TALK OF THE DAY.
*j<* The Taieri Club has received 97 nominations for the seven races which closed last week. This is rather bblow the total of the previous year, when a list of 99 was made up for six races. It ia in regard to the Cup that the disappointment is chiefly expressed. The increase in the value of the stake would, it was hoped, bring more nominations at least, if not a bigger field ; whereas as a matter of fact it is hard to pick out one in the entry list that would not have been there under the previous conditions. The Pony Race also has not filled extra well. Nine is the total. Any other race would have drawn as well from the treasurer's point of view. But, while the nominations are in some respects short of anticipations, they are on the whole quite up to the standard, and the meeting promises to be as interesting as ever. Lots of holiday-makers like to seize this opportunity for an inexpensive outing, and they will doubtless be as well represented as usual if the day is at all fine, while the sporting men who cannot get away to Christchurch will of course go to Mosgiel in a crowd. I wonder, by the way, whether the club intends to make any improvement in the accommodation for this meeting. A permanent stand is out of the question, but a room for ladies would not cost much, a raised platform from which a view of the races can be had is an absolute necessity, and a more substantial box for the judge must be provided unless the club chooses to continue the risk of having the rickety structure come down at a critical moment. What say you, Mr Camcross P
*£* Though Ibinglass has been beaten he fa still the hero of his season in England, which is equal to saying that he is a world's hero, and as such anything concerning him is of interest. This is my excuse for reproducing from an exchange a letter by Mr Ephraim Parker of Mildenhall, Soham. Though much his and is being written respecting Isinglass, he says, few beyond those in our immediate locality are aware of some of the incidents connected with an earlier portion of his dam's (Deadlock) career. From two to three years before she bred Gervas, my late father, Mr Willi.im Parker, bought her from the late Mr Laicb, of the Horse Shoes, Newmaiket, for Bsovb, he and myself driving her in a dogcart continuously to and from the various markets — Newmarket, Bury St. Edmunds, Ely, Thetfoid, &c. — until shehad a foal by Blue Blood (Captain Machell's), which fcal, with the mare, we exchanged with the captain for a cart (entire) horse named Marvellous, conditionally that we received a third of the said foal's winning (subsequently called House of Lords) until the end of his three-year-old career. Whas that career was we never knew, the captain simply informing us that it turned out a big, lumbering colt, fit only for steeplechasing, and that he gave him away to a friend of his in Ireland. Different, unfortunately for us, his career to that of his next younger and following brothers — Gervas, a year younger, by Trappist, which the mare was in foal with when House of Lords went to Kentford by her side, winning for his owners hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds, and later Islington and the now immortal Isinglass.
*%* There is a lesson for trainers in an occurrence reported from Auckland. An amateur rider named Arthur Buckley went on to the Ellerslie course to school the hunter Crazy Kate, which he was to ride at the Pakuranga Hunt Club meeting. Coming up tha straight the mare ran into a piece of wire netting stretched across to beep some sheep from straying ; she stumbled and threw her rider, whose head was so badly injured that he died after lingering for eight hours in a state of insensibility. The coroner's jury returnt d a verdict of accidental death, but added thereto a rider to the effect that the racing club should, when placing such a wire across the course, have a rail over tho top of it so that horses could see the obstacle. The jury seem to have made their recommenda-
tion in full knowledge of the fact 3 that the club had prohibited the use of the course without permission, and had given no authority for Crazy Kate to have a gallop ; and it seems to me that the rider is not altogc-ther unjustifiable. It is, no doubt, an uuwis-e thing to stretch what is practically an invisible wire across a track of the kind. It may trip up a man thoughtlessly riding round on perfectly lawful business— say the secretary on a surprise tour in the grey of the morning, and there is always a possibility of someone ignorantly using the track and coming to grief. But no one blaous the club for the accident that did take place. This point is conclusively set at rest by the club itself. It was not satisfied to allow the matter to remain as the jury lefb it, but held an inquiry into the circumstances, with the result that Adam Byers was censured for using the course without permission. Bjers was training the mare, and the decision implies that Buckley went on to the course with his knowledge This is a very serious matter. Further reference to Byers is not necessary he doubtless will take care not to break the rules again in this manner— but I print the facts as they have come to hand in the hope of making others careful about these sort of things. I once saw Frank Cochrane, when a lad, get a very ugly fall, with Adamant, if my memory serves me, afc the Forbury, through the horse falling over a chain that had not been removed when the horse went out. Trainers as a class are particularly wai chf ul of these things, but the one here and there who is not bo careful may perchance become more vigilant since poor Buckley's death has occurred to point to the necessity for personal attention to these matters.
*#* The weather was excellent and the | attendaEce satisfactory at the Cromwell Tradesmen's Club races, but from a financial point of ! view, says the Argus, the meeting was a decided failure, tho shortage, we learn, on the day's transactions being exactly £12, and this, too, after members' subscriptions and donations amounting to over £20 have been taken into account. The programme is almost entirely responsible for this state of affairs, the weak spot being observable in the two handicap races. Iv fact these two races caused the shortage. Experience before thia meeting has poiuted to the fallauy of giving this class of race in a spring mtcting up country, but the meeting just passed has proved the error conclusively. Henceforth, if the club desires to come cut on the credit side of the ledger the money devoted to handicap races must be cut up among hack and trotting events. Money seemed plentiful enough ou t^e course, but speculators were chary of investing, especially on the two races already named, and the result was that only £500, as against £64-1 last year, was put through the machine by Messrs Solomon and Murrell. Ci-nsiderable dissatisfaction was evinced at the startiug of the two hack races, in the first of which two horses were left at the post, while in the httter the srarb looked more like a procession of Chinamen than a horse race, and had the effect of eliciting the exclamation from the public of " What ! is this a trot ? " Otherwise, the arrangements in connection with the gathering were everything that could be desirtd. In the Selling Race Zealandia and Lightning were first away from an indifferent start, and had the finish to themselves, the latter getting home by a head, and being bought in at £15. Lorna Doone won the Maiden Trot by 10 lengths, the two miles being covered in 6min 7sec. Gazelle won both her races very easily. The mile and a-half took her 2min 49sec, and in the Spring Handicap, in which she carried 8.13, the six furlongs occupied lmin 19£ sec. Stimulant made a good rush at the enel of the Hack Flutter, and won from Caliph by half a length. Directly ho passed the post he swerved and threw his rider (Cotter). The Laird trotted his throe miles in Bmin 42sec. Tangle, who was third, is said to be the makings of a splendid trotter. Mistake beat Goblin by only a nose in the Sack Handicap. It was in this race that the wor.st start — described as a procession — was seen. By the way, what became of the last race on the card, the Members' Handicap? How was it that it fell through ? I don't know the reason, but the clnb saved £30, and that is an item these times.
*** "The Old 'Un," in Sydney Referee, has included Mr D. O'Brien among his " men of mark." Here is the result : — "Not many better known men than Dan. Born and bred amongst racing. Is a shrewd man. More than seven, anyway. Was once a good jockey. Is a clever buyer. Has made some grand deals in his tima. Owned Carbine and Trenton. Also Whimbrel, Dunkeld, Florrie, and Gatling. Owns Loyalty, the favourite for the Melbourne Cup. Thinks, he has a good chance with him. Wish him luck. Can relate funny yarns. Has more sense than most men. Looks younger every time one sees him. Likes New Zealand. Finest country under the sun. Knows how to train horsesthoroughly. Has made fortunes and lost 'em. Say a he'll make one and not lose it again. Has. a better opinion of jockeys than many owners. Sticks up for mf nhe knows. Is generous when occasion requires. Is a married man. Has nof unily. Considered one of the best judges of horses we have. Would not take £3000 for Loyalty. Try him, if you don't believe it. Is a small man. Firmly built. Has keen eyes. Light moustache. Dresses well. Wears good diamonds. Knows a hawk from a hand-saw. Is not a pigeon to be plucked Has been a good runner in his time. Can uee his fists if required. Nob pugnacious by any means. Dead against totes Age between 30 and 60. Might be anything between that from his looks. Has a good many years before him yet. Hope he will win the Melbourne Cup. Great rejoicings in New Zealand if he dof s. Molt J : " Loyalty." Coat of Arms : "A Carbine."
*** Discordance is noted among the trotting pE.t-i.riS of Christchurch. The Colonial Secretary has practically declined to issue a totalisator permit for the first race meeting of tho Amateur Lancaster Park Trotting Club, This, I presume, is the title of th 9 b )dy which purposes to carry on the game at tho Paik. The ground of the refusal was that the programme had not been passed by the Trotting Association or by a metropolitan club. Thereupon a deputation waited on the Hon. W. P Reeves and asked him to use his influence to. procure the issuing of the desired license. TheMinister intimated his desire that tho particulars should be put in writing, and added that he should like to know the mind of the citizens on the subject. The deputation consequently had a petition drafted, and it was duly presented, signed by 210 persons who were ia favour of the license being granted. Then the Minister seems to have rather thrown cold water on the affair. Possibly the 210 names were insufficient to convince him ; at any rate he merely answered that the petitioners had better forward their request to the Colonial Secretary, whom he promised to advise of the situation. Personally I do not know enough of the position of affairs to come to a conclusion as to whether the license should or should not be granted; but I certainly do think that Mr Reeves is to be commended for acting cautiously and constitutionally when appealed to, and declining
to commit himself to a promise regarding a matter outside of his own departments. Interference of a political nature has worked mischitf in the pa&t with regard to the relationship of the Government to the racing clubs, and it is assuring to fiud Mr Rueves discouraging any suggestion that he should bring pressure to bear on his colleague. The Colonial Secretary is the man who is responsible for Ihe administration of the department of racing. To him alone we should look to keep things square. He can do a great deal to preserve order if letfc alone and inclined to do the work, and I take it as an augury of an honest intention to assume his proper pesition that he has declined to issue the permit applied for. His reasons are sound and defensible in the meantime — viz , that the programme is not properly authorised. Whether the petitioners will prevail, or whether the counter-petition which is talked of, showing reasons for » continuation of the refusal, will make Sir Patrick more firm in his attitude, is a question that I am not concerned to advocate one way or the oiher. The point is that the Colonial Secretary is evidently of a mind to abide by rule and order instead of listening to whisperers and letting things slide. Having come to that determination, he may be relied on to equitably adjust this local difference of opinion.
*#* Monte Carlo, winner of the first event at the Wanganui meeting, is a son of Ascot and Speculation — the fellow that ran third in the Derby last year. He seems to have finished well, beating two horses that wero at the time engaged in the New Zealand Cup without any great difficulty. Strephon, winner of the Hurdles, is not the old Cup horse, but the Papapa gelding that has recently emerged from the hack diyision. He must have a bit of pace to be able to bury such nags as Despised and Eapua, though they were certainly giving him weight. The seventeenth renewal of the Derby Stakes produced a field of seven, the same number as last year, and for the eighth time a filly did the trick, the winner being Noyade, bred by and belonging to Captain Russell, who won last year with St. Katherine. The latter, however, was the outsider of her party, whereas Noyade started at only 5 to 4 against. Thiß price would seem to imply that her backers reckoned the mare a really good thing, but she had very little to spare. She easily disposed of that fraud Tussock, who in the early stages of the race looked like running away with the stake. The trouble came from Banner (by Escutcheon — Caller Herrin) and St. Laura (by St. Legsr — Miss Laura), who hung it out and made the winner go all she knew how to. Noyade is by Lord of the Isles (a son of Yattendon out of Nathalie, by Warlock from Rose de Florence). This Lord of the Isles was brought to Hawke's Bay as a yearling from New South Wales. Noyade's dam Lorelei is one of Mr Stead's breeding, being by Leolinus from Lurline's 6ister Naiad. The report to hand informs us that nine out of the ten on the card went to the post for the Flying. Fewer werds would have sufficed to mention which of the 10 acceptors it was that did not start, and then we could have named the field. As it is we kuow only the names of the placed horses, and it is merely by inference that Prioress is deemed to be the winner. What a difference there is in telegraphed race reports ! If a model is wanted I would mention those that came from Hawke's Bay a week or two ago. All the necessary facts are therein stated without surplusage. On the second day the handicapper seems to have hardly got the measure of some of the winners, as four of those who won on the first day had a repetition of their success — viz., Monte Carlo, Nanakia, Kai-Iwi, Lady, and Poinsettia. Rangipuhi, winner of the Wanganui Stakes, the chief handicap of the meeting, is a Maoriowned horse by Feye — Mystery Girl. He ran third last year to Sunbeam and St. Katherine. The time sent is obviously incorrect, therefore I have left it out. A further defect in the report is that there is no mention of the totalisator returns for the meeting.
*** Though Melton, by his success, in the opening event at Oamaru last week, proved his claim to join the ranko of the recognised hurdlers, he subsequently proved that he is not quite a wonder. The second day's event showed that Rebel can give him a stone. But then, of course, Rebel can give lots of others a stone, and all things considered, the up-country horse shaped very well even when beaten. Melton is not exactly the model of a hurdle racer, but he may be a useful one under a light scale of weights. In estimating the Oamaru running, however, it may be as well to remember that Smuggler was not showing bis best form. He will be better presently. The meeting under notice, while introducing us to a fairly-promis-ing recruit in the hurdle-racing line, disposed finally of another beginner, that unlucky horse Stonehenge being killed in the first race of the opening day. He fell etone dead, without a kick, as he tumbled over the second fence, and the look of the thing seemed to suggest that he was mortally stricken, as by bursting of the heart, as he rose to the hurdle. Blood flowed from his mouth and nose as he lay. Thanks to the horse's stillness when he came down, Tommy Cotton was able to get clear without difficulty. He nearly always has escaped injury in his falls over hurdles — it is a specialty with the Cottons. But the ill-luck of losing the horse was a bad enough day's work without anything to make it worse. Stoneheuge, as a well-bred stallion, being by The Assyrian from the King Cole mare Queen, was worth more than a trifle, and it is given out that £100 was not long since refused from a would-be purchaser. The little chestnut was bred in Tasmania by Mr Sydney Page in 1885, aud the races to his credit in the tight little island are the Oatlands Handicap (a mile and a-half), the Carrick Plate (two miles at weight for age), and the Brighton Handicap, besides which he ran second to Cualdcan in the Tasmanian Derby. He carried Mr G. Gilbert's colours in these events. Having finished up the Tasmanian season, Stonehenge was bought on behalf of Messrs Stephenson and Hazlett and sent to Dunedin. Chaldean was the horse they were after, but somehow or other it came about that they took Stonehenge instead. A very bad bargain he proved. They could run him only t wiceas a four-year-old, and his best race was at the D.J.C. May meeting, when he was just pipped by Mon Loup in the Consolation. The next season he was sold, and did a turn at the stud, and was then taken up again last season by T. Cotton, who won a race with him at the Forbury, then schooled -him as a hunter with the view of using him for hurdle races. At one time, when training at the Forbury, Stonehenge occasionally broke a small bloodvessel in the head, bub he seemed to have got over that sort of thing.
*#* To return to the results at North Otago, we find Mount Royal conquering what was perhaps a fairish sort of field in the Maiden, the merits of the performance being that he got away badly when the word was given to go. The only question of interest in the Stewards' Trot was a& to whether Magpie could catch Mingo. None of the others had a ghost of a show. All sorts of records are given as to the time Dilemma took to cover the mile and a-half in the Spring Handicap. After hearing evidence
on the subject I accept 2min 43sec as the correct time. That makes it out to be a good go, seeing that the course was undoubtedly heavy at the bark, to say nothing of the double ascent of the hill. Captive was decisively beaten on the point of slaying, and Tempest ran very indifferently— quite in her worst form, though a great deal was not expected of her in her present condition. She will be much better s:vy by the D J C Spring meeting. Diver, wbo -went out first favourite for the Novel Race, met with bad luck. His saddle slipped round, aud Dunn came off, escaping unhurt. . With this speedy hack out of the way Loughlin had no trouble in landing Rangiora a winner. He carried 151b over* weight, bub Loughlin's services as pilot were worth at least half the difference. Jack is a terror in sprint races. When Achates came in the wioner of tbe Brookstead Trot a protest had to be inquired into on the ground of inconsistency, but the objection was not upheld. Mingo, with 15sec penalty, made no show towards the finish. The Idler smothered his field in the Flying as they climbed the hill, and he was not severely pushed at the finish. This makes this horse's seventh consecutive wiu. Ho is a jolly good hor6e of his class, and the handicappers have not even yet got his measure. Throne fairly earned his big dividend in the Redcastle Handicap. It was by no means a bad performance. Fox was badly hurt by Invader's fall in the second day's Hurdles, but I am glad to hear that he is recovering. The Welter Handicap was a good betting race, and Loughliu's horsemanship had not a little to do in helping Victim to win. Magpie, winner of the Spring Trot, is a mean-looking mare, but a rare goer. If she really did do the time recorded it was at a gait of Bmin 13sec for three miles, or a fraction over 2min 44aec per mile. The President's Handicap was just a repetition of the Autumn Handicap last season. Paramu jumped off, and the further they went the further he got away.
* # * The October Trot was voted a good thing for Phaeton, bub this grey broke half a mile from home and Magpie won easily. It was then discovered that Magpie had started from her handicap without the lOsec penalty for winning earlier in the day, and after a considerable amount of thought the stewards decreed that the race should be run a second time at the close of the day. Tommy and Elian did not start in the second go, and Maniototo (whose handicap, by the way, did not appear on the card) had to be sent away without having his toe-weights properly adjusted, for lack of time after the decision was announced. At the difference of the lOsec Magpie could only reach third place, her backers thus missing the £25 11s which they had reckoned on handling, and Phaeton won easily. The machine was opened a second time on the race, and on each occasion Phaeton paid £2. The muddle is said to have arisen in the first place through Allan net having been told that Magpie was penalised. Some one forgot to carry the message. The chances are that Allan also forgot how matters stood, or he would have asked whether he was penalised ; but, on the other hand, inasmuch as the rule about penalties for winners is optional, not compulsory, in its operation, he may perhaps have thought that he had escaped penalty, and there was no obligation on his part to invite a remembrance of his previous win, therefore, whether he had the facts in his miod or not, he was clearly not blamable, and if he had refused to start Magpie when the word was given, and had lost the race through delay, he would possibly have been haled before the stewards as a non-trier. The fault, it seems to me, wan entirely of the stewards' own making, through the error of their deputy, and under all the circumstances it was the fairest thing to order the race to be run again. The result would have been the same had the alternative course of disqualifying Magpie been taken, inasmuch as Phaeton was second in the first go, and would thus have been declared the winner. Vanilla, who unexpectedly flopped up in the Waitaki Plate, is one of Vanguard's progeny, and was intelligently handled by Bertie Donovan, who rode a good race considering that it was only his second appearance with the colours up. Tbis boy will make a rider one of these days if he keeps on as he has begun. He is nephew to his employer, Ted Hankins. Captive was made first favourite for the Final Handicap, aud led to the home turn, but would not or could not finish, though he was, I think, third. Exile made a splendid rush in the straight, and ended within half a length of Mariner.
*%* The management of the officials is praised all round. Only the one bungle occurred. The arrangements otherwise left no room for fault-finding. The totalisator receipts came to £3458 for the two days, a decrease of £964- as compared with last year, but the revenue from fees, which the cash fielders have left to the clubs, was greater than usual, and the meeting will not, I believe, land the club in a loss. As an incident (?f the meeting we had the case of Grant, a bookmaker. He was requested to leave, but, fortified it is said by legal advice, he stood his ground, and was forthwith proceeded against as a trespasser. The case was called at the Police Court next day, when Mr Lee, who acted for the police, said that he had no evidence to offer, as another information would be laid. Mr Solomon, counsel for defendant, thereupon applied for costs, and a guinea was allowed. Mr Solomon then objected to proceed with the next case, as the summons had only just been s< rved, and au adjournment was granted till yesterday.
* # * The acceptances for the Tahuna Trotting Club's Labour Day meeting are to hand, and judging from the quality of the horses engaged some good trotting should be witnessed. In the Maiden Handicap Coal Queen ought to about get home, with Bridal Rose next. The Pony Trot will probably furnish a good race between Jack the Ripper and Dot. In tho Spring Handicap (in harness) Vivian Grey should win, and Colac is perhaps next best. Maori Jack can win the Novel if still the same old warrior ; if not, Pirate or Gilbert should get home. Cowboy has a big say in the Labour Day Handicap, and I fancy that Magpie is next best at the handicaps. For the Pony Flat Race I like Mania, who is raised a bit, but not vindictively, for the previous win. Vivian Grey should win the St. Kilda Harness Trot if reserved for it ; and Jane is the next best so far as I can see. The final event, one mile in saddle, may give Maniototo another chance to make up for several disappointments. Tommy has accepted for both saddle events, and he is said to be trotting in good form, but I am afraid he is called upon to give away rather much to some of our besb performers.
* # * On Monday morning another visitation of ill-luck was experienced by Messrs Stephenson and Hazlett's stable. Their horse Lustio joined Hipporaencs in half-pace exercise, and had gone about a naile and five furlongs at what may be called a steady canter, when he suddenly grqw unsteady, and stopped pretty well still. Making a natural effort, afl it seemed, to throw off the impediment, the horse staggered for about 100 yds and then fell on bin
side, with little Twomey's leg underneath. The youngster was extricated, none the worse for the mishap, but ere he was fairly clear Lustre was dead. The cause can only be surmised ; heart disease, probably. Certainly it was not over exertion. The trainers present helped to drag the carca*e off the xjlouijh to the outside, and later in the morning the two draught horses at work on the Forbury hauled the remains of the unlucky animal to a grave dug in the centre of the course. Lustre was bred in 1889 by the New Zealand Stud Company, got by St. Leger out of Radiant, sister to Quadrant and half sister to Palliser, bsiug by Robinson Crusoe from Radiance, by Firowerks. He waa bought as a yearling by the Hon. Mr Ormond, and first faced the music at the Napier Park meeting two years ago, when he was unplaced in th« Sapling Handicap won by Wakawatea. On the same course in the January following Lustre ran third to Sb. Katherine and Mystic in the five-furlong handicap, and then laid by till the Dunedin Cup meeting, when he won the Selling Two-year-ohl Race, ridden by Clifford, and was bought by Mr Stephenson at £215. For his new owner the colt (or rather gelding) ran unplaced in the Domain Handicap won by Flinders, and was beaten at the March meeting by Finetta. The next seasou Lustre managed to nick the Federal Handicap, to the great delight of Mr Sfcephenson, who always declared the gelding to be a really good one. That race, however, was his solo recompense to the stable. He was for ever ailing, and thus seldom saw the post. It is something of a coincidence that Lustre, a gelding, bred at Sylvia Park, by St. Leger, bought as a yearling by Mr Ormond, aud sold as a two-year-old to Mr Stephenson, should have run his last canter in company with Hippomenes, of whom the same aocoant could be penned. The stable is not a lucky one. Among many other disappointments sustained are the loss of Hyacinth, who broke his leg in a race ; the death of Nevada in the process o? castration ; and latterly the accident to Hippomenes, the breaking down of Outpost, and now Lustre'B death.
*** Everybody will be sorry to hear of the death of Mr Sam Powell, the prince of starters. He died on Sunday, at the age of 44, leaving a wife and eight children. Death came to him with startling suddenness, as is usual in cases of heart disease. On the Thursday and Friday he was about as usual, and started at the Wanganui meeting. Mr Powell was born in Dunedin, I believe, his father being •• old Sam Powell," whose death was recorded only the other day. For some years, however, Sam had earned his living in the North Island, mainly as a trainer, occasionally starting at a country meetiug. Thus he served an apprenticeship to the business at which he became so expert a journeyman. His abilities in this direction being discovered, the metro* politans were after him with offers to take the situation for which he was so admirably fitted, and at the time of his death he filled the post of starter to the Wellington, Canterbury, Wanganui, and Dunedin Clubs, besides other smaller ones. Wherever he went he met with almost unvarying success. His methods were simple, but all his own, or perhaps it would be more correct to say that he was the first of our starters to wisely enforce the rules of common sense which other? merely accepted as a theory. He went on the plan of making the lads trust him, and they did so with the most implicit faith that they would not be left. "Take that horse to the rear and keep him there till I call you up " was a common instruction to the rider of a fractious beast, and away the jockey would go, satisfied to remain at his post till signalled for. He also had the faculty of distinguishing between the cases of a horse playing up and its rider trying to create a hubbub ; and I never yet saw anyone so quick to detect an opportune moment.for giving the word, not when the horses were merely in a line, but when all were prepared. Also, by his firmness Sam disposed of the theory that racehorses are naturally mad-headed at the post. Only once have I ever seen a real breakaway with him, and that was Aquarius — a genuine case. In short, we never before had such a starter. Others will no doubt imitate his style, and we may thus find a worthy successor to the popular Sam, but he will for ever be remembered as the one who showed us what good starting is. The appointment of a successor is an awkward task. Mr J. Grindley is the best man I can think of, but I do not know whether he would accept the position. Then there are Mr Hewitt, and Mr Piper, and Mr W. M'Kay, all with some experience to recommend them. Whoever the coming man may be, I hope that he will get a fair trial. A Sam Powell is not picked up every day, and we must remembber to be forbeariDg.
*** We now have before us quite as complete an account of the Caulfield meeting as could be expected or desired. The course on the first day must have been dull, if not absolutely heavy, seeing that a postponement of four days had been deemed necessary, and this being so Brockleigh's performance in the Caulfield Stakes was by no means devoid of merit on the score of time, and it must be conceded that he had a rare lot of good 'uns behind him. Then, again, he was interfered with. A great horse is Brockleigh. AH the same I doubt if everyone of those behind him was a jigger. We shall see when the particulars arrive. The Derby favourite Pulvil went down badly in the Guineas, and so far as can be discerned there was no excuse for his defeat. He got away well and presumably could not keep up with them. Patron, on the other hand, was last away from what is termed a middling start, and hence he must have run a really good colt. He is the first of the Grand Flaneur stock to win the Guineas. Carnage was one of the starters, but appears to have been in a secluded position all through. The only thing shown by his reappearance is that he is deemed to be sound again. The expensive Titan also must be right again, seeing that he was able to win the Toorak Handicap and run second with such a crusher as 9 10 in the Windsor Handicap. In the Maiden Plate the New Zealandowned Pounamu won very easily, and the brother to Merganser beat all the rest, including Maxim's half brother The Possible. It will be seen that two of Carlyon's stock were placed in the Nursery Handicap. This is a capital beginning for this young sire. Apremont's son Mikado won one of the jumping races and was second in the other. As for the Cup, the field counted up 27. The record for number was in 1885, Grace Darling's year, when 41 went to the post. Tim Swiveller was one of the last horses in the race that I should have backed, but this hurdler seems to have won like a racehorse — the interference spoken of was not necessary to his success so far as we can gather — and he made good time, equalling the record of Vengeance in 1890. The fastest time in the race is G'Naroo's 2min 36sec in IS9I. It is believed that the stable had a big win ; but the horse must have been a good one for the books, the lucky backers being only one here and there. Miss Myra Kerablc is said to have been among those who struck it, a cable informing her that she won £2000 (our Wellington oorespondent hears it is £10,00) over the race. Moscow was a very select eloveutb.-b.our tip in Dunedin, and this horse seems to have looked like a winner in the straight. We are
led to suppose that the chance was lost by the rider " acting the goat," but perhaps the fuller reports will not bear out that idea.
*#* Marmion, a five-year-old son of Sir Garnet and Flower Girl, is advertised to stand this season in the Dunstan, Lauder, Cromwell, and Blackbtone Hill districts. Sir Garnet was a racehorse, every inch of him, and one of the best of the Yattcndon family brought to New Zealand, though, owing partly to ill-luck and partly to being pitted against such clipping coatemporaries as Sir Modred, Tim Whiffler, and his fellow voyager Hilarious, he did not win as much as a youngster as he otherwise would have done. The lately-defunct Viscount was one of his sons. Mr Beattie tells us that Marmion stands over 16hds and that he has taken four first prizes. Tbese facts should be kept in remembrance by owners of mares iv the districts named. Personally I have never seen the horse, but his credentials entitle him to consideration. The only thing I have against him is his name. We have had too many Marmions already, and this reckless multiplication of titles should be discouraged.
*#* Bright pro>pects for the C.J.C. meeting. Friday's lists show 26 more engagements in the 14 races than was the case a year ago. For the Hurdlts the acceptances are the same in number, and of the double quartet, on the most recent information to hand, I sekcb Norton Quilt, aud Smuggler as the moet dangerous Kulniue, the one I really preferred at the weights, has gone out. Nineteen have paid up for the Stewards' Handicap, aud I still think that Au Revoir has a big show, while Vogengong and Lady Zetland complete a trio that must be heard of. Others that I fancy in the race are also engaged in the Cup, and may start in the two-mile race ; hence I am content to stand for the preceut on the three mentioned. The Steeplechase has attracted eight acceptors as against four last year, and in this I give Matariki a chance, though reliable old Norton and the National winner Waterbury will both be hard to beat. For the Welcome a capital field of 14 is at presant engaged, of whom Pompom and Nixie are winners. I hear eycellent accounts of Strath Braan, but later on will be time enough to try to pick the wiunf r. Possibly our O^ago mare Ambush may have a show. The mx Derby acceptors are all winners, and the race will be interesting, though it is easy to foresee that Skirmisher and Pegasus will ba well bick'id. The better of this pair should about win, and personally I have little doubt that, on f qual terms as to condition, that one is Skirmisher. As to the Oaks, there should at least be a good race between Noyado and Ich Dien, and we may hope that the contest will bo such as to compensate for the lack of numbers in the field. The Canterbury Cup claims only six acceptors. Last year there were four moro. I should say that pending the results of the first and second days' racing this weight-for-age event is hard to pick. Stepniak, last year's winner, would probably be the favourite just now if books were open, but if this horse should not shape well in the New Zealand Cup, he will be pushed aside by backers in favour of his conqueror or the Derby winner.
* # * The New Zealand Cup has 18 acceptors, fewer by two than last year. Stepniak is nominally favourite, but not a particularly strong one, and the rape certainly seems more open than usual at this stage. No doubt Stepniak is a dangerous horse — his public trials in Sydney being decidedly promising, and if quite sure of his being the best of the Yaldhurst three I should like him very much. But there is just a little room for doubt as to whether Ich Dien may not be better at the difference of weight. As between these two I leave it an open queston for the present. Ich Dien, I may remark, has a 51b, not a 71b, penalty for her win at the A.J.C. meeting. The other one of Mr Stead's three, Melinite, I will not have at any price in the meantime, till final trials are over. Prime Warden is doing well. The stable fancy him very strongly, and there is now no pretence that he is not Hobbs's representative, as the others in the stable are withdrawn. IE forced to pick the race in one I should go for this fellow. But luckily there is no call to make such a declaration this week. They say that Clanranald also is doing very well, but I would just as soon have Boulauger, who has a nice handy weight and will be prominent should it be a slow race in the early stages. Hippomenes I am reluctantly compelled to discard. He cannot be got ready in time. The Workman is one that I can hardly dismiss off-hand, and yet there is a lack of assurance concerning his doings and a doubt as to his being the stable representative that in combination make me rather doubtful about naming him for a show. In the meantime, at any rate, I pass him by. St. Katherine is what we may call a very decent outsider, and if she does well in her final gallops at Riccarton I shall keep her in remembrance. She has been the distance. That must never be forgotten. Skirmisher must not be altogether despised, but it is generally understood that Dilemma is the representative of the stable, and in view of the fact that the son of Lady Emma beat everything bar St. Hippo last year, and has resently run a very fair public trial up to a mile and a-half, I take him to be very dangerous. Liberator is our Tim Swiveller — a hurdler with a light weight ; still I will not have him in a true-run race. Ro6efeldt can have only an outside show. I don't care so much for Pegasus as I did at his original weight. Thame may get a place — possibly win — but there are others that seem more likely. Melinite is not one of these, nor Response ; but Ich Dien must be reckoned with. Neither Beadonwcll nor Ua need be troubled about just now. They and others may be more correctly estimated after the Riccarton gallops. My present fancies, then, are Prime Warden, Clanranald, Boulanger, Dilemma, and the better of Mr Stead's pair (Stepniak and Ich Dien), and of these I should, if pressed, declare just now for Prime Warden, Boulauger, and Dilemma, not necessarily in that order. The latest quotations are as follows :—: —
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TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 2070, 26 October 1893
TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 2070, 26 October 1893
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