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TALK OF THE DAY.

BY MAZEPPA,

*#* Mr Dowses handicaps for the Dunedin Cup and Publicans' were published on Monday at noon, and so far as I have heard they have been well received by most judges who can be relied on to speak without bias. Freedom was of course bound to be top weight, as the Canterbury Cup winner, but he certainly has been given a show at 9.6, and if it were known that he would stop here he would probably be as good a favourite as anything in the race. The general opinion is that he will go to Australia. Merrie England and Crackshot also pretty well place themselves next, not on what they have done recently, but on their best performances, and they have not been sufficiently tried since going off to justify Mr Dowse in concluding that they will not come on again. Merrie England has never been near fit since his Autumn Handicap, but he seems sound, and if he should suddenly come back to that form displayed as a three-year-old when he won at a mile and a-half with 9.1, he will take some doing in this Cup ; indeed, fit and well I should select him as one of the best investments in the race. At lirsb sight it might seem that Crackshot is ill used in being given 8.11 since with 8.10 he was badly beaten in the mile and a distance of tho St. Andrew's Handicap ; but it must be remembered that he was at that time only partially fit, that he was a great stayer when well (as was proved by the Auckland Cup), and that should he come through his preparation for this event he will have a better bhow for it than he would have

for a six-furlong race. These are not the sort of horses to take liberties with until they run and are beaten in their best condition. Cynisca has half a stone less than they have given her in the mile and a-half Wellington Cup. and that seems to be about a fair thing for a mare of her quality. Prime Warden with 7.3 was the sharps' tip for last year's Cup, and his rise to 8.2 is not a crusher looked at in that way, for by the w.f.a. scale he is supposed to have improved 161b and he is lifted only 131b. British Lion's owner can scarcely complain at 8.0 for a New Zealand Cup winner. With 8.5 he was a good fourth in the Otago Cup, and when suddenly let off with 7.7 in. the St. Andrew's Handicap he rewarded the handicapper by spoiling the finish. I am not quite sure that Blizzard deserves 7.12. He is not an improving horse, and he now has 31b more than in the New Zealand Cup, for which race he did not start. Per contra, it must be borne in mind that he was generally supposed to be leniently handicapped in that race. If he has too much now, it is only by a couple of pounds or so. Occident must be judged by his performance the Otago Cup. In that event he carried 7.12 and ran a splendid third, less than half a length behind Florrie and Boulanger. He meets neither of this pair now, but for his bold bid at the finish of the race referred to "he is now asked to meet Crackshot on 71b, Cynisca 41b, British Lion 31b, Cruchfield 61b, and Cajolery 21b worse terms. It strikes me that that is about a fair thing so far as those horses are concerned, and on the whole I should say that Mr Dowse has been particularly happy in handicapping this Occident.

*#* Whisper is no doubt well in at the weights, but she could not have had much more, if any. Kulnine would appear at first sight perhaps to be a little overweighted, but then again he has shown excellent form up to tho shorter distances over which he has been tried, and all the knowing ones used to swear that he would stay out the Grand National Hurdles course, so that all things considered he could not have had much less than 7.8, which after all is but a light racing weight. Personally I should not back him, having a fancy that it is safer to trust to horses that have been proved over a distance, but how many arc there in this list of whom that can be said ? About three. Morpheus is so far merely an approved miler, but he has never been in perfect condition, and by next month he may be able to get the whole distance. If he is, 7.8 will not trouble him. Fraternity's recent indifferent performances have kept him well down in the list, and the same may be said of Retina and The Workman, while Cajolery must have a big say if he behaves himself, and Cruchfield's owner can hardly complain of 7.4, seeing that a year ago, when this horse had 7.8, and was very big, he ran prominently in this raco and finished third.

*** Rosefeldt's early spring form was excellent, and, though she has since gone off, 7.4 is not a heavy weight for her. Remember that she ran like a stayer in the New Zealand Cup, when she had 6.13 up. Thame with 7.4 also has a capital show if she has improved as a three-year-old should have done since November, for she was second in the New Zealand Cup. Galtee, however, is not well treated. With 7.0 he was out of it in the Otago Cup, and is the only one of the six that Occident mushed in front of in that race that now meets Occident on worse terms. Of the others engaged, none can be said to be troubled with weight, but the only two of them I have any hope of are Queen of Trumps and Dilemma. I may say, to sum up, that when I first saw the handicap I didn't like it. I was inclined to think it one of Mr Dowses worst. But on carefully going through the list and comparing performances — a task which I have performed conscientiously, though the full figures cannot be given for want of space— l have entirely altered my opinion, aud have great pleasure, knowing the work which Mr Dowse puts into his handicaps, in saying without hesitation that this compilation does him credit. The race may result in a walk-over— it may result in all the starters comiug home a dead heat. We cannot foresee the issue. But Mr Dowse has done all that a handicapper can to make a good race of it, and whether we have a good race or a bad one depends now upon the condition of the horses. I shall on this occasion decline to try and pick the winner just yet, deferring that duty till we see how the horses train on, and which of them are going to accept. This I take to be the safer course for backers to adopt also. To bet at present, unless on information, is merely to gamble. Acceptances are due on the 21st hist. On that d»te also acceptances are due for the Publicans', in which I may venture the opinion that Morpheus, Reprisal, Conjuror, and Huguenot are a dangerous quartette. There was not much betting when the weights appeared, and even yet there is not a settled market, but the odds obtainable are approximately as follow : —

Dunedin Cup. 5 to 1 a{,'f>t Kulnine 5 — 1 Occident g — I Merrie England 8 »- 1 Prime Warden 8 — 1 Crackshot 8 — 1 Morpheus 10 — ] Galtee 12 — 1 Dilemma These are the horses so far most asked for. The others range from 12 to 1 to 33 to 1. On the double, Cup and Publicans', the price of 100 to 4 is obtainable.

*a* The Queenstown meeting last week gave Huia a chance to bring Epicure into local prominence as a sire. She won the Derby, beating Dun Joseph, and thus reversing the positions gained by this pair in the Cromwell Derby, and also annexed the Publicans' Handicap in spite of fairly strong opposition. These performances make her ovit to be a pretty decent kind of filly, though I should think more of her if she had been about in the Cup. It will be seen that Wild Wave, winner of the Cup, did the mile and a-half in 2min 43sec, and also put up a good record in the mile and a-quarter of the Grand Stand Handicap. She must be a fairish kind of goer, and I shall be obliged if some one will tell me where and how she was bred. Milord won two of the hack races and was beaten in the third one. As it cost L3l to buy him back on the first day, and the dividend was only 8s profit, I should say that the trip was not a money-making one so far as he is concerned.

*#* We in the South were not the only persons who were puzzled by the result of the race for the Musket Slakes at the Auckland meeting. Mr Hungerford, owner of the beaten Wakawatea, was also mystified — or perhaps it would be more correct to say that he was dissatisfied — it does not matter which word we use ; what is of importance being the fact that he deemed it his duty to ask for an inquiry into the manner in which his colt was ridden. On form it is no wonder that he was surprised. In the Foal Stakes Wakawatea 8.6 won with ridiculous ease from Stepniak, and North Atlantic 8.5 was beaten out of a place. That was at six furlongs. In the Midsummer Handicap Wakawatea put up 9,10 and wou by a

head from North Atlantic 8.6, this being at five furlongs— a difference of 181b, mark you ! The pair met again in the Musket Stakes, at six furlongs, when Wakawatea took the lead after going two furlongs and led to the Derby stand, where he suddenly collapsed, leaving North Atlantic to win rather easily by a length. And what do you think the weights were ? Wakawatea was conceding 41b ! He beats Atlantic when conceding 181b, and is in turn beaten when essaying to give 41b. And ns to the time : Waka won with 8.5 in the Foal Stakes and did the six furlongs in lmin 16sec ; but when carrying 101b less in the Musket Stakes he was defeated in half a second slower time. I do not say that we are to assume that every change of form is the result of a swindle — that would be absurd, for it is the uncertainty thai induces many owners to have a go — but there is no doubt that Mr Hungerford was justified and did what was quite right in petitioning for an investigation. Gallagher, the jockey who rode Waka when he was licked, also asked for an inquiry. The stewards accordingly met and took the evidence of Messrs Hungerford, Smith (the trainer of Wakawatea), Gallagher, and two other witnesses. It was admitted by Gallagher that he did not ride as he was instructed to do, for the reason that he was not strong enough to hold the horse back in third place when Wakawatea got away first at the start of the race, but that in the straight, when he began to use the whip, the colt did not respond, and was beaten by North Atlantic. Eventually the stewards passed the following resolution : — " That after hearing tho evidence of Mr Hungerford, his trainer, the jockey, and witnesses, the stewards are satisfied that Gallagher did not ride to orders in the Musket Stakes, and censure him for not doing so ; and that Mr Hungerford is free from all blame of any nature whatever.'" Mr Hungerford has offered ," to run Wakawatea against North Atlantic for a stake equal in amount to that given for the race.

%* Mention of Ormonde, remarks the editor of London Sportsman, reminds me of the peculiar phase in the career of all the Doncaster tribe — thai the horses have uniformity got good stock their first year and then failed to do so well afterwards. Doncaster got Bend Or and Muncaster in his first year, Bend Or sired Ormonde and Kendal as the results of his first efforts, Ormonde being the progeny of his absolutely lirsb .love ; Muncastor [sired Saraband in his h'rst stud season ; Ormonde led off by begetting Orme, Goldfinch, Oryille, Llanthony, and Sorcerer ; Kendal is the sire of the flying Irish filly Christabelle, not to mention such as Knockany ; and Saraband has given us Scarborough, Clarence, and other good ones as his iirst fruits. Ido not wish to deduce from this that Ormonde will not follow up his successes if he returns to England, as there is every hope he will. I should imagine that the true reason of the phenomena referred to is that the horses have paid the penalty of early greatness by being overdone in succeeding years, and that only judicious restriction has brought them back to their best stud form. Doncaster soon got to his best again when he went to Austria, Bend Or shows abundant signs of coming again, and if the Argentine people have not damaged Ormonde it may be expected that he, too, will give us more runners of the quality of Orme. Another strange characteristic, by the way, of this breed is that they keep on improving from father to son, so far as the firstborn go. Bend Or was a better horse than Doncaster, Ormonde than Bend Qr, and it i's firmly believed by those who should know that Orme is better than Ormonde.

*** Fine weather was experienced for the Cromwell meeting, and the affair is pronounced a success in every respect, the racing being more interesting than usual, and the new appointments of the course such as to conduce to the convenience of the racing men as well as the general public. Plunger was the only one to fall in the Hurdle Race, and Boots had more pace than Blackboy. A protest on the ground of a cross was dismissed ; it apparently was accidental. Ben was prominent in the early part of the Grand Stand Handicap, but when the finish came Avis was the only one in it. He was stripped in good fettle. The Derby was captured for the first time by Mr S. G. Inder, with a son of Le Loup, this being the third Le Loup to get his name on the list of winners, as will be seen by the following table :— Winners ok the Cromwell Dkrby.

I do not know Exile's time last year, but if that was not the record Lupus' is. The race this year was unfortunately marred by two of the competitors — Huia tmd Dun Joseph — being left ab the post, and thereby losing nearly 100 yds. We are told that Dun Joseph was much admired, and that it was generally admitted that he was far and away the prettiest Derby colt that has ever visited the district. No doubt he must be a good one to be able to make his lost ground so well as to gain second place ; but I observe that Huia, who also suffered at the start, was third, from which we may argue that Dainty and Verepic are not very formidable, and as a winner generally lias t something in hand, however little, it may be | unsafe to conclude that Lujras was altogether indebted for his victory to his advantage at the start. I am not prepared to argue the point, but Lupus has, I think, a bit of a pull over his opponents in the matter of breeding, being out of a thoroughbred mare — Winifred, who is a half sister to Haka and Wolverine ; and I was told months ago that he was showing promise of winning this Derby ; so it is possible that he would have won in any case. It will be interesting to see how he and Dun Joseph shape if they ever meet on equal terms. Lupus' defeat in the Stewards' Purse does not count, as in that race j he ran inside a post as soon as the flag fell and ■ thereby gave away his chance. In either case, i whichever is the better, Lupus or Dun | Joseph, both seem to be above the average of country-bred colts, and the Cromwell Club may perhaps take credit for having had some share in promoting the breeding of these and others who are a considerable improvement on the older district horses. The finish for the chief handicap of the meeting, ll,« Jockey Club Handicap, was of an exciting character. Thanks, it is said, to the resolute and well-judged riding of Leeson, the contest between Ben and Knickerbocker Sam ended in a dead heat, whereas with equally good riding Ben would have won easily. There is no doubt that Leeson is a horseman, and yet he was not very lucky at this meeting, having had only one straight-out win during the two days— that, to wit, on Goblin. Of course Jimmy only professes to be a rider ; he cau'fccarry hi& horses in,

Messrs Solomon and Murrell passed L 2253 through the totalisator, or L 4 less than last year's and nearly L7OO more than the previous year's total. *#* The San Francisco Chronicle of November 18 describes the record-breaking achievement of Palo Alto on the Stockton Kite on the previous day. After the usual preliminary work Marvin came out for a start and nodded for the word, when he came up with the horse well balanced and going away with a terrific clip. It seemed as if the stallion could not keep his feet, for Marvin gave him a free rein to-day, but the quieting talk of the famous driver had its effect, and the runner, driven by Harry Whiting, was not close enough to worry the old racer. Palo Alto had started off before at just such a clip, but he seemed to be steadier than usual to-day and to go with less effort. He was kept well out for fear of a swerve and went to the quarter-post in 31|sec, and too fast, some horsemen said. He kept on squarely and strong, covering the second quarter in tho same time, and reaching the half-mile post in 1.03^. Mavin pulled him back some on the third quarter of the raco to hold his reserve speed for the finish and to go around the dangerous turn carefully, making the third quarter a second and a-quarter slower in 0.33, and reaching the three-quarter post in 1.36^. Then it was feared that the horse would break, for he was coining home at a wonderful clip. But Marvin had him well in hand and he came on gamely, responding to his driver's calls, but without the whip, making the last quarter in 0.321,, and going under the wire strong in 2.08|, the official time. Everybody cheered as Marvin finished the mile, for it was told by 100 watches that the record had been broken, and the famous driver knew it himself, for his watch showed 2.08 2-5. The old horse did not make a skip in the entire mile, but went off his feet after passing the judges' stand, for Marvin's arms had been hard pulled and he was glad to end. Tho cheering commenced when Palo Alto reached the wire | without a break, for it was known by every- | body that the horse was breaking the record, at tho clip he had kept up. Many watches made the time 2.08£ and 2.08 2-5, but two of the judges had it slower, so the official time was given at 2.08;}. The timers were Senator Boggs, E. F. Sacramento, and James Thompson. Mr Thompson made tho time 2.08 2-5, but the other two had it 2.08|, so it was made at the slower figure. Not a man on the grounds said the time was slower than the ! official time.

*** A fuller report of the Clinton meeting appears in this issue. It was held on the new course afc Wairuna, where a fairish sort of track, though yet a bit rough, had been laid out, somewhat less than a mile in circuit. It will be seen that there were poor fields— though in this respect the meeting compares favourably with last year's, when there were but 26 starters altogether, as against 32 on this occasion— and though the favourites got home in most of the events, there was generally something backed as well as the presumed good thing. Further, the totalisator receipts would have been comparatively satisfactory but for the State tax, as Messrs Mason and Roberts passed L 625 through the totalisator, or L 166 more than at the meeting a year ago. All things considered, then, the club has no reason to repine. The attendance was fairly good, the racing as interesting as could be expected, and the betting reasonably brisk. Commenting on the proceedings, the Clutha Leader remarks that a very discreditable thing was attempted in the Maiden Trot— viz., to win with Sail Home, who would pay an L 8 or L 9 dividend, instead of Linnet, who only paid L 2 3s. There was no mistaking the fact that Linnet was not only deliberately held, but ridden in a manner that should have been severely dealt with by the stewards. Had it not been for a well-known Balclutha sport, who ran across the course in the last round and told the rider of Linnet if he didn't win he would be disqualified, one of the most barefaced swindles we have seen in these parts would have been perpetrated. * # * Mr S. B. Carpenter writes a stiffish kind of letter to the Tuapeka Times in reference to tho recent athletic sports and horseraces at Waipori. This is part of what he says :— " The athletic sports were good. The horseraces were of an inferior kind, and in some instances characterised by such conduct as demands public exposure. I was secretary and treasurer of the Race Committee, and so had excellent opportunities for seeing what was going on. In the Waipori Handicap of L 7, Mr Claffey (by the way, he was a member of the Race Committee) handled his mare Dinah in a manner that gave rise to much speculation. This left the race to Mr Butler's Pauline. In the Publicans' Handicap of L 7, Mr Butler's Pauline won ; but out of the three entries only two started. Now the following wa.« one of the rules made at the committee meeting at which the programme was arranged : — ' In case of only two horses starting for a race, it shall be considered a walk over, and the winner shall only receive half the amount of stakes.' Mr Butler was a member of committee and was present at that meeting aud raised no objection to the rule. When he came to settle, I referred him to therulcand offered him half theamount of the stake. He refused to take half, and demanded the whole. The point, therefore, came before the committee on the 29th hist. Seven formed a quorum, and there were exactly seven present, The question was put to the meeting whether the whole or half of the money should be paid. Mr Butler actually had the audacity to vote for the whole L 7 being paid to himself. Mr Claffey, who, as I have noted above, had previously made himself useful to Mr Butler, supported him, and with them went Mr James Bolton, jun., and Mr John Bolton, making a majority of one over Mr William Caudwefl (the chairman), Mr Casey, and myself, who were the only three present to oppose this transaction. I resigned at, the close of that meeting. 'The turf is said to be in need of purification in many parts of the world. 'The turf on Waipori wants to be purified under a 200 ft pressure hydraulic nozzle and shot bodily down a tailrace out to sea." *..* Hearing from Southland what sounded to my ears like a cock-and-bull story of Tommy Buddicombe being lectured for walking over with Galtee in the Invercargill Cup, I thought ] it as well to see what it was all about, and for that purpose called on Tuesday at the Kew stable. Asking Mr Goodman what the story was, he remarked that all he knew of his own knowledge was that when he went to the scales he asked whether it was required that he should send Galtee to walk over, and was told that he had better do so ; and that he thereupon sent Buddicombo away with orders to trot and canter the horso over the distance. Mr Goodman's reason for inquiring was that he would have preferred not to go through the form of walking over, as the rain was coining down smartly, and the stewards, if so inclined, could have given leave to dispense with the ceremony ; but he made no objection when he saw that the stewards were not inclined to make the concession which it was in their power to grant. "Of course I know what happened afterwards," added Mr Goodman, "but you had better see Buddicombe; he can give it you word for word." * s * Being satisfied from a per&oual know*

ledge of Tommy Buddicombe ever since he was a mere boy that he is a truthful and respectful lad, I accepted the invitation, and this is what I was told :— " I took Galtee to the post and was started. When I had gone about three furlongs the clerk told me to pull up. I took no notice of him, and went on. I was obeying my orders. After coming in and weighing Mr Bell, the president, said to me, ' That was a bit of obstinate work of yours, Buddicombe, to go the whole distance in a walk-over.' I said tj him, ' Well, sir, I was doing what I was told ; if the horse was not to go the distance I should have been told before I went out.' Mr Bell remarked, ' You stand there ; I want to have it out with you.' I stood still aud said nothing, and he went on : • Now, Buddicombe, I havo seen you riding some very queer races in places ; for instance, Daydream in Christchurch ; so you be careful, or I'll put you down for a month or two, and we'll see how you will like that. There, that will do.' There wero four other stewards in the room when he said this. 1 saw that he had it in for me, and was particular not to say anything excepting what I have told you, for I was frightened if I did he would get me put down, and that would mean something to 3ne at my weight and at this time of the year. I went out and told Mr Goodman : ' Here's the president got meset here, and you had betber ride Galtee yourself to-day in this last race, for by the way he's talking Ihe means to disqualify me. I afterwards agreed to ride Galtee in his other race, but I would not get up for anyone bufc the boss. I had two other engagements, bufc declined to fulfil them. He frightened me. I was told afterwards that Mr Bell was overheard saying that if it was a close race between Galtee and Anonyma I would get none the best of it. I was careful that the finish wasn't close. When I won on Galtee, Mr Bell, who was judge, wt\3 not in the box when I came in. I didn't know but what there was a point in it, and I would not go away from the front of the judge's box till Mr Bell came back to the box and passed me. That's the whole story, sir. I have nob forgotten it, and am not likely to." * # * If Buddicombe is right, and lam bound to say that I have always found him reliable, he certainly has a grievance. So far I cannot see that he did anything but his duty in following the orders received at the scales — if ho had done anything else he might have got himself and his employer into trouble ; and nofc only was the lecturing altogether uncalled for, bufc 'Mr Bell clearly placed himself in the wrong by alluding to an incident of the Christchurch racing, for it must be held that tho Christchurch stewards are quite competent to look after that. A jockey cornered as Buddicombe was has no chance to reply — he is nofc invited to defend himself, and any attempt to do so might have been construed into impertinence. It is in view of these circumstances that I deem it my duty to publish Buddicombo's story. If Mr Bell has an answer I shall of course be glad to print it also. The lad certainly makes out such a case as calls for a reply if we arc not to conclude that he was badly treated. As for the rule as to a walkover, it is very plain : " When only one horso appears for a match or sweepstakes he must walk over, except by leave of the stewards," unless in a jumping race. With this rule staring him in the face it would have been a wrong to his employer if Buddicombe had not gone the whole course after receiving orders to do so. Certainly the clerk told him to pull up, bub there was a conflict of orders, and the rider was quite right in electing to adopt the course that he had reason to think was sure to keep him out of trouble.

*** '-l' uc opening event of the V.R.C. meeting on New Year's Day was the Norinanby Stakes, a five-furlong flutter for two-year-olds. For this there were six starters. Mcli had a 101b penalty, and thus was not quite so much in request as Mr Cook's colt The Captain, a sou of Robinson Crusoe and Marie Louise, who won by half a head from Azim, with Mcli third. Elswick, by Nordenfeldt — Albatross, was one of the starters. Eleven started for the Hurdle Race, including Wairua 9.11, and a very strong favourite was found in Leona. But she smashed into tho first two flights, and then would neither jump nor gallop kindly. Tho marvellous performer Kimbcrley won very easily from DuvalandLady Wilde, althoughitis quite possible that if Duval had not separated them, the New Zealander would not have got tho verdict, as he undoubtedly cannoned Lady Wilde at the very last obstacle. The victory of the dun-coloured gelding was received in a very uncomplimentary spirit, and the muttcrings as to his reversal of form were very deep if not loud. The extraordinary difference in his performance on Friday and the previous Saturday afc Caulfield, as well as at Mentone and other places, was a general subject of conversation during the afternoon. The above remark is culled from the Sportsman, but other papers also comment on Kimbcrlcy's form. The Argus, for example, says : " The Hurdle Race caused a display of one of those remarkable changes of form which the thoroughbred horse does not as a rule show within one week. Kimberlcy was the winner, and only as recently as the Boxing Day meeting at Caulfield he ran conspicuously badly in the Hurdle Race, being lengths behind his field most of the way, and then running up towards the leaders at the last moment. At Caullield he carried 10.4, while yesterday he carried 31b less, and ho held a good place all the way, and won easily at the finish from Duval, who finished well in front of him at Caulfield. At the latter place there was somo dissatisfaction expressed with his running, bufc though the stewards asked the jockey a question, they were apparently satisfied with what he told them. Yesterday no action was taken by the stewards, but it must be stated that complaints about the horse's inconsistent performances were very general amongst the racing 2>ublic present." * # * Pygmalion 8.7 was made a tremendous ' pot for the Standish Handicap, six furlongs, but he had his head where his tail should have been when the nag fell, and Barefoot getting away three lengths the best of everything, won cleverly by a length and a-half from the favourite, who came fast at the finish, but was slightly interfered with. Lord John was the only one that might have troubled the winner, but he broke down a furlong from home. The Steeplechase, two miles and a-half, resulted in Schoolboy antl Queenslander finishing first and second, as they did in the previous Saturday's steeplechase at Caulfield, and it was singular that though Schoolboy was meeting Queenslander on much worse terms yet he beat him more easily. Queenslander was again ridden by Jim Cotton. For the Bagot Handicap of lOOOsovs, a miic and five furlongs, there were 13 starters, including Tirailleur 8.13, Whimbrel 8.8, and Pygmalion 7.13. Pigooirioo was favourite. The raco was a particularly good one. After Pygmalion and Tantallon, 7.9, had made ali tho running until ucaving the distance Annesley 8.1, The Spot 7.12, and Portsea 7.D, closed on them. Pygmalion fell back, and Portsea on the extreme outside just defer. ted Anncsley by a short head, Tantallon being third, with The Spot, Pygmalion, and, Pigeontoe next. Portsea was backed afc 10 to 1 aud 8 to 1, but was not much of a public favourite. The winner's best previous performance was winning the V.R.C. Handicap at the last Melbourne Cup meeting, when, he carried 7.1 aud.

defeated Sir William, Chintz, and 15 others. He is by Neckersgat from Lady Lovelace, who is by Gang Forward from Ada. Ada is the dam of Annesley, who is by Neckersgat, and the colts are therefore full brothers in blood. The Criterion Stakes closed the programme for the day, and Happy Jack was made a warm favourite, his party supporting him freely. However, the beautifully-bred Insomnia, by Robinson Crusoe from Nightmare, defeated him, and won. *** Last Friday I was at the Blueskin show for a little while, and while there saw Stormy Petrel, who was very properly placed first among thoroughbred entires, being preferred to a black horse called The Wolf (by Le Loup out of an Els wick mare, I believe) and Dunrobin. About this Stormy Petrel, however, there is a certain amount of confusion in my head. Is this the horse that was written about so much a few years back when an Australian writer challenged the world to find a bigcer horse than Mernder? Surely not, for this Stormy Petrel, though a biggish kind of fellow, would not, I should say, measure either Wolverine or Taiaroa, and if my memory serves me aright the Stormy PetreLspoken of at tho time alluded to was a perfect equine Goliath. I made a hurried inquiry on the ground, and understood the man in charge to say that the giant was a son of the horse that was being shown, and yet I have it in my memory that the alleged champion for size was out of Zitella, while I was assured that the horse shown on Friday was by Stormbird out of Zitella. Further, what Zitella can this be ? The only mare of the name that I know of was the daughter of II Barbierc and Gipsy that we are told in the Stud Book did not breed after 1866. I suppose the dam of the Blueskin prizewinner is a descendant of that mare. That, however, is a small point. What I should like to know is (1) Is the horse I saw on Friday the one that is said to be the champion for size ? (2; If so, what are his measurements ? (3) If not, where is tbc big Stormy Petrel, and how is he bred ? Perhaps some of my readers can oblige me with information. *** We had cabled last week the brief results of tho Carrington Stakes, the chief event at the Sydney Tattersall's meeting on the Ist January. The starters included Marvel 10.12, Too Soon 8.12, and Gatling 8.10. The betting was 5 to 2 agst Trieste, 7 to 2 Fernando, 8 to 1 Marvel, 10 to 1 each Tridentine and Attalus, 12 to 1 each Alexander and St. Albans 11, 20 to 1 others. Marvel, on the outside, was first to show, but he soon gave place to the favourite, who held command until nearing the j five-furlong post, where Quicksilver got her head in front, and with the favourite on her ] girths piloted the field round the bend. Next to the pair came Sam Weller, Attalus, and Tritluntine. Quicksilver was first to turn into the straight, but before reaching the distance the favourite cut her down, and, drawing away, won easily by five lengths from Attalus, who came very fast on the outside, and was a length and a-half in advance of Sam Weller. Tho time for the six furlongs was lmin 14-isec. On the second day the principal race was Tattersall's Cup, of 800sovs, two miles, for which there were 14 starters, of whom Marvel 10.5 was made first favourite at sto 2. The Argus says that Magnus 7.0 made the pace until less than half a mile from home, when the pace told, and Affiance 6.11 was left to lead the field into the straight, but the erratically ridden Forty Winks 7.7 wore him out at the distance, though he destroyed his own chance by so doing, and St. Albans II 6.11 on the inside, catching the failing leaders in the last 100 yards, won a pretty race from Vespasia 7.5, who came with a resolute rattle in the straight. She ran as consistently as usual, and, considering that Forty Winks received a deal of knocking about in the race, he acquitted himself very creditably. ' The field never gave Marvel a chance to get up on the inside, and it is evident that the Epsom Handicap trick, which came off for once, has been played out. Albemarle quite failed to run up to his Melbourne form, while Yowi was stale, Satyr outclassed, and Sunshine and Gatling showed the white feather according to their custom. Governor was never in it at any part, while Magnus ran himself to a standstill. Affiance showed a great improvement, but Althotas ran disappointingly. Yunko broke down, and gave a good deal of trouble before he got home. V* Tllc Vincent meeting of 1892 will be remembered for its thumping dividend of LlOl 2s, and 'also for the disqualification of Glencairn in the Ophir Handicap. From what can be learned the disqualifying decision did not give general satisfaction. The Dunstan paper says that the starter gives it as his opinion that no cross took place, and Leeson not only denies that there was a crofs, but says that he had the race in hand, bar accident, from the declaration of the handicap, and that there was no need for a cross in any sense of the word. One may assume, however, that there was evidence on the other side, and enough of it to turn the scales in favour of the protestor ; but it does seem strange, if it is true, as alleged, that the protest was considered by only three stewards. I should not like to sny that this was an irregularity. It is arguable whether it was or was not. The rules say that all objections shall be decided by "the stewards," and it may be contended that this implies a full meeting of stewards, and also that there is no express power given to relegate adjudic.itory powers to a sub-committee of their number ; but, on the other hand, if this is to be maintained as the law, it would follow that a decision would be bad if one of the stewards went away for a few minutes while the matter was being discussed. It is pretty plain that there is nothing in the rules to show that the Vincent stewards were wrong in -what they did, but at the same time it would be much more satisfactory if the meetings to decide disputes were attended by all the stewards present at a meeting. The racing at the Vincent fixture is fully reported in this issue and calls for no further comment.

*y* Hororata races last week attracted a large attendance of Christchurdi visitors and residents of the district. The Bangor Plate, one mile, was a good betting race, Ilium 8.6 and Erin-go-Bragh 7.11 being about equally supported, while Com Rose 6.7 and Young Cheviot 7.9 were by no means despised. Young Cheviot fell, and after a tussle between j Ilium 0 and Erin, the first-named of this pair came away and woii easily by a neck, paying L 2 15s. Mr Brabazon's Cocksfoot, a son of the little-heard-of Fleur-de-Lys, won the Farmers' Plate, six furlongs, be.ating a good field, which included Beau Nash, who started a warm f-ivourite. The dividend was L 7 Is. lor tho Cup, of 55sovs, a mile and a-half, thero sUrte-1 Bay King 8.13, Regina BG, Quibble 8.2. Crown Jewel 8.1, Ilium 8.0, Coinage 7.7, and May G. 7. Quibble and Bay King were prominent for a mile and a-quartcr, when Coinage shot to Vhe front and -won an interesting race by a length from Quibble. His ti me was 2 4-3 !■ , and the di\ idend (generally a good one when Coinage wins) was Lll 4s. May started favourite. Blackwood (150 yds behind) and Star of Honour (420 yds behind) were equal favourites for the Trot, which was won by Mcdjulie (125 yds behind), paying Ll2 6s dividend. The winner's time for the l\vo miles was Bmiu 6sec. Bay King 12.10 beat

five others in the Welter, a mile and a-quarter, paying L 3 ; and the Novel Race fell to the Burlington mare Glenlora, who was bought in at LlB 17s. The New Year's Gift, six furlongs, was apparently going to end in a good finish between Young Cheviot 7.12 and Missile 7.11, but the latter ran off, and the other fellow beat Lady Zetland 8.13 by a length, returning the best dividend of the day, Ll2 14s. The Consolation produced a dead heat between Silvcrpine 8.4 and May 8.0, and a division was agreed to. The sum of L 1331 was passed through the totalisator.

*** Our Oamaru correspondent writes :—: — " The Boxing Day Handicap of the Tradesmen's Racing Club, one mile and a-quarter, was won by Miss Mack (9.8), with Le Roi (7.0) second, the colt being beaten half a length. After the race a match was made, under the same conditions, for L 25 a-side, and at 4 p.m. to-day (Friday) there were a large number of spectators to see it run. The mare was ridden by Walter Robertson, and the colt by Marks. Le Roi had two lengths the best of the start, and led for about five furlongs. The mare then went up, and the two raced together until half a mile from home. Robertson then let Miss Mack out, and she won in a canter by 40 lengths, Le Roi pulling up. Time, 2min 24isec."

Yr. Owner. Winner, Sire. | Time. 1879 1880 1881 ISS2 ISS3 1884 1885 1885 1887 188S 1889 1890 18911 Mr M'Kenna Mr Rivers Mr Rivers Mr Jopp Mr Turnbull Mr Foster Mr Bamctfc Mr Foster MrHarringt'n Mr Rivers iMrJopp Mr Graham Mr S. (i. Inder Vixen Spectator Kessarfcus The Witch Sauntercr Thespis Dead Shot Hinda Violet Avis Wizard Exile Lupus Architect Roebuck Architect Sorcerer Y. Angler Bucephalus Dead Heat Satirist Chancellor Lc Loup Bucephalus Le Loup Lo Loup n». a. :i o :j oi :i s" :? :j 3 4 2 57 2 57i 3 4 2 59V 2 55 2 57 2 50

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Bibliographic details

TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 1977, 14 January 1892

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TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 1977, 14 January 1892

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