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racing moments - left: Mary Sadler, with daughter Helen at Moonee Valley in 2007 right: with son John at Terang in 2008, the year she turned 100. “Mum continued to listen in, she had two radios, one permanently set on the ABC’s 774 and the other on RSN 927 so she could listen to a race at a moment’s notice.” Helen wrote that her mother was born in Terang in 1908 and went to school there. She learned to play the piano and passed her first exam in 1915, “meaning she has been playing the piano for more than 100 years. “She continued to play at Balwyn Manor for the enjoyment of fellow residents and on a holiday in Mildura in June 2015 we had dinner at Stefano’s grand restaurant, and she finished off the night by playing a few tunes for the locals. “Mum lived in Terang with her family (parents Annie and Abedi Bourke) until her marriage to Lindsay Sadler in 1930, after which they took up residence on Lindsay’s father’s dairy farm at Glenormiston, about eight miles (about 13km) from Terang. “Mum’s interest in Thoroughbred racing was first generated by her father and they attended meetings in Terang together. Later, Mum and Dad became involved with the Terang Racing Club for several decades. One of their greatest thrills in racing was when their horse, Luisillo, trained by son John, won the Terang Cup in 1980. “On New Year’s Day in 2008 the Terang Racing Club honoured Mum by naming a race after her to celebrate her 100th birthday. “Terang racecourse is known as the Flemington of the Bush. In 2015 the Club invited Mum to return to Terang for their Cup meeting in April. She was thrilled to be asked to present the trophy to the connections of the winner, Tall Ship.

“One name from the past that comes to mind is Fred Drever. Fred and wife Nellie were invited to be resident trainer and caretaker at the Terang Racing Club and continued in that role for 55 years. Mum and Dad knew the Drevers very well and counted them among their friends, and when John was still a teenager, he worked in Fred’s stables. “Fred had countless winners throughout Victoria and interstate; but it was Grey Sapphire who brought great excitement to the Terang racing community when he won the Standish Handicap at Flemington on New Year’s Day in 1981.” Helen wrote that among great racing names, especially from Western Victoria, her mother knew well the Moloneys: trainer Jerry who won the Grand Annual Steeplechase at Warrnambool and the Grand National Hurdle at Flemington in the 1930s; Jerry’s son Jim, an Australian Racing Hall of Famer, who trained the great sprinter of the 1960s, Vain; Jim’s sons John and Gerard, who train at Caulfield; and Gerard’s son Patrick, champion apprentice in 2014-15 and now a successful senior jockey. “My mother had a role on one eventful day in Jim’s life; she played the organ at Pauline and his wedding,” Helen wrote. “Now Patrick has ridden several horses from the Sadler camp; but the ride I enjoyed most was when he guided Marli Magic home for my brother John at Moonee Valley in January 2015 and Mum and I joined other syndicate members in a memorable celebration. There’s nothing like the thrill of a winner!” Clearly, Tom’s tweet that his Nana lived a amazing life is valid for much more than her longevity.

First published in Inside Racing August 2018

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SPRING 2018 #31

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Ladies in RACING Spring 2018 Issue 31  

Ladies in RACING Spring 2018 Issue 31  

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