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TALK OF THE DAY

BY MAZBPPA.

* # * My opportunities this week are limited. Space for the sporting is reduced by two-thirds, and the resCdue has to go to press on Monday

night. The Christmas matter is heavy, and the printing a long job. Readers will please accept this explanation. .

* # * The latest about the Auckland Cup is that St. Hippo is well, that Crackshot pulled up lame after a gallop, and that Merganser is showing such good form on the track as to shorten her price to 2to 1 That means a£3 dividend— quite good enough if everything be right with the mare. Somehow I have a sort of presentiment that this race ia going to result in a boil-over after all, but I cannot give any reason for this feeling, and I am not goiug to let it dominate my judgment, which is that Merganser can win the Auckland Cup in a canter. I deem it such a good thing that I shall not bother to consider anything else in the rate. As for the Derby, this seems as dead a bird for St. Hipro now that Stepniak has been withdrawn.

*** The Southland Racing Club's meeting on the new course will attract visitors from all parts of the district, and a few even from Duuedin. Having only the handicaps to go on — for the acceptances had not been published when this was written— l am somewhat in the dark in trying to pick winners, but I must have a shot at it. • For the Hurdle Race I take the top weight (Moonlight) and the bottom weight (Chevy) to supply the winupr, and Sir Walter Scott is dangerous. -Moonlight may perhaps win. Loiter ought to be able to account for the Selling Face. I select Tempest and Don Pedro as the best of the Cup lot, though Adventurer would be my choice if he were go:ng, and as between the two mentioned I prefer Tempest, seeing that she is more forward iv condition that Loughlin's horse. For the Three-mile Trot Foremast must be dangerous, and if he is beaten it may be by Waxy. The latter has recent publio form to recommend him. Wanganui will be worth backing in the Flying if he is the elect of Mr Goodinau's pair, and I don't see what is to beab Reflection in the District Race, while the uncertain FiauE is so well that I must trust to her once more and select her for the President's Handicap. If she is sent for the Flying instead, my vote for the President's goes to Don Pedro.

* # * The Auckland Trotting Cup, to be decided on the 27th, is so far a strange sort of race, in that, while most of us scribes have had something to say about the handicap, the exceedingly wide limit being condemned, no one appears to know enough about the several candidates engaged to venture an affirmative opinion as to which will be the winner. The explanation is, of course, a very simple one. The horses are, or were till recently, all over the colony, and it is a hard job to find out what they are doing. My inquiries on the subject have not been altogether a success, and in suggesting Hurricane as having a show I do so with a certain amount of fear and trembling that one of those further down in the handicap may prove better. lam not very much afraid of those at or anyway near scratch. Yum Yum came across from Sydney before the handicap was declared, so that her acceptance by no means signifies that her owner is content. She may win, of course — strange thiDgs happen in trots — but I would sooner stand Clyde, and would prefer any one of the limit horses to either. It will be seen that Mr H. Alexander's Pihiehas paid up for three of the events. He is the only Otago representative, and I wish him luck, but am afraid he is not good enough.

* # * On the last day of the Newmarket Houghton meeting, October 28, there were three starters for the All-aged Stakes, run over the six furlongs of the Bretby course, and backers thought it good enough to lay 6 to 5 on Orvieto 9.2, who made his own running and won easily by a length and a-half from May Duke 8.11, with Rusticus 9.2 beaten off. Pensioner's form in the Cambridgeshire being fresh in recollection, this colt, carrying 6.4, was made a 5 to 4 chance for the Old Cambridgeshire Handicap. The favourite played a waiting game, and had all his work cut out to beat Windgall, Baron de Hirsch's three-year-old, carrying 8.0, the latter only losing the vertiict by a head after a fine finish. Cororaandel, who achieved such a runaway victory in the race last year, signally failed to reproduce anything like that running, and was the absolute last. The winner covered the course (one mile 240 yds) in 2min 9 2-ssec. The Lincoln meeting followed, and at this the chief prize was the Great Tom Stakes, a mile handicap, for which a baker's dozen of good quality faced the starter. Carrick (byrs, 7.8), who won the race two seasons ago, was one of half a dozen that had plenty of supporters, and it was only by a short head that the verdict went against him and in favour of Ramelton Lassie (4yrsj 7.6), who has been a somewhat uncertain performer. Arturo (4yrs, 7.12), a well-backed first favourite, failed to gain a place, and Prince Hampton (4yrs, 9.0), who was asked to travel quite as far as he cares to, could only carry the top weight into third position. The value of the stakes to the winner was L 460, and the time occupied in covering the distance was lmin 47sec. The winner is a daughter of Melton, and belongs to Mr Joicey, being trained in the same stable as Daydream.

* # * The bulk of the Dunedin horsey men who intend to have an outing on Boxing Day will find their way to Henley, where the Central Taieri Club is to hold its race meeting. Of the nine that are entered for the Maiden Plate, two or three are not generally known at all, and of those that have been heard of I should say that it is a toss-up as between Bentley and Prince Louis. The latter was second to Tangi Maid in tho Taieri Maiden, Bentley being left at* the post, but in the Stewards' Purse the latter was placed third and Prince Louis finished last. I shall vote for Bentley. As to the Three-mile Trot, it may be that Minnie Grey and Mack will take a lot of beating, but the Lord only knows what may be spinning. My original selection for the Central Taieri Handicap was Wolseley, and I see no reason to alter that opinion, though a good race may be expected as between him and Wayland and Adventurer (who will, I understand, visit this meeting instead of Invercargill), while old Leinster may have a show, the lameness which he displayed at the Forbury the other day being by no means conclusive proof that he is up a tree, He generally does go lame after a hard gallop. Highland Chief may signalise his reappearance after being whitewashed by accounting for the Novel, and I take Adventurer (if reserved for it this fellow in one) or Sweetbriar to win the Flying ; while Lugnaqoilla may perchance be equal to the task before him in the Two-mile Trot.

* # * The Australian Jockey Club's Summer Cup, to be run at Randwick on Boxing Day over the mile and a-half course, has 44 acceptances as per list appearing elsewhere, and so far ac I can make out the company is not far short of first-class. To those of our sports who

may feel inclined to have a flatter on this event I would remark that Marvel is dangerous with all his weight, which is less than Carbine carried to victory over the longer course of the Melbourne Cup ; that Paris is very well ; that Oxide is said to be improving ; that Realm is going very well ; that the distance will suit Chatham ; and that Little Bernie recently won the December Handicap at Rosehill with 8.10 up, smothering a large field, and doing the mile and 540 yds in 2min 18sec. My own fancy is that the race will be won by Prime Minister or Little Bernie, but it is rather cheeky on my part to have an opinion, and it will perhaps b9 safer for backers to follow the Sydney writer "Nemo," whose selections are Arquebus, Ronda, Affiance, and Selkirk. Little Bernie's weight as printed includes his 31b penalty.

*#* If Orme carries on the family traditions he should sire the wonder of the world in his first etud season, observes the Sportsman, for it must be rembered that he descends from Doncaster in an unbroken line of first fruits, so to speak — viz., Bend Or, Ormonde, and Orme himself, all begotten in the first stud year of their Bires. That Orme will make a good stud horse I have no manner of doubt, for there is much about him to prefer to his sire, as he is a more wiry, active, and better-balanced soit, and for his thorough soundness and wonderful constitution his record of present season will vouch. Probably no money would tempt the Duke of Westminster to part with hiß champion, for Bend Or is now getting on in years, and what horse but Orme could replace him ? As to the exact merits of Orme as a racehorse controversy will always rage, unless indeed he puts the matter beyond dispute next season ; but, after all, no one will ever dispute that he is a wonderful nailer, 'and forjthe rest it is simply a question whether he is or is not better than La Fleche. This is of no great importance to anyone considering his prospects as a stud horse, and whan we come t3 think of his blood it does indeed seem a foregone conclusion that his stud success will be brilliant in the extreme. Nor should Sir Hugo be for one moment forgotten amid the admiration felt for his more pretentious rival. Manifestly lacking that dash of speed which is necessary to enable a horse to cope with the best of bis year over a mile, the Derby winner none the less possesses sterling qualities of stamina combined with size, bone, power, and equable temper, which will be very valuable for mating with the brood mares of the future. It must not be lost sight of that Galopin has introduced us to an entirely different type of racehorse from any seen before his time. As galloping machines it may b? questioned whether St. Simon and his stock have every been surpassed, but the nervous temperment ' of the whole tribe is so highly strung that any attempt to breed into it would be folly. A breed of bad horses would probably be the result. Moreover, St. Simons, as a rule, lack power, bone, and substance, and, indeed, are by no means the sort to improve the breed of horses at large, invincible though they may be on the turf. It is to horses like Sir Hugo that we must look when it comes to choosing mates for St. Simon mares, for he is amply gifted with all the attributes in which they are deficient. We have already seen, in La Fleche and Memoir, how a mare of the slow, staying breed which produced Muskot became brilliantly successful when crossed with St, Simon*, and reversing the order of crossing we shall find new La Fleches and Memoirs in the produce of Sir Hugo, and daughters of St. Simon. Sir Hugo as an individual, is a splendid specimen of the Stockwell and Rataplan tribe, which, after all, Galopin notwithstanding, is the mainstay of tho British thoroughbred all the world over.

* # * Tasmanian owners appear to be the chief sinners in regard to what has been termed the nomenclature nuisance. At the recent meeting of the Racing Club at Hobart the Hurdle Race was won by a horse called Kimberley, which it is necessary to explain is a son of Townley and not the horse that Mr Gollan had ; the Steeplechase fell to a mare with the well-worn name of Ouida ; the Spring Handicap was worn by Darnley, but not the horse of the name that was raised in New Zealand ; and amongst other sources of confusion I see in the report the names of Flying Scud, Lottery, Cumberland, Kangaroo 11, Quilp, Freedom, and Papapa. For the Derby, in which, 6trange to say, the weights are 8 5 and 8 0, there were five starters — viz., Strahan (by Musk Rose— Claudia), The Jersey Maid (by Assyrian— May Queen), The Muff (by Nap Dleon— Mabel), My Thyra (by AssyrianRhine Wine), and Cumberland (by Assyrian— Brlani). My Thyra was favourite at oven money, and Strahan went out at 8 to 1. A local report says that, The Jersey Maid went off with the lead, followed by My Thyra and Strahan, with Cumberland an indifferent start. Passing the stand The Jersey Maid was half a length ahead of Strahan, who was racing side by side with The Muff, Cumberland and My Thyra lying last. At the dip The Jersey Maid, Strahan, and The Muff were racing together, the first-named having slightly the advantage. Nearing the farmhouse Strahan came up a bit, and as the horses were hidden from view they were placed— Strahan, The Jersey Maid, The Muff, My Thyra, and'XJumberland. Emerging from the farmhouse Strahan had a slight lead of the Jersey Maid with The Muff third, My Thyra fourth, and Cumberland last. At the back the positions were still the same, with the exception that Cumberland had lost further ground. Entering the straight Strahan had a length's lead of The Jersey Maid, with The Muff lying third a couple of lengths away. This was the order in which they finished. Although The Muff came with a big run and decreased the distance between The Jersey Maid slightly, Strahan won by a length, the same distance separating The Jersey Maid from The Muff My Thyra was a very indifferent third, whilst Cumberland was a bad last.

* # * New Brighton trotting races were held on Friday last, there being a fair attendance, and £834 passing through the totalisator. For the Maiden Handicap in saddle, one mile, Fair Nell II 6sec was made favourite, but Stockholm ssec won by 30yds in 2min 57sec, paying £16 4s 6d per £1 ticket. In each race the half-sovereign machine returned half the dividend paid on the paddock totalisator. Black Oata 39sec easily wen the Pony Race, two miles in saddle, his time being 6.11 and the full dividend £2 Is. Lena 40sec effected a surprise in the Avon Handicap, two miles in Harness, her time being 6min 6£sec, and tho dividend LlO 14s. Oddfellow was made a moral for the Maiden Handicap in harness, and paid only £1 lls 6d after doing the mile in 3min 18sec. Of the four starters tor the New Brighton Handicap, two miles in saddle, Fairchild 14sec was made a hot favourite, and he won, but with nothing to spare, his time being smin 44sec, and the dividend LI 13s 6d. Polly Plum secured the Pony Race in harness, paying £1 16s 6d ; Tinker the Stewards' Stakes, £3 14s ; and Miss Irwell the President's Handicap, £1 16s.

*** On the same day the North Canterbury Club's annual meeting provided good sport to

the fairly-numerous crowd that assembled. CJarende 10.6 and Black Hawk 11.2 were equally fancied for the Hurdle Race, but the latter fell, putting out the shoulder of his. rider, Binnie, and Clarence could not foot it at the finish with Justice 9.0, the daughter of Winchester, who did the mile and a-half in the creditable time of 3min and paid £5 Bs. Silvertail won the Hack Hurdle Race very comfortably, Jos Sedley, the favourite, being last of the quartet. The winner paid £2 16s. In the North Canterbury Cup the starters were —132 Captive 7.12, 74 Retina 7.8, 43 Van Buren 6.12, 41 Inez 7.7, 23 Wyvern 7.0, and 17 The Winchman 7.11, Inez was fiisfc away, but was soon passal by Retina, who led all tho way home, and won easily, without being .touched, by a couple of lengths from Winchman, with Captive third. The winner, who was ridden by Ross, did tho mile and a-quarter in 2min 16 3-sseo, and paid £4 53. Specton 10.5 and Fusee 9.8 ran a graat race in the Ashley Stakes, a mile, the former getting home by a neck, and paying £4 12s. Cutds was in luck's way, for Retina's success in the Cup was followed up by Yon Tempsky 9.11 securing the Anniversary Welter, beating Beau Nash 10.2 rather easily. The dividend was £3 17s. Emperor beat more fancied Pennine in the Disposal Stakes, paying £3 4s, and was bought in by Mr Butler. The Flying fell to Inez 8.7, beating Adieu 8.1 and Winchman 8.7 for places, and paying £5 Is; and the day's proceedings w*re brought to a close with the District Handicap, in which a sensation was worked something similar to that of Volunteer and Mata at the Forbury many years ago. The unbacked Byerock ran a dead heat with Specton, but there was a run off and in this the favourite won easily.

*#* At the Aehburton Trotting Club's races last Friday the Maiden Handicap, in saddle, was won by Boston Girl, dividend £1 8s ; the Lagmohr Handicap, in harness, by Berlin's daughter Lady Jans, £2 Is ; the District Handicap, in saddle, by Barney O'Hea, £7 19s; the Ashburton Handicap, in saddle, by Coralie, £2 8a ; and the Electric Stakes, in saddle, by Rocket, £3. The club's track is highly spoken of.

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Bibliographic details

TALK OF THE DAY, Otago Witness, Issue 2026, 22 December 1892

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TALK OF THE DAY Otago Witness, Issue 2026, 22 December 1892

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