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Aurie's Star
Profile of a Champion

By Stardrift From Aurie Anton

Aurie’s Star was a champion sprinter of the 1940s and indeed held the record for the Flemington ‘straight six’ for over 50 years. 

Born and bred in South Australia he was sired by the imported stallion Stardrift (by Sunstar) from the St Anton mare Aurie Anton.  Stardrift (1918) was purchased in England for 2900 guineas and was sent to Australia for the spring Cup races arriving in late 1922.  However before he had been able to even start in a race he suffered a leg injury in June 1923 and was soon sold to RM Hawker to stand at Morphettville Stud in SA.  In England Stardrift had run second at his only start as a 2yo over 6 furlongs in the Land O’Burns Nursery beaten 1 ½ lengths.  As a 3yo he won two races at Birmingham a Hcp over 1 mile and a 3yo over 1 /4 miles.   From 9 starts as a 4yo he was second in the Spring Hcp over 1 ¼  mile beaten only a head before a third in the Brinkley Mile before winning a Flying Hcp over 1 mile at York and then winning the Manchester Mark Price Hcp over 1 ½ miles by 3 lengths.  His bloodlines were impressive as he was a ½ brother to Fair Play the sire of Man O’War hailed at that time the best horse America had ever seen.  Stardrift stood at Morphettville stud again in 1924 and remained there when he was leased to FA Tennant who was RM Hawker’s brother in law in 1925.  He was described as a handsome bay horse and was very successful on the show ring circuit winning Champion Thoroughbred Stallion at the Adelaide Show in 1925 and 1927.  FA Tennant  was busy setting up his own stud property and Stardrift became his foundation stallion moving to the stud which was located where Holden now is in Elizabeth (there was a horse stall left then well into the 70s to show the history of the site but it has since been removed).  Grange Ormsby Stud was finally ready for the stud season and Stardrift moved there in August 1928.  He remained there until his death on December 1 1936 and in addition to Aurie’s Star sired the stakeswinners Taurus, Star Sir, Madstar and Jucata amongst his winners.

 Aurie Anton (St Anton – Aurie) was foaled in 1920 and was owned by E Murphy and despite some of the best bloodlines available was not included in the studbook as her dam was omitted at the time.  This didn’t stop her close relations Anton Rain and the recordbreaking Waranton.  Aurie Anton didn’t race until she was 5 years old with five unplaced runs before a 2nd in a Trial Stakes at Gawler in Jan 1926 before winning a Trial Stakes over 1 mile at Victoria Park in Feb 1926 after one more unplaced run she was spelled.  The brown mare won first up at Balaklava in May 1926 before an unplaced effort and then another win at Gawler over 6 furlongs.  She continued to alternate between being unplaced and winning or placing with another win and placing before finishing the campaign with two runs on August 7th being unplaced before winning over 6 furlongs at Gawler.  Off the scene until the following May Aurie Anton was unplaced in three runs and after a let up finally found form when 3rd at Gawler over 6 furlongs in August 1927.  Another unplaced effort followed before she ran third in the Mayor’s Mile at Victoria Park and then won a Welter over 1 mile at Cheltenham.  Unplaced at Morphettville she then had 3 runs in October for two wins over 6 furlongs at Morphettville and Gawler with another unplaced run splitting the victories.  Given a let up she returned to racing with a second at Victoria Park and was then unplaced in the Christmas Hcp then had another let up prior to two more unplaced efforts before going for a spell.  Resuming in April she was unplaced before running second over 7 ½ furlongs at Gawler unplaced in the John Lewis Stakes at Cheltenham Aurie Anton then ran second in SA’s premier sprint the Goodwood Hcp before one more unplaced run and a spell.  Returning as an 8yo Aurie Anton had 6 unplaced runs before a 3rd and an unplaced run at Gawler on the same afternoon in October 1929.  She then won a welter at Victoria Park before a second in a Flying at Gawler followed by a let up and a win in a Flying Hcp over 6 furlongs at Gawler in Jan 30.  Unplaced at her next start she then won a Plate at Gawler over 6 furlongs then a Handicap at Victoria Park.  Two further unplaced efforts followed and then a win at Morphettville over 6 furlongs in May 1930.  Another second placing  at Gawler the two unplaced runs as Aurie Anton raced through the winter.  She won a Handicap at Cheltenham over 9 furlongs in July 1930 and was then second at Victoria Park over 7 furlongs in August.  Several unplaced runs followed before a third at Gawler and then the now 9yo mare was spelled.  She failed to find any form in the autumn having 8 unplaced runs and was injured at her final run at Morphettville where she was galloped on so badly that she required stitches in her front leg.  Aurie Anton didn’t return to the track and Aurie’s Star was her first foal born in 1932.  In the following seasons she produced a full sister to Aurie’s Star in 1934 and then her next foal was Aurie’s Gem by Amalfi was foaled in 1936.  She then missed to Pennant in 1937, missed to Shakuni in 1938 and again in 1939.  The 1934 unnamed full sister was ready to be broken in as a 2yo but by April 1937 was successfully operated on for a naval hernia but was expected to stay at the vet hospital for 2-3 weeks.  However barely a day or so prior to being send to her breeders property she became cast in a sand yard and was so badly injured she had to be put down.  Aurie’s Gem was a bay or brown filly and had 3 starts as a 2yo all unplaced before finding form as a 3yo where she was second first up in a Novice at Balaklava late in the season and then broke her maiden in a Novice at Murray Bridge at her 3rd start for the campaign in May 1940.  After a third in a Flying and 2 unplaced runs Aurie’s Gem was second in the Welland Stakes at Cheltenham in July before another unplaced run.  As a spring 4yo she was second in a Flying at Balaklava before winning a Trial Stakes later the same afternoon.  She was second at Kadina before a third in a Flying at Strathalbyn 4 days later then a three week break before another third in a Flying.  An unplaced run followed before she was 2nd in a Flying at Strathalbyn then 3rd in the Glanville Stakes at Cheltenham in November 1940.  In January Aurie’s Gem was 2nd in the Greenhill Hcp at Victoria Park after being run down in the last stride before two unplaced runs and then a third in a Trial Stakes at Oakbank.  From mid April to early May 1941 Aurie’s Gem had 4 starts for 2 unplaced efforts a second at Clare and a 2nd in a Trial Stakes at Gawler before being unplaced in her remaining 3 starts for the season.  Aurie’s Gem was then retired and produced the stallion Trustee (by Detector) in 1947 while her 1949 unnamed colt by Detector won a trial as a 4yo in August 1953.     

 Bred by E Murphy at Hamley Bridge  Aurie’s Star was leased by GW Badman to race over a period of 3 years along with a horse called Royal Fortune on the recommendation of his trainer JJ Doyle.  G Badman wasn’t keen on including Aurie’s Star but followed his trainers advice.  Trained by J Doyle at Gawler Aurie’s Star made his race debut at Morphettville over 6 furlongs on Jan 1 1936 where he was unplaced but did catch the eye of astute judges with his effort after being slow to jump.  10 days later Aurie’s Star lined up in a Novice at Murray Bridge over 5 furlongs and lived up to expectations leading from the start before being joined by Hillsea momentarily but Aurie’s Star soon put a gap of the field and held tha advantage all the way to the line defeating Hillsea with Silver Robe third.  At his third start in a Trial Stakes at Strathalbyn over 6 furlongs again Aurie’s Star put on a stunning display being first away and then was several lengths clear starting the uphill run and crossing the line won by 2 ½ lengths from Wee Linda.  A spell followed with Aurie’s Star resuming at Strathalbyn where he never gave anything else a chance charging to the lead from the start and when he strolled past the post he was 5 lengths ahead of Prince Lido.  There was soon talk of the promising sprinter heading across to Melbourne despite not having yet won in the city.  The rumours turned out to be correct and Aurie’s Star travelled on the train on 30 August 1936 to Melbourne and arrived the next day.

 Stabled at Caulfield the first target for Aurie’s Star was a Trial Hcp at Werribee on September 2nd over 5 furlongs.  After the first furlong Aurie’s Star took over the lead and raced away to win easily from Banquet and Valka.  The impressive win stunned onlookers with sights immediately turned to the better races in Melbourne and only 3 days later Aurie’s Star lined up in the Doona Trial at Caulfield over 1 mile.  He went straight to the front and soon had the field strung out behind him and kept going to win again in a dominating fashion by ¾ of a length from Steel Spear with Plectrum third.  While JJ Doyle was expected to return to Adelaide with stablemates within a week the horse as noted as being in the stables of W Homann at Caulfield.  His next start was in the Superior Hcp at Ascot over 6 furlongs and as usual Aurie’s Star showed great speed after missing the start slightly  the start to lead easily from Regular Bachelor then Heros.  By the half mile he was two lengths ahead of Bimilla.  Around the home turn Bimilla joined Aurie’s Star as Regular Bachelor started to run on with Hostile making a move.  Regular Bachelor hit the front but was soon run down by Hostile with Heros third and Aurie’s Star unplaced but noted as not far from the winner.  Three weeks later Aurie’s Star lined up in the Springbank Hcp over 6 furlongs at Moonee Valley and gave nothing else a hope jumping quickly tol take the lead and basically led a procession as L’Elite and Marlon Melton followed him throughout to fill the placings.  Three days later Aurie’s Star lined up in the Windsor Hcp at Caulfield over 6 furlongs and was expected to repeat his Moonee Valley effort but after being slowly away it took Aurie’s Star 2 furlongs to hit the front.  Unable to put a break on his rivals the South Australian was run down in the final stages by Ogwell who held on the late finish from Gay Pop with Press Gang third.  Aurie’s Star was soon booked on the train to return to Adelaide to go for a spell to prepare for the autumn.    

 Sent to Melbourne in the last week of January 1937 Aurie’s Star’s first run was in the Marine Hcp at Williamstown over 6 furlongs in early February.  Heritor led for the first two furlongs but Aurie’s Star soon swept to the lead put a gap to the others and raced away down to the line to defeat the fast finishing Press Gang by 3 lengths with San Miguel third.  The Oakleigh Plate was promoted as an interstate showdown with Aurie’s Star from SA, Regular Bachelor from Qld and Hadrian from NSW taking on the locals.  In the Oakleigh Plate Aurie’s Star flew the start as usual but became unbalanced for a few strides and was headed by Heritor but after the first furlong he was well clear of the opposition.  Aurie’s Star continued his sprint all the way to the line winning in an Australasian record time of 1.4 ½ defeating Beechwood by five lengths with W Elliott commenting that he was the fastest sprinter he had ridden by far.  Newspaper descriptions of the win had reporters astounded with the ease at which Aurie’s Star had walked away from the opposition and also went in to detail that although his stakesearnings were low for such a talented horse winning 8 of his 11 starts that connections had cleaned up during his short career on the punt as bookmakers risked the South Australian horse.  Amazingly the trend in underestimating South Australian horses travelling to Melbourne Carnival races still remains to this day.  The week after the Oakleigh Plate win it was announced that W Elliott would not be available to ride Aurie’s Star in the Newmarket Handicap as he had taken the autumn rides on Pamelus while the penalty for the win took his weight up to 8.5.  Within days Maurice McCarten was mentioned as the probable replacement if Pamelus lined up and a special gallop down the straight was organised for Aurie’s Star for the following week.  The smallest  field  since 1904 of 17 accepted for the Newmarket Handicap thought to be due to the dominance of Aurie’s Star and Pamelus in the lead up races.  For this trip Aurie’s Star was JJ Doyle’s sole focus and was trained on the track at Williamstown making it hard for onlookers to see how he is going in trackwork as the track is inaccessible early in the day without being on track. A stunning final workout at Williamstown prior to the Newmarket Handicap had the press abuzz about the now clear favourite for the race.   Aurie’s Star jumped straight to the front and headed to the rails to lead throughout.  Pamelus, Studio, Beechwood were amongst those coming down the outside rail.  Inside the final furlong Pamelus charged at the tiring leader but he had enough in reserve to win by a neck from Pamelus with Regular Bachelor 2/12 lengths away third.   Soon after the Newmarket win Mr Badman exercised the right of purchase and became the outright owner of Aurie’s Star as the horse was sent for a spell at Barragoola Stud at Findon in Adelaide.

  Aurie’s Star returned to start his pre training for the spring in late May and travelled to Melbourne in late June to prepare for his return in July.  First up Aurie’s Star lined up in the Derrimut Handicap over 6 furlongs at Moonee Valley with a weight of 9.7.  After missing the start Aurie’s Star was still in front after the first furlong but couldn’t put the usual gap on the field and inside the final half furlong The Trump stormed home to win from Phenomenon with Great Feast third and Aurie’s Star next.  For his next start in the Moondah Plate a week later W Elliott was replaced with the apprentice W Smart to take advantage of the weight allowance.  Aurie’s Star went to his usual lead but was followed throughout by Valiant Chief who as never further than two lengths behind him.  Inside the last furlong Valiant Chief joined Aurie’s Star who fought back strongly but Valiant Chief got the verdict by a half head from Aurie’s Star with two lengths to Regular Bachelor third.  At this stage of the spring Aurie’s Star was being considered for the Caulfield Cup so it appeared that his training may have been changed to slightly due his natural brilliance to help stamina for the spring target.  Aurie’s Star then went to the Underwood Stakes at Williamstown over 1 mile and 55 yards where  John Wilkes led early until  Studio took over but around the home turn Aurie’s Star hit the lead.  Well into the straight Aurie’s Star was in front but soon after Young Idea hit the front and came away to win from Damalis with John Wilkes third.  After the Underwood it was announced that the horse had failed to stay and would not attempt to go to the Caulfield Cup instead dropping back to sprint distances.  The next race for Aurie’s Star was the Quality Hcp at Moonee Valley over 6 furlongs where he was set for a rematch with Pamelus.  Before the start Aurie’s Star threw his jockey which caused a delay but as soon as they jumped he went straight to the front.  By the half mile he was several lengths clear of Night Gang who was three lengths ahead of Valiant Chief with the rest of the field well back.  He led Night Gang by two lengths on straightening with Pamelus starting to make ground from Sir Grey and Regular Bachelor.  With half a furlong to go (100m) Aurie’s Star was still clear but Pamelus had hit top speed and was charging home.  The post was too close though and Aurie’s Star prevailed by a neck with Regular Bachelor third but the finish had more drama as photos show that Pamelus tried to savage Aurie’s Star on the line.  Five days later Aurie’s Star lined up at Ascot for the Superior Hcp over 6 furlongs and was expected to dominate again but although he led easily in the final stages either the pouring rain or uphill run to the line resulted in the favourite stopping while Regular Bachelor raced past to win from Night Gang with Charles Fox third.  Aurie’s Star had also been beaten in the same race 12 months earlier.  The Windsor Hcp at Caulfield over 6 furlongs was his next target but with 9.4 his weight against a top field of sprinters his trainer felt he may be vulnerable over the last furlong.   Heroic Faith led early before Aurie’s Star took over followed by Beechwood and Pamelus with the rest well strung out behind them.  Into the straight Aurie’s Star was well clear of Beechwood but that galloper was starting to make ground while Pamelus was starting to make ground.  Inside the final furlong Beechwood got the better of Aurie’s Star but Pamelus had the momentum to hit the front to win with Young Idea grabbing third late just ahead of Aurie’s Star.  His final start for the preparation  was in the Railway Highweight at Flemington over 6 furlongs on Melbourne Cup day.  Carrying 11.2 in weight he wasn’t fast away although was soon with the leaders.  The weight told in the final stages with Parodier going on to win.  Aurie’s Star was sent back to Adelaide to go for a spell to prepare for the autumn.

 On his return in 1938 Aurie’s Star was sent to the Williamstown stable of R Sinclair who aimed him at the same three races he had won the previous autumn in the Marine Hcp then Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket.  Carrying top weight in the Marine Hcp at Williamstown Aurie’s Star showed his usual speed from the outset and around the home turn he was 3 lengths clear Ena who made a determined run but Aurie’s Star was too good winning by a neck from Ena with Stoic third.  In the Oakleigh Plate Aurie’s Star jumped well and was in second place turning for home and briefly hit the front until the swoopers started to run on.  Pamelus stormed home late to win from Amiable and Othello.  Jockey M McCarten still believed the gelding had run a good race only tiring over the final stages.    It was then to the Newmarket Hcp where Aurie’s Star was one of two former winners to line up with Regular Bachelor.   Aurie’s Star raced to the early lead on the inside division and Harold Badger on Ajax estimated that the South Australian was more than 3 lengths ahead of Ajax for most of the race only being run down in the closing stages.  Ajax went on to win from Ena and El Golea with Aurie’s Star in fourth place.  Over the next two weeks Aurie’s Star was 4th in the Leonard Stakes and 5th in the South Yarra Hcp behind Regular Bachelor in both races before a let up and return to Adelaide.  Aurie’s Star started a short priced favourite in the Goodwood Hcp and went to the front but although in control didn’t put the expected gap on the field.  Past the 600m he was expected to race away but didn’t show his usual sprint and in the run to the line it was Hegemonic and Glenator that fought the race out with Aurie’s Star two lengths away in third place.  Just before the Goodwood G Badman was invited to take Aurie’s Star to the Brisbane winter carnival which was duly accepted and he travelled to Queensland for two starts in the Newmarket at Doomben and then a week later ran in a Flying Hcp at the same course.  In the Newmarket Aurie’s Star who had been very impressive in trackwork went to the front and led to the final 200m where the big weight told and he was run down finishing unplaced.  A week later he lined up against Thurles Lad, Mohican and Hybol amongst the field in the Flying Hcp.  Aurie’s Star and Thurles Lad raced away in front with Mohican only ahead of one other runner more than 10 lengths in arrears of the frontrunners by the 800m.  In the straight Aurie’s Star raced clear but it was Mohican who was charging home through the field.  In the final stages Mohican hit the front to win by just over a length from Aurie’s Star with a further two lengths back to Hybol in third.  That was the end of his campaign with Aurie’s Star back on the float the Tuesday after the race for a spell.

 Aurie’s Star returned to racing in the spring as a 6yo with an unplaced effort at Moonee Valley before a third at Caulfield on Cup day after his rider lost grip on a the reins and he veered off the track to the centre of the course.  A week later he lined up in the Dundonald Hcp at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day where Maurice McCarten returned to ride.  After it was originally planned to send Aurie’s Star back to Adelaide his connections changed their mind for the race.  Coming to the turn Manrico was in front with Aurie’s Star saved for the last run at the leader.  In the straight Aurie’s Star pegged back Manrico to hit the lead right on the line with 3 lengths back to Early Bird in third place.  A return bout with Manrico followed on Melbourne Cup day at Flemington down the straight where it was a virtual match race after the first 200 metres.  In the final stages Manrico proved the stronger of the two pulling away to win with Pine Peak in third place.  The rivalry continued to Caulfield two weeks later where both lined up in the Rosstown Plate over 1200 metres.  Both jumped fast to share the lead in the early stages before Manrico drew ahead by two lengths approaching the turn.  In the straight Aurie’s Star put in his challenge and this time it was Manrico who couldn’t match his older opponent and Aurie’s Star came away to win by three length s with Master Motley third.  In winning Aurie’s Star equalled the course record held by Regular Bachelor, Valiant Chief and Studio (sister of Manrico).  A short let up followed and then Aurie’s Star was back at Caulfield for the Christmas Hcp.  Back to his frontrunning style Aurie’s Star was well clear at the 800m and then came away in the straight to win by four lengths from Amiable with Finch third.  It was then to the 1939 Standish Hcp and a return bout with Manrico.  Carrrying topweight with 9.13 Aurie’s Star was also trying to make history in the Standish trying to equal the highest weight to victory.  In the race by the 800m Silent Sentry was in front from the pacemaking Manrico with Aurie’s Star further back.  Soon after Manrico regained control and went for home with Aurie’s Star chasing hard.  The big weight made the difference as Manrico held the advantage to win from Aurie’s Star with Amiable third.  Three weeks later Aurie’s Star went to the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley where he jumped to the lead but was soon challenged by El Golea.  They had a two horse war in front until Aurie’s Star pulled ahead around the home turn but El Golea and Amiable were soon charging home.  Down the short straight Aurie’s Star tired to drop back to fifth as Amiable went on to win from Kanuri with Pamelus third as El Golea also tired to drop back to fourth.  In the 1940 Oakleigh Plate Aurie’s Star sat back behind the pace where Unishak and Brazandt led from Pamelus, Aurie’s Star and then Amiable.  Unishak went clear on straightening  with Aurie’s Star and Pamelus giving chase.  By the 200m Aurie’s Star made his move and stormed past Unishak to put the race beyond doubt winning from Pamelus with Unishak holding third.  Aurie’s Star made history in becoming the first horse to win the race twice.  The Newmarket was next and Aurie’s Star went straight to the front but El Golea under his light weight was always in striking distance and inched ahead  to win from Aurie’s Star on the line with Kanuri third.  After two unplaced efforts in the Leonard Stakes and Alister Clark Stakes both won by Amiable Aurie’s Star went for a short spell.  Resuming in the Rosny Plate at Caulfield in late June Aurie’s Star sprinted to the front on straightening but soon after race fitness took its toll as Hilton came back to win from Aurie’s Star with Kanuri third.  The run impressed connections enough that Aurie’s Star then headed to Doomben for the ‘Doomben Newmarket’ two weeks later.  However Aurie’s Star showed little and dropped out to finished well back and was unplaced again a week later in a Flying Handicap before a long spell.   

Returning as a 7yo in January 1940 Aurie’s Star was unplaced first up before running second to Magic Circle in the William Reid Stakes.  In that race Manrico and Unishak shared the lead froim Aurie’s Star early but around the home turn Unishak raced clear but Aurie’s Star soon charged past him and looked the winner until Magic Circle made a late charge to win by a head with Kanuri also running on to get third.  Aurie’s Star then went to the Oakleigh Plate again but after drawing the outside gate couldn’t cross the field and finished midfield.  Backing up a week later in the Hawksburn Handicap Aurie’s Star just missed as he flew home to run second to race leader Tetreen then it was onto the Newmarket Handicap yet another week later.  Aurie’s Star led the outside division up the 6 furlong straight track and headed the inside division at one stage but Mildura along the inside went on to win while Aurie’s Star was well back.  It was onto the Leonard Stakes the following Saturday where Aurie’s Star was a well beaten fifth over the same course at Flemington before being unplaced again at Caulfield after playing up before the start and being left flat footed as they jumped away.  Aurie’s Star hadn’t missed a Saturday meeting in his last 5 starts before lining up in the Federal Handicap over 7 furlongs (1400m) at Flemington on March 25th, Easter Monday.  Aurie’s Star went to the early lead stayed there under a hold until coming to the turn Kaolin moved up to challenge but Aurie’s Star dashed away when asked for his effort and gave nothing else a chance defeating Zonda with favourite Rex Felt third.  Next was the Alister Clark Stakes and Pure Gold got a flying start to go to the lead with Aurie’s Star just behind the leader.  Around the home turn Aurie’s Star challenged the leader and took over by a neck but under pressure he then started to hang out as Pure Gold fought back inside the final furlong to win with Zonda third.  Preparing for another attempt at the Goodwood Handicap Aurie’s Star then lined up in the Eclipse Stakes over 6 furlongs (1200m) at Ascot in Melbourne.  Bow Tie and Birdplay led early but turning for home Aurie’s Star raced to the front and sprinted well clear to win from Kaolin with Birdplay holding on for third.  Back to his best form Aurie’s Star then lined up two weeks later in the John Lewis Quality Stakes over 6 ½ furlongs at Cheltenham back in Adelaide as his final lead in to the Goodwood.  It was his first run at Cheltenham and he went into the race as a very short priced favourite.  The return of Aurie’s Star to Adelaide brought much fanfare with ads in the paper talking up his clash with Unishak as the ‘two fastest horses in Australia’.  Operatic led Aurie’s Star followed by Unishak but as they turned for home Aurie’s Star took control and bolted in for an easy win from Unishak just ahead of Operatic.  On to the Goodwood and Aurie’s Star would have to break the weight carrying record to win with 10.0 .  Ten starters lined up and Operatic took the lead soon after the start followed by Aurie’s Star then Dreamsome and Ciric.  Operatic led them well into the straight but with a furlong to go (200m) Aurie’s Star stormed to the lead and raced away to win by 4 lengths from Dreamsome with Burra jean third.  Aurie’s Star returned to one of the biggest receptions seen at Morphettville.  He returned to Morphettville to parade during the Wednesday meeting and was then spelled until the spring.   It was announced that he would move from the Williamstown training base and R Sinclair would be training him at Flemington.

Returning in the Kiata Handicap at Moonee Valley in late August Aurie’s Star jumped well to settle behind the leaders but soon strode to the lead from stablemate Dhoti then Chatsbury.  Turning for home Aurie’s Star raced clear of Dhoti and Nifty but started to hang out in the closing stages.  He had too much in reserve on the line to defeat Dhoti with David Innis running on for third.  Aurie’s Star then headed for a clash with Ajax in the Underwood Stakes a week later again at Moonee Valley over a mile.  Ajax was expected to win and after a furlong went past Aurie’s Star to the lead with El Golea next.  Both El Golea and Aurie’s Star were going well past the half mile and Aurie’s Star tried to chase Ajax around the turn but the favourite was going too well in front as El Golea ran on late to claim second with Aurie’s Star third ahead of the others.  The Whittier Handicap at Flemington a fornight later was next where Aurie’s Star lined up against 6 opponents and was the short priced favourite over the 6 furlongs.  Aurie’s Star had impressed in trackwork leading up to the race and began well before settling in behind Knight’s Armour by the half mile.  Carrying topweight of 10.2 Aurie’s Star put in his effort and was still travelling well with a furlong to run as All Veil tried to challenge him.  Nothing was going to stop him this day and Aurie’s Star was too strong winning by a length and a quarter from All Veil with Hilton running on for third.  This was the race where Aurie’s Star set the Australasian record for the 6 furlongs in 1.8 ¼ .  This record stood for over 50 years.

Show Day Thursday at Ascot over 6 furlongs just over three weeks later was Aurie’s Star next run where he went to the lead but couldn’t put a break on All Veil who went past in the straight to win by 3 lengths and recorded a course record time of 1.11 while two days later Aurie’s Star lined up over the mile  for an unplaced run behind Chatsbury at Moonee Valley.  In the weeks leading up to his next run the Windsor Hcp over 6 furlongs at Caulfield Aurie’s Star had started to show his brilliance and on raceday he went to the front and led throughout to win defeating Gold Salute with Pure Gold third.  It was then onto the Flemington Carnival where he went to the 1 mile Cantala Stakes on the first Saturday (now the Emirates Stakes and run on the last day).  After a furlong Aurie’s Star was on the lead with Gold Salute behind him.  Into the straight and Aurie’s Star shot well clear but the distance took its toll as Gold Salute sailed past to win from Judean as Aurie’s Star dropped back to 6th.  He then backed up in the Railway Highweight over the 6 furlongs on Cup Day where he was assigned 11.4 for the straight run.  Aurie’s Star flew from the start leading near the rails from Canterbury as the field spread across the track.  With two furlongs to go  group of runners headed by Dreamsome and David Innis challenged the leader but he fought them off as All Veil put in his claim.  In the run to the line Aurie’s Star was too good drawing away to win by 2 ½ lengths from All Veil with David Innis third.  Aurie’s Star then went to the Strand Handicap over 6 furlongs at the Williamstown Cup meeting being held at Flemington.  Jumping from a wide barrier his jockey A Dewhurst allowed Aurie’s Star to drop in behind the speed until two furlongs where he hasked him for his effort under the 10.9 weight.  Aurie’s Star then powered to the front to put the race beyond doubt with All Veil second and Star Leaf third.  He was then spelled for the Autumn.  Aurie’s Star returned to training and his trainer R Sinclair confirmed that his first run was to be the William Reid Stakes in late January 1941.  However just days before the race Aurie’s Star pulled up sore after trackwork in a shoulder and he was scratched from the Melbourne Autumn and sent back to the spelling paddock.  Aurie’s Star returned to training in April with plans to head to Adelaide and then Queensland carnivals. 

After an impressive gallop after the races at Moonee Valley in early May Aurie’s Star was sent to Adelaide for his second attempt in the Goodwood Hcp arriving on May 10 for the race a week later.  In his final gallop Aurie’s Star impressed onlookers and confirmed his place as favourite for the race.  But soon there were questions being asked about his fitness running first up for 6 months and Unishak was installed as the new favourite just before the race ahead of Aurie’s Star.  Carrying topweight of 10.7 in the race Aurie’s Star settled into third place behind The Leader then Woolcombe with Unishak slow to jump at the rear of the field.  Coming to the turn Aurie’s Star was ahead with Unishak who had made ground between runners now moving to the outside to make his run around the outside powering past runners.  In the straight The Leader dropped out leaving Woolcombe in front but it was Unishak who soon took control racing away to win from Woolcombe who was just ahead of Aurie’s Star.  A week later Aurie’s Star backed up in the Totaliser Hcp at Morphettville carrying 10.12 in weight.  Under his massive impost Aurie’s Star charged to the front and passing the 200m he shook off the challenge from Plana and looked set for victory but in the final bounds Hiawatha flew down the outside to grab victory by a head.  After the race Aurie’ Star remained in SA and lined up in the City Hcp over 7 furlongs  at Victoria Park two weeks later.   Unishak was left at the post as Woolcombe and Needful went to the front from Aurie’s Star.  Aurie’s Star challenged for the lead around the turn but soon after Needful and Woolcombe came away with Needful crossing the line first as Aurie’s Star dropped back to fifth place.  Back to Victoria just over a week later Aurie’s Star lined up in the Lancaster Hcp over the 6 furlong straight course at Flemington.  He was never headed.  Jumping straight to the lead Aurie’s Star powered down his favourite course to win untroubled to win by four lengths from Burrabil with Limerick Lace third.  After earlier announcements by trainer R Sinclair that Aurie’s Star would not travel to Brisbane the ease of his victory at Flemington convinced connections otherwise and three weeks later he lined up in the Newmarket Handicap over 6 furlongs at Doomben (now the Doomben 10,000).  Leading up to the race there were reports that he had not done well since arriving in Brisbane and in the race itself he was amongst the leaders throughout and was given some hope on the home turn but faded in the run to the line passing the post in 8th position.  A short spell followed to prepare for the spring returning as a 9yo.

After five lacklustre runs where the old horse showed his customary speed to be up with the leaders early but then faded in the run to the line there were rumours that he would be retired after his downward slide but in late September connections announced he would be freshened up and return for the late spring.  He returned on Melbourne Cup day in the Railway Highweight with 11.1 but missed the start hopelessly giving away more than 5 lengths to his rivals after being caught sideways when they jumped and could only beat one runner home over the 6 forlongs.  Nine days later he lined up at the Williamstown meeting where he jumped sideways at the start and was never a threat finishing well back.  After the race Aurie’s Star was sent back to Murray Bridge in SA to spell.

In February 1942 he returned to training with the Goodwood reported as his main target for the autumn in the hands of George Jesser.  However by March 1942 a ban on racing in South Australia was in place and many in the industry were on the crossroads of what action to take.  Aurie’s Star at this stage was in work and going well so plans were made to transfer him along with others in the stable to Melbourne but with issues with shipping across to Victoria there were delays for many.  While many local horses went for spells Aurie’s Star was one of the few that remained in work at Morphettville.  While waiting to be transferred to Melbourne Aurie’s Star made a guest appearance at the Red Cross Gymkhana on Saturday 9th May where he was paraded with a trot and canter at the Sturt Recreational Oval.   There was a further request for Aurie’s Star to parade at a gymkhana at Glenelg the following week but transport was finally arranged to Melbourne midweek before racing in the Cambridge Hcp at Ascot on the Saturday.   Even with the unorthodox preparation Aurie’s Star raced to the early lead and held them until the turn where eventual winner Tuhitarata went past but the old horse fought hard to hold fourth place on the line.  Two weeks later he lined up in the Keilor Hcp at Moonee Valley over 6 furlongs where he dwelt slightly on jumping way but soon moved to second place and narrowly hit the front turning for home but faded again in the straight as Naval Revue charged home late to win.   The following Saturday Aurie’s Star was back to his favourite 6 furlong straight course at Flemington in the Royal Hcp.  Aurie’s Star raced to the front and gave nothing else a chance but started to tire quickly in the final stages and wobbled out to the centre of the track as Tuhitarata charged home but the old horse had enough in reserve to win by ¾ length.  Two unplaced efforts down the straight behind the straight followed before a second in the Balmoral Hcp at Ascot. 

Aurie’s Star started the new season on 1st of August 1942 as a 10yo with a win in the Moondah Plate over the 6 furlongs at Flemington.  A field of 27 lined up for the race but Aurie’s Star showing all the speed of yesteryear jumped to the front and led the field clearly on the flat side.  With two furlongs to go (400m) he started to hang out and drifted towards the centre of the track but his jockey made no effort to straighten up as he was well clear of the others.  In the run to the line Aurie’s Star ended up out on the grand stand side but passed the post well clear of Prariedale with Koorenbeen third. Given a short let up Aurie’s Star was unplaced in two runs in September where he veered out again at Flemington before tiring badly a week later at Moonee Valley and was given another let up returning in the Toorak Hcp over a mile held at Flemington due to the war.  Unplaced behind Crolick he was then sent to Moonee Valley for the Dundonald Hcp over 6 furlongs on 31 October.  It was reported in the lead up that he was facing retirement if he didn’t run well.  After playing up at the start Aurie’s Star jumped well to dispute the lead but into the straight he again dropped out to be unplaced.  After the race his trainer G Jesser told stewards that he was to be retired.  The following Monday owner George Badman confirmed retirement plans with Aurie’s Star sent to Warlaby Stud on the outskirts of Melbourne while arrangements were made to return to Adelaide and his owners property at Rhynie.

Little was heard of Aurie’s Star until nearly two years later when reports appeared in early August 1944 reporting he was recording 36 ¼ seconds for galloping over 3 furlongs at Morphettville well off the rail with his owner declaring that the old horse would probably withstand racing again.  Throughout August Aurie’s Star continued to impress in trackwork and was brought back into work after he was going so well in retirement that it was decided to bring him back to the Glenelg stables of G Jesser and if he continued to excel return to racing.

His first race back was the Divett Hcp over 5 furlongs at Cheltenham in early September 1944.  Aurie’s Star jumped to the lead and quickly put a gap on the field and charged down the straight to the line to the cheers of the crowd winning as he liked from Young Eastern and Misdean although he did start to drift out a little towards the line. Four weeks later he headed to the Weigall Hcp over 6 furlongs at Morphettville.  With 10.2 in weight he again charged to the front but in the straight began to weaken and drifted out as Misdean ducked up along the fence to win going away as Aurie’s Star dropped back to be fifth.  He backed up again over the same course and distance in the Sturt Hcp carrying 9.12.  Aurie’s Star led into the straight but on straightening immediately started to drift out before weakening to finished unplaced behind Blue Stone.  It was soon announced that he would be retired and this time it would be permanent. 

With the lack of horse transport it was reported that Aurie’s Star was actually walked the 68 miles from his stable at Glenelg to his owners property at Rhynie.  Accompanied by L Campbell he travelled to Gawler on the first day and then completed the journey on the second arriving in magnificent condition. 

Aurie’s Star died on April 30 1952 after being in retirement at George Badman’s property at Rhynbrook.  He had been in great health until only a few hours before his death that night and was buried on the property.  His owner George Badman died the following year in September 1953 and was also known for the famous ‘Gem’ family horses including French Gem, Royal Gem, Beau Gem. etc          


credit - Trove (online newspaper archive National Library)



credit - Trove (online newspaper archive National Library)

credit - Trove (online newspaper archive National Library)

credit - Trove (online newspaper archive National Library)
Aurie's Star Race Record

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