About

We Australians love our horseracing and when it comes to lauding our champion gallopers, past and present, we certainly don’t hold back.

When Crisp was recently inducted into the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame, I thought I’d do a Google search to familiarise myself with his outstanding achievements both here in Australia as well as overseas. Apart from his legendary second placing behind Red Rum in the 1973 English Grand National Steeplechase, I found little else on the rest of Crisp’s career.

Unlike past champions of flat racing, jumps champions of yesteryear appear to be forgotten, and as years turn into decades, so too their memories become more distant. In my opinion, there are five jumps horses in Australia that can arguably be termed ‘Champions’ – Crisp, Redditch, Mosstrooper, Roisel and Redleap. These hugely popular horses of their day carried massive weights over towering obstacles, winning by enormous margins.

They all survived the jumps bar one, Redditch.

This blog has been set-up to remember and acknowledge the deeds of these five champions. I have spent many hundreds of hours researching and piecing together the careers of these great horses. I have listed the details of every one of their career starts over the hurdles and steeple fences with newspaper commentaries of the races, where possible. I have credited the sources of the commentaries that I’ve used. I’ve also included my own writings on events that occurred throughout their jumping careers.

This is my own small way of ensuring that these largely forgotten heroes get their identity back, and that they can be remembered and acknowledged for what they were – Champions.

The great jumpers, Winterset, Pedro's Pride, Sussex & Daimio have also been added to this blog.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Pedro's Pride



                               


                                           Pedro’s Pride

                                    1950 b m Don Pedro – Gortland mare
                                    Owner: Mrs I. Nervin
                                    Colours: Maroon, grey stripes
                                    Lessee: Mr. A. Lumsden
                                    Colours: Blue, yellow V, armbands and cap                                                                      Trainer E. Miller       Prize money: £14,582       



Pedro's Pride - Brian Smith
                                


                      Career Highlights


WON 26/05/1956 Caulfield: F.E. Shillabeer Steeple-2 miles
WON 9/06/1956 Caulfield: M.R.C. Steeplechase-2 miles 3f
WON 30/06/1956 Moonee Valley: Commonwealth Steeple-2 miles 3 ½f
WON 21/07/1956 Caulfield: Redleap Steeplechase-2 miles 3f
WON 11/05/1957 Caulfield: Gippsland Steeplechase-2 miles
WON 25/05/1957 Caulfield: F.E. Shillabeer Steeple-2 miles
WON 1/06/1957 Caulfield: M.R.C. Steeplechase-2 miles 3f
WON 13/07/1957 Flemington: Grand National Steeplechase-3 miles 1f
WON 3/08/1957 Caulfield: Godfrey Watson Steeplechase-2 miles 3f
WON 10/08/1957 Caulfield: Australian Steeplechase-3 ½ miles
WON 21/06/1958 Caulfield: Roisel Steeple-2 miles
WON 26/07/1958 Moonee Valley: A.V. Hiskens Steeple-2miles 3 ½f

2nd 11/08/1956 Caulfield: Australian Steeplechase-3 ½ miles

3rd 23/06/1956 Caulfield: Roisel Steeplechase-2 miles
3rd 12/07/1958 Flemington: Grand National steeplechase-3 miles 1f



Pedro’s Pride is arguably the greatest steeplechase mare to ever race in Australia.
Like the great jumper, Mosstrooper, Pedro’s Pride was a complete dud on the flat, and like Mosstrooper, she went straight from the flat to the steeple fences, bypassing the smaller hurdle obstacles.
The form she showed in her early jumping career was dismal, but her trainer Ted Miller never lost faith in her, and at start number eight, his faith was vindicated.
Pedro’s Pride was owned by Werribee hotelier Mrs. Isabel Nervin.
Mrs Nervin raced Pedro’s Pride during the 1954/55 racing season, and in that time, Pedro’s Pride had 19 starts, with her best result being a second placing in a Seymour maiden.

At the start of 1956, Isabel Nervin leased Pedro’s Pride to Mr. A. Lumsden for three years and the turnaround in the mares form was almost instantaneous.
After a fifth at Moonee Valley, Pedro’s Pride had three starts at Caulfield for two wins and a third, these successes were followed by two more wins, one in the Commonwealth Steeple at Moonee Valley and the other in the Redleap Steeple at Caulfield.
Pedro’s Pride rounded-off her first year for Mr. A. Lumsden with a fourth in the Godfrey Watson Steeple at Caulfield followed by a second placing behind The Settler in the Australian Steeplechase, also at Caulfield.

It would be the following year, 1957, when the Australian racing public would acknowledge the emergence of a new jumps champion in Pedro’s Pride.
The great mare won a hat-trick of major steeplechases.
First, a ten length win in the Grand National Steeple at Flemington.
The following start it was a twenty length win carrying 12.9 in the Godfrey Watson Steeplechase at Caulfield, and a week later, an eight length win under 12.6 in the Australian Steeplechase at Caulfield where she set a weight carrying record for a mare. In all she had seven starts that year and won six of them.
The following year saw Pedro’s Pride add to her already impressive record, though injury hampered her training both early and late in the year. In early January, Pedro’s Pride ricked her near-side hind fetlock, severely disrupting her preparation and putting in jeopardy her readiness to compete in the £2000 Glamis Steeple at Flemington on March 1.
Pedro’s Pride did make it to the barriers for the Glamis Steeple, though heavily bandaged. She finished seventh of the seventeen runners, aggravating her leg injury in the process.
Once again, Pedro’s Pride’s preparation was disrupted due to injury.
Her next jumps assignment was the Roisel Steeple at Caulfield on June 26, where, despite her injury setbacks and the steadier of 12.9, she returned to winning form.
Due to her suspect off-hind leg, Pedro’s Pride’s fitness throughout 1958 was always ‘under a cloud’ which meant that her program was constantly being disrupted and rearranged. As a lead-up to the Grand National, Pedro’s Pride had been set to start in the Kensington Steeple at Flemington on July 12, but Ted Miller would not risk his champion with the 13 stone that she’d been allotted and scratched her from the event.
Three weeks after she’d won the Roisel Steeple at Caulfield, punters sent Pedro’s Pride out a 7/4 favourite for the Grand National Steeplechase at Flemington. With 12.7 on her back, she finished third behind the 3/1 second favourite, Redfield.
Two weeks later, as an even money favourite, Pedro’s Pride was back in the winners’ circle with a record-breaking win, on a slow track, in the A.V. Hiskens Steeplechase at Moonee Valley.
Following her victory in the Hiskens, injury once again raised its ugly head depriving the great mare of back-to-back Australian Steeplechases’ and sending her to the paddock for the rest of the year.
Injury setbacks had restricted Pedro’s Pride’s 1958 campaign to just four steeple events of which she won two.

Despite a long recuperation, Pedro’s Pride never recovered from the injury that plagued her 1958 campaign. She had just two starts in 1959, both on the flat, for two dismal results, after which, she was retired.




                             Complete Jumps Record
25 Starts - 12 Wins 1 Second 2 Thirds


                       4YO

Ran Off 26/05/1955 Geelong: Frank Donaghy Steeple-2miles 1f 142yds
11 ran – 9.5 (33/1) V. Douglas
1st Royal Pentzia 10.6 (8/1) L. Moore – 2nd Flagship 9.8 (7/1) W. Londregan
3rd Stenigot 9.12 (10/1) A. Simpson. 3 len x ½ nk Time 4:11




PULLED UP 1/06/1955 Ballarat: Dowling Steeple-2 miles
10 ran – 9.5 (25/1) S. Gardiner
1st Sun March 10.5 (7/2) C. Sanderson – 2nd Elephant Bill 9.5 (10/1) R. Lindsay
3rd Pharosglen 9.5 (20/1) C. Wilson. 10 len x 2 len Time 4:01




6th 22/06/1955 Geelong: Winter Steeplechase-2miles 1f 142yds
12 ran – 9.5 (33/1) S. Gardiner
1st Ashburton 9.10 (5/1) W. Carter – 2nd Bold Flare 9.2 (33/1) V. Douglas
3rd Orion’s Belt 9.3 (50/1) R. Bettess. 2 ½ len x 6 len Time 4:28 1/5



                             5YO

Lost Rider 27/08/1955 Moonee Valley: Broadmeadows Steeple-2 miles
17 ran – 9.4 (50/1) H. McCartin
1st Ashburton 9.10 (5/1) J. Vasil – 2nd Reproduction 9.9 (10/1) J. Walter
3rd Prosola 10.5 (8/1) F. Randall. 2 ½ len x 1 len Time 4:02 3/5



Pulled Up 1/09/1955 Ballarat: Dowling Steeple-2 miles
19 ran – 9.0 (15/1) E. Bancroft
1st Ruling Prince 9.0 (25/1) A. Wilson – 2nd Astra Lad 9.5 (15/1) R. Bettess
3rd Valise 9.5 (7/1) W. Londregan. 2 len x ½ len Time 4:39 ½




4th 28/09/1955 Ballarat: Dowling Steeple – 2 miles          
15 ran – 9.5 (25/1) J. Walter
1st Karliki 10.3 (3/1F) H. Toomer – 2nd Summer Flower 9.9 (7/1) T. Jones
3rd Raebralos 10.1 (4/1) D. Barclay. 8 len x 6 len Time 4:23 ¾



5th 19/05/1956 Moonee Valley: Melrose Steeple-2 miles        
8 ran – 9.5 (50/1) K. Smith
1st Van Perri 11.10 (3/1) B.R. Smith – 2nd Aussie Bear 9.6 (5/1) Riley
3rd Red Ochre 9.5 (11/4F) J. Vasil. 1 ½ len x 2 len Time 3:52 9/10



WON 26/05/1956 Caulfield: F.E. Shillabeer Steeple-2 miles
11 ran 9.5 (20/1) K. Smith
2nd Lime Beau 10.0 (15/1) J. Vasil – 3rd Moltema 10.1 (9/2) A. Simpson.
½ hd x 5 len Time 3:51 ¼



WON 9/06/1956 Caulfield: M.R.C. Steeplechase-2 miles 3f
13 ran – 9.7 (6/1) K. Smith
2nd McHale 9.0 (10/1) T. Jones – 3rd Marten 9.10 (5/2F) G. Dulieu.
3 len x 1 len Time 4:30 



3rd 23/06/1956 Caulfield: Roisel Steeplechase-2 miles
11 ran – 10.2 (2/1F) K. Smith
1st Moltema 10.1 (6/1) E. Anderson – 2nd Van Perri 11.11 (11/2) B.R Smith
4 len x ¾ len Time 3:44 ¼



WON 30/06/1956 Moonee Valley: Commonwealth Steeple-2 miles 3 ½f
10 ran – 10.2 (7/4F) L. Moore
2nd Van Perri 11.12 (3/1) B.R. Smith – 3rd Selsdon 9.9 (10/1) R. Dean.
10 len x 2 len Time 4:45 4/5 
Well fancied mare, Pedro's Pride gave a great exhibition to win the Commonwealth Steeple at Moonee Valley. Pedro's Pride took charge after they had travelled a mile and won easing up.
Teedum caused a sensation when he toppled over with a mile to go. Cyrette was the early leader but after a mile had been covered the big mare, Pedro's Pride, ran to the lead from Cyrette, Van Perri. Teedum (who was travelling well) and Selsdon. With one circuit to go Pedro's Pride was jumping well in front of Van Perri. Cyrette and Teedum, with Selsdon next. Teedum fell in the back straight and the issue lay between Pedro's Pride and Van Perri. Van Perri was jumping well but Pedro's Pride had too much pace on the flat and led into the straight with the jumping business over.
Pedro's Pride streaked away to win easily from Van Perri and Selsdon with the others a long way back. Perth Mirror – 30/06/1956.



WON 21/07/1956 Caulfield: Redleap Steeplechase-2 miles 3f
15 ran – 10.8 (5/4F) L. Moore
2nd Solight 9.9 (10/1) G. Dulieu – 3rd David City 9.7 (20/1) P. Riley.
½ hd x 3 len Time 4:27 ½ 
Pedro’s Pride may be the darling of her trainer's heart, but she is a pain in the neck to doubles backers.
She won the Redleap Steeple (abt. 2m 3f.) at Caulfield on Saturday - her fourth win from five starts - and clinched her position as hot favorite for the Australian Steeple.
However, there is no certainty she will run in the Caulfield marathon, run over "about" three and a half miles on August 11.
Trainer E. Miller said on Saturday he would adopt a "wait and see" policy as he did before the Grand National Steeple. Pedro's Pride was second favorite for the G.N. Steeple but was scratched three days before the race.
Pedro's Pride has been entered for the A.V. Hiskcns . Steeple (2m. 3if.) at Moonee Valley next Saturday and the Godfrey Watson Steeple at Caulfield the following week.
If Pedro's Pride wins either of those races she will be liable for penalty on her Australian Steeple weigh (10.5).
On Saturday, with 10.8 Pedro's Pride beat the Western district fencer Solight by half a head after the judge had called for a photo to separate the two jumpers.
Backers who took the short odds (7/4 to 5/4) about Pedro's Pride weren't happy when they saw the mare's rider, Les Moore, go for the whip with six furlongs to go.
Even after Moore applied the pressure, Pedro's Pride seemed to be finding it hard to muster the speed she had shown in previous races.
At the last fence she was standing the leaders, David City and Solight, up about eight lengths.She gradually whittled down Solight's lead and put her head in front right on the line.
Trainer Kevin Lafferty was pleased with Solight's run. Solight, a first-year fencer, was not lucky in early running, according to his rider, Garry Dulieu.
Solight will have his final trial for the Australian Steeple in the Godfrey Watson Steeple at Caulfield on Saturday week.
The Drum, having his first start since May, pleased his trainer, George McCormick.
The Argus – 23/07/1956



                           6YO

4th 4/08/1956 Caulfield: Godfrey Watson Steeple-2 miles 3f
14 ran – 11.0 (5/1) L. Moore
1st The Settler 10.7 (9/2) K. Smith – 2nd Moltema 10.6 (4/1EF) P. Riley
3rd Allaw 9.9 (7/1) P. Logan. 5 len x ½ nk Time 4:21 ¾




2nd 11/08/1956 Caulfield: Australian Steeplechase-3 ½ miles
9 ran – 10.5 (7/2) A. Simpson
1st The Settler 10.5 (9/4F) K. Smith – 3rd Kingsmore 11.9 (12/1) F. Randall.
20 len x 4 len Time 6:51 ½



WON 11/05/1957 Caulfield: Gippsland Steeplechase-2 miles
17 ran – 11.1 (5/1) L. Moore
2nd Gallant Knight 9.11 (11/2) P. Riley – 3rd Providore 10.2 (14/1) C. Sanderson.
8 len x 1 ½ len Time 3:41 ½ (course record)



WON 25/05/1957 Caulfield: F.E. Shillabeer Steeple-2 miles
15 ran – 11.8 (9/10F) L. Moore
2nd Recurrent 9.7 (10/1) G. Bilney – 3rd Providore 10.2 (8/1) C. Sanderson.
4 len x 10 len Time 3:43 3/10 
Despite Pedro’s Pride’s slashing win at Caulfield on Saturday the opinion is growing stronger that this crack jumper will not run in the Grand National Steplechase.
Starting an odds on favourite, Pedro’s Pride easily defeated Recurrent and Providore in the F.E. Shillabeer Steeple. The mare will be among the National entries which close tomorrow at the V.R.C. office at 3pm.
But there is a big doubt about her being a starter. Pedro’s Pride has had two wins from two starts over fences this time up and is the early favourite for the National Steeple.
In view of the mare’s great form it is regarded a forgone conclusion that she will be topweight for the National Steeple. It is interesting to compare the weights given Pedro’s Pride and The Settler in the M.R.C. steeple over two miles and three furlongs at Caulfield next Saturday.
The Settler won the Grand National Steeple and Australian Steeple double last winter.
Next Saturday Pedro’s Pride is topweight on 11.10 and The Settler has 11.4. The fences are much tougher at Flemington than at Caulfield, and with Pedro’s Pride expected to get well over the 11 stone mark in the National, trainer Ted Miller may follow the same program with the mare as he did last year.
That was to scratch Pedro’s Pride from the National Steeple and run her in the Australian steeple in which race she finished second to The Settler.
“I am not thinking about the National for the mare.” Miller said yesterday. “She will win as many Steeplechases as she can as they come along.”
It is very rare that the favourite in a jumping event starts odds on, but Pedro’s Pride vindicated the support for her on Saturday by going to the front six furlongs from home and winning by four lengths. The Age – 28/05/1957




WON 1/06/1957 Caulfield: M.R.C. Steeplechase-2 miles 3f
11 ran – 11.10 (evensF) L. Moore
2nd Allaw 9.6 (25/1) G. Bilney – 3rd Providore 9.11 (9/1) P. Riley.
3 len x 7 len Time 4:23 3/5 
Pedro’s Pride, hottest favourite for the Grand National Steeplechase for many years, is not a certain starter.
The mare won her third successive steeple when she scored in the M.R.C. Steeplechase at Caulfield today. Later, her trainer E. Miller, said “I will wait and see what weight she gets in the Grand National Steeple.”
Pedro’s Pride carried 11.10 to a comfortable victory at Caulfield this afternoon, and it seems certain that she will get at least 12 stone in the Grand National.
Pedro’s Pride has yet to race over the Flemington fences.
She was withdrawn from the Grand National Steeple last year and was reserved for the Australian Steeplechase, but in that race she was beaten 20 lengths by The Settler.
The Settler also won the Grand National Steeplechase.
Pedro’s Pride opened up at 5/4 on today, and started at even money. Providore made the running, with Pedro’s Pride loping along a length or so behind him for most of the journey.
But at the last fence Pedro’s Pride, with a brilliant jump, went clear of Providore.
In the run home she was doing it easily to beat Allaw by three lengths, with Providore seven lengths away, third. The Sydney Morning Herald – 2/06/1957




4th 6/07/1957 Flemington: Kensington Steeplechase-2 miles ½f
8 ran – 12.2 (10/9F) L. Moore
1st Lord Jeff 9.8 (9/2) E. Byrne – 2nd Akanriver 9.5 (50/1) R. Boswell
3rd David City 9.8 (16/1) R. Lindsay. 6 len x ½ len Time 3:58




WON 13/07/1957 Flemington: Grand National Steeplechase-3 miles 1f
9 ran – 11.12 (6/4F) L. Moore
2nd Blacksmith 9.3 (5/1) E. Byrne – 3rd Akanriver 9.1 (10/1) R. Boswell.
10 len x 12 len Time 6:06 ¾ 














Pedro’s Pride proved herself the greatest steeplechasing mare for 70 years when she led for the last two miles to win the Grand National Steeplechase at Flemington today.
Pedro’s Pride who carried 11.12 started favourite at 11/8.
She recovered after almost falling at the last fence when four lengths clear.
The last mare to carry a bigger weight than Pedro’s Pride and win the Grand National Steeplechase was Ruby, who was successful in 1887.
Pedro’s Pride is engaged in the Australian Steeplechase in four weeks’ time, but her owner, Mr. A. Lumsden said that whether she started would depend on the weight she received. It is certain that Pedro’s Pride will get well over 12 stone.
Les Moore, who rode Pedro’s Pride, announced after the race that he would temporarily retire from riding. Moore has not been in good health since he had a heavy fall from Royal Expert at Warrnambool last January. He suffered severe head injuries in that accident, and was in a critical condition for several days.
The Grand National Steeple was always in Pedro’s Pride’s keeping until the last of the 25 fences, when the mare almost fell. Moore said “The mare did not even rise at the fence, and I lost both my irons and reins. “Her nose touched the ground and she slewed around. “I was looking for a soft spot to fall but she picked herself up and from that point I didn’t have any worries at all.”
Pedro’s Pride was almost joined by Blacksmith and Akanriver as she floundered to her feet at the final fence. But in the run home she made light of her 11.12 on the heavy track, and was going away to beat Blacksmith by 10 lengths with Akanriver 12 lengths away third.
As the horses trotted back to the judge’s box after the race a few punters on the flat tried to stir up a demonstration because the mare had missed a place in the Kensington Steeplechase last Saturday.
But the few cries were quickly drowned out by the applause for Pedro’s Pride.
The Sydney Morning Herald – 14/07/1957




                                       7YO

WON 3/08/1957 Caulfield: Godfrey Watson Steeplechase-2 miles 3f
14 ran – 12.9 (5/2F) B.R. Smith
2nd Providore 10.8 (6/1) R. Lindsay -3rd Tudor Chief 10.0 (8/1) W. Londregan.
20 len x 3 len Time 4:24 2/5 
Pedro’s Pride proved herself probably the greatest steeplechasing mare in Victorian racing history this afternoon when she carried 12.9 to a 20 length win in the Godfrey Watson Steeple at Caulfield
Pedro’s Pride, last start winner of the Grand National Steeplechase at Flemington on July13, started at the remarkably good price of 5/2. Bookmakers were prepared to gamble against the mare, who had 12.9 and punters were reluctant to back her under that big weight.
But Pedro’s Pride proved them all wrong because she scored a smashing win and received a great ovation as she returned to scale.
Providore, a last start winner at Caulfield, put the acid test on Pedro’s Pride today when in receipt of 29lb, he went with her, stride for stride, from the nine-furlong post to the second last fence.
But when Brian Smith gave Pedro’s Pride a few kicks, the great mare left Providore in a few strides. The Sydney Morning Herald – 4/08/1957




WON 10/08/1957 Caulfield: Australian Steeplechase-3 ½ miles
10 ran – 12.6 (4/6F) B.R. Smith
2nd Pagranoma 9.0 (25/1) – 3rd Tudor Chief 9.11 (20/1) W. Londregan.
8 len x 15 len Time 6.56 4/5 
Making light of her 12.6, Pedro’s Pride made turf history at Caulfield last Saturday when she became the first mare to win the Grand National Steeple, Godfrey Watson Steeple and Australian Steeple in the same year.
She also set a weight-carrying record for a mare in the Australian Steeple and gave jockey B.R. Smith a riding record for the race. Smith has now won the Australian Steeple five times.
Before Saturday he had been successful on The Drum, Teedum, Bronze Laddie and Llandrillo.
Pedro’s Pride has won £11,382 in stake-money.  All except £7 of that amount has been won in jumping races in a little over a season. This superb mare is entered for the Sandhurst Jumpers’ Flat, over 13 furlongs, at Flemington next Saturday, but she will not start.
Her trainer, E. Miller, said last night Pedro’s Pride would be sent for a spell.
Pedro’s Pride is weighted at 9.3-only 3lb. above the minimum- for the Flemington race.
Taking her fences with great confidence on Saturday, Pedro’s Pride jumped to the front more than a mile and a half from home, and held command all the way to the judge, except for a few strides near the six furlongs post. At that stage, Tudor Chief went past her and led about three-quarters of a length coming to the fence at the top of the hill.
But the great mare took it in her stride, while Tudor Chief got into the obstacle. Pedro’s Pride landed in front and from then on the result was never in doubt.
Pagranoma battled on to run second with Tudor Chief third. The Age – 13/08/1957




7th 1/03/1958 Flemington: Glamis Steeplechase-2 ½ miles
17 ran – 12.7 (2/1F) B.R. Smith
1st Elandery 10.4 (4/1) W. Carter – 2nd Blacksmith 9.4 (33/1) E. Anderson
3rd Ingoda Belle 9.12 (12/1) J. Hall. 3 len x ½ len Time 4:41 ¼ 




WON 21/06/1958 Caulfield: Roisel Steeple-2 miles
17 ran – 12.9 (3/1EF) B.R. Smith
2nd Roadbourne 10.7 (7/1) A. Moon – 3rd Ball Nib 9.9 (9/1) G. Dulieu
3 ½ len x 1 len Time 3:42 ½ 
Pedro’s Pride, Australia’s greatest steeplechaser, received a Melbourne Cup reception after winning the Caulfield Roisel Steeple today. Pedro’s Pride, who had not raced over fences since March, won by three and a half lengths from Roadbourne, with a neck to Ball Nib.
B.R. Smith, Australia’s top cross-country jockey, rode Pedro’s Pride and he will probably ride her in the Grand National steeplechase.
“Pedro’s Pride is a mighty Mare.” Smith Said.
The Sydney Morning Hearld – 22/06/1958
  


3rd 12/07/1958 Flemington: Grand National steeplechase-3 miles 1f
12 ran – 12.7 (7/4F) B.R. Smith
1st Redfield 10.8 (3/1) R. Lindsay – 2nd Penang 10.1 (11/2) E. Byrne
6 len x ½ len Time 6.07



WON 26/07/1958 Moonee Valley: A.V. Hiskens Steeple-2miles 3 ½f
15 ran – 12.7 (evensF) E. Anderson
2nd Greek Legend 9.3 (100/1) L. Johnson - 3rd Prince Corrie 9.2 (20/1) P. Logan.
5 len x 7 len Time 4:41 1/5 (race record) 
Pedro’s Pride, Australia’s greatest steeplechasing mare, put up a great performance to win the A.V. Hiskens Steeplechase with 12.7 at Moonee Valley today.
She started at even money and scored by five lengths from the 100/1 chance Greek Legend, with Prince Corrie seven lengths away third.
The time for the two miles 3 ½ furlongs was 4:41 1/5 – a race record.
The course record for Moonee Valley is 4m 39 ¼s, but the previous best time in the Hiskens Steeple was by Don Sion who ran 4m 41 3/5s in 1954.
As the track today was slow, the time accentuated the merit of Pedro’s Pride performance.
When the mare returned to scale she was very proppy. Her trainer, E. Miller examined her leg anxiously and, as soon as she returned to her stall, a heavy bandage was placed on her off-foreleg. Later, as Pedro’s Pride was led around the walking ring, she was definitely favouring this leg.
A decision on whether she will start in the Australian Steeplechase is not likely to be made for a few days, but at the moment she can be regarded as doubtful.
Greek Legend, who was backed from 200/1 to 100/1, provided the thrills of the HIskens Steeple. The eleven year old gelding, the oldest horse in the race, careered away in the early stages to set up a useful lead. But Pedro’s Pride had closed the gap to 10 lengths at the last jump where Greek Legend almost ‘sold-out’.
When they landed, Greek Legend was only five lengths in front and starting to flounder.
On the home turn it was apparent that Pedro’s Pride was going to win and as soon as heads were turned for home and she ‘grabbed’ Greek Legend, applause broke out from all parts of the course.
Van Perri, the Moonee Valley specialist, who had won 13 races over the Valley fences, was never travelling well today, and finished tenth about 100 yards behind Pedro’s Pride.
The Sydney Morning Herald – 27/07/1958






              Complete Career Record
45 Starts – 12 Wins 2 Seconds 2 Thirds

                       4YO

 9th 18/08/1954 Geelong: Third Maiden H’Cap-6f
2nd 1/09/1954 Seymour: Highlands Maiden H’Cap (Div 1)-1 mile
7th 9/09/1954 Cranbourne: Second Maiden-6f
7th 5/01/1955 Yarra Glen: Maiden Plate (Div 2)-6f
4th 13/01/1955 Woodend: Maiden Plate (Div 1)-6f
4th 27/01/1955 Woodend: Maiden Plate (Div 2)-6f
4th 5/02/1955 Geelong Maiden Plate (Div 2)-7f
8th 8/03/1955 Kilmore: Maiden Plate-9f
6th 17/03/1955 Pakenham: Improvers H’Cap-12f
15th 9/04/1955 Flemington: Westall Trial Stakes-1 ½ miles
7th 12/04/1955 Moonee Valley: Merriang Trial-1mile 5f
14th 30/04/1955 Moonee Valley: Banyule Trial-1 mile 5f
Ran Off 26/05/1955 Geelong: Frank Donaghy Steeple-2miles 1f 142yds
PULLED UP 1/06/1955 Ballarat: Dowling Steeple-2 miles
6th 22/06/1955 Geelong: Winter Steeplechase-2miles 1f 142yds
7th 26/07/1955 Bacchus Marsh: Jumpers Flat H’Cap-10f

                                        5YO

Lost Rider 27/08/1955 Moonee Valley: Broadmeadows Steeple-2 miles
Pulled Up 1/09/1955 Ballarat: Dowling Steeple-2 miles
4th 28/09/1955 Ballarat: Dowling Steeple – 2 miles
5th 19/05/1956 Moonee Valley: Melrose Steeple-2 miles
WON 26/05/1956 Caulfield: F.E. Shillabeer Steeple-2 miles
WON 9/06/1956 Caulfield: M.R.C. Steeplechase-2 miles 3f
3rd 23/06/1956 Caulfield: Roisel Steeplechase-2 miles
WON 30/06/1956 Moonee Valley: Commonwealth Steeple-2 miles 3 ½f
WON 21/07/1956 Caulfield: Redleap Steeplechase-2 miles 3f

                                       6YO

4th 4/08/1956 Caulfield: Godfrey Watson Steeple-2 miles 3f
2nd 11/08/1956 Caulfield: Australian Steeplechase-3 ½ miles
12th 22/04/1957 Flemington: Winton Jumpers’ Flat-13f
15th 4/05/1957 Flemington: Koorlong H’Cap-10f
WON 11/05/1957 Caulfield: Gippsland Steeplechase-2 miles
WON 25/05/1957 Caulfield: F.E. Shillabeer Steeple-2 miles
WON 1/06/1957 Caulfield: M.R.C. Steeplechase-2 miles 3f
4th 6/07/1957 Flemington: Kensington Steeplechase-2 miles ½f
WON 13/07/1957 Flemington: Grand National Steeplechase-3 miles 1f

                                        7YO

WON 3/08/1957 Caulfield: Godfrey Watson Steeplechase-2 miles 3f
WON 10/08/1957 Caulfield: Australian Steeplechase-3 ½ miles
6th 11/02/1958 Kyneton: Jumpers’ Flat-10f
13th 22/02/1958 Caulfield: Woodcliff H’Cap-1 ½ miles
7th 1/03/1958 Flemington: Glamis Steeplechase-2 ½ miles
14th 7/06/1958 Moonee Valley: Goulburn H’Cap-1 mile 5f
WON 21/06/1958 Caulfield: Roisel Steeple-2 miles
3rd 12/07/1958 Flemington: Grand National steeplechase-3 miles 1f
WON 26/07/1958 Moonee Valley: A.V. Hiskens Steeple-2miles 3 ½f

                                         8YO

15th 9/05/1959 Moonee Valley: Heroic H’Cap-13f
11th 19/05/1959 Geelong: 1st Bailey Improvers’ Plate-11f  




There’s no doubt that the list of horse owners with hard-luck stories would be long indeed, but the story of Mrs. Isabel Nervin, owner of Pedro’s Pride would be up near the top of the list, for sure. For the thirteen months that Pedro’s Pride carried her colours, all she received in return was £7 prize money for a second placing in a Seymour maiden.
Disheartened and disappointed, she leased Pedro’s Pride to Mr. A. Lumsden for three years. In that time, the mare had 19 steeple starts for 12 wins, including the ‘Big 3’ of Australian jumps racing – the Grand National Steeplechase at Flemington, the Australian Steeple at Caulfield and the A.V. Hiskens Steeple at Moonee Valley – earning Mr. Lumsden £14,575 in prizemoney and stamping herself as the greatest Australian mare ever to face a steeple.
When Mr. Lumsden’s lease expired, Mrs. Nervin took back Pedro’s Pride, but unfortunately for her, Pedro’s Pride’s record-breaking 3 year reign was at an end, and, after just two disappointing starts on the flat for Mrs. Nervin, Pedro’s Pride was retired due to injury.

What makes things even more puzzling, is that throughout her career, under the ownership of both Mrs. Nervin and Mr. Lumsden, Pedro’s Pride remained with the same trainer, Ted Miller.




Pedro's Pride


















                          










1 comment:

  1. the greatest jumper of all time.done a lot to promote australian racing. always remembered as was her jockeys l.moore and b.r.smith. amen with a tear in my eye

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