[By Hipfona.] With the departure of the Hon. W. Robinson's team for Melbourne, the land of the Maori and moa will be bettor represented at the Victoria Racing Club Spring Meeting than ever it has been before. I should think that it is now very questionable if any other Now Zealand owners will sec fit to take their horses across for the gathering. From what I hear, Mr D. O'Brien intends keeping his team in this colony, and as Nelson is not getting through his work in anything like his old form, this will be quite sufficient to deter Major George undertaking the journey. It is an open secret that the Hon. W Robinson would never rest content until he got even on the losses he sustained during his last invasion with a teaim of horses in Australia, and all the harm we can wish such a plucky and speculative supporter of the turf is that he will smite the ring over there hip and thigh.
The New Zealand Grand National Steeplechase is run at Christehurch on Thursday next. The following are the names of the acceptors:—
My fancy for the race is Mangaohane. I have to acknowledge the receipt of the programmes of the Canterbury Jockey Club for next season, got up in the usual book form. The programme has already beeri referred to in these columns.
Echo's victory in the Wellington Steeplechase was not altogether Unexpected by some Aucklanders, for I hear of several who backed him with Some of the small fry of bookmakers—of Wham, by-tho-by, we •kit now boast of a gddd niiitlber. The fjuppoft given Echo WS_ sol _iy on account of hid^flhitiga^'ciJrid ihthe tecehtr HaWke's Bay Jockey Club Maiden Steeplechase and having annexed the Consolation.
Although Silver Prince appears to be in good request for the Melbourne Cup in both Australia and tho South, the vast majority of local backers will not havo him at any price. Most" of the money booked against the son of Anteras in Auckland has been for backers in Wellington and Dunedin. From a private letter received from Sydney that has beeH shown me, it would seem that (Enfilade) Nordenfeldt's full brother, and stable companibn of Silver Prince) has been quietly supported there at different times for both the Melbourne Derby and Cup, so that backers have their work cut out at the present moment to put their finger on the right pea of the Hon. W. Robinson's team.
At the Victoria Racing Club's Winter Steeplechase Meeting, held on Saturday last, the Grand National Steeplechase was won by Royal Oak, with Promotion second, and Flashlight third. The Grand National Hurdle race fell to The Yoeman, with Friction second, and Darkness third. The annual meeting of members of the Auckland Racing Club takes place on the Ist of August.
Early backers of Nelson have had somewhat of a shock this week in the announcementthatthe son of King Cole was not doing, well in his work, and was showing signs of lameness. This is what last week's " Canterbury Times" says about the matter :—" As Nelson had been supported for more money than any other horse engaged in tire New Zealand Cup, and there is still a disposition to accept a very short price about the son of King Cole, it is as well backers should know that the big chestnut is distinctly lame. The trouble may not be a very serious one, but the hor?e perceptibly limps for some time after leaving his box, and does not canter with his usual freedom. He walked very lame on Wednesdaiy morning, but after being driven along at a good strong paco for about four miles he pulled up no worse for the effort."
The appointment of Mr Harry 11. Hayr to the post of secretary of the Pakuranga Hunt Club is bearing good fruit, and the members' roll has already been considerably strengthened. Mr \V. Percival is Master, and before the end of the season closes wo may confidently look forward to the Club being in a better position than it has oyer previously been.
Sinoe the Hawke's Bay Steeplechase was decided it has been a very open question among the great bulk of Aucklanders which was the better over country of Mr Donnelly's pair, Mangaohane or Owhaoko. This has not alone been con lined to local turfites, but oven several who had seen them run had their doubts. . The running of the pair at Wellington on Saturday last, however, I think, settles the matter, for it undoubtedly points to Mangaohane, and this is strengthened by the fact that their owner failed to pay up with Owhaoko in the Christehurch Grand National. Although Mangaohane is pretty plainly master of Owhaoko over steeplechase country, I think the latter is vastly superior to his stable companion over the small sticks.
Australian papers to hand this week show that the Auckland-bred colt Niagara, is daily coming into more favour for the Victorian Derby, and he may now be said to be quite as good a favourite as Abercorn. " Augur " thus refers to tho son of Anteros and Frailty :—" Since he came into Foulsham's hands ho has improved nicely, and as the Caulfield trainer will leave no stone unturned to win tho Derby for his new employer, I expect to see him strip one of the fittest colts of the season. Whether he can effect the double coup remains to be seen."
It turns out that Marion did not accompany Mr Drake's team to Sydney after all. Mr Stead had intended to send her on a visit to Martini-Henry, but shortly before tho time fixed for the mare's departure, he determined to substitute Iris. Marion, if not sold in the meantime, may probably come to Auckland to bo served by Nordenfeldt. ■
Eiridspord, who won the Epsom Grand Prize of 1,000 sovereigns, is by the celebrated Isonomy. His mother Sonsie Queen is by Musket, the sire of Martini-Henry, Nordenfelt, etc., from Highland Lassie, by Caterer or Stockwell from Glengowrie, by Touchstone from Glencairne.
I clip the following paragraph from " Augur's " notes, from which it will be seen that a very high compliment is paid the New Zealand Stud Company's young stallion Nordonfoldt: Mr M. Fennelly returned to Sydney by the Maranoa. lam glad to say that there were signs of improvement in him during his stay here, and he gained a pound or two in flesh, but still few people who know him as tho burly florid-faced trainer of the Hon. James White's cracks would recognise him. From 18st. nib. he had reduced to list., and his friends can readily imagine what a change such a reduction in weight must have effected in him. During his stay at the London Tavern, I called and had several chats with him, and was glad to find him in excellent spirits, ever ready to converse upon turf topics, and especially the giants of the turf that he had trained. With thousands of others I had fancied that the best animal that he ever had under his care was Trident; but Mr Fennelly, without the slighest hesitation, pronounced Nordenfeldt the greatest lior.-ie that he over pub through a preparation. He considered his Cup performance, when Sheet Anchor won, as tho greatest cvol' achieved by a three-year-old, for had he not been badly interfered with no less than three times in the race he would most assuredly have won, and he Svai receiving only a few pounds from three such animals as Sheet Anchor, Grace.Darling, and Trenton, close behind whom he was at the finish. 1 remember several of the jockeys who rode in the race having declared that the colt -would have won but for the knocking about he received from those who seemed bent Upon stopping the favourite. His defeat by Trenton" Mr Fennelly explains by an assurance that the. colt could not make his own running. Even as it was, he would have won if Robertson hadn't brought Trenton so close alongside him as to prevent Ellis raising his whip. With something to make a desperate pace for him over a. distance he considers there was nothing able to cope with him. Trident, on the contrary, can make his own running without difficulty. I believe it is Mr Fennelly's intention to retire into private life, and in all probability he will dispose of his establishment to the Hon. James White. It is without doubt the most complete in the Southern Hemisphere, and admirers of a straightforward and hronost trainer will regret that its. present proprietor is compelled by ill health to give up its superintendence. Mr " Abington," owner of Merry Hampton, is reputed to have netted L 40.000 in bets on his recent Derby victory, but he is such a wealthy being that even that, sum is not considered in the light of a big win. Despite his easy victory, there are not wanting good judges in England who refuse to see in Merry Hampton a really high-class horse, as his success was scored against what is admitted to have been the absolutely worst Derby field on record. No horse, howeyCr, could do more than win easily, and Mr " Abington's" champion may ere long accomplish something that will entitle him to rank among the best horses of modern times.
At the Rartgitikei Hunt Club's Steeplechase Meeting, the Handicap Steeplechase was won by Cairngorrii (lOst 111b), with Mei-rilegs (12st 71b) second, and Auctioneer (I2st 41b) third. The Maiden Steeple'chalse fell to Lucy Long, and the Welter Steeplechase to Cairngorih, who carrid I4stj Whalebone (14st) secbwd, and Breadalbane (13st lllh) third. Merrileg** appropriated the Ladies' Bracelet, and Auctioneer the Forced Handicap.
Some time ago some correspondence appeared in the " Sporting Times" respecting the running of horses without plates in Australia; and the practice was deprecated, and pronounced to be unsuitable for England. However, recently there was an illustration of both the practicableness and the usefulness of running horses barefooted. Mr P. J. Clark, of Sydney, and some friends, were guests of Lord Rothschild at Newmarket: and at breakfast one morning the subject of running horse 3 without plates was d scussed. Of course there was a difference of opinion as to the utility of the custom. But Lord Rothschild was so impressed with what he was told by the Australians present that ho at once sent, for his trainer (Hayhoe) and said he would like to^try the experiment. Hayhoe replied, "Very well, my lord, we have one in the first race which has no earthly chance with plates, so it will do no harm to run hor without them." This was a filly called Chit Chat. A farrier was accordingly requisitioned and the plates wore removed. The field started, and to the astonishment of all concerned, the despised Chit Chat dashed away, and was only beaten on the post, by a hot favourite, Gautby ; and her defeat was owing entirely to the weakness of Fred. Barrett, whose first appearance it was in the saddle after his severe illness. Both Lord Rothschild and Hayhoe were so much surprised at the improvement in Chit Chat s running that it was decided to try the barefoot experiment in the next race—the Selling Plate— and the shoes were knocked oft Mr L. de Rothschild's Fillet, which won easily. So pleased was Lord Rothschild with this result that he has desired Hayhoe to run the horses shoeless whenever it is possible.
Tho recent surprising victory of Bendigo in the Jubilee Stakes with a top weight h.as set English people raking up authorities as to the supposed effect of such impositions upon the thoroughbred ; and, as usual, experts are found to disagree. General Peel, and he was a very good authority, held that every pound added to a horse in weight brought a diminution in the length of hi 3 stride ; while Admiral Rous, another decidedly in " the know," asserted that a horse handicapped at Bst strided as far as another did with 6st, but that he could not keep on galloping at hi 3 full stretch over tho same distance of ground. The late Joseph Dawson was of opinion that additional weight did not shorten a horse's stride, but thaff it told by making him stride the ground more slowly and at longer intervals than when less burdened. Some of our readers may remember tho Californian Ehotographer whoa few years back exibited some extraordinary photos, of the action and paces of horses galloping at full speed, which was caught by an instantaneous process, and, judged by these sun pictures, which, as the Yankee said, "can't lie," General Peel's dictum—that weight diminishes the stride—is fully borne out. However, no hard and fast rule can be made for good horses such as Bendjgo, whose grand form seems to make him insensible to urdens, though they may very well be applied to the rank and file of the equine race.
Major Playfair has supplied the London Field with several instantaneous photographs taken at a steeplechase meeting at Ashey, in tho Isle of Wight. The information they afford is of great value to all interested in horses, showing, as they do, horsea in the act of jumping, and the varied seats of their riders in going over fences. In one of them the artist has been lucky enough to catch a rider in the act of cutting a voluntary, a feat which will probably not be photographed again in a century, as few would care to put themselves in that unpleasant and dangerous position. The pictures .are fi.e in number. One shows a back view of seven competitors closo together taking an early fence. A second gives three riders at hurdles topped with bushes ; this is also a back view. A very graphic and most effective photo shows them coming toward the spectators over a flight of bush hurdles ; the rider in the centre has lost a stirrup, and looks like coming to grief. This, and another photo, showing a singlo rider clearing a fence, demonstrate the fact that a horse in leaping does not alight on both his fore legs at the instant, nor with them parallel to each other, as usually represented, and also demolishes the fallacy promulgated by some authorities that a leaping horse alights on his hind legs. Tho photo shoving three horses racing on the flat is very interesting ; it demonstrates, if demonstration were needed, that the customary mode of representing racehorses extended to the uttermost, with their bellies almost sweeping the ground, has no foundation in fact. It is easy to laugh at the eccentric figures of horses and riders taken by the instantaneous photographer. But there is no doubt that eventually the verities produced by him will effect a very considerable alteration in the artistic delineation of auimals in motion.
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TURF GOSSIP., Auckland Star, Volume XVIII, Issue 172, 23 July 1887, Supplement
TURF GOSSIP. Auckland Star, Volume XVIII, Issue 172, 23 July 1887, Supplement
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