TALK OF THE DAY.
* # * Mr W. Earnshaw, who, during the last session of Parliament from his seat in the House of Representatives, spoke against the motion for the abolition of the totalisator — a motion which, on a division, was only rejected by three votes — has recanted. At the conclusion of his address to his constituents last week he was asked whether he would support a proposal to abolish the machine. His reply was a curious example of a circumlocutory method of answering questions. He commenced with the assertion that he voted for imposing a totalisator tax, and then expressed his belief that the suppression of the machine would not suppress gambling. The jockey clubs, however, had deliberately tried, he said, to evade the letter of the law, and he was prepared to deal severely with them. He thought the jockey clubs had made a huge blunder. Mr Earushaw then digressed to, observe that an enormous sum of money left New Zealand every year to be invested in consultations in Australia, and that money he regarded as an absolute loss to the colony — he did not believe that 10 per cent, found its way back, and it was estimated that £150,000 went over. So far, Mr Earnshaw's reply was in almost identical terms with his utterances in the House when he contended that " to take the totalisator away would only tend to swell the large sum of money which at present went yearly from the colony for investment in the various consultation sweepstakes on the Australian side"— it was " a question of common-sense " then, and he opposed the abolition of the totalisator because, in his opinion, the effect would be that an increased sum of money would leave the colony for gambling purposes. It is not a little surprising, therefore, to find him stating now that, while he was not at first prepared to vote for stopping the machine, he had now, from a close study of the question, come to the conclusion that if a proposal were made for the abolition of the totalisator he should vote for it.
*#* The Australasian, in the course of a leading article upon the totalisator in New Zealand, expresses the opinion that it is small wonder that the number of mushroom clubs in all parts of the colony, which owe their very existence to the use of the totalisator, should cause "all right-thinking people to join with the anti-totalisator party in an endeavour to abolish the machine, and thus put an end to its being used for the purpose of bolstering up such bastard fixtures." The article suggests that the remedy is legislation respecting the totalisator such as applies in South Australia, where the act now in force restricts the powers of clubs to avail themselves of the instrument that cannot lie in such a way that it is impossible for it to be prostituted by speculators. On only two courses within 20 miles of Adelaide can it be worked, and in the .country only genuine clubs whose course is at least 20 miles distant from any other place where the machine is licensed can avail themselves of it. And the number of days on which it can be used is also limited. Proper provision is made for seeing that all the requirements of the act are strictly complied with, and under these conditions the totalisator thrives without complaint, and is a means of fostering horseracing in a colony which, it has been proved, cannot carry on successfully without such adventitious aid.
* # * As to the effect which would be produced by the banishment of the totalisator next session, the Australasian, while hardly supposing that the leading clubs of New Zealand would collapse, entertains no doubt that a great reduction in stakes would be involved and that many reputable owners would be driven off the .turf, who J|cannot afford to race for reduced prizes. The article concludes :—": — " It is beside the question to say that the bookmakers will come to the fore and take the place of the machine, because in the first place Parliament, in putting down the totalisator for the sake of diminishing gambling, is likely, for consistency's sake, to follow the South Australian example and legislate for the suppression of betting. Of course, they will not be able to eradicate wagering altogether, but the bookmakers in South Australia know to their cost that the plan adopted in tbat colony, if not absolutely perfect, was quite effective enough to reduce their operations to very narrow and non-paying limits. If then the stakes are to be cut down and betting limited, the clubs, although they may not at once throw up the sponge, will have a very hard time. And under the circumstances it behoves the friends of the machine, when the attack is made, to try and induce Parliament to accept some alternative scheme which may allow the totalisator to live as a means of benefiting the turf, while at the same time it is denied to those who would seek its aid for the sake of bolstering up clubs for whose existence there is no excuse. The working of the South Australian act has been jealously watched by pronounced foes of the totalisator for the last four years, and so far none of these opponents have been able to point to any evil arising from its legalisation. If the totalisator were managed on similar lines in New Zealand we venture to think that the agitation against it could be completely disarmed, and if it must disappear for a time, we hope when it comes to life again — as it assuredly will — its advocates will follow the example of he South Australians aud secure its sanction under conditions which will render its abuse impossible."
* # * The career of Realm, the winner of the Sydney Cup and Autumn Stakes at the recent meeting at Randwick, has been of the remarkable kind tbat in the case of humanity would be described as checkered. As a yearling he was exhibited at the Warwick Agricultural Sosiety's show, but was immediately turned out of the riDg, the prize going to another eon of Archie in Dan O'Connell. Arrived at two years old the colt was prepared for the Juvenile Stakes at Warwick, and he did his work in company with a horse named Sundiali an old Sydney identity, who had no chance with the youngster over a short course. In this race the verdict in the show ring was repeated, his solitary opponeHt, Dan O'Connell, beating him somewhat easily. Disgusted with failure, his owner, Mr Mitchell, offered to sell the colt for £23, but even at this old- song price no purchaser was forthcoming ; and then, in exasperation, the owner offered to exchange him for stock horses to that amount to a well-known dealer in Warwick. But, "Ribbleden" states, the dealer did not " bite," and just as the
owner was thinking of adding him to the list he sold him to a neighbouring stationholder of his, named Mr T. Coutts, who kept him a few months on good feed, with plenty of serviceable exercise. About this time the jockey who had ridden Realm in his first attempt on a racecourse advised Mr Easton, who was winning races with Buttons, to buy the colt, and eventually Mr Coutts leased him for two years to Mr Easton, with the option of purchase at any fcime for £60, all winnings in the interim to go to the lessee. A series of double victories at different country meetings decided the lessee to purchase without waiting for the expiry of the lease.
*** Realm subsequently became the champion of Queensland. He ran a dead heat with Greygown in the Royal Stakes at the V.T.C. Autumn meeting of 1891 but was defeated by half a head in the deciding heat, and his first recorded victory of any importance was in the Queensland Cup in December 1891. In that event he carried 8.8, and defeated Governor 8.7, who ran second, Yowi 7.7 third, and other smart horses, running the two miles in the -fair time of 3min 34^sec. After several more working attempts, in which he came off .with only second or third honours, Realm again landed a stake on March 1, 1892, in the Eldernell Handicap, run at the Queensland Turf Club meeting. His weight on that occasion was 9.6, Mirabilis 7.0 being second, and Buckingham 7.9 third, the winner carving out the mile and a-quarter in 2min 12-^sec. At Tattersall's (Queensland) Autumn meeting of the year he won the Metropolitan Stakes, one mile and a-half, with 9.8 up. In this Mirabilis 7.4 was again second, and Dan O'Connell 8 11 third. At the same meeting he won the Norman Stakes, one mile one furlong, with 9.0 in the saddle, King Olaf 9.2 being second. In the following July at the Rockhampton Racing Club's meeting, the son of Archie — Empress further distinguished himself by carrying 10.4to victory over a two-mile course in the Rockhampton Handicap, when he defeated Beche-de-Mer 8.7, and Sir Thomas 7 3 for places. From then until his successes at the recent A.J.C. meeting he does not appear in the winning lists, although he had been running in the interval at various places in the colonies. Some time ago Mr S. Hordern, the wealthy proprietor of one of the most valuable of racing studs, purchased the horse at a high figure from Captain Sandemann, the well-known Queensland sport, in whose colours Realm won nearly if not all his Queensland prizes. As a two and three-year-old he ran in the name of Empire, but had that appellation changed, as there was another Empire, a son of Chester, in the lists of running horses.
*** There was a curious occurrence in the Hurdle Race at the V.A.T.C. meeting at Caulfield on Ap^l 1. Impostor 11 4, Royalist 11.0, and Westminster 9.3 were the only starters, but Royalißt, who was a hot favourite, fell at the firat hurdle, and, as Westminster followed suit a little further on, Impostor was left alone in his glory. Just before the latter passed the winning post a byatander mounted the riderless Westminster ; but almost immediately gave place to another bystander, who, having flung off his hat and coat, jumped into the saddle and rode the horse the remainder of the journey. The judge was reminded not to leave the box, and placed Westminster second. Of course everybody wondered who the bystander " was who, at the apparent risk of breaking his neck, had ridden Westminster home; and it was rather disappointing to discover it was Mr W. S. Cox, jun., the rider of the celebratsd Redleap. But what puzzled the spectators (says "Ribbleden") was how Mr Cox, who a few minutes previously was in the grand- stand enclosure, happened to be in the neighbourhood of the accident. Mr Cox was 81b overweight, but in such exceptional circumstances no penalty is exacted for overweight, and Westminster thus received the second prize "in accordance with the rules, which say that "in the event of a rider being disabled his horse may be ridden home by any person of sufficient weight, provided he be qualified according to the conditions of the race." If Mr Cox and the rider of Impostor had failed to draw the weight the race would have been declared null and void, and the comedy would have been complete. But it was a serious matter to Mr W. Menzies, as he lost a good horse in Royalist, who was so badly hurt in the back that he had to be shot. Royalist was by Bras de Fer, and was probably the best looking of that sire's stock. The owner of .Impostor subsequently lodged an objection to Westminster getting the second prize on the ground that he was " remounted twice without falling."
*#* Messrs Stephenson and Hazlett received word by the Melbourne mail, which arrived at the beginning of the week, that the purchase has been concluded for them in Australia of a yearling colt who claims Australian Peer for his sire and Tornado for his dam. Tornado, it Js needless to remark, is the dam of Tempest, who has proved a good investment for her owners, and if the colt they are adding to their string turns out as well, they will have every reason to be satisfied with their purchase, which was made at the sale of the Ducken-field-Park yearlings, on the sth inst. Mr J. Monaghan acted as the firm's commissioner, and his bid of 4-sgs secured the colt. Huguenot passes out of the hands of Messrs Stephenson and Hazlett after the North Otago meetiDg this week, as their two -years' lease of her expires, and the mare will be returned to the Elderslie estate. She is in foal to Occident.
*** Though the weather was perfect each day, the South Canterbury Jockey Club's Autumn meeting last week will probably pan out badly. The attendance was not large, though the train service was frequent, and the roads between Timaru and the Washdyke were in such splendid condition, as, indeed, they always are, as —together with the weather— to tempt people to drive out, and speculation was weak. The poverty of the fields accounts to some extent for the shrinkage in the totalisator investments on the second day, but no such reason can be given for the falling off of over £1000 on the first day. Whether it be that money is particularly tight up Timartf way, or that the public do not take the same interest in races as they formerly did, the fact remains that Messrs Mason and Roberts handled barely one-half of the sum operated on at the last Autumn ing. For the principal handicap on the opening day Prime Warden 9.5 was made a strong favourite, the machine showing that more tickets were taken out on him than on.his two opponents, Crackshot 8.7 and Saracen 8.3, combined. The favourite waited on Crackshot till the distance was reached, when he challenged the latter, who had led virtually from the start, and, passing him, went on and won by a length. Saracen was a neck behind Crackshot, but it is suggested that he might have finished closer to Prime Warden and that he was reserved for a future occasion, on it being seen that his stable companion held the other starter 6afe. Another warm favourite won in the District Plate, Lord Zetland 9.5 being the only one of the quartette who caused any trouble to Frivolity 7.12 ; and the latter'a
stable IcompaHion, Rosehill 6.12, after a hard struggle up the straight, appropriated the Flying Handicap from Kate Greenaway 8.3, who caused a good deal of delay at the post and eventually got badly away. The dividend on Rosehill was the largest of the day, though it was closely run by that on the Hurdle Race, in which the absolute outsider of the four starters got home. Rebel 11.12 was the favourite, but in an exciting finish he was beaten by a neck by Magpie 11.12, while Justice 10.0, who was first into the straight, was a good third. Beau Nash cut up indifferently in the Washdyke Welter Handicap, for which he received most support, and Aquarius gained an easy victory. Lady Mab, after beating seven others, who were little fancied, in the Selling Hack Ra?e, was bought in for £22, and Emperor was returned to his owner for £26 after winning the Selling Race.
*** Rebal was withdrawn from the Hurdle Race on the second day, the explanation being that he wa3 invalided, and in his absence Magpie, on the strength of his victory on the previous day, was made the favourite. Erin-go-Bragh, whose weight had been reduced by 21b, whereas Magpie's had been raised 71b, was next in demand, though Justice, who finished in front of the grey on the first day, had now 41b less to carry. Munster, who also started, ran off early in the race, but his chances were not highly appreciated, and of £216 on the machine there was only £3 on him. The pace was made a hot one from the start, and Erin, wresting the lead from Justice at the last fence won by four lengths from Magpie, who came very rapidly at the finish and just beat Justice for second place. The time constitutes a record for a mile and a-half over hurdles, so far as the Timaru course is concerned. Through the withdrawal of Captive 6.13, the Jockey Club Handicap was reduced to a match between Messrs Hobbs' pair, Prime Warden 9.12 and Lady Zetland 8.0, and both were ridden out to an unexpectedly interesting finish. The mare looked like winning till 80yds from the post, when Prime Warden got up, and they passed the judge locked together, the verdict being, jiowever, half a head in favour of the top weight. There were no investments on the race. Rothamstead 9.0 was backed down to nearly level money for the Stewards' Purse, for which there were seven starters ; but, while the favourite won easily from Kate Greenaway 10.10, he did not get the stake without undergoing the ordeal of a protest on the ground of dark running in the Selling Race on the first day. Aquarius 8.9 and Lord Zetland 9.5 had the finish to themselves in the County Plate, and, the weight telling on the latter when the pinch came, Aquarius placed a second victory to his credit. Tornado had only two moderate opponents, over whom he simply cantered in the Novel Race, after which hjs owner bought him back for £33 ; and a Hack Race brought out but two starters, after which Capbive won the Post Stakes, the final event, beating Lord Zetland and Kimberley.
*#* The Wellington people did not attend the Autumn meeting of the Wellington Racing Club in large numbers last week, and speculation, like the " going " at the back of the course, which has recently been top-dressed, was somewhat dead, the amount passed through the totalisator on the two days being £9929, as against £12,416 last year. The fields were rather select, excepting in the hack races, for which there were numerous starters, but, while the finishes in the majority of the events were not close, the racing was fairly interesting. By his victory in the Thompson Handicap, following jupon his successes at the Feilding meeting, .Rangipuhi repeated the achievement of Kupenga last year, but he improved on the Jatter's performance by subsequently winning tfhe Stewards' Handicap and running a dead &eat in the Autumn Handicap, to be beaten in #he latter event' in the run-off. Kupenga was a, greater outsider than Rmgipuhi, but the field in the Thompson Hand cap last year was 16 strong, whereas only half th vt number faced Mr Sam Powell the other day. Rangipuhi was not much fancied by the public for the big event, it being generally thought that the company was too good for him. He had a fair following, however, among the natives, and the stable also backed him somewhat heavily. The favourite was The Workman, who, after being blocked at the turn, finished fifth, his defeat .being ascribed to the fact of the course being •rougher than he had previously raced on. Hangipuhi's easy victory caused him to be made a hot favourite an hour and a-half later •when he started for the Stewards' Handicap, «nd the confidence shown in him was not mis«laced, for he won with something to spare from a moderate field. Lakeeheli 7.12 was voted & good thing for the Juvenile Handicap, but Westmere carried- his 9.5 to victory without the uee of the whip, and Furepo 7.0 created something of a surprise by running into second "place. Three other top weights got home, Aorere in the Hurdles, Prioress in the Trial Handicap, and Wakawatea in the Railway Handicap, Mr Hungerford's representative finding it difficult not to lose his two opponents in the last-mentioned yaee.
*** The Autumn Handicap, oa the second day, attracted a field of five only, Thamp and Krina being scratched at the last moment. The latter, it seems, had been galloped on in the Thompson Handicap, and .as a result had gone very lame. Of the five starters Rangipuhi was a pronounced favourite, £358 being on him oub of £765 on the race, but though he was half a length in front 20yds from the winning post, Heather Bell finished very resolutely under the whip and, getting up la the last stride, made a dead heat of it. The deciding heat was run off at the conclusion of the other races, and resulted in favour of the mare, Raogipuhi, who had been used a great deal at the meeting and shortly before it, being in trouble at the straight. Wakawatea appropriated the Derby Handicap with some ease from Stepniak, from whom he was in receipt of I2}b, and Monte Carlo- and the Heretaunga Handicap for two and three-year-olds fell to Westmerp, who gave Purepo, bis only opponent, 2gt an.d a hairlength beating. The Welter Handicap was won, in a field of 10, by Musket, who is a son of Armament and who should be renamed, while Stranger, who finished second m this event, secured the Farewell Handicap, in which he carried the top weight" and beat four others. The Hurdles Handicap was won hy Jacob, who, despite numerous defeats, was second in demand, Aorere, who carried the thumping weigh}; of 12.6, being the favourite. The Hack Hurdles were won by Jimmy on the first -day, although Pumau must have won if ne ■could have been induced to gallop his best earlier in the r&ee, as he evidently did on the second day, when he won easily. Bonoveree, Tvho is by The Mute f r&m Maid of All Work, and Kent, by St. George, eaph won a hack "handicap. The club must have maio a handsome profit out of these latter races, and doubtless the fact of their doing so is the explana.4ion of the events being included in the programme. There can be no other justification for their inclusion.
#** The statistics of .the racing season of
1892 in England show that the list of winning horses is headed by a three-year-old, La Fleche, whose total, £25,635, is far in advance of the £15,960 won by Common in 1891, and the £15,702 which Memoir had to her credit in the previous year. Another three-year-old comes next in Orme, whose earnings amounted to £13,023 ; and third in rank is a two-year-old, Milford, whose winnings are set down as £7818. Milford was presented by Mr Abington Baird to Mrs Langtry, who now races under the name of Mr Jersey, and his nomination for the Derby, to be run on June 1, by Mr Baird, has lapsed through the death of that sportsman. Sir Hugo won £6960 ; Perigord, £6559 ; Tanderagee, £5417 ; Miss Dollar, £5285 ; Buccaneer, £5276 ; and Dunare, £500*. The two-year-olds gaining over £2000 in stakes are exactly equal in number to those in the 1891 list, but the three-year-old list shows an increase of two. Singularly enough the four-year-olds and the five-year-olds and upwards have precisely the same number as in 1891. The list of winning jockeys, as in 1891, is headed by Mornington Cannon, but with an increased lead, for whereas a year ago he beat George Barrett by four wins only— l 37 as against 133— his record for 1892 is 182- wins as against 15*. It is singular, however, that nearly all his successes were gained in unimportant races, while Barrett, on the other hand, had a most extraordinary series of wins in great races. Watts, with 106 winning mounts, comes third, and for some years past he has been generally in the . leadiDg trio ; indeed, this year his average of wins is far better than that of either Cannon or Barrett, but his weight debars him from having as many mounts.
* # * The Referee makes some startling statements respecting the treatment that Ormonde waf subjected to in South America, which are no calculated to inspire with confidence those pe. i c who, now that the horse has returned to Enj, 1 i7id, have been reported to be anxious to take ibscriptions to him at the moderate charge of fro • 300gs to lOOOgs per mare. " The Argentine i V says the Referee, "have no sportsmanli regard fpr the noble animal. After being tried at the stud in England, Ormonde was put into training in Buenos Ayres or Belgrano, which is near enough to be all the same. As it was found he could not stand work, he did not appear as a runner for stakes, but he would if he could have been got fit. At the stud he was wofully taxed. To put the matter in a plain, homely way, the management was of the automatic purveying order. So long as nominations were paid for, a service could be commanded. Pending absolute sale the horse was worked to excess." As to the way the stallion was managed, a well-known judge of the subject says: "I am pleased, you know," he writes from South America, "lam pleased, Ormonde has left here, as he has been most badly treated, serving au unlimited number of mares. The worst part of it isthathe wasmadeto serve many mares which were not in season when they came to be pub to him. But, all the same, they had come to Ormonde and must be served. Hence the mares would take the horse all the year round and not be in foal. It is a positive fact that during the time Ormonde was at the Chico Stud he was used even worse than any country stallion ever was in England. If he should be a failure in the old country for his first season after return, you will know what will be the explanation of the failure."
*** On the third— the "off "—day of the A. J.C. Autumn meeting at Randwick, the results were all in favour of the bookmakers. The backers got a "facer" over the first event— the Hurdle Race, — as the favourites Bellringer 10 5 and Beche-de-Mer 10.3 were never in the hunt when the real race began, Proconsul 11.3 winning comfortably from Tramp 9.7. The top weight, Escort, fell in front of the s.tand, and gave his rider, Underwood, a nasty shaking. The AU-aged Stakes field dwindled down to five starters, Paris 8.12 being favourite, with Light Artillery 7.1 next in demand, but the latter never threatened danger, and Paris retiring at the distance, Cremorne 8.11 won a good race from Ruskinite 6.13, whose small rider, Luckman, could not assist her at the finish. Brookleigh was served up very warm for the Welter Handicap, and he won from 20 others, who included The Dancer ; and then came the Biennial Stakes, for which six started, and, despite his penalty (raisiug his weight to 9.0) Carnage was a better favourite than either Bessie M'Carthy or Projectile, who, always haviDg a penalty, was on equal terms with Carbine's half-brother. Most of fche half-dozen were rather fractious at the post, but eventually they got off to a moderate start. Bessje M'Carthy was always prominent, with Projectile next, the New Zealand filly having a good lead round the turn. Carnage was rather hampered in getting through, and although he was in a good place at the distance, he had no chance with Bessie M'Cartby, who won by several lengths, nearly all the horses easing up as they passed the post. There was a good Sold for the Cumberland Stakes, but with the ground hard and firm, Camoola 8.2 was made a hot favourite and he won with ridiculous ease. Realm 9.4 finished last but one, Palo Alto, who made the pace, pulling up. Of a weak field for the City Handicap, Miletos 7.7 was most fancied, but after Bthelbert 7.3 had led from half a mile from home to the distance, Paris 9.9 looked very dangerous, and then Sprig o1o 1 Myrtle 75 came through on the inside and won very easily by several lengths.
*x* The concluding day of the meeting was fche worst of all for the backers. Starting with the Rous Handicap, Duorow 8 4 was made a 6 to 4- favourite, but when in the straight the Hawkesbury Handicap winuer, Miletos 8.2, cut the leaders down and looked all over a winner to the distance, v»hen he in turn had to lower his colours to Latonia, by Oudeis from Latona 7 8, who won by three parts of a length. The winner did not possess the confidence of her party and was almost friendless. The scratching pen was very freely ueed amongst the candidates for the Place Handicap, for which Sprig o' Myrtle 8.7 and Ethelberb7.9 were made favourites at 5 to 1 each, Realm 9.3 an.d Paris 9 5 also having a strong following. Realm led into the straight, where Paris came at him and was beaten off, after which Sprig o' Myrtle tackled him on the outside and Florrie 8.0 on the rails, and it was a rattling finish, Sprig o' Myrtle just getting home in front of Florrie, who, it is said, had she been a little better handled by Gardiner, her rider, might have won. The Steeplechase furnished one of the beat races of the kind ever seen on the course. At the finish of the betting Albert 10 0 was favourite at 4 to 1, and after the first half-mile he was indulged with the lead, as he was reefing and doing himself more harm by running behind Except that Criterion 9. 0 headed him for a few strides at the end of the second mile, Albert may be said to have led from this out, and at a good solid paco too. logorangi fell during the race. Delaware placed the fifth victory of the meeting to Trenton's credit by winning the Fjrst Nursery Handicap from a large fi.eld, and then came the A.J.O. Plate, for which backers laid 3 to 1 on Camoola 8.0. When it was seen that the favourite's I stable companion podation 8.0 waa also a
starter it was expected that he was left in as pacemaker, but in this all were deceived, as the pair kept behind most of the way. Portsea 9.0 acted as pacemaker, but died right out of it half a mile from home, when The Admiral 9.5 put in a claim, and amidst great applause won by three lengths from Camoola. The latter walked a little lame into the weighing yard, and upon examination it was found that; his off fore hoof had been slightly injured. The Final Handicap drew a field of 18, of whom The Swell 8.0 was the favourite, but Cremorne 9.8, the wonder of the meeting, as "Terlinga" describes him, cut down the leading files from the distance and won easily.
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TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 2043, 20 April 1893
TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 2043, 20 April 1893
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