Brother Fox’s winning double can’t ever be matched

Caption: Legendary jockey Peter Cook with Brother Fox

 

 G1 Peter Mosman Opal (520m)

Best females nominated, whelped on or after March 1, 2020.

Heats July 2. Final July 9.

$75,000 to the winner.

 

G1 Vic Peters (520m)

Best males nominated, whelped on or after March 1, 2020.

Heats July 2. Final July 9.

$75,000 to the winner.

 

By David Brasch

LEGENDS have won the Peter Mosman. Legends have won the Vic Peters.

None win them both … unless it is Brother Fox.

And, the fact the Peter Mosman has been renamed the Opal and restricted to bitches means none will get the chance to join him as a winner of both Group 1 events.

His trainer Steve Kavanagh lived the dream of Brother Fox, the son of Little Blade-Pitstock Park, who raced just 19 times for 12 wins and five placings.

Brother Fox was electric. To see him devastate Group 1 fields in record-breaking performances was to know forever he was one of the greatest ever.

“I don’t like to get too carried away and I’m not one to sit at home and watch his replays over and over,” Steve said.

“But on the rare occasions I do watch him win the Vic Peters, the Peter Mosman (then called the Bi Annual Classic), the Hobart Thousand, the thing that strikes you most is the size of the crowds at the track.

“It was nothing to get 10,000 there to watch him race. The people roaring for him. Well, it was something.”

Brother Fox ran a “world record” for 457m (500 yards) when winning the 1984 Vic Peters over Brave Gambler and The Silk at Harold Park.

“I don’t know where they got the world record from,” Steve said with a large dose of reality. “The 500 yard races they run in Ireland, England and the like are all on two-turn tracks, not the one-turn of Harold Park.”

Brother Fox went to Tassie to win the time-honoured Hobart 1000 after that beating local legend Busy Vintage and breaking the track record twice.

“He travelled in the plane with a cage full of pigeons on top of him,” Steve said. “When they got him off the plane, there he was sitting on the tarmac under the wing of the plane and the crate of pigeons was still on top.

“I suppose he gave those pigeons an inspirational talk that’s if they were racing pigeons.”

He came back and won the Potential Stakes at Wentworth Park.

“They told me he couldn’t handle Wenty, but he won the final by 13 lengths,” Steve said.

In April 1985, he then swept aside current boom race bitch Beach Rhythm, Silver Tail Miss, Dominance, November Prince and the like to win the Peter Mosman.

Not long after, Kavanagh and his joint owners could not hold off the demands from broodbitch owners and Brother Fox was retired to stud. He became a legend there too.

Kavanagh was a Dubbo boy, born and bred, and he and Brother Fox put the town on the map for ages.

“They held a civic reception for him when we announced his retirement to stud,” Kavanagh said.

“They held it in the local park and there were hundreds of people in attendance. The TV and newspapers were there and the Mayor was decked out in all his jewellery.

“Brother Fox was given the keys to the city of Dubbo.”

But Kavanagh admitted such success also brought an intensity about it.

“It was an enormous time,” Steve said of the Brother Fox era. “Overwhelming almost. Yes, there was a lot of pressure on.

“I’m glad I got him early in my training career because it set me up for what was to come.”

Dogs like Cosmic Rumble, Smooth Rumble, Hot Rumble and today’s star Louis Rumble have been superstars for “Kav”, just a handful of the greats he has prepared over the years.

“He was the best, easily,” he said.

“Fabulous nature. A lazy sort of dog but he would switch right on when at the track. Beautiful traveller. He had enormous feet on him and Brownie (the late, great trainer Ron Brown) named him Jumbo because of those feet.

“It was his kennel name forever.”

THE Vic Peters Classic, first run in 1951, is the oldest feature race on the NSW GBOTA calendar. Sharid won it the first year.

The race was named in honour of the man often referred to as the founding father of the GBOTA.

It has been won by some icons of the industry, including Black Top (1962), Woolley Wilson (1972), Brother Fox (1984), Worth Doing (1988), Go Wild Teddy (2000), Collision (2003), Zambora Brockie (2015), Ando’s Mac (2016), Feral Franky (2019) etc.

The Peter Mosman is the second=oldest event, first run back in 1952 at Harold Park as the Bi-Annual Classic.

In 1988 the race was renamed the Peter Mosman to honour the chairman of the GBOTA who had died the previous year.

It too has been won by some of the greats including How’s The Fort (1992), Xylia Allen (2013), Fernando Bale (2015) and Mister Twister (2017).

In 2019 the Peter Mosman became the Peter Mosman Opal, an age event for bitches.

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