OUR MEMORIES
Brayfield, T H G (Wong Sui-ngau)


Yellow Water Buffalo In The Field Of Horses

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Brayfield (Yellow Water Buffalo) 1879-04-26 — 1960-04-19

A prominent race-horse owner and one of the oldest European residents in Hong Kong from the 1900s.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

1879-04-26, Mr Thomas Henry Gordon (George) Brayfield was born in York, England.

 

1908

He went by steamship Ss Ardovn to Australia, his first venture to the Far East.

 

1909

Brayfield worked on ships taking cheap Chinese labour to gold-fields in Australia and South Africa for a year.

He joined Carmichael and Clark, Marine Surveyors and came to Hongkong.

 

1919

During WWI, he served with the Royal Engineers for a time and then transferred to the Royal Navy.

He took part in the Gallipoli landings and held the rank of Lieutenant.

He returned to Hongkong and became a partner in Carmichael and Clark.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

1920

That entertaining character Mr T. H. G. Brayfield began racing.

He named himself as “Mr Ritchfield”.

His LAIDLOW won the Wongneichong Stakes.

He lived at Taipo, came into conflict with the Railway authorities there and waged with them a perpetual war of satire.

 

Someone dubbed him the BURGOMASTER of Taipo, and he named one of his ponies BURGOMASTER.

1925-05-15, he was accused of broken two glass bottles with mosquitos inside. He was said to have wished to travel second class by train and to have resented being informed that Europeans could not travel second class.

1925-05-21, he claimed challengingly to be Chinese though lost his battle with the Railway by adopting the name “Mr Wong Sui-ngau” (Yellow Water Buffalo).

The odd name which also became his stable name.

His colors were “Cream, mosquito on chest, pink cap”.

1929-09-05 Brayfield was fined $100 for having led his horse along the track at Taipo Station.

 

This was his subtle allusion to a summons which he issued against the Railway authorities for permitting mosquitoes to breed on their property.

As an owner Mr Brayfield scorned to dress the part, but took with him to the course a bowler hat in a bag, which he donned when he had to lead in a winning pony.

Later he fell out of amity with the Stewards when he found fault with the feeding of his ponies at the Club’s stables.

He refused to pay the bill.

Court proceedings followed, to the amusement of the Hongkong gossip.

 

1921

Young owners brought a flood of new names.

Notable among them were Messrs H. A. Seth, A. E. S. Alves and the independent T. H. G. Brayfield.

The last-named made his presence felt in the Club, but the available minutes contain little reference to him.

Later, he was depicted as one of the folk legends as well as racing stories due to legal disputes.

 

1933

An interesting subscription griffin was BURGOMASTER, owned by Mr Wong Sui-ngau (Mr Yellow Water Buffalo).

BURGOMASTER was the provocative nom de turf of Mr T. H. G. Brayfield.

BURGOMASTER started nineteen times in his first year, but won only twice.

 

1938

1938-12-15, Jockey club chairman T E Pearce gave evidence in Brayfield libel suit for a claim of HK$9.10.

1938-12-17 B L Tao SALVAGE MASTER won the Subscription Autumn Champions Stakes in comfortable style from PIET HEIN.

1938-12-19, Brayfield libel case ended: a cent damage awarded to plaintiff.

 

1945

During the Japanese occupation, he was interned in Stanley.

Mr T. H. G. Brayfield, “Mr Wong Sui-ngau” was here throughout the War.

Afterwards, he was not connected with Carmichael and Clark.

 

1947

Stable names were mostly new, but a number of pre-War owners participated, including Mr Wong Sui-ngau (Brayfield).

He entered a new BURGOMASTER.

 

1950

Mr S. A. Sleap became a resident supervisor, and, under the rules, he resigned from the Board of Stewards, after 12 years’ service.

At a meeting of members Mr T. H. G. Brayfield paid tribute to him and said,

“Since his return to Hong Kong, following the reoccupation of the Colony, he has handled all the wonderful improvements to our building and course, culminating in what you now see.”

 

1955

Final day of the Annual Race Meeting gave Brayfield, “Mr Wong Sui-ngau” a fine double.

 

1955-01-22_4, daughter-in-law of HKJC Chairman Mrs Benson, presenting the Jockey Cup to novice Starr Liu who after a magnificent piece of riding.

He won the event by a length on Wong Sui-ngau‘s FLEETMASTER, 159 lbs.

The huge mosquito which forms part of owner‘s color is much in evidence.

 

1955-01-22_8 Marcel Samarcq gained a decisive victory FIELDMASTER to score the Sports Club Cup.

Brayfield was himself a founding member of the Sports Club.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Brayfield was also a long-standing member of the Hongkong Club and the HK Football Club.

A keen sportsman his interests were varied but his great love was racing.

He was one of the most colorful personalities.

 

1960-04-19, 7 a.m Mr T. H. G. Brayfield, “Mr Wong Sui-ngau”, aged 81, passed away in St Paul Hospital.

1960-04-20, 5 p.m Mr T. H. G. Brayfield‘s cortege passed the Monument to the Colonial Cemetery.

As a bachelor, he was survived by two sisters, two half-sisters and a half brother.

 

 

REFERENCE

 

1960-05-16 George Brayfield‘s estate was reported to be distributed among his servants, trainer, mafoo and former employees.

 

 

RELATED LINK

 

Silks – tradition – 《RacingMemories.HK》

 

 

Acknowledgment to Mr Peter Yuen and Mr Kelvin Lee for relevant data.

Acknowledgment to HKJC Racing Registry for offering relevant records.

 

 

 


 

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