TALK OF THE DAY.
*** Fourteen chasers have paid up for the National, beiDg exactly half the number entered. Last year there were 17 acceptors. The withdrawals are Freeman, Couranto.and Shillelagh, who are supposed to be under a cloud ; Cajolery, who makes way for the top weight ; Marechal Niel, Morok, and Patchwork, as to whose reasons for defection there is no information ; and seven of the lot placed at the minimum. Only two of the nine-seven division have signified hopefulness as to their chances. This is worth noticing. It seems to indicate that in the estimation of owners Mr Henry has commenced not too high, as most of the critics thought, but too low. Tho alternative to that conclusion— viz., that these . light weights have not gone out because of the question of weight — would drive us to believe that the seven referred to have all gone amiss. This is scarcely likely. I take it that their owners don't like the weights apportioned to some of the cracks ; and if that really is the case I must say that the malcontents when nominating must have expected a great deal more in the way of concession than they had any right to get. I for one am satisfied that the handicapper has made the range of his weights quite as wide as he was justified in doing. In the absence of a phenomenal horse, a second Redleap, the difference of 471b ought to bring horses together over a severe course of this sorb, and if it is not enough the discontented lot may be reckoned a set of duffers cot worth calling Grand National horses. I wonder what has caused the scare among them. If the owners would only let us know, perhaps we could get a good tip.
* # * But they won't. They "never do. It can't be expected of them. Therefore we must do our picking for ourselves. There are at least three ways of 'getting a basis for a judgment on such a subject. One is to look at the performances of the candidates. We will try that first. As to Norton, it should be remembered that he last year proved himself an expert leaper over all the obstacles presented, and the distance did not trouble him in the least. Of course he had only 11.4- to carry — that must be remembered; but on the other- hand he made a very light job of it and was not in the least, distressed. That he is keeping his form was shown when quite lately he cut out thepace in the Hawke's Bay Steeplechase, carrying 12.8, and was- beaten by only the lightlyweighted and fast Gondolier. For that performance Gondolier is now asked to concede Norton 61b. The winner is raised 101b, and the loser 41b. Empire is a son of Natator— this in itself no mean recommendation — out of a Ravensworth mare. Some of the best leppers we have ever had descended from Ravensworth ; and if there is anything in breeding for steeplechasers Empire has a pull over some of his opponents. Then he is a young horse, just coming to his prime as a chaser. He will be six off when the race is run. Further, his doings entitle him to respect. I go no further than .the Wanganui Steeplechase in May last for proof of that assertion. He carried 10.10 and won comfortably by four lengths from Chester 10.4, with Gondolier 10.9 third, and a fairish field badly beaten. The distance was three miles. It may be said that the fact of Gondolier being beaten by Chester as well as Empire is some indication that he (Gondolier) was not then such a good horse as his subsequent exploits has made him out to be. This is a point I cannot argue, for want of data; but as a guess I should say that Empire may also have improved in the interval. Be that as it may, taking the facts as we find them, Empire gave Gondolier a pound and a thorough beating in that Wanganui race, and at a difference of only 21b in the National he may do it again. Empire's failure at Wellington may be left out of count. He ran round early in that race and I was not beaten on his merits. On the point of staying it may be that Gondolier has a slight advantage in the comparison, inasmuch as the race he won at Hawke's Bay is about three miles and a-half, presumably the same distance as the National, whereas Empire's race at Wanganui was only over a three-mile course. But there is no certain conclusion to be deduced from this circumstance, and on performances I should say that the two horses mentioned are as nearly as possible a fair match at the weights given them in the National.
##* Clarence's credentials are before us in his Easter successes at Christchurch, mainly in the Kildare Steeplechase.., This is important, as showing that he can get over the country, and also saying a good deal for his pace and bottom in being able to dispose of such a proved horse as Magpie, who was very well at the time. Magpie is reckoned to have a show in this National, as he was placed last year, and now meets Norton (who headed him at the finish) on better terms ; and if this judgment is correct Clarence also must be regarded with reverence, though for the result of the Kildare Steeplechase he is called on to give away 101b to the one he beat. At Easter Magpie was conceding 81b ; now he receives 21b. This should bring them together nicely so far as form goes. Tiritea, a son of Hippocampus and Wairuareka, and therefore as well bred a horse as there is in the race, finished third in the Hawke's Bay Steeplechase, carrying 11.4, or 41b more than ' his present impost. Those that beat him were 1 Gondolier, who now makes him an allowance
of a Btone, and Norton, whose concession is 81b. Tiritea was certainly a poor third, but these gifts in respect to weight are very substantial, and seeing that Tiritea won the Maiden Steeplechase later in the day at Hawke's Bay — a fact the significance of which can hardly be over estimated — I reckon he is going to be mighty dangerous on this occasion. Up to a few days ago I had an idea that this horse was approaching his end as a steeplechaser, but the information now to hand is that he is improving and appears to be undergoing a special preparation for this National. This, if true, puts a different complexion on the state of all airs, and makes it important to note his pull in the weights, and since he has accepted I counsel betting men not to take liberties with him. Magpie's chance is already spoken of with, approval.
# # # The next we come to is Victrix, who won the Amateur Steeplechase at Hawke's Bay and afterwards triumphed in the chief event on th c Wellington Club's programme. In that per formance there was more than a little merit and as Victrix may have had ever so much up her sleeve she must be classed as a possible, though on full consideration of all the circumstances, ohiefly the increase of a stone in weight, I rather prefer one or two others near in the handicap. It should be a good match as between her and Waterbury. The latter receives 101b for his defeat at Wellington, and he has an outside chance if he fences well, but that is not to be depended on, and Mr Douglas seems hardly inclined to go Nap on this son oi Natator, seeing that he has also accepted with Mutiny. Despised is a member that commands respect, for he has lived to the end of that fearful Ellerslie course, the severest steeplechase ground in New Zealand, and not only did he win, but he fell and then got home. He must be a rare sticker, and these are the sort that win Nationals. Rebel is* a clever fencer, and with sufficient schooling would, I think, be a match at the game for anything in the race ; but Poole is at some disadvantage in that respect, and I shall reserve my opinion about his show till the last speak on the subject. Regalia's chief qualification is said to be safety in jumping. This may do him a good turn, but I fear he is not fast enough, though he should beat both Bide-a-wee and Jacob.
* # * So much for form as a guide to backers. Another factor in the puzzle is the information allowed to leak out as to what horses are being or will be backed. Up to date there is not much of this sort of guidance, but I think we may take it as nearly a settled thing that Empire will be supported in the right quarter, also Tiritea and Clarence, while Rebel, if he starts, will assuredly carry as much as Poole thinks he is worth. In making these remarks I by no means wish to imply that others of the candidates may not be on the job. The chances are that nearly if not quite all those that face the starter will be meant to win if possible ; but there is an appreciable difference between the case of a horse actually backed by its owner and one which is sent for the bare stake. The backed horse carries the confidence of his party ; the other runs on the off chance. However, there is yet time for the loS to be backed. The third consideration I shall mention as having something to do with picking a winner of a Grand National is the serious question of who are to be the riders. It is rather early, however, to figure that out just yet, though the chances are that Clark for Norton, Higgins for Empire, Alexander for Gondolier, Stewart for Clarence, Ellingham for Tiritea, Holmes for Magpie, and Poolo for Rebel will be something like the list should these horses go to the post. My idea is that this Grand National is a very open race. The three that I mentioned last week as appearing at first sight to be the pick of the bunch— viz, Empire, Clarence, and Magpie, are up to their eyes in it. To these 1 would now add Tiritea on the strength of recent information ; and on due consideration I deem it wise to include Norton also. This horse has a bit more weight than I expected, and he must be lucky to win ; but he is such a proved good 'un over the country that he "may make his own luck," as they say of a clever billiard-player, and on firm going I should not care to stand bad about him. He must, however, show us his very best performance to win.
*** For the Grand National Hurdle Race there are 17 acceptors, or six more than last year. The most serious withdrawals are Magpie, Cajolery, Melinite, and Stranger. Certain parties fancied each of these horses, and had them backed in doubles. I find a growiDg disposition now to support Kulnine, but I cannot say I am altogether in love with this joker's chance. Norton seems to me to be^better property at the weights. The idea running in backers' minds, of course, is that Mr Lunn will strip Norton for the Steeplechase and Eulnine for the Hurdles. Possibly this may be so, but it does not necessarily follow that Norton will not also have a go in the Hurdles. And the race is no certainty for either ; indeed it is quite possible that a fast horse like Clarence may beat the pair, while Gondolier is a dab at this game, and Mutiny, Kapua, Unity, Rebel, Erin-go-Bragh, and Smuggler all have some sort of chances. If old Erin-go-bragh were at his very best he would about win straight out with such a light weight as 98 ; but I fear he is losing his pace; and looking among the youDger horses for something more like a winner, I think I cannot do better than take Mr Lunn's pair, with Clarence, Gondolier, and Mutiny as most worthy of respect. This is a narrow enough selection so far ahead, but those named are good ones, and the best of them will not be very far away. Some say that Clarence is good enough to win the double. That is an over-estimate of this horse's ability, good though he is, and to open my mind 6n the point I like him better for the Hurdles than the Steeplechase. Final selections will be made later on, after thelast acceptances arepublished.
*#*. John Lawrence, an English writer, cites the names of the earliest trotters handed down by tradition. Among them we find Ahiels, sire of Scott, trotting stallion, by Blank, a thoroughbred; Useful Club, trottiDg stallion, by a black roadßter and a Chapman mare; Monkey, Shuffler, Hue and Cry, Pretender, Betty Bloss, 00-den mare, and Infidel, by Turk. The real sport of trotting may be put down as having begun in 1791. In that year a brown mare 18 years old trotted 16 miles in 58min on the^Essex road. In 1799 there was 1 a match between two geldings, each carrying 12.0, and it was won in 27min lOsec, but the distance is not stated. Mr Stevens, in 1796, drove a pair of horses 16 miles in less than one hour, while the trotting horse Archer trotted 16 miles under saddle in 55min, carrying 15.0. To the taste for trotting in England is attributed the rise of the breed called the Norfolk trotter, much esteemed over all Europe for their vigour and faultless conformation, and their aptitude both for harness and saddle work, and proclaimed to be very fast until their American cousin was brought forward by an enterprising go-a-head nation, who showed them what speed was. The Norfolk trotter,
however, is the most perfect type of strength united to elegance. He may be said to represent a most perfect and homogeneous compound of the Arabian blood with that of the more northern countries.
*** All the press people saw and mentioned the momentary difficulty which apparently came over Isinglass in the Derby, and the reliable correspondent of the Sporting and Dramatic News gives some explanation of the crisis which thus arose. Raeburn, he says, came round Tattenham Corner rather wide. Loates promptly snapped the inside berth, and seemed to bo coming on to win, when Isinglass swerved, and Raeburn, whom he had deprived of the lead, headed him again, and the natural supposition was that the favourite would not stay home. Loates got out his whip, but before he raised it Mr M'Calmont'3 colt shot forward— l guessed why, and his jockey subsequently confirmed the idea. He had touched Isinglass with the spur, and he, entirely unused to such persuasion, had immediately responded. What did it mean, this swerve ? Loates furnished the details of the race during that particularly interesting five minutes when the jockeys have weighed in, and when they tell us more, than we have seen, or rather explain the reason of incidents we have noted and not quite understood (those few jockeys, I mean, who keep their heads, really know what has been going on, and can furnish a lucid explanation). Isinglass, to use his jockey's own words, " ran as greon as a two-year-old." At the turn Raeburn went wide, and I popped up inside, but my horse wouldn't face the people. They cheered and shouted, and it upset him ; he owerved and wanted to run away from them. I tried to ride him with my hands, but Raeburn got in front of me, and I had to hit him. I gave him one touch with the spur, too, then he shot ahead and went on and won." That is the true story of the Derby, and Watts, who was of course in the best position to see just what was going on, perfectly understood the state of affairs, and was never buoyed up by any deceptive hopes of victory.
* # * I understand that Mr Sydney James is now personally supervising the keeping in order of the Forbury training tracks. If this is the case our veteran secretary is to be congratulated on having achieved the feat of pleasing everyone concerned. It is not given to all to be so lucky. I called in at the course the other morning to see what sort of a show trainers were getting, and there was nary a growl so far as I heard, nor was there occasion for any. The sand track, once known as the tan, was looking really nice, and the plough, which is kept in order by constant harrowing, made an excellent gallop for a dry morning. This is in fact the better track of the two in decent weather, but the sand track, though still a bit hard underneath, will be very useful in wet weather. Bishop had just finished working as I arrived, and so had M 'Guineas, but I saw several horses doing exercise, among them being Rebel, Maribynong, Beadonwell, Don Pedro, Galtee, Rothamstead, Enfield, and a filly by Le Loup out of lona belonging to Malcolm Allan's Btable. They all' seem to be well, especially Galtee, Rothamstead, and Beadonwell.
*#* Of Bishop's team it is satisfactory to be able to give a good account, inasmuch as this lot includes the New Zealand Cud favourite, Hippomenes. This gelding is wintering as nicely as his admirers could wish, and so is Outpost, who will prove to be a stayer, unless lam very much mistaken. Lustre is now in regular work, and he seems to be picking up a bit, while Tempest and Ulva are quite right again after the knocking about they sustained by the accident in May. Derby and Forbury are turned out, [and I am beginning to think we shall not see much more of this pair on the track, but Occident flourishes on the easy exercise with which he is indulged, and it would not be surprising if this Dunedin Cup winner were to have another go in public before the next season is over. There is, however, no certainty that he will stand a preparation, and if he is trained it will probably be for a shorter race than he is used to. The yearling Duckenfield showed signs of soreness recently, the result of his growing fast, and he also is now on the walking list.
*#* Three famous horse matches are the subject of an article by the Hon. F. Lawley appearing in a late number of Baily's Magazine. The first of the three referred to is the celebrated go between Tregonwell Frampton's unnamed horse and Sir Matthew Pierson's Merlin ; the second is the contest at New York in 1842 when Fashion beat Boston ; and the third is the Australian event between Veno and Alice Hawthorn, run at Flemington on Saturday, October 3, 1857, over a three-mile course. No 'apology is needed for reproducing the Argus' report of this famous contest for the information of our younger sportsmen. The match came about in. this way. Mr Andrew Chirnside, of Victoria, had some thoroughbreds in training for Flemington races. A mare named Lady Charlotte was the best animal in his stable, but he had nothing sufficiently good to try her over a distance of ground. One of his stockmen suggested that an old mare called Alice Hawthorn, who was ridden- every day among the cattle and sheep, was the best animal that he had 'ever seen, and quite equal to taking the measure of the best stayer in the colony. Alice Hawthorn, accordingly, was taken down to Mr Chirnside's racing stables, and, fed only on grass, and without shoes to her feet, she was mounted by the stockman who was accustomed to ride her, and in this condition she beat the trained mare Lady Charlotte without difficulty over three miles. Alice was immediately put into training, and soon proved herself invincible upon the Flemington, Geelong, Ballarat, and Bendigo racecourses. Then Mr Chirnside offered to back his mare for £1000 against any horse in New South Wales. After several trials Veno, a horse bred by Mr W. Clark, of Coobat, near Sydney, and owned by Mr T. G. Rowe, of Edensor Park, was selected to do battle for the older colony.
*** Veno carried 10.2 and Alice Hawthorn 10.1. Odds of 6 to 4on Veno were currently offered. The race commenced by the mare jumping off at score, and making running until the bottom of the hill was reached. There it became apparent to Higgerson, the rider of Veno, that his opponent was going in trouble, and, accordingly, he ranged himself alongside, and forced the pace, without actually depriving the mare of her lead. As they came round the second time, and again reached the heavy ground, it was evident, long before Stephen Mahone, the rider of Alice Hawthorn, had got through this slough of despond, that his mare was beaten. He gave her the whip sharply, but she made no reply, and Veno galloped in an easy winner, looking as fresh as if he had only just had a smart exercise canter, and without having been touched by whip or spur. Then followed another match. The cheers welcoming Veno's victory had scarcely subsided before the gallant old chestnut wag again pulled out against a fresh competitor. The second race was for £500 a-side, between Veno 10.0, ridden by Higgerson, and Mr Fraser's Van Tromp 10.0,
ridden by Mahbne. Veno came to the post looking as fresh as paint, and no one could have, imagined that not long before he bad beaten the best mare in Victoria at even weights, over a long and, in some parts, heavy course. .Pursuing the same tactics, his jockey forced the pace through the deep ground,' with' the result that Van Tromp had shot his bolt before the end of the second mile was reached, and Veno again came in alone.
*** So far not one horse has been scratched for the New Zealand Cup. , What, has come over the owners ? It is not common to find them all so readily pleased, so careless about advertising their grievances. Are we to conclude that the handicap pleases them all ? I lam afraid not. Be a handicap never so skilfully compiled there will always be some to swear that their horses are weighted clean out of the race. So it is, doubtless, this year. If one could only get at them all separately and angle for complaints no doubt there .would be a big catch of unprintable remarks. The surprise is that those -of the discontented division have not before this used the scratching pen to tell the public how ill-oised they are. This silence is pretty well a unique experience. It would nob do to interpret it as meaning that 'no one has anything to grumble abdut, but, whatever the cause, we may be thankful that it. has arisen. The fact is that the general sporting public are beginning to laugh at, and perhaps to baa trifle sick of this " injured innocent " business as acted by some inexpert dissemblers.^, There are owners who never lend themselves to trickery and bluster of this kind ; there are others, again, who are almost always at it, presumably on the off chance of thereby bullying the handicappers into concessions with regard to future races: It is of these latter class that they are all heartily tired, and it is quite a relief that they are not playing their games on this occasion. .If handicappers chose to reply to some of tho strictures made on their work, and stated the real reasons why they felt it their duty to watch this horse specially and ;to ignore.ttie performances of that other, there would be a deuce of a row, and the reprisals would probably end in a, ' few suits for slander. II 11I 1 am, however, wandering a little from the subject;. of . this paragraph, which was to be the.forthcpining acceptance for ■■■ the New Zealand Cup,' and I j must start afresh by Baying ' , ■_ *** That I think we shall find a larger propoitiion of acceptors than usual.. Looking , through the card I can only point to four that will of a surety drop out. These .are ■ Crackshot, Leolantis, Solano, and The Dreamer. A lot of doubtful ones might be mentioned, such as Stepniak, Melinite, and Ich Dien, who are said to be under orders for Sydney ; Launceston, Loyalty, and Response, a trio that it, is understood ..may be taken to Melbourne to represent Mr O'Brien there; but it is possible that some of these may make the ensuing-pay-ment on the chance of a change in owners in- | tentions. The fact is that no one oan pretend to foretell what the revised list will be like when Mr Wanklyn makes it up, and I shall not waste space ia pretending to solve.the mystery. I can, however, give the sporting public, the information that Mr Stephenson will pay up with his three— Hippomenes, Tempest, and Outpost— and that Mr Reid intends to accept with both Dilemma and Skirmisher.' I am authorised to publish this important news, and the ounce of fact thus supplied will probably' be more acceptable than a ton of guesses. Blizzard will also be an acceptor ; Solano will not. As to the rest of the Otago horses, I think that both Captive and Gitano will remain in the , rac3in the meantime, also Beadonwell< while the Tangi colt is just as likely to go ont ; but .1 , have no express information as regards these 1 ■ four. The chances are that the list of acceptors will leave the race as great a puzzle as ever. I hope so. It is essential to an interesting race ,that there should be nothing like' a certainty selectable beforehand. ' , * # * One of the Derby anecdotes told by.Mr Bromhead in the June Illustrated Magazine relates to the race of 1862, when the winner, Caractacus, was ridden by the stable lad Parsons. After Caractacus won, Mr Snewing, the owner, went to see Parsons, weigh in. To his horror the jockey failed to draw the weight. The bridle was sent for, and Mr Snewing often said afterwards, " Oh, the agony I felt at that moment I would not. undergo again for a thousand pounds!" Tijis set matters right, but all was not over.- ; Lord Stamford objected on the ground that only his own horse, Ensign, and three others Had gone the full course, the flag having fallen when a lot of ' the competitors were in front of the starting post. Admiral Rons, however, who was at the head of affairs, took .out his watch; and. noting the time, said, "Twenty minutes I T^he objection to hold good should have been -Jodged within a quarter of an hour, according, to the 60th rule of racing." All these events sp, upset Mr Snewing that when he woke in his house in Euston square the next morning all seemccl like ' a dream to him. "Is it true that I have won the Derby, or have I dreamt it ? " he. called out to his niece. "Make haste down, uncle, and see the drawiDg room hung with -light; blue ribbons," she replied. Even that did not satisfy him, and he exclaimed, " Send out for a newspaper, and leb me Bee it in print." .;, IS A NUTSHELL. ; > — Alexandra Spring meeting fixed for October 6. — Fred Gentry was recently married in Melbourne. — Enfield is in work again from J. Allan's stable. — The Derby of 1810 is the only ono the Queetf ever saw run. - , —Mr S. H. Gollan has been taking part in rowing contests in England. — Cromwell Argus reports the death of Mr D. Lamb's trotting stallion Sultan ' — Jeweller and Sundial have been backed fortheCaulfieldCupatlooto4. ,[ — The buyer of Tyro, the Victorian 'chaser, is said to be a New Zealander. Who ? • —Mr Jardine has brought to Canterbury a trottine stallion, a full brother toOsterley. — "Hotspur" heara that Mason will' take Stepniak, Melinite, and Ich Dien to Sydney. — Colonel North s Simonian won the Liverpool Cup of 1030sovs, 11 furlong, run on the; 21st inst. — Trojan was offered at auction a day or two before winning the V.R.C. National and passed in at £475. — Fire King hurt himself badly in the V.R.C. Grand National Hurdle Race, and left the course very lame. / — The Tasmanian Derby winner Strahan recently fell on a metalled road and cut his knees rather badly. —Mr Parsons asked £1000 for the slow-and-sure Royal Oak before the Maiden Steeplechase at Flemington. — Cremorne has been scratched for the Caulfield Cup, and Hopetoun for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup 3. '< • — Victor Hugo, by Chester— Kathleen, one of the fastest six-furlong horses in New South Wales, has been sent to the stud. — Viscount is growing in favour for the New Zealand Cup. Many fair judges think he may represent Mr D. O'Brien on the day. v — Mr Mat. Barnett is, or rather was one of the players in the billiard tournament at the City Hotel, He fell in the second round. — Burlesque, the dam of Tim Swiveller, Comedian, and Wardance, is dead. She was by Tregeagle, from Actress, by South Australian.
— The Victorian pacing mare Mystery lately covered two mile's in smin 9sec, but was beaten by the handicap given to a nag called Sold Again. Tim Swiveller was sold as a foal at foot with his dam for 37i«s to Mr H. Smyth, of Briagolong, Gippsland, and became Mr Davia's property at — The trotter Telephone, by Bucephalus, is now the property of Mr Jas. M'Kewan, who has entered him for the Canterbury Trotting Clubs — " New Chum " writes to the Southland Times Btating that a home race recently took place somewhere in Otago (locality not specified) on a Sunday. — Archer, executed for murder at Woolloomooloo, was once a jockey under the name of Fallon, and he rode winners such as Nimblefoot, Darnwell, and Belladrum. —Mr Gordon P. Wood sends a copy of the South Canterbury Club's Spring programme, in J which the chief events are the Guineas of 105sovs and the Cup of 150sovs. — Southern Standard reports that the cheßtnut f elding Uppercut, well known asajumper, changed lands the other day at Thornbury for £21. His new owner's name is not recorded. — A New York paper gaye a great chance the other day to the tipsters amongst its readers in the shape of a free trip to the World's Fair on the placing of the winners in the —Mr Justice Collins says that one of his first successes in the way of a big brief was delivered to him on a Derby Day, when he was one of the veryfewbarristerstobe found within the precincts of the Temple.- „ — Sporting Standard hears that The Pioneer carried part of a hurdle with, him for a long way during the V.R.C. Grand National Hurdles', otherwise he would troubled the winner even more than he did. „ , , *- The 113 English Derbies so far run have been thus distributed: To princes, 2 ; to dukeß, 16; to lords, 24 : counts, 1 ; barons, 1 ; admirals, 1 ; colonels, 3 ; baronets, 19 ; and to those with the plain prefix of Mr, 46. . . . —Mr Ca'rmody has been given permission to amend the nomination of Retreat, entered at wrong age for the Caulfied Cup, the handicapper having intimated that he was not misled by the omission to state the horse's correct age. — The Waimate Club has a credit of £15. The election of officers resulted as follows ;— President and judge, Mr M. C. Studholme : starter, Mr T. Teschemaker; treasurer, Mr J. Molloy ; secretary, Mr H. C. Orbell ; clerk of course, Mr E. C. Studholme. — "Spectator" tells us that Mr O'Brien has obtained an injunction from the Supreme Court to prevent the stewards of the C. J.C. considering the objection which has been sent in by Major George against Loyalty, winner of the Challenge — Lots of New Zealanders know Roddy M'lvor, who used to be a popular cross-country rider here, but for some time past has been settled in Australia. He lately took a horse to Western Australia, and the Standard hears that he has struck a very rich patch of gold on the diggings there. — The Invercargill writer "Sir Modred" says : I hear that the disqualified racer Assassin, better known locally as Darby, has been out this season with the Birchwood Hounds, and my informant states that the horse is a splendid fencer^aking his leaps much after the style of that proficient in the art— Robin. . — A tale is told about Mr Snewing, that when he was in the Great Exhibition of 1851, as he looked upon the magnificent piece of sculpture representing Caractus being led in chains to Rome, he remarked, "When I try a horse good enough, I will name him Caractus and win the Derby with him." And he did it. — Nothing quite bo stupid, says an English writer, has happened in connection with racing at Manchester since the Racecourse Committee's official handicapper apportioned a weight to a collie dog which John Corlett entered for the Manchester Handicap as a joke— and it was actually set to give weight to Harriett Laws. — This is "Terlinga's" opinion: There is nothing in the performance of any of the Australian two-year-olds to make them appear especially dangerous taia year, and it is quite on the cards that before November arrives we shall discover that a better than either Light Artillery or Carnage is included among the three-year-olds. — Man of the World says All 'sorts of stories are about as to the sum Mr M'Calmont won over the Derby, but the facts are these :— He had a bet of 5000 to 100 which he "stood out," and the Derby stake was £5500. He took this about 15 months ago, and at a more recent period he was laid a big bet about his horse winning the treble ©vent. . „ _ — A Victorian writer says : After Carbine, the most popular racehorse Australians have ever cheered, was old Commotion. The admirers of this old Panic horse will regret to hear that he is now literally almost on his last legs ; both his hind legs have gone, "and, to use the expression of a well-known vet., he is now down on his knees like a kangaroo. — Captain Bewicke, a famous ' English amateuwhorseman, has qualified himself to ride on equal terms with jockeys, under Rule 96, which provides that any gentleman wishing to ride in races on even terms with jockeys shall obtain a permission, current • till revoked, from the stewards of the Jockey Club, and make a donation of £5 to the Bentinck Benevolent Fund. — Besides Kapo, New Zealand had Titanic representing her in the V.R.C. Grand National Hurdles.- This pale chestnut four-year-old son of Leolinus'. from Titania is air- over the cut of a hurdle racer, remarks the Standard, and he exhibited brilliant pace, but his suspicious-looking off foreleg had evidently prevented the Messrs Miller from administering their usual searching preparation, and he gradually died away towards the end. . — Baily's Magazine has it that Little Wonder, the Derby winner of 1840, was said to be a four-year-old; but after inquiry it appeared that the only grounds for saying so, were that Forth, who trained the winner, was known to have run horses in the Derby that were more than three years old. Little Wonder Bta.rted at 45 to 1. It is said that Bill Scott, the rider of Launcelot, when he found that Little Wonder was beating him, offered M'Donald £1000 for a pull, but it was too* near home. • — Up to 1836 it was the custom m England for a jockey to" weigh with his/ whip; but after j Ellington's Derby the practice was abolished. Ellington's jockey, Aldcroft, was suspected of having weighed out with a 71b whip, for which after weighing he substituted a lighter one, and thus rode Ellington several pounds short of the stipulated weight. The absence of the old rule in the new code, observes " Ribbledea," is a direct incentive to fraud, and the Ellington incident may bs repeated at any time. — Mr Baird, says an English writer, saw a good deal of the world— of pugilists and other riff-raff — before he left it ; he did not have time to ruin himself, but although he wasted agreatestate and sullied a fair name, he always ran his horses to win, and he did many a generous act. It would peem that this was a case of what biologists call " reverting to the original type," for Mr Baird had apparently all the tastes of his originally humble forefathers, without any of the higher tendencies and culture of his cousins. — According to the Sportsman 8 Journal, trotting dogs appear to be booming in transatlantic sporting circles. The latest candidate for honours in this line is a two-year-old St. Bernard, owned by Mr W. Smith, of Mansfield, who with very little training can trot better than a 4min gait, and is improving very fast. This St. Bernard sometimes goes in double harness with a mastiff, and a photograph is published of the pair bitted and attached to a buggy, in which sits the" driver, a little girl of 10 years. — The members of the Wanaka Jockey Club, we hear, are likely to favour the idea of having no totalisator at their metting this year. This, as wa heard a visitor from Pembroke recently reniiiik. is in order to keep the district's money in the district even if the races be small. So it will ; but will it draw any into it ? IWe sincerely hope* for the honour and dignity of so old a club as the Wanaka one, that it will not degenerate to the level of untrained shepherds' horses as contestants at its meeting.— Cromwell Argus. — The Sporting Timeß says that John Hammond, the owner of St. Gatien, was once in the employ of Captain Machell at 63 a week. Eventually he advanced to the position of being able to discuss with his whilom master the question of whether St.* Gatien and Harvester should run off
or divide the Derby of ISB2. Harvester was not a very sound horse, and it is said that Hammond was not unmindful of paßt favours when he agreed to the captain's proposition that the owners should divide instead of running off. — Cromwell Tradesmen's Club has fixed on October 13 for the Spring meeting. A reduction in. the charge for the use of the course is asked of the racecourse trustees. Mr M'Cracken has been elected president, Mr Mountney vice-presi-dent, Mr Marshall secretary and treasurer, Mr Huddleston judge, Mr M'Nulty starter, Mr Davidson clerk of the course, Mr Goodger clerk of the totalisator, Mr Richards clerk of the scales, and Mr Partridge handicapper. Messrs Solomon and Murrell are appointed to work the totahsator. — The trotting gelding Waxy was sold in Invercargill recently, Mr W. Aldred giving £25 for his possession. It is intended to run him in his owner's cab, and perhaps at some future time he will be tried on the track again. Waxy will be more profitable in his new occupation, I should fancy, says " Sir Modred," as the handicapper has his measure to a nicety, while there are a number of other Southland trotters whose merits are unknown to that gentleman, and they are likely to be kept quiet until a large dividend is to be held out. — " Terlinga," after a visit to St. Albans, advises backers to Btand off both Strathmore and Zalinski for the Melbourne Cup. Carnage has not grown up, but he appears to have thickened and thrown out muscle. No horse could look better. Pilatus now stands 16hds 2in— a full hand higher than Carnage— but he is a spiry sort of customer, and does not look worth the lOOOgs paid for him as a yearling. La Tosca, Nada, and Moth have all been turned out of training, but Steadfast is still in work. There are only two yearlings at St. Albans, one being by Abercorn from Ravenna, and the other by bt. Leger from Wood Nymph. •
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TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 2057, 27 July 1893
TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 2057, 27 July 1893
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