Bernie Fraser will always call Junee home

Bernie Fraser with the well-named, I Call Junee Home, which won her maiden at the Sapphire Coast late last month. Photo: Bradley Photos.

Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Bernie Fraser, is a proud Junee product.  

Born and bred here, Mr Fraser attended Junee High School, before studying with the University of New England in Armidale. 

After entering the public service in 1961, Mr Fraser travelled the country and the world for work before eventually serving as Secretary of the Department of the Treasury between 1984-1989 and as Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia between 1989-1996.

Now retired from the public service, Mr Fraser enjoys breeding and pre-training his horses on his Queanbeyan property. 

“I have a small farm outside of Queanbeyan now where I have resumed my interest in racehorses,” Mr Fraser said. 

“I was training and breeding but it got too hard to get trackwork riders here because I train on my farm, and I didn’t renew my trainer’s licence.

“I now send them to trainers in Canberra, and one young fella (Pat Murphy) who use to ride for me who just started out in Goulburn.”

Recently, the Queanbeyan-based breeder watched on as the aptly named, I Call Junee Home, won her maiden at the Sapphire Coast for Canberra trainer, Luke Pepper. 

The five-year-old was well supported into $2.50 favourite, and under the guidance of in-form hoop Mathew Cahill, I Call Junee Home boulted in for an easy win over the 1012m journey. 

Mr Fraser admitted that it was no coincidence that his mare was named after his hometown.

“I’ve got to a point in my life where I look backwards more than forwards these days,” Mr Fraser laughed. 

“My memories are mostly good from Junee, and I have a soft spot for the town and I guess I am renewing that memory by naming a couple of horses after Junee.”

I Call Junee Home has taken some time to get right, starting off with Mr Fraser before spending time in Gundagai with David ‘Darky’ Blundell. 

After a stint with Blundell, Mr Fraser took control of the training duties again, before she found herself in the care of Pepper and his Canberra stable.

“I sent her to David Blundell, and he got her up to the point of having her first trial at Gundagai and she won the trial, against only one other horse,” Mr Fraser said. 

“She went shin sore, and I brought her home and she had a good spell in the paddock, and I had a track work rider when I resumed her and she ran a few good placings for me at Canberra, but she was prone to a few muscle strains and that made her a bit dicky.

“I put her out for a good spell and after that I hadn’t renewed my licence and I sent her to Luke – he has done a tremendous job for a first and second with her in two starts.”

The Delago Deluxe mare that is out of Cutiepie Magpie will be racing at Gundagai on Saturday when contesting the 1000m Class Two Handicap on what is the second day of the annual Snake Gully Cup carnival.

“She will race on Saturday. She knows the Gundagai track, having had a few months there with David Blundell. She knows the track and handles the track, and we expect her to go well,” Mr Fraser said.

“The only worry about the race on Saturday seems to be heavy weather but we will see what happens and how she goes.”

Mr Fraser is set to have a few runners to follow in the coming weeks, with Magpie Chorus and Gravy Train Magpie running around with Gratz Vella, Fairness Is Best racing with Luke Pepper and Magpie Odyssey awaiting his debut with Pat Murphy.