War Talk is Dead

The a Melbourne cup always reminds me of this, even though it is about the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper. Back when I was doing senior school, dad was, as he continued to be, totally engrossed in horse racing. He went to all the metropolitan mid week and weekend races. He spent all his time at home in his study analysing the form guide. Normally we only knew how he was going when he won big and took us out to the city for an expensive meal.

I learned of his participation in horse syndicates when two pictures of War Talk appeared on the wall of his study. They were photos of War Talk crossing the finish line. I think in one he was first and in the other, probably of the Blue Diamond, he was second.

War Talk was dead. He broke his leg and they shot him. A few of dads friends complained that, no one thought War Talk would be any good. But when he started winning, and Colin Hayes had said that he was the fastest horse he had ever trained from South Australia, the prices of his relatives went up. War Talk was purchased for $4,000. I saw a newspaper report for a relative with a price of $35,000.

And that was the end of it. I don’t know if he continued to have stakes in horses, but if he did, we never knew. There were no more more race finish photos on the wall.

Accident changes odds (1973, March 28). The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), p. 32. Retrieved November 6, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article136967862

Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Wednesday 28 March 1973, page 32

Accident changes odds

SYDNEY, Tuesday. Unbeaten Imagele is a 2/1 on favourite for the Golden Slipper following the death of his major rival, War Talk, in a track accident at Randwick today.

War Talk was destroyed after shattering his off foreleg just above the fet-lock while galloping.

The bookmakers hope was for War Talk to win impressively next Saturday to make the Slipper a de-cent betting medium, because War Talk was the
only main Slipper hope not already beaten by Imagele.

He had not raced since a disappointing effort in the Blue Diamond Slakes at Caulfield on February 24.

Before that run he had been unbeaten.

The colt was sent out for an 800m gallop with Tommy Hill’s stable apprentice Robert Heffernan in the saddle.

Heffernan showed great fortitude after the fall. He held on to the horse until help came and then passed out.
He regained conscious-ness before being taken to hospital.

Obviously badly shaken and distressed he said, “There was no warning. His leg just snapped and we went down”.

Trainer Colin Hayes who is in Adelaide was shocked when told of War Talk’s death.

“He was a great horse and a tremendous loss to his owners”, Hayes said.

He was insured only for his purchase price of


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