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VALKY'S BOY MAY DO BETTER Special to Star. PALMERSTON NORTH, Tuesday. The Russell Memorial Hunt Cup Steeplechase at Hastings on Saturday was a remarkable repetition of the Hawke's Bay Steeplechase decided six weeks earlier. On that occasion, Light, fair featured in a gruelling finish, failing by the narrowest of margins to beat Kilmanagh. On Saturday, Lightfair was again called upon for an extraordinary effort, but, this time he was rewarded after appearing to be set with an impossible task from the last fence. Lightfair's win was indicative of a return to his best form and he may be kept going for similar events at the early spring meetings. Dunvegan, which created such a good impression when he made his debut at Awapuni after less than a month's work, again attempted to lead from end to end. He was inclined to run down some of his fences and, for that reason, Stuart Waddell kept him wide out all the way, whereas the more experienced Lightfair was able to cut the corners. Lightfair, displacing Son and Heir seven furlongs from home, tackled Dunvegan at the sod wall, but the latter drew out only to be challenged again at the last fence. Here Lightfair made his only poor jump, going right through the obstacle. Dunvegan had a commanding lead in the last two furlongs of the run home, but his condition gave out and Lightfair responded generously to bridge the gap. Dunvegan appears to be the find of the season among the hunters down this section of, the Island.

Valky's Boy seemed to be kept too far out of the contest in the early stages, having 20 lengths to make up over the last five furlongs. He did not jump the sod wall well, either, and did really well to finish third. He should make amends at New Plymouth. Tideover, last most of the way, finished on for fourth. Bravura and First Edition were eliminated too early in the race to estimate their prospects, but Merger, which had started in the hurdles event, was putting in a very strong run when he toppled over Golden Memory, which had fallen six furlongs from home. This Inflation gelding shows plenty of stamina. Success Over Hurdles Stuart Waddell scored his first success over fences when he landed Betterman the winner of the Otane Hurdles. There was not a great deal of merit in the success of the Paeroa-owned and trained gelding, however, his condition and experience being the deciding factors in enabling him to beat two comparative novices in Peach King and Gay Rajah. Indeed, it looked as if Gay Rajah must have won had he been a trifle more patiently ridden. The veteran Peach King, which has been in work only a few weeks, stayed on very solidly to run second, and there may be a race for him at the spring meetings. Parekura, greatly improved by his recent racing, put in some solid work from the turn for fourth, with Penwilt and Daniel Haigh heading the others. Spiro jumped slowly, being at a disadvantage as ho was hemmed in in the bunch throughout the race. Gayjax and Glad Fox, both backed confidently, shoU'ed up in the middle stages, but did not run on. Gold Money Song, a strong favourite, refused to leave the barrier. Black Gem broke his back when he fell at the last fence. Promising Novices The First Okawa Maiden was a simple master for Hadrian, which had been racing prominently at Metropolitan meetings. He was never headed and won on the bit. Carey, a paddock-trained Baffles gelding, came home well to beat the disappointing Ritz for second money. Carey is j bred from the Paper Money mare, Short Circuit, which was a half-sister to Rebel Chief and closely related to Rapier. Newel Post, a tall Spiral three-year-old, ran on well after taking some time to settle down. Wayside, a six-year-old Kincardine mare which has had little racing, won the second Okawa Maiden after the screaminghot Lily Ann appeared to have an unassailable lead at the straight entrance. Wayside, which comes from the same line as Pink Coat and Red Heckle, might be useful away from the best class hacks. Lily Ann, an extreme outsider at Awapuni, was backed with surprising confidence. She shows a torrent of speed, but lacks stamina. The best novice seen at the meeting, however, was Negotiable, a fine big Coronach filly carrying Alf. Synles' colours. Negotiable, which made her debut at Hastings in .June, was again slow to move, but she came home with a phenomenal late run to attract attention to her immediate prospects. A three-year-old daughter of that smart Iliad mare, Endorsement, and a descendant of Eulogy, Negotiable shapes like a classic winner this season. Among tlie Sprinters The Theio geldings, Theolateral and Lord Theio, had the open sprint to themselves. They were not well placed in the middle stages, but followed Leybourne, Royal Greek, and Colais into the straight, from which stage they quickly reached the front. Theolateral ran up to his improving form and responded well to nose Lord Theio out of the verdict, Waddell's vigorous riding being the deciding factor. Both horses are very well at present. The improving Jonathan Jo came home well for third from Colais, which looked as if the race would do him a lot of good. . Leybourne, surprisingly, shared favouritism with Lord Theio. He was beaten on his merits, again throwing in the sponge as soon as he was tackled. Royal Greek and Roman Duke ran failraces, but nothing outside the placed horses would improve more than Cramond Bay, which came home well. Blackwater at Disadvantage Sporting Way, which had shown no previous form, prevailed in the hack middle distance event, finishing just too well for Well Armed, which essayed to win all the way. A younger half-brother to Wayside. Sporting Way should be useful at the district meetings. Weil Armed, a sister to Master Brierly, had been showing improved form and is due soon. Magnus Lux, in third place, covered a lot of ground, but appeared to be galloping only in patches. Solver, backed confidently, followed the leaders into the straight, having had the run of the race, but weakened into fourth. The break in Tia-apa's preparation found her out in the last furlong, but Blackwater, the actual favourite, was in trouble throughout. He raced on the outside of the second bunch to the three and then lost his position. He would be better suited by a stronger rider.

Bcncflci.il Change A recent change had been made in the training routine of Observatory, which had clone only light pacework since the Manawatu Hunt meeting, and it had a beneficial effect. A half-brother by Lord Quex to the brilliant Surmount, Observatory won the Waitangi Handicap very easily and he promises to be hard to beat at New Plymouth and Wanganui. Observatory had not won for eighteen months, but he was backed with confidence, justified onlv by his easy win. There was an interesting race for the minor plaeings and the earlier maiden winner, Hadrian, after hitting the front turning for home, had to be kept going to beat Gold Lad, which had failed badly three races before. Specialist and Battle Survey, two goodlooking three-year-olds which had shown form last season, stripped much above themselves in condition and would be improved by tlieii; race. Battle Survey had galloped only once since winning at Hawera in May. Cauda Lux and St. Nat. which missed the jump-out, were running on well just behind the placed horses, and Treasure Tee and Dark Morning did not come into the picture until the last furlong. Amateurs in Saddle The bracketed pair, Blue Title and United Nations, were placed first and second in the bracelet- event, though Sporting Gold, cramped for room on the rails, appeared to divide them. United Nations, however, should have won. being •kept too far back to the half mile and then covering unnecessary ground turning for home. Blue Title ran past the pacemakers, Patu-Po and Whangai, to take the lead three furlongs from home, but was hard pressed by Sporting Gold from the distance and might have been beaten had the latter been able to come through on the fence. Magic Art, a surprise favourite, had to come from some distance back for fourth. She may improve at New Plymouth, though George Beatson is not riding with much confidence at present.

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HASTINGS FORM, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 186, 8 August 1945

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HASTINGS FORM Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 186, 8 August 1945

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