TALK OF THE DAY.
*** The editor's instructions are to beep everything " fine " this week; he is crowded-
Readers will please accept the hint as an excuse for any shortcomings.
%* It fell to my lot to be present at tie lsst race meeting of the season this year : the f rotting fixture at St. Clair Park, the results at which are duly reported under their proper heading. Poorer trolt ; ng I have very seldom 8«n. Most of the competing horses were more or less out of condition. Btdale, for instance, to judge by the fcrm he displayed, could hardly hare done even time. It is not pretended, I should Euppcse, that he was spun out. Even if he had been it is pretty certain be could not have won. All the same, he m ; ght have made a better thow, and therefore, though satisfied thit his backwardness bad no sign ef a swindle about it, 1 thiuk the stewards were quit* justified in asking for an explanation and in voting the answer given unsatisfactory. Some present thought that a similar query might have been put to the owner of Felix, and the opinion was freely circulated after this horse had won the mile that he had not tried very earnestly for the other two races in which he competed. There is, however, an answer of a more or less satisfactory nature in the ca^e of Felix, and it was, ] suppose, the knowledge that such answer could be made which kept the stewards from raising tbc point. The answer is einqply this : that Felix trotted the mile and a half, when beaten in the Winter Handicap, in 4oaio 16jec, or equal, say, to 2min 51sec for a mile, and as the race was won in 2min 53stc^ the figures are close enough to be quoted as a prcof of consistency. Besides, in the two-mile race Felix was giving Gilbert 23* ec, and in the mile and a-half 17see, whereas in the mile there was ojly 6sec between them, and the race furnished so close a finish that the judge had to skin his eye 3to pick the winner. I am not concerned to argue for or against the theory that Felix was waiting in the earlier races. All 1 say is that the stewards would not have been justified en the figures in calling up the owner. No other questions were raised during the meeting, which was well managed in all respects, and a pleasant fixture to attend, even though the racing was poor, the weather being so mild and things working so smoothly. I doubt, however, whether the club will make much out of the meeting. Most of those present were simply looking cm instead of betting.
*v* On the second day of the V.R.C. meeting the proceedings opened with the Hurdle Handicap, for which the now celebrated Bill 11.12 was most fancied. He was never dangerous. Ripple 10.2, the next in order of the public fancy, shaped very well, however, and finished only a head behind Sytvan Frince, the son of Glorious, who, carrying 9 4, had led all the way, and, nicely nursed by Tomlin, just Equeezed home in time. The winner started at 10 to 1. Sunflower and Polonins fell, and both broke their necks. Underwood had a nasty f«ll with Suuflower. Sixteen started for the Lawn Handicap, six furlongs, und a very fine race was witnessed, the uppbob being that Mr Cook's two-year-old The Parisienne, by Trenton — Marie Louise, won cleverly by half a length from the four-year-olds Bung Bung and Eirly Morn, who ended a dead heat for second place The time was lmin 15see ; not a bad go. The winner started at 12 to 1. The Grand National Steeplechase, which came next, was contested by 18 hones, and, as will be seen by the Australasian's report appearing elsewhere, Daimiowon easily from Dart. ■ The New Zealander, however, did not disgrace himself. He lost a terrible lot of ground by dwelling at the post, and
it is more than suggested that Underwood, his rider, bad not fully recovered from the fall he sustained earlier in the day. "Teilinga," in commenting on the race, says : •' No doubt Daimio is one of the finest horses we have seen race over Flemington, but if his admirers will excuse me for saying so, he has not yet placed himself on a par with Rjcle*p. When the Messrs Miller's crack won he carried 13 3 ever a bigger country, in heavier going, in just about the same time, and gave an easy beating to Confidence, who had only 10.10 on his back. Daimio must improve on this performance before he can be classed the equal of Red leap. Most people think the r&ce was ' won in a cantor,' &c. I think Daimio won with a good deal in hand, and that the further they went the further he would have beaten Dart and Ctnopaspe, bub Barbour was distinctly niggling him along up to the distance, and I doubt if he could have gone much faster. I don't think he beat Dart one whit easier then Redleap beab Curfidence with 21lb more on bis back ; aud I take it that Confidence then was a better horse than Dart is now." Tte July Handicap, one mile, proved to be a very soft thing for The Admiral, who bad no trouble at all in staving off Mr Hales's Carlton 8 l(Tireuse 6.10 was fifth); and the last race, the Open S'eeplecbase, went to Confusion, who started at 8 to 1,
* # * Mr Lunn may, perhaps, consider it wiser to send Kulnine on his maiden cros6-country trip in the Etifield Stec pUchase rather then the Grand National. Ido not prcfess to be in the Middleton Etablu's confidence. But tush an election is quite on the card*, and for these reasons — that the shorter distance may suit Ku'.nine, and that in it' he has none bat secondcksiers to meet. In their company he would not r.eed to gallop very fast, and could take his time at the fences, and then romp home bar accideßt. Next to him I give Marech»l Niel a chance for tte Enfleld Steeplechase. This northerner is reported as very well. In the Maiden Hurdles a very low maximum is found, and if Invader is really eouriQ enough to und rtake the journey he ought to take a lot of doing, even though he is at the top of the list. But there are some pretty fast bortes in the race, War Dance one of them, and possibly this fellow may have a say at the fmi-h. In the Hunters' Hurdles, also, Mr Henry has made a very narrow range, the difference letweeD top weight and bottom weight being only 221b, and this being the case the best horse ought to win. I tike the handicapper'a own tip, and select Rej.o and Egmout as a likely pair. The weights for the Winter Handicap set m to me to be open to criticism. Is ib conceivable, for instance, that at a mile and a-qnarter old Swivel isonl} 41b inferiertoVogeDgsrg ? — the latter a Cup winner aud now in his prime ! Surely Snivel has paid very dearly for his recent perf ormanct s in the North Island if tbi* is the way he is to be handicapped. 'When he was down here he was pretty well — well enough to win several races — and at the Taieri be finished last in the mile and a-quarter race, handicapped at 7.7. Victim, who finished second in that event, carried 8.3; in ether word«, he wag giving Swivel 101b and lest him, whereas Swivel kow concedes 71b ! Further, it seems pretty plain tbat most of the low weights, the nine-stoners, can have no show. Ip, say, Starliog within 231b of Vogengang ? I have often expressed the opinion, to which I h Id very firmly, that Mr Henry is quite at the head of. his profesHOQ'Bsa baridicappcr, but in regard to ttia one I think he has nob shown anything like his best work, and I sLull stick to that opinion even though I do not profess to be able to select the actual winner. So much for the minor The final acceptances for all events on the first day's card a-e yet to appear, but I shall have no opportunity of speaking after this issue, and therefore present ncy finals as follows :—: —
G. N Steeplechase— N,orton, with Kuloine and Roscius dangerous. G. N. Hurdles— Kahuraxgi, with Liberator and Victim next best. Hunter Hurdlc3— Repo or Egmont. Maiden Hurdles— lnvader or War Dance Eufield Steeplechase— Kulnine or Markchal Niel. Winter Handicap— "Vooenqano
*** The case of James Carson appeals to one's charitable feelings, and I am glad to heat that further and substantial relief has been given to him. The D J.C. has voted a second contribution of £5 from the Distressed Jockeys' Fund, and James Allan, with the assistance of a few friends, recently got up a " social," held in the Arcade Hall at South Dunedin, from which, aidtd by subscriptions, soms £16 was raised, £14 being already handed over, with the promise of a little more when a.l the promises are redeemed. Carson was in Allan's employ at the time he was hurt ; prior to that he used to be with the late Jack Poole. He wasexercioing Moonlight at the Forbury when he met with bi 3 first accident, this being caused by the horse stumbling on the fiat and giviDg him a spill which at the time was not thought to be serious, and perhaps might not have been but for other misadventures brought about while following his business. Between one thing and another, however, Carson has had a bad time of ifc, and though now out of tho hospital he is on crutches and ef course financially pressed. The boys all recognise it us a genuine case of distress, and 1 mention the matter so a3 to give any oth<rd co disposed an opportunity of contcibu'ing towards the fund which has been started by Jim Allan and other tra : ners and riders. If any should feel inclined to help the poor fellow 1 will receive their subscriptions, acknowledge them, and see that they are handed over to the proper persons.
*** To the majority of our young sportsmen the rams of Piscatorius, the fctallion whose death is reported from the north, is known only as that of the tire of Stockfish. Yet he was in his day a well-known horse, and though never at any time near the top of the tree he came of distinguished parentage, being gob in 1876 by the ecltbrated Traducer from that good and highly- bred mare Fanny Fisher, dam of Kingfisher, Jzaak Walton, and Hippccamj-us He was bred and raced by Mr W. Walters the elder, the famous Papakura owner. His firft race was as a three-year-old, when ha won the Auckland Selling Plate with Tommy Ilo'lson up, and he wound up the season by winnin.; the Te Awamutu Cup, aud being disqualified ia the Publicans' Handicap on ace. unt of runuing inside a poat. As a four-year-old be started only twice— namely, in the Hawke's Bay Spring Handicap, iv which he beat Paratnena (the same sg") at level weighte — the day that Rewi won the Guineas — and in the C.J.C Handicap, for which he finished second to Le Loup. Iv this race Lui.a 6 9 and Si 1 U-O'-ge 6.9 had made the running to the straight. At this point, Bays the repoit iv my records, Piscatorius came up fasb, and as Luna and Sir George here had shot their bjlr, the finish appeared to Ho between Mr Walfcers's horse 7.0, Betrayer 83, and Foul Play 9.0. Once within the rails Foul Play and Betrayer were done, and the race looked a good thing for Piscatorius ; but Le Loup 8.9 came to the rescue with a terrific rush, and paieing the three like a flash, won with the
greatest ease by two lengths. In his five-year-old season Pieciborim ran unplaced in Hilda's Cup at Wellington and also had an unsuccessful aby at the Consolation. As a six-j ear-old his only wins were the Free Handicap Rnd the Publicans' Purse at Aucklaud. The latter was a weight-for-age race, and in it be defeated Miuerva and Virginia Water. This makes him out to have been pretty fair class, yet he barely paid his way on the turf, for his total record, which consisted of 24 starts, 12 wins, 4 seconds, 2 thirds, and six unplactds, resulted in the earning of only £730. The best of hia products at the s*ud was Kiogfi6h, winner of the Hawkesbury Guineas, though Stockfish, Pescador, and SwordfL-k are all useful in their class.
*#* Dr Marshall, speaking at a church conference in Melbourne, ie jwud that no man had a greater objection to gambling that he had, and he had formerly condemned the totalisator, but information he bad since received had made him waver in his opinion that it was a total demoralisator. There were some things that could be said in its favour, and they must be looked in the face. He questioned if it would increase the area of gambling, aud he did not think it was possible to increase it in this colony at the present moment. They could not enforce the laws against gambling now,' because public opinion was against them, and therefore they should fry to minimise it. He was informed that the great cutse of gambling in racirg was the facilities created for batting through the booh make s. Gambling on a race cf:ea went on for months btfore the race was run, but the totalisator was coi fixed to the actual race on the ground. The commissions from the tot»lisator would enable the racing authorities to increase the prizes, and tha"; would induce owners of horses to run for the prize instead of iunning them to suit the bodies. The whole atmosphere at present was corrupted to suit bookmakers, and the church should at least give fair consideration to the arguments pat forward by those in favour of the totalisator. He thought there should be a commission to inquire iuto the whole gui stion of gambling.
*** The agitation for lower railway fares for the transport of racehorse* was begiuning to be almost forgotten when all of a sudden we learned l&at week that the Goverimcut had been appro tcbed on the subjeb. A deputation consisting of the Htn. G. M'Lean, Messrs Wil-on, O'Regan, G. W. Russell, Stevens, and Lawry, M.H.R.'a, and a number of other persons in'erested in racing waited on the Minister for Railways for the pu.'poae of requesting him to convey racehortcs to and from raca meetiugs at single rates. Mr Stevens pointed out that Australia and India gave ths concession asked for. The Hon. G. M'Lean pointed out that the deputation only asked for racthorßes what was aheady granttd to stock cent to agricultural shows. The Minister promised to go fully into the question. That is ctrbainly a step ahead. WheSber anything will be done is more tban can be foretold. So muih depends on political considerations, and it were as easy to prophesy concerning earthquakes as to say beforehand how Parliament will take up a question. If the concession is granted we must associate Mr O. R. Wise in the list of thos« to whom credit is due. He worked Jike a tiper in the interests of the petition that went to Wellington a year ago, and the effort then made will doubtless have paved the way towards any success now achieved.
*#* Mr Bishop, stipendiary magistrate of Christchurch, delivered judgment last week in the case of the Police v. the Pet ss Company, the latter being charged with a breach of " The Gaming aud Lotteries Act 1884-." section 3, suh■ection 3. The magistrata held that there was nothing to prevent the Legislature from makiug a law to prohibit newspapers from publishing matter in New Zealand respecting matter outside its own teriitory. On the facts, he found that the advertisement in question (Oxcnhara's) invited people to take shares in a foreign sweepstake ; aDd on the law, he held thit the defendant in publishing the advertisement brought hjm'elf within the operation of the act. Defendant waß ficed 20a and costs. An appeal will be made on the question of law. When that is delivered we shall know what the law is. We have to be guided nowadays by what is known as " case law " ; that is, by what the judges say, rather than by what is lo be read in the fcta'utes themselves. Our act? of Parliament are as a rule bo much jargon to the ordinary person, and lawyers do uot agree as to their meaning, neith.r do juc!ge3 in every case.
*** " Humanity " writes : — "As a sample cf what cruel circumstaucrs fcteeplechssing is carried on UDder, the winner, Cerberus, iv the Grand National Steeple race at Caulfi-ld cmt.o in wi:h his sides reeking with blood. Even the bookies g*ve utterauce to their disapproval of this hideous cruelty; the jockey (bearing the unfortunate name of Dean) was ceusured by the stewards ; and the S.P.C.A. intend prosecuting him. It is to be hoped nothing like this ever takes place at the Forbury meetings." This is a sample of something more than cruelty ; it is a ..sample of inexactness a3 to facts. Corberus is not the wmuer of tha National at Caulfield. That race is not yet run ; it is fixed for Augutt 3. My correspondent no doubt intends to refer to what took place in t v e raca at Flemington won by Daimio. In that case Dean was promptly punished by the stewards and also condemned by public opinion, aud the S.P K. will follow with a prosecution. These safeguards a'e available at tha Forbury as well as at Flemington, and cruelty to racehorses is not common. It is only those •who do not attend races who imagine that racehorses are ill-usad. In point of fact they are tended with more care than is extended to the m& jority of children.
* # * Mr Byron M'Clelland, of the States, is reported as offeriDg to m»tch Henry of Navarre against any horse in the world for any sum of money from 5000dol to 25,000d01, the race to be any distance from a mile and a f arloDg to two miles, with weight for age, foreign horses to be allowed s!b. This, remarks a New York writer, is an opportunity for an international sweepstakes, which would perhaps be the race of the century, and give the English and French turfmen a chance of trjiog conclusions with America's best material. Isinglass, Ladas, Sir Visto, Kirkconnel, and Whittier from England, with Henry of Navarre, Clifford, Domino, Raruapo, Dr Rice, and Halma in a weight-for-age race, one mile and a-quarter, at lOOOdol each, with 10,000dol 0r15,000d0l added money, the race to be run at one of the Fall meetings, would create a ecrsation in the racing world, a: d it would be a fair test of the merits of the Eny'-i-h and American r cehorse. I doubt the wiedoru ot the last phraf c. There is the change of cMmate to be reckoned with, slao the sea voyage, and for these reasons I doubt whether a travelling horse ever gets a fair show unless the journey ia undertaken many months before the race is run. Trials of Australian horses sent to the Northern Hemisphere are even more difficult to obtain.
*** The Suburban Handicap, of 5000dol, one mile and a-quarter, run at Sheepnhe&d Bay on
June 15, resulted in a surprise to the punting army. They declared that Domino 8.11 could not lose, and, there being only five opponents* it was reckoned good business to lay 5 to 2 on him. Yet ho euccumbed in the- softest style ; wasn't even placed : and now the crowd sweat that he is a mere sprinter, who cannot get b distance if carried along at a sound pmjo n» the early part of a journey. Such is fame. The race was won by the four-year-old Laza.vone— • by the way, all the starters bnt one were of that age. Lazzarone carried 83, wai ridden by Hamilton, and started at 6to 1. Ths winner is by Spendthrift (by Australian — Aerolite) from Spinaway, by Leamington — Megaron, by E-lipse. Sir Walter was second, Song and D.^nce third. The field was the smallest that ever started in the race. In the first Suburbnn, won by General Monroe, there were 20 starters. Last year Ratoapo won the race in 2aiin GJsee, which is the fastest time ever made in the race. This year the time was 2min 7 4-sjcc.
*** A notable trotting performance was seen at a meeting of the Manchester Trottii g Club on June 10, when Mr Seddon'a Lady Combermere covered 20 miles within the hour. The match was for £100 a-side. The mare essayed s similar feat last July, when, owing to adverse weather, she failed on that ocoanion by llsec, though the performance was the beifc ever seen in England up to that time, and new records were pub on the books from cix mile* upwards. On this occasion the track was in good condition, though a strong wind blew against the animal oa the back side of the track. Nevertheless a most exciting contest was witnessed. Betting, which had opened at11 to 10 on, closed at 6t04 on the mate. She -was driven by Tom StnaUnood. The 8r3% mile was reeled off with sstc to spare, but she then went slower, and at the end of the ninth mile she was over dec behind her last yesr'a time. So well did the tiaveV, however, after the half1 distance that at 13 miles the mare was well in hand of time. Pacemakers were then brought on the track, and 15 miles were covered in 44min 48j.ee. At 16£ miles she broke for the first time, bub Smailwood soon had her down again. Iv tte last two miles the mare began to show signs of distress, and with 3 inn sseo left to compass the last mile the^ excitement was ibttnse, loud cheers being given when it was announced that the great ft at had been accomplished, and by the narrow margin of twofiftba oE a second, the time being 59mia 59 3 ss;c. The time for each mile is skoim.
* # * " Rata" telegraphs on Wednesday afternoon : — "The most winfry weather of the laf>fc few days has interfered greatly with training operations, and nothing much more fclian cantering work has been dine until to-day, when some of the North Island horses were given useful work on the grass. Mutiny aud and Couritnto travelled fast over a couple of circuits and Liberator was also gaUopnd faot over the simo distance, and, whatever Butler think?, that horse has n big say in the National. Donald M'Kinnon i>; at tho Racecourse Hotel, and he was galloped this momirg, but I do nob think the horse will shine here to as great advantage as he has dons elsewhere. There is no need for me to enumerate the g»llops done during the last few mornings. They aw harmless in regard to picking winners. My fancies are : — National —Liberator 1, Roscius 2, Mutiny 3. Grand National Hujudle Hace.— Couranto I, Barnardo 2.
The minor first day races I will tip next week."
*** Rita telegraphs on Wednf sday night j— " I have just lo k-cl over Nero in his bix, and he is a^ fit as a fiddle, whatever be may be during National week. D-nild JlKiunoo, Bishop, and Royal are also located at the Racecourse Hotel stable. I was in the stable this afternoon, and looked over various of the inmates, and Boomerang and Roaeius are certainly in rare nick, as is alco Triton. Inclement weather, rather than the condition of the tracks, has prevented good work during the last day or two."
mle. m. s. mle. ra s. 1 255 11 , 32 47 2 5 55£ 12 35 47£ 3 8 sl| 13 38 48i 4 11 50 14 41 50J 5 14 49i 15 44 48 6 17 50i 16 47 53 7 20 49 17 50 50* 8 23 50$ 18 53 49* 8 26 51$ 19 56 55 10 29 48 20 59 59? The American record for Ihe distance is tho 53miu 25? Ec registered by Ciptain M'Gomin ab Boston in 1865.
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TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 2162, 1 August 1895
TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 2162, 1 August 1895
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