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TALK OF THE DAY.

By MAZEPPA.

*** A good stroke of business for the Duuedin Jockey Club in connection with the approaching Cup meeting is that the booths have been licensed, thus relieving tbe pressure on the club's exchequer and restoring to its patrons a liberty of which it was intolerance to deprive them. On the other hand, the proipecta of the meeting have been to some extent interfered with by accidents to several of the horses engaged. B<zarre, one of the fancies for the Publicans' Handicap, hat had to be taken «ub in consr quence of tbe hurt received while racing at Christoburch ; Saracen is turned out ; Arline, who would have probably run a good race for the Publicans', han hurt one of her feet; and, worso than all, Buroclydon it under a very heavy cloud. Hearing that all was not well with the ex-cbampicn, I wailed upon Mr Goodman, and he, in the most straightforward manner, expressed his desire that the public should be warned against backing the big horse. He tells ma th*t Euroclydon did a gallop on the sth ; that while he was going a heavy ahower fell and made the going greasy ; and that the horse somehovT or other struck one of his forelegs, as a result of which be has shown lamenesa after every 'gallop. Goodman saya that Euroclydou has not broken down, bub he scarcely thinks it possible to get the leg right and give him work at the same time, lince rest is what is wanted ; and the big fellow i* therefore a very doubtful starter. I am very lorry to have to make this report, for several reasons. With Euroclydon practically out of the calculation, and Saracen scratched, there remain but three in the Cup, and one of these is not as sound as could be wished. I refer to Lord Rotslyn. The hoof that burst at Christchurch has grown down again all right, but the Hon. G. M'Lean tells me he ia a bit anxious about the other foot. Up to yesterday morning, however, the colt was going all right, and there is reason to hope that he will see the post. If he and Skirmisher and Plotter start the public •will find money for tbe thtee, and really I do not know that it would be safe to be very poaitive about picking the winner, though at present I rather fancy Skirmisher, and expect he will start favourite. Tbe liat of entries and acceptances, as will be seen in another column, is very promising, and the minor reces »t any rate are sure to be well contested. My selections, which may have to be revised at the last moment, when speaking in the Daily Times, are as follow :—: — Hurdlei — Ilex. Champagne — Got.d Medallist. Dunedin Cop— Skirmisher. Selling Race — Vogenganu. -Maiden Plnte^ — Rustic. Publicant' Handicap — Abquebus or Belle Clair. Selling Two - year - old Race — Senior Wbangler. Stewards' Welter — Black and Red. And tbe Eclipse Stakes looks a very good thing for Mr Stead's best.

*** The Forbury course up to Tuesday afternoon was very hard and not so smooth as could be desired, and trainer* preferred generally to work their horses on the well-kept ploughed track. On Saburday Lord Rosslyn did a good mile and a-hslf gallop, attended by Campbell and St. Ouida, and Plotter went the same distance, his companions being Marlin and Hippomenes. These were the chief gallops of the morniDg. On Monday, before breakfast, there was nothing special about tbe work excepting an interesting spin by Hippomenes and Marlin, in which the last-named shaped better than I ever remember to have seen her shape previously. Speaking generally, the best work of the week up to Wednesday had been done by Black and Red, Blazer, Beile Clair t> Rancour, and Sequin in addition to the horses I more particularly mentioned above ; and if asked to mention the candidates who so far please me beat I should gay they were Hippomenes, Marlin, Belle Clair, and Campbell.

*** One of the best gallops on Tuesday morning was that between Hippomenes, Hariin, and Sequin, who were started with the machine at the six-furlong post and ridden home at Sequin* best speed— in other words, ' Hippomenes accommodated himself to her pace until tbe finish, when he drew clear ; but ib was not at all a bad go for the youngster, and Marlin'a «h»re in the gallop was meritorious, inasmuch as she made up three or four lengths in th« six furlongs and headed Sequin. Plotter had a comparatively easy task to beat ialse Impression »t «eten furl<roga»»nd he did it with

I his head in his chest. Campbell and Maremma did a nice useful spin together for seven furlongs, and then slowed down a bit for the finishing furlong. 'Iho best gallop Fulmen has done in tbe presence ot the touts was his run ' over the five-furloug course on the plough, r-«.ping over Edelweiss and Decoy. The Gleamer, looking very well, seemed to have a bit in hand is »he kept with Belmoot in a seven-furlong gallop. Emmeline led Guide for ■ six furlongs. Lord Rosslyn worked alone, j going twice round the plough, at half-pace and running home at nearly top speed up the straight. Woolwich, Rancour, Belle Clair, Tiara, and others cantered. Ulster was sent for a sharp gallop with a body rug on. Blazer had Black and Red for a mate in an easy gallop, and The Winchman dfd six furlongs iast with Aldershot. i *

* # * Yesterday (Wednesday) morning Stockj fish and Goldspur were sent once round fast, '; and Missfire was treated to long, steady work. ! They are all well. Tha much-improved Ulster ' hud a mile spin with Van Buren, and well held her own with the latter. Lord R^sslyn went , twice round the plough, the first time with i Woolwich, who pulled up bleeding at the nose, j the second round with Maremma. These horsex i were not fully extended, though the pace was | sound. Plobter, Hippomenea, Sequin, False j Impression, and Campbell cantered separately, ! and then Mnsketry c*me out with one of the St. ' Clair lad a on his back, and did a steady twice i round in his old climbing fashion, but looking | very fresh and hearty, if somewhat on the big i side. Seeing the local lad up, I a»ked a question, and learned that the strapping son of ■ Maxim aud Flattery haa become the property of ! M'Ginnest. Multiform and Gold Medallist did a steady canter twice round, and ran home fast in tbe last half mile. I fancied that Multiform looked hardly aa muacuiar as when we saw him in the spring, but possibly this impression may have been caused by seeing him in tha company of Gold Medallist, who is a square-cub colt of great power and a mass of muscle, though some say he does not show as much quality a* Multi- , form, and others point to a hollo wn«ss in the back »s detracting from his appearance. Decoy, Erarnelinc, Guide, and Edelweiss cantered. Tiara hud a little the beit of Winchman and Alderehot at the end of a half-mile spurt, and Rancour and Felina were about a match at three furlongs. Mercer's three cantered.

*** It is a moral certainty tbat there will be good sport, at the Tahuna Park meeting to be held on the 26th iust. I and March 3, for the nominations more • th»n fill expectations. The acceptances • for the first day— the "off day" of the Dunedin Cup meeting — number no fewer than 82. and, what is of material consequence to owners ; and backers, the track ii solid enough now to ' defy any downpour of rain should the weather ■' break up. A good deal depends on the success j of this mf*tir,g — that it, the club is anxious to ; see whether it is justified iv venturing on a two- ' days' programme, aud, if catisftad, we may expect an increase of stake* shortly. Moreover, . there is a probability of the Hon J. Carroll, the ' " Minister for Racing " as he might be called, , being present, and ib will do no harm to the I club's proipeobs to give bim a favourable im- , precision. I hope, therefore, to see a large attendance and racing tree from suspicion. Tho ; contests on the opening day promise to be interesting, and I canuob with any degrea of confidence profess to pick winners : the Maiden in Saddle to begin with is open. Bluenoie has a show on Waikonaiti form, and Maori Girl is perhaps next best, but both may be upset by Charcoal if he does his best. For the ; Btewards' Pony Race, the old grey Daisy Bell ! may ba prominent, and I have a i respect for Jack the Ripper if he is in ■ anything like form, while Charlie on his very I best time would not be out of it. Lugnaquilla is S surely well in in the Maiden Race in harness — I he must be if he has retained any of bis pace — J bub, all things considered, I rather prefer ; Mirror, who has recent form as a recommendation. In the Selling Race lam satisfied to take. Gordou and King Cole againut tbe field. Tbe Tahuna Cup is a capital handicap, the horses being brought together by Mr Dowse in a masterly manner, and, being as likely as not to , miss the winner by taking half a dcz»n, I rest content with naming two — namely, Monowai and SynUx, and chancing a lucky guess to bring me home. Maggie L. may perhaps ramble home in the Autumn Handicap. Charlie, as a better stayer than the majority of ponieu, should find his beat opportunity in the Two-mile Pony Race, if nob penalised. Duchess is rather • favourably treated in the Electric Handicap, but a race of thia sort takes a lot of picking. *** One of tbe things that the Tahuna Park Ciub wants is a permit fir a third meeting ne,xb season, and this was the matter concerning ' which a deputation waited on the Colonial Secretary ab the Grand Hotel lust Saturday i morning The Hon. J. Carroll met the ro- ' quest in a friendly spirit. He was evidently impressed with the representations of Messrs ! Myeri, Begg, and Short, and Dr Jeffcont to the effect that the Tahuna Park Club felt itself , uuder a responsibility to provide enough stakes jto k«ep the trotting stables going,' aud was handicapped by being allowed only two meet- . ings during the season — a handicap that seemed unreasonable, seeing that 13 permits were allocated to Canterbury, and I thought the Minister gave special heed to the well-timed observation of the genial *'S.S." when he said that the club already contemplated giving a efako of 250bovs next »eixßon, and would like to see its way to take high rank among tho clubs of the colony in respect to s>t»ke» generally. Mr j Carroll seemed to realise that the Tahuna Club ' is no tiupot organisation, and he said straight off that personally he had no objection to granting the concession asked for, and would bs glad to see the claim advocated at the conference which he purposes to convene for the winter time in order to settle on a fixed schedule of permits for all clubs, racing as well as trotting. By the way, I took a note of the Minister's pronunciation of "Tahuna." He does not give it the terrific " boona" that is i usual, but puts a slight accent on the "Ta," and I thus, no doubt following the rule of the language, he makes a pretty word of it. One matter that the Miuister himself introduced j during the conversation was the dispute tbat I has arisen between the Dunedin Jockey Club j and the South Island Trotting Association. He i gave ib as his opinion that while the D.J.C., as a patron of trotting, deserved to be treated with consideration, it had no right to dispute . the claims of the association to be recognised as 1 the governing body, and he added that if the club would talk over the matter with him he j had no doubt that be would be able to soften i down some of the sharp edges of the associa- [ tion's demands and bring the parties together on ' amicable terms. I must confess that his broad | common sense on this subject impressed me. He : has a good grip of the subject ; and I liked him ! all the better because he did not lay himself oub to speak soft words. He appeared to 4be < anxious rather to do a fair thing than merely to please. And his style of handling the Eubjecb ought to have a very fair show of success. Possibly the association might have succeeded in the first

place, and have saved all the unpl€a!t&ntne3'j ihr f has ariveu, if they had begun a little less imperiously. Dr Jeffcoat told tbe Ministtr that he believed some members of the D J.C. would be very well satisfied to be tid of trotting. In this lam satisfied that be spoke tho truth. Still, other members of the club don't take that view of the matter, and on a vote I think it would be decided to retain these events on the programme, for awhile at any rate. But I need not pursue the matter further. It is understood that the Minister will probably see the representatives of the D. J.C. before he leaves for the north, and as he evidently has some authority to treat in the capacity of a mediator I shall refrain from making up any difficulties. The Hon. J. Carroll is evidently a live king, not a mere figure-head, and, having faith in his •troug common stsuse, I wish more power to his elbow.

*#* There w*s some fair racing at the Egmont meeting last week, and a nuccession of excellent dividends. Eleven homes started for the Cup. 'Ihe Auckland mar*. Merry Maid, at once shcb to the front and led past the stand, attended by Angler, Monte C*rlo, and Crimnon Streak, all together. Going iound the back the field was considerably spread out, and Light he:e took the lead, attended by Angler, and Merry Maid dropped back third, Blarney fourth. At fcuid stage The Brook w»s lying fifth. Rounding the bend she aiada a forward move, so that by the time tbe entrance to the straight wn» reached she hud assumed command, and was never afterwards beaded, winning by cue and n-half lengths from Blarney, who finished determinedly and just beat Lorelei on the posb for second honours, fallowed by a very stragcrling field. The Brook's time, a tick under 3min 7 Her, shows that the course inuit have been very fast. Tne valuable Sires' Produce S taken unluckily reviited iv » poor race, a wretched •tart giving Vedette such an advantage that he won from end to end. Thia colt is by Vanguard, and if the Venun Transit whom he claims ai dam is the mare that Mr Walters used to own in Auckland, Vedette is a very nicely bred member for a hack. Tha daj's racing was made memorable by reason of the dead heat be-tw«;eu three in one of the hack races. We once, had a timilar occurrence at the Forbovy, Huntingdon, Sir William, and Little Fraud finishing together iv the Selling Race on the day that Kir Modred won the Cup. In that event, however, the three had a second go, whereas at Egmont the outsider chucked it, and left the cleau-bred onts to fight ib out. Heavy rain fell on the second day and npset some of the calculations ; still, it was no fluke Lorelei got home. Bhe was warmly supported, in Dunedin as well as on the course. Mr Henry's handicapping at this meeting comes in for well-deserved prcise.

*#* The sire-and-datn combination name is appearing all over the colonies, and threatens to become a fashion, superseding iv the fancy of men who have no taato in these matters tbe other witlets fancy of giving a home the name of its father or mother in reversed spelling. A late example of this objectionable system comes from Auckland, tbe name of Purvoke being bestowed on a racer by Puriri oub of Revoke. The owner who in such a way Be^k* to iudic*le the breeding of his horse should not. ba astonished if asked by his iriencs what the (Sickens the name means. It would naturally occur to a man seeing " Purvoke " in a list of nominations that it was a misspelling of Provoke. Invented words are always unsuitable for names. They mean nothing ; if they suggost anything ab all it i§ generally something far wide of the idea that was in the originator's mind. Some names that have a punning reference are pardonable. Emmason, for instance, comes in vet y well fora son of Lady Emma ; and Persimmon is a triumph, lince, though to the uneducated ib mipht nob occur that " By Simon " ii derivable without any forcible wresting of interpretation, the word itself is well known and easily pronounced and novel. These arc the leading qualities in a good name. Occident ia another fair example of the sort. There may be norae of our racecourse boys who miss th« fall significance of Occident as denoting " The Wr st," but everybody c*n spell the word and speak it, and there is no risk of confusing it with something else. It would be very much better to choose n*.mes for their own merits than to try for and make a muddle of the task of getting names which mean something. Nelson, a splendid selection, haa no reference to that great hovse'3 breeding;, and Florrie, another good name,'ia alto quite distinct from asiociation with tho pedigree of the old mare. So alio wilb. Lady Emma and Firit Lord. The model name is but rarely fouud. Mr Stead, a student of this sort of thing, often has happy inspiration*, as in the caco of Bloodshot, but masterpiece* of nomenclature arc rare, aud the average owner would do far better were he to stick to plain English word* and abandon the idea of consulting Lempriei'e.

*** Figures relating to the fate of the favourites in the old country last year show that of the 1616 races run undnr Jockey Club rales no fewer than 683 were won by the first; favourites, or one of the equal first favourites. The average, 42*26 per cent., is precisely thesame, strange to Bay, as in 1893, and but «, trifle over the average of the intervening years, the similarity of these averages being most remarkable. The favourites that started ab odds on last season won 236 of tbe 351 races that come under this category. That means an average of 6723 per cent. The average was 6516 in 1895, 71*67 in 1894, and 66-11 in 1893. The difference between the four seasons on this count is not very serious, and, to speak roughly, it would seem that the odds are justified by the result about 70 times out of every 100. Racing Illustrated, the authority for these calculations, goes on to say : " Qaeen's Wake has tho honour of having had fie longesb odds of the past season eiifrubtad to her care, 30 to 1 being laid on her chance to bfat Baumber at Leicester. On the othc-r hand, the greatest downfall waa when The Tartar, with 7 to 1 laid on his chauce. was beaten three lengths by Hawkwood ab Brighton. Bub this was nothing compared with the terrible disaster which overwhelmed the backers of Blanc at Lewes in 1893, who so little deserved the confidence placed in him that with 100 to 8 laid on his chance he was beaten by Dornroscheu. The winners who started at the longeat prices during the past season were : Chasseur, winner of the Stewards' Cup, 25 wl agst ; Chiachin, the Duke of York Stakes, 25 to 1 agst; and Santa Stella, in a two-year-old race at Newmarket, 25 to 1 agst. The seasons of 1894 and 1893 were prolific in surprises. Thus in the former year Victor Wild and Throstle both started at 50 to 1 agst when they respectively won the Hunt Cup and Sb. Legcr in 1894, and in 1893 Siffienie, with the fantastic odds of 100 to 1 offered against her, beat her more fancied stable companion, Dame President, a short head for the One Thousand Guineas." What a revolution in theae mutters will be worked in British uport when the totaliaator gets a footing there. Twenty-five to one is almost an every-day r*t« of odds in this little colony of New Zealand, even with the limited fields we are accustomed to, and 100 to 1. though rare, ii by no means

regarded as " fantaitic." Every race-goer of experience has seen it p%id. I well remember a well-known genblcinau walking into tho reporters' room at the Forbury one day aud issuing a general invitation to the aeribes to join him in an investment on the greatest outsider, whatever that might happen to be, iv the taco for which the riders were then weighing out. We all laughed, and said we should like to know what outsider it was. H« said he didn't know the name of a horse in the race, and we let him go. A quarter of an hour later he came back and asked permission to count up a handful of sovereigns. He had speculated alone and raked iv over £90.

*** " Terlinga " writes : Mr H. W. Harslett, one of the many visitors from the eastern colonies who has succumbed to fever in the West, came of a family of riders, and I believe he won his first race in public when he was ouly eight years old. In South Australia he will always be remembered in connection with Taucred, that wonderful little pony who" won so many jumping races. Mr Harslett owned Tancred and rode him in all his races. Often he was overweight, and to save a few pounds he would ride without a saddle. Of Tancred it may with truth be written that for some time he kept a family. Mr Harsletb travelled him from meeting to meeting in the northern part of South Australia and farmed the jumping races'. One of the funniest sights I ever saw waa Himalaya and Tancred going out together for tbe Great Northern Steeplechase. Mr Webb's horse sscod about 18lids. and Tancred was, I believe, no more th»n 14-hdn 2in. The feuces had been built up to betweeu 4ft Gin and 4ft Bin that year. Himalaya was the only horso (save Tancred and Tbe Joker) that did not fall, aud he slipped on to hi» belly at the water and Rustnined injuries from which he never really recovered. Tancred literally climbed over the fences for one round, and then he stopped. The Joker, who will be remembered by Victorians, was the only horse that seemed to jump fche course with ease. No fence was too high for him, and ab the end of a round he was leading by a furlong, but it was his wont to quit when the game ceased to ba amusing, nnrt at this juncture he carried poor eld Martin Burke over a wire, feuco and iuto tbe saddling pnddock. Ib was a remarkable race all round. Sussex was a starter, with Mr W. Gla^scock in the saddle, but he came to grief very early. Fred Hill was second on Snowstorm after getting a fall, and George Mason got no less than three falls off Miss Banter, the la»t one resulting in a broken collarbone. It was 'a funny place to send horses of the Sussex and Himalaya stamp, but Mr Ferry had a thousand book on the race, and Mr Goyder and Mr Webb each had the money about bis horse.

* # * Part of the proceeds of the Goldgpnr win at Chrisbchurch was used by Jack Lougblin in buying the two-year-old Senior Wrangler from Mr Stead, the price being lOOga. The youngster cume to his now home on Friday '.ant. Senior Wrangler is by Medallion from Cajolery's dam Flattery, and a nice sort of colt— nob in the first rank, according to hi* performances, but one thkb should be useful iv handicaps, and of whom it may be hoped that he will stay a bib as he develops. He certainly disposed of his Criterion Stakeu opponents lattt November in a workmanlike manner,, and his second to Binzer in tho Dunedin Stakes wn« distinctly a meritorious performance/ for Blazer was ab that time very hard to beat by anything. The relationship to Cajolery will be, perhaps, a qualified recommendation in some persons' eyee, since, though Cajolery was undeniably good-looking and powerful and fast, he alfo had a bit of the devil about him ; but this Senior Wrangler seemed to ba quiet enough ab Dunedin exceptiug when he reared up at the pott and thereby gave away his chauce in the Nursery Handicap, and ib would be unfair to argue from that solitary instance of misbehavior that he is bad-tempered. My own impression is that the now owner has gob a bargain. Mr Stead does nut as a rule care to bother with any of his slock that on being tried prove to be below first-class form, and ho often nell« off such horses to the first offerer ; but in this way he has not infrequently disposed of horseo that have very well paid their way, and, for the ordinary buyer, a Yaldhurat cast-off is generally a fair investment, since they are all well reared, and they are invariably of the best blood.. A second horse attached at the same time to Loughlin's stable io tho three-s ear-old colt Pro»pocr, by Apremont— Spec, bred by and leased from Mr Busch. Prospect is tv short-legged, chubby chestnut, altogether unlike the majority of the Apramonts excepting in regard to his leg 6, which, as uauul with thia sire's stock, are as pinwire for durability. The colt i» a maiden, but somehow or another I fancy he will not be very long in ' losing thafc status, since ho i» ready for galloping and will soon have tho beef off.

*** An English court haa decided an interesting point on an appeal by the Chief Commissioner of Police againßfc a decision of Mr Fcnwick, one of the metropolitan police magistrate?, ao to the paying of bets in a publichouse. Dawson w»a a b"okmak«r, and Parker was keeper of a beerhouse in Blackfriars road, and they were aumnioued because Duwson paid the beta which ho lost in tha beerhouse, although he did nob make them there. This was s»id to be an iut'ringemenb of the Betting Acb. Counsel for the appellant swd that Jbhe appeal raised the question whether a profetsional bettor could habitually u«e a specific place ia the bar of a publichoufis for tha payment of his bets, and if bo ueing the honae was in contravention of the act. The magistrate had in substance held that a house was not used in contravention of the act unless a contract of belting was made in it. For seven days Dawson used tho Duke's Head for the purpose of paying over. The summonses taken out»gain?t Dawnon and Parker were dismissed by the magistrate, her: ce the appeal, Mr Bighatu, iv reply, said the point was a Simple one. There was no betting iv this house. That was all he was going to say about it. Mr Justice Hawkins was of opinion that the appeal should be dismissed. It was taken for granted that t.Uere were bets made by a great number of persons with Dawaon, who partly used the house kept by the other respondent for the purpose of paying bets which had already been lost. The question was whether paying bets that had already been made to persons who had won was an offence under the act. He unhesitatingly thought not. Justices Cave, Wills, and Kennedy were of the same opinion, and the appeal was dismissed with costs.

*** Thirty-three survive the recent paymenb for the C.J.C. Champagne Stakes, and Gold Medallist and Multiform are of the number. It is hardly to be taken as likely that, with a full remembrance of the fact that these two crack* have to be met on level terms — for the C.J.C. Champagne is not provided with penalties — the owners of 31 others would seriously determine to go to the post. We h.vve Rome good sporting owners in the colony, bnt nob many who are sufficiently well off to pay np simply to give a club a show, and as there are but few of the rank and file in this list that cvn have a hope of. irianing from Me

Stead's cracks, I conclude that once again the forfeit system has ensnared a crowd who would now like to get out. There is among bbc survivors at least one who is actually not in work. < I refer to Mr B. Curtis'* filly by Sb. Clair — Mistral. Loughlin has turned her out for the present I understand, by the way, that it is propose;! to name this filly Zephyr. The other Olago candidates found in the revised list are Mi- Craig's M< uutebank (by Medallion — Vaultress), Mr Loughlin's filly by Medallion —Huguenot, and Mr Elite's Decoy (by Medallion — Siren). On present appearances, as above remarked, the race looks a good thing for the I better of tbe Yaldhurst pair. Some half-dozen of the others are no doubt good enough to ' warrant their engagement being continued on the off chance of the cracks going wrong. But no one would teriously argue that of the 33 acceptors a full third have a show of any BOrt whatever. If straight-out hooka were now open on this Champagne the odds offered would be something like 6 to 4 Gold Medallist, 3 to 1 Multiform, 10 to 1 a couple of the others, and 100 to 1 the rest, and, given a start, anyone wouldl no doubt gladly take Mr Stead's pair against the field and chance their being quite well on the day.

*** Au alleged case of "hocu«sing" ha? cropped up at one of the Melbourne suburban meetings, the pony hurdle-racer Valeoeia being the supposed victim. The* Sporbiman- says that sfi nearly as can be ascertained the facts are as follows : For the Hurdle PUce at the'laat Kensington meeting the owner of Valencia 'was greatly enamoured of his mnre'a chance, and accordingly supported her to the tune of £70. The owner put up a novice of his own choosing, and considered the odds as good as collected. However, Valencia failed to display even t> semblance of her ordinary form, and finished absolutely last. Directly the mare was ridden back to the paddock the owner demanded au explanation from his chossn horseman, and received a parry to this efftct : '• Why don't you give ma uomething that ciia gallop instead of telling me to win on a brute that can't raise a gallop ? " The owner forthwith iuspected his mare, with tbe result that he found her to b< f-xceediugly drowsy, and, moreover, discovered two punotuted wouudri on her cheat. Next morning Valencia was taken to Mr Patty, VS., who, after having made a careful innpeotion, gave a certificate to the effect that he believed a noxious drug, presumably morphia, had been injected into the mare* chest on the previous day. The certificate has been placed by the owner in fthe bends of the Kensington Club's ; secretary, and a lengthy investigation is likely | to ouitie.

j *** It is a salutary lesson in the matter of I big stud fees to look upon the strange case of ; Stockwell, a task that hat been undertaken by ' the Sportiman's ipccial. In 186S tho emperor of stallions attained the zenith of hta marvellous Huccenses. whtn his nous and daughters ■ won 144 races worth over £66,000, and Me N»ylor, justly elated by the horao'e triumph, raised his fee to 200 guinea*. Even Stockwell breeders in tboao days would not pay suoh a fee, and tho consequence may ha seea iv tha foal returns of 1868, when out of 29 Stockwell foals no fewer than 19 were the property of Mr Naylor. Of course* Mr Naylor'i mares wera not all of them »uit«.ble to tho great home, and, indeed, very few of thorn ever bred good stock .\a him. The decline ■of Stookwell in publio favour w&s so rapid thai; iv the Calendar oS 1869 we find the advertisement—" Stockwell will serve mares next season at 75sovs each, or three mares (one property) will bp charged 200fiovs." It was ab this fee that Stockwell sired Doneaater and Gang Forward, ao that ib is clear tha old horse himself bad not deteriorated ; it W4S the high fee alone that ; interrupted the coarse of his success. His i brother, Rataplau, was nothing like so good a j' stallion, bub he sired great hones in Kettledrum i and Blinkhoolie, and excellent brood mares in j Mandragora and Rlgolboche, and he has our1 vived strongly through Blinkboolie'ti son Wis- ! dom.

J *#* Dunedin bookmakers, and presumably their brethren in other centres, hava had to put up With some ugly knocks lately. Gold Medallist at Auckland gave them what is colloquially known as •• ouce rouad " ; Goldipur at Christchurch was another- case in which * - long price was secured, and enough of it to cause the ■winning party to own up to a good ! day's work ; for a third «nuck in the eye tiers ! was a rather heavy corainisinou ia favour o£ I Lorelei at Egmout ; and on Saturday the boya lost » tidy sum over Panoply at Takapuna, this being made all the more serious by the fact that Doris, who doubtless carried a lot of I mousy on the course, and would also have been I well backed outside, was nob teut through to Dunediu as an Receptor. It is understood that one of our fielders pvett.y well escaped the Panoply business, past experience having taught" him the advisability of declining any share ia what was understood to be the loading commission worked in favour of the tinner. Moat likely, if present arrangements continue iv force for any length of time, backers who eomo too sttong and too often will find- fieiders I generally en their guard »ud ensuring them- ' selves against heavy loss by either limiting fcha ; odds or refusing to take wholesale orders. So far i the punters who work on the leading meetiugs ! have found an ample market. • TJio books have stood to bo shot at. Bub they can hardly be blamed should they adopt defensive measures i when the artillery gets too destructive. Ib would bo better for everybody that the boys should do this than be crippled. Up to date ! they have, I believe, met their engagements with 1 the greatest promptitude, and there is no doubt that our Dunedin Ring is the soundest we have ever had. From this ib may bo argned that is spite of their loste3 they continue to make th« i game p»y. If they didn't they would noon get jto the end of their credits at the bank. This ■ would be a general misfortune. So long as the ! public keep on betting it is detirable that there should be a solvent Ring to bet with, and I don't like to hear of their being beaten badly in wholesale lines, my sympathies being rather with the general crowd who go in far this lort of thing chiefly as an amusement. By-and-bye perhaps the betting business will take on ne^v forms, under which the fielder will obtain so"m« measure of protection against the assault! oi heavy speculators. Our turf customs are for ever changing, especially in regard to betting. Meantime ib is nob unreasonable if those bookieg who have been once badly bitten should be twice shy of the biter, and meet him with an occa- — ■ional refusal. There is very little of this sortr of thing as yet, but if heavy backers continue their aggressive greediness they will only have themselves to thank if they defeat their ova ends.

*** The bookmakers seem to be very hop** fal that one of the changes soon to be brought about will be the establishing of their right to go upon any racecourse, instead of being liable, |as at present, to be ousted as trespassers. So far the actual decisions do not provide muoh encouragement. The magistrates have generally convicted when trespass haa been charged and proved. Late, oases are those of the Feiidiog Club agauub Ryan, previously renorfcef

«t length, *nd the Foxton Club against M'Coll. In the last-mentioned case Benjamin M'Coll, cab proprietor, horse-owner, and breeder, of Wanganui, was seen to receivo £1 and make an entry in a book, and two other similar transactions were witnessed, whereupon M'Coll was ordered to leave, and after being ejected he teturned and was arrested. M 'Coil's defence was a denial of the charge that he was either a pookmaker or a bookmaker's agent. He said that he attended to see his horse run and fco back it on the totalisator. Mr R. L. Stanford, the presiding magistrate, said he was of opinion that defendant undoubtedly laid totalig&tor odda on the course ; the books Showed it, and he bad considerable money to invest; the pocketbook w»s evidence that he was frequent! > in the babit of doing this ; the club had given notice that no betting would be permitted except thrcugh the totalisator ; there could be no question the man was betting, and there w»b amjile jus'ificatiou for the club removing him ; accused md hnd full warning, as be had come back to the course after being warned off it ; he v^p undoubtedly a walking totalisator, and wou'ri be fined £10.

*#* On the other b-ucl, the bookmakers are 40 much elated by t'-»i>- partial success in gat'tiug the judgment oi ilia magistrate in the case of the Feildiug Club v. Ryt.n quashed that an appeal is to be mace- against this decision in M'Coll's case. Thm, a^&iu, tho bookmakers did secure a victory agamafc the Christchurch Racing Clvb — not altogether in tho way thoy desired, since the merit 3of the question were not gone into, the club's prosecutions for trespass breaking down on account of their detective being unable to say positively that he had absolutely ordered the men to leave tho grounds. But it wag a Bucce a s. and decisively bo, for the fielders. But whs.t they are chiefly jubilant over is the decision of tho Chief Justice in Wellington annulling the conviof ion against Ryan. This result wbs announced last week, and I have since learned further particulars. Mr Jellicoe, who argued the appeal on behalf of Ryan, spoke for a solid five hours, quoting heaps of cases is support of his contention tbab (.he appeal should be quashed, and after Mr Gully had replied the Chit-f Justice struck out three of the points raised by Mr Jellicoe, ihuß reducing bis case to two point* — namely : ■ 1. That Ryan had committed no offence, and was not a trespasser, inasmuch as hu had a right, coupled with an interest, to go upon any racecouwe, whether private or public property, and transact business with the totalisntor, the same being licenced by act of Parliament to be used by the public under the supervision of the stewards of this jockey club. 2. That the conviction must be quashed, inasmuch as Mr Sherwill, the J.P. who it-sued tho summons against Ryan, was the prosecutor, and, as ono of the stewards and partowners of the racecourse, an interested person, and was disqualified from taking an information, and c -njequeutly the information was null and void. BothrMr Jellicoe and Mr Gully urged Lis Honor to decide the first point, as it was of great im- ; Eortance to both jockey clubs snd bookmakers, ut the Chief Justice deoided to quash the conviction on point No. 2, and refused to give an opinion on point No. 1, saying that he under■tood the matter would come before the court in another form. There the matter stands at present, and there I must leave it, since, further proceedings being pending, it would be manifestly improper to offer any comment. I may, however, remark that «o far as I can learn the bookmakers throughout the colony are uniting to prosecute this appeal, their encouragement being derived mainly from the fact that the Chief Justice did not actually strike out point No. 1, on which the bookmakers chief! v rely, the deduction from his allowing it to staud while he knocked other points out being that Tie did not regard it as irrelevant. Since this Martial success bag been gained the fielders talk £uite hopefully, and other actions are spoken >f, among them a suit by Mat Livingstone Against the persons who ejected him from the Dhristchurch Club's course at New Brighton, [n this and the other cases yet to be decided an tffort will, 1 understand, be made to get a lefiuite opinion from the Supreme Court as to )he strength or the weakness, as the case may Vp, of the already famous point No. 1.

*** Four racehorses whose past performances I entitle them to be remembered by the public i have lately been seen in work at Rnudwick, says ] Sydney Mail. Cremorne, who is looking re- > inarkably well, has filled out considerably during J bis well-merited spell, and in spite of his age promises to train into his best form. Loyalty, > ■who is being put through severer work than the , Glorious gelding, carries a large amount of flesh, and has a thick neck and the conformation of a stud horse ; D. O'Brien will have a little difficulty in reducing him to proper racing condition. The son of St. Georgo is quite Bound, and apparently capable of standing a considerable amount of work. Vanitas, whose coat still reminds one of the fact that he has not long been in from the paddock, is making rapid progress in his preparation, and his trainer has well-founded hopes of being able to send him to the post again in something like bis old form. Delaware, looking as big as a draught horse, gets through the long slow work allotted to him in a ss-tisfactory manner, which causes one to expect him to train on successfully.

*** Sydney Referee tells us that Mr S. G. i Cook wants to get compensation for the injuries ' ■ustained by The Merry Boy when he jumped off the platform at Albury ou his way to Sydney a few weeks ago. Mr Cook bases his claim on the fact that the horse was frightened owing to < the driver letting off steam suddenly. He presumes that the engine driver was in the employ of the Victorian Government, and has sent his claim to them, but as the accident took place on the New South Wales side of the river, the Victorian railway authorities have passed the matter on to the New South Wales authorities. Between the two of them Mr Cook's chance of getting compensation is not very bright, and we all know what going to law in these oases ] means. The Merry Boy is in work at Sandring- j bam, but he is still sore from the effects of the • accident. I

*** The well-known stallion Charibert, who •was bred in 1876 by the late Lord F&lmoutb, j died in Germany a couple of months ago. He | was by Thormanby out of Gertrude, and as a two-year-old won, among othsc races, the Champagne Stakes at Doocaster. As a three-year-old he won the Two Thousand Guineas, cut in the Derby won by Sir Bevys he failed to ran prominently. In 1880 he was successful in ■eveu races, and the following year took a similar number. After this season he was sent to the stud. Charibert was sent to Germany In 1890, having been purchased by Baron ©ppenheim for 8000gs.

*#* Strange things happened in the Hurdle B«ice at Temora (N.S.W.) last month. There Were only two starters, Forget-me-not, the property of Mr R. Hoysted, ridden' by a member of the Brewer family, and Honeydew 11, owned by a Mr Bonering, who appears to pave been the rider also. Forget-me-not wag fevourite at 3 to 1 on. At the first hurdle

Honeydew II ran off, and after galloping a good distance was brought back and jumped the hurdle. Shortly after this Brewer fell off his mount, then Honeydew II bolted off the course, which gave Brewer time to remount Forget-me-nob and win by something over a furlong. The race was so uusatitfactory that the stewards disqualified Honeydow 11, with his rider and ! owner, for 12 months, and al6-.j Forget-me-i-ot, ' but they subsequently came to the conclusion that there was nothing wrong about Forget-nv 1i not's performance, and removed the disqualin- ' cation.

*** There are buyers in tho old country for ] Bloodshot, son of Maxim and Iris. Melbourne i Sportsman states that this horse could be ; despatched to England by the first available ! boat if Mr Harvey cared to accept the sfciffish ! price proffered him. But he evidently re- ' member* that there is an Australian Cup, worth a bit, to be run for shortly, and that the animal who?e best friends in Maoriland believed to be only a sprinter is engaged botb in j that event and in the Champion ; further, that ! in the event or his winning one or b^th of I thesis long-distance races, this youijg stallion — he is yet only f .ur yours old — wnuM command I a very big figure in any parb of th« world.

*#* In forwarding hi? resignation of the presidency of the Go^e Ciub Mr G M Bel! is locally reported to have said thai affrrs tho action of the stewards regard iug the Sauutover protest he could not continue to hold office. One of the rules of betting was that the bettors should have a chance, and in this instance they had none, as a majority of the stewards had before the race decided that if Saunterer won he would be disqualified. Mr Bell went at eorne length into the circumstances of the case, as already reported. A motion that Mr Bell's resignation be accepted was neg.ttivpd ir> fnvour of an amendment askiug him to reeousidftr hi* decision, several members pointing ont that Mr Bell had gone to a very great deal of trouble in the club's interests. A further motion that Mr Bell be asked to give the names of the stewards •who had prior to the race decided to disqualify Saunterer found no seconder.

. *** London Sportsman says that duriug the coming season St. Simon will be represented by the produce of his most unfortunate year at the stud, when so many of his foals died and the change from Welbeck to Rufford Abbey hnd to be made. The previous season had also been a bad one, and what should now hava been great two-year-olds were in many i^stanc^s lont, and in others, — such as Captain Pjfp's gr&ndiooking colt by St. S'mon out of All mi — more or less crippled by joint evil. Thus it is that 1897 will fiud St. Simon with two and three-year-olds by no means fairly representative of him, and if he holds his own at the head of the list of winning stallions it will probably be through Persimmon continuing his victorious career and landing the £10 000 races.

*#* Betting ovgr the V R.C. Newmarket Handicap and Australian Cup is reported by the Weekly Times of Melbourne to be still confined to very meagre business. This state of things is likely to continue unless the members of the ring open out far more liberal odds ou the double event. In tv« Newrnarkeh Handicap there is no decided favourite Ayrshire, Precaution, Snnbury, and Wait-a-Bil are eacb quoted at 100 to 5, whilst at a poiufc lougei Orient, Hova, Carltou, Veloce, Cydtius, Staffa, and Survivor are on offer. So far as the Australian Cup is concerned, a. more decided tone is manifest with reference to a favourite. Bloodfhot has certainly been supported to win a few hundreds, and one wager of 300 to 50 was booked about his chance. Resolute comes uexs in demand at a point lunger, whilst 10 to 1 can be obtained about any other Cap candidate.

* # * An attempt was made recently to take down Captain Coke and Mr Spruce, two Leeds bookmakers. The result was that A'fred Ashwell, J. Dfant, and A. Dene wers indicted for conspiracy to defraud. It was stated that A. Dent attended the York race meeting, and telegraphed the result of tho first raco to the Malton office, where Ashwell was counter clerk, and that J. Dent then sent an ante-timed telegram backing the winning horse. They were found guilty, and sentenced — J. Dent to 18 months', AslrweU to 12 mouths', and A. Dent to three mouths' hard labour.

*** The Caulfield stewards have had a meeting to consider the additional evidence referred to them by the V R.C. Committee in the Ilium case. On the day of the meeting at which Ilium's running was called into question it was resolved to disqualify R. Mitchell, owner and trainer, Marshall, the jockey, and the mure for an indefinite period. At the later meeting this sentence was varied, it being decided that each be dioqualified for five years. This action has yet to be endorsed by the V.R.C Committee. Meanwhile the parties who consider themselves aggrieved are said to be threatening the | stewards with legal proceedings.

* # * Delayß that are no doubt to a certain extent unavoidable are interfering with the preliminary work about the new Wingatui course. The scarcity of drainpipes in tho cause of the latest stick-up. That trouble is now pretty well a thing of the past. Others will, however, be I sure to ariae, and the president of the club, the , Hon. G. M'Le&n, tells me that he ii not very sure that the club will be racing on its own property before the next Dunedin Cup meeting. , The shift will not be made, at any rate, until the place is properly fixed up and things are shipshape. * # * The North Otago programme is published in this issue and will be noticed next week.

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Bibliographic details

TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 2242, 18 February 1897

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TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 2242, 18 February 1897

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