Harness - News

Passing of Jack Carmichael

  • Mon, 28 May 2018
  • Frank Marrion

Popular and highly respected former Templeton horseman Jack Carmichael passed away last Wednesday aged 94.

Carmichael only handed in his training licence six years ago and trained his last winner when Flaming Freida scored at Washdyke in May, 2015.

Carmichael had 346 training wins in a career which spanned six decades, while he won 21 races in his last season of driving in 1988, for a career tally in excess of 700.

Carmichael started out as a right-hand man to Wes Butt at Mankind Lodge, but soon established himself as a top Canterbury trainer in his own right after branching out in the mid-60s.

He had 19 winners in his third season of training, when the top Johnny Globe pacers Gay Robin and Chequer Board quickly brought him to the fore.

Chequer Board won 23 races, most of them for Carmichael after starting out with Dave Jessop.

By the early 70s, Carmichael had already won a New Zealand Cup with another Johnny Globe horse in Globe Bay, and a Dominion Handicap with the Johnny Globe mare Precocious.

The latter went on to win the Inter-Dominion Trotting Grand Final in Sydney in 1973, the year she became a grandmother after an early accidental mating.

The resulting foal was the All Gallant filly Over Fence, whose first foal was a very good trotter in Precocious Lad, a winner of over $500,000 in North America.

Kaikoura Cup winner Micron was another top pacer for Carmichael in the 70s, while in the 80s he won a Rowe Cup with Yankee Loch, a Trotting Championship with Game Pointer and Jenner, and two Kaikoura Cups with Spry Joker.

Game Paul and White Horse Pride were top trotters for Carmichael in the early 90s.

Carmichael was also a gifted reinsman and won numerous features for other stables, notably New Zealand Oaks with Ar Miss and her daughter Armalight.

Other Group 1 wins came with Chequer Board (Easter Cup), Berkleigh (NZ Derby), Hilarious Guest (NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes) and Megatrend (NZ Sires Stakes), the latter in 1986 and not long before Carmichael was forced to retire from driving.

Carmichael was the stable driver for Des Grice when he was in his hay day in the 70s and won numerous races with the likes of Don Lopez and Smokey Lopez, while Jascoe, El Guago, Glen Moria, Young Pride and Nardins Hall were other good performers he trained.

Carmichael, husband of Dorothy and father of Wayne, was farewelled on Monday.