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TURF NOTES

(By WHALEBONE.)

In commenting on the fact that some prominent jumping riders were under ! suspicion of funking the fences at Liverpool (England), a London exchange said: "We wonder how many preeent-day racegoers are aware that Willie Woodland, when a more child of 13 yea-re of age, actually steered Magpie into fourth place, for Old Joe's Grand Nationnl. And this was his first mount in a steeplechase, too. That was a prodigious performance for so young a practioner."

There was a suggestion at the beginniiig of the sea-son, cays an Engfeh writer, that races confined to soldiers and amateur riders would be popular, and many executives did their best to Ml in with this idea, but practically every one of tie races has proved a failure, and the climax came with the Amateur Riders' Steeplechase at Birmingham, for which no! a single rider presented himself at .-scale, so the race was declared void.

You would never have accused the late Mr. "Fairie" Cox of bursting with generosity, but, even in the lean war years, he used to retain "Steve" for '£2500 a year. This was a "monkey" less, too, than Mr. Cox paid poor Mahrr for only a second claim at a time when "Danny" was receiving £4000 a year as first jockey for Lord Rosebery, \vlio was ever Mailer's best friend, right up to the day of "Danny's" death. As money went then, Maher's .£4OOO was probably worth more than Donoghue'a £6000, but, good jockey as Steve undoubtedly is at his weight, he will never be a Maher.

The news of the return to Jlis native America of the stallion Sir Martin recalls one of the most memorable races for the Derby of recent years, says a;n English writer. This was the one, eleven years ago, in which Miiiorn triumphed in the colours of the late King Edward, and the enthusiasm was tremendous even for Epsom. Sir Martin was favourite for this event, .but spoiled whatever elVance he possessed by slipping up in the course of the contest. Throughout his racing career Sir Martin was a somewhat unlucky 'horse. Another celebrity to be unplaced in Minoru's Derby was Bayardo, ivhic"h, however, had not then reached ihie best.

In discussing the recent sale of Tracery for £50,000, "Vigilant," in the London "Sportsman,' , said the sum named wa« not a record, as there were considerations which reduced the value. The moet important of these was the rate of exchange, which lowered the value of the English eovereign by something like 30 per cent. This reduced the 'buying price of £ '50,000 by £1-2.000 to £15,000. Apart from this, "Vigilant" said it was understood that Trncery'a buyer was to be credited with all the stud fees earned in England this scaeon. The items mentioned wou:d cut down the actual price to less than £30,000, whereas Prince Palatine was sold for £40,000 to go to France, and Botafogo changed hands in the Argentine at a similar figure.

Evidently racing in England, especially the jumping events, arc not of the standard we hear so much about. Personally, says an English writer, I have given up betting on jumping races and I cannot see how any stay-at-home backer can make money ovor them. Prices are too short, and 1 regret to say that the game is too crooked. Under Jockey Club rules we are getting sport on more regular lines, but the performances of some of the horses over fences and hurdles are so in-and-out that I have given up attempting td keep a handicap of them. lam not alone in my opinion, for I see that "Rapier," ia the "Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News," writes: "A good deal has been heard of late of horses not being 'out,' and it is not to be denied that there are times when suspicion amounts to certainty. 'Are you going to back the favourite?' someone asked the other day. 'I should, if I were certain his people weren't laying him,' was the answer; and this appeared to be a common view of that particular contest. 1 am still on the watch for an animal 1 saw down the course at Hurst Park, the question being, however, if hi a owner will want him to win next time he goes to the post, or whether he will think it judicious to let him have another unenterprising sprint before he is backed."

As the late Mr. A. W. Cox, who made his pile as a young man out of Broken Hill mines, , - and afterwards as "Mr. Fairie," became one of the most successful racing men in England, was well known to many on this side of the world, the following from the "Bloodstock Breelere' Review ,, will be read with much interest: "It is said that Mr. Cox had a premonition he would die last year, and we are told that because of it ho refused in 1018 to allow nominations to Gay Crusader (who had just gone to the stud) to be booked for more than one ',-eason ahead, so that his executors should not be embarrassed-by such commitments. It would appear to have been an excess of caution on his part. He left all his thoroughbreds to his brother, jMr. Algernon R. Cox, who is maintaining both the breeding and racing studs as 'going concerns' notwithstanding the tempting offers he has received for Gay Crusader and other individuals in the teams Mr. 'Fairie' Cox could have sold either Bayardo or Lemberg at prices in the neighbourhood of £70,000; his brother could to-day get as much, or more, for Gay Crusader, but ho far has turned a deaf ear to all inquiries."

Every year the Special Commissioner (Mr. W. Allison) oF the London "Sportsman,' - applies the Figure System to the selection of the possible winner of the English Derby. This year he has omitted from his possibilities Tetratema and Prince Galahad, the two best two-year-olds in England last season. He give? "tlic following reasons for discounting their prospects: "It may seem contrary to renson to puss over Prince G&ifl.'nad and Tetratema. but it is idle to attach importance to breeding and at the same time favour an unknown family. Prince Galahad traces to one of tlte most obscure and lnast successful native sources lin America, and tlioujrli there lias been lamplo g ooil breeding piled on that foundation, and the Book points strongly to jliie chances, I cannot take him on my side. Tetratema on the figures i 6 good, 'hut in his case T do not believe in his training on into a. stayer, even over a mile: not hecause lie ie by The Tctrar.cn. but because in the female line he comes from the Whimple-breil line of lanthe, by The Miser out of Devonshire "l am not prejudiced, but I shall wait until I see a classic winner from this family before believing in such a phenomenon.'"' Relative to the above, the Special Comnuseioner now has it in his favour that ■ Tetratema- and Prince Galahad have (already been beaten this season

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19200424.2.121

Bibliographic details

Auckland Star, Auckland Star, Volume LI, Issue 98, 24 April 1920

Word Count
1,174

TURF NOTES Auckland Star, Volume LI, Issue 98, 24 April 1920

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