In 1933 the popular Victorian owner and former champion cyclist, Charlie Kellow, won the first of his two A.J.C. Derbies.  Each was with a homebred, sired by his champion stallion Heroic, and each was a first-class racehorse.  The story of how Kellow bred the first of these winners, the bonny little colt Hall Mark, who took the coveted race in 1933, is intriguing.  Its genesis came in the late summer of 1926 when Jack Holt was preparing Heroic on behalf of Kellow, to win the V.R.C. Newmarket Handicap.  Despite a handicap of 9 st. 8lb, Holt was very confident about the chestnut.  At the same time, James Scobie had set Pilliewinkie, owned by Sir Samuel Hordern, to win the second leg of Flemington’s big autumn double, the Australian Cup.  Now it is unusual for racing stables to share information about their so-called ‘good things’ to outsiders.  But so confident were the respective stables of Holt and Scobie that each could appreciate the opportunities of synergy presented by the rich double.

Messrs Scobie, Kellow & Holt (The Australasian)

The pair confided in each other and then persuaded a number of their patrons to club together to take out a series of communal wagers in doubles betting.  Much of the commission was laid with prominent Melbourne bookmaker, Bob Jansen, who afterwards claimed it was the biggest transaction that he had ever handled on the two events. When Heroic and Pilliewinkie duly obliged, the plunge was estimated to take as much as £150,000 out of the Melbourne ring.  Only days after the successful gamble, Charlie Kellow parted with 800 guineas from his winnings to purchase a yearling filly by Cyklon from the outstanding race mare Deneb at the Melbourne Yearling Sales.  The yearling’s older sister, Cyden, the previous Saturday at Flemington, had run Rampion to a neck in the Sires’ Produce Stakes.  Deneb herself had been a top two-year-old, winning the Ascot Vale Stakes at Flemington and finishing second to Wolaroi in the Sires’ Produce Stakes on the same course. Moreover, she was a full sister to Trey, the dam of Trivalve, and the yearling filly was, therefore, a sister in blood to that grand champion.

Deneb (Weekly Times) 1915

In celebration of the sensational betting coup and as a means of commemorating it, Kellow registered the filly as Herowinkie, a truncated combination of the respective names of the two horses that had delivered the windfall.  Alas, Herowinkie did not quite live up to her pedigree on the racecourse although she wasn’t persevered with after her juvenile season.  She failed to win in seven starts but did manage placings at Moonee Valley and Flemington.  Charlie Kellow had an understanding with Herbert Thompson and kept a handful of mares at Tarwyn Park for matings with Heroic.  Retired as a three-year-old, Herowinkie now joined this harem; she missed in her first season and then threw two colts to Heroic in successive years. It was a rather audacious experiment by Kellow even to match Herowinkie with Heroic at all, given that stallion’s concentrated in-breeding to both Bend Or and Hampton.

Herowinkie & Foal (The Australasian)

Herowinkie herself boasted some strains of the same blood.  But Kellow was nothing if not a buccaneering soul; audacious in all of life’s adventures, on this occasion he struck the jackpot.  The second of those Heroic colts was Hall Mark.


Hall Mark & Darby Munro (Australian Jockey Club)

Charlie Kellow’s extraordinary adventures in life seem like extracts from a ‘Boys Own’ annual.  He was born into a wealthy family of graziers in October 1871 at Sutton Grange, Victoria.  Educated at staid and conservative King’s College in Melbourne, Kellow’s irrepressible nature and extraordinary energy were never going to be contained in either the groves of academia or routine office duties.  A born entrepreneur and salesman, and a natural athlete to boot, Kellow’s youth coincided with the burgeoning popularity of the newfangled safety bicycle.  A big man – 13 stone at peak fitness – Kellow became a champion cyclist and during the 1890’s contested races throughout Australia, winning among other events the prestigious Austral Wheel Race in 1896 off a fifteen-yard handicap, then the richest bicycle race in the land and the subject of heavy wagering.  Kellow parlayed his bike winnings into a Swanston-street bicycle shop that retailed the machines, and the business prospered as his racing successes generated much publicity.  However, in 1898 the enterprising Kellow decided to switch his energies and money into another, potentially more lucrative, form of transport on wheels, the motorcar, which was then in its infancy.

It was to prove a remarkably astute move, and Kellow embarked on a series of endurance drives and publicity stunts behind the wheel that drew attention to his business.  In 1905, for example, he and his sidekick, Harry James, set a 24-hour endurance record of 556 miles in a 12-horsepower Humber.  In 1908 driving a 15-horsepower Talbot, the same pair broke the Melbourne to Sydney record in 25 hours and 40 minutes.  Nothing succeeds like excess, and by 1910 the Kellow Motor Company in Exhibition-street was importing a range of popular and expensive vehicles from Europe and America in a bid to satisfy a voracious motoring public. Eventually, as Kellow Falkiner Pty Ltd, the company served as a distributor of Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Packard and Wolseley cars.  Kellow was never one to let legal proprieties stand in his way, and in that same year, the High Court of Australia fined him £1,980 for invoice manipulation and the evasion of customs duty. Nonetheless, the business flourished and Kellow, in search of other adventures, proceeded to embark on a dashing career with a horsepower of a different kind.  As a gentleman of the Turf, Kellow registered his famous ‘gold jacket, green sleeves, and cap’ in the 1911-1912 racing season, retaining Cecil Godby as his first trainer, and patronising Jim Scobie and Jack Holt later on.  Kellow had long been interested in horses and rode successfully to hounds with all the dash of his cycling days around the district where Essendon now stands.  It was with Holt that he enjoyed just about all of his big-race successes, starting with Blue Cross, the winner of successive Standish Handicaps and the 1921 V.R.C. Newmarket.

C.B. KELLOW – 1926 (Call)

Earlborn was another horse to carry his colours with distinction, and Kellow derived great satisfaction from winning the Prince of Wales Cup with the horse, who was the subject of a noisy demonstration after a form reversal on the famous occasion when the race was run in the presence of the future King Edward VIII.  I suspect that Kellow celebrated that Cup somewhat too liberally, for on the way home from the racecourse driving his Rolls Royce he knocked down a man at the corner of Bourke and Swanston-streets.  The importance of having connections in high places was demonstrated when Kellow successfully pleaded in the City Court that he was suffering from a state of extreme nervous tension at the time, brought on by the unseemly demonstration of the mob at Flemington.  Not all of Kellow’s exploits that mixed motorcars and horses ended in such ignominy.  Kellow’s commercial motoring background, together with his interest in thoroughbreds saw him uniquely placed to help solve the problem of road transporting racehorses to the rich country meetings that began to proliferate in the late 1920s in Australia.  As the demand for larger and more efficient means of carrying horses grew, his company Kellow-Falkiner Pty Ltd developed a new model that was soon widely adopted by major stables.  Built on a Leyland chassis with a six-cylinder engine, the vehicle was 22’ long and the design allowed the sides to serve as ramps when lowered.


Kellow’s motoring adventures aside, it was his record bid to acquire Heroic that really brought his name before the sporting public throughout Australia, and it was only fitting that it was with Hall Mark, a son of this great champion, and bred by himself that the popular owner won his first A.J.C. Derby.  So often votaries spin the mystical web of destiny about a champion, but only after the championship prize itself has been snared.  In the case of Hall Mark, such retrospective insights were altogether unnecessary.  From the moment of his foaling, while no bells rang nor portents blazed the sky, greatness was expected.  Stan Redford, who managed Tarwyn Park where Hall Mark first saw the light of day, marked the little fellow down as a Derby winner within days of his birth, and suggested as much to Herbert Thompson.

Tarwyn Park

A lovely balanced and symmetrical colt, he reminded many of a smaller version of his sire.  By the time he made his racecourse debut at the Caulfield Spring Meeting in October 1932, it seemed the whole of the Turf world was aware of the aura of his impending greatness.  But Hall Mark failed to run a place in the Debutant Stakes, his first essay on the Turf. Despite the disappointment, Jack Holt considered him good enough to win the Maribyrnong Plate, but Hall Mark slipped and fell at exercise a few days prior to that race.  So, instead, it was decided then to keep him for the Flemington Stakes, a minor juvenile handicap run later during Melbourne Cup week. Well-supported by Kellow and his close friends, Hall Mark narrowly failed to land the race.  The performance didn’t pass entirely without notice from the stewards.  The going that day was much faster on the grandstand side of the course, and Billy Duncan received a three months’ holiday for cutting rather too sharply on the little colt towards the outside rail shortly after the start.  In the circumstances, Jack Holt decided that the horse, too, should enjoy a spell of similar duration, albeit not at the stewards’ behest.  When horse and jockey were finally reunited in the autumn something of the mooted promise began to be realised.

Hall Mark was the medium of a big plunge when he resumed at Williamstown in February, but could only manage third.  Similar disappointments awaited his supporters at Caulfield in two races, in the latter of which Hall Mark was galloped on and slightly injured, forcing him to miss the rich Flemington Autumn Meeting. It was really only when he was brought over to Sydney that he showed his rivals a clean pair of heels, narrowly winning at each of his three appearances, the Fairfield Handicap, Sires’ Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes.  He only finished a head in front of Maid of Orleans, another Heroic youngster, in the Sires’ Produce race, albeit running a race record.  But the fact that Hall Mark was meeting the filly ten pounds worse, at a distance a furlong less in the Champagne Stakes, prompted many to support Maid of Orleans to reverse the result.  Even the big-betting Kellow entertained doubts and, as was the case in the Sires’ Produce, he again let his colt run loose.  But the little fellow had continued to thrive during his Sydney sojourn and this time, he had a neck to spare on the filly.  When the curtain finally came down on the A.J.C. Autumn Meeting, Charlie Kellow was entitled to wonder whether he had a Derby colt. Indeed, many were beginning to believe that most likely here was the first genuine stayer to be sired by the champion Heroic. The £5,866 that Hall Mark had won was mostly responsible for Kellow heading the list of winning owners in Victoria for the season.  Further confirmation that the colt was considered the best of his year came when he led the three-year-olds in the weights for the Melbourne Cup, being allotted 7 st. 8lb or 2lb over weight-for-age – the same task that had been set for Manfred eight years earlier.

Jack Holt’s Mordialloc Stables (The Australasian)

After the Sydney Autumn Meeting, Hall Mark wasn’t put out of training when he returned to Mordialloc but was instead turned out into one of Holt’s many paddocks where the trainer could keep a protective eye on him.  The horse didn’t grow much after that autumn but did thicken into a sturdy customer and well up to Derby weight.  When he resumed racing in a mile handicap for three-year-olds at Flemington in mid-August, the start of that memorable campaign, he had done a lot of pace work but had few fast gallops, yet still only went under by a head, conceding the winner, Brutus, about two stone.  In the absence of Billy Duncan, Holt’s own apprentice, Reg Heather, rode Hall Mark and took advantage of his 7lb claiming allowance, although the lad’s inexperience probably cost the colt victory.  It was one of those rare occasions when Holt trusted a fancied horse to an apprentice rider. Still, Reg Heather wasn’t your average apprentice.

However, a week later, with Frank Dempsey substituted in the saddle, the little chestnut was backed up at Williamstown to win the weight-for-age Underwood Stakes narrowly from a good field that included two Newmarket winners, and equalling the course record for the mile.  It came as something of a disappointment, then, when Hall Mark was rather easily beaten into third place in the weight-for-age Memsie Stakes in his final trial before the Derby, although Holt attributed the failure that day to his backing-up the horse too quickly on a soft track after the hard run at Williamstown.  Nonetheless, the failure enabled the stable to secure a more lucrative price about their charge for the Randwick blue riband. Once in Sydney, Holt only allowed Hall Mark to work well within himself on the training tracks and never once set the colt to make smart time over any extended ground. Holt was a trainer that generally regarded pressmen and touts as his natural enemy, and while he and Kellow were both convinced their son of Heroic would get the Derby trip, he wasn’t about to advertise the fact in the racing weeklies.


I might observe that 1933 was a year of significant change for Sydney racing.  In January the various Associated Racing Clubs (A.R.C.) decided to apply for registration with the A.J.C.  Victoria Park had already been granted that status, and now Kensington, Ascot and Rosebery sought to enter the fold.  Despite some resistance from the metropolitan registered racing clubs jealous of the number of racing days these former pony clubs might get, the A.J.C. granted registration, effectively ending the blight of unregistered racing in this State.  Colin Stephen and the A.J.C. committee were to be congratulated on the achievement of the merger while Jack Underhill, acting on behalf of the A.R.C., complemented Stephen’s efficiency during the negotiations.   Registration meant amnesties for those jockeys who previously followed their calling on the associated courses.  As a result, the A.J.C. Calendar in April showed as many as 164 licensed riders in Sydney, not to mention the 108 apprentices.

In respect of the latter, the principal club recognised an obligation, and 1933 marked the establishment of the A.J.C. Apprentices’ School, together with its associated gymnasium, for lads, apprenticed to licensed trainers, with an initial enrolment of 81 pupils.  Maurice McCarten was selected as the role model for apprentice riders and lectured at the school on riding methods.  Convinced that the worst of the Depression had passed, the A.J.C. also announced increases of £3,700 in the stakes for the Spring Meeting.  On the course, other changes were noticeable: the colourful auctioneering or calling the card by bookmakers at Randwick was outlawed.


If the bagmen were less vocal, the void was filled by the voice of Lachie Melville who was the man behind the microphone when official course broadcasts were permitted over amplifiers for the first time at the Warwick Farm Spring Meeting of 1933.  There were other changes at Randwick as well.  That year the steeplechase fences were demolished, and the steeplechase course used to provide an additional grass training-track.  The A.J.C. committee decided that were steeplechasing to again figure on a Randwick programme, the fences – apart from those on the hill – would be of the portable type, although jumping seemed to be dying on Sydney racecourses.

The biggest issue that confronted racing in 1933 was the debilitating influence of the continuing Depression and the extent of illegal S.P. betting away from the course.  Off-course betting had increased dramatically during the Depression, an unintended consequence also of Lang’s Winning Bets Tax legislation.  On the eve of the A.J.C. Spring Meeting, an interstate conference was held to discuss the problem. The conference made drastic recommendations to the Federal and various State Governments. These included: that telephones not be permitted to be used for betting; that broadcasting stations confine their broadcasts to descriptions of the running of races without any details as to starting prices etc., which were to be suppressed until the end of the programme; that similar restrictions be applied to newspapers; and that tipping for gain be made a public offence. Announcing the decisions, the Chief Secretary said that the conference had unanimously agreed that the Commonwealth Government be requested to amend the regulations to authorise either the refusal of an application for, or the cancellation of, a telephone if the postal authorities were satisfied that it would be, or was being, used for illegal betting.


This, then, was the background against which the A.J.C. Spring Meeting was played out.  The field for the A.J.C. Derby numbered eight, with Out Back, owned and trained by Dan Lewis, the only filly in the race.  Hall Mark is that rare commodity amongst Derby winners, a champion with well-disclosed form prior to the race who nevertheless fails to go to the post as the favourite.  Although the betting was tight, that honour went to Blixten, a colt by Night Raid trained by George Price.

Blixten & Maurice McCarten – (Graham Caves Collection)

He had run second in the Maribyrnong Plate but wasn’t trained seriously in his first season until the autumn when he won the A.J.C. Fernhill Handicap, carrying 9 st. 1lb at his final appearance; he had been denied his chance in the Sires’ Produce Stakes because the owner of Night Raid, hadn’t subscribed the stallion for the race. Well-fancied for the Derby after his Fernhill performance, Blixten had confirmed his promise with a narrow but impressive victory in the Rosehill Guineas, coming on the scene wide and late.

Next fancied after Hall Mark for the race was Break Up, a colt carrying the famous Phar Lap colours, given that he was both owned and trained by Harry Telford, and, to complete the glorious association, ridden by Jim Pike as well.  Although he had won a division of the Gibson Carmichael Stakes at two, and ran second in the Memsie Stakes to Waltzing Lily at three, it was difficult to escape the suspicion that he owed much of his market prominence to the faint echoes of the stable’s glorious past.  The New Zealand challenge was headed by Deputy Ruler, a son of Chief Ruler and a colt who had run second in the Great Northern Champagne Stakes at two. At his latest start, he had caused a boil over in the Sir Herbert Maitland Stakes (7f) on the tricky Victoria Park circuit when at 33/1 he had lowered the colours of Ammon Ra, then on the comeback trail.  Although hailing from the Dominion, Deputy Ruler was one of three horses (Blixten and Waikare were the others) that George Price was saddling-up for the race.  The only notable exception from the field was the Jack Jamieson-trained Limarch, winner of the Breeders’ Plate and Kirkham Stakes the previous season, but deprived of a Derby outing by a quartered heel that had troubled him after winning the Hobartville Stakes.

The 1933 A.J.C. Derby field and race conditions are set out in the table below:


1933 Derby Day Crowd on Lawn (Sydney Mail)

Jack Holt’s main concern prior to the race was the prospect of a slow pace in the first few furlongs, which might cause Hall Mark to fight for his head.  He needn’t have worried for although speed was lacking, the son of Heroic relaxed beautifully into the hands of Darby Munro, who was riding him for the first time.  Outback led early, and when Hall Mark was sluggish at the start, Munro elected to lie back in the field alongside Blixten on the rails.  At the nine-furlong-post, the two favourites only had one horse behind them.  Munro – and McCarten on Blixten – played cat and mouse over the next half-mile or so as first one, and then the other, tried to pocket his rival.  At the half-mile Munro made his move on Hall Mark and the little fellow went so fast that at the home turn he was in front with Deputy Ruler.  Although the latter went with him for some distance, Hall Mark proved too strong in the run to the post winning comfortably.

The time registered was nearly six seconds outside the race record, although this was primarily attributable to the heavy rain in Sydney throughout the week before. It marked the first victory in the race for Jack Holt and achieved with his very first starter; while for the 20-year old jockey, Darby Munro, he had managed to match his older brother’s only win in the classic, and done it eighteen months sooner.  I might mention that for the racing aficionado there was an air of magic, a numinous shimmer, about Randwick that day, despite the inclement weather, for three champions won the three consecutive principal races on the programme.  No sooner had Hall Mark taken the Derby, the third race on the card, but Chatham took out the Epsom, the following event with no less than 9 st. 10lb; while Rogilla scored a decisive win in the Spring Stakes, the fifth contest on the six-race card.

1933ajc derby finish

The Finish of the 1933 A.J.C. Derby (Sydney Mail)


Hall Mark was whisked back to Melbourne for a start in the Caulfield Guineas, with the mount on this occasion entrusted to Sydney lightweight apprentice, Jack O’Sullivan, to get him acquainted with the horse prior to the Melbourne Cup, for which he had been engaged, given that Munro couldn’t make the weight.

Jack O’Sullivan

However, Sullivan or not, in the Guineas Palphar proved too nippy.  Although Hall Mark did manage to win races on the tricky Caulfield circuit, he was never really at home there.  Then came the Victoria Derby and one of the easiest victories seen in that race for 30 years; the winning margin was officially given as five lengths, but it was closer to seven. Strange to say, despite Hall Mark’s A.J.C. Derby, there was a suspicion by some at that stage that the little fellow didn’t really stay and that a fast pace at Flemington might find him wanting.  Well, the pace was on all right, and Hall Mark beat them for both speed and stamina, matching Phar Lap’s race record of 2 minutes 31 ¼ seconds, despite a strong headwind all the way down the straight.  Few people knew at the time that he was suffering from a cracked heel on the off-hind front foot, and that he carried a dressing in it into the Derby.

Hall Mark (Sporting Globe)

Hall Mark was lame after the race, and right up to Cup Day it was uncertain whether he would take his place in the Cup field.  Even after his arrival on the course there was the prospect of him not running, and the club’s veterinarians subjected him to inspection after the second race on the card before granting a clearance.  The speed in the Cup that year was genuine and as a result, few hard luck stories emerged; Hall Mark enjoyed a rails’ run and won narrowly but impressively from Shadow King, who claimed his fourth successive placing in the great race.  Given the injury, Holt had decided to race Hall Mark in the Cup with plates behind for the first time, previously having used clips on his hind feet.  When the farrier arrived at Holt’s stables to fit them for the Cup, he had brought about a dozen sets, but none suited the little chestnut.  Holt then remembered a pair of hind plates worn by Heroic in the Newmarket Handicap and kept on the wall as a memento of that famous victory.  The plates were taken down and were found to fit the son of Heroic perfectly.

Shadow King (Sporting Globe)

After the Cup win, Kellow had them gilded, retaining one and giving Holt the other.  The results of that spring must have given Holt’s former regular jockey, Bill Duncan, mixed feelings.  But for his disastrous fall at Williamstown a few months before that had ended his career as a jockey, he would have partnered the chestnut throughout that campaign.  The little bloke had been Duncan’s particular favourite.  After riding him in his work at Mentone during his two-year-old days, Duncan used to go to breakfast every morning with Holt but invariably insisted on dressing the colt before returning to his home.

1933hm after the cup

Hall Mark After the Melbourne Cup (The Australasian)

In the wake of his gruelling spring campaign, it might have been better if Hall Mark had missed the autumn of his three-year-old season altogether.  In the V.R.C. St Leger, he was looked upon as a certainty, but the best he could manage was a dead-heat with Limarch, although the pace was farcical and many were critical of Pike’s ride.  At Randwick a few weeks later, Limarch won the A.J.C. St Leger outright, while Hall Mark finished last in a field of three and seemed a tired horse.  It wasn’t always thus.  Hall Mark continued to race until the autumn of his five-year-old season, performing at a consistently high standard in both handicaps and weight-for-age races.  Sometimes the weights he was asked to carry in handicaps proved too much for his diminutive frame, but there were occasions when he proved more than equal to the challenge.  Perhaps the win that really set the seal upon his greatness and versatility came in the famous 1935 Doncaster when handicapped with 9 st. 8lb.

Hall Mark was only a fraction of an inch under 15.2 hands and not really intended as a beast of burden, although sometimes I think the ability to carry weight is more a matter of action than size.   Hall Mark was lame when he got off the train in Sydney on that particular visit, again the victim of a cracked heel although this time it was the near hind.  Holt managed to get him to the post for the Chipping Norton Plate at Warwick Farm, a race in which he went down narrowly to Rogilla after a torrid struggle.  Afterwards the heel burst, which proved to be Hall Mark’s salvation as it enabled the draining of the pus from the foot.  Holt then shod him with a special bar shoe that afforded the horse some protection after arranging for the farrier to cut away a portion of the infected part of the hoof.  After missing some crucial gallops, the Sydney Cup was clearly out of the question, but the horse progressed such, that Holt hatched a plot for the Doncaster instead, in what appeared to be a rather weak year for milers.

On the Tuesday before the Easter weekend, Hall Mark galloped really well, and on the following day Charlie Kellow and Jack Holt snapped up the 20/1 on offer, accepting one bet of £10,000 to £500 from bookmaker Jim Hackett and coupling the horse with several Sydney Cup candidates in doubles.  By Thursday, Hall Mark’s price had come into 12/1, and while that price was still available early on the day on course, Holt’s confidence was such that public support followed his lead and he eventually started a 9/2 favourite for the big mile.  When old Jack put his money down in those days, he seldom left it there.  As the field went to the post Holt confided to intimates: “If it were nine furlongs I would declare him unbeatable.  It’s not the weight, but the distance which might defeat him.”  Holt needn’t have worried.  Despite being drawn wide, Hall Mark, with Keith Voitre in the saddle, was always in the vanguard and scored narrowly from the lightweight High, after a neck and neck struggle in the straight.

However, Hall Mark then had to survive the hoisting of the protest flag, prompted by jockey Bill Cook’s allegations that the Derby winner had savaged High on the shoulder fifty yards from the post.   Still, Hall Mark managed to keep the race even in the steward’s room.  In the wake of the Doncaster congratulations, Charlie Kellow didn’t forget those who had been indispensable in the great conquest. “There were actors in the piece other than my little horse “, he acknowledged.  Jack Holt and Keith Voitre both deserve a pat on the back, as does that blacksmith chap who did the finest piece of work on a horse’s hoof I’ve ever seen.”  Hughie Solomons was the smithy in question, and the job he made of Hall Mark’s injured heel would have done credit to a Macquarie-street surgeon, not to mention the unique shoe and racing plates he cast, which nonetheless, conformed to regulations.  A few days later at the meeting, Peter Pan had Hall Mark’s measure in the All Aged Plate when he beat him by three lengths in Australasian record time.  In the Melbourne Cup weights of that year, the V.R.C. handicapper J. H. Davis rated Hall Mark a stone less than the year-older Peter Pan, and it was probably a fair assessment of their respective abilities allowing for age.

Hall Mark ran for the last time in the King’s Cup in South Australia in May 1935, finishing unplaced.  His complete racing record was 52 starts for 18 wins, including his St Leger dead-heat, 16 seconds and 9 thirds for a total of £28,619 in prize money.  Charlie Kellow had come to a prior arrangement with his friend Herbert Thompson, who wished to have Hall Mark join Heroic at his stud.  Consequently, he stood his first few seasons at Thompson’s Tarwyn Park at a fee of 100 guineas. Great hope was expressed in his stallion potential, despite his small stature – 15.1 hands – and Thompson had acquired him with an optimistic view to extending the Valais line.  His retirement came at a time when colonial-bred stallions such as Heroic, Windbag, Spearfelt, Manfred and Rampion, were all doing quite well.  Alas, Hall Mark proved disappointing in the barn and following the death of Charlie Kellow in April 1944 was eventually sold for 475 guineas and re-located to Frank Fraser’s Burnside Stud at Ingham on the far north coast of Queensland.  He did manage to sire one good colt, however, in Hall Stand (A.J.C. Sires Produce Stakes, Hobartville Stakes and R.R.C. Rosehill Guineas) and another useful performer in Haddon Hall, who won the A.J.C. Kirkham Stakes.  In Queensland, he proved quite useful to that state’s bloodstock industry and up to the end of the 1951-52 racing season had sired the winners of £78,900.  Hall Mark was destroyed at the Burnside Stud in April 1953, having been ill for some time.