At 17¼ hands, Bernborough was almost the same height as Phar Lap, and had a similarly huge stride of 26 feet.


TRAINER: Gordon Neale, Bobby Mitchell, Dinny Callinan, Francis Roberts, Harry Plant

OWNERS: Frank and John Bach, A.E. Hadwen, A.O. Romano

RACE RECORD/STAKE MONEY: 37 starts: 26 wins, 2 seconds, 1 third/£25,504

Major Wins 

  • VATC Futurity Stakes
  • VATC Caulfield Stakes
  • AJC Chipping Norton Stakes
  • AJC All-Aged Stakes
  • STC Rawson Stakes
  • VRC Newmarket Handicap
  • BATC Doomben Ten Thousand
  • BATC Doomben Cup


During his first four years of racing, Bernborough's appearances were restricted to Toowoomba because of bans imposed by the Queensland and New South Wales racing authorities, who questioned the bona fides of his ownership. Only when a new owner, A.O. Romano took possession of the horse were these bans lifted.

Beginning in December 1945, Bernborough put together a sequence of 15 successive wins, over distances from six to eleven furlongs. His wins were characterised by his enormous courage under heavy weights, and whirlwind finishes which gave him victory from seemingly impossible positions. In the 1946 Doomben Ten Thousand he carried a mammoth 10st 5lbs (66kg). With 600 metres to run he was 23rd in a field of 26. He won by two lengths, pulling up, in record time.

The run of success came to an end in the 1946 Caulfield Cup when his huge weight of 10st 10lbs (68kg), and the interference he suffered during the race, proved too much for him, and he could do no better than 5th place. Two weeks later on Derby Day, he broke down in the L.K.S.Mackinnon Stakes. He had torn the ligaments around the sesamoid bone, and he would never race again. He was subsequently sold to Spendthrift Stud in the United States where he had a successful career as a sire until his death in 1960.

Bernborough was inducted into the Australian Hall of Fame in 2001.

Image Source: Australian Racing Museum