Farewell Mary Sadler

In the Septem­ber 2015 edi­tion of In­sid­erac­ing, He­len Sadler wrote about her amaz­ing mother, Mary, who aged 107 was still go­ing to the races. Mary Sadler, who had con­tin­ued go­ing to meet­ings for a cou­ple more years, passed away at Bal­wyn Manor nurs­ing home

Ladies in Racing - - Contents -

Afam­ily trib­ute said that Mary Sadler and her late hus­band, Lind­say, “en­joyed 63 years of mar­riage. Their chil­dren, Mar­garet, Ge­orge, El­iz­a­beth, Nonie, Frank (dec.), He­len and John will miss her greatly. “She loved and stayed in­ter­ested in her grand­chil­dren, great grand­chil­dren and great-great grand­chil­dren un­til her fi­nal days. “Thanks for the won­der­ful mem­o­ries, Mum,” said He­len. Mary’s son John Sadler, a suc­cess­ful trainer based at Caulfield, told

rac­ing.com his mother died peace­fully. “She turned 110 on the Jan­uary 12th and she’d had re­ally good health up un­til then, but a few months ago she had a bad fall and had been strug­gling ever since. It’s a happy re­lease and we can cel­e­brate the great life she had,” he said. John’s jockey son Tom Sadler tweeted: “On be­half of the fam­ily we’d like to thank ev­ery­one for the fan­fare of Nana Sadler and all the nice mes­sages. She had a pretty amaz­ing life.” He­len wrote in her 2015 ar­ti­cle that Mary “first went to the Mel­bourne Cup in 1928, won by States­man. The fol­low­ing year she was one of 89,078 at

Flem­ing­ton to see Phar Lap when the even money favourite fin­ished third to Night­march, but in 1930 she had to be con­tent to lis­ten on the wire­less to the le­gend Phar Lap, an even hot­ter favourite at 11/8 on, win the Cup. He­len con­tin­ued, “Some 80 years later, Mum was at Moonee Val­ley for three of the mod­ern-day cham­pion Black Caviar’s wins in an un­beaten streak of 25 from 2009-2013, and she be­lieves that she saw two of Aus­tralia’s great­est race­horses. “Her love of rac­ing con­tin­ued, and she and I en­joyed be­ing at the races when­ever we could, es­pe­cially if my brother John had horses run­ning on the day.

“Mum con­tin­ued to lis­ten in, she had two ra­dios, one per­ma­nently set on the ABC’S 774 and the other on RSN 927 so she could lis­ten to a race at a mo­ment’s no­tice.” He­len wrote that her mother was born in Terang in 1908 and went to school there. She learned to play the pi­ano and passed her first exam in 1915, “mean­ing she has been play­ing the pi­ano for more than 100 years. “She con­tin­ued to play at Bal­wyn Manor for the en­joy­ment of fel­low res­i­dents and on a hol­i­day in Mil­dura in June 2015 we had din­ner at Ste­fano’s grand restau­rant, and she fin­ished off the night by play­ing a few tunes for the lo­cals. “Mum lived in Terang with her fam­ily (par­ents An­nie and Abedi Bourke) un­til her mar­riage to Lind­say Sadler in 1930, af­ter which they took up res­i­dence on Lind­say’s fa­ther’s dairy farm at Glenormis­ton, about eight miles (about 13km) from Terang. “Mum’s in­ter­est in Thor­ough­bred rac­ing was first gen­er­ated by her fa­ther and they at­tended meet­ings in Terang to­gether. Later, Mum and Dad be­came in­volved with the Terang Rac­ing Club for sev­eral decades. One of their great­est thrills in rac­ing was when their horse, Luisillo, trained by son John, won the Terang Cup in 1980. “On New Year’s Day in 2008 the Terang Rac­ing Club hon­oured Mum by nam­ing a race af­ter her to cel­e­brate her 100th birth­day. “Terang race­course is known as the Flem­ing­ton of the Bush. In 2015 the Club in­vited Mum to re­turn to Terang for their Cup meet­ing in April. She was thrilled to be asked to present the tro­phy to the con­nec­tions of the win­ner, Tall Ship. “One name from the past that comes to mind is Fred Dr­ever. Fred and wife Nel­lie were in­vited to be res­i­dent trainer and care­taker at the Terang Rac­ing Club and con­tin­ued in that role for 55 years. Mum and Dad knew the Dre­vers very well and counted them among their friends, and when John was still a teenager, he worked in Fred’s sta­bles. “Fred had count­less win­ners through­out Vic­to­ria and in­ter­state; but it was Grey Sap­phire who brought great ex­cite­ment to the Terang rac­ing com­mu­nity when he won the Stan­dish Hand­i­cap at Flem­ing­ton on New Year’s Day in 1981.” He­len wrote that among great rac­ing names, es­pe­cially from West­ern Vic­to­ria, her mother knew well the Moloneys: trainer Jerry who won the Grand An­nual Steeple­chase at War­rnam­bool and the Grand Na­tional Hur­dle at Flem­ing­ton in the 1930s; Jerry’s son Jim, an Aus­tralian Rac­ing Hall of Famer, who trained the great sprinter of the 1960s, Vain; Jim’s sons John and Ger­ard, who train at Caulfield; and Ger­ard’s son Pa­trick, cham­pion ap­pren­tice in 2014-15 and now a suc­cess­ful se­nior jockey. “My mother had a role on one event­ful day in Jim’s life; she played the or­gan at Pauline and his wed­ding,” He­len wrote. “Now Pa­trick has rid­den sev­eral horses from the Sadler camp; but the ride I en­joyed most was when he guided Marli Magic home for my brother John at Moonee Val­ley in Jan­uary 2015 and Mum and I joined other syn­di­cate mem­bers in a me­morable cel­e­bra­tion. There’s noth­ing like the thrill of a win­ner!” Clearly, Tom’s tweet that his Nana lived a amaz­ing life is valid for much more than her longevity.

rac­ing mo­ments - left: Mary Sadler, with daugh­ter He­len at Moonee Val­ley in 2007 right: with son John at Terang in 2008, the year she turned 100.

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