Inductee Hall of Fame 2020
Black dog, (Rocket Mac – Murky Linen), Whelped December 1965, Owner Mrs. Elvie Knott, Trainer, Wally Knott
Black Tuesday enters the Hall of Fame as a great and versatile race dog, that later became one the leading Tasmanian sires of his generation. He was bred at Apple Tree Flat near Mudgee, N.S.W., in December 1965 by tomato farmer/ breeder H.J. Murkins. Wally Knott purchased Black Tuesday as a $240 package deal with litter sister Twinkling Lin, and she too became one of Tasmania’s finest, making it an amazing investment given the blueblood lines of both sire and dam.
Whilst Wally trained Twinkling Lin for daughter in law Ada Knott, Black Tuesday was trained by Wally for wife Elvie, under the nom de plumes of “W.Thomas” and “E.Thomas”, a common practice of the day. Walter Thomas Knott, or Wally was born at Sandfly on 2 November 1905 to parents Thomas and Beatrice. He married Margate born Elvie Stanton in Hobart on 16 February 1926, at which time they were farming at Longley, and bore four children; namely Judelle, Doreen, Lionel, and Norman (husband of Ada).
Wally, an early disciple of highly acclaimed trainer Reg Wilson, was a respected trainer, and “good bloke” who had other fine chasers over the years, including Cosmonaut, World Of Sport, Spic And Span (by Black Tuesday), and Mudgee Mac. The Knott’s also stood the mighty No Discount at Stud, along with broodbitch Windy’s Idol……the sire and dam of Leo Burnett’s 1973 Hobart Thousand winner Sue’s A Credit.
After a period at Orford, the family lived at 56 Twelfth Avenue, Springfield in Hobart during Black Tuesday’s career. They only moved to Launceston in 1970, following a short period on the sidelines after incurring the wrath of Arthur Morgan. From then they lived at 2 Brussels Street Mowbray, where they built a circle track at one stage, with great friend and fellow trainer Bill Day. It was there that Black Tuesday stood at stud. Lionel and his wife still live their today.
Black Tuesday battled constant muscle injuries in his short 23-month career, with approximately 43 starts only, which included a dozen N.S.W. races. He debuted rather inauspiciously at 16 months of age, with a Devonport Juvenile 7th on 26 April 1967. In fact, his initial six starts saw him win only a 310 yards Short Stakes at White City. But that was to change rather quickly.
On 9 September 1967 at White City, he started a 9-month spree of hot form, in a period littered by champion performers. He started with a Division 3 Heat win of the H.G. Sturges Memorial, defeating future Launceston Cup winner Persian Opera by 3 ½ lengths. A week later he repeated the dose in the Final. In defeating the same bitch, but this time by 8 lengths, he ran a smart 30 6/16. One week later, he blitzed a Trial stakes in 30 4/16, some 2/16’s quicker than the superstar Social Dancer won in the same night. Following Juvenile wins at the T.C.A. (in a blistering 29 5/10) and Devonport, Wally Knott reset the bar for his 65 pounds dynamo to a whole new level.
On 14 October 1967, Black Tuesday took on an amazing lineup in the 540 yards Puppy Championship of Tasmania at the T.C.A. As a 7/4 equal favourite with great nemesis Social Dancer, both were unable to topple 33/1 shot Top Thunder, but he did finish second. Undeterred, Wally flew to Sydney with Black Tuesday only six days later, where he won his 500 yards Heat of the Vic Peters Memorial at Harold Park by 6 lengths, recording a smart 26.8. His Semi-Final 2nd a week later was insufficient to make the Final, but highly creditable nonetheless for the 22-month-old.
Black Tuesday 70 days later, with a 1 length 2nd at 2/5 favourite, behind Celestial Jet, in a New Year Stake Heat at White City. Another enforced 42-day break, saw him resume in Heat of the 1967 Launceston Cup. He was overshadowed by the Victorian Detmac but his 3 length defeat was more than honourable in a new track record 29 6/16! A mere 4 days later he met Detmac again in the Semi-Final, again running 2nd but this time beaten a half head, thus making the Final. Only 3 days later, the task of three runs at the elite level was a bridge too far, and Black Tuesday finished 7th to Persian Opera in an elite field that was the 1968 Launceston Cup.
However, big race glory wasn’t far away. On 2 March 1968, Black Tuesday was 7/4 in winning his Heat of the 1968 Devonport Cup, beating the top bitch Cheetah Doll by 1 length in 25 1/16 … the quickest of the night. His Semi victory 11 days later was one of his career highlights. Giving track champion Fenton Girl 2 lengths start, he overpowered her to score by a ½ length. Despite the high calibre opposition, Black Tuesday went to the boxes a 10/9 favourite from Box 9 in the Cup Final. In leading every step of the way, he defeated Cheetah Doll by 1 ½ length with Fenton Doll a ½ away in third. His litter sister Twinking Lin ran 6th. His 24 4/16 was a mere 1/16 outside the track record.
A month later, Black Tuesday owns his Heat of the Easter Plate at White City, beating Move Out by 7 lengths in a smart 30 1/16. Five days later the 1968 Easter Plate Final was a formality. He defeated the same dog in the same 30 1/16, this time by 8 lengths. Four days later he destroyed Drifter by 10 lengths over 465 yards at Devonport, before a T.C.A. 2nd to Young Briquette from box 10. His next six appearances included three straight T.C.A. victories, the latter over former Hobart Thousand winner Fiery Bob.
Wally knew from a previous visit that his charge was up to N.S.W. standard and with son Lionel, headed back there for a more extended stay. Between late July and early September 1968, Black Tuesday travelled N.S.W. far and wide, proving his huge talent and versatility. Amid very few defeats, his posted wins at one turn tracks Albury (23.9), Goulburn (26.9) and Bulli (26.9). He twice won on the Dapto circle (30.6, 30.4), Woolongong (29.8) before winning a Heat of the 1968 Dave Alexander at Harold Park.
Returning home, he had a break before injuring himself when 7th at Devonport on 11 December. After this break, he had two more starts, the last on 1 March 1969 when 6th at White City. Continual muscle problems had taken their toll, and Wally Knott retired the great dog from the racetrack. From 32 Tasmanian starts, he won 15 with 8 seconds and a third. These wins included 3 features, including the 1968 Devonport Cup. In N.S.W. from approximately 11 starts, he posted 8 wins on 6 different tracks, and all up won from 310 yards to 555 yards.
What a great career! Career number one that is. Unlike today, the great Tasmanian dogs pre the 1980’s, often stood at Stud. They were well patronized by local breeders, and many such as Ripple Bay, Time Paid, Autumn Concerto and a host of others really made their mark. Black Tuesday would become one such dog. So successful was Black Tuesday, at his initial Stud Fee of $40, that he was the dominant sire of the early to mid- 1970s, during a period of super sires and endless track stars. He produced so many great chasers, the hardest decision is which ones to leave out!
Two standouts came from his 1972 mating with Bob Usher’s Hobart Thousand winning champion Beau Palomino. Both Arkaroola and Tuemino comfortably fit the champion tag, whilst their sister Dual Spring was a chaser of the highest class. Arkaroola raced successfully here for Usher, before representing Tasmania in the 1974 NSW St.Leger. He won his Heat, before running 2nd to Busy Chief in the rich Wentworth Park Final. He was subsequently sold and trained by the legendary Les Harper, going on to win a Heat and Semi of the Australian Cup and running 2nd to Ungwilla Lad in the 1975 Final at Olympic Park. He won 8 city races in Sydney and was a finalist in both the National and Richmond Derbies. He went on to sire Group One finalist’s Colour Man( 1978 Melbourne Cup) and Alice Win (1970 National Futurity).
Tuemino, trained initially by Keith Brasington, and then Mike Jury, was every bit as good. Tassie’s fastest dog in an amazing era, he took 5/10’s off the White City track record, posting 29.5. He was joint record holder at the T.C.A. and as a 2/1 on favourite, was a moral beaten when 2nd in Snowsim’s Hobart Thousand, after brilliant Heat and Semi wins He also won Heat and Semi of a Launceston Cup, as well as victories in a Christmas Stakes Final and Easter Cup. Their prolific winning sister Dual Spring, also ran 4th in a Hobart Thousand and 3rd in a Gold Cup.
Northop Tuesday was a 1972 whelp from Bob Moore’s (of Ipswich Low 1966 Hobart Thousand fame) top bitch Ipswich Lulu, which cost Penguin owner – trainers David and Gina Hall $50. Her brothers Mystery Breeze and fair Bonus were smart, but she was a little freak. Lightly raced here, before transferring to the Mainland, she won five races in four States before she was 19 months old. All were in near track record times. By career end, this mighty miss had travelled far and wide, winning in every state bar W.A. She smashed the Beenleigh track record in her Queensland Cup victory, won her Heat of the Tweed Head Galaxy before her Final 2nd. Her pinnacle was brilliantly winning her way into the 1973 Melbourne Cup Final, won by Ungwilla Lad.
Syd Gangell’s amazing bitch Mona’s Beauty was also a true champion. From the March 1972 Black Tuesday – Fair Starlet mating, she was regarded as a T.C.A. freak. 4th there on debut at a mere 13 months of age, she then won 10 on end there, followed by a Hobart Thousand 2nd to Jamin John, then a further 6 on end. Embedded in those wins were back to back Gold Cups and Final wins that enabled her to represent Tasmania in both the N.S.W. St. Leger and the National Sprint. A freaky beginner, she also won her Heat and Semi of a Launceston Cup, Heat wins of the Sturges Memorial and Easter Cups, and was a Dapto winner in N.S.W. Her litter sister Starlet Girl, also trained by Gangell, was an all distance top grader, whilst brothers Glamour Spot and Smokey Tuesday were top-grade sprinters.
Bill Day’s fabulous Black Tuesday – Mystery Rene red brindle bitch Ima Mystery, was another prolific 1972 -73 winner. Her first 26 starts yielded 13 wins and 10 placings, at the top level, and on all three tracks in brilliant times. She won a Launceston heat of the National Sprint, before a 2nd to the mighty Barrington Boy in the Hobart Heat. She also toppled the best in the Miss Tasmania Invitation. Doug Elmer’s Benlinn Kep, out of Spotted Student, was another star sprinter. After winning 8 of his first 13 starts, he went on to win his Heat (31 heats) and Semi of the 1971 Tasmanian Gold Cup, before his 2nd to the mighty Stardust Melody in the Final. He recorded 29.2 at the T.C.A., Benjamin John’s 28.9 being the only every sub-29 time. Four more of his siblings from this litter were smart performers.
Lindsay and Mrs M. Swain’s star bitch Our Cresta, out of Gypsy Again, was also one of Tasmania’s finest in 1973-4. Her first 39 starts saw 15 wins and 14 placings over all tracks and distances. Apart from winning her Heat and the Final of the 1973 Puppy Championship, she also won Heat and Final of the Blue Gum Plate over 680 metres. She won her Heat and was 3rd in a Devonport Cup Semi, then made the Final of the 1974 Hobart Thousand.
Then we had Ken Green’s magnificent Black Tuesday – Seal Fast litter! Nine chasers from this litter won races, but several were real stars, with most winning over all distances. T.C.A. specialist Highland Billy’s 20 odd wins yielded fast times everywhere, including a Heat and Semi win in the 1973 Devonport Cup to Wyoming Willie. Dolly Villa won in excess of 16 races at the T.C.A. and was the leading dog there for 1971-72. Star Up was a cracking sprinter/stayer, Miracle Note a true top grader North and South, with Minnie Rhythm, Lumber Bill and Grandpa Jo all quite smart. In one weekend this litter won 7 races. No wonder Ken Green was the leading trainer at Hobart two years running! A second litter of the same breed also produced high-class chasers in Pictish Girl (who latter whelped Hobart Thousand Finalists Approved By All and Rapid Marvel), No Apology and Dial Alight.
There were so many more highly vaunted Black Tuesday’s. Top all distance bitch Ecstasy Girl (from Gambier Dream) was prolific and won from 2 yards behind in top grade at White City. The powerful Cormiston Fash (from Absent Miss), won over 500,680 and 933 metres at Hobart. Other top graders included the likes of Baroness Joan, Cheeky Blaze, Burnt Ashes, Darrington (Launceston Cup Finalist 1973 at only 19 months), Barry Rose, Domenic’s Sal (won Heat and Semi, 2nd in Final 1973 Gold Collar), Murky’s Whirl (stood at Stud), super beginner Spic And Span, Dark Hurricane (Show Cup Devonport), Rexlen Lad, Smithton Lad and smart hurdler Pendant Boy.
Black Tuesday’s progeny often won 4 races in a night, and on 30 June 1973, he had 5 T.C.A. winners and a White City winner. On 25 May 1974, he had 6 runners at Hobart and won 5. He often had multiple feature race finalists such as Benlinn Kep, Star Up and Miracle Note in the 1971 Puppy Championship, and Mona’s Beauty and Our Cresta in the 1974 Hobart Thousand. He was the leading Hobart sire for 1972-73 with 61 wins, 16 ahead of Autumn Concerto. He repeated that in 1972-73 when he sired 14% of all T.C.A. winners. His deep influence continued well into the late 1970s.
Black Tuesday was a great credit to his connections, Wally and Elvie Knott. A blueblood by birth, he was a fabulous racing machine, and probably an even better sire. He so deservedly earns his place in the Tasmanian Greyhound Hall of Fame.
By Greg Fahey