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TURF GOSSIP

(E_ WHALEBONES

I If every punter had to keep torses, how , few punters we should haves. ! > ' The New Zealand steeplechaser JPfcaetontis, -who is rising 14, is again being trained in Melbourne. W. B. Cox has him |In hand. During a recent two hours' wrestling bout at .the. London Alhambra, a spectator called out: "Don't use a watch on 'em; time 'em Iby a calendar." This could apply to some jof the horses we 'have in raining. j I I The famous horseman Frank Wootton is a marvellous crib player. Before the lad was 14 years of age _ls lather had a ' ! standing offer to back Mm against anybody jin Johannesburg for £10, which amount was ■posted at Tattersairs Club for months I without the challenge being taken up. , According to a recent "Daily Mail" (London), .the German sporting fraternity are' not at all pleased with the action of their Government in withdrawing its annual contribution of £15.000 - for stakes for horse races. It appears -that there Is a deficiency in the Prussian Budget. 1 The successes of horses claiming descent' from that great 'English thoroughbred, St. Simon, has been a conspicuous feature of the turf in many countries during recent years. A return just prepared shows that during 1509 the stock of St Simon won no less than £399,843 in stakes. St. Simon's descendants -won races last year in no less than 11 different conn-tries, and their Aus- . tralasian winnings for J1909 total £35,655. The total value of stakes secured by ! •winners during 1909 in England was £497,333 5/, and Scotland £12,455. this showing an increase .over the previous year in England and Scotland, the figures then being England, £491,784, and Scotland £LL2O3. In England and Scotland during the past season the amount won in handicaps was £200,486; i in selling races other than handicaps, I £42,506; and in weight-for-age races, £266,829 5/. According to "Sport," an English racing j man, Mr. C. A. Hartley, is a great one for ; I cheap horses. He once bought one, Flambo, , ' for a penny, and he has the faculty of. I getting races out of them all. He com- ; menced at Birmingham by winning the first race with Bohemian 'Lassie, whom he trains for Mr Gill, and he made this into a nice double event when -his own horse. Punch, which he bought for 10/, outstayed his opponents in the Long-distance Hurdle I Handicap. The English scribe "Special Commis- 1 sioner" Is really pleased that Flotsam, by St. Frnsquin from Float, who has been a great success at the stud in Uruguay, is : about /to return to England. It appears that the action of the Buenos Ayres Jockey Club in limiting a large number of their races to stock bred in the Argentine has ' caused Senor Carlos Beyles, owner of Plot-, isam, to disperse bis stud in Uruguay, as he cannot compete with Argentine breeders I under the circumstances. Flotsam has been [secured for the Cobham stud. '

Touching on the fact that so many oldtime English trainers were regarded merely I as grooms, a writer in ithe "Pink 'Un" says: ! -We have reason to believe there are no ' ' Johns ' among the Newmarket trainers of ! these times, though we much doubt the j benefit of the change to Mister, and all the I appliances to boot. If we mistake not, I Sir (Charles ißunbury's training-groom wore . livery to the last. At all events, New-' market jockeys and their Jennys were not. .then to be seen in an opera box, which •we. find is no' uncommon occurrence now. ' A cow at the opera ' would have been considered equally in her element." Old-time "searching preparations" for long-distance handicaps and other events have gone so -much out of fashion of late , years that it will -not surprise anyone to i ; learn (says the sporting scribe of the Sydney , j "Telegraph")that the Australian Cup winner i Orline was never galloped In private at a I longer distance than a mile and a-quarter. years ago a Melbourne Cup candidate was j no* believed to be properly trained unless • it was galloped and ridden out over the distance at which the race was run, but in these times a two miles gallop is very rarely heard of. Is it -that -trainers are ; more enlightened now, or that present-day J norses will not stand the amount of work . that was given in former years? A little of both, perhaps. In discussing English Derby prospects, a writer in a London exchange -remarks that ! a lot of people say and affect "to believe, that Nell Gow will -turn oat a non-stayer, '; [but what are their grounds? All the races ihe won last year he won at the finish, not I- at won start, year his won at the finish, not at the start, and his last race for the Im-1 perial Produce Plate at JKJempton Park was ' perhaps one of the -most extraordinary ever ' ! seen. If Nell Gow had not been a marvellous two-year-old that day. he would never I have given away the weight and start he did to Sunningdale. If only the start he conceded could be accurately computed, it would be found to be next to an impossibility for any horse to accomplish, and in • doing it he perhaps did one of the greatest, •two-year-old performances of all time. I Speaking of racing in the Mauritius, a : visitor says a few professional jockeys are resident in Mauritius — Frenchmen, two or three Englishmen, and the same number of Creoles. The English jockeys are said to have been "warned off" in the colonies from which they came, and the Creole jockeys are addicted to drink, and have sometimes to be kept -under lock and key on the' eve of a race meeting. There is a good deal of foul riding, and the stewards of the M.T.C. have recently built two small kiosks on the far side of the course, from each of -which an official watches the riding. ' The jockeys are frequently fined and warned off, but there are so few of them they are generally forgiven before the next race meeting, otherwise there would be no one • who could ride the weight. Of gentlemen : riders there is no lack. | "JParson" Parkes, a well-known English •trainer, was once rector of Ket'tleby, but ■ horse-training appealed to him as a more ' congenial occupation, and when opportunity ' offered he took it up. He now had a fairly ' large team of horses, and "the "Special ■ Commissioner" of the London "Sportsman,'-' , who recently visited his stables, writes of him as follows:"That he .thoroughly under- ; stands his business is certain, and if anyone . can get races out of horses he can. But, in , l addition, he has gained fame iv various j other fields for instance, as a county foot-1 ' ball player,' and also with the gloves. Even ' now so far as the latter accomplishment ' <*oes' he would be a very awkward antagonist in a small room. To add to all this, he is a first-rate platform speaker, as tha Socialists who came to lecture at Epsom found to -their cost. It has been a matter i of acute regret to him that, owing to his . recent illness, he was compelled to cancel ' ten engagements to speak at meetings dur ' ing the election."

.Since the "dark" Common electrified the onlookers by the way he smashed up Olviero, Peter Flower, Gouyerneur, and Co for the Two Thousand Guineas of IS9I, eighteen years have passed, but never since the day the son of Isonomy and Thistle won the Derby had the Blue Riband fallen to a horse that did not run as a two-year-old (says the London "Sportsman"). Maybe, I therefore, it is again the turn of the public I performers to strike their (lags to one of the 1 now still "dark" division. It docs not, of | course, seem likely when one considers the public form of such as Neil Gow, JLemberg, Admiral Hawke. Tressady, Greenback," San Antonio, and such others as Wolfe Land, Sallle of Navarre colt, and Charles O'Malley but there are a few well-bred ones among the "dark" lot which might turn out to be 1 oemen worthy of the steel of even the best of the contingent I have named. One such is the King's colt Orel'.ius. by Orme= out of Ecila (dam ot Irinccss de Galles), concerning whom I was able to report last •week that he had done well during the recess. Another that has been talked of is Emperor Napoleon, a doubtfully sired chestnut by Lesterlln or Cloumell ont of Rhoda 8., dam of a Derby winner In Orby, and a One Thousand Guineas heroine in Rhodora, who unluckily fell when running ■well for the Oaks won by Chevalier Glnis,trfi_*_ Derby surprise winner, Slgnorlnetta.

In Australasia It Is unusual for a trainee or jockey to die a rich man, but it is not so in England. The ex-jockey, F. Finlay, who died in December last at the age of 44, left estate of the gross value of £15,956 5/3, and in quoting this the London "Sportsman" mentions that among the fortunes left by other notable jockeys and trainers were tlio following: Fred Archer, who died on November 8, 18S6, leaving personality £66,683 George nor—ham, who left peri sonality 13,903 i Tom King, who died in ISS9, leaving 54,4-1 John E. Bordman, of Newmarket, a brother-in-law of Otto Madden, left 9,6—8 Matthew Dawson, trainer, left 1L994 "Robert Peck, •trainer, left 13,687. Young Robertson Graham, breeder and trainer, left 8,830 James Jewitt, trainer, left 33,35----iTom Jennings, trainer, left ........ 45,007 I In the course of an interesting letter from Buenos Ayres, Mr Oswald E. Ihrop, formerly of Otago, says:— racing goes on Ik Buenos Ayres about three days per week, and every- Sunday; the breeding' of the fast i thoroughbred by the wealthy class is greatly I indulged In. A. horse for this purpose, however, most be thoroughly sound, have a taut turf record, and a long pedigree. It ia known here that New Zealand producesome wonderfal horses, and I wonld not be surprised if a well-bred and fast horse (say one that can show a record of from 1 mm. 40 sec to 1 mm. 42 sec. with a fair weight up) -was given a trial over here a good profit ■would be returned to the owner. If tha horse -was well bred and sound, he is certain to bring a high price. The Argentine sportsI man is not afraid to pay for good stock, but Ihe will not tolerate anything bad. Good horses like Diamond Jubilee and Pietermaritzburg have been imported from England, and stand at a fee of close on £600. This may be an eye-opener to stud owners In New Zealand, but it is nevertheless trues, and the owners are not anxious for outside , mares, as they acquired the horses for -their I' own stud purposes only. A London writer who recently had a look at "Mr Fairlie's" Derby candidate, Lemberg, says he is a bigger-framed horse all : through. than his elder half-brother, j Bayardo, but closely resembles him as re- ' gards markings. Not for a single day has : he been sick or sorry since he retired into winter quarters, and in every respect hia progress has been most satisfactory. Six- . teen hands high, he is a honse of blood-Uke quality, with great scope, standing over a lot of ground, on the best at legs and feet, [ and absolutely faultless in action when cxl tended, though perhaps not the best of I walkers. Sound as a bell in every respect, lit is not surprising that all concerned are I hopeful that he will make amends for the disappointments experienced in the classic , races with Bayardo. Galicia, dam of Bay--1 ardo and Lemberg, was mated with Missel Thrush last year, bnt, when the last mail left, was believed to have missed to that horse. This year she goes to JKadium. In. the season following the production of . Lemberg, Galicia had the misfortune to slip . ; twins by Isinglass, so that there is no twoi j year-old relative to. the two cracks, but, I according to all accounts, her yearling by Spearmint is a lovely filly.

W. S. Hickenbotham, the 'well-known Flemington trainer, has a record that i« unique in the history of the turf in Australia. For over thirty years he has been training racehorses, and during that period he has probably turned out more winners than any other trainer in the Commonwealth. Hickenbotham has not kept a record of the number of his successes, but (says an Australian paper) he is certain : that horses from his stables have accounted for over 400 races. Most of the leading events of the Australian turf have come his way, not only once, but in many instances several times. The Flemington mentor h.is trained the winners of four Melbourne Cups, a performance in itself of great merit. In addition,to that, however, "the wizard," ,as he has, been admiringly dubbed, has led | back the winners of three Sydney Cups, a | Victorian Derby, five Champion Stakes, ■ and many other Important races. Hicken- ' botham's record includes the following sue- ! cesses:—Four Melbourne CTnps, five Cham- [ pion races, three Caulfield Guineas, one I V.R.C. Derby, three Toorak Handicaps, J three Debutant Stakes, seven A.3.C. Plates, three Oaks Stakes, five Goodwood Handicaps, one Adelaide Cup, four City Handicaps (Adelaide), one V.R.C. Grand National • Hurdle Race, three Bagot Handicaps, three ' Sydney Cups, two Hobart Cups, four Hope- ' toun Cups, four Adelaide Birthday Cups, a V.R.C. Leger, a Maribyrnong Plate, a Ballarat Cup, a Geelong Cup, an Adelaide Cup and a Newmarket Handicap... Like most successful trainers, Hickenbotham has his unlucky race. So far the Flemington trainer has not captured the Caulfield Cup, . although several bold bids have been made j by horses from his stables. I If a certain section of the community haw ' their way, all our race tracks woudJ be closed, also sports grounds; while . anyone following the business of a bookmaker would be locked up. Yet, strange to say, here in Australia, says a Sydney exchange, when the question of legalising the -totaiisator has come on for discussion, we find the clerical party making common cause with the bookmakers against the machine. , All over the sporting world, except in EngI land, during the last few years, there has ( been a deaa-set against the bookmakers. A i recent cable message states that away in distant Ottawa (Canada) the Parliamentary committee favours the abolition of bookmaking on racecourses. If such i 3 done, and no wagering at any kind allowed. it is pretty safe to tip that the degeneration of the thoroughbred horse will follow. Years ago the bookmaker In Australia contributed nothing, except his admission fee. to the racecourse, towards the support of the sport. He made his living out of IL Some made fortunes, and that such was allowed without cost was hardly fair to either the public, race clubs, or horse owners. However, that is all past and gone. By a system of registration and licensing fees the bookmakers of the present day tribute quite their share towards the support of the , Turf. They pay high rates; hut in- the ; eastern States of Australia are still let off with lighter terms than elsewhere. The registration of bookmakers is, no doubt, one of the best arrangements carried out in connection with racing. Under this sys-* rem the race clubs are able to select the best men. and -°* only that but regulate the nnmbpr, thus doing away with the overcrowding that wotfld otherwise be the case. Next to the legalisation of the totalizator, the present system of registration of 'be-ofemokeTß !r about the best possible . method of handling -the business of bettinff on the racecourse. 6 I On the occasion of his recent visit to | Sydney, Mr. T. Wilkinson, who is associated with 11. Wooiton's stable, and is prominent as a commissioner, mentioned that bookmakers' runners were very much in evidence at race meetings ia England. The "Winning Post" bears this out and says that though patrons of the principal enclosures can now bet without fear 'of being welshed, they have to put up with another undesirable customer in the form of the bookmaker's runner. The paper quoted states that almost all those bookI makers who do business ou the outskirts iof the ring at English meetings, not to I mention the bigger firms, employ a third I man, who pushes and hangs about the priuj dpal fielders, and the moment one of tho j recognised commission agents approaches a | bookmaker to make a wager these gentry . crowd round in such numbers to tout his j doings that they not only interfere with tho i bookmaker's business, but are a source or , absolute nuisance to the amateur backer . and the public generally. No sooner has a l big wager been made than these rur.neis | speed off to their employers, like so many I greyhounds, for fear that these estimable c gentlemen might lay the slightest fraction j over the odds. " Indeed, by this nuisance. •j odds are reduced without a wager having. ; been made. It is not the weight of money ' but the helter-skelter rush of these runners ' ' that brings down the legitimate price. Of late the evil has grown to such an alarming . extent that the ring in the vicinity of the chief operators has been transformed into a veritable bear-garden, and the "Winning 1 Post." queries whether there is much choice ■ between being welshed or bowled over like a ninepin In a sudden rush of bookmakers' runners. It also points out that if any visitor should sustain a broken limb or other injury as a result of these mad rushes, the management of the meeting -would be-held responsible in a court of law.

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TURF GOSSIP, Auckland Star, Volume XLI, Issue 72, 26 March 1910

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TURF GOSSIP Auckland Star, Volume XLI, Issue 72, 26 March 1910

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