Bon ViewThis impressive home named Bon Haven, built in 1932 at 181 High Street in Kangaroo Flat, a southern suburb of Bendigo, was reputed to be paid for by the earnings of Alf Petherick’s wonderful mare, Glideaway.

It was such an unusual house for working-class Kangaroo Flat. A Back to Kangaroo Flat booklet (1993) notes:

“Bon Haven was the envy of all. People came from far and wide, and those in vehicles, whether motor car or horse-drawn of which there were many at the time, in the middle of The Great Depression, could be seen to slow down as they passed to admire it.”

Glideaway was a daughter of the stallion Directway US (Direct-Electway), imported in 1902 as a yearling by Adelaide Hill Stud (Bendigo) owner Robert Matchett. Directway was one of the five American stallions selected and purchased during trips to California by Matchett’s stud master Bob Crowe. The colt was bred by Californian John F Boyd at the Oakwood Park Stock Farm at Danville, south-east of San Francisco.

Directway is closely related to the stallion Charles Derby USA, the grandsire of the remarkable Australian sire Globe Derby. Directway’s dam Electway is a full sister to Charles Derby, who was a trotter; and a full brother to both Electway and Charles Derby was the fast pacer Klatawah USA (2:05.5).

GlideawayDirectway was extremely successful at stud, siring 193 winners from 19 crops of foals from 1904 until 1923. A feature of Directway’s siring feats was the number of high-class race-winning mares he sired. One of them, Adelaide Direct, 2:06.4, held both the Australasian mile and two mile records, while two others Maffra and Coora Direct between them held the Australian mare’s mile record for 12 years.


1906: Adelaide Direct, 2:06.4, won 1917 New Zealand Cup and held Australasian mile record and the NZ Pacers mare mile record from 1916 to 1941.

1906: Maffra, 2:14.4, held the Australian pacers mare mile record for 11 years (1911-1922).

1912: Coora Direct 2:12.0, won 16 metropolitan races in Perth and set a WA Pacers Mile record (1922 - TT2:12.0) and the pacers mare mile from 1922-23.

1918: Direct Home, 2:12.3, won nine metropolitan races in Melbourne and the 1929 Sydney Thousand.

1918: Rarebell Direct, 2:17.4, was a winner in Tasmania and New Zealand.

1922: Enice Direct 2:15.2 , won Boort and Charlton Cups and Bendigo and Ballarat Jockey Club Opens.


Another daughter of Directway who established a significant Melbourne metropolitan record at Richmond and Ascot was the pacer Glideaway.

Her Victorian record included winning 23 races, which was impressive enough, but a visit to New Zealand on lease added another four significant races to her record. Glideaway was bred, owned, trained and driven for almost all of her career by Alf Petherick, a butcher by trade from Kangaroo Flat, the southern-most suburb of Bendigo.

Glideaway was bred by Petherick from Miss Oscombe, a mare by the Young Osterly stallion, Oscombe. The Petherick family records show that Miss Oscombe was from a mare named Fairy, reputed to be a cream pony, bred and owned and shown often in a driven pair by Alf Petherick’s father William Sparks Petherick.

Directway (USA) >
Glideaway 1918 >
Miss Oscombe >
Reputed to be “Fairy’’ a cream pony mare

Petherick trained Glideaway on a track he constructed in a paddock where the Petherick butchery abattoir was situated (now the Collins Street industrial estate), at the end of what is now Petherick Street, off Lockwood Rd in Kangaroo Flat.

Alfred PetherickHe also trained her on the roads. Ken Hocking (grandfather of Romsey trainer-driver Chris Svanosio), who knew Alf well and worked horses for him along with a youthful Ken Pocock, relates that they worked their horses from Kangaroo Flat along Olympic Parade to the Marong–Bendigo road, then towards Bendigo to Specimen Hill Road, down the hill to McKenzie Sttreet and along McKenzie Street West to what is now Collins Street, a distance of approximately 15km. By reversing some days, the horses worked up the steep Specimen Hill Road, a significant challenge.

Glideaway commenced her racing career as a 4YO, with an unplaced run at nearby Marong, driven by Bendigo reinsman J McVey. In 1923, aged five and in her second season of racing, she registered her first win at the Miner’s Turf Club Racecourse in Ballarat, driven again by McVey. The same year she registered a win at Rochester when again driven by McVey. Her first win when driven by her owner-trainer Alf Petherick was in December 1924 at Kyneton.

In season 1925, she recorded three metropolitan wins at the Richmond track in Bridge Road. A further two wins at Richmond came in 1926, as well as a win at the mile racecourse at Marong. Glideaway and Petherick had a profitable year in 1927 when they won twice in January, once at Richmond (£200) and the Kerang Cup (£150). Using an on-line conversion site, which calculates historical pound values to present day purchasing power, the £150 Kerang Cup prizemoney equates to $10,700 in modern terms.

It was a double on November 21 at the metropolitan track at Richmond that demonstrated her versatility and brilliance, winning first off 12 yards and then 72 yards. A month later she added another win, a £200 race over two miles at Richmond. Her wins at Richmond were recorded over a mile, 13 furlongs and two miles. Glideaway had accumulated £2,285 in stake-money, £645 pounds of it in the 1928 season. The current equivalent of £2,285 is approximately $163,000. The Argus of May 1928 reported yet another double at Richmond for Petherick.


As stake money in Victoria at that time was relatively poor, many local horses, including the champion Huntly trotter Grand Voyage, were taken to New Zealand to race. In the 1922-23 season, of the total 565 races run in New Zealand, 6.2% or 35 races were won by Australian bred horses. Additionally, further success was achieved by Australian-born trainers with NZ-bred and owned horses. All arrivals from Australia travelled by sea.

The clearest example of the Australian influence was in the 1922 Auckland Cup where no fewer than eight of the 18 starters were either temporarily or more permanently (due to the trainer’s move to NZ) located on the New Zealand side of the Tasman that season.

Glideaway at Richmond

Gideaway was leased by Alf Petherick to Bill Tomkinson, a trainer from Rochester who took a team of horses, including Alex Hunter’s Happy Voyage and Globe Derby, Realm and Snowshoe, to New Zealand. Tomkinson became the leading trainer in New Zealand before the end of the decade, and his exploits with champion Indianapolis among others were to contribute significantly to the history of New Zealand trotting. By the 1924-25 season, Tomkinson was at the head of the drivers’ list, and repeated his standing in 1928-29. He was leading trainer in 1924-25, 1927-28 and 1928-29. He died at the young age of 46 after being injured in a fall while tying a sulky to a horse truck.

In 1928, the 11YO Glideaway, after commencing the season at Addington in Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island, was shipped north to Auckland. During December in Auckland, Glideaway raced four times for three seconds, and won the Premier Handicap of £500 on New Year’s Eve. Shipped south again, she won the two-mile Dunedin Cup of $725 at Forbury Park in January 1929.

The best was to come as in February at Alexandra Park in Auckland, she won the 1,000 sovereign Otahuhu Cup and four days later, the Dominion Handicap of 1,000 sovereigns.

Since arriving in New Zealand Glideaway had won stakes of £2455 (2020 values of approximately $175,000). Added to her Australian prize-money to that date, Glideaway’s total winnings were £4,740.00, which equates to $338,150. At the time, the average Australian annual wage was $3,269, and average house prices were somewhere around $10,000. The Pethericks could certainly afford to build a substantial house.

On returning to Bendigo, she won two races at Richmond in 1930 and another in 1932 at Ascot when she was 14YO. She was then retired after ten successful years of racing.

During 1932-34, Alf Petherick built the house Bon Haven at 181 High St Kangaroo Flat with the earnings of Glideaway. She was then bred from, aged 15. HRA records her as having one foal, Taska, by Great Derby, a son of the Globe Derby horse Great Derby that was at stud at Neilborough.

Bon ViewTaska had just one foal, bred by Alf Petherick; b,y Noble Scott it was named Scotaska 2:10.8, the winner of five races. Alf's last placed drive is believed to have been on Scotaska in December 1961. Her daughter Destiny Star won two races when trained by Bruce Morgan. The line looks to have petered out with the Bravado Hanover gelding Dual Conquest, 2:05.1, a winner of one race.

The next time you are driving into Bendigo through Kangaroo Flat, look to your right as you pass the Sandhurst Motor Inn. At the corner of View and High streets, still standing in good shape, eighty-seven years after it was built is Bon Haven, the house that Glideaway built.


In addition to the high-class race mares, the stallion Directway sired a number of mares that were the tap-root of many Classic Race winners.

Among them were:

Milky Way: 10 winners from 11 foals including the first Inter Dominion winner Evicus 2:03.0, and her siblings Emilius Way 2:08.4 and Icevus 2:06.6

Ethyl Direct: third dam of Hunter Cup and Inter Dominion winner Minuteman 2:06.2 and his half-sister Ballon D’Essai 2:06.8

Rarebell Direct: grand-dam of Single Direct 2:01.0, winner of the Adelaide Inter Dominion, and numerous cups and FFAs in New Zealand.

Polly Peanuts: the dam of Park Pool 2:17.6, the dam of Gentleman John

Lady Venture was the taproot mare of the family that produced dual-Oaks winner Lynmont, the star trotters Fionas Flair, Son of Flair, Mighty Maori, A Touch Of Flair, Down Under Muscles and the 2020 Australian 2YO Trotting Filly of the Year Banglez.

Kinney Direct was the dam of the brilliant mare A La Mode who won ten races at Richmond, including the 1925 Fleet Cup, as well as a Bendigo JC Open and two Ballarat TC Opens.