Gammalite

Last updated
Gammalite
Adios (Standardbred).jpg
Adios (USA), the grandsire of Gammalite.
Breed Standardbred
DisciplinePacing
SireThor Hanover (USA)
Grandsire Adios
DamHigh Valley
Maternal grandsireIntangible (USA)
Sex Stallion
Foaled1976
CountryAustralia
ColorChestnut
BreederLeo and Maureen O'Connor
OwnerLeo and Maureen O'Connor
TrainerLeo O'Connor
Record
179 starts, 94 wins
Earnings
$1,386,480
Major wins
Group one wins:
1979 Vic Tatlow Memorial
1980 SA Derby
1981 Qld Pacing Championship
1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 SA Cup
1982 A G Hunter Cup
1982 NZ Auckland Trotting Cup
1983 WA Pacing Cup
1983, 1984 Inter Dominion Pacing Championship
1983 NSW Harold Park Cup
1983 Vic Cranbourne Cup
1984 WA Fremantle Cup
Awards
1982, 1983 & 1984 Australasian Pacers Grand Circuit Champion
1984 Stake Earner of the Year (Pacers) (Aust.)
1982 & 1984 Australian 4YO+ Pacer of the Year
Honors
1982, 1984 Australian Harness Horse of the Year
1st Australian Standardbred to win $1m.
Gammalite Cup at Terang racecourse
Last updated on: 20 August 2011.

Gammalite (1976 – 21 December 2006) was an Australian bred Standardbred racehorse who was the first Standardbred to win A$1 million in Australia. [1] He was regarded as one of Australia's most successful pacers with 16 Group one wins. [2] He won the Inter Dominion Championship twice and was inducted into the Inter Dominion Hall of Fame. [3]

Contents

He was bred, owned and trained by Leo and Maureen O'Connor of Terang. Gammalite was foaled in 1976 and was sired by Thor Hanover (USA) and his dam was High Valley by Intangible (USA). High Valley produced 13 foals, the best of which were Alphalite, (winner of twenty three races, including the Victoria Derby), Amative (13 races), Betalite (15 races), The Rogue (22 races), and Omega Valley (12 races).

Racing record

Gammalite's trainer was Leo O'Connor and his regular driver was Bruce Clarke, who drove him to 65 wins.

Two-year-old season

Gammalite was unplaced in two of his first three two-year-old race starts, before recording ten successive wins including the Victoria Breeders Plate and the Edgar Tatlow Memorial Stakes both at Moonee Valley. He also placed in the Youthful and Sapling Stakes at Moonee Valley. He finished his two-year-old season with eighteen starts for 11 wins and 5 placings for earnings of $41,003 – second only in the national standings for two-year-olds to San Simeon. [2]

Three-year-old season

At three Gammalite travelled to Western Australia, NSW, Queensland and South Australia trying to win a Derby. He did win the Group one (G1) South Australian Derby, was 2nd to San Simeon in the West Australian Derby and Quamby's Pride in the Queensland Derby and placed 3rd in the Australian and Victorian Derbies. During the season he had 20 race starts for 12 wins and earnings of $49,240, being only unplaced twice in 38 starts. [4]

Four-year-old season

In the 1980–81 season Gammalite had 28 starts for 16 wins including the $60,000 Craven Filter Championship in Brisbane which was also the last race start for Paleface Adios, [5] and the $40,000 New South Wales Spring Cup for a season's total of $216,765. [4] He now had accumulated 48 successive race wins or placings before finishing fourth at Harold Park and had taken his lifetime earnings to $307,008. [2]

Five-year-old season

Gammalite had two wins and three seconds in the 1981/82 season before he was taken across the Tasman Sea for racing at the New Zealand Cup meetings. He finished fifth in the New Zealand Trotting Cup, fourth in the New Zealand Free For All and second in the Matson FFA. He also recorded a mile in a time trial of 1:56.1, the third fastest by an Australian pacer. Back in Australia Gammalite won the first of his four G1 South Australian Cups at Globe Derby Park, in Adelaide, and the Lady Brooks Cup at Moonee Valley. He flew to Wellington, changed planes and proceeded to Auckland, arriving there at 2am the day of the Auckland Trotting Cup. In the cup five-year-old Gammalite fought on courageously to defeat Bonnie's Chance by a head in 3:24.6, a national record for a stallion for mobile start over 2,700 metres, but not equalling Delightful Lady's 3:22.9 of the previous year. [4] Gammalite won the $100,000 1982 A G Hunter Cup over 2,870 metres [6] and the FFA Marathon over 3,300 metres, both contested at Moonee Valley. In Queensland Gammalite had four starts for one win and three placings including a third in the Queensland Championship. Gammalite had 28 race starts for fifteen wins and ten placings with earnings of $260,900 for the season.

Six-year-old season

At six years old during the 1982/83 season Gammalite had eight starts at Moonee Valley, Bankstown and Harold Park for one win and three placings. When taken to Perth, his form improved for wins in two FFA's, the Fremantle Cup, plus two heats and the Final of the $136,000 WA Cup at Gloucester Park. Returning eastwards to Harold Park he won the Harold Park Cup and SA Cup in Adelaide.

After Gammalite's win in the G1 Cranbourne Cup on 28 February 1983 he was flown to Auckland for his first attempt at the Inter Dominion Pacing Championship. Popular Alm, who had won ten of his eleven clashes with Gammalite, was an Inter Dominion Grand Final contestant, too. In the running of the race Popular Alm drifted off course on the home turn allowing Gammalite to come through and defeat him by two and a quarter lengths to win the race.

Gammalite finished the season with 13 wins and 12 placings for earnings of $405,340.

Six-year-old season

In 1983/84, the seven-year-old Gammalite had wins at Bankstown, Fairfield, Bulli and Harold Park early in the season including the Golden Mile and the Bankstown Club Cup. In his Golden Mile win he became the first Australian Standardbred to win more than a million dollars. [7] Heading for Perth again Gammalite missed out on the WA Cup but won the G1 $60,000 1984 Fremantle Cup on 27 January 1984 before returning to Adelaide for the 1984 Inter Dominion Championship.

Gammalite was defeated on the first night by Bundanoon, but won his next two heats and then won the Grand Final from Thor Lobell and Bundanoon. He became the fourth pacer to win the Inter Dominion Championship twice, and thus qualify for the Inter Dominion Hall of Fame. He then won his third South Australian Cup, the Lady Brooks Cup at Moonee Valley, and the Lord Mayors Cup at Harold Park. [2]

Seven-year-old season

Gammalite had a further 24 race starts during the 1984/85 season which included wins at Bankstown, Tweed Heads, and the Gold Coast. He then had his fourth win in the G1 $100,000 SA Cup, followed by a win in the Ballarat Pacing Cup. In November 1984 Gammalite was taken to New Zealand but his three starts there only resulted in a 7th, 6th and 11th.

Attempting to win his third Inter Dominion Championship at Moonee Valley in 1985 Gammalite raced for two thirds and a win in the Qualifying Divisions. In the Grand Final he finished fourth to Preux Chevalier. [2]

Summary

Gammalite won most of the mainland Grand Circuit and Group races except the Miracle Mile. He had 179 starts for 94 wins and 53 seconds, with gross earnings of $1,386,480. [8] He only defeated Popular Alm twice in their 17 meetings. His tally of 94 wins puts him third on the all-time Australasian winners list behind Cane Smoke (120 wins) and Paleface Adios (108). [9]

In 1982 and 1984 he won the Australian Harness Horse of the Year award. He was the 1982, 1983, 1984 Australasian Pacers Grand Circuit Champion and twice won the Inter Dominion Pacing Championships Grand Final. [2]

Stud record

Gammalite stood his first stud season at the Alabar Stud in 1985 at a fee of $2,000. He had sired one foal in 1979 as a two-year-old, but his first commercial crop arrived in 1986. Gammalite sired 107 individual winners, including six in 2:00. His best progeny being:

By the end of 2006, his brood mares were the dams of some 16 horses rating under 2:0.

Gammalite died on 21 December 2006 at Terang, at age 30, and he is buried at the entrance to Terang's Dalvui raceway. [9] [11] In 2009 he was elected to the Victorian Harness Racing Media Association Hall of Fame in its first year of operation along with his great rival Popular Alm. [12]

See also

Related Research Articles

Harness racing

Harness racing is a form of horse racing in which the horses race at a specific gait. They usually pull a two-wheeled cart called a sulky, or spider, occupied by a driver. In Europe, and less frequently in Australia and New Zealand, races with jockeys riding directly on saddled trotters are also conducted.

Cardigan Bay (horse) New Zealand Standardbred racehorse

Cardigan Bay was a New Zealand harness racing pacer foaled 1 September 1956. Affectionately known as "Cardy", he was the first Standardbred to win US$1 million in prize money in North America. He was the ninth horse worldwide to win one million dollars,. Cardigan Bay won races in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States.

Young Quinn, a New Zealand standardbred racehorse, was successful in period where his competition in the sport of trotting was particularly strong. Foaled in 1969, he was by Young Charles out of Loyal Trick by Hal Tryax (USA). Named after Brian "Snow" Quinn, a champion New Zealand sheep shearer, he was trained and driven by the great Charles Stewart Hunter (Charlie). He was nicknamed 'Garbage' as a result of his habit of eating anything in sight, as a young horse. It was later revealed by cardiograph tests that Young Quinn's heart weighed 13 lb, only 1 lb less than that of the great racehorse Phar Lap.

Pure Steel is the only pacer to win the A G Hunter Cup, a race over 3,050 metres and the richest handicap race for pacers in the world, three times, in 1977, 1978, and 1980. He was the first Standardbred horse to win A$500,000 in Australia. Pure Steel also won the WA Benson & Hedges Cup four times. Affectionately known as Steelo, he raced from 1974 until 1983 and won just under $1 million, at a time when competition was strong, with the great horses Paleface Adios and Hondo Grattan as competitors.

Harness racing in Australia

Harness racing, also colloquially known as trotting or the trots, is a spectator sport in Australia, with significant amounts of money wagered annually with bookmakers and the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB). In Australia there are 90 harness racing tracks, which hold over 1,900 meetings annually. There are approximately 2,900 drivers and 4,000 trainers with about 5,000 Standardbred horses foaled and registered each year.

Popular Alm (1976-2000) was an Australian bred Standardbred pacer. He was one of the fastest pacers Australia has produced, running exceptional times over many distances. Popular Alm set a world record for a mile time trial at Moonee Valley on 13 May 1983, running 1:53.2. He raced 62 times over seven seasons for 49 wins, seven seconds and three thirds for stake earnings of $710,883. He was known as "Poppy".

Maoris Idol Australian Standardbred racehorse

Maori's Idol was an Australian Standardbred racehorse. He was the first Australian trotter to break two minutes with a time of 1:59.3 on 19 November 1977 at Moonee Valley. Maori's Idol became one of Australia's greatest trotters, with a record 24 successive race victories before placing third in the 1978 Melbourne Inter-Dominion Final. He is still the trotting record holder with 22 wins in a season. He was so superior to his rivals that he may have gone through his career unbeaten had he been placed to advantage by his connections.

Scotch Notch

Scotch Notch (1977-1990) is an Australian Standardbred mare, the current world record holder for the Trotters One Mile Time Trial set 3 September or 9 March 1985 at Moonee Valley, Victoria, Australia. She won the 1983 and 1985 Inter Dominion Trotting Championship. Scotch Notch was named "Australian Trotter of the Year" in 1983 1984 and 1985. She was inducted into the Inter Dominion Hall of Fame.

Blacks A Fake is a brown Standardbred gelding that won the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 Inter Dominion Championships, making him the only four-time winner of Australasia's premier harness race. He finished second, beaten by a long neck, in the 2009 Inter Dominion to Mr Feelgood (USA). His other achievements include wins in the Victoria Cup and Hunter Cup and three Australian Horse of the Year titles. He is Australasia's highest earning Standardbred, and was the world's highest earning pacer. He also was inducted into the Inter Dominion Hall of Fame.

Christian Cullen is a Standardbred stallion and was one of New Zealand's best pacers. Named after the New Zealand international rugby union player, Christian Cullen, he won 22 of his 31 starts, and $NZ1,249,150 in prize money. He is notable in that he won both the Auckland Pacing Cup and New Zealand Trotting Cup races, the richest harness races in New Zealand. A powerful and impressive stallion, he has been particularly successful at stud.

Flashing Red is a brown Australia bred Standardbred racehorse that was foaled in 1997. He is notable in that he won both the Auckland Pacing Cup and two New Zealand Trotting Cups. These races are the richest harness races in New Zealand. He was victorious in every harness racing state of Australia and New Zealand and earned over $2,000,000 during his racing career.

Our Sir Vancelot is a New Zealand standardbred stallion. Known as Sir Vancelot in New Zealand, he won a record three straight Inter Dominion finals, 1997, 1998 and 1999. This is a record that was equalled in 2008 by Blacks A Fake. He was inducted into the Inter Dominion Hall of Fame.

The Auckland Pacing Cup which is sometimes referred to as the Auckland Trotting Cup or merely the Auckland Cup is a race held at Alexandra Park on New Year's Eve in Auckland, New Zealand for Standardbred horses. It is one of the two major harness races, along with the New Zealand Cup, held in New Zealand each year for the highest grade pacers. It is a Group 1 championship race and has been won by nearly every champion pacer in New Zealand.

Chokin New Zealand Standardbred racehorse

Chokin is a New Zealand Standardbred racehorse who was notable in winning the New Zealand Trotting Cup, which is New Zealand's most prestigious horse race. Chokin is also one of the few horses to have won Harold Park Paceway's prestigious Miracle Mile Pace twice.

Inter Dominion

The Inter Dominion is a harness racing competition that has been contested since 1936 in Australia and New Zealand.

Preux Chevalier was a pacer foaled in New Zealand but notable for his racing successes in Australia in 1984 and 1985 including wins in the Inter Dominion Pacing Championship, Miracle Mile Pace and A G Hunter Cup.

Village Kid was an Australian champion standardbred race horse bred in New Zealand. He was twice awarded the title of Australian Harness Horse of the Year and was known as "Willie".

Smoken Up

Smoken Up is an Australian champion Standardbred race horse bred in New Zealand. He was the first pacer outside North America to record a mile in under 1:50. He was known as Trigger.

Westburn Grant (1985-2020) was an Australian champion Standardbred race horse notable for being a three time Australian Harness Horse of the Year.

Courage Under Fire was a New Zealand-bred champion Standardbred race horse notable for being undefeated in his first 24 race starts. A diminutive horse, he was known as Mighty Mouse.

References

  1. Powerful Cranbourne Cup winning pacer Gammalite an all-time great, Herald-Sun 27 November 2013, Retrieved 27 January 2016
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Inter Dominion Hall of Fame Archived 2011-08-22 at the Wayback Machine , Retrieved 20 January 2010
  3. "Gammalite". Inter Dominion Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  4. 1 2 3 A Salute To Trotting, Ron Bisman (1983) ISBN   0 908570 61 9 reproduced on Harnesslink.com
  5. "TROTTING All-the-way win to Gammalite". The Canberra Times . 22 June 1981. p. 15. Retrieved 17 February 2016 via National Library of Australia.
  6. Gammalite the great, The Age, 22 February 1982, Retrieved 29 January 2016
  7. "Gammalite tops $1m". The Canberra Times . 30 October 1983. p. 35. Retrieved 17 February 2016 via National Library of Australia.
  8. Classic Families: Gammalite Retrieved 2010-5-18
  9. 1 2 Gammalite Passes On, Harness Racing Australia
  10. "Gammalite – Offspring". Pepper Tree Farm. Syntax Software Pty Ltd. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  11. "Gammalite". Champion Horses. Harness Racing Australia Inc. Archived from the original on 22 August 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  12. VHRMA Hall Of Fame, http://www.hrv.org.au, Retrieved 27 January 2016