Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey


Carbine (N. Z)

It is recorded that on occasions, like Gunsynd in more recent times, he refused to leave the saddling paddock until the crowd had applauded him!  It is also said that Carbine’s trainer, Walter Higinbotham became accustomed to carrying a pair of scissors so the horse’s admirers would not need to pull hairs from his mane and tail!

"Old Jack" as Carbine became known, had every reason to recognise the sound of dutiful applause; he started forty-three times for thirty-three wins, six seconds, and three thirds.

He was unbeaten in New Zealand as a two year-old winning all of his five starts. Brought to Australia, he disappointed in his first three-year-old race, the Victoria Derby, but he won nine out of his remaining twelve races in that season at distances ranging from six furlongs (1200 metres) to three miles (4800 metres).

Carbine reached his peak as a five-year-old with ten wins from eleven starts,  the highlight an astonishing Melbourne Cup win in which he carried 10 stone 5 lbs. to win by a comfortable two and three-quarter lengths, the heaviest weight ever carried by a Cup winner (5 lbs. more than the next highest, Phar  Lap in 1930), against a record field of 39 starters and in record time.

Despite his astonishing race record, his later impact as a stallion was equally important.

Carbine was retired to the stud late in 1891 and in this first season was mated with just three mares, but one of the offspring was the great local sire Wallace.  In his short Australian stud career Carbine produced the winners of 203 races including a number that became influential sires in Australia.  

From Carbine’s first crop of foals, Wallace was named after “Old Jack”s owner, the pastoralist and politician, Donald Wallace.  He stood at Bundoora Park stud north of Melbourne, Despite limited stud opportunities Wallace was the aeading sire in Australia in the 1915/16 season; he also finished second three times and third three times on the leading sires' table

In 1895 Carbine was purchased by the Duke of Portland for 13,000 guineas, at that time a record price for an Australasian-bred horse.

Carbine was taken to England and joined the legendary English sire St. Simon at the Duke's Welbeck Abbey Stud.  Although he played second fiddle to the Duke's local champion, Carbine sired the 1906 English Derby winner Spearmint and was the grand-sire of two other Derby winners.

Newspaper reports in 1910 suggest moves were being made to purchase the 25 year-old Carbine and return him to New Zealand to live out his final days, but the Duke of Portland responded that he had already promised Carbine's skeleton to the Melbourne Museum. As fate had it, Carbine was humanely put down in England after he was found prostrate in his box bleeding profusely from the nose after what was believed a brain haemorrhage

His skeleton was returned as promised and is now displayed at the Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame at Caulfield racecourse.

Some research undertaken early in 2017 (before Winx joined the list in October) reveals that of the nine international thoroughbreds to have won more than $10 million in stakemoney, EIGHT of them have bloodlines tracing back to Carbine - and although the pattern has changed in recent years with the proliferation of overseas horses, more than half of the Melbourne Cup winners between 1914 and 1980 also carried traces of Carbine blood


CARBINE the computer system commenced operation on 13 September, 1967.   He and his later stablemate (ahem .. the gelding) RIMFIRE shared nearly ten years happily cohabitating until May, 1981 when they were retired to pasture, replaced by a more fashionable (32-bit) newcomer who,  to at least the best of our knowledge, never officially had a name.

(Perhaps for the sake of pedantry, we should added that Carbine did not technically win a Melbourne “Cup”. The trophy presented to the lucky owners before a Cup became the norm in 1916 varied from year to year - the owners of Carbine received a solid silver claret jug, rosewater dish and a set of five silver dessert stands.  (Don’t care what the trophy might be  … I want one!)

Carbine (N.Z) foaled 1885, Musket (imp) from Mersey (imp).

Carbine will always be regarded as one of the greatest and most influential of Australian thoroughbreds - whether or not the acronym Computer Automated Realtime Betting Information NEtwork quite matches the reputation of the noble animal is open to question!

We should really say "Australasian".  Like many horses that Australian racegoers love to call their own, Carbine was actually bred in New Zealand in 1885 and both his sire and dam were imported from England.

He was in every way fit to be called great: in performance, as a sire, and in temperament and appearance; although he had his foibles.




Half-sister to General Peel’s dam

West Australian

Brown Bess


Musket (imp)

Ithuriel (by Touchstone)

Miss Bowe (by Catton)

Pantaloon (by Castrel)

Decoy (by Fillio-da-Puta)

Melbourne (by Humphrey Clinker)

Mowerhina (by Touchstone)

Camel (by Whalebone)

Unnamed daughter of Brutandorf

Touchstone (by Camel)

Beewing (by Dr. Syntav)

Pantaloon (by Castrel)

Decoy (by Fillio-da-Puta)

Touchstone (by Camel)

Beewing (by Dr. Syntav)

Euclid (by Emilius)

Martha Lynn (by Mulatto)



Unnamed half-sister to Musket’s dam




Mersey (imp)

Foaled 1885, Musket (imp) from Mersey (imp).

Wallace ; champion son of Carbine pictured at Bundoora Park Stud north of Melbourne, 1904.

On his death, Wallace was buried on the property, to be later joined by another icon of the Australian turf, Shadow King, the only horse to ever run in six Melbourne Cups, placed in four and finishing fourth and seventh in his other attempts. The two graves and headstones remain a feature of the Bundoora Park Heritage Village

Check out CARBINE : for  implementation recollections kindly supplied by Ron Bird