The following is a complete list of the acceptances and nominations for Saturday's meeting Ashburton Handicap. st. lb. Mr. MTvor’s Grey Momus ... 12 7 Mr. Hawkins’ Magic... ... 10 7 Mr. J. H. Lunn’s Fakir ... 10 7 Mr. P. Butler’s Stella ... 10^0 Mr. Husband’s Raven ... 0 Mr. Dillon’s Mickey Free ... Mr. Dancell’s The Lad ... 10 0 District Handicap. st. lb. Mr. Primmer’s Jack ... ... 12 7 Mr. Willcock’s Deceiver ... 12 7 Mr. Husband’s Raven ... 12 7 Mr. Muir’s Tam o’ Shanter... 12 7 Mr. Dancell’s The Lad ... 12 2 Mr. Holme’s Sir George ... 11 2 Wakanui Stakes. Weight for age. Mr. M‘lvor’s Grey Momua Mr. Butler’s Stella Mr. Lunn’s Fakir Mr. Dancell’s The Lad Farmers’ Steeplechase. Weight for age. Mr. Holmes’ Sir George, 3 yrs. Mr. Primmer’s Jack, aged Mr. Willcock’s Deceiver, 6 yrs. Mr. Muir’s Tam o’ Shanter, aged Mr. Sturgeon’s Lonehand, aged Mr. W. Mangham’s Little Tom, aged Mr. John Carter’s Tinwald, aged Mr. Husband’s Raven, aged By Telephone. [Since our correspondent furnished the following, the Secretary has supplied us with a complete list of the acceptances and nominations. As The Lad appears in that list, it will be necessary for “ Telephone” to recast his tips.—Ed. A.G.] The annual steeplechase meeting which is to be held on Saturday next ought, if the Clerk of the Weather is in good humour, to turn out even more successful than the meetings held by the Committee in previous years. At present the deluge we are experiencing will not only make the course extremely heavy, but will probably prevent so numerous an attendance as might have been expected, seeing that most of our farmers are backward in their ploughing owing to the late dry season, and their anxiety to get in their wheat at as early a date as possible, so as to prevent a recurrence of the evils of smut and rust, so recently experienced to their loss, may probably keep many at home. At the same time, I am decidedly of opinion that the enterprising Committee who take this sport up annually are not backed up by the wealthier class of squatters and farmers as they should be. It must be recollected that the Steeplechase Committee, w hen they undertake to give the public a treat of this sort, assume a considerable amount of responsibility, and should consequently be awarded due support by those for whom the said sport is provided. I offer these remarks to the readers of this journal in consequence of the impecunious appearance of the subscription list. To come to the probabilities of the present meeting, I must say the Committee committed a grave error in appointing an outside handicapper for local horses. Mr. Lance is without doubt facile princeps as a handicapper of horses known to fame, and no one knows better how to bring them together in a finish. I must also say that he has shown better judgment of recent than in previous years. At the same time, the Committee of the Ashburton steeplechases asked too much of Mr. Lance when they required his services to weight local horses, djusb he never heard of berore. The consequence is that the District Handicap is not at all in accordance with the merits of the horses. For instance, Deceiver, a 6 year old, unknown to fame, and bred froin very shady .progenitors, is to carry the same weight as such horses as Tam o’Shanter, Jack, and the Raven, all known performers, and has to concede 51bs. to The Lad, who was reckoned by his breeder, Harry Markey, the redoubtable owner of Mousetrap, to be the best fencer in New Zealand when a 3 year old. Sir George, again, a 3 year old, who has never yet started, is to cany list. 21b. In his case, I consider that if any horse should be let into a steeplechase at anything under the minimum of 10st., Sir George should start with a feather. However, next year, perhaps, the club will see the wisdom of reverting to the old rule of having the local horses handicapped by residents in the district; and I am sure they will give more satisfaction to their patrons, and owners of horses. ASHBURTON HANDICAP. For the Ashburton Handicap six have cried content, vix., Grey Momus, Stella, Raven, Fakir, Magic, and Mickey Free, and as the ground is heavy a good horse will be wanted to get over the plough and gorse. Momus, with 12st. 71b. up, is top weight, but fit I think to pull the event up; I had a fancy for The Lad, but he did not show up in the acceptances last night. The lucky old stager the Raven always seems to be able to come in at the finish, and to stand any amount of whip, and I shouldn’t be surprised to see him in the van in the wind up, and I am told he is in better fettle than ever he was. Magic, I don’t think will show up, having been too badly hurt at the Grand National to send here, otherwise he would have carried my money. Stella has a good style with her, and not too much weight. Fakir is getting too ancient, and although he has won a Grand National, his day is gone by in my opinion. I place the field at the finish as follows : Grey Momus... ... ... 1 Stella 2 Raven ... ... 3 DISTRICT HANDICAP. For the District Handicap, Sir George, Deceiver, Raven, and Tam-o’-Shanter wi’l start, and, as I remarked above, there is nothing in the handicap to make a race of it. Tam-o’-Shanter will win. Raven, if he goes for the first race, will have had enough gruelling not to attempt this ; and the other two will never get round the course in anything like time, The WAKANUI STAKES brings out the smallest field, showing that weight-for-age races are not popular with sporting men. I place the three as follows : Grey Momus J. Stella 2 Fakir ... ... 3 the farmers’ handicap shows up with a grand entry of eight, and the winner will take a lot of looking for. The following will figure on the card Sir George, Jack, Deceiver, Tam o’ Shanter, Lonehand, Little Tom, Tinwald, and Raven, and the winner will- be probably Jack, as be has no work cut out fop him in any of the previous races. I amsurprised at this, as I heard he was as fit as a fiddle ; but the Secretary informed me last night that he had received no acceptance, but that a letter bearing the post mark of the 26th would be received for the other races. The first three in this race will be Tam, Jack, and Raven, but I reserve my final tip on this till Saturday morning.
The Canteebtjbt Jockey Club. —At the last meeting of the C.J.0., helgl, in Christchurch on Tuesday, the cided to have a totalisator of iflbown op the racecourse at the Club’s footings, leaving details of the management 1 of the instrument with the Committee. It was also decided to start building the proposed new grand stand as soon as the plans were obtained and one adopted. The stand will cost L 3,000,. and individual members of the Club will give a guarantee to the Union Bank for the money.
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