For one horse to win the same race three years in a row, well it is simply a stunning effort. It is an especially stunning effort when it happened in the ’1920s, a decade that was full of champions and is widely considered the best decade of ever of Australian racing. Black Caviar won the Lightning three years in a row, but she won it in an era where there was no possible chance of her losing due to the opposition. The best were still racing in the Lightning but they could not possible beat Black Caviar; this is both praise for Black Caviar and a little kick at the quality of Australian wfa horse over the last few years. Makybe Diva won the Melbourne Cup three times in a row and despite being thrown in at the weights, it is still a remarkable effort and one that we will probably never see repeated.
However in the 1920s, the best horses didn’t just sprint or just stay, all the best horses would be entered in all the good race. To win a good race in the 1920s was a stunning effort due to the depth of the fields and to win the same race three years running was unthinkable. But Limerick, the black kiwi gelding managed to win the Chelmsford Stakes in three consecutive years in the mid 1920s. It can;t be stressed enough hoe hard it was to win a major race in the ’20s; the races were full of stars with every kind of formline you could imagine. Some were well bred, some were from farm stallions. There were sprinters who were fit and stayers who were first up. There was horses coming back in distance and horses moving up in distance. It would have been a nightmare to be a punter but very nice to have been a bookie.
On 11 September 1926 Limerick won his first Chelmsford Stakes. He was third up and in the race was the immortal Windbag http://aturffascination.com/2013/04/09/a-tough-windbag/ . Limerick was 5-1 while Windbag was the 6-4 on favourite.
Beating Windbag was one hell of an effort.
The next year on September 10 1927, apart from one unplaced run in the Melbourne Cup, Limerick had not missed a place and he started the 6-4 favourite in his Chelmsford title defence…
In this win Limerick, as the article details, won like a champion. He appears to have won with as much ease as Black Caviar and Atlantic Jewel have shown in recent years.
Then on 8 September 1928 Limerick did the unthinkable and won the Chelmsford Stakes for a third time. This win was the 11th on end for Limerick in a streak of 13. On this spring day in Sydney the kiwi champ started at 4-1 0n meaning you would have to bet $4 to get back $5.
In his three, four and five year old seasons, Limerick ran a total of 40 times for 25 wins and 13 placings. Overall he ran 59 times for 29 wins. In his prime he was only unplaced twice in 40 starts, He was a champion and we need a few more like him nowadays.
Good luck and stay tuned.