Carbine's Outstanding Record Was 33 Wins From 43 starts
Anyone with any modicum of interest whatsoever in horse racing is familiar with the name of one of the all-time greats to ever grace the Australian turf, Carbine.
He was foaled in 1885 in New Zealand, the product of sire Musket and dam Mersey. Musket himself was a productive runner in his native Great Britain, although he jumped only 14 times en route to winning nine to go along with two seconds before being shipped to New Zealand in 1878. Carbine Racehorse Champion
18 September 1885 is the precise date and Sylvia Park Stud near Auckland was the place of Carbine’s birth.
Accounts of that time state that Carbine had all the traits that contribute to thoroughbred racing success.
Carbine Dominates At All Distances
He had a fluid, efficient gait and possessed the ability to dominate at every distance, under different conditions and could manage pace to such an extent that he could lead from the jump or close in the stretch. He also possessed that rare ability of the willingness to run even with injuries that would have sidelined many other horses.
Carbine, known affectionately as “Old Jack,” wasted no time getting his racing career off to a flying start by winning his first five attempts as a two-year-old in the land of his birth.
His connections, realizing the potential of the young stallion, shipped him to Australia, where as a three-year-old, he won nine times out of 13 starts, including the AJC Sydney Cup, where a miscalculation that resulted in his carrying well over his allotted weight, along with an incident of interference that caused him to be in last place for the final sprint, were insufficient obstacles to prevent Carbine from winning the two-mile race in record time.
Owner Sells Carbine
For some reason, his owner/trainer Dan O’Brien sold Carbine at the conclusion of his three-year-old campaign to owners who were intent on trying him at the major Metropolitan racecourses of Sydney and Melbourne.
Their speculation was well-founded, since Carbine had stellar seasons as a four and five year old. He ran 18 times over that stretch, winning 17.
His first major victory was as a three-year-old in 1888 when he won the Cumberland Stakes. The following year he took the Sydney Cup, the All Aged Stakes and the AJC Plate. 1890 produced a second win in the aforementioned races, but featured a monumental victory in the Melbourne Cup, where he carried record-setting weight and defeated the largest field ever to take part in Australia’s most prestigious race.
Carbine Wins 3rd AJC Plate
The following year featured his third consecutive victory in the AJC Plate.
Carbine’s connections held him out of the Melbourne cup in 1891, as well as any other major events of that season due to a chronic heel injury that caused Carbine difficulty throughout his career. He was retired to owner Donald Wallace’s breeding operation that same year.
That decision, similar to the one to ship him from New Zealand and into Australia, proved very fortuitous. In 1892, Carbine serviced Melodious to produce Wallace, a star who produced victories at 16 furlongs as well in what would be considered by today’s standard an unimaginable distance, 24 furlongs.
Progeny Wins Over 200 Races
Carbine spent only a little over three years at stud in Australia, but nevertheless produced progeny that went on to win over 200 races.
He was sold and shipped to England in 1895, where he took up where he left off, siring horses that won races all over the world, including UK Triple Crown winner Nijinsky and Johren, that took the Belmont Stakes in the United States.
One truly remarkable fact of Carbine’s stud career is that his descendants carried his blood to some extent on 65 occasions to Melbourne Cup victories in the years between 1914 and 1978. Equally astounding is that eight of the nine horses that have earned over $10 million as racers can claim some degree of Carbine blood, with Makybe Siva and Sunline serving as prime examples.
Carbine had many peaceful and productive years in Great Britain before suffering a stroke in June of 1914 that required his being euthanized.
NZ And Australian Racing Hall Of Fame 2001
He was honoured, both in the land of his birth and in Australia, by being one of the inaugural inductees into both the New Zealand and Australian Racing Halls of Fame in 2001.
He retired from racing having won 33 times in his 43 starts, along with six second-place and three third-place finishes.
It could be fairly said that Carbine’s ability to win at all distances and produce significant offspring truly marks him as one of the all-time greats.