TUFTS OF TURF.
♦ " Weekly Press and Referee." [By thx Editorial Scissors.] It was more than singular (says an English contemporary) that it should fall to the lot of Mr Chaplin to introduce into the House of Commons the Auto-Car Bill. The Right Hon. gentleman has always been looked upon as a model of a sportsman, and he has been invariably referred to as the beau ideal of the "fine old English gentleman." Therefore, naturally, the horse is a matter of more than passing moment to snch a person ; and yet the irony of fate leaves him to introduce a bill which will do more than anything else to make the horse unnecessary—at any rate, according to the prophets. Personally, I have my doubts. The same thing was said when railways first became general, but it was wrong. In fact, I fancy it could easily be shown that the railways employ more horses than most companies. The auto-car may come to stay, but in the long run it will not make very much difference to the horse-breeder. The breakdown of St. Frusquin is much to be regretted (says "Live Stock Journal" of August 21st), not only because Mr Leopold Rothschild is such a good sportsman that everyone sympathises with him in the loss which he has sustained, but because the race for the St. Leger between him and Persimmon would have been one of the most interesting ever witnessed even on the historic Town Moor. But if, as is to be feared, St. Frusquin can never run again, he will stand out as one of the best horses of the century, his great courage and resolution making him worthy to compare with Isinglass, Donovan, and Ormonde. As a two-year-old he won five races, worth over £9,600, while this year his four victories in the Column Stakes at Newmarket, the Two Thousand Guineas, the Princess of Walea's Stakes, and the Eclipse Stakes represented a total of £23,300, so that altogether he has won nine races, worth nearly. £33,000. So far as St. Simon is concerned, his prospects of making a record total by the end of the season are quite as good as ever they were, as Persimmon, unless he breaks down, will probably win the race, which seemed to rest between him and St. Frusquin.—[Persimmon won, and St. Simon has now a very long lead in the winning stallion list.—Ed. Refebkb.] The Sydney Bulletin says :—lt is to be hoped the intended efforts of A.J.C. committee to achieve the tote will prove successful. Prevailing influences have reduced racing to a mere open-robbery pastime ; the abolition of the noisy horde of bookies, alleged bookies, swindlers, and hangers-on would be a public relief. The automatic layer doesn't knowingly fatten on "stiffs," nor does it lay scratches, or horses not on the ground. Also, owners would benefit by added values, and the public wouldn't miss a small tax on their pleasure for charities. As the gilded crowd will buttonhole vigorously in anticipation of the special meeting to discuss machine legislation, members are hereby e asked to poudw upon the certainty of Sydney Cup being raised to greater value than Melbourne Cup in a few years; of the establishment of a big winter National; of increased values uli round, encouraging outside competition and public patronage, and of the attainment of a higher standard of turf morality than at present exists—or doesn't exist. If the controlling powers are sincere in their desire to restrict racing in the metropolitan area, the legalisation of the tote would afford them opportunity. The limitation oE permits, and the interdiction of clubs not getting them, iwould'ocurb the evil right away. The' all-too-numerous shandygaff meetings got off on suburban run-rounds weekly are quite unnecessary. They are steeped in cronkness, and the proprietaries line their pockets instead of improving their tracks and appurtenances. In the course of an article on the fame of of California as a breeding-ground The Breeder and Sportsman 'says :—" But the greatest good ever done California was the importation of thoroughbreds from Australia, New Zealand and England. We had too much adoration in this country for the blood of Lexington and imp. Glencoe, and the result was that horses and mares were chock-a-block full of it. A complete outcross was an oasis in the desert to the traveller dying of thirst. It saved the day for the breeders of California, and made her fame into the bargain. Sir Modred a few years after his arrival in this country stood at the head of the list-of ''winning stallions " in America, whero Darebin has always ranked high. Then came the English horse, Midlothian, to further swell the fame of the Golden "State ac the birthplace of great racers. Wβ have more than once urged the desirability of doing away with Selling Races. In America these events have Mien into disrepute, and in many' of the Statee the papers are agitating for their abolition. A leading paper of San Francisco, says:— " The Selling Race must go, just as surely as the bookmaker must.take a seat in the background. Most of the evooked transactions of the turf are traceable to the bookmaker, and the dealings of these must-have-a-whole-lot-the-best-of-it-or-I-won't-play j folks are almost invariably with the owner of the selling-plater. Do away with these abominations, called Selling Races, push the bookmaker back until he realizes that he is not, after all, the axle to the racing cart of America, make it impossible for a penciler to own a race horse, let alone control some of the crack hvrse-pilots of the country, keep riders under close surveillance at all times during the progress of a race meeting, and the atmosphere will be clearer, the public will breathe with more confidence and racing will have a healthier tone in the land of the free and the home of the brave. . . If ever there was a more ridiculous thing than a selling stake it has yet to be discovered;*" . . . Why will makers of programmes put these troublebreeding selling events on their cards ? Surely they are not necessary to the success of race meetings. Australia was the first country to recognise this, and the result was the Victori&Vßacing Club passed a law that not more than one selling race should be allowed on; ( a programme any day. We would like bur jockey clubs to go further and never have such breeders of dissension and lifelong enmity on a racingcard." " Martindale," the Sydney writer says:— "The question is often asked, how is it that we have each a bad-lot of jumping horses now ? The question is easily answered. In hurdle racing we have instituted low brush hurdles, with the result that instead of having a good solid sort of horse that ia able to carry a bit of weight, we have opened that class of business to flashy thoroughbreds who have, in many instances, been failures on the flat. They have a bit of pace, can blunder through the ti-tree tops that go to make up the so-called hurdles, and win. Under these circumstances the legitimate, hurdle horse has no chance, and it may be said to be the same with the steeplechasers, for unless the going between each fence is like a billiard table, there will be all sorts of complaints." They manage things better in New Zealand. And at Rtcearton especially it takes a jumper to negotiate the hurdle course. The hurdle fences are indeed somewhat too stiff and formidable on the C. J.C. ground.
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TUFTS OF TURF., Press, Volume LIII, Issue 9552, 20 October 1896
TUFTS OF TURF. Press, Volume LIII, Issue 9552, 20 October 1896
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