Nat Gould

His life and books


On and Off the Turf in Australia

First published in 1895, this was the eighth of Nat Gould's books to be published.

The publisher was George Routledge and Sons Ltd of London.

It has since been reissued several times, sometimes abridged and with different chapter headings.

The book is mostly about Australian horse racing, but there are shorter passages on football, cricket and other sports and athletics, as well as the theatre. There is a little autobiographical detail, mainly about his visits around Australia. He also includes some observations on contemporary life in Australia which are of historical interest.

The chapters are headed as follows in the original edition:

CHAPTER I. A PRELIMINARY CANTER. An unpretending book. Writers on Australia. First impressions. The sort of men wanted. Prospects. Living."

CHAPTER II. TURF LIFE IN THE COLONIES. Racing men : their superstitions. "Women backers. Contrasts. Forestalling. Climate. Training track. Press-men.

CHAPTER III. SOME RACING STABLES AND TRAINEES. Randwick. "Newmarket." Mr. Tom Payten. A racing centre. Mr. John Allsop. Mr.H. Raynor. Arsenal's cup. The biter bitten. Some real " fliers." Mr. James Swan. A slice of luck.

CHAPTER IV. MORE ABOUT STABLES AND TRAINERS. Mr. Hordern's racers. Nordenfeldt. Dan O'Brien. Some experiences. The egg-boiler. Two fortunes missed. Harry Giltinan. Mark Thompson. Mr. Noud's hospitality. The result. A couple of aldermen. Mr. W. Kelso.

CHAPTER V. IN THE RING. Betting. A word of advice. The clubs. Sweeps. Double event shops. Odds laid. Back a double. The roof falls in. The ring growing. Mr. H. Oxenham. Some big wagers. Enormous business. Thousands at stake. Charlie Samuels. A crack-runner. Commissioners.

CHAPTER VI. TOTALISATORS AND SWEEPS (3). How Totalisators are worked. Arguments for and against. Big dividends. Struggling crowds. Owners' tactics. Tote shops. How they were run. Double event dodges. Sweeps. "Tattersalls " and "Oxenhams". Some lucky winners. Owners' demands. A moral Government.

CHAPTER VII. SOME DERBY AND CUP REMINISCENCES. Bravo's win. Long odds. A thousand to one. Dreadnought. A short double. A sensational horse. Malvolio. A couple of good ones. That saddle. Glenloth's year. An awful day. The waiter and his sov. Real bad luck.

CHAPTER VIII. DERBY AND CUP REMINISCENCES (continued). Travelling. A lively experience. Train on fire. Amusing account. A narrow squeak. Tarcoola's win. A great three-year-old. Bad luck over a gallop. Patron's Cup. Oh ! what a surprise. An unlucky horse. Harvester's Derby. An incident after it. Paris and his Cup. Tim Swiveller's disqualification.

CHAPTER IX. CARBINE AND HIS CUP. A great racehorse. His Cup win. Some interesting particulars. On board the " Orizaba." The voyage to England. Mr. Ernest Day. His yarns, A successful trip. A letter from Mr. Forrester. Carbine does him out of £28,000. Narrow shave for a fortune.

CHAPTER X. COLONIAL HORSES AND PONIES. Blood horses. English v. Australian. Up Country horses. Powers of endurance. Long journey. The Bushman's nag. Town horses. Pony racing. Measuring dodges. The Indian market.

CHAPTER XI. TRAINING AND RIDING. On the track. Early training. Some gallop?. Timing the horses. Differences of opinion. Affable trainers. Tricks of the trade. Notable jockeys. Tom Hales. His good fortune. How they ride. Behind the scenes. An amusing incident. Gallagher score?. The reason why. Steeplechase riders. Accidents. A Jockey's Club. Fees and engagements.

CHAPTER XII. JAUNTS AND JOTTINGS. At Warwick Farm. Mr. W. Forrester. Hobartville. The late Andrew Town. A jolly good fellow. Yearling sales. Under the oaks. Over the Blue Mountains. Bathurst. Splendid scenery. " Log-rolling." Sporting in the district. Kangaroos and hares. Race meetings.

CHAPTER XIII. JAUNTS AND JOTTINGS (continued). An Aldermanic jaunt. Lewis's Ponds. A breakfast lost. Electioneering. Establishing a newspaper. Legislators. A jaunt to Hobart. A glorious country. Brown's River. How we drove there. In Queensland. Brisbane sports. Old Vespasian. Scamp. A scene on the racecourse. James Tyson millionaire. His habits and character.

CHAPTER XIV. A COOLGARDIE PIONEER. Ford, of Bayley's Reward. An interview with him. What he thinks of Coolgardie. Nests of nuggets. Shovelling up gold. How it feels to be rich. A salt lake. Three hundred miles round. Betting v. Mining speculations.

CHAPTER XV. RACECOUESES AND THEIR MANAGEMENT. Flemington and Randwick. Caulfield course. Some suburban courses. Race club secretaries. Selling races. Catering for the public. Pleasure before business. Distances of races. Stayers and non-stayers. Managerial items.

CHAPTER XVI. CRICKET AND OTHER NOTES. Street scenes. Scenes at Sydney. Australia v. England. Some good players. Big scoring. An enthusiastic crowd. Johnny Briggs. Management. Scoring. A popular player. Football. Sculling. Yachting.

CHAPTER XVII. ODDS AND ENDS. Some boxing items. Peter Jackson. John L. Sullivan as an actor. He goes "on a jag". Foot runners. Big stakes. Smart men. A safe blown open. The sport killed. Amateur athletes. Bicycling. Trophy dodges. Cash prizes.

CHAPTER XVIII. LIFE ON A SHEEP STATION. An enormous run. One hundred and thirty thousand sheep shorn. The method of shearing. Some queer characters. A shearers' strike. Dodges resorted to. New hands. How shearers live. Bush shanties. The grog that kills. Take downs. Earnings of shearers.

CHAPTER XIX. BEFORE AND BEHIND THE FOOTLIGHTS. Theatrical management. Class of performances. A trip with George Rignold. Her Majesty's Theatre. A curious "Martha". Brough and Boucicault. Williamson and Musgrove. Their productions. A yarn. "Widow O'Brien". John F. Sheridan. Some comedians. Elton's armour. Visitors to the Colonies. An excellent school. Appreciative audiences. A variety of notes.

CHAPTER XX. THE COLONIES AS A HOME. Winding up. Colonial life. Agitators. "Going home." End of the gallop.


Mellifont Paperback Edition

This is an abridged edition. Some of the chapters in the original edition are omitted and others have different headings and revised contents, as follows:

CHAPTER I "TURF LIFE IN THE COLONIES : Racing Men: their superstitions - Contrasts - Personalities - The biter bitten."

CHAPTER II "MORE ABOUT STABLES AND TRAINERS : Dan O'Brien - Two fortunes missed - Mr. Noud's hospitality -The result."

CHAPTER III "SOME DERBY AND CUP REMINISCENCES : Bravo's Win - Long odds - -A thousand to one - Dreadnought - A short double - A sensational horse - Malvolio - A couple of good ones."

CHAPTER IV "SOME DERBY AND CUP REMINISCENCE (continued) : Tarcoola's win - A great three-year-old - Bad luck over a gallop - Patron's Cup - Oh! what a surprise - An unlucky horse - Harvester's Derby - An incident after it - Paris and his Cup - Tim Swiveller's disqualification."

CHAPTER V "CARBINE AND HIS CUP : A great racehorse - His Cup win - Some interesting particulars - On board the "Orizaba" - The voyage to England - Mr. Ernest Day - His yarns - A successful trip - A letter from Mr. Forrester - Carbine does him out of £28,000 - Narrow shave for a fortune."

CHAPTER VI "COLONIAL HORSES AND PONIES : Blood horses - England v. Australia - Up Country horses - Powers of Endurance - Long journey - The Bushman's nag - Town horses - Pony racing - Measuring dodges - The Indian market."

CHAPTER VII "TRAINING AND RIDING : On the track - Early training - Some gallops - Timing the horses - Differences of opinion - Affable trainers - Tricks of the trade - Notable jockeys - Tom Hales - His good fortune - How they ride - Behind the scenes - An amusing incident - Gallagher scores - The reason why - Steeplechase riders - Accidents - Jockeys' Club - Fees and engagements."

CHAPTER VIII "JAUNTS AND JOTTINGS : At Warwick Farm - Mr. W. Forrester - Hobartville - The late Andrew Town - A jolly good fellow - Yearling sales - Under the Oaks - Over the Blue Mountains - Bathurst - Splendid scenery - "Log-rolling" - Sporting in the district - Kangaroos and hares - Race meetings."

CHAPTER IX "JAUNTS AND JOTTINGS (continued) : An aldermanic jaunt - Lewis's Ponds - A breakfast lost - Electioneering - Establishing a newspaper - Legislators - A jaunt to Hobart - A glorious country - Brown's river - How we drove there - In Queensland - Brisbane sports - Old Vespasian - Scamp - A scene on the racecourse - James Tyson, millionaire - His habits and character."

CHAPTER X "A COOLGARDIE PIONEER : Ford. of Bailey's Reward - An interview with him - What he thinks of Coolgardie - Nests of nuggets - Shovelling up gold - How it feels to be rich - A salt lake - Three hundred miles round - Betting v. Mining speculations."

CHAPTER XI "RACECOURSES AND THEIR MANAGEMENT : Flemington and Randwick - Caulfield course - Some suburban courses - Race club secretaries - Selling races - Catering for the public - Pleasure before business - Distances of races - Stayers and non-stayers - Managerial items."

CHAPTER XII "CRICKET AND OTHER NOTES : Street scenes - Scenes at Sydney - Australia v. England - Some good players - Big scoring - An enthusiastic crowd - Johnny Briggs - Management - Scoring - A popular player - Footballing - Sculling - Yachting."

CHAPTER XIII "ODDS AND ENDS : Some boxing items - Peter Jackson - John L. Sullivan as an actor - He goes "on a jag" - Foot runners - Big stakes - Smart men - A safe blown open - The Sport killed - Amateur athletics - Bicycling - Trophy dodges - Cash prizes."

CHAPTER XIV "LIFE ON A SHEEP STATION : An enormous run - One hundred and thirty thousand sheep shorn - The method of shearing - Some queer characters - A shearers' strike - Dodges resorted to - New hands - How shearers live - Bush shanties - The grog that kills - Take downs - Earnings of shearers."

CHAPTER XV "BEFORE AND BEHIND THE FOOTLIGHTS : Theatrical management - Class of performance - A trip with George Rignold - Her Majesty's Theatre - A curious "Martha" - Brough and Boucicauld - Williamson and Musgrove - Their productions - A yarn - "Widow O'Brien" - John F. Sheridan - Some comedians - Elton's armour - Visitors to the Colonies - An excellent school - Appreciative audiences - A variety of notes."

CHAPTER XVI "THE COLONIES AS A HOME : Winding up - Colonial life- Agitators - "Going Home" - End of the gallop."