TALK OF THE DAY.
* # * It is not incumbent upon me to find or to invent a reason for the falling off in the number of entries for the D, J.C. Champagne of 1891, as compared with the four previous years. If this were my duty I should be perplexed. The colony breeds aB many thoroughbreds now as it ever did ; and we don't send many away as yearlings— not more, at any rate, this year than in the preceding three or four Beasons. There being no assignable cause for the falling off, no good purpose would be served by inquiring into the matter. There was a big drop down in 1883 and also in 1886, yet we experienced a recovery in the following years ; and this will probably be the case again, The entries for the previous 10 years and this were as follows :— lBBl, 30 ; 1882, 32 ; 1883, 24 ; 1884, 33 ; 1885, 30 ; 1886, 24 ; 1887, 43 ; 1888, 42; 1889, 33; 1890, 50; and for 1891 we have 32. Looking through the list of names, I find that Tasmania's 1888 colt, here called Taasy, is in the Stud Book named Smith O'Brien ; and it will be seen that the Middle Park Stud Company have, with judgment that is open to criticism, named their Hammock colt Morpheus, thus perpetuating one of their own names bestowed on Sonnambula's 1877 colt by Castaway, And, running through this Champagne list, I observe that the dam of Adventurer, Lass o' the Hills, is not in the Stud Book justj ust issued. I presume this is owing to the owner's oversight.
%* Very shortly after these pages are in the hands of the public we shall know the result of the Derby, the most important renewal of the Blue Riband, so far as colonists are conoerned, that has ever taken place, on account of the Sydney-bred colts being sent Home with the express purpose of participating in the contest, though at the time of writing it seemed quite possible that after all neither of them would start. A cable message dated the 30th May announced that Kirkham was to start, but that he had not a thousand to one show of winning unless the course were heavy, in which case I presume his chance might bo set down at perhaps five hundred to one ; and close on the heels of this cablegram c vine another one telling U3 that it was possible Kirkham would be reserved for the Grand Prix, to be run on the 15th. If the telegraph man ia simply guessiner, which may be shrewdly suspected, we should know very nearly as much if he were to confine himself to baro facts as to public form. One part of the earlier of these two messages— that in which we are told that Mr White thinks Kirkham is likely to win the A3cot Gold Cup and Narellan the Cesarewitch —is strong evidence of what one will charitably call the innocence of the author of the message. The artlesa pronouncement here made would be comical if it were less pitiably absurd, Next
week we shall have the result of this celebrated race in print. At latest advices Surefoot was a strong favourite at 2 to 1, and the chances are that he will win. Publio form is generally good enough to go on.
*** If the Press Agent will forgive me for having another growl, I should like to say that while he was making up his message about the Birthday Cup run at Sydney last Saturday, he might as well have told us the price at which the winner started. Eclipse's name does not appear in the list of quotations. This is an important matter on which backers all over the colony desire information, since wagering and starting prices is a custom of late adopted in all parts of New Zealand. Perhaps the hint may be accepted and aoted upon in the future. Eclipße was at anyrate a rank outsider, We may conclude that this was so from the fact that none of tha sporting writers spoke hopefully of his chance. The disappointment to us about the race was the decisive dressing down that the Auckland mare Hilda was treated to by the local horses, lhe cable message expressly tells us that she was never prominent. A week ago news was filtered to us through Auckland that Hilda was not quite herself, and if the race had been run then no one here would have been surprised at her bad form ; but I know as a matter of fact that on Saturday last the people who- generally have good information were searching about everywhere to try to pick up layers of starting prices, and this I accept as a reliable tip that the mare was expected to run forward. Well, we must put up with disappointments now and again. New Zealanders are doing very well in Australia, and if we were to win everything we tried for we should soon become demoralised. There is some consolation in learning that Antelope beat 21 others in this Birthday Cup. That iB all the consolation we are likely to get, and we will not spoil it by remembering that in all probability about 20 of these were pulling up after pursuit was hopeless. Last year this race was also won by an outsider. Centaur, who started at 20 to 1, Mr Twohill's mare Clogs finishing second, a length away, while Melos, who with 9,2 was first favourite, did not gain a shop.
%* From France we hear news of the death of Silvio, the Blair Athol horse that won the Derby of 1877 for Lord Falmouth, beating Glen Arthur and Rob Roy, and also annexed the St. Leger. The colt was purchased by the Duo de Castries for £7000. On the death of the Due the stable of which he and Baron de Soubeyran were owners was broken up, and Silvio became the property of the Duo de Castries' widow who, in course of time married Count Emmanuel d'Haroourl, the horse's last owner. Silvio was then placed at the St. George's stud farm, and in his box there he was one morning in April last found with a broken fetlock, caused, probably, by his kicking against the manger. The veterinary surgeon was sent for, but inflammation made such [rapid progress that tetanus supervened, and this valuable sire had to be detroyed. Jupin and May Pole are among the best of his stock, to whom be communicated great speed, but few of them were known as stayers, After Silvio's exportation to France an endeavour was made, but without success, to repurchase him for England. *** Several somewhat startling changes in the value of horse flesh have been experienced in England this Beaton. Three instances suggest theme elves. Signorina, who promised to be worth a king's ransom as a stake-earner, has not won a penny. On the other hand, we see Macuncas, a colt that was bought as a yearling for 150gs, in the front rank of the two-year-olds so far seen out. Then we have the case of L'Abbe Morin. At the Newmarket Craven meeting in April this colt was beaten in a paltry lOOsovs selling plate, for which he started at 9to 4 on in a field of four ; and after suoh a performance he was claimed from Lord Dunraven by Mr G. Reynolds, for whom he has nowjwon the Payne Stakes, beating a consistent performer in Blue Green. As the Abbe is said to have " curled up when the final came " in the selling plate, his owner would probably be able to get a nice price about him in the Payne Stakes. By the way, the one that beat him in April last was the Madrigal colt, who lent a hand in the trial of Kirkham and Narellan referred to last week.
%♦ Having in my mind's eye an Otago racecourse on which horses had to double round the corners with the nimbleness of a hare, the alternative being to shoot straight into a hedge, to the imminent peril of both jockey and horse, and conceiving that there might be other paddocks for the time being used as racecourses which presented the same risk, though perhaps in a lesser degree, I sometime ago endeavoured to point out the necessity for a private examination and licensing of each course before permitting a olub to use it for racing purposes. It iB a subject that I [feel justified in resuming, and to which attention must be paid by our racing authorities if they would be held guiltless of oonniving at manslaughter. I should like the publio to read what 11 Pendragon " has to say upon the question as it applies in England to recognised and oldestablished courses, and then, considering the extra chance of danger accruing from the fact that in New Zealand we have courses hurriedly and insufficiently made every year, to answer the question whether our responsibility is not greater than that of the Old Country. %* The comparative immunity from fatal mischance vouchsafed to our flat-race riders, remarks the writer referred to, is not lesa than miraculous. Surprising luck is in it, because so slight a thing suffices to send a horse off his pins while he is hard pressed in galloping at top speed. That being thus, it behoves all interested in horseracing to do what they can to have our courses in proper order, so as to minimise risk as much as possible. Our Jockey Club make a point of viewing all courses before they will issue licenses for them. That is quite right and proper, and necessary. But would it not be better for sport if the club, through their officials — who in one way and another make a tidy long list — were to go in for a regular inspection of every track a few days before each meeting is due to come off, and do this on dates near to the raoing fixtures, but not too close, so as to allow time for pntting small faults right? Writing of meetings, such as Northampton, whereat a big company of unpaying spectators is privileged to assist, a lover of the game feels a bit chary in criticism, because, you see, if the place is really not fit for the business, and you move a finger in the direction of its disestablishment, you are taking from the public the indifferent goods theygot so freely and notputting anything in their place. Nor thampton Common i s scarcely fit for racing at all as it ie, and has been for years. Yet at that estimate it is tons in front of Chester, another meeting held on common land. What may be called structural difficulties are to be accounted as misfortunes to those in charge of such courses and racing arrangements. We ought to sympathise with managers who do the best they may with these troubles. But what goes against the .grain with me ia that hardly any one seems willing to spend a shilling on the actual goind or galloping ; while, if outlay be made, it ie generally so much waste. Half a dozen labourers employed for a fortnight before Chester races could do infinite good with pick and shovel navvying. Twenty pounds' worth
of labour intelligently expended at Northamptonmight make far less dangerous than they are. Better, however, let the place go as it is left by the populace, who make a playground of it, than that so-called improvements should constitute traps for horses and riders. Public traffic on the traok leaves spots worn clear of grass. So long as the ground is soft it does not matter to a gee whether the surface is turfed or not— at least not much. Nearly all the flat racing in America is on mvd — that is to say, is not on grass-clothed galloping. When, then, the ground is soft, you need not put down any fender to break the jar of hoof strokes, though if you have a gap like a road crossing, and that is of different colour from the rest of the going, you must tone the interval, if possible, because bo often horses take such for actual gaps, and endeavour to make themselves safe by jumping, as did Nutbourne when he " took " the tanned road at Tattenham Corner in the Derby. He would have won but for breaking down, owing to the big leap he made. The very worst tbing to do is to lay down tan over hard bare patohes, for you might just as well try to render a slide firm footing by ecattering cotton-reels over its surface. Both Mullen and Blake nearly lost their lives through this absurdity, and many other accidents are traceable to the same cause. So far as I can see, the only reasonable treatment in these cases is to follow the American plan and run a light toothed harrow over the bald plaoes. By that means all nlipperiness on thebeaten-down surface would be removed, and these harrows are bo light that they would not make the track heavy,
♦** The attention of owners and trainers of horses and ponies iB directed to an advertisement in another column, by which the Mentone Racing Club of Victoria offer allotments of land adjoining their popular racecourse on exceptionally favourable .terms for the occupancy and erection of training stables, &c. Further particulars can be obtained by applying to the secretary, Mr J. H. Asho, 87 Boui-ke street west, Melbourne.
*** The dispute between the West Coast olubs as to which of the two principal bodies shall exercise the functions pertaining to a metropolitan club has not passed out of the minds of the Hon. G. M'Lean and Mr Driver, to whom, aB a sub- committee, the question was handed over for arbitrament by the Dunedin Jockey Club, and, 'from what I hear, a decision is likely to be given in the course of a few days, though as yet, I understand, the gentlemen referred to have not finally made up their minds.
*„* The Melbourne Cup of 1890, the richest handicap ever announced, has not been entered for by a much larger number than usual. This is not a matter for surprise, experience having shown that an increase of stakes in whatever degree makes very little difference in the number of horses nominated. Racing clubs, or the public who are at the back of the raoing clubs, can make stakes, but can't make horses, and have to put up with what they can get. It is, however, a goodly list that was sent aoross to us on Monday evening. The number, presuming that we have read the names correctly, and not chopped any jnames jin halves, or made one name stand for two horses, is 148. Last year the total was 127, and going baokwards we find
139 for 1888 128 for 1887 143 for 1886 165 for 1885 131 for 1881 150 for 1883 128 for 1882
120 for 1881 109 for 1880 122 for 1879 109 for 1878 113 for 1877 98 for 1876 88 for 1875
These are the prinoipal totals. To go back further is to run into small figures. It will be seen on looking down the list that New Zealand is hardly so well represented as usual. There are a good many New Zealand-bred horses entered, prominent among which will be Been the names of Dunkeld, Manton, Carbine, Lochiel, Gatling, Town Moor, Pygmalion, Sultan, and Whakawai ; but these are all ownad in Australia, and the oonneotion between them and us is therefore more a matter of sentiment than of £s d. The New Zealand-owned horses in the Cup are (1) Wolverine, who though not the duffer some would make him out to be, will hardly be pitched on by Mr Barnard to pat at the top of the handicap ; (2) Tirailleur, the champion three-year-old of the season in Maoriland, and who was placed on level terms with Dreadnought in the back-end handicaps by the man who has the distribution of the weights for this race ; (3) Wayland, the two-year-old son of Remnant, who ran the other day at the Forbury, and being only half trained and as green as grass to the galloping business, was unable to live with the rest of his opponents—though between you and I and the gatepost I shall not be surprised to see this same colt turn the tables on some of them if he ever meets them on equal terms as to condition ; (4) Leopold, a useful handicap horse, undeniably fast under a medium weight when quite well ; (5) Merrie England, whose starling performances this autumn at Forbury and at Riccarton have caused some of our racing men to express the opinion that Tirailleur will have all bis work cut out to beat him on equal terms ; (6) Jet d'Eau, a Napier horse who has always been going to do something, but baa never done it yet — supposed on several occasions to be a rod in pickle; (7) Medallion, winner of the Christchurch Champagne, and undoubtedly a first class horse so far as we know him; (8) Fabulous, who it is said waß once highly tried in private ; (9) Whimberel, Dan O'Brien's coming three-year-old, brad in Australia, of whom great things are prophesied by the sporting writers on the other side ; and (10) 3uirassier, one of the Nortbern-bred contingent that I am pretty sure is a better horse than his performances would make him out to be. Rather an odd lot, are they not ? and it appears to me hardly likely to be very strong as a body, but we have always "the glorious uncertainty " as a stand by, and perhaps New Zealand may come off when we least expect it. *** In the Caulfield Cup there are, according to my calculations, 136 entries, including Tirailleur, Cuirassier, Freedom, Fabulous, Leopold, Merrie England, Helmsman, Wayland, Renata, Whimberel, Jet d'Eau, Town Moor, and Wolverine. Last year the entries numbered 111. In 1888 there were 116 :in 1887, 110 ; in 1886, 102 ; and in 1885, 143 ; so that in this race also there is not a best on record.
%* A summarised report of the proceediugs at the I) J.O. committee's last meeting will be found in another column. The matters there referred to explain themselves, and I do not know that it is necessary for me to add anything excepting a word or two in reference to what with many will be the chief item — viz., the difficulty with thß Northern owners. Concerning this it will be seen that Mr Dowee has addressed a letter to the club ; and without betraying the secrets of the prison house I may venture to remark that in this communication our handicapper makes a full and formal reply to the charges of bad handicapping at the Exhibition meeting, which ware set forth against him by Mr Stead. This letter, with other matters connected with the unfortunate misunderstanding, received consideration at the hands of the committee, and so far as I have been able to gather it is probable that before long — perhaps in a few days — a decision in th 3 matter will bo arrived at and duly announced. For obvious reasons it would
be improper to Bay more than is absolutely necessary before this decision is made public, but I may again express regret that no response was made by the accusing owners to attend and formulate their charges or give evidence in support of the alleged want of integrity discovered in Mr Dowse. I understand that if evidence of this nature had been forthcoming the inquiry would have been thrown open to the public, or to their representatives the press reporters, but that as the business before the committee was to a great extent of an ex parte character, dealing with matters that were not supported by absolute proof or negatived by positive disproof, it was deemed advisable — and very properly so, I think— to withhold particulars from the publio until the whole case, so far as it is perfected, is before the committee. We shall, I hope, at any rate see Mr Dowses answer before the subject is finally disposed of.
%* Last week I mentioned that Poole was going to Melbourne with Mammoo and Waitangi. He went. He took with him besides these jumpers the two-year old filly Watercress, the property of Mr Souness, that gentleman having wired to Poole at the last moment asking him if he would take charge of the filly, and take her to Melbourne, where, I understand, she will be placed on the market. It was also arranged that when the Waihora oalled at the Bluff Mr Souness' stallion Watar King should there meet her, and also go orer in Poole's charge. Mr Souness thus severs his active connection with racing in this island, having no other blood stock left in these parts so far as I know. I hope he will have better luck if he goes racing up North. He is a good sportsman, Poole's programme on the other Bide was not definitely settled when he left here, but I think the chances are that he will race both jumpers before seeking to dispose of either of them. Mammoo may perhaps have a cut in at the suburban meetings, while Waitangi may be reserved for the Grand National. But this is all guesswork. Nothing is certain about them beyond this : that if Waitangi keeps well, andj has a weight in the National that Poole thinks is fair and reasonable, he will have a try in that event, and with Poole up. %* The next departure for Australia — we are sending them over wholesale now — will be La Rose, who will, I understand, be taken over in this week's boat by Jack Laughlin on account of Mr Hugh Craig, her owner. This mare disappointed her backers at the Forbury meeting last month, and put in a hole a good many who thought from her Timaru running that she had learned to go all the way in a race ; but it may be that she will chape better when she gets away from the Forbury — Bhe generally does — and if so, that is if the mare will always do her best, she must pay her way in Australia, where many New Zealand horses not so sound and not bo fast as she is have proved profitable investments. Ido not know how Laughlin proposes to place her, but should imagine that suburban meetings will be her game.
*** Next week there will be another exportation from Dunedin, Mr Harry Goodman having arranged for passages by the Manipouri for himself and three horses— Blizzard, Belvidere, and Jnvermay. If will be seen that none of these have been entered for the Gups. The owner's present intention is, I understand, to run them at the smaller meetings or in the minor handicaps if they venture on the principal racecourses. Blizzard may have a out in for the flat handicap, of a mile a- quarter, at the Grand National meeting, but this will depend upon whether the weight allotted to him suits the ideas of the owner. A very modest little team this of Mr Goodman's, and one that we shall not expect much from if the handicappers suspect the best of the three to be as good as Apropos, the mare that Mr Goodman went over with last time ; but if they are not proved weight carriers, and not likely to turn out as such so far as we know them, they are at least sound, and that is a very important consideration. It may be noted that Blizzard and Belvidere are the first of Gorton's stock to leave us for the other side. Invermay has of course yet to make his name i s a racer. Though he won a handicap at the laßt meeting it was with the advantage of a very light weight.
*** Among the many race meetings held throughout the colony on the Queen's Birthday that at Wanganui was one of the most important. In the Flying Stakes Rufus made the running until the home turn was reached, and then burst up, a good race between Modtrose II and Boulanger ending in the firstnamed getting home by half a length. Speaking of the Steeplechase, the principal event on the programme, the local paper says that the result could hardly be said to be an eye opener, as Sir Garnet brought a good reputation and some money behind it from Wellington. He ran a first-class race, and was cleverly ridden by Hiokey, who, not holding Oddfellow too cheap, took care to maintain bis lead all the way through. This was Sir Garnet '« first, attempt across country, but we should irao^'ne that steeplingwill now have gained a paru.ai ut recruit in the winner of the big money. G— u.i and Bare, the two unplaced horses, d t finish. IntheWinterOataHandicapjßoub,: was again the victim of bard luck, in that h< .;ot jambed on to the rails when in the atraight. Mr Paul entered a protest, but afterwards withdrew it on the advice of friends. Gasparini and Asper were the only two to finieh in the Maiden Steeplechase, the former winning as he liked. Asper subsequently ran a good race in the Consolation Steeplechase, in which he played with his field in the last mile and won as he liked. The aum of £2804 was put through the totalisators.
*** At the North Wairarapa Hack Racing Club's meeting, Mr Macara's Brookfield won the principal event — the Birthday Handicap, of 25aovs, one mile and a quarter, beating Cock o'-the-walk, Ben Bolt, and two others. The rest of the competing horaes are known only to local fame. The local paper says that not a single protest was entered, nor was there any mishap, with the exception of the spill which M'Morran got from Matchless in the Hurdles ; but that this was nothing serious was proved by the same jockey scoring a win with Brookfield in the Birthday Handicap, The amount put through the totalisator was £1061.
*** The Winter meeting of the Town and Suburban Racing Club at Taradale is described as the most successful ever held on the ground. The principal event of the day, the Taradale Hack Handicap, of oO.^ovs, one mile and a-quarter, produced a desperate finish between Lochiol's half aister Princess Helen and Mr Tatham'a Richmond (I presume this is Mr Eedwood's casfc-oif of the samo uamo). Clifford rode Princess Helen and succeeded in landing her a winner by a bead, Grace Darling being a capital third. Later in the day Princoss Helen, with lOst up, was made first favourite for the Flying Handicap, but was beaten out of a place, the race being won by Mr Munn's Aroha, a three-year-old by Otepapa out of Ada. Clifford bad three winning mounts during the day. The totalieator, worked by Messrs Cohen and Stock, put through the respeotable sum of £2865.
%* The Waerenga-a-hika Club's final meeting of the season was held on the 26th ult. Ifitzjames, one of the horsed nominated for the New Zealand Cup, got home first in the Birth-
day Handicap, of 40sovh, one mile and a-balf, with 9 7, beating Truthful (7.11), Nora (7.11), and five others, and paying a dividend of £6 16s. The Flying Handicap was taken by Pouawa ; and Oeo, who must be getting into the sere and yellow, accounted for the Hurdle Handicap. The totalisator passed through £1040.
%* There were two trotting meetings besides that held at Heathcote. One of these was that promoted by the newly-formed Nelson Trotting Club, and carried out on their course at Trafalgar Park. There was a miserably small attendance, and it is feared that the meeting will result in a financial losa. The chief event, the Trafalgar Park Handicap, was taken by Mr Hoult's Clyde, who. starting from soratch, beat five others, doing the three mileß in Smin 58 2 saec. The other trotting meeting t;o which I refer was that held under the auspices of the Greymouth Trotting Club, The Argus says that this being the first race meeting of the kind held in the district the publio did not appear to be on familiar terms with it. They were a little at a loss to understand time handicapping instead of weights ; and it must be confessed that it looked a little ourioua to see one horse just completing a circuit before another one started, and another horse receiving 65aeo in a two-mile race. The effect of this want of familiarity reacted injuriously on the business of the totalisator, at which there was next to no betting at all, the amounts not being worth mentioning ; so that the club could derive no revenue from that scource. A bare statement of the results appeared in last week's issue.
*** At the Canterbury Jockey Club's annual meeting last week, Mr Stead, as usual, submitted an exhaustive statement, in the course of which he said : — Unfortunately the Summer and Autumn meetings, as I have already indicated, left the heavy deficit of £498 4s, a result that could not well have been foreseen, and had loss been escaped on these two meetings it will be apparent that the club would have experienced a very profitable year. It, however, may be seen that the net profit on the four meetings held during 1889 90 was £617 18a 3d, and as each meeting tends to support the others, it is scarcely necessary to consider whether this or that meeting has left a loss if the aggregate operations for the year show a profit. At the same time an effort should be made to so modify the programme for the ensuing year that a repetition of the losses on these two meetings would scarcely occur. Doubtless, as I have already stated, other attractions had a serious effect on the attendance at the meetings in question, and we are hardly likely to again meet with such competition ; at any rate, not for some time to come. So, without even altering the programme, we may fairly anticipate that an improved attendance will bring about improved results during the ensuing season. It has been said that the club is not so popular as it should be, and possibly there iB something in this reproach, but seeing that our members have inoreased during the year by something like 25 per cent., it would scarcely appear as if the olub was losing muoh in popularity. All, the same, it should not be forgotten that the Canterbury Jockey Club is merely a caterer of amusement for the public, and therefore its one effort should be to provide such amusement for the public aB they desire and appreciate. If there has been anything in the programmes in the past that can be modified or altered to better suit the publio taste, your incoming committee should spare no effort to effect the needed alterations. In the same way, if any greater facilities and conveniences for witnessing the racing can be piovided for the publio, your committee will doubtless take steps to effect the desired change. . . . The assets of the club were roughly valued at £11,300 0s 6d, after allowing for depreciation in value of buildings. These included the railway and land purchased. The liabilities against this were nominations and sweepstakes in future races £477, distressed jockeys' fund £111 4s, bank overdraft £958 6s 2d, balance to profit aad loss account £9753 10s 4d. Mr Stead went on to say : " The appointment of the metropolitan delegates is no doubt the first step in the direction of forming a central New Zealand raoing tribunal, and it is to be hoped that this will be the preliminary to taking in hand the selection of the dates on which the several raoing meetings shall be held throughout New Zealand. I think, however, that we can readily agree with our Auckland friends to rearrange the dates for our Spring and Midsummer meetings, so as to avoid conflicting with each other, even although we have each to retain the came dates for our Easter meeting. At any rate, I would suggest that we hold out the olive branch by altering the date of our Midsummer meeting, so as to leave the Christmas and New Year's meeting at Auckland quite without opposition from Canterbury ; and possibly, in return, the Auckland Raoing Club will 'alter the date of their Spring gathering in order to avoid its clashing with our Cup meeting." Mr Studholm moved that the Midsummer meeting be abolished, but after discussion obtained leave to withdraw his motion, in favour of one leaving the committee to decide the question,
* # * The Winton correspondent of the Southland Times says that at a meeting of the jockey club held on the 27th ult. the following motion was carried unanimously : — "That the secretary write to the Traffio Manager and ask the |reason why the special train was late on arriving, and also why it had been taken past the usual crossing ? " With regard to the first query, from the remarks made by the member?, it seems that the train was half an hour late, and the consequence was the club's arrangements were entirely disorganised, as the committee did not think it would be fair to send off the horses till the passengers by the traiu were on the ground, and as the days at present are very short the timo lost had to be made up. One gentleman said he believed £300 or £400 more would have pas-ied through the totalisator had the train arrived sharp to time. With regard to the second query, the train was brought to a stand opposite the racecourse, half a mile past the usual place of stoppage. A great number when they alighted from the train made a rush across the paddocks, and instead os walking back to the entrance gate jumped the fence of the racecourse. The person who bought the gate privilege complains greatly about this, and says be lost a good few shillings through it. Had the train stopped at the usual place the passengers would no doubt have all Rought entrance by paying the usnr.l charge.
—The cable tells us that Plutarch is constantly breaking blood-vessels.
— Messenger started in the V.R.O. Steeplechase on the 24th, and fell at the secopd fence. Robert Bonner does not think we of this generation will see the mile trotting record lowered to 2min 6sec
—Frank Healey, of South Canterbury, has been engaged by Mr Hungerford, of Greymouth, to train his horses.
— The New Zealand 'chaser Recruit ran third in the Queensland Grand National Hurdle Race on the 26th ult. —A London cablegram, dated the 3rd inst., states that Kirkham has been backed at 7 to 1 to obtain a place in the Derby. — Mr Lowther, senior steward of the English Jockey Club, has retired from office. Mr J. H. Houldaworth is hia successor.
—Mr Georga Mayger, a well-known Melbourne boniface, has, it is stated, purchased the Epaom racecourse for £50,000. —Some of the best judgeß at Newmarket are of opinion that Signorina has quite lost her form, and will never win another race. —A Sydney paper says that Chemist is more than likely to find his way to Australia Lefore the V.R.O. Grand National is decided.
— MrPenfold has sent me copies of the Grand National and Christohurch Hunt Club programmes. Dates are announced in the usual way. —The council of the Agricultural Society of Victoria have wisely determined not to include buck-jumping on the schedule for the next show.
—The Hon. J. White's Wentworth, Monß Meg, and Nepean, who are to have a smack at next aeaon's Derby, were landed in England on Monday. — A Queensland horse called R-oaebank, while being fired, struggled so much that his spine got injured badly, and he had to be destroyed. — Forty-seven entries have been received for the Maribymong Plate, and 63 for the Champion Stakes. For the Derby of 1891 there are 117 entries. — A London cablegram gives the following as the result of the race for the French Derby : — Heaume (by Hermit— Bella), 1 ; Mirabeaux, 2 ; Fifczroya, 3. — A London cablegram dated the 28th ult. states that Mr " Manton't " filly Riviera, while exercising, fell and broke her back, and had to be destroyed. — Mr Byrnes, the Monmouth Lodge (U.S.) trainer, says that all the Sir Modreds he has Been have been particularly good in the matter of feet and legs. —The steeplechaser Recruit eeemH to have found his way to Queensland. At any rate he s nominated for the three jumping races at the Q. S. 0. meeting, —The latest report about El Rio Bey, the Yankee oraok, to the effect that he has become a roarer and broken-winded, is contradicted by one who has seen him. — Sardius, who is completely gone in one of his logs, but is otherwise healthy and vigorous, takes the place of the defunct Bras de For at the Curnalla (N.S.W.) stud. —At a sale of trotting atock at Christchurch on Saturday Berlin Boy was bought by Mr J. Overton for 45gs. and Bobbie found a purchaser in Mr G. Rhodes for 22ga.
— King William, by Nordenfeldt— Pulchra, won the Queen's Plate at the Queensland meeting on the 24th ult., but was beat jn by Megaphone in the Scarborough Stakes. — The racehorse Cadogan.and the mares Ethel, Nonsense, Siesta, Helena, La Mode, Caprice, Maritana, Albania, and Doris have been shipped to Sydney per Hauroto from Lyttelton. — The New Zealand trotter Princess, starting 45seo behind scratch, was unplaced in the Two-mile Trot at Elsternwick, which resulted in a dead heat between Try-me and Matilda. — Mr P. Butler's cast-off Repose finished third in the Austral Handicap, sixlfurlongs, at the Rosehill meeting on May 17. Paddy, another New Zealander ran unplaced in the same race.
— Wanganui Heiald tells us that Mr A. Higgie is about to give up handicapping, and that Mr Evett, Mr Danvers, and Mr Henry are candidates for the post as connected with the Wanganui Club. —A Christchurch telegram states that at a meeting of the Trotting Association the name of the association was altered from Canterbury to the New Zealand Trotting Association. Nineteen clubs have affiliated.
—The Tennessee Derby, run on the 12th April, was won by the Chicago stables' Robespierre (by Jils Johnson — Agnes,) beating six others. The distance, one mile and a furlong, was covered in 2min. — W. Pearson, a New Zealand rider, rode My Lord into second place in the Adelaide Racing Club's City Handicap, and got home on Mr W. R. Wilson's filly Allegro in the Adelaide Stakes on the 26th ult.
— The racehorses Leopold, Dolosa, Fabulous, and Montrose were shipped to Sydney from Auckland on Tuesday. Alcinous was shipped at Lyttelton for Melbourne, and will be joined at Dunedin by Little Shamrock and Sir Julius.
—Although (he has owned such horses as Ormonde and Bend Or, the Duke of Westminster is not a very persistent attender of racecourses, and it is a fact that he had never been at Aintree until last Grand National day. —Mr T. H. Hill made his first appearance as a Btarter at the North Wairarapa meeting, and is congratulated on the able way in which he performed his duties, for better starts, says the local paper, could not possibly have been made.
- The C. J.G. very properly decided to record on its minutes an expression of regret at the death of the Hon. W, Robinson. May I suggest that there is room on one of the club's programmes for a Robinson Memorial Stakes ? He was a good sport. — The May Handicap, of lOOsovs, one mile and 100 yds, run at the Rosehill meeting on tha 17th ult, was won by Mr R. Dwyer's Goldmaster l3yre, 6.2), his time being 2min 21sec, Old Grafton won the Steeplechase by eight lengths from Drummer. — Colonel F. E. Braes, a noted member of the English turf and breeder of St. Gatien, who made a dead heat with Harvester for the Darby at Epsom in 1884, committed suicide by shooting himself with a revolver on the 21st April. He was in his 84th year. — At the Clifton (U.S.) meeting on April 2 there was a four mile race of lOOOdol added money, for which eight started. The winner was Misß (4yra,) 7.10, who did the distance in 7min 27iseo, the timing at each mile being 1.51f , 1.55?, 1.49J, and 1.50 J. — Lochiel, who ii now being trained at Caulfield by C. Rudingrs, and who is said to be almo3fc solely the property of a well-known metallician, has been put to the jumping business, and it ia said he flies his hurdles as if ho had been at th 6 legitimate game all hia life.
— Aristides Welch, breeder of Parole and Iroquois, whose death w»b announced recently, was for many years a purser in the American * \y. He owned Flora Temple at ths tinio of ber denth, and established tha ronowned Eid.-nheiin stud. He was ono of Jefferson D-vw' bondsmen.
—.Sydney Referee would like to spo a spesitied cloce Beason for flat racing, during
which time all races must be for hurdle jumpers, Bteeplecasers, or hunters on the flat or across oountry. The time iB hardly ripe for so drastic a change, but some fluch steps will have to be taken sooner or later.
— Three horse raceß were sandwiched among athletes sports at Bannockburn on the Queen's Birthday. The Maiden Handicap Trot was won by Mr Mitchell's Bridget, Btarting from scratch ; and the Maiden Hack Race by Mr Horn's Red Rover ; and the other trotting race by Mr Cameron's Polly, from scratch.
— At a recent sale in Melbourne of Mr Wilson's lot the best price (205gs) was realised for Dishcloth, a bay filly two years old, by St. Albans from the famous mare Maid of All Work, Mr E. Weeka being the purchaser. Of Mr Inglis' horses a brown colt by Malua from Timidity was bought by Mr Cowell for 370gs, while the same buyer secured Mirnee, a two-year-old brother to Malua, for 150gs — A country correspondent of a Sydney paper says that a mare called Nicholas, whilst doing a gallop with Katherina, being a bit behind going down hill, made a plunge forward, and in doing so dragged her hind part. She did not fall then. They tried to lead her, but could not ; her hips had gone right back. She died some time during the night in dreadful agony. Though it was a bitterly cold night, not a rug was thrown over her. — The earliest trotting contest in America occurred in 1818, when Major Jones' horse Boston Blue trotted a mile at Jamacia, L. 1., in 3min, on a wager of lOOOdol. There are legends of earlier matches against time over the Harlem track. The earliest authenticated contest between trotting horses waß at Jamaica, L. 1., in 1825, won by Defiance against Mr Russell's bay horse. It was at three-mile haats, and the best time was 9min 6sec
— Jameß Kean, favourably known in Dunedin and Auckland, finally left the colony last Tuesday on his way to Sydney, where he intends to settle. He knows hid way about there. His brother Joseph, who for many years held the position of starter for the Australian Jockey Club, Hawkesbury Race Club, and other sporting institutions, has commenced business as publio trainer at Carlyle House, Arthur street, Surry Hills. — In a steeplechase at Hawthorn Hill (England) this season Sir Roland fell two fences from home, but Mr Orawley remounted, went on over a hurdle, and passed a couple of opponents without either bridle or stirrups, winning the race by tyro lengths. As a matter of course the second and third horses were both dead beat at the time, Sir Roland being much the freshest of the three, but this detracts in no way from what was really a most remarkable feat.
— At the annual financial meeting of the Jockey Club Lord Durham brought forward the motion of whioh he had given notice, and at the same time asked leave to amend it as follows :—": — " That in future a shorthand writer be present at all meetings of the Jockey Club, and that a full report of the proceedings be published in the next available Racing Calendar at the discretion of the stewards. Mr Leopold de Rothschild seconded 1 the motion, whioh was carried unanimously. ' — At the Bpßom meeting commencing on the 22nd April, Chancery Belle (by Warden— lolanthe) won the Holmwood Two-year-old Plate; Mr Hammond's St. Symphorien beat 11 others inj the Great Surrey Handicap — a race that he won last year ; the Westminster Plate was taken by Tambourina (by Hampton —Itinerant); and the Duke of Beaufort's Parlington won the Grand Metropolitan by a head from Armada, with Galway third, There were 15 starters for this event, and Parlington's starting price was 17 to 1. —I have made inquiries as to the alleged faulty working of the totalisators at the Forbury races last month, and find that there is no foundation for the suggestion that the machines were out of order. Once or twice there was a mistake on the part of the clerks in taking the figures off the recorders. This is always possible when there is a rush on. It is a fault of the system. Messrs Mason and Roberts do very well to get through their work with bo few of these mistakes, and the public have always a sufficient check in the faot that it ia the recorders that they have to go by, — Mr A F. Bradshaw has announoed a fresh enterprise in the way of racing. The Argus says that he proposes having a series of races for two-year-olds next season, each race to be run on the occasion of a meeting to be held at Mordialloo. No less than 12 of these are announced, commencing in August and continuing at the rate of about one per month until June 1891. The value of eaoh stake is to be 150sovs, and all are of three or four furlongs, the earlier ones, which are at fixed weights, being of the shorter distance. The nine laces to take place after Ootober are handicaps. They are all to be on a straight oourae.
— The rider of Pan in the Grand National carried a strong whip with short ourling lash, which instrument was vigorously applied all the way up the straight. Pan's record waß so bad that the long prices laid against him are not to be wondered at, and the only lucky individual who supported the horse to my knowledge (remarks "Harbinger") was a sportsman from South America, who had never been on an English racecourse before, and who expressed great faith in the curling whip as an inducement to make rogues do their best on a racecourse. The gentleman referred to had a nice bet about the horse for & place. — We very Beldom hear of putting a horse in for training at the age of 27 years, but Merry Bells was about to commence her racing career again at this age ! Foaled in 1863, this daughter of Knight of St. Patrick and Solitude won three galloway races as a two-year- old, and won no fewer than 119 races before she was relegated to the stud in 1884, Not being a success, she was, about a month ago, onca more put in training, and as she went wonderfully well, it was decided to run her. However, just a week previous to the races, whilst galloping, her jockey noticed her falter, and had barely time to pull up, ere the mare dropped dead, presumably from heart disease. — Land and Water.
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TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 1896, 5 June 1890
TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 1896, 5 June 1890
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