Late bookie’s trophy home hits market
THE Strathfield trophy home of the late leviathan bookmaker Harry Barrett has been listed for sale by his widow Patricia.
The noted bookmaker and usedcar salesman and his wife bought it from Andrew Kelly, the then boss of Strathfield Car Radios in 1996.
Set privately behind gates and a walled entry, the vast home spans 725sqm and includes five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a billiard room, home theatre and study.
Its 2365sqm grounds come with a pool, a cabana with sauna and an allweather tennis court.
George Ellis and Co Strathfield listing team Sam and Joseph Georges are marketing the estate as “reminiscent of an opulent Hollywood mansion”. They have it scheduled for a November 3 auction.
The Barretts paid $1.9 million for the Redmyre Rd home in 1996 through Sam Georges.
Barrett, famous for his betting battles with the late media tycoon Kerry Packer, died in 2011, being absent from his Randwick racetrack stand for only the last few weeks of his life.
He had begun on the flat at Randwick in 1972 and, by the early 1990s, Barrett had an annual turnover of about $100 million, bolstered by the combative Kerry Packer’s passion for the punt.
“One day during the Easter carni- val in that big year I held $9.6 million,” he once let slip to Richard Zachariah, the then Sunday Telegraph columnist.
Barrett also briefly hit the front page headlines after he bought Sydney’s most conspicuous Point Piper waterfront mansion, Altona, in 1991 through Bill Bridges at WJ Bridges Real Estate for $6.1 million.
He thought he’d got a good buy, although Patricia jestingly thought he was off his trolley.
Within a year the Barretts decided to stay at their then Strathfield house they’d bought 17 years before for $112,000, with Altona onsold for $5.25 million to Matt and Fiona Handbury, publishers of Better Homes and Gardens. Altona had 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, but Barrett never occupied Altona. Instead, he and his family — while still living at Strathfield — stayed in the boatshed at weekends.
“I’m a very basic guy — it was just too big,” Barrett told me on selling Altona.
Rival bookmaker Mark Read once accused Barrett of wearing the same tie for 20 years, with Barrett countering: “I’ve only got one neck.”
The Strathfield residential price record stands at $8.8 million for a Chalmers Rd property sold by Sanity boss Ray Itaoui and his wife Rachel through George Ellis & Co in May last year.
Late bookmaker Harry Barrett in his heyday at Royal Randwick, and (insets) the Strathfield home that’s going to auction.