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THE LUCKY DUKE.

GOSSIP ABOUT TWO HISTORIC EVENTS. [From Or/R Special Correspondent.] London, May 17. Kempton Park on Friday and Saturday afternoon last more nearly resembled Ascot on Hunt Cup Day than a mere suburban racecourse meeting. It was "the thing, don't you know," to be there, and from the Prince of Wales (;vho to the distraction of masherdom came in a " pot" hat and " dittoes ") downwards every " chappie " able to beg, borrow, or annex what the " Pink *un" calls sufficient " oof for exes," made a desperate effort to put in an appearance.

Owing to the victories of Bendigo and Minting the Jubilee Stakes at Kempton has become the most important of all the spring handicaps, and the result of this year's contest will certainly not detract from its prestige. There were sixteen runners, and of these eight had strong parties behind them, who honestly believed tho race all over but shoutiug. First and foremost, of course, came the great Goldseeker (4 yrs, 9st lib), who looked trained to the hour, and whose connections were confident of his emulating the unexampled feats of the two previous winners. A few shrewd men shook their heads at the idea of the son of The Miser being classed with phenomenons like Minting and Bendigo ; and one tout (" old Jack Dickenson") boldly prophesied Goldseeker would "be nearer last than fist." The majority of plungers, howevor, boldly Btood the city and suburban winner, taking 11 to 2 to win and 2 to 1 for a place. Another horse, backed for tons of money with surprisingly little justification, was the three-cornered Orbit (4yrs, 7st 131b). Money poured into the Ring all morning for him. "What has he done?" I asked. "Beaten Friar's Balsam at the handicap weights, or what ?" " Oh, no ! but Porter galloped 'em roughly together, and he swears it's a ' dead snip.' Lord Alington has L3OO on." The result of this sort of thing was that Orbit finished up first favorite at 5 to 1 and ran nowhere. True Blue 11., also very heavily supported, cut up badly, and so did Love-in-idleness (a great paddock tip) and Bullion. The three-year-olds Amphion (7st lib) and Screech Owl (sst 71b), though well backed by their connections, were left alone by the public, Amphion, it was reckoned, would have to be a crack, indeed, to give nearly a stone to True Blue 11. and to meet The Rejected (syrs, Bst 3lb) at a disadvantage of 41b on the weight-for-age scale. Screech Owl, too, the same experts condemned as second-class. Lord Cholmondeley'a well-known son of Wisdom and Noisy nevertheless led the field a rare dance. For three parts of the journey he was fully two lengths in front of everything, and looked like winning easily. The field, however, closed up as they neared the turn for home, and then Amphion drew out. There was a bit of a scrjmmagp as they swept round this corner, in whiqh it is possible True B.lue (of whom { caught a momentary glance) and one or two others suffered. Amphion, however, was always in front, and from this point had the race in hand. Screech Owl got to his haunches again once, but nothing else threatened the least danger, and General Byrne's colt eventually won comfortably by three lengths, a similar distance separating Lord Cholmondeley'a Exeter from The Rejected, who finished a bad third. Luck Boy (another three-year-old) ran fourth, Bullion fifth, Martley sixth, and Goldseeker last but one, Amphion has unfortunately no classio engagements, but mt,y meet Donovan at Ascoit.

The Royal Stakes, of 10,000 sovs, over a mile and a quarter, on Saturday, provided us with one of those " dead certainties " to which we are rapidly becoming stonily inured. Friar's Balaam was a "moral." Seabreeze had been badly beaten in her home trial. Ayrshire was "off color," besides being inferior to Melanion at the weights. Wishing Gate and Royal Star were commoners, and Ihe Baron a fraud. I have never specially admired Friar's Balsam, and I failed altogether on Saturday to notice that the colt was a "mass of muscle" and looked a "triton among minnows" alongside Seabreeze and Ayrshire. Seabreeze's coat seemed staring, and she whisked her tail suggestively; but Ayrshire appeared all right, though not perhaps such a good - looking horse as Melanion. The Duke (the lucky Luke) put Barrett up on the latter, and let Wattß wear the second colors on Ayrshire. The Ring, for some reason, were simply wild to lay Seabreeze. They never tired of offering 10 to 1, and in many cases tendered 15's rather than lose money. At one time backers of the favorite had to lay G to 4 on, but the amount of money for Melanion at 3 to I and for Ayrshire at sixes eased

matters somewhat, and at the start "I'll take 5 to 4 " was the bookies' cry. Friar's Balsam and Melanion shot off first, but were quickly pulled back, and Wishing Gate and Royal Star made the running at a "cracking" pace, with the four fancied candidates next, and The Baron last—a position he maintained throughout. They had only gone three quarters of a mile when to the horror of plungers with good glasses George Barrett was seen to be uneasy on the favorite. In another minute the doubt became a dread certainty, and at the bend for home the jockeys of Melanion and Royal Star were also riding hard. It was now a guinea to a gooseberry on either Ayrshire or Seabreeze, and with Watts sitting perfectly still on Ayrshire, and Robinßon moving on Lord Calthorpe's filly, the issue was not in much doubt. Seabreeze made a gallant fight with her old foe, and will probably beat him again when at her beßt. On this occasion, however, the odds of 10 to 1, betted on the Derby winner at the distance, were never in doubt all the way up the straight, and though Ayrshire nominally won by only three-quarters of a length it was an easy victory. The surprise of the race, next to the collapse of Friar's Balsam, who obviously can't stay, was the running of Wishing Gate. Though the rider of this filly allowed the pumped out Melanion to annex the third place, she had beaten him fair and square, and must therefore (if George Dawson's calculations are correct) be within 71b of the mighty Donovan. This should be good enough to win the Oaks. More probably, however, Melanion has been overrated. Ayrshire and Donovan have now made the " lucky Duke" between them L 52.427 in stakes alone. Ayrshire secured L 6,565 as a two-year-old, L 8.675 as a three-year-old, and has commenced his four-year-old career with this L 9.500 stake. Donovan's winnings to date total L 26,787, and he will in all probability add the Newmarket Stakes, of L 7.000, and the Derby, of L 5.000, to them within the next month.

As the Duke bets a bit, too, it is probable, I should fancy, he's made quite LIOO.OOO on the turf during the twelvemonth.

I hear both Lord Alington and Sir Frederick Johnstone had large stakes on Friar's Balsam, and that "Tumtum" (by which irreverent nickname H.R.H. the Prince of Wales is known to his friends) allowed himself to be persuaded to lay 500 to 400 on the crack.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890706.2.30.12

Bibliographic details

THE LUCKY DUKE., Issue 7952, 6 July 1889, Supplement

Word Count
1,216

THE LUCKY DUKE. Issue 7952, 6 July 1889, Supplement

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