One of Western Australia’s great early champions was Easingwold. He raced in the time of Eurythmic – the “Roaring Twenties” – and while Eurythmic was the mightiest galloper of the decade (and many would say the best ever from W.A.), Easingwold was not that far behind. In fact, he emerged from the champion’s shadow to record a narrow and unforgettable win over him in the St. George Stakes at Caulfield.
Purchased for just over two hundred guineas at the Sydney Yearling Sales, Easingwold, a chestnut by Eaton Lad
out of Bahloo, raced initially for West Australian Tom Lockton, who won three races with the colt as a juvenile, including the Karrakatta Plate.
Sent to Melbourne in quest of bigger purses, Easingwold was unplaced in four starts for Flemington trainer, Elwood
Fisher, and was then on-sold to South Fremantle-based owner-trainer, Bill Marks.
It was he who put Easingwold on the road to fame.
In the 1921 Ascot Summer Carnival, the now three-year-old firstly won the 6 furlong Grove Handicap, followed by the
9 furlong December Stakes. Then, on Boxing Day, he brilliantly annexed the W.A.
Derby over 12 furlongs before winning the All Aged Stakes over 7 furlongs – 5 furlongs less than the Derby, just two days later!
It was an extraordinary feat and one questions today the training methods of the time, as four days later again
Easingwold contested the Perth Cup over 16 furlongs (two miles) and finished tenth. But these schedules were not that unusual then.
In January, Easingwold won the Waylen Stakes over a mile and ran second in the 10 furlong Belmont 500, before being given a freshen-up.
He resumed in April with the autumn of his three-year-old season producing a five length win, second-up, in the Osborne Stakes over 11 furlongs, leading into a seven length victory in the St. Leger at is next start (14 furlongs), in which race he set a state record that stood for half a century.
After a spell he reappeared in the spring and won his initial outing as a four-year old by three lengths, in the Spring Stakes at Kalgoorlie, which was succeeded by an easy win in the Kalgoorlie Cup under 9st 6lbs (60kgs). Easingwold completed his Goldfields raid with a comprehensive victory in the City Stakes.
Once more, it was considered appropriate to take Easingwold east for the big plums, however this time he was sent to top Victorian trainer, Jack Holt, who was also he mentor of the legendary Eurythmic.
At his third run for Holt, in the spring of 1922, Easingwold ran second in the newly-incepted W.S. Cox Plate, behind
Violincello, and was also placed in the Linlithgow Stakes and C.B. Fisher Plate, before coming back in the autumn
to down his illustrious stablemate, Eurythmic, in the St. George Stakes.
Three weeks on, Easingwold exhibited his stunning versatility by running second in the 1923 Newmarket Handicap down the “Straight Six” at Flemington, then ran second over a mile just five days later in the Lloyd Stakes, also at Flemington. Two days after that he won the Farewell Handicap at a mile, again at the same track. He was also placed in the All Aged Stakes at Randwick to end his four-year-old season.
At five, Easingwold resumed with five straight placings in the Melbourne spring, including in the Memsie and Caulfield Stakes, before winning the Herbert Power Stakes and running second in the Caulfield Cup to Wynette under 9st 1lb, giving 32lbs (14.5 kgs) to the winner in weight differential. A week later, Easingwold etched his name
in history by becoming the first West Australian thoroughbred to win the W.S. Cox Plate, following on from his second in the race’s inaugural edition. Placed at top level at his next three assignments before spelling, the champion entire came back in the autumn to run fourth in the Newmarket, win his second Farewell Handicap, at Flemington, and the Final Handicap at Randwick. Although not quite the force he once was, at six Easingwold took out his second Herbert Power Stakes (Caulfield) and was returned to Perth that season to win the Perth Stakes on Boxing Day and then his second Osborne Stakes. He had two runs as a seven-year-old, finishing fourth in the Railway and third in the All Aged Stakes. He was then retired to stud, his record standing at twentytwo wins and twenty-six placings from seventy-three starts, for some £15,000 in earnings.
Easingwold won from 5 furlongs to 14 furlongs across three states – W.A., Victoria and N.S.W. – and only Aquanita
(1962) and Northerly (2001, 2002) have also won the Cox Plate after commencing their race careers in Western Australia.
Easingwold stood for 45 guineas and with moderate success at stud, siring Kalgoorlie Cup winner, Easewold, and Easter Mile winner, Ganemedes.
PRINCIPAL RACE WINS
• 1920 Karrakatta Plate
• 1921 December Stakes
• 1921 W.A. Derby (G 1)
• 1921 All Aged Stakes
• 1922 Osborne Stakes
• 1922 St. Leger (G 1)
• 1922 Kalgoorlie Cup
• 1923 St. George Stakes (G 2) (Caulfield)
• 1923 Farewell Handicap (Flemington)
• 1923 Herbert Power Stakes (G 2) (Caulfield)
• 1923 W.S. Cox Plate (G 1) (Moonee Valley)
• 1924 Farewell Handicap (Flemington)
• 1924 Herbert Power Stakes (G 2) (Caulfield)
• 1924 Perth Stakes
• 1924 Osborne Stakestakes
• 1922 W.S. Cox Plate (G 1) (Moonee Valley)
• 1923 Newmarket Handicap (G 1) (Flemington)
• 1923 Caulfield Cup (G 1)