Heroic's great record as a racehorse was matched by his prowess as a sire: seven successive years as Australia's leading sire.


TRAINER: Cecil Godby, Jack Holt

OWNERS: Jack Corteen, Charles Kellow

RACE RECORD/STAKE MONEY: 51 starts: 21 wins, 11 seconds, 4 thirds/£38,062

Major Wins 

  • Champagne Stakes
  • Ascot Vale Stakes
  • AJC Derby
  • Caulfield Guineas
  • Newmarket Handicap
  • W.S. Cox Plate


Heroic was a brilliant and temperamental racehorse, supremely versatile, and of striking appearance. He was rarely out of the headlines.

Heroic was bred at Arrowfield Stud in 1921 and purchased as a yearling by leading owner, Jack Corteen. Heroic performed superbly as a two-year-old with six wins including the AJC Champagne Stakes, the Maribyrnong Plate and the Ascot Vale Stakes. As a three-year-old he won the Chelmsford Stakes (breaking the Australian record for nine furlongs), the AJC Derby and the Caulfield Guineas - which promoted him to short-priced favouritism for the 1924 Victoria Derby/Melbourne Cup double.

Fate then intervened to bring Heroic's career to an inglorious halt. Corteen, and part-owner George Tye, trainer Godby and jockey Cairns were all disqualified for 12 months for not allowing their horse, Purser, to run on its merits in the Coongy Handicap, where it finished down the course in 11th place. Three days later, with heavy support in the betting ring, Purser won the Caulfield Cup. The disqualification of Heroic's connections meant his entry for the Derby and Melbourne Cup could not be accepted. Heroic's career only resumed when he was put up for public auction and bought by well-known sportsman, Charles Kellow, who bid the then record price of 16,000 guineas for a horse in training. With Jack Holt his new trainer, Heroic raced for a further two years, winning 11 races ranging from six furlongs to two miles. In 1927 Heroic was retired to stud where he was seven times in succession Australia's leading sire.

Heroic was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.