Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

The VicTAB Trifecta : The Runners

Carbine, foaled 1885, Musket (imp) from Mersey (imp). From oil painting by A. C. Havell in possession of the Australian Jockey Club.

There were three Control Data systems at the Victorian totalizator Agency Board, all named after prominent racehorses.  One of these sadly fell just short in the home straight, but in retrospect, he may have been a "ring-in" anyway!

Over one of our monthly lunches, it occurred to us that there must have been well over 100 or more Control Data Australia employees that worked on the various T.A.B. installations - in software, hardware, admin and engineering - that would not have known at the time, or even now, the background of the thoroughbreds,

May, 2018 :

Thanks to some great material supplied by Marcel Dayan, I’ve added a new page CRISP Mark II? under CRISP : The Dud.

This outlines the implementation of the new VicTAB system after CRISP’s final tumble. The question mark is significant as I’m yet to determine whether the new system introduced by Real-Time (RT) Systems Ltd had an acronym of its own.

Marce has also supplied a backup copy of his RIMFIRE report which is now directly accessible  from the link below


The files below provided by old friend give  a comprehensive history of Control Data Australia’s involvement with wagering both in Australia and South-East Asia.  

Direct links to these PDF files were available on the old ex-TAB site under Geoff Hipwell, but the updated version at requires trawling through higher level menus and as a result, I’ve recreated the originals, mostly as local PDF’s, and in one or two cases, with the application of some basic word processing to format large blocks of script into readable “chunks”.

CARBINE : (Ron Bird)  

Ed. (Not sure whether Ron mentions this, but the twin 3100s arrived in Sydney in July, 1966, one of the heaviest pieces of equipment air lifted from the U.S. It was shipped from Sydney and installed at 598 St. Kilda Road on 28 July where extensive testing was carried on until the TAB's new HQ at 2-3 Queen's Road was ready. Five months later, it was again transported to the first floor of the new building.  A new device – an agency keyset produced locally by B.A.T.E/Plessey replaced the original system of manual telephone calls to transmit collated totals to head office – was first installed on 9 May, 1967 at the Albert Park West agency).  

RIMFIRE : (Marcel Dayan)

NZ TAB : (Marcel Dayan)

NZ TAB : Specification (Stewart Broad and David Rolls)

COLT : Royal Thai Turf Club : (Ron Bird)

The Night We Nabbed The Phantom Punter : (Tony Bell)

NZ TAB and CDC’s 32-bit Computer (Marcel Dayan)

The official entries for the Chronological Stakes to be run at Flemington over two miles are Carbine, carrying saddlecloth number 1, Rimfire [2] and Crisp (3).  

Although the two-mile start allows for 24 runners, Delta remains an emergency until such time the stipendiary stewards clarify his credentials (confirmed by an ex-TAB staffer as an internal project without input from CDA, but any connection of bloodlines to Crisp remain unclear.

COLT has not been considered as the term only applies to male horses three-year-old are less and it’s been over twenty years since one started in the Cup - maybe nest year as a four-year-old, classified as an “entire” if he’s lucky or a gelding if he suffers the unkindest “interruption of service” of all.

We’ll leave you to study the Form Guide for the four thoroughbreds at your leisure, but

Our expert's selections for the Chronological Stakes :

Impossible to declare Correct Weight - both Carbine and Crisp were absolute champions, although in different fields of racing,  Both would have “streeted” Rimfire, with or without hurdles.  Delta, despite what appears to be a non-Stud Book background (computer-wise) would if gaining a start also have relegated Rimfire into a distant fourth place.

You may also like to check out :

Excerpts from TABLOID

VicTAB - How and Why?