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TALK OF THE DAY.

Bi MAZEPPA.

*#*.By the report of last meeting of the D.J.O. Committee it will be seen that things in regard to the coarse question came out exactly as predicted. The Forbury Park Land Company's refusal of the offer of £15.000 net cash was re- , ported ; and the tub-committee told their mates that suitable sites were available elsewhere, the upshot being that they were authorised to prosecute further inquiries and get properties put under offer. Evidently the committee mean business, and I shall not be surprised to learn of a shift being decided on. One thing is absolutely certain — namely, that the D.J.C. will not increase its offer for the Forbury. Two difficultiesju the way of a change to the Taieri are considered to be of importance — the tunnel on the railway line making the journey thither unpleasant, and the expense to trainers and owners who have permanent stables around the Forbnry. Ido not pooh-pooh these difficulties by any means, but I do not regard them as insuperable. As to the tunnel, it is only a matter of two er three minutes, and those who find this a terror have the option of a beautifnl drive. In the old days of Silverstr&am everyone went out by road, and the same roads are still available. In regard to the stables, the majority of the buildings are neither costly nor large, and it would not be an expensive job to undertake a removal to a spot where -building sections are comparatively low-priced. The cases in which there would be a clear loss — say with men like Mr Goodman or the Hon. G. M'Lean — might call for consideration ; bat even if it were deemed a fair thing to make ome allowance, the club could well afford to do so, seeing that they would at a stroke save some £300 or £400 a year at the very least. I am nob arguing this poiat to a finish, bat merely showing that at the wont the strongest case made out by those who wish the club to stay where it ia can ba answered without breaking down one's wits. *** Mr Dowses handicaps for the Birthday meeting have been well received, so far as I can hear, and I am not prepared to say that there are any conspicuous faults in them. The Birthday Handicap itself is really a good adjustment, and tho ttotttiea if *ri»t is .going to win will be

governed entirely by the consideration of fitness. I hardly expeot to see Baroclydon at the post. This colt is well, but he wants bringing along, ' and the weather of l»teho.g not permitted this to be done ; wherefore, as he oannot be so forward on tbe day as others that were reoontly racing, it is ontjje cards that Mr Goodman may reserve him Tor some shorter race than the mile and a-half. Nor is Barm by likely to be at his be»b, ■o that, though he is nicely weighted, I prafer 'to seek elsewhere for the winner. Skirmisher is turned out ; Au Revoir is an unlikely starter ; so is New Forest, this colt having been shipped to the North Island. Probably the field will oouae from the remaining 11, and of these I prefer Lady Zetland, Bdllicent, Mr Siophenson's best, and Black aud Red, with a preference for Van Buren and Bellicent as recent winners, and a pair that are likely to get along if the course should be heavy. To ask a man to pick something to couple with these in a doable is~i hard task, for there are a great crowd in th§ Tradesmeu's, but I shcra'd look to Vanilla, Warriogton, Quiltiri, Lord Zitland, and Mnrlin to run well, and that is about as far as anyone .can go pending the appearauce of the acceptances. This May meeting, by the way, will be the first one in ' New Zealand at which a metropolitan dab will have the hones of each owner bracketed on • the totaliiator. The idea is a most sensible ene, and requires no justification at-my hands. It will relieve jeekejs from many c, difficult/, tneourago owners to start every horse that has a show, and abolish the perplexity of backers who consider themselves unsafe unlets they get the strength of their favourite stable— in this way drawing more money to the machine. Likewise, the moral effects of the new plan are likely to prove beneficial. # # * Handicaps for the Tahuna Park trotting meeting appear in this issue. It would lead to confusion were I .to attempt to pick the winners, and at present I can only say in a general way that the handicaps seem to be carefully compiled. A very long start is given to Tickler, certainly, and on general principles this is perhaps not wise, but I may Bay at once ,that the pony referred to has fully earned it. A week ago this dab was fretting a little at the non-arrival of the totalisator permit. This, however, has since come to hand. The delay was, of course, due simply to a misunderstanding, the issuing office having the idea that the Dunedin Amateur Trotting Club was still alive and might require it. Oue can hardly blame the dejmnmrnt for watching the interests of the unfortunate little 'an — the unluckiesfc of all -the Otago clubs, I should say, but one whose troubles are now over. Acceptances for the Tfthuna handicaps olose on the 16th. *** St. Frusquin, winner of the Two Thousand Guineas, will be remembered as one of the crack two-year-olds of last season, having, in fact, been defeated only onee — namely, when, ladon with 9 10, he was cecond in the Imperial Produce Stakes at Kempton Park. Among his -victories, were the Middle Park Plate and the Dewhurst Plato. When the last mail left he and Persimmon were at 5 to 2 each for this race. Whether Pe-rsimmoa started or not St. Frusquin i« sure to be made a great favourite for the Derby, which is be ran on June 3. Love Wisely, who finished second in the Two Thousand, started four times last season, but only won the Boas Plate, six furlongs, at Doncaster in September. Labrador started five times, and scored in the Ham Stakes at Goodwood and in the July Stakes at Newmarket. He is engaged in the Derby. Love Wisely is not. The One Thousand this year went to the Prince of Wales with his filly Thais, who last season was a fair performer, having ran into a place on each public appearance, and woo the Crabbet Plate at Gat wick. " We may be sure that the victory was well received, for his Royal Highness is a popular man on the racecourse, and one who .wins not too frs- > quently, though his cattle are well known to j be invariable triers. Santa Maura and Jolly Boat, who occupied the inferior plaoes in the | One Thoasand, are aleo good performers. They are all engaged in the Oaks, but none of the three are in the Derby. * # * My experience of many years is that "crosses of this" h crossed ".on that is so much jargon, and that good horses often come without the breeder having any idea of the why or the wherefore, says a. well-known English writer.' We see the same in the human race. Why is the father a brilliant man and the son often a dull foolP This it frequently the case, even with the mother a olever woman.' Furthermore, if breeding were -governed by rule, and that is what " crossing " in reality means, why should one horse ba a Ben dOr and his own brother a selling, plater? Why should a brood mare throw one good one and all the rest rubbish ? The 'same lire was employed over and over again. Robert the Devil was a nailer, and his brothers and sibters were not worth a row of pins ; and the same may be said of Bon d' Or. The dam | ef - Don Juan bred regularly for nearly 20 years, and Don Juaa was the only winner she ever threw. What did Casuiitry throw beyond Paradox, and she was sent to Sterling over and over again P What were the brothers to Musket like P and how would you compare St. Simon wkh his brothers and sisters ? *** Maorilanders w«»re interested in nearly all the races run ab R-u.r)<viek on the 18th ult. Ladybird, who went me fiotu Auckland, ran second in the Hurdle R<.c<.-; ; the Two-year-old Handicap went to Honiton, a son of our Derby winner Oudeis, who up to his time was probably the fastest horse ever bred in this colony ; and in the April Stakes, a mile and a-quarter, two of our old racers, Response 8.2 and Royal Rose 8 1, ran a dead heat for third place, the winner being Kallatina 8.8, by Splendour. Ladybird's performance was tho ciuse of some trouble. She was ridden by Rheeco, whose handling of the mare did not entirely please the stewards, she hiviDg been, according to one writer, " pulled about in a very unnecessary fashion " during the race, and having come with a rattle in" the straight when victory was practically a Cbrtainty for Escort, the sou of Chester and Superba, who a week previously was so lame on coming in after a race that the jockey obtained permission to dismount and lead him "in. The circumstances looked suspicious, but the rider and trainer having been heard od the subject, their explanation appears to have satisfied the stewards, so far as the ridiDg of the mare was concerned. The trainer and rider were, however, nailed on another indictment. Sorrie months ago the AJ C. declared it unlawful for auy cominuuifation <-o >v made with a jockey by eithi-i • avn-r cr trainer ' after a horse has gone out. In this case Linnel (the trainer) had a confab with Rheece.over the rails, and whereas Linnet admitted the fact, pleading ignorance of the regulation, Rheece denied that there was such a communication, and the stewards promptly disqualified him for six months, as a punishment, it would seem, as much for bearing lahe witness as for the breach of the rule, for the trainer's plea was aocepted, , and be escaped scot free. Rheeoe eeemj to

have only himself to blame. Llnne!, wbo wai equally with him a breaker of the regulation, owned up and said it was a mistake through ignornnce ; Rheece apparently choose to tell a foolish untruth, and after trying to mislead the stewards he could not expeot to receive consideration. *** Says Melbourne Sportsman's special commissioner t The Victorian Club was & veritable houße of mourning on settling day over the A J.O. meeting,' The fielders who had visited Randwick were loud in their lamentations, but at the sam« time they were quick to see the humourous side of each other's misfortunes. The story was told of how & oertain much-travelled and greatly-advertised metallioian for once in the way lapsed from hie uaual courteous demeanour. It was jusb aFter Wallace hsd annexed the Sydney Cup— a victory which cost most of the " books " a pretty penny, as the word had been passed round that Mr W. R. Wilson's colt was not himself, and consequently the fielders give him "a bit to eat," or, in plain English, overlaid him — that the uiefcftllician in question, while deeply engaged in a calculation of his losses, was approached by an oveijoyed backer of Wallace, who gunhingly ejaculated, "Isn't ho a spleudifi colt, Mr J. ! " Mr J. wished both the colt and hit backer at the North Pole, or a warmer place, but he said nothing, and went on with his arithmetic. The tormentor, failing to see that his gush bad much the same effect on the fielder as & red rag is supposed to have 'on a bull, effusively inquired if Mr J. could tell him the time Wallace had ran the two miles in. That settled it. " Do you take me for the official timekeeper P " wrathfully demanded the fielder. " Why the blitzes don't you buy a chronometer, 'and time the races for yourself ? " Much mere he xaid, und some of it not printable, but Wallace'ii admirer quickly made himself scarce. Another fielder, when asked by a backer of Wallace if he knew where So-and-no stood, replied that he saw him making tracks for the gate dieectly Wallace had won ; and he further vouchsafed the information that "if the bally fence wasn't so high, and the gates so well guarded, blow me if the most of us wouldn't have been after him." * There is do doubt that the "books" got a regular gruelling, both in Sydney and Adelaide, and one of the leading members of the ring laid a bet of £1000 to Is that he would never field again at Raudwiok. This same bookmaker, besides losing close on £6000 in Sydney, lost very nearly £2000 over the OukapHxinga meeting. Besides other bets, he laid £1000 to £30 Geometry and Dungan to a Qeelong sportsman, and fielded strongly against both straight oat. To make matters worse he backed the double back for £600 with an Adelaide bookmaker, who, so far, has not settled. The Adelaide bookmaker referred to ■was "struck" for about £2500 by Melbourne people. A syndicate of time had £1000 of the winning Onkaparinga double, and two Victorian Olub fielders had to receive over £600 each, while another won «om»tbinj{ like a ct'ntuvy from him. *** The Bngliih stallion Sir Bevys died ia Mar oh, as the result of a general break-up of thfe system, though not by any means a very old horse. Foaled in 1876;' he was by Favonius ont of Lady Langden, and as a racer belouged to che late Baron Lionel de Rothschild, who ran in the assumed Dame of "Mr Aoton." The horde's fame, remarks the Sportsman, chiefly rests on his having won the Derby in 1879, though it oannot be claimed for him that he was one of the best winners' of that classic event. As a two-ye ar-old he only accounted for one of the four races for which he competed, and his chance for the "blue riband" the following year was aot held in much esteem, 20 to 1 being .obtainable -about- him at the start. The race resulted in a buttle between outsiders, and Sir Buvys was followed home by Palmbearer and Yisconti, starting respectively at 100 to 1 and 66 to 1. That Derby, it may be mentioned, was the only one of which the lxte George Fordham rode the wiener daring his long career <as a jockey. Sir Bevys was a failure in the I Donoaster St. Leger, and did not run again. , Nor can he be said to have been a marked success at the stud, for though a great many of hi* progeny have run, few races of note fell to their share. Perhaps the most important was the Cesmrewitch, won by Primrose Day in 1889, bat , though the filly won easily enongh she was extremely lightly treated as a fonr-year-old with only 6.11 Odbers of Sir Bevjs's get that w«n races at variuna times may bon»med in Aladdin, Country Boy, Beaver, Nellie Farren, Theodore, The Reotor, Banter, Chilton Boy, The Vicar, Coolshannagh, Morglay, Ben Shie, Mountain Knight, Bevil, and Lueerna. At the time of his death Sir Bevys was the property of Mr Cecil F. Benson. *** Five races are deemed sufficient for a day's sport af Flemington at this time of year, that being the number at the Saturday, meeting on the 18th alt. A curious feature of these extra meetings is that the added money is lOOsovs for each race. The day referred to was good one for the bookmakers, not one first ! favourite getting h»mc. Brewer scored a garl ticularly clever win m\ the Neoktirsgat hor.se Lord Byron 11.10 in the Hurdle Race. Larnook 11 5 looked like a certainty in the straight, but was dispossessed by a smart run oa the part of Algebra 10.5, who in turn suffered defeat owing to Brewer's olever judgment in timing Lord Byron's run. The winner, who started at 8 to 1, ia ont of Fille-de- joi, who descends from Don Juan's family. Backers gave nothing but Dowry 8.7 a chance in tho Two-year-old Handioap, and this daughter of Loohiel shot out below the diitance in a manner that thoroughly pleased her baokers. Being challenged, however, 100 yds from home by Lightning 8 12, the caved in rather tamely, and the Bon of Biridspord and Vera, wbo was not at all fancied by his lessee, Mr Grice, ran in a winner by nearly a length. Luoullus, brother to Quiver, finished third. In a good field for the p April Handicap, a mile and a-quarter, Idolater 8.13 monopolised the attention of punters, a fast gallop a day or two° before leading them to back him down to 7to 2. As a matter of- fact, he was unable to pace it with the leaders from the jump off, and finished nowhere, the race resulting in a very soft thing for Preston 9.2, who, consequent on his defeat at Onkaparinga, started at Bto 1. The Steeplechaie proved to be a wretched spectacle. The four starters all fell at one stage or another— at one point the quartet were riderless — and a horse that actually fell twice got second money. This wa« Barratta, the mount of Barbonr. Abbotsford, the winner, was ridden' by Joe Edge, who on falling laid a bystander "a quid to nothing" to help him catch the horse, jvhicb. was done in plenty of time, Abbotpford gnttiug home 200 yds in front. If in supposed that the absence of reliable 'chasers ' was due to'-tha fact that they are all work"ing speciall) with a view to the Grand Nun« nal. Sunbury, a son of Sunrise and Bowbell, uvirpowered his rider in the Hill Handicap, aix furlongs, and made a bolt of it, swerving badly, and interfering with at least one horse, but he kept straight enough to win very easily, doing the distance in the fast time of lmin 15jnec. Carmody, Sutabury'i trainer, did not think the j horse ready, and henoe the owner had bat ft J vets small ißTflstoneafc

*** A writer in Sporting Bkatohes says that when Sir Ouailea Bunbary's famous hone Smolensto was being saddled for the Derby of 1813, tho barone* «tid to his jockey, Qoodf«on j "Here it your fioree, Tom-; he will do his doty if you do yoara." So smsl^ wero tire fees then given by owners to successful j ciceys that Sir Charles Bunbury gave but £30 to Goodison for winning three principal i^oe« ifa« Two Thousand, the Newwaikeb Stakes, and the Derby— on Sn.olemko, remarking, M though haunted by eorne comcioxuneas that the same miserly spit it which compelled him to sell the aged Di< m -<i for £50 to two Virginian planters would b again imputed to him : " I would make it more, Tom, if Brogravo had not shot himself." It may ber explained that Br«grave was a heavy loser on the D-crby of 181-5, and blew his brains oat after Smolmsko'fl victory, defaulting to the extent of some £10,000 ; but it is not known that Sir Charles Bunbury's loss was heavy. ##* From what I gathered in a recent conversation within intimate /friend of Hr S. H. Qollan, I was not led to believe that any great things were anticipated from the invasion of the English turf by Norton, Busaeo, and Hbor, says " Asmodens," yet notwithstanding the poor hopes of success held oat by the plucky New Zealand sportsman in » reoent letter to his friend, comes the new* of Boor's victory in a sQo«ovs steepshase. Good and clever as ottrbortea a>a - over their native timb*r, doubt has always been expressed about their ability to negotiate English fences with the same skill and olevetness^ but now that an 'Australian hurdle racer« past hit prime, has succeeded in winning a SOOsovs steeplechase no further doubt cad be entertained regarding the capability of how*« like D-Atmio adapting thrrajsefves with practice to any reasonable line of fencts '.o *br fonud in. England. Eb >c was -found to be too slow for X -; hurdle racing, and he waa very wisely put to eteeplechasinf. Mr'Gollan writes to say tb.itit takes horses after the class ef Bessie Macarthyto win hurdle isces is England. This Is paying a high compliment te the excellence of the English hardier Hr Gollan has come to the conclusion that Norton n not good anougb to compete eacwssfully against Enjlinh steeple* chasers, but Bu**co has recently shown iigni of recovering his Australian form, and perhaps we may expect to hear of him winning a race before the termination of the jumping season. Mr Gollan is anch an enterprising sportsman th*t any honour his horses can achieve in England will be gratifying to ev*vyb->dy on this side of the equator whf* takes »« i-'^rmli in tho *ffiirs <>f the turf. . v *** The death of George Holman calls up many memories of the palmy, days of steoplechaaing of 40 or 50 years ago, and reminds me (" Vigilant " in the London Sporttnum) of the way in which the Holmanß, the Archers, and the ( Sttvci'ft'-* 1 — all of them residents in or near Chel« teuhaii, — ai c interwoven with cross-country hii* tory. It maj not be generally known that poor Fred Archer had his absolutely first winning mount in a donkey race that was run at Frest* bury Fair. The course wm once round the field in whioh the-fair was held, this field being intersected by a ditch which had to be jumped twice. Alfred Holman (a surviving brother >.f Geo-ge'i) and Jack Jones (afterwards so »etl known «s a trainer at Epsom, who only died quite recently) also rode is thi» very selact donkey race. Poa« sibly it wai this little ta*te of success which first) made Archer take so very kindly to riding across country, and it is generally known that it was one of his chief ambitions to emulate the deeds of his father, and ride a winner of the Grand NHionf.) He often talked of accepting a mount m that race, but never actually did so. Possibly torae of the numerous employers to whom his services were almost invaluable felt tha tame concerning him that Fred Swindells did with re- ' gard to his money, and did not relish the idea ■ ■of seeing him "flying in the air." Not that there would have been any particular grouad for alarm in his case, for Archer was a real good man with hounds, as were hw contemporaries Fordham, Custanoe, and Webb. Indeed, tho last-named pair can probably still hold their own with most of the younger ones, and Webb actually did take part in one Grand National, rfding The Soot, if I remember rightly. #** As to riding hones oat for a place Chare is something to be said on both sides, but ire think it ia only reasonable, says tha Austral* aeian, to give jockeys to understand that there shall be no deliberate pulling off i ome diatanoe from home just because a rider may take It into his head that sonoetbiog else in the race is likely to beat the animal he is riding. How are stewards to toll whether a horse has been honestly ran if a jookey can shield himielf behind the plea, "Oh, so-and-so had as all beaten, so I pulled out of a place." If the easing up takes place in th? >&«>> few strides when it is really patent the ri.ee 'is over very little harm can be done, provided the handicapper is present. " Jdckeyo need not punish a hone to the finish when the race i« over, but if a horse can get a place he should bp allowed to do so," is the way a leadicg racing man put the oase the other day, and tbi* contention is a reasonable one. The leading clubs in Anitralia give good slices out of the stakes to second and third, and we may presume they do this in the hope of inducing owners to ran their horses out. -In America " pulling off " in its exaggerated form is not countenanced, and we believe the V R.C. stc- words have given jockeys a hint that there is a limit as to the latitude whioh will be allowed them in discriminating as to when they may ceaie to persevere, but a recent oase whioh happened at Flemington shows that a hone may be deliberately stopped at the distance without inducing official action. No one wishes to see a horse unnecessarily punished when his chance of winning is gone, but if a horse is curable of getting a place he should not be prevented from doing so. Moreover, it would be fairer all round. The man who runs his horses out for a place is handioapped in comparison with | another owner who tells his jockey to win if he can, but to be aure to keep oat of a place if he oannot at the distance make certain of winning. " M Quad " telegraphs on Wednesday sight t " I have received information from Mr A. J. Rattr&y that he and the late owner ef the trotter Sultan went to Geraldine to-day with the object of examining 'the horse Moody, winner of the Farewell Handioap at Geraldino. The two gentlemen had no difficulty fa recognising the horse as Sultan, and as a consequence it is probable that proceedings will be taken by the Geraldme Club against the nominator for an alleged attempt to defraud that body. I understand that rb««e in charge of the horse were somewhat reluctant to allovr the two visitors to see the animal, bat batter counsels subsequently prevailed, with the above result."

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TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 2201, 7 May 1896

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TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 2201, 7 May 1896

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