Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
This article displays in one automatically-generated column. View the full page to see article in its original form.

TALK OF THE DAY.

BY MAZEPPA.

*** There is a small but steady amount of business in Dunedin on the New Zealand Cup, and as this is so thus early one may conclude that it will be a good betting race. Among the wagers that have come under my notice are these : 100 to 6 Merrie England, 100 to 5 Merganser and Crown Jewel, 100 to 4 Flinders, Clanranald, and Don Pedro ; while Vogengang,- Prime Warden, Thame, Prestige, Stepniak, and North Atlantic have been all supported at various prices.

*** According to the cabled lists there are 134- nominations for the Caulfield Cup, and 135 for the Melbourne Cup. If these numbers are correct (but they will have to be proved when the printed lists come to hand) they "are in each case below the maximum. Last year there were 154 for the Caulfield Cup, that being the highest number ever received for that race, and 163 for the Melbourne Cup. The greatest number ever received for the Melbourne Cup was 165, in 1885. It will be seen that New Zealand is well represented in each race this year. Mr Gollan has a strong team engaged, and Mr O'Brien is formidable in respect to quality, while Mr Sheenan and Major George rely upon one each, and there is a perfect host of horses in both races that were bred in our colony. We may take it for certain that some of New Zealand's direct and indirect representatives will be well up in the handicaps.

* # * Both big races at the Auckland meeting seem to have produced a fair amount of wagering. Couranto was favourite on each occasion, but there were others that were well supported, and the handicapper should be fairly well pleased with himself, seeing that the supposed-to-be good thing went down each time after a good race. Belmont, winner of the Hurdle Race, has had, I think, some experience at the £game, though known chiefly as a flat racer. Fabulous, the novice, could never get U p — Q i ß speed was of no use .to him. It is generally thus with beginners at hurdle-racing. Shillelagh, winner of the Steeplechase, is a veteran at the game, and a recent winner, and this being so, his dividend may be reckoned a good one. I wonder that he had not more backers. Down this way there were hardly any inquiries for him, and I understand that only one of our men laid him. The accounts of the meeting to hand are decidedly scrappy, and I shall take further opportunity of commenting on the results when the local reports come down.

*** Auckland correspondent telegraphs on Wednesday: — "The inquiry into Stranger's reversalof form, which H. Harrison 'demanded, was dismissed for want of evidence. — Jockey Dawson yesterday, while schooling Fishmonger, had his collarbone broken. — It was jntended to ship Commotion to Sydney by this evening's steamer, but owing to the knocking about he received while taking part in )the Great Northern Steeplechase this cannot] be done. The horse will be taken to^Napierj — The following are the winning payments in connection with the A.R.C. Great Northern Steeplechase meeting : —J. B. Williamson, first Great Northern Steeples, L 313 10s ; Selling Steeples, L 57 — L 370 10s. J. Ronlston, Great; Northern Hurdles, L 204 5s ; second Handicap Hurdles, L 9 10s — L 213 15s. J. Maher, second Great Northern Hurdles, L 23 15s ; second Great Northern Steeple, L 47 10s-+L7I. ss. J. Dennis, Winter Welter, L 47 10s; Hunter Welter, L 33 ss— Lßo lss. S. S. Gollan, Maiden Steeples, L 66 10s. H. B. Webster, Handicap Hurdles, L 57 ; third Great Northern Hurdles, L 9 10s— L66 10s. B. Thompson, Winter Welter, L 47 10s. H. Martin, Maiden Hurdles, L 67 10s. Mark, Tally -Ho Steeple, L 6 1155. W. Walters, Bracelet, L3B. B. Burke, Novel, L2B 10s. J. Clement, third Great Northern Steeples, Ll9. J. M'Alister, second Tally-Ho, Ll4 ss. J. Denny, second Maiden Steeplechase, L 9 10s. J. George, second Winter Welter, L 9 10s. M'Minamiu, second Maiden Hurdle, L 9 10s. J. Deane, second Ladies' Bracelet, L 9 10s. F. George, second Winter Welter, L 9 10s. Ward, second Hunters' Welter, L 4 15s. Grand total, LIO7B.

* # * A special meeting of the stewards of the Tahuna Park Trotting and Racing Club was held on Saturday night to reconsider the decision arrived at on the 28th ult., when the pony Myrtle, the owner (J. R. Sewell), and the rider (George Robertson) were disqualified during the pleasure of the club. A respectful letter was received from George Robertson asking the case to be reopened, and stating that training and riding horses were his sole means of earning a living. After a lengthy discussion, the following motion was agreed to :—": — " That this being the inaugural meeting of the club, as an act of grace the disqualification of the pony Myrtle, the owner (J. R. Sewell), and the rider (George Robertson) be removed, and that a severe caution be administered to both owner and rider." It was also decided that in future every horse running in a race should be timed and the record filed by the club. The President stated that so long as he presided over the club he was determined to protect the interests of the public, and that punishment would be meted out to offenders without fear or favour. In reference to the above-mentioned matter Mr J. R. Sewell, Oamaru, writes: — "I beg to state that {I am not the owner of the pony Myrtle that was disqualified, and more, she has never been entered in my name." There must be some mistake here, since beyond all doubt the nomination of Myrtle for the Tahuna Park race was in the name of Mr Sewell. I have seen the nomination paper. On the merits of the case I am assured that something could be said by way of showing that Myrtle was run straight, but if ttiis is so why is that something not said ? The club could do nothing but act on the evidence before them, and in what has been done in tbis matter the club must be held to be fully justified. As no mention is made in the official report of the meeting of any reference to the Stella objection, we may pre-

sume that that question did not come up. I understand that Stella's owner requests that the question in which he is concerned be submitted to the Trotting Association.

*** An English writer says that a perfect steeplechaser should not appear to jump at all, but should race up to the obstacle and clear it by almost imperceptibly enlarging the scope of his stride. We have in our mind's eye Emblem as she came up to the water at Liverpool in the year she was sacrificed to her stable companion Emblematic. Four horses, of which she was one, were in the air in line, but on landing aud getting away Emblem was two lengths in front. When a horse gains a length or two at every jump it means a lot wheu there are perhaps 30 jumps to be negotiated. The famous L'Africaine was quite as good a jumper as Emblem. He wan as grand looking as Emblem was mean. He was a model of what a powerful horse should be — very handsome, with perfect symmetry, and with such a back and loins ! When the sun shone on his rich brown, well-polished coat, we though! that we had scarcely ever seen such a horse. L'Africaine, like Emblem, took nothing out of himself in jumping. It is the horse who runs up to the fence, steadies himself, and then with one splendid bound clears it, who tires to nothing over a course like Liverpool ; and it is this that brings the high-class, longdistance flat racer, who on being trained for steeplechasing often jumps in this manner, to tho level, or more probably below it, of the sprint runner who jumps with ease.

* # * The Rev. F. W. Isitt makes public a complaint of disorderly conduct occurring after the recent meeting of the Nelson Trotting Club. " The disputants adjourned from the hotel to the main street in order to settle their differences, and I had to pilot a lady through a throng of rowdies, who had formed a ring and were holding carriage lamps in their hands so that the combatants might have light enough to fight by. Those who went near told me that men, maddened with, drink and raging like wild beasts, were engaged in a bloody strife. Meeting some Richmond residents, I appealed to them as to whether this scene could not be stopped. The answer was significant : • It's race night, and we expect this sort of thing.' " I presume that the rev. gentleman was satisfied before charging this riot to the racing men that they and they alone were responsible. Mr Isitt is a sensible man and would not be likely to omit this necessary precaution, without which his complaint would fall to the ground so far as the persons to whom it was addressed are concerned. Taking, it for granted, then, that the trotting men did so disgrace themselves, Mr Isitt deserves credit for calling attention to the matter. But he must not conclude that this experience of his is one that is likely to occur at any race meeting. I have attended some hundreds in my time, and can only call to mind one scene of disorder. That was at one of the meetings on the Taieri Plain a number of years ago. The common experience is that a race meeting nowadays is as orderly as a tea meeting. It is as rare to see a drunken man on a race track as on the public street, and, as in the latter case, the offender is promptly suppressed. The aim of racing executives is to make their courses fit for the company of ladies, and the success is most complete. Those who have an experimental acquaintance with racing know that they can take ladies to a race course with as little risk of being annoyed as there would be in a church. Will the Rev. Mr Isitt come and see for himself ?

*** It is easy enough to say " Bo ! " to such a goose as Mr Isitt, in his innocence of racing, sets up to frighten us. If he were a racing man he would understand that there are real flesh and blood difficulties that bar the path to absolutely honest racing. The most formidable of those difficulties is almost of necessity created by the existing organisation of our turf arrangements. Racing all the world over is managed, and always has been managed, by honorary stewards, mostly owners ; and under those circumstances the marvel is not that the management is not better but that it is not worse than it is. Consider fora moment what temptations present themselves to "wink the other eye" when a question crops up affecting the character of a brother owner ; and what a perilous strait a man is put in when called upon to inquire into a matter the decision of which may mean large gains or heavy loss to his best friend, or perhaps indirectly to himself; and how strong in righteousness a steward-owner requires to be to dare to do his duty under any one of a thousand circumstances that may present themthemselves, when, for instance, he knows that a disqualification may mean ruin, and provoke an unfolding of his own past history. That is the time to make a man quake if he has at any time done anything shady himself. I sometimes wonder how it is that our racing affairs are not a perfect mass of corruption. That they are not so— that they bear talking about— is greatly to the credit of human nature generally and horse-owning stewards in particular. Still, the arrangements are not entirely satisfactory. There are occasions when stewards fail in their duty. I think it would help them, and to some extent relieve them of many temptations, if we had a paid officer appointed to go the rounds of as many meetings as possible and keep his eyes open for crooked running. The experiment in Victoria was not at first a great success, but as the system is being continued I presume there are hopes of some good being done. Further than that we cannot go until a radical change is made. As the tendency nowadays is to place everything in the hands of Government, we may live to see racing managed by a special department appointing its own officers, and inflicting its own appropriate punishments for offences on the turf. But it will be a year or two ere that change comes. In the meantime, it will be a step in advance if we get the stipendary steward ; and, by the way, it would be another move forward if it were made a rule, rather than left as a matter of honour that stewards should decline to adjudicate on protests in which they are immediately concerned. It is not an unknown thing for a steward to walk out of the room when a protest is being discussed if he has a pound or two on the race — some do so of their own accord ; but a rule on the subject would do no harm. We cannot ask stewards, who are mostly owners, to refrain from betting, but they may properly be prevented from settling disputes in which they are practically concerned.

*** The special correspondent of London Sportsman is unmercifully severe on American trainers and their methods. The average American trainer, he says, has no experience and never reads; sometimes he cant read. But that does not prevent him from blossoming into a trainer. He knows nothing of the physiology of the animal under his care, ho does not know how to train him, and he cannot tell when he is fit to run. If the horse has a good constitution and gets plenty of food and worlc, he is sure to be fit sometime or another unless he breaks down, and he is kept at it until he wins a race. For a week or so he is at his best and runs creditably. After that he

goes downhill, and finishes up the season a veritable scarecrow, nothing but skin and bone ; or he is broken down and turned out. Fifty or 60 races in one year is not an uncommon number for a horse to run, and 20 or 30 for a two-year-old. Thousands of horses succumb to this treatment, aud never see the post or never win a race. The American trainer has little conception of the importance of weight. It is a common thing to hear trainers say "weight makes no difference to this horse." They rely entirely upon time, which is indeed a most fallacious test. They will try a horse to do a mile in lmin 41sec on a given track, and hug themselves with the belief that they have got "a Cracker- Jack." Perhaps this is the fastest time ever made on the track, for tracks .vary in speed, and lmin 39£ sec has been accomplished on a round aud lmin 35sec on a straight track. The horse, who is perhaps little better than a plater, is then entered in a race with " stake horses "—" — i. c., horses of the best class. The owner and his friends pile the money on and calmly await the result. Their crack is badly beaten in lmin 43sec. They cannot account for it. The track was no heavier than on the day of the trial, the horse, as far as they can judge, is well enough. They try him once more against the watch. Time, lmin 41sec again. Clearly the horse has been pulled. They put up another jockey next time with a similar result. It never occurs to them that a first-class horse will beat a secondclass horse either in slow or quick time. They regard the animal as a machine, whereas a little elementary knowledge of horses would have told them that he is flesh and blood and mind. An American trainer never stands where his horses pull up in order to observe their wind. I believe that few, if any, can tell when their horses are fit or unfit. As a rule they run them into form. The majority of trainers train every horse alike. They canter them on certain days, irrespective of their constitutions and capabilities. Walking and cantering on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, galloping on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. " This is my day for work " the trainer tells you. It never occurs to him that it should be the horse's day.

* # * This year Lord Bradford appears for the first time as owner of a Derby winner. The nearest he came to it previously was when his Quicklime finished second to Shotover in 1882, both beating the American colt Sachem for places, and the three finishing in front of Mr Rymill's Bruce, who was favourite at 9to 4. So far as I know, that was the only occasion on which a horse belonging to Lord Bradford ever ran into a place in the Derby. Wadlow's stable had nine entries this year, but forfeit was declared with all but two, theso being Walnut (a son of Chippendalo and Hemlock) and the winner. As Sir Hugo started at 40 to 1 he was probably the extreme outsider of the party and a rare good friend to those of the bookmakers who escaped the stab le commission if there was one. The colt's name was hardly ever mentioned in the papers during the winter, aud it is plain from tho curt and qualified remarks made concerning him in late notices of the spring horses that the general verdict was that he was not good enough for the best company. Hence the 40 to 1, which during the 113 races for the Derby has been exceeded only four times. The first was in 1817, when Azor beat a dozen ; he started at 50 to 1. And that was the price of Spaftiel, who beat 22 others in 1831. Hermit's starting figure in 1867 was 1000 to 15, and Doncaster's, six years later, was 45 to 1. Twice prior to this year the winner's starting price was 40 to 1, viz., Phosphorus in 1837 and Caractacus in 1862, the later being victorious in the largest field that ever started for the Derby— 34. The oddson favourites that have got home were Sir Thomas in 1788, Skyscraper in 1789, John Bull in 1792, Lord Lyon in 1866, Ormonde in 1886, Ayrshire in 1888, Donovan in 1889, and Common in 1891. Of these eight the hottest favourite was Ormonde, at 85 to 40 on. Sir Hugo started five times last season and won twice, his chief victory being in the Rous Memorial at Goodwood, when he beat Kyle, Bouthillier, and two others. Altogether he won L 1717, being thus the most successful of Wisdom's stock last season with the exception of Surefoot. ; La Fleche's record does not require to be' again referred to, and of Bucentaure it is sufficient to state that he started twice and won once in 1891.

* # * After her race in the Derby, though she was beaten, La Fleche would remain a tremendous pot for the Oaks, we may be sure. On form there was nothing among last season's two-year-olds to beat her, and she was evidently retaining her ability to a great extent. Therefore the public would win, and this, coupled with her owner's recent bounteousness, would make her win particularly popular. We shall have to wait for the papers to know what sort of a race it was. The outline report— as much as we need or can expect by cable — tells us that La Fleche won by a short head ; but that does not mean much, for she may have had a stone in hand, though the presumption is the other way, since it would have cost no more to cable "won easily" than "won by a short head." The main fact, however, is that she did win, and herein even we in the Antipodes may take pleasure, seeing that the filly is related to our deceased champion Musket. This is the 18th occasion on which the double of One Thousand and Oaks has been carried off by the same filly. The list is as follows :—: — 1817— Neva 1871— Hannah 1818— Corinne 1872— Reine 1823 -Zinc 1874— Apology 1 IS24— Cobweb 1875— Spinaway 1832— Galata 1879— Wheel of Fortune 1840-Crucinx 1881— Thebais 184(5— Mendicant 1884— Busybody 1858— Governess 1891— Mini i 1868— Formosa 1892— La Fleche. It may be observed as an indication of truth of present form that in the One Thousand as in the Oaks The Smew was second to Baron Hirsch's filly. Lady Hermit, who was a bad third, beat Smew last year in the valuable Breeders' Foal Stakes at Manchester May meeting, but two-year-old form is nottoberelied on. The largest field that ever started for the Oaks was 26, when Cymba won in 1848, and the smallest was in 1799, when Bellina beat three others. The shortest odds at which a winner ever went out was 3 to 1 on, in Wheel of Fortune's year, and the longest odds returned was the 50 to 1 at which Vespa started in 1833.

*** Some particulars of the Sydney Turf Club's meeting on the 26th and 27th ult. may be readable. The weather was fine. Chester's son Escort 10.7 was made the public fancy for the Hurdle Race, but he never got to the front, and the hitherto-disappointing Hengist 9.5 ran home a rather easy winner from Fog 11.0, who was late in getting through. Shamrock, a son of Marvellous, and in the same ownership as Marvel, was so strongly backed by his party for the Royal Stakes that he left off at 3 to 1, a very short price in a field of 28. Now Zealand had only one representative — viz., Major George's The Workman, who carried 8.11. When the flag fell, to a good start, Kilmore 6.11 jumped off with great earnestness, but

Spyglass 6.9 was soon alongside, and this pair led the way to the home turn, with Shamrock 7.9, Moontana 7.0, The Swell 7.0, and Cumino 6.0 at the head of the clustered field. Spyglass cried enough at the entrance to the straight, and a little further on Shamrock had disposed of and beaten Kilmore. But he had hardly done so when Cumino on the left put in a resolute challenge, and, with The Swell at his girths, began to overhaul the leader. They closed upon him at every stride, and a grand race ensued, but the favourite lasting it out won on the post by something like a short head, amidst great excitement. Splendor's son Candour had an easy win in the Nursery Handicap, in which he carried 7.2 and beat Bliss 7.8 and Isaac 8.3 for places. The winner started at 6 to 1, but there was practically no favourite, as three were quoted at 5 to 1 and three others at a point longer. The Steeplechase which followed was the race in which Grafton came to grief. He was first to get to the third jump, a log fence, but he hit it so heavily as to severely injure one of his legs. The race was won by Grandwing 11.0, owned by unlucky Mr Gannon. Singleton 11.0 was second ; no others were placed. Of the 14 that went out for the Turf Club Handicap, a mile and a-quarter, Brown Bess 7.4 was favourite at 2 to 1, but sho was unplaced, the places being filled by Grandmaster's son Honour Bright 6.0, Zelendia 6.2, and Lady Edda 7.11. Time, 2min 13£ sec.

*** Hengist was not much, in favour for the second day's Hurdle Race, and a good job too, for he altogether failed to display his earlier form. The winner proved to be Fog 11.7, who fought out a great battle with and eventually defeated Killarney 10.5. Vesphane came down and gave her rider (Death) a heavy fall. Silver Knight was one of the unplaced contingent in the Corinthian Plate won by the outsider ProConsul. Twenty-three went out for the Queen's Birthday Cup of 500sovs, a mile and thcee furlongs, and Marvel 10.9 was in most demand, but as tho hour approached Florrie 8.2 supplanted him in tho betting, and for some time she ruled as favourite, while the famous black horse went back to 4to 1. However, just before the last bell sounded, Marvel came again in the market, and finally left off first favourito at 3to 1, while Florrie and Pilot Boy 6.13 were next in request. The favourite never looked better in his life, and his performance, even allowing for the great weight, was of a most disappointing character, for he quite failed to show anything like brilliancy at any part of the race. Florrie ran well until they reashed the straight, when she failed suddenly, and never had a chance of holding Pilot Boy, who won by a neck from Alexander 6.8, with The Workman 8.0 half a length away third ; Florrie was fourth, and Bungabah 9.11 next. Pilot Boy is a three-year-old by Gozo out" of Kathleen. Of five starters for the Steeplechase, the favourite was Freeman 12.7 at little better than even money. Melton v soon relieved his friends of any anxiety, for, with nothing to encourage him in making the pace, ho refused the second fence, and remained there. Lone Jack, ridden by Mr Wicks, forced the running at his best pace with a view of making tho weight tell upon Freeman ; but it was not of any avail, for the favourite went to him when he liked and won easily. Harrie Auhl and Singleton ran off at the last fence, and when they returned to the paddock a protest was entered against Freeman upon the ground that he had crossed them or crowded them away from the rails, but the complaint was dismissed. The Farewell Handicap was rather a soft thing for Anteros' son Alcides, who started at 12 tol.

*** Among the many new ideas tried lately, one of the most important is to have owners selecting a handicapper to work with the officer appointed by a club. That is what the Plumpton Park Club has resolved to do. Tho notion was suggested by the Canterbury Owners' and Trainers' Association, now defunct. It was one of the platforms of reform, and the association had appointed Mr Duncan to the position, but on the association dropping out of existence that gentleman very properly resigned, and an appointment is to be made by ballot by the owners who nominate for the club's approaching meeting. I presume that the appointment will hold good for only one meeting, since new nominators will come in every time and old ones drop out, and the elective body ' will thus be perpetually ' changing. This little trouble should not, however, prevent the system from having a fair trial. I hope it will have. If no other good purpose is served, it will shut up the mouths of some of the everlasting grumblers who would have us believe that poor fields and one-sided finishes are mainly chargeable to indifferent handicapping. My opinion is that the handicapping in New Zealand is wonderfully good, and that if owners and trainers would oftener train earnestly and try determinedly they would the oftener upset so-called certainties. How often do we see a supposed moral just get home by the skin of its teeth, to the surprise and chagrin of some faint-hearted owner who funked it beforehand, and who might have otherwise had a good look in ! Nevertheless, two heads are better than one, and if the owners' nominee can hit it with tho club's official there is reason to suppose that mistakes will be even less frequent than they are.

*#* Referring to La Tosca's defeat in the Parkside Stakes at Adelaide, tho well-known scribe " Trumpator" has some forcible remarks : — "Verily the so-called public — the people who lose a pound or two on a race, and then try to excuse their own bad judgment by imputing unworthy motives to others — is hard to please. Only a month ago Mr W. R. Wilson, in direct opposition to his trainer, sacrificed Strathmore's chance of winning weight-for-age races in Sydney by insisting on his running, and being ridden out in the Sydney Cup. He knew the colt could not win, but the public had backed him. Rather than deny them the satisfaction of a run for their money, Mr Wilson allowed a valuable colt to be knocked about. How many other owners would have adopted such an unselfish cour.se? Very few I fancy. And how has Mr Wilson been rewarded for his somewhat Quixotic action ? Why, the first time one of his horses has shown symptoms of in-and-out running, the public, whose interests he studu d in preference to his own only a few weeks before, turn round and hoot his colours. After all, perhaps, Mr W. A. Long's method of tre«ting the public is the correct one. When 11 years ago this gentleman — acting well nifchin his rights, remember — scratched Grand Flaneur, for the Australian Cup, won by First Water, the people at Flemington stood round the weighing room for a quarter of an hour and hooted. Mr Long seemed to rather enjoy the episode. There was no attempt on his part to shirk the scene. He stood in front of tho hooters, and his cynical smile f»eomed to say, 'Yes, go on, hoot away. You havo won ou Ihu colt every time ho btuiied, aud now beuausu I objected to court certain defeat you howl.' Atlerwards Mr Long wrote his celebrated letter to tho Argus, in which lie put on record his view of the true position as between an owner and the public— or the forestaller, perhaps it would be moro correct to say. Mr Wilson races on different lines to Mr Long. He aims at securing

the sympathy of the public, and likes to see them win when he wins. No one is more ready to recognise the fact that the big prizes his horses have won this season have been contributed by the public, and every horse started under his colours is sent out with winning orders, and nearly always backed by the owner. Knowing this, the crowd should have stayed their judgment for a while on Tuesday and taken time to think over La Tosca's " apparent" reversal of form before hooting a,good man's colours. For after all the reversal of form in La Tosca's case was more apparent than real. In a slowly-run race she was beaten for speed by a good two-year-old, and with all respect to La Tosca I am positive that Vakeel would beat her every time he met her on the same terms. It was simply a case of two races being run under totally opposite conditions. La Tosca was the only stayer in the Cup, and thanks to the pace, she continued galloping when all the others were stopping. I believe in the interests of the public being carefully conserved, but in this case careful reflection would have convinced the grumblers that they were making a fuss about nothing, and it seems to me there is a growing tendency to give the public rather more consideration than it deserves."

*#* London Referee raises a curious question with regard to starting. How were we all given away, he says, by the City and Suburban start— a word I scarcely likeusing with regard to this City and Suburban, because you couldnot callthecommencement of that awful muddle a start at all. A slip it was, but not a start in the legitimate acceptation of the word. When thousands of thousands of pounds are at issue, and a palpable miscarriage occurs, as it did, surely their ought to be means of righting the accidental wrong. The unfortunate start upset the handicappers •work altogether. People bet on the book by stones and pounds, and almost on the strength of ounces. Yet when a gentleman knocks over all the handicapper's calculation, aud turns it upside down, somehow it does not pan out right that there should be no remedy, or at least none applied. Why did not some owner object? I am perfectly certain that the starter regretted the raggedness as much as anyone, no matter how much the interested spectator might have at issue. We all could see that the terms on which the field got away were not equitable. Could not something be done to remedy the evil ? The stewards have absolute control of a meeting, and can do what they like. Would it have been stretching their authority too far to have declared the start a no go ? That's what ' it was, and ought to have been counted. . Twothirds of the horses were out of it when the flag fell, if the handicapper understood a little bit of his business. Perhaps Buccaneer might have won anyhow, but that has nothing to do with it. Wo used to be told of Lord George Bentinck'B groan as Surplice won in another's colours the Derby he might have landed for the dictatorial dictator of the turf. If you multiply your idea of Lord George's groan by a hundred thousand or so you will get near to the British public's spontaneous, almost involuntary, criticism on this lamentable mistake.

*** The Canterbury Trotting Club's winter meeting was held last Saturday and attracted a fair attendance. Messrs Hobbs and Goodwin passed L 1354 through the totalisator. In the Pony Race, two miles, Parnell lOsec won as he liked from Taradale Bsec and the unbacked Scotty, paying a dividend of LI 11s, and doing the distance in 6min 23£ sec. The favourites for the Maiden Handicap were Erin's Hope 12sec and Idaho scr, and the former won by four lengths in 6min 28isec, paying L 3 lls 6d. Berlinda 34sec secured the lead at half a mile in the Telegraph Stakes, and won easily from Tennessee 30sec, the winner's time for the mile and a-half being 4min 57£ sec, and the dividend, L 4 ss. Colonial 28sec seems to have started favourite. In the Addington Plate investors backed Nilreb 24sec down to 20 to 8 on, and the good thing came off, Mr Kerr's son of Berlin walking home in 6.3£ with Marahuna 40sec second. Pegasus walked over for the Disposal Stakes. The Stewards' Plate, three miles, was a gift to Sonny 22sec, who went the" distance in 9min Bsec. J. M. 30sec was second. Dividend, LI 14s 6d. Coronella 16sec beat Shamrock 111 16sec after an exciting race in the Electric Stakes, a mile, her time being 3min l^sec and the dividend L 7 7s 6d. A protest alleging inconsistent form was dismissed.

*** Donation, by Martini -Henri from Charity, ran very badly in the Trial Stakes on the first day of the Queensland T.C. meeting, and later in the afternoon won the Hamilton Handicap, paying L 73 dividend. Then there was bad feeling. The local Courier says that the inconsistency of the form thus displayed was freely commented upon, and an unpleasant little contretemps occurred in consequence. The owner of Musician, Mr James M'Gill, gave pubic expression to his opinion that Donation had performed in a very in-and-out manner, and for doing so he was called before the stewards and asked for an apology. This Mr M'Gill declined to give, and he has since declared his intention of resenting such treatment at the hands of the leading racing authorities by at once disposing of the whole of his racing Btud. On the second day Splendide ran home a very easy winner of the Brisbane Cup by six lengths, beating Musician and Talkative for places. King Olaf, the favourite, was never in it. Moraine secured the Final Handicap the same day. Rather a coincidence, this : that the Cup winner should be a son of one of Mr Stead's purchases, and the winner of another race a cast-of of Mr Stead's stable ! On the third day Musician secured the Moreton Handicap by a head from Babel.

*v* Au exchange having been asked the question, What is the simplest method of determining a horse's age ? replied as follows : — " By teeth — A horse has 40 teeth, 24 double teeth, or grinders, four tushes or single file teeth, and 12 front teeth, called gatherers. As a general thing mares have no tushes. Between two and three years old the colt sheds his four middle teeth, two above and two below. After three years old, two other teeth are shed, one on each side of those formerly changed ; he now has eight colt's teeth and eight horse's teeth ; when four years of age he cuts four new teeth. At five years of age the horse sheds his remaining colt's teeth, four in number, when his tushes appear. At six years of age his tushes are up, appearing white, small, and sharp, while a small circle of young growing teeth are observable. The mouth is now complete. At eight years of age the teeth have filled up, the horse is aged, and his mouth is said to be full. By eyelid — After a horse is nine years old a wrinkle comes on the eyelid at the upper corner of the lower lid. and every year thereafter he has one well-defined wrinkle for each year over nine. If, for instance, a horse has three of these wrinkles, he is 12 ; if four, he is 13. Add the number of wrinkles to nine, and you will invariably judge correctly of a horse's age."

* # * A well-attended meeting of the Maudeville Jockey Club was held at Roche's Hotel on

Saturday last. A very satisfactory balance sheet was brought forward by the secretary, showing a substantial balance to the credit of the club. A letter was received from Mr Henry Howells, late handicapper, tendering his resignation. A hearty vote of thanks was passed to Mr Howells for past services, and the secretary was instructed to write to Mr Howells to that effect. A proposal with regard to holding a meeting sometime in November was mooted, but deferred till later on for further consideration. The secretary was instructed to take action with regard to having two owners placed on the forfeit list for not paying up. It appeared to be a rule of some owners to nominate by wire with the words "money posted," and after the handicaps came out to take no further notice if it did not suit them. In future no names of horses will be submitted to the handicapper unless the cash is up to time. A hearty vote of thanks, and a vote of L 5 to the secretary (Mr H. G. Beecot) for his past services concluded the business.

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OW18920609.2.76

Bibliographic details

TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 1998, 9 June 1892

Word Count
6,502

TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 1998, 9 June 1892

Working