TALK OF THE DAY.
* # * At the Palmerston meeting last week the improvements recently made to the course were the subject of favourable comment. The straight is now fenced in, and other alterations help to make the racing more pleasant to all concerned. The cash fielders were present in force, and no doubt had something to do with the lessened takings at the totalisator. Possibly they gained some customers from those of the public present who took exception to the action of the club in charging 11£ per cent. There was no gain in going to the bookmakers, but it was what folk call " sat." The officials threatened to expel the offenders, but (stopped short at the threat. That was to some extent their own business. In regard to the general management otherwise there was no Jaxifcy or slumming of the arrangements. The racing throughout the day was disastrous to first favourites. They went down with the greatest regularity till the very last event was reached. The Maiden Plate winner, Trixy, was very lightly esteemed, and indeed was bought recently as a lady's hack at the low price of LB. Nevertheless she managed to pull off both the Maiden and the District race, and neither event was readied up for her. Adventurer's performance in the President's Handicap was the best he has yet given us. For the last two years I have said that he would race some day, )out I was certainly not prepared to find him coming out of his shell so early. The result may perhaps be taken to read that Mariner is not so good as he was. iYankee Notion was trying in the Trot, but he broke badly in the first mile and was never dangerous. Sweep ran a very good horse in the Novel Race and fairly beat RaDgiora at the Weights. The Spring Handicap was an unfortunate race altogether. Soon after tho start Adventurer's rider, Marks, _ got hurt against a post, and when ho was picked up it ;waa seen that his leg was badly damaged. Mariner then went on and beat Leinster. Two protests resulted. The first alleged that Mariner had crossed Leinsler. The evidence taken iv the presence of tho reporters showed that Mariner closed on to the rails to prevent Leinster coming up on the inside. Tho question for consideration was or should have been whether he was two clear lengths ahead when this was done. I was not present, but from all I hear the stewards' decision in over-ruling the objection was criticised by those who sawtheincident. The second protest was based on the assertion that Mariner bored Adventurer on to the post. The stewards inspected the place where Marks was picked up, and came to the conclusion that Adventurer must have run off the course and stumbled over some logs lyiiag on the ground. The objection was consequently dismissed. Jockey Marks is, I hear, recovering. He had a narrow shave of fatal injury. _________
*** Last Thursday the Hon. G. M'Leau' 8 standard-bred trotting colt was sent to theWarrington stud farm. This youngster is a bay with one white pastern, and was foaled on May 8, 1891, bred by Mr [J. B. Haggin at the Rahcho del Paso stud, Sacramento, California. He counts, of course, as a two-year-old, though really only 18 months, having been bred to northern hemisphere time. Two of the other Warrington stallions are also less than their age by six months. I refer to Gorton and Rubezahl. If this trotter proves aB valuable as either of the thoroughbreds mentioned he will be worth keeping. There is no reason why he should not sa turn out. He is a nice-looking fellow, they tell me— l have to take the statement at second hand, haviug been unable for lack of time to see him while, here for a few hours— and his pedigree is as long as your arm, attested in every particular and approved by historical deeds. His sire is Albert W., who has a record of 2min 20sec and was sire of Little Albert, 2min 17isec ; and his dam is the aristrocratic Augusta. Albert W. is by the famed Electioneer, sire of Sunol 2miu B|sec, Palo Alto 2min, 8f sec and 96 others with records better than 2min 30sec. Albert W.s dam is Sister (dam of Bonanza, 2min 293 ec). Augusta's sire is Gus, 2min 26|sec, and her dam is the well-bred Reta. Electioneer is by Rysdyk's Hambletonian (sire of Dexter, 2mm 17>sec ; Nettie, 2min 18sec ; and 39 others with records better than 2min 30sec), out of that great matron Green Mountain Maid, whose burial-place 13 marked by an obelisk erected in memory of her fame as the progenitress of a leading race of trotters. Prospero 2min 20sec, and Elaine 2min 20sec, were among her fastest stock. Sister, the dam of Albert W., is by Johu Nelson (sire of Nerea, Eniiu 23isec) from a Laniott mare. Uus is by Bellfounder (sire of B. B , 2min 21-^sec, and seven others in the 2rain 306 ec list) out of Jenny
Nbyes, 2min 40sec. Reta is by the worldrenowned George M. Patchen Junior, concerning whose place .in the trotting world not a word need be written, and her dam is Mollie, a daughter of Speculation. The introduction of this fine Californian colt may prove to be a notable event in the history of the trotting horse in New Zealand, in anticipation whereof I reproduce this pedigree in table form in another column.
# # * London Referee man has a lofc to say about the Leger and the Leger horses. As the starters walked down the course on parade, he says, Watercress was the pick from a follower's view. In fact, both La Fleche and Orme happened to be moving very funnily. The mare's hind legs didn't seem to fit with the fore pair, while Orme straddled his hind legs as if just landed very stiff out of a horse box a bit too small for him. However, that was of no consequence, as the canter, showed. Orme, with his head tucked on one side, looking very oldfashioned ; La Fleohe rather varminty than strikingly beautiful, and Watercress, one of the sweetest movers ever bred for a very big one, earned nothing but praise for action. None of them left ground to find fault with their style of going, but as to the favourite, who wanted to go straight on into the temporary stand at the end of the coursej you could scarcely detect signs of the vast building-up operations described by privileged friends of Kingsclere. He was, I admit, bigger and brighter than at Goodwood, but not a bit heavier. Better trained, of course, but not noticeably better developed. The race having been started, Sir Hugo went, on with the lead till the hill was three-parts climbed, then all of a sudden Orme was sent to the front, followed by Llanthony, galloping very freely, and May Duke. For a little spectators wouldn't believe that Orme was really making running, and the colour not being very easily identified, declined to be satisfied till the field came into sight from behind the hill crest. La Fleche, going as well as could be wished, was kept near the rails behind the leaders till the straight, or I should say, the five-furlong course, was almost reached. Then Llauthony's colours oame into full view by reason of his dropping back, and May Dube raced up to Orme. May Duke's backers might be pardoned just now for thinking they could not fail to land the place bets, and Orme's admirers for hoping he might last all the way. The latters' hopes were soon dashed, for La Fleche, without an effort, swept up to them, and in a few strides Orme was beaten. Quite a wide line presented itself as the real straight was duly reached. Watercress and Sir Hugo came round and took close order. La Fleche ran on very comfortably. Orme fell back. Sir Hugo stayed all right. Watercress looked very dangerous indeed for a while. May Duke's place -bets were not altogether lost. From the distance few bothered about the already surely* defeated favourite, and not many felt anxiety about La Fleche, who clearly had the race in hand, though Sir Hugo was plugging after her in dogged fashion. Watercress, who appeared to be second best, was eased towards the finish, but, all the same, beat May Duke by a couple of lengths for third situation, while La Fleche almost cantered past the judge two lengths in front of Sir Hugo, who was three to the good of Watercress. Then arose the celebrated Yorkshire roar in applauding pretty nearly everybody and everything. Old Johnny came in for much admiration, a friendly testimonial which caused mine ancient to smile most graciously. None of the other jockeys seemed pleased with themselves. They had a bother to edge through the crowd to the weighing room, and were in a hurry about it. Most unhappy of all appeared Mr John Watts, whom no one not informed on the subject could have guessed to be the winner. But then, the very swell jockeys do not consider it quite etiquette to display their feelings to public gaze. Watts rode a capital race, jtnd if he did not look so pleased with himself as he might be, it was not because he didn't do himself fuU credit.
*#* The conference of delegates from country clubs, held at Gore after the races there, did not do very much, but what it did was to the point, and the action taken will probably lead to a consideration of the question at issue from the standpoint of those clubs that suffer most by the new arrangements. What was done, as set forth in tho abstract report printed in this issue, was to appoint a committee to draft a resolution (1) affirming the unfairnoss to country clubs of the present stake limit; (2) reminding the D.J.C. of a promise made that country clubs should be consulted on auy proposed alteration in racing rules brought before the metropolitan clubs; (3) urging on the conference the right of country clubs to have direct representation ; and (4-) asking the D.J.C. to call a conference to discuss these matters. Further than this the Gore conference could not very well go, seeing that it was apparently not fully representative of the country clubs as a whole, but it seems to me that the delegates present could hardly have done less. They neither threaten reprisals nor supplicate for favours, but simply ask for rights, and I do not see how any man can say they are to blame iv so doing. The fourth clause of"the motion, asking the D.J.C. to convene a conference in Dunedin, has been already acted on. This conference will be held on the Friday before the last day of the Spring meeting, and the questions at issue will be threshed out there if not also at the conference to be held at Christchurch. How the movement will wash up no k oue can say. There will be practically no difficulty so far as the Duneniu conference is concerned. The delegates will be unanimous, and the D.J.C. is not likely to prove obstructive. That is an easy step. The second one is a bit harder — viz., to convert the Christchurch conference of metropolitan delegates. They would not listen to the representations made previously by Dunedin in the interests of the rural clubs, and perhaps may be again hard to convince. There is at anyrate a doubt as to how the proposals will fare at their hands. Then comes the greatest difficulty of all, and that is to influence the power behind the conference. It was by the Legislature and the Government that pressure was brought to bear on the last conference to restrict the use of the totalisator, and possibly the Colonial Secretary, in whose hands the whole thing now rests, may not see his way to undo what was done not exactly by Parliament but through Parliament and when Parliament was sitting. These are the lions in the path. Perhaps they may not stop the way. I hope not. The bonajide country clubs have a grievance, most decidedly, as I have said all along, and I wish them luck in their constitutional endeavour to remedy it. One way to help the cause would be to seek the co-opera-tion of country clubs in other districts, aud I am rather surprised that this is not made part of the programme.
*#* I see that another conference of country clubs is convened, the Mauiototo Jockey Club haviug issued circulars inviting eaoh Otago club to soud two delegates to a meeting at Ophir ou the 18th iust. (1) to take into consideration the position of country clubs with regard to amended rule 22, and v/hat steps, if any, should be taken to prevent "such amendment
being enforced ; (2) to endeavour to secure fof country clubs the right to be represented at metropolitan conferences ; and any other matters in connection with racing that any delegate may bring forward. Attached to the circular is an announcement by Mr Guffie, president of the M.J.C., in these terms: — "Should amended rule 22 be enforced we are of the opinion that new metropolitan clubs should be formed in certain defined districts, the boundaries of such districts to bo determined by the conference. Such metropolitan clubs would have a thorough knowledge of the wants of cbuntry clubs. A number of country clubs wjll be unable to hold their usual race meetings under the amended rules, and the effect of this will be that the number of horses kept for racing purposes will be so reduced that the entries at meetings of clubs which can be carried on at present will be so reduced that racing in the country will eventually be entirely abolished. As the interests of Otago country clubs havb not been protected by the representatives of the Dunedin Jockey Club, as promised by that club at the conference of country clubs called by them, we have deemed it necessary to call a meeting of all the country clubs, so that united action may be taken in the matter, when we hope that racing rules will be placed on a more just and satisfactory basis than now exists under the present harsh and arbitrary rules."
*** Never before, so far as I can remember, has an experience arisen in New Zealand such as that which is reported in connection with the Johnsonville and Hutt County Trotting Club's meeting. Mr U. Shannon,- who was some weeks ago appointed handicapper to the club, presented his handicaps to the secrotary, Mr D. H. Mackinnon, on Saturday week. That gentleman submitted them to his stewards, who, I am told, strongly disapproved of them. Mr Shannon was thereupon asked to amend them, as I understand he consented to certain alterations, but distinctly refused to make others that were suggested. A disagreement ensued, the upshot being that Mr Shannon was told that his services were not required, and that the stewards would make the handicap themselves. The stewards' handicaps were published in the New Zealand Times on Mon« day morning, and in the same issue Mr Shannon inserted his handicaps as an advertisement. The opinions of sporting men are divided as to what handicaps are the right ones. The stewards maintain they have" power to disrate any officer who does not give satisfaction, and reject handicaps that are not satisfactory. Mr Shannon and his -friends maintain that, having been duly appointed handicapper, his adjustments must be recognised as the official ones. The secretary, Mr Shannon, and some of the owners have submitted statements to the New Zealand Trotting Association. The above remarks are written by "Vigilaut" in the New Zealand Times. I notice that the race meeting was held last Saturday, but do not know-how the dispute was «ted up. Clyde won the Trotting Club and November Handicaps, paying L 2 9s and L 2 103 respectively. Poppitt won the Maiden Harness (dividend, L 3 10d), Prince the Farmers' Race (dividend, Lll 19s), Cliquot the Pony Race (divideud, L 7 7s), and Fragment the Consolation (dividend, LI 12s).
* # * The exact amount passed through tho totalisator by Messrs Mason and Roberts at tho Gore meeting was L 1827. St. Leger's sou Chicken pulled up lame after running in the Hurdle Race won by Moonlight. The public were satisfied to take a pretty short price in the Maiden about Napier, the colt Stuart Waddell brought down with Bay Bell from Napier. The fact of this horse being from Dunedin and in Waddell's hands was enough, and the farmers to a man knew also that Napier is a grandson of Musket. The event justified the confidence of the plungers, though it is thought by some that if Lulu had stood up she would have given the stranger a tough task. The , performance did not impress the local folk very much, as later in the day Napier was allowed to go out the outsider of the trio that started for the Flying. I hope that Waddell had a little on him the second time, since he paid the nice dividend of L* 10s. Napier only just got home, certainly, but he .was meeting two pretty smart ones in Dandenong and Finetta, and the time, 1.20 for six furlongs, is not at all bad for a country course. During tho afternoon an inquiry was held into the conduct of Leeson, who it was alleged had bored Little Jim off the courso in the Hack Race, but after close consideration no ovideuee was found to justify the charge, and it was dismissed. Annie Laurie, tho daughter of Burlington that sprang a surprise in the District Handicap, was riddou by young White in the Falmouth colours, of which Mr F. R. White is declared the proper owner in these parts. Dunmore fell in tho Consolation and gave Lesson a shaking, but this clever horseman was not otherwise damaged.
*** Thomas, the New Zealand boy who rode Wolverine when he won the New Zealand Cup, was to have ridden Glenloth in the Melbourne Cup, but left Carmody's employ on the Monday morning. Robson, who rode him for exercise the first time on the previous Saturday, says he was running about ninth till passing the abattoirs, when he ran to about fifth place, the jockey having continually to wipe the mud from his eyes. Glenloth must have stumbled over Pilot Boy had the latter not fallen inwards towards the rails. Tirailleur, it turns out, dislocated his shoulder when he stumbled in the Cup race, but Veterinary Surgeon Allen entertains hopes of bringing him round. Pdrtsea's injury was confined to straining of the muscles ; whilst Pilot Boy got off with nothing worse than a severe shaking. Camoola's saddle split in half during the race. Redfearn says that Malvolio got away last but one, and was badly interfered with during the race, but finished strong. Gleuloth's owner (Mr Urquhart, a milkman, of Fitzroy) did not back him. The Argus gives Glenloth's starting price at 50 to 1, the Age returning it at 33 to 1. Bungebah's failures at Caulfield and Flemington seem to have done him a lot of good, and this result was apparently foreseen, for the big gelding was made as good a favourite as Autonomy for the Flying Stakes, and he won, putting up a good record. I hope every one is satisfied. Trenton's daughter Etra-weenio beat the flyiug Trieste in the Oaks, but the syndicate do not accept the result as decisive and openly talk of against the stewards' ruling in overruling the objection entered on the ground of a cross. Titan scored a meritorious win in the Spring Handicap, and Donation worked off a surprise in th« Royal Park Stakes, ihe sensational Paris suffering defeat from her, though it may be said m explanation that ha stumbled in the straight. The event of the fourth day was the Canterbury Plate, in which The Admiral made an exhibition of seven cracks at weight for age over two miles. I look on this performance as completely justifying the selection oi this horse for the Melbourne Cup, aud now that the meeting is over it may be said in the light of all the results that if the Cup wera run over again The Admiral would very likely start first favourite. ■
*** Writing of an incident at the Maiiches* terj September meeting the special of the
Sportsman says : " Devilin was far away the best looking of the runners for the Stamford Welter, and as he won this very race easily last year ib seemed good ' biz ' on the trite maxim of 'horses for courses' to back him to-day; but to the dismay of his supporters the son of Robert the Devil was never formidable, and in the result Miss Hagioscope and Highland Belle, -who is a very useful sort of bay filly by Child of the Mist, ran a dead heat. This gave rise to an incident which reflected but little credit on those coacerned. Highland Belle had ab some parb of the race cut her fore arm very badly on the rails, and it seemed almosb incredible, when one looked at the great ugly gash, bhab either the Miss Hagioscope party would refuse to divide under the circumstances, or that if they did refuse they would not be allowed to take the money— and much good might ifc do them— rather than that Highland Belle should be lugged oub again m such a pitiable condition. Goodness knows, I am opposed to the Humane Society people when they will ride their hobby into all sorts of absurdities, as, for instance, their objection to horses being spurred and nonsense of that sort ; but their interference was really needed this afternoon. When the unfortunate filly, after being led about for two hours, was sent oub to run off the deciding heat, the gash on her forearm looked positively sickening, and there was bat one opinion among those present as to the cruelty of bhis business. The poor thing, of course, had not a chance of success, and ib is only to be regretted that the stewards did not see bheir way to interfere and prevenb such a proceeding. Some one will, I dare say, try to make out that the wound was a mere scratch, but that is nonsense, and hundreds who saw it will confirm what I say. lam nob squeamish in such matters, but this was really too much."
*#* Sfe. Hippo's performance in the New Zealand Cup stamps him as a first-class colt, and there may be some justification for the opinion concerning him said to have been expressed by Mr Stead, that he is the best we have seen since Maxim. High praise this, but it was a great thing that the colfc did : to make all his own running and simply gallop away from a large field, including several that were •supposed to be up to the task set in any previous Cup. Crackshot's party, for instance, ■openly avowed their belief that the big horse -would win if he ran up to his private form ; the followers of O'Brien's stable professed that they had a dead bird in Launcesbon ; and Dunedin men were confident that Dilemma would take a lot of doing. We may take it, I think, that these horses ran pretty well up to expectations— that is, they went as fast as ib was supposed beforehand would 'ac necessary— but the Auckland colt quietly declined their 1 company, and made the pace co hot that there was nothing left to seriously challenge him at the finish. Dilemma hung it out better than any of the others, and must have got to the end of the two miles as smartly as anything that we have ever seen in New Zealand previously, but he had the bad luck to run up against a real snag in St. Hippo, who cut the record and won just as he liked. Personally I should have been very pleased to hear of Lady Emma's son getting home, but he was clearly overmatched, the rest of them were simply taken off their legs, and I with others cannot begrudge a hooray for the splendid racer that thus distinguished himself. Dunedin was afforded some consolation later on in the success of Skirmisher in the Welcome Stakes. This was especially gratifying to me, seeing that I discovered this colt's good qualities months ago and selected him in my finals to beat the rest of the field, and, moreover, the win would be popular Bering that Mr -J B Reid, the owner, made no 'secret of his tfaith in Skirmisher's speed. This colt, the first of the Vanguards to race, was bred at Elderslie, and is likely to win more money this season. Bis second performance, to land the Juvenile Stakes, stamps him as a really good one, inasmuch a» he had a 101b penalty. As for the Derby on the second day, I am totally unable to understand St. Hippo'fl defeat, but Stepniak may be such another one as Medallion was. That son of Locket, it will be remembered, made a specialty of Derbies— he won two of them. The distance and heavy scale or weights evidently suited him. Stepniak may be another of the same sort. We shall, however, have to wait for full particulars before concluding that he beat St. Hippo on his merits. There is a bare possibility that the favourite was surprised at the finish or that m some other way the Derby was not a true-run race. Anyway, however, Stepniak's was a fine performance, and we must not explain ifc away •without reason. By next week we shall know more about this and other events at the meeting.
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TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 2020, 10 November 1892
TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 2020, 10 November 1892
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