The legend of U Scott.


Digging into the records of stallion U Scott reveals the influence he had on the New Zealand harness racing industry runs deep.

Foaled in 1932, U Scott took a mile trotting mark in North America of 2:11 ½. He was a black horse very much like his father Scotland.

He was brought to New Zealand by John McKenzie. The 15.3-hand stallion had tremendous speed and stamina, plus a fiery temperament. When he arrived in the country he was converted to the pacing gait and graduated to open class, winning eleven of his thirty starts.

One of U Scott’s wins, in a heat of the 1938 Interdominions at Addington, gave rise to a demonstration.

The stallion hadn’t paced away in his first two heats, so McKenzie sought permission to race him in a closed, rather than an open bridle. The stewards initially refused this and McKenzie took his charge back to the stable in protest, threatening to scratch the horse.

The stewards reconsidered and reversed their call. Consequently, U Scott made a late entry onto the track in the hands of Freeman Holmes.

He won the race but received a hostile reception from punters who thought he was scratched and hadn’t had time to change their bets. U Scott retained the win regardless.
As a sire between 1940 and 1965 his progeny in New Zealand alone won over $2 million, at a time when there were far fewer racing opportunities.

He topped the New Zealand Sires list nine times, equalling Jack Pott’s record. And as a broodmare sire, he was top of the list a record ten times.

In Australia where record keeping only commenced in 1972, U Scott was leading broodmare sire six times.

In New Zealand, he sired top liners Caduceus (28), Highland Fling (25), Young Charles (11) and Scottish Command (16). Young Charles and Scottish Command also became successful sires with Scottish Command leaving New Zealand Cup winners Trusty Scot and Sole Command, whilst Young Charles sired Young Quinn the winner of fifty-nine races. Scottish Command was also the sire of Scotch Penny – the mother of Scotch Tar, which won our greatest trotting race the Dominion Handicap in 1978 and 1980.

He also appears on the dam side of Great Evander which left 1984 Dominion winner Basil Dean.

Surprisingly U Scott only left one New Zealand Cup winner in Cairnbrae in 1964. But thirty of the last sixty-six Cup winners from Copy That (2022) to Lookaway (1957) have his name on their pedigree page.

For a sire that stood exclusively in New Zealand, his is a truly remarkable record.

By Bruce Stewart Published in Harnesslink Insider.

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