WINSLOW ANNUAL SPORTS.
Tips By Telephone. Probably the most enjoyable day of the year, so far as sports, etc., are concerned, is the annual gathering at Winslow. This meeting always attracts a large number of pleasure seekers, and they, one and all, invariably return home satisfied with their days’ outing. This seems unaccountable to some folks who are in the habit Of attending the race meetings and Caledonian sports, since the amount of prizes at Winslow is far smaller than at the other events. I think, however, I can explain the reason, and it is a very easily understood one. The Racing Club and the Caledonian Society confine themselves too much to the “ classic ” description of sports. I use the word “classic” for want of a better one, but I mean that the nature of the events to be competed for. require special education to understand them. Children, for whose benefit all these holidays are mainly made, do not, as a rule, have the knowledge as to whether a horse is handicapped 201bs too heavy or gets in a stone too light, and as a horse race only occupies a few minutes in running, the pleasure must be of a very ephemeral character to any but 1 hose who have gone in for a gamble. And I am quite willing to acknowledge, on my own part, that the majority of the sports at the late Caledonian gathering didn’t wind me up to enthusiastic raptures to any great extent. The conbination of groaning and caterwauling that is produced by a bagpipe is not, to my educated ear, music; it may sooth the savage breast cf some folksy but I would sooner hear Henry Ketten on the pianoforte any time, than get within a mile of Piper Elder. is rather a, digression however, from giving tips, but" there is a moral in it which I wish the Committees of all sports would reflect upon, and that is to provide more sports for the youngsters. Holidays are enjoyed more by them than by adults, and I have seen more laughter and interest in a scamper after a pig with a well greased tail than at the whole of ffie sports on Boxing Bay. But to got to business. The programme at the Winslow sports opens with a Hukdlb
Race, and as the entries are not made till to-morrow, I can’t tell you ivho thestarters will be, but will endeavor to guess them as nearly as possible. Mr. R. Pullar s Lagmohr is to have a cut in in this event. He has competed in four or five events in Ashburton, and so far as I can recollect has never been a winner. His breeding is good enough, but hp lias been out of sorts, and although Jimmy Woods will pilot him over the hurdles, I don’t expect to see him run into a place. Mr. Corbett’s Maid of the Mill is a great deal more ,to my fancy ■ the mare’ and her owner showed themselves to have-such a thorough understanding of each other’s capabilities at the leaping match at the Agricultural Show, that I don’t expect to see her baulk at any of the timber, and as she has a very fair turn of speed, proved at many races she has won on the flat, I shall plump for her for first place. The Raven is the popular horse of the district, and will have a good deal to say in the finish. He ran a very close second to Tam o’ Shanter in this event last year. The latter-named horse has, I understand, got a “leg” and is not likely to start. Old Lonehand is to have another try. He ran a good third last year, and .as he is in the pink of condition, T hope his owner will succeed in catching the judge’s eye first, for his luck was altogether put at tho last race meeting. I don’t know of any more probable starters, but there are rumors of a dark ore near Winslow, and he is kept very dark indeed Tommy Cotton intends trying Mungo Park again, and as his only public peformance as yet was a spill in the Hurdle Race at the Spring meeting, and his pace is just good enough to show Tammy’s abilities as a steeplechase jock, I shall leave hiin out of my record of placed horses. If the race was to he run over a decent cross country course, and at a three or four mile dis tance, Mungo Park would give a good account of himself, but a mile and a quarter is not the distance to judge a jumper’s merits on. For that reason I consider the field too good for him at tho distance to be run.
I place the horses in the following order ; Maid of the Mill 1 Lone Hand ... ... ... 2 Raven 3 The Winslow Cop, l! miles, ought to be a very well contest ed event, as there are six very creditable animals entered for it. First on the card is Mr. Quill's mare, Lady Florence. Her performance in the Hack Race showed she had a good turn of speed for this distance, and at the time she won it she was entirely out of condition, having a very hide-bound look about her. At Amberley she gave Randwick all he could do to beat her by a length. I should not be disappointed if she got her nose in first past the post.. Johnny Smith’s Minnie figures next, and from the easy way she won the Ladies’ Purse at the Spring Meeting,! don’t think the popular idea that this race is a certainty for her is much astray. The owner and rider is far and away, the best horseman of his weight in the district. Mr. Pullar’s _ Lagmhor, if he starts in the hurdles, will not be very fit for this event, but in any case I consider his chance of running into a place a very poor one. Dagrid is described as a black’ gelding, I. should call him a washy chestnut, he has plenty of pace for a half mile, and an inclination for bolting. I expect to see him lead for about threequarters of a mile, and then either cave in or make for home. M'Rae’s Darkie is a good deal better horse than he looks, and if Teddy Oughten can keep him on the course, he won’t be last in the struggle. Old Steamer is so well known at the Winslow and other local events that I needn’t say anything about him, so I will now put the horses in their places as follows : Minnie ... 1 Lady Florence ... ... ... 2 Darkie ... 8 All the other events being post entries, I cannot undertake to express an opinion about them.
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