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VICTORY BY A NECK

A PETROL DERBY,

AIR CONTROL OF f RAFFIC

ME. J. B. JOEL'S SECOND WIN.

(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)

LONDON, 3rd June. Several features of novel interest attached to this, year's Derby. •

' In the first place people had to travel by road because the seven-weeks : old coal deadlock prevented the provision of the customary "specials" by rail. So the metropolitan police worked out a scheme of traffic . control J, in which the airship R33 • helpfully co-operated in regulating the traffic below. • Information as to the state of affairs was communicated by wireless to a ground station, and from there- the police were able to get in touch by telephone with their other stations and give necessary instructions to avoid or relieve congestion wherever it might arise. ( Care was taken to keep the airship at a good distance from the course, so that no disturbance arose from the noise of her engines. Aeroplanes were > also' used for taking photographs of the traffic at various points at a height of not less than 125Cft.

Major Fox, of the. Automobile Association, who represented the police authorities on the duties assigned to the airship, thinks the scheme of aerial observation to be thoroughly sound. It was possible to see traffic at one time on as much as live miles of road. The airship also wirelessed the result of the race, to the delight of many - amateurs, who picked it iip on their private wireless sets.

General Sir W. T. F. Horwood (Metropolitan Commissioner of Police) afterwards mentioned, as showing how easily the traffic went, that the King got down to Epsom from door to door —Buckingham Palace to the grandstand—in 58 minutes. He added that the pedestrian traffic was far greater^ than usual, and a noticeable feature was that parties of soldiers and ex-soldiers marched along the road in military formation, instead of going along in a rabble. Another conspicuous feature was the abnormally large number of pedal bicycles. The formation of "ribbon roads" on the sides of the main roads for pedestrians was extremely successful. The enormous crowds were very orderly indeed,' and their observance of the police regulations tended enormously to the success of the scheme. Old stagers agreed that it was the best-mannered crowd ever seen at Epsom. ' Never was such politeness seen on the hill.- Corning back the travellers were not held up for a single moment, and they reached London well within an hour. .

Great signposts were erected to enable drivers .of vehicles to read them at a distance of at least fifty- yards, and a polioe "flying squadron" of 200 'personnel, in cars, regulated the traffic, while arrangements were made for the reception and parking of 70,000 motor vehicles.

The race was witnessed by the King and Queen, who were accompanied by the. Prince of Wules, Princess Mary, the. Duke of York, and Prince Hemy. They travelled by motor-cars, ■ and two interesting innovations characterised the day. For the first time for many years I—though-, it was occasionally the custom in the days gone by—there was a-Royal procession down tn-e course. .This was followed by another new event. It was arranged that the Royal Family should see the parade and canter by going. out again on the track; and for this purpose a gate "was unlocked in front of the stand which had not been opened, for years. The Royal party were warmly cheered as they drove along_ with, three mounted police, prancing in front and three -behind,' to be received by Lord Ltihsdale. It was very evid-ent that the cheering pleased the Kdng immensely. ' •: , ■ .

There --were 23 runners. The start | was delayed twenty minutes,; twice the tapes were broken, and on both occasions Le Traquet broke away; when the barrier was released the. start was a good one. The first- to break the line was Alan Brock, attended by The Bohemian, Euphrosynus, Roman Fiddle, Humorist, Le Traquefc,' L<3gli-. ton, and Brinklow. After going half a mile, Alan Brepk held a clear lead of The Bohemian, Humorist,, and Leighton. A quarter of a mile from home Leigh'ton was beaten, a« Craig an Eran and Humorist drew up to him, one on each. side. Shortly afterwards Alan Breck compounded, and Humorist and Craig an Eran 'drew out, the latter with the advantage. Donoghue, with the inside berth, rode with confidence to hold the Guineas' winner at bay, and won rather cleverly by a neck. • The victory was not very favourably received, most of-"the 1 cheers that went up being for 'XJoodl old Steve." Lemonora (Confirmed the previous running with his stable companion by finishing third, three lengths away. Alan Breck was fourth, Leighton fifth, and Roman Fiddle sixth. A writer from the course said that a prominent member of Tattersall's complained that this year's Derby was a poor race to bet on. From first to last backers had limited their operations to five horses at prices which, were based largely on the assumption that a stronglyfancied middle division would be found to level things up. CONGRATULATIONS. Robin GoodfeHow says that Brennan rode Craig an Eran wTEh desperate energy. He began on him some distance out. Donoghue (on Humorist) by comparison was a picture of serenity. "I am not implying that ho rode flash or deliberately cut things fine, for only a bom idiot would be guilty of such criminal folly in the Derby. But fifty yards from the judge it seemed as if Donoghue felt the assurance of certain victory—that Humorist had mastered his Two 1 Thousand conqueror and needed only to be kept going to keep his place. He never hit the colt, nor resorted to any violent 'scrubbing' with his heels. Humorist nobly appreciated his responsibilities, and was good enough to render superfluous these common adjuncts to neck i finishes. In the boisterous scenes which followed Mr. JacK Joel proudly led in his second Derby winner amid resounding cheers. Mr. Joel was smothered in congratulations from all sorts and ranks of persons, and later, when things had simmered down, he received those of the King, who sent for him to the Royal box and warmly shook hands with him. "Jack's unwavering belief in the colt brought me home, 1' said the owner of Polymelus, Pommern, and countless other good horses. Polymelu®, by the way, m the sire oi Humorist, so the family triumph was complete. When the owner of Leighton, Mr. E. W. Wluneray, joined the group there was an exchange of compliments. " 'Any excuse T" asked Mr. Joel. " 'In my vocabulary,' replied Mr. Whineray, 'there is no such word as excuse. I haven't seen my trainer or jockey, but I urge no extenuation myself. We were just beaten.' Leighton lost because' he was incapable of getting .the distance.' Low of, stature and thickly built, with an exceptionally big barrel, ho was voted fat by some of the' critics. They said he needed another fortnight's hard' work, and after ho had Bon« down they attributed his collapse

to backwardness. I fancy these people were deceived by Leightori's natural rotundity He had every chance if good enough, being splendidly drawn, always in a fine place, and coming to Tattenham Corner in the wako of Alan Breck with a -favourite's chance. But the distance beat him.- A quaster of a- mile from home saw him in hopeless trouble, and in the upshot-, this alleged unbeatable colt could manage only fifth place, far enough behind the first and second to miss even credit, let alone glory. Harking'back a'bit, it was only natural that immense crowds should flock to see him in the paddock. 'Poor Leighton!' remarked a woman, 'he looks like getting smothered.-'

" Craig an liraii also came in for much admiration, but the big ' transformation scene ' was presented by Humorist. He stripped quite a different horse from what ho was in the Two Thousand. Every bit of soft stuff had been worked off him and replaced by good hard muscle. Such was the impression created by his appearance that scores hastened back to TattersalPs to back him. This accounts for his strength at the close of business. ' Our Prince ' visited the paddock with the Duke of York for an inspection of the leading candidates. They saw most of them, and on returning came into the weighing ' pound,' where the Prince of Wales shook hands with that grand old man of the Turf, Lord Coventry."

" Humorist's Derby " will be long remembered (aaya another commentator), though it may not be classed among the greatest sporting sensations of the spring festival on Epsom. Down's. There have been more notable winners, more exciting races, and more ■ startling reversals of public form. Homorist is a good horse, and, though not first favourite, he was well fancied by many excellent judges; but he -will hardly' rank among the " giants of the Turf," whose names survive long after they have worn racingplates for the last time. Nor is he one of those brilliant outsiders who come romping in with long odds against them, to tlie delight of the insignificant minority who have backed them and the mute despair of everybody else.

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Bibliographic details

VICTORY BY A NECK, Evening Post, Volume CII, Issue 21, 27 July 1921

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1,517

VICTORY BY A NECK Evening Post, Volume CII, Issue 21, 27 July 1921

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