Old horses, thoroughbreds, who have ” Past the Post”

Past the Post" is about what happens to all the beautiful thoroughbreds when they can no longer race? © Lorrie Graham

The book ” Past the Post” is about what happens to all the beautiful thoroughbred horses when they can no longer race? In 2004 Helen Thomas – who has been a journalist since Think Big won his first Melbourne Cup in 1974 – talked me into working on this book with her.

Most of the words Helen Thomas…..

I thought it was worth another look … on this Melbourne Cup day.

Above and below Octagonal …” Its hard to imagine a better life fro a thoroughbred stallion than the one Octagonal now enjoys. The star attraction at Woodlands Stud – a breeding establishment in the NSW Hunter Valley that boasts a dazzling roster of sire.
– the horse has an almost tangible air of entitlement.

ABOVE Make Up Lady,. She won $210,ooo on the racetrack and , at twenty, continues to add to the family coffers as a broodmare of some repute, with six foals to date, including two very smart sons.


Let’s Elope won the coveted Caulfield and Melbourne Cup double in 1991. These days, the bold, intelligent mare lives on the sprawling Victorian property of owner Denis Marks. She greets visitors with genuine interest, with her almost perfect foal at foot.

ABOVE Rough Habit, Horse magic. Somehow these two little words accurately sum up the life and times of Rough Habit a horse never destined for greatness who indeed became great.; a horse who, at his last Australian start, brought tears to the eye of hardened racegoers in Queensland…..on the left Rough Habit with miniature horse Stumpy, co star of the Horse Magic Show at Cambridge Thoroughbred Lodge, New Zealand.

Dories with owner Terry Henderson ….Seven years ago, this light-framed chestnut with the classic white blaze went within inches of winning the Melbourne Cup twice, a feat only three horses have achieved.


Saintly with trainer Bart Cummings. They still call him the Horse From Heaven. And in many ways, Saintly was blessed from the start. Yet while much was hoped for Saintly from the day he was born, not even the legendary trainer could have predicted that he would call this horse the “modern-day Phar Lap”.

Chief De Beers. Imagine a horse who wins almost half his races, but all of them atone particular racetrack. A horse good enough to bring home $1.5million in prize money, yet unable to crack the winner’s circle anywhere else in the country bar that one track in Brisbane. It sounds like a plot from a hokey B-grade movie.

In fact, it’s the real -life story of Chief De Beers, a Queensland galloper everyone called ” The Chief” who’s now the State’s most famous police horse.


Super Impose: Awesome, That’s how Steve Morley describes the splendid chestnut standing before him at Glenlogan Park Stud, an older gelding who, in a way, is he least important character on this fine property in Queensland. But even at the vintage age of twenty, Super Impose commands an unusual degree of respect. And attention.

A taste…we covered 21 horses. Many will have moved onto that big stud in the sky.
I’d also love to tell you the book is available at all good bookstore.


Share this Post

Comments 3

  1. What wonderful memories of these majestic creatures. When can we expect an update ? Come on Helen and Lorrie …..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *