> A sufficient sum has been guaranteed by the Melbourne Cricket Club to enable 11 gentleman cricketers to visit Victoria during the ensuing summer, but the guarantors have stipulated that Mr W. Grace should be one of the team. . No outsider seems to have crept to the front in the Two Thousand Guineas. Prince Charlie, Cremorne, and Queen's Messenger, who were placed first, second, and third for that race, were the other principal two-year-old winners of 1871, and it is a curious fact also that they were all home l?red. -Prince Charlie, the winner of the Two Thousand, is the property of Mr Joseph Dawson. For some time past we (Macleay Herald) have noticed parties in the early part of the day towing something behind a boat about in the r>ver, opposite Mr F. Scott's, and on enquiry we were rather amused to finely that the operations we had noticed were part of the training of the racehorse Gladiateur, for the Port Macquarie races. We understand that the " old horse's pins" not being in very good condition, this method had been adopted by Mr Crossman to give the horse exercise. A home paper learns that a party of gentlemen, not unknown to the sporting (md literary world, intend shortly to embark on an expedition round England and Scotland, visiting and sojourning in some bf the most untrodden distoicts of the island. This grand tour is to be made in caravans, built expressly for the purpose. They are to be fitted up with stoves, mirrors, couches, cooking utensils, and every other requisite, to which may be added guns, angling rods, and a flight of trained Falcons. A journal of the progress and incidents will be published periodically. A celebrated mare, Hegira, died at the close of last year in Kentucky. She is recorded as the first animal in America that beat the time of two miles in 3min. 40sec. On the occasion referred to she did the distance on the Metairie course at New Orleans, in 1850, in 3min. 34£ sec ., but the weight she carried was only about 801b (sst 101b), which is 301b less than was carried by Harry Bassett last year, when but three years old, in but one second longer time ; at the same time it is allowed that Hegira, on the occasion in question, won pulling double by a hun- 1 dred yards. The Daily News, in noticing the prospects of the cricket season in England, says :—": — " Whatever diversity of opinion may exist about the decadence of many of our English sports, no such apprehension ' need at any rate be felt with regard to j the national and manly game of cricket, | for each year marks its increasing popu- ! larity, by the addition of some previously j unheard of County Eleven, the opening j of some new ground, or the introduction I of matches between combatants, hitherto ] strangers to each other except by repute, | upon some one of the time honoured I arenas, which are as familiar as ' household words ' in the mouths of every cricketer or patron of the noble game. " Bam fighting is a national pastime in Egypt. The breed which is considered the best for fighting purposes is the Kharuff breed peculiar to Egyp 1 ", which furnishes splendid specimens of powerful and fierce ranis, remarkable for their hooked and solid noses and twisted horns, which being joined on the middle of the forehead offer a formidable defence. A good ram always fetches a high price amongst the fight -loving circles ; an ordinary one may be had for £2 or £3, while a ram who has obtained the reputation of a first-rate fighter can command as high a price as 10 guineas. The present Sultan, Abdul Aziz, is a great amateur of rams, and so is also Prince Mahmud Pasha, the son-in-law of the late Sultan. On the occasion of a fight the Pasha, in accordance with turf custom, makes his bets. The rule is that when two fighting rams belong to two separate individuals, the losing ram is handed over to the proprietor of the winner. A fox hunter describes in the Field a curious home for a fox :—": — " After a very good run with the Heythrop hounds about a month ago, our fox was lost most unaccountably close to Wick House ; and the scent was so good at the time that it was felt bold Reynard had used some unusually crafty dodge to escape his pursuers. A few days ago, some large fir trees were about to be cut down, a man went up a high tree to fasten a rope on to it. When half-way up he noticed an old magpie's nest, and something crawling up amongst the thick, bushy ivy. He holloaed out to the men below to look out, for there was something in the tree ; and sure enough there was a fine fox crawling up like a big • squirrel. When nearly at the top, more than 35ft. from the ground, he jumped off. The man in the tree fully expected to see him killed by the fall, but he jumped up and seemed none the worse. The sides of the tree were quite scratched and rubbed by this very quajnt 'getting up stairs,' and, from the position of the tree, there is little doubt
that it was this strange tree-climber we lost so mysteriously a month ago." English sportsmen may perhaps smile at the stress which American Turfites lay upon '* time," and of the fact that of the | cases recently before the Board of Appeal two were connected with the offence of " suppressing" time in trotting matches, an infringement of law which on the American turf renders the offender liable to " expulsion," together with his horse, from authorised "tracks." The fact is, that whereas on the English turf weight carried is the main test of the merit of a racing performance (where the load of the horse is borne on the saddle), in American trotting- matches " time" is the especial gauge of the merit of a performance (the state of the course being also, considered), and where in England winners 'of certain events carry extra weight as penalty for later races, in America the "time" which has or has not been beaten by an animal is taken as the only available gauge for penalty for trofing-horses. Where an English clerk of the course would advertise a. race for " horses that have never won 20050v5.," an American lessee would frame his conditions for " horses that have never recorded 2m. 403.," etc. Hence the suppression of the time of a race is an offence against the porality of the American Turf • as much as it would be in England for the jockey of a beaten horse to omit to weigh in ; for in the latter case, if the weighing in were neglected, a horse could be "stopped" without pulling, by simply giving him extra weight after his jockey weighed out. Hence, with the necessity for laying an official stress upon time in trotting races, it can be understood how it is that in flat racing also more reliance ia placed upon the merits and demerits of time than would be dreamt of in England. Among sundry cases recently brought before the Turf Court of Appeal at New York, one commands especial interest from its close resemblance in many points to the celebrated Sadler v. Smith trial in England, which arose out of the false start and disputed race in a sculling match on the Thaires between Kelly and Sadler. In the American case referred to, it appears that on September 18th, 1871, at Fleetwood Park> on the occasion of a fourth heat for a certain horse-race, the j Judge gave the word to go, when the horses, with one exception, had come up to the mark " all in a bunch.'* The remaining horse was some lengths in the rear, and whipped round at the Avord to start. However, a start was understock, and effected by the drivers of the other [horses. Meantime, Mr Tallman, super1 intendent of the Fleetwood Park Associa- ! tion, having noticed the one horse that \ had been left in the lurch, took upon himself j to order the recall-bell to be rung, though I thehorseshadbythattimeproceedednearly j a quarter of a mile. This was done, and the I majority at once slackened speed and pulled up. Two drivers, however, those of Coleman and Charley Green, continued on their way, and eventually passed the post respectively first and second. The judges then decided that this last was no heat^and ordered a fresh start. Roden, the driver of Coleman, claimed the heat, refused to start again, and drew his horse, giving notice of appeal. Here ends the similarity between this dispute and that between Kelly and Sadler, for whereas in the latter case a judge and jury overruled the order of the referee and starter, and decided the race to have been void, in the present American case the Board of Appeal ruled just the converse of the English precedent, and decided that the judge's order to start once given, was absolute, and the race and subsequent result irrevocable. They overruled the decision that the heat won by Coleman was no heat, and awarded it to him accordingly. The new cricket ground which has been formed in the heart of London, and which threatens to become a formidable rival to Lord's, is thus described by the Daily News :—": — " Most of our readers are probably aware of the existence of what is called ' Prince's Club,' which is entered from Hans place, Sloane street, which forms part of a domain, which during the Georgian era was a Royal residence, yclept the Pavilion. Upon the south-east portion of this have been erected from time to time probably the finest range of racket and tennis courts in existence, with baths and other luxuriotis appointments. The ' Club,' which is numerically very strong, is composed exclusively of noblemen and gentlemen, constituting the upper crust of English society, and the management is admirably carried out by the Messrs George and James Prince, who are the lessees. Closely adjoining the courts is a large enclosure of some fifteen acres, until recently occupied as a nursery garden, and to the conversion of this extensive area into a cricket-ground for the Club, Messrs Prince, in 1870, directed their attention ; and so well and thoroughly was the metamorphosis effected under their own personal supervision, with a few hints from Southerton, the famous Susses bowler, thai the members of the Club and, the'
Brigade of Guards were enabled to play a series of matches in June and Jvily upon the new turf. All the details connected with Prince's are unexceptionable, and while the public are admitted to three sides of tlie ground, where spacious dining-rooms and refreshment buffets are provided, the Row, as it is termed, on each side of the inclosure adjoining the courts, is reserved exclusively for members and those enjoying the entrde. Here, on a raised bank, beneath the umbrage of a row of noble elms of a century's growth, are dotted picturesque umbrella tents, admirably adapted for aristocratic coteries and the inevitable afternoon tea. In the rear of this promenade is a separate refreshment saloon, and contiguous to it a commodious raised and roofed platform for the millitary bands, which will always be present on Wednesdays and upon most other occasions. The requirements of the press have also been carefully, considered, forming an agreeable contrast to some other grounds w,e could mention. Tom i Box, the veteran Sussex wicket-keeper, is the manager at Prince's, and Willsher the chief of the staff of professional bowler's engaged for the coming season. The Committee of the Middlesex County Club has wisely elected to play its matches at Prince's, and, as at present arranged, they number seven, viz., against Yorkshire, Marylebone, Oxford University, Surrey (home and home), the Civil Service, and Butterflies. The County is to be congratulated on finding a settled home at last, and it is confidently hoped that Middlesex will henceforward take that leading position in cricket to which, as the metropolitan county proper, she is entitled. The other matches at present arranged to come off at Prince's are North 0. South, Old Etonians V. Old Harrovians, immediately preceding the great battle at Lord's between the present scholars ; England v. Nottingham and Yorkshire ; Household v Rifle Brigade, Lords and Commons, Knickerbockers, Incogniti, Civil Service, Prince's Club and Ground I}. Sussex, v. Kent, and v. Oxford University. The Brigade of Guards will play matches inter se every open Wednesday, so that a brilliant and fashionable season may be confidently looked to."
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SPORTING NOTES., Otago Witness, Issue 1073, 22 June 1872
SPORTING NOTES. Otago Witness, Issue 1073, 22 June 1872
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