Betting on Australian Bangtails
 by Cornelius Russell Bartholomew 

Watching the recent Kentucky Derby reminded me of a BONEFISH shipmate and my first Australian race. Uncle Joe MacMillan raised and raced thoroughbreds. One he called "Silent Service" and another "Captain Tommy," after Bonefish's skipper Thomas W. Hogan. Both horses ran in the money on occasion but never made the big show in Kentucky.

A bunch of us from SARGO wound up at the track in Perth one afternoon in 1942 and decided to try our luck. If you remember, most all places of business in Perth closed on Saturday afternoons for the races. I put a quid down on a likely looking prospect in the first race. As soon as I heard "they're off," I knew I was in trouble. "They're running the wrong way" a shipmate shouted. Charlie became my bettlebomb. I lost twenty pounds that day; the money kind, not fat.

Another day at the track I met this knowledgeable Sheila. "Yank, my uncle owns the son of Phar Lap. Bet on him to win." She assured me that this nag would win because her cousin is the jockey, another cousin the groom, and another uncle the trainer.

Well, this tip didn't pan out, nor did other tips offered throughout the day, and I would end up losing ten pounds. However, I figure I gained it all back through her "favors" that night. I never bet on another race.

If you remember, Phar Lap was always talked about in Australia. The horse crowd claimed he was the world's best. The owner shipped him to the states for the Derby. Unfortunately, the horse died in Kentucky before the race. The Aussies claim he was poisoned.

Materials for this page provided by Cornelius R. (Bart) Bartholomew who commissioned the Bonefish and made four war patrols.

Patrol 1 - Patrol 2 - Patrol 3 - Patrol 4 
Moonlight Surface Torpedo Attack

Bonefish Home - Home