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Headlines Today is 11/02/2016
The late Jim Atkins trained Dalrello and this is a Justracing file photo of Jim Atkins and my wife Denise in November 2009, at a Brisbane race meeting when Jim Atkins had a horse engaged in a race that he trained for the late Wayne Wilson and Wayne's wife Sally. My wife had a horse in the same race which was trained by a young bloke who I'd met around the bush tracks - Tony Gollan. These days Tony Gollan is the premiership winning trainer in Brisbane and co-incidentally Tony Gollan's father, Darryl, part owned the subject horse of this story - Dalrello.

The Toowoomba trained galloper Dalrello was arguably one of the best gallopers produced in Queensland in the last 50 years.

The foal that would grow up to be named Darello entered the world in 1968 as the son of the Queensland based stallion Aloe and the broodmare Delegraphy on face value at least didn’t have much going for him. Aloe’s sole claim to fame was that he’d won a race in Ireland over 1.75 miles (2800 metres). For her part Delegraphy was no racetrack star either, as she’d won just one race over 5 furlongs (1000 metres) in the bush.

On researching Dalrello’s pedigree however, both his sire and dam were very well bred. His sire Aloe was a son of Alycidon, a wonderful English stayer that won among other races the 1949 Ascot Gold Cup over 20 furlongs (4000 metres) as well as a Doncaster Cup and a Goodwood Cup, both races being run over 16 furlongs (3200 metres).


Dalrello’s dam Delegraphy was a daughter of Delta, the champion Australian racehorse of the late 1940s and early 1950s. He won such prestigious races as the Cox Plate, Melbourne Cup, Victoria Derby, The Metropolitan, Chelmsford Stakes (three consecutive times), Mackinnon Stakes, Canterbury Guineas, Chipping Norton Stakes, etcetera.


Aloe, the sire of Dalrello, was named the leading sire in Queensland in the 1974/75 and 1975/76 seasons. Apart from Dalrello he also sired the classy diminutive mare Mode (10 wins including the Brisbane Cup, Queensland Oaks and Grand Prix), All Fashion (Labour Day Cup), Rayloe (Doomben Dollars, T.M. Ahern Stakes, QTC Sapphire Bracelet), Big Fire (Koomeela Stakes and QTC Sapphire Bracelet), Combatant (Doomben Dollars), Sun And Sand (Bernborough Handicap and QTC Hopeful Stakes), etcetera.


Dalrello was trained by the late Jim Atkins in Toowoomba but I noted when researching this story that there’s a dispute over the number of starts the horse had. When he was retired to stud the “Thoroughbred Stallion Register,” which was put out by the Australian Jockey Club annually, stated Dalrello started 59 times for 18 wins. The publication from a few years ago “Racing Through The Years – A Guide to Queensland Thoroughbred Racing” suggests Dalrello started 63 times, but it also agrees he won 18 races, so at least they agree on the number of wins aspect.


When I wrote Jim Atkins biography for this website on 20 October 2005 he told me of all the horses that he’d trained in his long career, “Dalrello was my best miler, Grey Affair the best stayer and Prince Ruling was my best sprinter”.


Here’s the three generation tabulation of Dalrello:




Donatello 11











Lucie Manette



In his 18 career wins Dalrello’s winning jockeys were Peter Cook (one win), Terry Lucas (nine wins), Len Hill (one win), Barry Stein (two wins) and Larry Olsen (five wins).


Dalrello didn’t look like any star as a 2YO, starting eight times for just the one win which was in the Claret Stakes (now the J. J. Atkins) at Eagle Farm over 1600 metres. Whilst his win strike rate as a 2YO ended up being a pathetic 8.33%, it’s noteworthy that he was placed either second or third at six of his other seven starts at 2YO.


As a 3YO he found the winner’s circle many more times – in seven of 15 starts (46.67%).

Dalrello didn’t win interstate until his 4YO year when he won two Sydney races. He won the 1975 Doncaster at Randwick over 1600 metres under the urgings of Barry Stein and he also won the Ryder Stakes at Rosehill for the same jockey over 1500 metres.


In his 5YO year Dalrello won only three races but amazingly they were all at the one track - Randwick - for the one jockey, Larry Olsen. Those three victories occurred in the Apollo Stakes at 1400 metres, the All Aged Stakes over 1600 metres and the Craven Plate over 2000 metres. Interestingly Dalrello also won the All Aged Stakes at Randwick the following year (1977) as a 6YO – and during that year he showed his versatility by winning the QTC Lightning Handicap at Eagle Farm in the Brisbane Winter Carnival of 1977 over 1000 metres under the steadier of 59.5kgs. The only Lightning Handicap winner of that race to carry remotely near that same weight subsequently was 2013 winner Howmuchdoyouloveme, which also carried 59.5kgs, albeit the limit weight would have increased in the 36 years between the two horses winning.


Dalrello retired to stud at Stradbroke Stud at Kootingal in New South Wales as a “syndicated” stallion on a stud fee of $1,500.


Dalrello threw no progeny with remotely his own ability and in fact Stud Book records suggest Dalrello had major fertility problems at stud as official Stud Book records show that over four seasons - 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980 - Dalrello served 114 mares but produced only 63 live foals (55.26%). The biggest number of mares that entered his stallion barn was 47 in the 1979 season.


Dalrello died whilst serving a mare in his fourth season at stud.


So whilst he proved to be a flop in the breeding barn, Dalrello was nevertheless one of the best thoroughbreds bred in Queensland in the last 50 years.


Today on there’s a story on how Capitalist’s sire goes from strength to strength and a broodmare’s rare feat at Caulfield last Saturday.

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