By "The Tout."
THE opening day of the WellmgRacing Club's winter meeting was a most successful function. His Excellency Lord Plunket, the Premier (Sir Joseph Ward, the Attor-ney-General, the Ministers of Customs and Native Affairs, and a large sprinkling of Ms.H.R. were interested spectators of the various events. Leading spoitsmen were represented by Sir George Clifford, the Hons. G. McLean and J. D Ormond and Messrs. Geo. Hunter, W. R. Bidwill, A. L. D. Fraser, E. W. Alison, and A." Kidd. It is needless to mention that the fair sex patronised the club most generously, and took the keenest interest in the procedmgs. Ihe double totalisator seems to be an especial attraction for ladies, and tew on the course were not interested to some extent in double investments. The racing was highly creditable to the club's stipendiary officials, each of whom deserves to be congratulated on the success of the day's racing. The fields were by far the largest ever seen at a Wellington Racing Club winter meeting, and some close finishes were witnessed. The only complaints heard was from those backers who failed to find the winners, and, as during the afternoon the handicap events fell to outsiders, unsuccessful backers were numerous. The Parliamentary Handicap drew a, field of seventeen horses to the post. The Hon. J. D. Ormond's fine mare, Intelligence, was made a decided favourite, Jenkins mount, Kurawaka, being next in public favour. Intelligence held a good position early in the race, but was beaten at the end] of five furlongs, and evidently lacks staying power. Ellerton seems to like the Trentham course. He has not won a race since he raced there last October. Ellerton's owne- Mr. E. J- Watt, is at present on his way to England, and consequently did not witness his colt's decisive victory. Perhaps the best performance during the day was that of Aeolus, who, despite his heavy burden, ran a sterling race, and got into second place to Ellerton. The Winter Hurdle Handicap was watched with great interest owing to a number of the runners claiming engagements in the C.J.C. Grand National Hurdle Race. Mr. A Hall, for the second year, supplied the winner in Lull. Mr. Hall had a capital representative and one who was slightly better class than some folks anticipated. H. Telford rode a fine race, making every use of his light weight. The Aucklander, Ben Jonson, proved himself to be a quick, clever jumper, but, like most novices, found the jumping more tiring than the galloping, and retired at the end of a mile and a-half. Asteroid and Cavalry displayed staying power, but Lull's early advantage won him the race. Pushful, who started favourite, met with some interference early in the contest, and was never prominent. Prospector ran below his form, but may be improved by the galloping at Trentham, and cannot be written out of the Grand National Hurdles. The scratching of Pantutu and Le Beau was a disappointment to their many admirers. "Upwards of ±<^U had been sent from a distance to the club for investment on these horses in the double totalisator, and, had the pair started, they would have carried a deal of public coin. Paritutu has been jumping his hurdles in schooling exercise very cleverly, and. as Le Beau was on the ground, it may turn out that the pair are reserved for the Grand National Hurdle Race. A perusal of the respective handicaps will demonstrate that Paritutu will be at a great disadvantage in the National at Riccarton compared with his prospects for the Wellington Winter Hurdle Race. I* Beau, on the other hand, is decidedly most favourably treated. Auckland sporting journals are severe in their comments on the action of the C.J.C. in adopting a system of fixed penalties in connection with their big winter handicaps. Phaeton," in the "Herald," writes: —
"Just let us consder the matter as bearing on some events close at hand. Cuiragno and Kaitere were engaged at the Wellington meeting, and in the Winter Hurdles and Wellington Steeplechase they were respectively handicapped at list 131b and 13st 31b (Cuiragno's impost at Wellington was list 111b). Similar imposts were dealt out to the Auckland pair in connection with the Grand National Hurdle Race and Grand National Steeplechase. _ Now, a victory for either m the Wellington races would have meant a rise of 101b and 141b respectively in their imposts in the C.JC. events, making their weights 12st 91b Cuiragno and 14st 31b Kaitere. Could such ,a course be defended? It is, of course, quite clear what prompted the C.J.C. to adopt such stiff penalties, and it requires no great amount of argument to show that owners are little considered " Cuiragno is reported to be striding along attractively m his work at Ellerslie. and he can be safely expected to make a bold bid at Riccarton next month to win, for the second time, the Grand National Hurdle Race. A newspaper controversy has been going on in Victoria regarding steeplechasing and steeplechase fences. J. 0. Inglis, one of the very best amateur riders Victoria has ever had, says "I advocate higher jumps in the interest of riders. If you have low fences, the horses will dive at them, with the result that the horse and rider fall together, but if a horse comes to grief — which is not very often — at a high fence, the rider is thrown clear of the horse, so that the risk is not nearly so great. Low fences simply increase the number of accidents, and make them more serious." James Scobie and James Wilson, who, in their day, were leading crosscountry riders, endorse Mr. Inglis's views. Mr. Wilson remembers that fearless horseman, Adam Lindsay Gordon. His attitude over a fence. Mr. Wilson declares, was just the reverse of that adopted by riders of to-day. He leant right back until his head almost touched the horse's croup. The course at Flemington then was
severe. Two fences by the abattoirs were very little under sft., and the others 4ft. 6in. Mr. Wilson only remembers one man being killed in the old days. Orby, the English Derby winner, would have been trained by the Australian, J. E. Brewer, but for the Jockey Club stewards refusing permission for Mr. Croker's horses to be trained at Newmarket. Mr. Croker promptly removed all his horses to Ireland, at one time vowing never to race m England again. After running twice unsuccessfully in Ireland, Orby was sent to Liverpool, where he landed a big starting-price coup for his connections. Orby claims engagement in the St. Leger, and it looks as though he may rank as a dual classic winner. Owing to a number of steeplechase horses being under a cloud, the forthcoming Grand National Steeplechase may not draw a very strong field. Kaitere is said to be a likely absentee, Nadador has done very little work since the Napier Park meting, where he pulled up very distressed and Pawa, Romany King, Rangitoto, Corona, Irish, Loch Fyne, Silicia, and Hikaeroa are either in the hospital or are not destined to see the Grand National meeting. Phaetonitis is still ruling favourite, and, as he is progressing favourably in his work, it is difficult to select anything to beat him. The Grand National Hurdle Race should provide a good field. The racing at Trentham and the acceptances, which are due this week, should throw considerable light on the prospects of many of the horses engaged. At present, the prospects of Le Beau, Lady Hune, Shrapnel, Lull, and Merewai seem to be most highly thought of. Lady Annie, Aeolus, and Helen Portland are a trio that have numerous admirers for the Winter Cup.
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Turf Topics., Free Lance, Volume VIII, Issue 369, 27 July 1907
Turf Topics. Free Lance, Volume VIII, Issue 369, 27 July 1907
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