A GREAT BAY AT EPSOM AN OUTSIDER'S VICTORY (From "The Post's" Representative.) LONDON, 15th June. "Derby Day" was, from many points of view, a wonderful day characterised by brilliant sunshine. And every individual ot the hundreds of thousands present— (the official estimate is that there were over a million people there) —seemed to be unanimous in their verdict, "We would not have missed it for anything." All New Zealand seem to be in agreement, for they, too, "would not have missed it for anything," 'whether they went to the course by motor-bus, or motor-car, or to the more select grandstands, or whether they went purely to experience the holiday joys provided on the crowded Downs, where merry-go-rounds, switchbacks, coconut shies, fortune-telling, gypsies, and gaudily dressed tipsters were going, hard from early morning till late afternoon. Mingled with the fun-providers were the usual seriously-disposed people, .whose banners were reminders thaf there is a world beyond the present one. To experience a cooling breeze away from the' enormous crowds, one had to seek refuge in the paddock, a beautiful, leafy, and exclusive spot open only to the few hundreds who cared to pay the extra charge for the privilege of seeing the horses before they arrived on the course for the public parades. The horses, too, seem to be cool and composed while there, but some of them subsequently were quite upset by. the noise and the pressure of the crowds. This was the case with Fairway, Lord Derby's fine colt, the result being that the favourite made no showing at all in the running for the big prize, which went to an outsider—^Sir H. Cimliffe Owen's Felstead. The dresses seen in the paddock1 reminded one more of the gossamer charms attaching to' the Ascot meetfng than belong ordinarily to the earlier Epsom fixture. The officials had considerably difficulty in making a way through to the grandstand entrance lor the Royal "cars. The King and Queen, with the Prince ot Wales, Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles, the Duke and Duchess.of York, the Duke of Gloucester, and the Duke of Connaught and Princess Ingrid of Sweden, were in the Royal box. THE PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS IN THE PICTURE. There was all the usual preliminary speculation for weeks ahead as to the likely winer and the best outsiders. Fairway was always favourite, Sir L. Phillips' Flamingo was always in a prominent place in the public estimation, Sir F. Dewar's Sunny Trace was the hope. of thousands more, 'while "Steve's" mount, Gang Warily, reputed to have made much headway after' a -course of violet-ray treatment, was thought to be one who might at least get a place ■ even if he did not, with "Steve's" assistance, get first past the post. There was a last-minute fancy for Mr. J. B. Reid's Black Watch. However, as-all the world knew a few minutes later, Felstead was the winner, trained by Captain .0. Bell (formerly of Australia) and ridden by H. Wragg; Flamingo (Elliott up) came second, a length and a half away; Black Watch (C. Smirke) was third, six lengths away. Then came Fernkloof, followed by Gang Warily, with Camelford' sixth, followed by Scintillation seventh, Palais Royal- 11., the French horse who>ran well (one length off) eighth, Bubbles 11. (another French hope, threequarters of a length) ninth, Sunny Trace (two lengths off) tenth, .Ranjit Singh (six lengths) eleventh, Advocate twelfth, Fairway' (never prominent after a mile) thirteenth, Porthole (ran well for six furlongs) ' fourteenth, Royal Minstrel' (failed to stay) fifteenth, Grange View (not disgraced) sixteenth, and Yeomanstottii last except Royal Grusddei, who \\ is left and cantered in some tune aflun.ird1) Sunny Tiace was first round the lmpjiUnl
"Corner,"' but then faded away entirely. As for Fairway, in the middle division at the mile post, he was from that stage done with; in fact, said T. Weston (jockey), "he was beaten after going six furlongs, probably because he had had so much taken out of him before the : actual start." Like all the sons of Phalaris, he is. highly . strung, and the noise of the crowd and heat of the day upset him. more than his rivals. ■No horse, however, was cooler in the parade than Fclstead, arid 0. Bell has been tremendously congratulated upon the condition in which he sent the colt to the post. It is interesting to know that, in his trainer's opinion, Felstead stands nearly 16.1 hands, and has fully eight inches of bone under the knee. Felstcad was not unduly distressed after his victory, considering the pace at which the race was won. Sir Hugo Cunliite Owen fold a "Sporting Life" representative that Felstead had not since Christmas been a very robust feeder, that he had, therefore, been fed'on BemaX. It was only decided to let him remain in a week before the race, as he was not thought good enough to win the Blue ribband of the racing world. EMPTY AND HARMFUL PARADES. Sportsmen were at first dumbfounded at the result, which seemed to be unaccountable, and after a few days it was generally agreed by critics that wrong riding tactics had been indulged in. Steve DOllO--ghue and J. Chikla both said that it was the fastest-run Derby they had ever ridden in, and the time, 2min 34 2-ssec— .which equalled Call Boy's record—endorsed that view. "Hotspur" ("Daily Telegraph ) writes: Quite a big crowd awaited the coming of Fairwaj through the door whicli gives admission to the paddock from the quiet path through the wood from the Durdans. Stepping out into the maelatrom of this pre-race excitement, he must have been astonished, so much so that it was probably the beginning of that excitement which caused him to break out into a sweat, especially about his neck and shoulders. All who saw him in the parade would notice what I did. Ho was lively enough while Frank Butters very quickly saddled him in the open, and though he could be,
and was, criticised on the score of the lightness of his physique, his demeanour was that of a fit horse in the completes! sense. I must admit, however, that he was rather lighter than I expected to find him, and the fact gave me some misgiving for the first time since I saw him win the New market Stakes What I did not like was the outbreak of excitement. He seemed too upset to walk calmly, though VVeston tried to soothe him by patting his neck. He moved off smoothly in the canter, showing his delightful action, but it was clear that he had allowed himself to be upset by the great crowd, the heat, and the general mobbing. Some day the authorities will consider the horse first and the public afterwards. When they do that there will be an end of these empty and harmful parades. The public will be content to see their champions canter past them to the starting-post. 'Gang Warily carried himself well, and so did Ranjit Singh, though the latter is something of an ugly duckling with his star-gazing head. Sunny Trace and Gordon Richards were on the best of terms during these preliminaries, and Lord Dewar's colt certainly looked well, though wanting in stature for. a prospective Derby winner. <* A HURRICANE RACE. The story of the race is one of the briefest that has ever been told of a Derby. First, one or two breaks through the tape, in which Gang Warily, Sunny Trace, Black Watch, a,nd Ranjit Singh figured. Their jockeys were taking no chances in case it was a "go." Black Watch, for one, was disinclined to come into line, arid for a few moments Flamingo was a trifle awkard. The latter was drawn on the outside of all. Fairway was only second from the starter, so that many were between these two greatlyfancied ones. Sunny Trace had a better place than either, or it was most essential that the jcokeys on the outside horses should not be squeezed out of it in that first rush for position up.the hill. At last they were off, and except that Royal Crusader, a 200 to 1 chance, was altogether left, it was a good start. I saw Elliott immediately set his horse alight, as if his life depended on. getting to the head of affairs in that first moment. Westou dashed out Fairway, and Lord Derby's colt certainly .showed, the right beginning speed. I-was quite sure that he had got well away, and that he was in a nice place, for, as they strung themselves up the hill he was about fourth or fifth. In front of him was Flamingo, Ranjit Singh, Sunny Trace, Porthole, and Royal Minstrel. Felstead, too, was one of the bunch. In that way they made their way up. the grinding rise of'half a mile or so, racing for all they were worth. Some were bound to crack, for flesh and blqod could not stand such high pressure. The three leaders, two in particularSunny Trace and Flamingo—racing almost side by side, were now going "liell for leather." That is; the best phrase (because it is true) I can think of to describe the duel which now ensued between Elliott on Flamingo and Richards on Sunny Trace. Not far behind them was Felstead, who was being ridden with more discretion, for though that colt was going fast, too, he was Within striking distance when either or both of the leaders would "crack." Fairway was done with before six furlongs had been covered. He was so completely out of it, seeming to be going backwards as others went past him, that he ceased to interest. Raujit Singh had exploded his reserves in that one frantic dash; Royal Minstrel had performed like no more than a sprinter; and Palais Royal 11, had thrown up the sponge so far as Prance was concerned. ELLIOTT'S TACTICS. Elliott must have had in mind his tactics of last year, when he won on Call Boy after, making nearly the whole of the running. He had, of course, to be on another Call Boy to be successful, though that colt may have been vouch-i safed some slight "easy." Flamingo, however, was kept at full stretch, because his jockey found it necessary to hold off and beat Sunny Trace. These two, therefore, because of their despera.te efforts up to this stage, may be : said' to have beaten each other; for,' with still a quarter of a mile to go, Sunny Trace was a hopelessly spent force/ and Flamingo's reserves were so nearly used up, that when Felstead came gradually up from behind the resistance was weak and actually soon vanished. As I read the race, and as I gee it now, Felstead had not much to do., for he had merely to dispose, of a tired horse. , He
himself had reserves in any case, for the good reason that he is the better stayer. Thus the positions, as between the two jockeys, were reversed. A year ago it was Elliott on Call Boy that beat a nonstayer in Hot Night, ridden by Wragg. This time it was Wragg's turn to triumph over Elliott, and as he urged Felstead forward there was a willing response. Sir Hugo Cunlift'e Owen's . colt came on to win quite comfortably by a length and a. half. In all the circumstances it was a meritorious victory and thoroughly well deserved. >We may say what we like about the character of the field, but it remains a fact that Felstead was the best horse, and the Derby is generally won by the best horse, though criticisms may be levelled against individuals as to tactics, and tales of bad luck in running may be told. There were many good sportsmen to cheer the colt and his rider as they were escorted back to the un? saddling enclosure by the proud and happy owner, but, .human nature being what it is, I need hardly stress the subdued character of the reception in general. SON OF SPION KOP. Felstead was bred by his owner, who bought the colt's dam, Felkiugton, when she had Firmament as a foal at foot, and the mare's next foal was Felstead, sired by Spion Kop. One of the people most satisfied with the result was' Colonel Giles Loder, the owner of the sire, who himsclt won the Derby eight years ago. '■ So 1 most cordially congratulate Sir Hugo Cuuliffe Owen on his wonderful avalanche of fortune. For it was an avalanche in a sense. He had hoped Felstead would run well, for lit believed in his stamina, though a lilfle bit doubtful of his speed in the highest class.- After all, it seemed too good to be* true that one with the colt's comparatively modest record, which appeared in particular to be at a disadvantage with Flamingo on the Guineas rtmniug, should be capable of bringing about the overthrow of the alleged unbeatables that made such a fuss in the betting, and, with the exception of Flamingo, such a damp-squib-like display in the race. I congratulate, .to, Wragg on the judgment and discretion he showed through the race. It has greatly advanced his
status as one of the leading jockeys. To the trainer, the nicest words can be applied. He has done his share most admirably. The result shows that, as did the condition of the winner both before and especially after the race. It was a tribute to skilful training. There is little or no more to be said. The heavy defeats of Fairway and Sunny Trace leave us nonplussed, and in a great many' cases much poorer. ... TOO-ANXIOUS JOCKEYS. We may be certain that the trainers of Flamingo and Sunny Trace did not give their jockeys orders to go as hard as their horses could "leg" it from the instant the gate went up and never stop riding in order to be first home. Why, then, did they do it? It must have been a case of temporary aberration. . I do not think Elliott and Kichards set out with the intention of doing what they did. They were no doubt desperately anxious to be well away. So, too, were all others, and it brought out the sprinting start, the mad dash, up the hill, and it became prolonged because circumstances brought Flamingo and Sunny Trace together, each jockey believing,that with fairway out of it and Ilanjit Singh and Royal Minstrel disposed of there was no other danger. It may be that Felstead was the only true stayer among the lot of non-stay-ers or doubtful stayers, but it seemed incredible that this should be so. There will be no guarantee "of true results if future Derbys are to be marked by such methods, while the temperament and character of future generations of the thoroughbred must be endangered by such nerve-racking experiences. Flamingo must be an .amazingly big-hearted horse in any case, and every good sportsman hopes he will prove, to be no worse for his severe race. In that case, he should win the Grand Prix. Smirke said that Black Watch could simply not go the terrific early pace, but "he was running on like steam." Sir H. Cunlifi'e Owen is chairman of the British-America Tobacco Company. His wife also is an enthusiastic owner. Both are great travellers. There was much amusement at the first July meeting at Newmarket, when they were in rivalry in the same race. . Sir Hugo won with Irania. He is a keen sportsman, and has a house at Newmarket. After his victory, he said: "I am jolly glad to have won in a race which I always hoped, but never really expected, to win, although I had hopes in the horse." OTHER SURPRISES. But Fairway was not the only disappointment of the Epsom meeting. Everyone expected the King to ,win The Oaks (about one and.a half miles) with his beautiful filly, Scuttle, but Lord Derby was here compensated for his big race defeat, Toboggan winning the coveted stakes for him at the expense of Scuttle. Six furlongs from home Toboggan was leading from Scuttle, La Sologne, Juris- . diction, Flegere, and Desert Song, and rounding Tattenham Corner Flegere and Jurisdiction moved up into third and fourth places respectively. Toboggan came on in the straight from Scuttle and Flegere, and Haintonette began to improve her position, but La Sologne and Juris-, diction were done with. Two and a half furlongs out Scuttle was under the whip. Toboggan increased her lead, and drawing ,away in. the last two furlongs, Lord Derby's filly won by four lengths, with six lengths between second arid third. Time, 2min 37 2-ssec. . ■ ■ , : Then Lord Astor . and the public at large were chagrined at the defeat of the "certain" Book Law in the Coronation Cup. The horse has, however, since been found upon veterinary examination to be suffering from kidney trouble, and will not run again for some time. Book Law came in third, beaten by the: FrancoItalian crack, Appelle (owned by Mr. R. M'Creary, a wealthy American), with Silverstead (Mrs. C. Rich) third. Book Law was switching her tail at the post as well ns in the race, and her apparent inability to make the descent placed Jelliss (jockey) in a bit.of a tangle. He began early down the. hill to push her to prevent the others closing in too much. Book Law had always had the reputation of being able to do her best whether cool in herself or not, and of being a "fighting machine" once she gets on to a racecourse, but lit was one of her racing off days. Jelliss looked even more upset than the owner when the race was over. HOW TO GO. There were no happier parties than the hundred New Zealanders who put them-
selves under the aegia of Captain P. C. Pirani (late of Wellington), ■whose five motor-buses were excellently placed well round Tattenhani Corner. ' From this vantage a good part of every race could be seen easily and comfortably, including the start of the big Blue Riband event. The visitors, too, were able to understand the "call" of Derby Day to the hundreds of thousands who habitually flock to the Downs, and to take part in its joys if they wished.
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THE DERBY, Evening Post, Volume CVI, Issue 13, 18 July 1928
THE DERBY Evening Post, Volume CVI, Issue 13, 18 July 1928
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