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SPORTS AND PASTIMES. ( WRITTEN FOR THE "WEEKLY NEWS.")

The victory of Parawhenua in the Great Autumn Handicap, at Christchurch, which I pointed to last week as being not by any means improbable at the weights, cannot but be gratifying to the racing men of this Province, although at the weight at which he was literally "thrown in," the gilt of the performance is perhaps a little taken off. It is, at any rate, satisfactory to Cutts that he has inaugurated his resumption of the charge of the stable no auspiciously. The Christohurch meeting seems to have passed off very happily, with the exception of the "jostle " in the Flying Handicap between Templeton and the Phoube colt, by which, the latter being in fault, although quite unintentionally, Templeton won. The line must be drawn somewhere, and this happens to be one of those instances in which the innocent runs as much danger of suffering as the guilty. It can't very well be helped ; and, however, Mr. Redwood, the owner of the Phcebe colt, may feel on the subject the fact of his jockey dropping his reins (whioh is n very curious proceeding forany jockey to carry out, especially at such a critical mo ment, when within a few yards of the post), ought to reconcile him to a good deal. He has offered to run Templeton a match, provided Mr. Delamain will hand over the Flying Handicap Stakes to a charitable institution. With this proviso nothing is likely to come of it. It takes owners all their time to win stakes, and, on this occasion, it looks as if Mr. Redwood would have to put up with a back place. For our own autumn meeting things seem to bo progressing favourably, and, if we are favoured with fine weather, there is likely to be some good racing. April 30 is the day for the nominations, &c, and, by the time this is in the hands of my readers, will have passed. Ono thing I notice with pleasure, and that is, that already a likely competitor or two has made his appearance in the province, and we have a couple of horses — jumpers, I believe — from Napier, who made the journey thence overland to Auckland. Saturday, May 1, opens the season of campaign against the peasants, and from general report there appears to be every chance of a most successful season, for birds are everywhere in great plenty. In fact, the settlers would say they are too numerous altogether, for you can hardly take up a newspaper without seeing some complaint of ravages committed by the birds, or an appeal !vs to the best method of getting rid of them iu numbers. There is very little doubt now that the " longtails " are pretty well acclimatised, and it is getting time that some little restriction as to the length of the shooting season should be taken off. It would be a benefit to the settlers, and would (jive the opportunity of a few more birds being destroyed annually. Surely the Acclimatisation Society, tor whose benefit pheasants are shot, as regards license fees, must begin to consider that a bird lias been introduced— though by a private party iu the first instance, yet it is now protected by their authority — which increases at an enormous rate, and is already becoming a burden to a very large section of the community, and that extension of time for shotting them is at least necessary to keep the birds within reasonable bounds. To hint at a reduction of the license fee would of course be a straw that would break the • camel's back, still that might be done without injuring the pecuniary position of the society. Everything is in favor of a steady and large increase in the number of pheasants, for there is no "vermin" here, as at home, to keep them down. We have no foxes to destroy a sitting hen, or magpies or jays to kill a lozeu chicks for amusement, to say nothing at a snake's sucking the eggs ; although the latter may be only a favorite tradition of the keepers. The large extent of fern-covered country is sure tabe a certain hold, until the clays when fern country shall no longer be an eycsoie. I think I may say the cricket season is over ; it is at any rate, with most of our leading clubs, and while a lew matches may yet take place, they will very probably be interfered with by rain. The North Shore Club wound up their season last Saturday with the presentation of a bat to Mr. Rees, their :aptain, at the hands of Mrs. Whitakcr ; Mid if other clubs More as energetic as the North Shore club, we should probably hear jf something like an inter-provincial match taking place. Next season it is to be hoped that we shall see an Australian team here, as wrangements are in progress for their playing i series of matches in the Middle Island, and bliey can equally as well come on to the North Island. Next year, too, I hope to see more country matches take place. Secretaries of country clubs would do well to make arrangements during the winter for matches with an Auckland team ; the railway will be completed, and of course Bombay and Papakura will wish to repeat their victory of this season. Wongarei, too, is pretty Btrong in cricketers, and is likely to receive an addition to their ranks from Auckland shortly. At a future time I shall attempt a short review of the now closing season. The death of the celebrated horse Lord Clifden is announced, and also that of rhormanby, and as both were rather exceptional horses, a word or two about them may not be uninteresting. Lord Clifden's Derby, or rather Maccarom's Derby, for Maccaroni, ridden by Ohalloner, won it, was one of the" most sensational of later years. The excitement was intense, as the two horses came up the straight, Maccaroni crawling up inch by inch untu, for the last few yards, it was the universal opinion it was a dead heat, or that if not, Lord CUfden, who vu ridden by Fordham, had won. But Maccaroni's number went up first to the utter astonishment of the colt's owner, Mr. Naylor, who also thought Lord Clifden had won. Then came the St. Leger, a still greater sensation. By someineana or other Lord Clifden managed to lose so much start that he was at one time 150 yards behind his field, and 100 to 1 was laid against him while the raco was going on. It is said that John Osborne was so disheartened that he was very near pulling up. Gradually the long stride of Lord Clifden brought his horses " back to him," and eventually he ran m a winner amid the acclamations of a Doncaster crowd. As the sire of such Leger winners as Hawthornden (now in Australia) and Wenlock, as well as of Winslow, Miss Toto, Lady Patricia, Ringwood, Bonny Blue Eye, and Celibacy, Lord .Olifden gave promise of almost as much celebrity as a sire as he achieved as a racer. Thormanby has never achieved any very great success at the stud until last year, although Plaudit had gained him a reputation a few years ago. Of this horse it may be said he was the cause of his owner's (Mr. James Merry) losing the election for Glasgow in 1860, when Thormanby won th« Derby. The two contest* took place together, or nearly io, and the news of Thortnanby's victory at Epsom turned the scale in the minds of the religious Scotchmen, who would have none of Mr. Merry, for, was he not a racing man ! The establishment of the Auckland Gym nasium, in one of the wing* of the market' house, is something to be thankful for, becaust it evinces some sorb of enterprise rathei foreign to Auckland gymnastics. There ii a very large number of young^ men in Auckland who take an interest in gymnastic!, and two or three of the stage performers oi the present day in the colonies have, befon becoming known to fame, been cradled ii the Auckland nursery. It is a usual custon with gymnastic societies or clubs at hom< o have what is termed an assault of arm; every year, to keep alive the interest ant imtroduce new aspirants to fame. The usua performances on the parallel bars, trapeze horizontal bar, the club exeroUes, &o., *r<

roughs forward, «i-> Nell us the "ylovob" bomg brought into pl.iy, and ,vKi> inhibitions of swordmanslup. Tuo latter consist of actual practical skill, and what may bo tunned " fancy" exhibitions, such as di\ uling a sheep at ono blow, cutting a bar of lead in half, or bisecting an egg without disturbing it, the weapon passing clean through, and apparently doing no damage. Now, I think an exhibition of this nature would not only tend to keep gymnastics together- (we might not be able to do oil the sword tricks, although there is a strong military element in Auckland), but infuse a lttle life into them ; and with a small charge for admission, would go some little way towards expenses the club are put to. While there is so miich interest taken amongst our youth in these recreations, the interested persons ought to do something to render them more attractive, and keep up that interest which attaches to all manly sports, in all countries where the Anglo-Saxon has ventured. T< > uci istose.

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Bibliographic details

SPORTS AND PASTIMES. (WRITTEN FOR THE "WEEKLY NEWS."), Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXXI, Issue 5519, 1 May 1875, Supplement

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SPORTS AND PASTIMES. (WRITTEN FOR THE "WEEKLY NEWS.") Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXXI, Issue 5519, 1 May 1875, Supplement

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