Saturday, 14 July 2012
: Few owners or breeders have had as much success or cast such influence over Australian racing and breeding than the late Geoff White.
| Geoff and Beryl White with Glen Boss|
Photo by Racing and Sports
In the last thirty years, Geoff White, who died at the age of 81 on July 8, and his wife Beryl bred 380 horses for 301 runners and 66 per cent winners.
Including bought performers that raced in their famous white, purple star and hooped sleeves colours their runners include 13 winners of 25 Group1 races, nine of them home bred.
Also their horses, the bulk of which have been trained by the late Jack Denham or his son Alan, have won 39 Group 2 races and 22 at Group 3 level.
The White got serious about racing after their Golden Slipper success in 1982 with Marscay, a $50,000 purchase at a Sydney yearling sale.
They opened up with Robrick Lodge, a boutique horse farm in the Hawkesbury Valley near Sydney, and then in 1994 acquired a jewel of the Hunter Valley, Bhima Stud on the outskirts of Scone.
They added the 800 acre neighbouring historic Invermien property to the 600 acres covered by Bhima, the home for Biscay for most of his stud career, and rejuvenated the merged properties into one of Australia's top broodmare farms under the management of their son Greg White.
Both properties are now on the market.
Besides his input as breeder and owner, Geoff White made a significant contribution to racing at Scone and was instrumental in helping establish the Hunter Valley Equine Research Centre.
He served as a director of the Bloodhorse Breeders'Association of NSW and also on the Royal Agricultural Association on Sydney.
Born in western NSW at Hillston, Geoff White became one of Australia's leading civil engineers and through his company White Industries was responsible for the construction of many famous public buildings, including the National Art Gallery, High Court of Australia and the National Mint in Canberra.
He was also involved in projects in Singapore, Fiji and India.
A recipient of the Order of Australia Geoff White is survived by Beryl, son Greg and daughters Helen, Sue and Judy, and also grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The Whites had the rare distinction of owning winners of Australia's two richest races, the Golden Slipper Stakes and Melbourne Cup.
They owned the 1982 Golden Slipper winner Marscay, one of the first horses they raced, and in 2000 finished second in the Melbourne Cup with Yippyio.
The Whites bred Yippyio using the G1 Canterbury Guineas winner Interstellar and their Marscay mare Yodells.
They retained part of Marscay when he went into service at Widden Stud where he became a champion sire and a big breeding influence.
Yodells was one of the Marscays the Whites bred and raced. She was a winner in Sydney and Brisbane and second in the G2 Wakeful Stakes and third in the G1 VRC Oaks at Flemington.
Yodells produced two good for the Whites in Yippyio (won 14 races including the Queensland Derby, Queensland Guineas, Brisbane Cup and Moonee Valley Cup) and the Last Tycoon colt Iglesia (six wins included the Silver Slipper Stakes).
Deceased at only eleven, Iglesia became another good sire raced by the Whites.
He stood at the Oaklands stud near Toowoomba and included in his offspring Written Tycoon, the sire of Howmuchdoyouloveme, the winner of this week's $150,000 Ramornie Handicap at Grafton.
Two other brilliant Marscays bred and raced by the Whites were the brothers Jetball (7 wins, G1 Galaxy) and Marwina (5 wins, Stan Fox Stakes; AJC Breeders' Plate, second Caulfield Guineas).
They have both sired good winners.
Two of the greatest gallopers the Whites bred and raced that resulted from their investment in Marscay were his daughter Triscay (15 wins, five Group1s) and Eremein (12 wins, five Group 1s).
The gelded Eremein is a son of Timber Country and Marrego, a Marscay mare who at two won in Sydney and finished second in the Silver Slipper.