SPORT AND PASTIME.
[By Lochiel.] RACING FIXTURES. November 24. — Waitara Spring ingNovember 26 and 30.— Takapuna Spring Meeting. November 30 and December^ — Fieldlag Spring Meeting. December 1-^-North Canterbury ingDecember 7 and 8. — Woodville Sunyner Meeting. Contrasted with the New Zealand Cup »f 1903 this year's event fades into mediocrity. Thirteen horses went to tho post last November", and the field included some of the best representatives in the colony. The race itself was a particularly interesting one to watch, the finish being ful lof interest. On Saturday last, however, the field was not merely small, but those engaged were only of average quality, and the race was devoid of any .itriking features. Grand Rapids took charge of the running at an early stage, Convoy following him closely till turning for home, when the Vanguard gelding subsided. Mahutonga and Melodeon then closed up, but though there was not much margin between the three placed horses at the finish, Grand Rapids appeared to have something in hand when the post was reached. The pace was slow in tho early part of the race, and the time registered for the full distance was four seconds slower than last year's record. Convoy ran a good race for a mile and a half, and Mahutonga and Melodeon shaped well. The disappointment of the race was Calibre, who had a large circle of admirers, out did not race at all prominently. Grand Rapids, who was purchased at the Elderslie sale for 300 guineas, has now demonstrated that he is able to stay a distance, but his performance, calmly reviewed, does not possess any exceptional features. Last season he was seen out on four occasions, one of which — the Maiden Plate at Canterbury — he won. He ra nsecond in two engagements — the Canterbury Great Autumn Handicap, which was won by Bulawayo, and the Christchurch Autumn Handicap, Clanburn taking first money. His other engagement was in the Canterbury Winter Cup, which was annexed by /Vladimir. Early this season fee was one of the string taken by Mr. Stead to compete at the A.J.C. Meeting. He started in four racas, and succeeded in gaining first honours in the Sydney Handicap, which he won in fine style, - under 8.0; from Elvo and Ossian. In the other three events — the Waverley, Epsom, and Metropolitan Handicap ho was unplaced. After his success in .the Cup on Saturday the Gipsy Grand gelding was* sent out a hot favourite for the Metropolitan Handicap, "but he finished next to last This is the second time that Mr. Stead has won the New Zealand Cup, the previous honours having been gained by Lochiel in 1887. * It is generally admitted that the Electric Handicap, decided at the third- day of the Canterbury meeting, was one' of the best short-distance events run at Riccarton for some time. According to the descriptions of the event Achilles stripped in grand condition, and his admirers would not hear of the possibility of Ms defeat. Machine Gun was also in good form, and Rubia and King Billy had a large following. Never has a race in this colony (says the Press) been the means of, working the public up to such 4. high pitch of excitement. B was an went that was not to be missed, and everybody - who had made the journe^y 4o Riccarron waited anxiously for its decision. As the two champions, Achilles ■nd Machine Gun ' strode out on to the course they were warmly applauded, and us each did his preliminary his every movement was watched and criticised. Mr. Piper was in one of his happiest moods, and the quartet were sent away in a perfect line. King Billy held a «light advantage over the' first furlong and! a half, but the battle was not half over. Each horse and Its rider was now ■training every nerve. The slightest falter might turn the scales in the others' 'favour, Hewitt, on Machine Gun, and Jenkins, on Achilles, .using both hands md heels in their desperate efforts to urge their mounts onward: The pace Was terrific, and no one could say which Gorse would triumph. Cries «f "Machine Gun" echoed from stand to staqd, only to be met with' hoarse shouts in favour rf Achilles. But Medallion's brilliant son had done his utmost. A hundred yards from home the race was over, and the Hotchkiss colt went past the winning post a comfortable winner by a bare length. * ■ A high-class lot of two-year-olds — fourteen itt number — conßestefl. the Welcome Stakes at Riccarton last Saturday. The Xaldhurst pair — Mungeet and Sungod — came in for a lot of admiration, and the unbeaten King Billy was also closely icrutindsed. The youngsters behaved very well a.t the post, and a fine start ' was secured, King Billy, who hid. a reputation of being particularly smart off the mark, being the quickest to begin. He led until the distance, when hey ■was tackled by Mr. Stead's representatives, and after a most interesting race, Munjeet won by a bare length from heritable mate, Sungod, while King Billy iras only a neck further away. Ingleneuk showed up prominently until half the journey had been run, and Glenlowet inapei very well,' though she seemed to run a bit green. ' During the last ten years Mr. Stead's horses have only been beaten twice in this event, though the Hon. J. D. Ormond's Sir Lancelot deadheated with Multiform in 1896, and both .last and this year hia representatives have carried off the first and second honours. The news that Wairiki is making satisfactory progress will be welcome to th« many admirers of the Soult colt. The horse has been securing a good deal of Attention from critics on the other side, end the surprise felt in New Zealand that he should have been so solidly supported for the Melbourne Cup after the reports regarding his lameness is freely echoed. A writer in the Australasian lays: — "Wairiki's history in connection frith the Melbourne Cup is the most j peculiar of any horse I can remember. As a rule, the watchers at Flemington will have nothing to do with a horse lhat does not work ; but somehow they «,U made excuses for Wairiki, and at the finish even the bookmakers, who must have been thoroughly posted as to all i the horse was doing — or, rather, not do- 1 jng — took fright and backed him down. Wairiki is a beautiful horse, and it goes without saying that he was a racehorge, | but after going three-quarters of, a mile on Tuesday he broke down hopelessly, jnd limped back to the birdcage after the Tace was over. It is almost sad to lee a good horserTeturn from the war, so to speak, in the condition Wairiki was. The only consolation is that, although, like Macdonovan, he broke his shoulder, he may be saved for stud purposes." The Daily Telegraph remarks that "never before in the long history of the race did »n infirm horse, such as Wairiki was known to be, top the quotations on the day. It ia stale news to state that he Eulled up on Saturday morning almost opeleasly lame, and that this fact, added to the refusal to run him in the Mel-
bourne Stakes, caused the shrewdest judges to ignore his Cup prospects. In addition to this, Wairiki, who, by the way, is a horse of commanding appearance, had not appeared in public since last April, and that did not contribute to his prospects of success, even if he had not been practically in the hospital for weeks past. His rider (Fielder) says that when Wairik's shoulder gave way 0 the horse was only cantering, but that, it is worth mentioning, was seven furlongs from home, and the worst part of the race was yet to come. As the horse was evidently in pain, a suggestion was made to v shoot him, but Wairiki's trainer, when approached, ' was entirely averse to pursulpg tha\i course, and remarked that* they would require to shoot him first, and an effort is to be made to save the horse for the stud. There was a good deal of jubilation locally at the victory of Boris in the, Great' Northern Guineas. Gladstone was made favourite on the machine, but although he ran a good race, he did not succeed in getting first place. Boris, according to the New Zealand Herald report, was pretty much the same class of colt in appearance that he was when at Ellerslie in April, but he filled the eye as quite ready for the fray, and despite the fact that he had been beaten each time he had carried silk this season, he claimed a good following. On looks Monoform, the high-priced brother of Multiform, was an easy first in the Guineas field, but his trainer was not sanguine as to the chestnut colt's prospects. The seven lined up, and a good start resulted. Monoform' was the first to show- out, but Boris was leading his oppo^ nents-as they raced in to tHe back stretch. The field bunched up nicely in the run up to the cutting, at which point Boris held a slight advantage of Akarana, Monoform, and Gladstone. A little further on Monoform began to fall away, and Boris shooting out he had two lengths the best of Akarana at the head of the straight. When heads were in a line for home Gladstone made a big effort to overhaul Boris.^but though M'Morran had to move on the Stepniak colt at the main stand, his mountwas not seriously threatened, and Boris holding command, won with something in hand. by half a length. Submarine, who --as just beaten for third honours by, Akarana. seemed to suffer some interference- at tho head of the straight. When Boris's jockey was declared weight by the clerk of -the scales, thoee who held winning tickets', commenced to line up at the paying-out windows, ibut the protest flag I was flying, and it 'transpired that' an I objection liad -been lodged by Mr. Sim- ! melhag against the race going to Boris on the grounds that his jockey had neither weighed out or in with his breastplate. The jockey was fined £10, but the judge's verdict was not disturbed. .' Clayton; the rider of Acrasia in the Melbourne v Cup, gave 'the following account to a press representative of how he beat the favourites in the great Australian race : — " We got a good start, Acrasia being placed fourth from the rails, with Murmur on the outside. Ruenalf 11. immediately took the lead, t but we were well placed, and had plenty of room. I j kept up in the first flight without push- ! ing the mare, and was not interfered with. Oh, well, there was a little trouble when Tartan nearly stood on his head right in front of me, just about the mile post. It was a slight interference, but I saved the mare, and we got past Tartan, and then had a clear way for the remainder of the race. I stuck to the rails for almost the whole distance, and kept going easily with three or four other leaders. Where did I make my run ? I started to force the mare forward at the approach to the straight, and felt she was going strong and well. Almost as soon as I put her to her best I thought the race was ours. She was forging slowly ahead through the other horses, andjwhen we entered the straight I was sure of a win. _It was.; at a mile, and a half that we came to terms with Lord Cardigan, and then we had a good»race. He 'was the only one I was afraid of, but a furlong from home I had him beaten, and* felt 'no further doubt, although it seemed a tough battle. Yes ; I had to ridfr hard, I know, but feeling ,the mare a winner/I kept going. I had ridden the mare in her work for the last month. I had thought of going 'over to New Zealand, but. 1 Willis asked me to come with him, and said I would not be sorry. Of course, I ato very glad-at having made this most important win. I tried very hard on the 1 .mare in the Caulfield Cup, but she was not in her Melbourne Cup mood, and w^ could only get second place." ■ Further particulars to hand of the acefdent at Ellerslie on Saturday last 'whereby two horses were killed, show thafr-after the field in the Welcome Stakes hadU covered rather over a furlong the filly*.' Cymbal, who appeared to be run> fling .along freely, fell, and the gelding GpOjUchy, who was immediately behind, fellfVver her. As neither horses nor riders', jwere seen to rise it was feared that the riders had been very seriously injured,, and, the club's ambulance van, accompariied'Jjy servants of the club and the police, wa^.hurried across the course to the scene of the mishap. Both horses were found to thave been killed outright, but the fears of the crowd concerning the condition of the riders were relieved when the ambulance returned, and a Snedical examination was followed by .the an J nouncement that neither of the lads haii been fatally injured. Gymbal was 'a smart and highly-bred filly by Cyrenian, and ran in the colours of an Auckland owner racing as "Mr. F. W. Arnold,- 1 ' while Grouchy was a. promising gelding by Soult, owned by Mr. Thos. Fenton, of West Australia. On Wednesday, at the same spot on the course, Anster swerved, and was impaled on the fence, being killed instantly. On the subject of the comparative merits of .the old-time horses with those of t^ie present day, a writer of some interesting reminiscences of racing in Canterbury in the early days quotes in the Lyttelton Times Mr. Cutts, who holds some decided opinions on the subject. Mr. Cutts considers Zoe, Zingara, Symphony, and Flora - would have been equal to anything racing at present if given the same preparation. Flora was a great juniper, and every morning, on the way to the course, her trainer used to jump her, in fold blood, over a high fence with a ditch on either side. If the old-time horses had not such good records as thos« of the present day, it was on account of training methods, as horses were only, trained for three months in- the year. Mr. Redwood owned a lot of good horses in those days, and he used often to take -them- on to the beach at Nelson and race them against each other all morning, for pure sport. Some of his horses had a very busy time outside/ racing, as. many of them did duty in the plough. While admitting that the years have brought ' improvements in' many ways, 1 there is one respect in which Mr. Cutts prefers the old order of things. He is not a lover of the totalisator, preferring the old-fashioned days of the bookmaker, with the roar and excitement of the betting ring. It is^ useless to talk to him about the increased stakes through the agency of the totalisator. He only shakes his' head, and, while probaoly agreeing that stakes are better now, he does not alter his opinion. Just before the Jockey Club Stakes, of 10,000 soys, was run for at the Newmarket (Eng.) meeting, it was rumoured that Rock Sand was likely to break down in the race, according to latest English files, and Henry the First opened favourite at 5 to 2, with 3 to 1 tendered against last year's Derby winner. However, the public would not be BtaJled off Sir James
Miller's crack, and at flagfall he was in equal demand with Mr. J. Musker's colt at sto 2. St. Amont, from sto 1, receded to 7 to 1, about on a mark with St. Denis. Describing, the great race the Sportsman says " Lochryan was the first to leave the paddock and canter down, Rock Sand (preceded by a stable companion) following in shuffling fashion, whilst St. Amant (wearing blinkers), Piari, Foundling, and Red Robe came next, with St. Denis bringing up the rear. There was only a trifling delay before the lot were dispatched to an excellent start, Rydal Head being the first to show in front of Rock Sand, Henry the First, St. Amant,. and Piari, with Lochryan next, in advance of St. Denis, Foundling, and William Rufus ; and there was practically no change in the order until reaching the Bushes, when Piari had shot, her bolt and dropped back last, and Henry the First, on the left, took up the running from Rock Sand, on the top ground, , William Rufus and Foundling, * the lot being well clear of Rydal Head and St. j Denis. There* was little to choose, between the two leaders descending into the Dip, and, drawing well clear of their opponents, they fought out a desperate finish, which resulted in favour of *Rock Sand, who won amidst deafening cheers by a length and a half ; four lengths divided the second and third. Foundling, some eight lengths off, was placed fourth,' St. Denis was fifth, Red Robe sixth, St. jAnrant seventh, Rydal Head next, and ; Piari last. Time by Benson's chronogranh, 3min 2 2-ssec. Value of the stakes, £7435." r
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SPORT AND PASTIME., Evening Post, Volume LXVIII, Issue 116, 12 November 1904
SPORT AND PASTIME. Evening Post, Volume LXVIII, Issue 116, 12 November 1904
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