Erbie: King of the Ring-Ins

Fifty years before Fine Cotton, Australia was electrified by a series of audacious racing ring-ins starring a champion horse named Erbie. The man who exposed the conspiracy? Bert “Cardigan” Wolfe, Australia’s top turf writer, who’d recently witnessed Phar Lap’s greatest moment — and then his last.

Erbie — and the horses he ran as.
Phar Lap in Mexico in 1932 — Bert “Cardigan” Wolfe brought every detail of the Red Terror’s triumph to Australian newspaper readers.
Bert Wolfe — known as “Cardigan” was Australia’s leading turf writer
for the better part of 50 years.
Cardigan’s scoops dominated the front pages for days.


  1. Hi there just letting you know it was George Sutherland my grandfather and my uncle Thomas McMahon were the leasee owners of Erbie and George Sutherland was his trainer my Uncle Tom took the horse to Forbes to spell but used him as a ring in I have a photo of Erbie winning at Gosford. Neal Sutherland

  2. Erbie was eventually sold to my great aunt Jessie Watt at Strathalbyn SA to be used as a hack – the horse lived out its days at the Hillfoot property

    1. Hi Kim – thanks for letting me know this. I might have another Erbie-adjacent story coming up. All best, Michael

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