. Are we sure? Ummmmmmmm. Lets have a quick compare just to be certain.

As two-year-olds

Well this one is not even close. Tulloch had 13 starts as a two year old for seven wins and 6 seconds. He never finished any worst than second as a two-year-old. In 1957 the Sires’ was the best  two-year-old race in every state. Tulloch won the Sires’ in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. In the Sydney Sires’ Tulloch beat the best two-year-old of…

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Hello everyone

It has been a hectic week here at A Turf Fascination, so unfortunately there is no time for a dose of wisdom today. Although, please just remember despite the fact that Dane Swan will be out for three – four weeks, the Pies have not been ruined by injury, nor have they had a bad draw. The pies supports just can’t quite get their heads around mediocrity at the minute. They think they have had a hard draw (second easiest in the AFL) and the most injuries (nothing compared to the other clubs). So basically, stuff the pies. Go Hawks!


Best of the day – Liberation (Rosehill race 1 number 7). A Gai colt that is flying. He won a trial recently by five lengths and should take some beating.

Second best – Cradle Me (Rosehill race 2 number 3). Looks set to bounce back after being very unlucky last start. In great form.

Should just win – Cluster (race 2 number 3). Even money is a spoil. Should be $1.20.

Up in weight… no worries! – Scream Machine (race 6 number 2). Will take some beating in the Epsom if they play their cards right. Based on that, it should win this with 58.5kg.

Getting better – Yeager (Eagle Farm race 3 number 3). Two starts for two unlucky placings. Eagle Farm suits

Huge odds but looks a great chance – Pulsar (Eagle Farm race 8 number 17). 

Will be ahead with 400m to run and can hold on – Doc Hennessy (Morphettville race 4 number 8). Ran second recently beaten 0.4 lengths by a smart one over around this trip. Third was 10 lengths back. A repeat of that will see him very hard to beat here.

Trainer in form – Seven Falls (Flemington race 4 number 7). Here are the results from Ciaron Maher’s last ten starters…

CaptureSeven winners, two places and a 5th from his last ten starters. This horse is called Seven Falls and he is really really good.

Back this one as well – This is the Show (Flemington race 4 number 9). A talented horse that will win one day.

Up to her right trip – Doubtfilly (Flemington race 6 number 6). Have a look at the 2012 Golden Slipper. Have a look at the horse that runs 4th behind three Group One winning superstars…

Doubtfilly is a great horse, she just needs luck. This is her right trip and she looks exceptional value at $11.

The fastest horse in Australia, but unfortunately not the toughest (will be ahead with 100m to run) – Fab Fevola (Flemington race 7 number 8). Will lead and look the winner but don’t be surprised if he just gets a little tired in the last 100m.

In our little hideaway beneath the waves – Ringo (Flemington race 8 number 1). Backing up and looks a progressive type.

Good luck and stay tuned.


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Eye Liner vs Reisling


Here is a little something to read while A Turf Fascination does the form for the weekend. Sorry about the delay. Tips and Wisdom coming tonight!

Originally posted on A Turf Fascination:

Hello everyone

Here is another letter from a fan who loves the history of racing. Keep them coming! This is why Eye Liner and Reisling have races named after them…

Dear A Turf Fascination

I was taken down memory lane today while surveying the form for Ipswich, in particular the Eye Liner Stks. I was there, at Royal Randwick on April 24, 1965 – alongside over 60,000 others – to witness the race of the year, the Champagne Stakes, then 6 furlongs.
The reason? The champion 2-y-o of the Autumn, the sensational filly Reisling, winner of the Slipper (her 8th consecutive win, in record time, at evens fav), up against the Mighty Midget Eye Liner (also winner of her previous 8, in Brisbane). I doubt that any two year clash (since Todman and Tulloch) had ever aroused such excitement.
Eye Liner, albeit against ordinary opposition, had carried big-to-huge weights in her previous 4 victories – 9.1 (57.5)…

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