The Gold Coast Bulletin
Chief of Doomben
HE’s the king of Doomben who went on to bust up pub brawls, control Schoolies crowds on the Gold Coast and hunt arson offenders in bush fires.
Saturday marks the first Doomben 10,000 since Chief De Beers’ passing, a two-time champion of the race who won 20 of his 38 starts at the circuit, and not a single race anywhere else.
“Chief” became synonymous with Doomben and was a fan favourite, but it was his work post racing which endeared him to thousands.
“He always drew a crowd when he was on patrol, not a lot of people actually believed it was him because he was so calm and quiet,” Acting Sergeant Belinda Worthington said in the lead up to the race the ‘Chief’ helped make famous.
Worthington was Chief De Beers’ assigned handler and they formed an inseparable bond which continued right through until his death in July last year.
After a racing career that spanned from 1994 to 1999, “Chief” was donated to the QPS with great fanfare by owner Barry Greenup.
A champion on the track, Chief De Beers boasts one of the most remarkable racing records ever seen.
In 13 career starts away from Doomben, he managed just five placings, but at Doomben he was a 12-time stakes winner.
“It was a big occasion when he was coming over to the QPS. It was well known when he was retiring that is what he was going to do so it was a big affair for the QPS,” Worthington said.
“I spent a lot of time with him and I trained a lot of horses while I was there but he was always a little bit special, he was different. Being around him really was the highlight of my career. He was allocated as my main troop horse for round nine years.”