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Gloaming -  Profile of a Champion
Bay Gelding  Born 1915
by The Welkin out of Light
Page 1

Gloaming was foaled at Melton Stud in Victoria on the 26th of September 1915.  Bred by EED Clarke he was sired by The Welkin from Light.

The Welkin (foaled 1904) won 6 races during a racing career over 4 seasons in the United Kingdom.  He was purchased for 600 guineas and imported to Melton Stud in Victoria commencing his stud career in 1910.  Gloaming was a member of his fifth crop and he also sired the multiple stakeswinners Furious, Thrice and Greenstead plus Blackadder, Red Dome, Hyades, etc.  The Welkin topped the Sires List three times and was runner up twice between 1917 and 1922.

Light was by Eager from No Trumps and was unplaced in four race starts.  Imported to Australia she was the dam of 10 foals all by The Welkin.  In 1911 her colt was unnamed and unraced, in 1912 she produced One winner of two races, in 1913a third colt Hare Hatch who won 12 races in Perth and raced 129 times.  She missed in 1914 then produced Gloaming in 1915 before her first filly Refraction (won 2 from 8 starts and was second in the Adelaide Guineas and third in the VRC Oaks) was foaled in 1917.  Another colt, Lightning (Tasmanian winner) was foaled in 1918 following by another colt a year later that died.  She missed in 1920 and 1922 but between produced the filly Lightsome who won the VATC Federal Stk in her four starts.  In 1923 Light foaled Gloaming's Sister who won two races including the AJC Kirkham Stakes during a short career.  Light's final foal the chestnut Leading Light was her only non bay foal and was unplaced during a two start career.  She missed from 1925 to 1930.  Gloaming's Sister was later the dam of Captivation winner of the AJC Challenge Stakes.


Gloaming was an 'ordinary' bay gelding standing 15.3hh.  He was offered at EED Clarke's annual sale but the effects of strangles, a disease that he had recently recovered from, saw a lot of would be buyers pass him by for other stock.  He was ultimately sold to GD Greenwood for 230 guineas ($483) and headed to New Zealand to be trained by RJ Mason.

He was first named Celestial but it was found that the name was unavailable so he was renamed Gloaming and embarked on a race career.

Gloaming showed ability in his early training but went shinsore when in training as a 2yo and as a result was gelded and spelled.  When he returned to prepare for a 3yo debut he continued to demonstrate the promise he had showed earlier and plans were made to send him to Australia for the 3yo classics.

The Chelmsford was chosen for his debut.  Other runners in the field included Rebus, Kennaquhair, Poitrel, Woorawa, Red Fox and The Destroyer.  At the barrier tapes Gloaming was toey and kept looking around instead of concentrating on lining up.  As the tapes lifted he swung sideways missing the start ultimately tailing the field on settling.  Once racing though he started to make ground and in the straight flew past the field to win by 8 lengths from Rebus with Kennaquhair third.  In winning he became the first 3yo horse to win the race on debut and one of the first horses to win at weight for age at their first start.

Three weeks later he lined up in the 3yo Australian classic the AJC Derby.  Again he cruised away to win by 1 1/2 lengths from Finmark with a further 5 lengths to Kilmoon in third.  In winning he set a race record and was soon on his way back to New Zealand.  At Wellington he was too good for the older horses winning the Champion Plate by 2 1/2 lengths from Menalaus and a further 2 lengths to Bonnie Maid in third place.  Back to his own age group in the New Zealand Derby Gloaming again easily defeated a field of 5 runners by 2 lengths to Kilmoon with Heathercote third.

Five days later Gloaming lined up in the GG Stead Memorial Stakes at weight for age.  Despite a huge weight advantage he couldn't catch Sasanof who won by 2 1/2 lengths from Gloaming with 3/4 length to Punka third.  Gloaming soon had his revenge in the Islington Plate at Ellerslie on boxing day where he defeated Sasanof by 1 1/2 lengths with third place filled by Karo three lengths away.

On New Years Day 1919 Gloaming met 3 opponents in the Great Northern Derby and easily defeated Kilmoon with Karo third.  This hat trick of derbies created history as no horse had won three of the classics before.

Three weeks later Gloaming showed how versatile he was dropping back to 5 furlongs for the Wellington Stakes at Trentham.  It was another easy victory as Gloaming defeated Warplane despite conceding 15kg in weight by three lengths with Surveyor third.  Three days later he lined up against a 6 horse field over 4 furlongs in the Kelburn Plate.  His winning margin is recorded as 'easily' second place was filled by Surveyor with four lengths to Crenides third.

The scene was then set a week later for a clash with the champion mare Desert Gold over 6 furlongs in the Taranaki Stakes.  Things went wrong for Gloaming at the start when he became entangled in the barrier strands and missed the start by four lengths.  He was then making ground but was blocked for a run heading for home.  Eventually he got clear and gave chase but it was all too late with Desert Gold the victor by a neck with Croesus in third.

Six days later the rematch was expected to settle which horse  was superior but this time it was Desert Gold who met trouble.  At the start she lost considerable ground at the start after becoming caught in the barrier strands and then was making ground when the only other runner Croesus fell in front of her and she had to hurdle him.  She tried valiently but the 3yo Gloaming won by 2 1/2 lengths.

It was then up to the third clash two days later.  Only three runners lined up with the two superstars joined by Birkenvale.  Gloaming went to the front and led by over four lengths passing the 800m.  In the straight Desert Gold joined him and the pair went stride for stride and so after Desert Gold pushed to the front.  Gloaming fought back and they were again level before the 3yo started to gain the upper hand gradually edging away to win by 1 1/2 lengths.

Less than a week later Gloaming led all the way to win the Jackson Stakes over 6 furlongs at Wanganui from Croesus and Killowen before easily defeating Afterglow and Killowen in the Wanganui Guineas.

Gloaming was then given a short break resuming in April with yet another effortless win in the Challenge Stakes at Canterbury from Surveyor and Sunart.  He had now won 13 of his first 15 starts and despite carrying 60kg was expected to record another victory in the North Island Challenge Stakes at Trentham.  It went wrong at the start.  Keen to get away well Gloaming became caught in the barrier tapes and fell taking no further part in the race as Warplane race to victory from Affection.  It was the only time Gloaming did not run first or second in a race.

Sent for a spell Gloaming returned to training and was soon on his way back to the Sydney carnival in the spring.  It was a nightmare boat trip as he was at seas for 14 days due to the vessel stopping at many ports on the way across the Tasman.  It was felt that the long journey would have affected the wonder horse from New Zealand as he was sent out at 3-1 with Winalot the 2-1 favourite in the Spring Stakes over 1 mile at Rosehill on September 20 1919.  Gloaming showed the assumption was wrong as he defeated the favourite by a length with two lengths to Prince Viridis third.  A fortnight later Gloaming was sent out as the evens favourite for the Spring Stakes at Randwick over   1 1/2 miles.  Gloaming hit the front in the straight but in the final strides Poitrel flew to grab victory by a head with two lengths back to Cetigne third.

Four days later Gloaming made no mistakes as he defeated Wolaroi by two lengths with Rebus a similar margin away third in the Craven Plate at Randwick before heading back to New Zealand for the feature races. 

Amongst Gloaming's rivals in the five horse field for the Champion Plate at Trentham was old rival Desert Gold but now at 7 years was considered well past her best.  Gloaming won by 3/4 length from lightweight Affection with Mascot third and Desert Gold a gallant fourth after getting caught up in the tapes at the start but kept her feet.

Both Gloaming and Desert Gold headed to the GG Stead Memorial Gold Cup over 1 1/4 mile at Canterbury.  The 4yo gelding defeated Rossini with Desert Gold third in her final race before retirement.

Gloaming then headed to the Islington Plate at Ellerslie to record his second straight win in the event again defeating Rossini before lugging 60.5kg to victory in the Royal Stakes three days later.

That was Gloaming's final run for the season as he spelled and was prepared for his third trip to Australia for the Sydney Spring Carnival.  To this point of his career he had started 23 times for 19 wins and 3 seconds and arrived in Australia better than ever it seemed with the weight for age events seemingly at his mercy.

In trackwork the trackmen were amazed when Gloaming recorded a time of 1.25 3/4 for 1400m under track record time.  But then tragedy struck Gloaming suffered a bad bleeding attack and was ruled out of racing for the carnival.  He headed back to New Zealand for a spell without a run.

Gloaming made his belated 5yo debut in the Electric Plate at Ellerslie on November 13 over 4 furlongs.  Despite conceding 14.5kg to sensational 2yo Rational he won by two lengths from that horse with five lengths back to Welldone in third place.  Two weeks later he turned the 5 furlong Fielding Stakes into another procession defeating Hymestra and Silver Link.  He then won the Oroua Stakes at Fielding carrying 61kg before a third victory in the Islington Plate.  Then unlike the previous year where he dropped back to a sprint distance this time he headed to and duly won the Auckland Plate over 1 1/2 miles.

Showing great versatility Gloaming then lined up over 4 furlongs three weeks later with a rematch with 2yo Rational in the Kelburn Plate chasing his second win in the race.  Rational flew in the lead as Gloaming met interference twice but the great horse wouldn't be denied and charged after the 2yo.  The pair went stride for stride before Gloaming edged ahead to win by a head with three lengths back to Statuette third.  Gloaming had conceded Rational 14kg and in winning set an Australasian record of 45 seconds for the 4 furlong trip.

Carrying 62kg Gloaming continued on his winning way defeating Kick Off (43.5kg) by 1 1/2 lengths in the Waterloo Stakes at Trentham before again lugging the huge weight to victory in the Taranaki Stakes over 6 furlongs.  a few days later on February 9th Gloaming defeated the same opponents, Silver Link and Rossini, in the Egmont Stakes over 6 furlongs.  A day later Gloaming lined up against one other opponent, Vespucci in the 1 mile Hawera Stakes and won by two lengths.

Silver Link was the only horse to line up against him in the Jackson Stakes and again it was a procession as Gloaming won easily.  A month later Gloaming defeated his two rivals in the Challenge Stakes at Canterbury winning by 3 lengths from Pluto with Sasanof third.

That was Gloaming's last run at 5 and he remained undefeated for the season winning from 4 furlongs to 1 1/2 miles (800m - 2400m).  It also took his record to 35 starts for 31 wins with the last 17 in a row and plans were made to again head for Australia in the spring.


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