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TALK OF THE DAY.

By MAZEPPA. *** The first thing looked at when the New Zealand Cup handicap appeared on Thursday afternoon last was E uroclydon's weight, and when 9.11 was seen opposite his name, nine out of every ten said it was either more or a little more than they had expected. It may perhaps be interesting to inquire, preliminarily, as to the fate of the top- weight in previous years. Here is the record: — 1883.— Mata and Sir Modred 9.6 each ; neither started ; Tasman 8.9 won. 1854.— Welcome Jack 9.11, finished fifth ; Vanguard 8.9 won 1885.— Tasman 9.12, did not start ; Fusillade 6.7 won. 1886.— Trenton 9.11, did not start; Spade Guinea 6.10 won. 1887.— Nelson 9.10, finished fifth; Lochiel 7.12 won. l 1888.— Nelson and Maxim 9 7 each, neither started ; Manton 6.10 won. 1889.— Manton 9.6, did not start; Tirailleur 6.7 won. j IS9o.— Tirailleur 9.6, did not start; Wolverine , 6.11 won. IS9I-— Tirailleur 9.7, did not start ; British Lion 6.11 won. i 1892.— Occident 8.11, did not start, but Cracksbot got a 3lb penalty, making his weightß.il, and he finished fifth ; St. Hippo 7.7 won. 1893. — St. Hippo and Merganser 9.10 each, neither i started ; Roaefeldt 7.7 woti. | 1891. — Merganser 9.8, did not start; Impulse 7.9 ' won. ' 1895.— 5t. Hippo 98, did not start; Euroclydon ; 7.0 won. , 1896.— Gipsy Grand 9.7, did not start; Lady Zet- ■ land 8.9 won. j Thus it will be observed that not only has the top-weight has never won, but he has never even ' got a place in the race. The fact ia not a com- j rorting one to those -who beforehand backed Euroclydon at 100 to 6. Farther, Euroclydon's present impost is considerably above the average top weight. Only twice has 9.11 been given to a horse, the receivers beiug such out-and-out champions us Welcome Jack and Tren- j ton, aud the solitary occasion oa which that weight has been exceeded was in the case of Tasman, this gallant little bulldog haviDg performed so brilliantly at the back end of the previous season aa to cause the handicapper to serve out 9.12 as his burden. The- highest weight ever carried by a winner of the race is 8.9 and the lowest 6.7, the total weight of all j the 14- winners to date being 1448 ib, or an average of just about 7.5£. General principles j are, however, not by any means an infallible i guide in matters perbaining to racing, and the ! independent consideration of Buroc'ydou's ■ chancs according to his form and the direcc j prospects in his individual case will be of niora j value to the student and the backer. The facts , under this heading are few and fairly reliable, j As a three-year-old Euroclydon won the New j Zealand Cup with 7.0, or 6lb under weight for i age, beating a field which included two horses j that are handicapped for the coming ract: — ' namely, Chaos, who had 34-lb under weight for age; and Skirmisher, whose weight was 151b under weight for age In other > words, in the Cop oi" 1895 Euroclydon gave Chaos '281b and Skirmisher 9lb. ■ In the last Cup of 1896 the Gorton chestnut > carried 9 5, or 51b over w^igtft tor age, and got . beat»jn by Lady Zetland, who, carrying 61b ■ under w.f.a., was praoticaHy receiving lllb j from the colfc ; and on the third day o£ the ■ same meeting the lnare actually conceded lib ; to^_Euroclydon in the Canterbury Cup, and decisively disposed of him. According to this i form, Lady Zetland, if entered for the coming tace, would have gob aboub 10.0, 1 suppose. *.v* There is no doubt that, whatever tbe veil cause was — whether tho results were a?cril»ablr lo a suddenly Required brilliancy on Lady Zetland's part-, cr, as som.j avgue, to Euroclydon being a little "eff" — that at that meeting tbe mare cquld do pretty well aa she liked with the Dunedin horde. On the other hand, h<: : juafc as decisively disposed of ail the rest ths\t. ! came agjvinsfi him in both races, and that hus niways tctmed to me &n argument in favour cf Goodman's contention that Eurcclydon was fit enough on fchc day. Moreover, at the Dunedin meeting which immediately followed, Eurocly-^ don proved irresistible. He won the Otago Cup" ' with 9.6 as he liked, and nothiug dared to tackle < him for the Onslow Plat-?. This is all in the j direction of showing that he was pretty well afc j the time. Even granting that tbe horses he j met at Dunlin were not- pirticularJy formidable, the f-<cb remains that he made back* of ( them, Bhapiog so well that had he met Lady j Zetland again he would have fouud plenty • of backers ab a pries. But, nevei'lhe- J loss, the Canterbury story stauds un- ■ impeached. Argue it any wa^p you will, Lady j Zetland gavft Euroclydon a thorough drubbing, i And thequcfitiou of questions, to my mind, in reference "to the present problem is whether Mr j Henry is justified ip putting more weight on ' Euroclydon than he had when he get licked. To be fair, this increase is nominal rather than ' real. Euroclydon is raised 61b, but he is sup- • posed to improve 51b as between last November i and the coining November, so that the actual increase is only lib. Bui should there have been an increase at all? Personally I don't think ' there should have been. Etiroclydon went ! down badly at last Cup meeting, and to give him more weight than he had when beaten seems to assume as an ascertained fact; that there is not another Lady Zetland in this year's [ batch of candidates, whereas this must remain ! an open question until the race is decided. I j quite realise that the handicapper has had a ; difficulty about the top-weights in this i?.ce. ; The necessity was laid upon him to take care ot i Day Star particularly. But it is unfortunate that this necessity should have caused Mr Henry to increase the weight of a beaten horse— to give Euroclydon, who tried honestly last year and went down, a weight that is above the average and more than has ever been carried into a place ; : •And, all things considered, I hold that Euroc- j lydon was entitled to a little mora considers- | tion that he has received — say, to the extent of j about 31b. Nine-eight would have looked better. It would have given the owner some heart to go on with the horse's preparation, and I don't think it would have spoiled the handicap. Before proceeding to deal with the other horses I may work in another little calculation I have made as to the terms on which the horses that were handicapped for last year's Cup meet in the coming race. Here is the calculation > Last Year. This Year. Euroclydon ,„ „. 4yrs, 9.5 syrs, 9.11 Day Star .7. ,„• 3yrs, 6.10 4yrs, 9.0 Fabulist- „. ... 4yrs, 8.12 syrs, 8.10 Searchlight ... ... syrs, 8.0 6yrs, 8.3 Dauntless 3yrs, 7.5 4yrs, 7.13 Oulverin syrs, 8.0 6yis, 7.13 Lord Rosslyn 3yre, 6.10 4yrs, 7.12 Defiance ... „. 3yra, 7.1 4yrs, 7.11 Epaulet ... 4, 3yrs, 7.1 4yrs, 7.11 New Forest ... .ft syrs, 7.1 6yrs, 7.7 Antares 3yrs, 6.11 4yrs, 7.5 Chaos „, h» .<, aged,7.ll aged, 7.4 Belligerent ... .>, 4yre, 6.13 syrs. 7.2 Lord Zetland om ho aged, 7.3 aged, 7.1 Oma ... ..i mi 3yrs, 6.7 4yrs, 6.9 Calculated through the medium of the weight-for-age scale, I find that of the above lot four are heavier handicapped than oa the last occasion. Thav are «

Euroclydon.,, lib more I New Forest 21b mor« Searculight... 2lb more | Day Star ... 101b m6ra And the remaining 11' have lighter imposts by the amounts stated : Culverin ... 211) less | Defiance ... 121b less Belligerent ... 21b less i Epaulet ... 121b leas Lord Zetland 21b less Dauntless ... 141b lost Lord Rosslyn 61b lefcs Antares ... 141b less Fabulist ... 71b less Oraa «. ... 231b less Chaos 71b less

' *** Only five of these ran l&sb year. Day ! Star was not one of this lot. He began the sea- ■ son brilliantly nith wins at Auckland and I Hawke'sß&y; then went amisa ; but, returning I to some of his form in the autumn, he won the ! Hawke's Bay Cup, » mile and a-half, in 2min 42sec, with 7.13, beating Haria 7.8 and Blarney 8.8 for places, and then put up bis best psrfor- ; mance of the season, whioh was to run second to The Shrew in the Napier Park Cup. He was carrying 8.13, giving the mare 101b, and some competent judges say it was only his rider's over-confidence combined with Derrett's eleotric finish on Tbe Shrew^that gave the latter the victory. Behind Day Star on that occasion were Strathbraan 8 3, Tire 7.12, Haria 7.6, and New Forest 7.1. This is the performance that I had in my mind's eye when stat< ing above that Mr Henry probably had a difficulty in making a place for Day Star ; but, seeing that this colt is apparently a stayer and is supposed to be improving, I don't see that ib would have been any hardtkip to have kept him where he is, at his weight for age, and make Euroclydon give him only 81b instead of lllb. So far as wo can tell, Day Star is as pretty well if not quite as capable of weight for age as Euroclydon is. On his merits I give Day Star a show. The Auckland Easter Handicap is conclusive on that point. In this roilo and a-half race he carried 8.7, and won by a nose from St. P&ul 8.0, both beating Nestor 8.5 and - Haria 7.3. That was the official decision. It was a olosa finish, Day Star having waited rather long in the rear, and having all his work out out to get up. The crowd thought he did not quite geb there. But in these cases the man in the box is generally correct, and, accepting the verdict, ib will be seen at a glance thr.t this Day Star is a racehorse. Of Fabulist, another Aucklander, who comes next on the list, one must apesk guardedly. He wao a. slashing three-year-old in his own district — good enough to be talked of iv compurifion with hit* contemporaries Euroclydon and Gipsy Grand — but his four-year-old career has been mainly a series of disappointments. He wab nowhere .in the New Zealand Cup ; when made a pob for the A.R.C. Handicap with 8.12 he got beaten by Miss Laura 8.3 ; aud one of his few creditable performances was the winning of the Grand Stand Handicap at the aarao meeting. This, however, was only at a mile and n-quarte.r, and though lie had 9.6 oa his back he had none of the present Cup horses against him, but Mars 7.2- and Haria. 7.10, Each of these has now 61b the worst of ib with reßpect; to Fabulist, hence he will probably beat them agaiu. On the whole, however, I am nob much impressed with Fabulist. He is under suspicion of not being a true stayer. He may come back to his three-year-old form, and Mi* Henry is justified in keeping an eye on him, but, all things considered, I hold that there is justification for making the half-stono allowance by comparison with l&6t year. #** Blarney has to bis credit the Rangitikei Cup, also the Watiganui Onp, during* the present season. Iv the latter raca he carried 8.5 and did tho mile and three-quarters in 3min 8 3 ssec, after a good finish with Leda 7.2, behind whom c&me Day Star 7.13, Fabulist 8 13, St. Paul 8.5, The Brook 7.12, and Haria 7.3. I mention only those of the field who ar» engaged in the Now Zealand Cup. Reading tbis record with one eye on the handicap now before us, Blaruey would eeem to have a very 1 reasonable chance ot" dishing the half-dozen agaia, since he gives nothing for this beating to any of them excepting Fabulist, who receives 6lb. But the bare figures are delusive in the comparison with respect to Day Star, aa that colt was at the time only coming to his form ; and I have an idea, from what bus bsen said, that Blarney had all his work cut out to get; home from Ledu. If co, th« form w*« nob ■wonderful, and, as Mr Henry saw it, I shall nofc presume to tax him with leniency to Blarney. I am inclined rather to oaistrnst the figures in this cuse and support the handicap. In other words, while Blarney is giveu- a show, I don' 6 think be is favoured. For reasons already given, Sb Paul appears to bs fairly treated witii reference to Day Star, and, considering that his chief victories have beea ab a mile aud a-quarter — I refer to the Taranaki Autumn Handicap, the Auckland Autumn Handicap and the Wellington Autumn Handicap — there ia a preßumpbiou that he is nofc partial to a disfcacce ; wherefore, though at a ficob glance ho seems to b:; well treated, a full thinking-oui; leaUs oue to the opinion that Mr Henry has about calculated St. Paul's place with regard to all thoae above hjm iv the list. Bub at the next; stage we light upon what seems to be very like a mistake, as between St. Paul and Waiuku. In the Thompson Handicap Waiuku won with 8.13, St. Paul 8.12 being utcond. I shall be told, of course, that this we,a enly a mile race, and that when this pair met at a mile and a-qunrter next day St. Paul turned the tables on him. But in reply I would poinb out that iv this mile and a-quarter race Si:. Paul was receiving 101b from Waiuku, and it may be fair to remark also thafc Waiuku's performance in the mile and a-quarter was so bad — beaten out of a pl».ce — as to warrant the suspicion that he wos not showing his form. We cannot safely assume thai, ■VVaiuku found tho distance troublesome, fox he won the Great Autumn Handicap, » mile aud a-half, and I cannot fiad Sb. Paul baaliDg any such field as that over the same distance. As to the question of staying, Waiuku is to ba preferred to St. Paul in my jadgment ; and we kuow he can carry weight. True, be had bat 7.12 in the Greab Autumn, but there was nob a heavily-weighted horse in the race, aud_ how did he win 1 Reviewing the whole situation, I cannot help thinking that Waiuku is certainly to be preferred to St. Paul, and that he hns indeed a very fair Bhow to win. *** In selecting Waiuku as having a good show, I am well aware that as a matter oi figures it could be shown th*t Leda and others who finished behind him in the Autumn Handicap h&ve a substantial allowance in consequence of their defeat. This will be noticed as we come to these horses in turn. But I regard Waiuku a» a horee possessing nob only brilliancy, but staying power. We thought him once a mere miler. Now he has won ab a milo and a-half, and looked like galloping on, and I apprehend that we have not yet seen him at his best. With B.6— a stone less than he would get in a mile r&ce — he has an inducement to prove in publio whether he can get two miles. Personally I have no doubt, on the subject. Searchlight, the next on the list, should be leCu alone until weknow something definite about her. Her present credentials are to the effect that sha has plenty of speed under a medium weight up ■ to a mile and a-half ; and, strictly analysed, there may not be much to choose between tha better of her oerformances at Hawke's Bay and

Waiuku's at ChrLatchnroh, wherefore her nearness to the son of St. Leger is perhaps justified. But she has not such a convincing record as a whole, and, moreover, her feats are not of the present season, so I leave time to reveal her chances. Marquis of Zetland has one fair performance to his credit this season, and several easy wins and two or three disappointments. His one performance of merit was the winning of the Midsummer Handicap, a mile and a-half, with 7.12, when he fairly galloped away from Skirmisher 8.7 and Leda 7 9, and .finished bo strongly as to cause his party to fed sorry that he was not nominated for the Dunedin Cup. It was an impressive performance — not, perhaps, because of what Marquis beat, for, to he candid, I regard both Skirmisher aod Leda as "Sunday" racers, but because of the intrinsic brilliancy displayed by the colt. He simply cut their company. It was remarked just above that on Great Easter form Leda must not be altogether overlooked iv comparison with Wainku, as she ran second and now rtaeivts lllb for the beating. But if Leda's Midsutnmer Hatdicap form was reliable she cannot have auy show with Marquis of Zetland, as he won right out alone, she nowhere, for all the chance she had >^and Marquis now concedes her only 81b for that decisive drubbing. And yet I'll be bound the majority of our sports consider Waiuku quite us well, if not better, handicapped than Marquis of Zetland is. Ido for one. In other words, I mistrust Leda as a guide to what is a fair thing. So. apparently, does Mr Henry, who has, I think, about hit she mark in his estimate of Mr Hcbbs's colt, though, as before remarked, I prefer Waiuku.

*s* The inconstant Skirmisher stands next on the list. He receives 9ib nominally from • Marquis of Zetland, for the Midsummer Handicap result— a liberal allowance, one would say, at first sight, though it is nexb to nothing, seeing that the conceder improves so much with age, while Skirmisher has reached or passed his prime. Calculated through the weight-for-age scale, Marquis of Zetland was carryiug 31b below w.f.a. in the Midsummer Handicap, and now has 121b less ; while Skirmisher in February had 111b less, and for the Cap has 211b less ; so Marquis gets 91b off and Skirmisher 101b off — net result, if the w.f.a. scale is reliable, of lib in Skirmsher's favour for a very bad beating. And how doeß Skirmisher stand affrcted in comparison with the horses he defeated in the Birthday Handicap ? We will, if yon please, use. the w.f.a. once more. He net Strathbraan, Lord Eosslyn, abd Chaos, and all these three finished behind the fourth horse, while Skirmisher won fairly easy. He met them and will meet them, if they all start, on these terms :

Birthday. N.Z. Cup. Dif. Skirmisher ... 12lb less 2.1b less 91b Strathbraan/... 41b less 221b less 181b L Ro3slyn ... w.f.a. 161b less 161b Chaos .* 181b leas 301b less 121b Expressed otherwise, Skirmiahei 1 , for .beating these horses, gives Strathbraan 9ib, Lord Rosslyn 71b, and Chaos 31b. That is how it paus ont on figures, according to the w.f.a. scale, End I think we may conclude it Bhows that Skirmisher, if displaying his true form, ought to best Strathbraan and Chaos again, though the handicap is not so far unreasonable as to to deprive him of a show. I intentionally exempt Lord Eosslyn from the comparison, for the reason that he „waa affected at tbe time with a tender foot. On the whole, Skirmisher may be counted Among those that hive a chance. Coming to Dauntless, we have as a pretty reliable guide the Metropolitan Handicap result, when The PfjMible 8.4 won, doing the mile and a-half in 2min 37sec, with Daultless 7.4 only half a length away — a rattling go for both of them ; And on top of that the Jockey Club Handicap, wherein Dauntless 7.10 won at a mile, with Marquis of Zetland 7.0 second. Theee figures seem to indicate in this the plain superiority of Dauntless over Mr Hobbß's colt ; but it was only at a mile, and seeing that Marquis afterwards won at a mile and a-half, a longer coarse than Dauntless ever won over, Mr Henry is perhaps justified in making Marquis give Dauntless 31b. lam not prepared to arguts to the contrary. The fact is that each has a reasonable weight, and though it might be contended that Dauntless is a trifle the better treated, it could only be by a pound or two.

*** Culverin a year ago had 8.0, and £462 was put on her in the totalicators. Evidently . she was held in recpect. She was one of the i last to finish in the racs ; but that form was too bad to be true. At 7.13 now she appears to possess a chance as a mere matter of weight ; but I should like to be assured as to her condition before backing her. One of her few performances this season was to give Cannonshot Sib in the Geraldine Cup. That result", however, may be put on one side ; it was no gnide ■to form. Strathbraan won tbe Wellington Cup, a mile and a-Jhalf, In 2min39sec with 7.6 on his back. The rise to 810 was too much for him the next day, and hi* inability to carry weight was further exemplified when with 8.7 he was ODly third in tbe Thompson Handicap, a mile, won by Waiuku 813 ; also, again, when he ! started with 8.12 in tbe Birthday Handicap. And, as before observed, he seems to have none the best of it now with Skirmisher. On the other hand, the lower scale of weights is distinctly in Strathbraan' s favour, and that causes ■ me to think he may possibly he beard I of in tbe race if he strips fit. He is not a particular fancy of mine, but I do not strike him ont of tbe list of possibles. The Brook comes nexb-ia order. This mare won the Bgmont Cnp this aeaton with 6.10, defeating Blarney 8.2 at the end of the mile and three-quarters by a length and a-half ; and later on, at Manawatu, she won at a mile and a-half with 7.9, beating Blarney 8.4-. Blarney is now raised 41b on that, and The Brcok only 31b, so that if they stay equally well — and on that point each has won a mile and three-quarters race — and if Blarney is worth his weight, as by the previous showing seems to be the case — well, The Brook must surely have a say. Upon my word, this handicap is in most respects singular. One can find reasons for speaking favourably of almost every horse in the race so far as we have gone. And who will be bold enough to exclude Cannonshot from the category ? Not me, cer- ! tainly. I don't profess to know what this fellow can do ; hub being fully persuaded that lie is a racehorse, possessing the gift of finishing, he well deserves his 7.12, -which is by no means a punishing weight for a five-year-old. The weighting of Mauser must have been pretty well a shot in thov dark — we know so little about him. All that Mr Henry could be expected to do was to take reasonable care of him. That has been done ; and whether this somewhat erratic customer runs away with the Cup, or finishes last, or breaks down in the race — either outcome is op the cards — nobody can blame the handicapper.

*** Lord Rosslynj owing to hii occasional Infirmities, had few opportunities this season of proving his form. He was probably very nearly fib in the Dunedin Cup, but; there he had nothing to beat save Skirmisher. Taking this meagre line to work on, we find that whereas

I Skirmisher in that race was conceding lib to * , Lord Rosslyn, judged through the weight-for- ' ' age scale, in the Cup Lord Rosslyn gives 51b, ' so that the Dunedin colt gives 61b for the Cup result. Ab a guess that is somewhere about " fair dues." It certainly gives the Hon. G. M'Lean's colt a chance with Skirmisher ; and, taking the broader view of his case, aparS from arithmetic, that Lord Rosslyn is a good stamp or a colt, receiving 161b from the of his contemporaries, while three others of the j same age, none of them wonders, also < give the St. Clair colt weight — well, ' j if his claim to first rank has any validity he ' ought to cheer up at the prospect. Assuredly I ; ' he his been a batter performer than Defiance, j ; , who finished fourth in the Derby and last in the , : i Canterbury Cup, and would have no claim to j i | form at all but for his having gained third ] | place in the N Z Cup. It is this last-mentioned j fact that causes me to ponder a moment before 1 i making up nay mind as to how he has been ] i treated ; but on consideration I cannot accepb I i | him as tbe equal of Lord Rosslyn. Epaulet, ' ] ■ coo, on form alone, is not leniently treated. We i ' kuow, however, that from causes over which his j trainer bad no control this coh was never quite i well all this season, and a little b'i-d whispers i i in my ear that he is now doing better, and may j I be heard of in this Cap. The fact that Mr ' ( Stead does not keep young horses that he mistrusts may be also taken as evidence in the same direction. Wherefore, though I cannot ' , recommend Epaule* from anything he has done, "' I am going to resetve my judgment as to hi? j ! show. The rest of nay remarks on the' handi- , cap are held cv<jr till next week. ■ , *#* The Australasian is of opinion that i nowhere is there a greater call for paid experts 1 t than at Flerniogton. The V.R.C. has tided ! . over its difficulties, now, and the cry of poverty t cannot be rained by those who are opposed to ! » having paid stewards on the score of tnerebeicg ' j no money to provide salaries. The only real [ ( difficulty in the way of getting the experts to i t act as stewards on # all courses near Melbourne ! f is the di3like of committee men at Fiemington j j and Caulfield to deny themselves the privilege i j of filling the posts. There was a time when • s the members of a racing club filled all the , x positions save that of secretary. They filled the ' f judge's box, acted as starters, and even made I t the handicaps. Who would think of advocating i t the filling of these positions by amateurs now ? \ And if paid experts are necessary as handi- 1 cappers, judges, and starters, why, in the name t t of all that is reasonable, should we not ' \ go a little further and have the stewards | { paid men, selected because of their special | t fitness for the post? As it is, members oi j c the leading clubs vote for certain gentlemen r as members of the committee simply be- \ cause they regard them as men competent to , manage the affairs of the club. Their qualifi- I t cations for watching a race and seeing what , gees on iv that race do not enter into the cal- j s dilations of the voters. If they did several men j j now on the V.R.C. Committee would not ba ! f, there. The advantage of having the same men ] acting as stewards at all meetings is in itself a v strong argument in favour of doing away with v the present system. The paid officials would r have an advantage whioh is not enjoyed now s when we - have different stewards for different ; ] courses, and present stewards lack the constant j c practice and knowledge of the horses running ' j which the paid man would possess. With j stewards appointed on the score of their fitness ; • for the office, and paid for their services, tha r " power to review " might be done away with j with perfect safety, and in any case ifc is a rule c we shall be glad to see abolished. The English j Jockey Club has no such rule, yet we know that in the Brilliancy case some years ago a j flagrant case of pulling one day and winniug the fi next resulted iv the parties concerned being i warned off, and the V7K.C. were without this v cumbersome rule when they dealt with Mata a and his party in 1880. t

* # * Chon Kina, winner of the Royal Plate at Kempton Park, is described as an ordinarylooking two-ypar-old, but a rare mover. He is by Saraband from St. Cicely, by Hermit from Cicely Hacket, by Le Marechal. When the hordes came to the post in this race Bittern buckjumped, and, throwing Garrett over his head, galloped away riderless. He was not caught until he had bolted to the end of the Jubilee mile, and when Garrett remounted it was a snrprise to see him go to the po9t, thereby becoming a s'arter. His bad temper was not exhausted, as in a break away which occurred almost immediately he again threw Garrerx and jumped the rails. After another five minutes on his own account Bittern was captured a second time, and again took his place under the starter's orders. By this time nearly half an hour had been cut to waste. The delay, however, did Chon Kina comparatively little harm, as, being a gelding, he stood pretty quiet. The Jubilee Stakes produced a great race. "Vigilant" says that Hebron rushed to the front and made the pace as hot as he could — much as Cobbler did in Minting's year. Holding his own well to the bend, Mr Woolf Joel's horse came on, Alleopp bugging the rails and s *viug every possible inch of ground It looked at ona moment as if he were going to stay home, but no, the green and red cross belts of the favourite were seen to be forging ahead, and something like a sigh of disappointment seemed to go up from the crowd. Another moment and there was an ecstatic shout of " Kilcock wins ! " and it was no mere case of the wish being father to the thought, for nursed as well a? was possible in such a fast-run race, Darling's great horse ab last made hie effort at the distance, and catching the leader got hii head absolutely in front, and did for a few strides have the best of the struggle. Then, too, came a mighty roar of "Victor Wild ! " and there, sure enough, was the old champion, who had none the best of the luck round the bend, bang on the premises, and struggling with the same undying courage as ever to win his Jubilee for the third time of asking. The finish for this ra.ee will always live in ths mtm^iies of those who saw it, for there was al most an agony of suspense as to whether Kilcjck would quite get home. Alas !, it was not to be. Up to the last 100 yards he wonld have won, aad then — and then the weight told. Watts put on all pressure to fquetze out an extra effort, but Clwyd, thanks to the power and determination with which young Robinson had been sending him aloog all the way from the bend, reasserted his supreme cy and won a grand race by iv neck, Victor Wild being beaten only three-quarters of a length for second place. The time, lmin 40sec, is a record for this rac*, and I make no doubt that if Hebron had not set such a pace Kilcock would hare won.

*** The Newmarket meeting followed, and here the great attraction on the second day was the valuable Newmarket Stakes. This race seemed to ba quita at the mercy of Galtee More, but some interest was -expected to be aroused by the opposition of Vesuvian, whose success in the Dewhurst Plate last season had raised high hopes as to his three-year-old t-areer. Bub though the Kingsclere colt had been sent to Newmarket, and was on view in the outer Birdcage, it was eventually decided to offer no ODDOsition to Galtee More. His task conse-

1 quently appeared of the simplest, and with 1 prohibitive odds asked for by the fielders ' speculation was but limited. The favourite, as anticipated, Bcored in the easiest fasßion, and though the accident which alone could have prevented his success might have happened when Frisson attempted to bolt in the first quarter of a mile, the Irish-bred colt was not interfered with to any extent, and passed the post a gallant winner. The Sportsman's j " special " says ; There is no use in describing ; the race, for it can hardly be called one. ' Galtee More was quite content to wait with ' his hors2B as long as Wood liked, and when his I jockey began to lot out a reef or two desceDd- } ing the Bußhes Hiil only one of the others was , in a condition to make the slightest correspondj ing effort. That one was Bjrzak, who struggled gamely ; but in the Abiugdon Dip the inatanfa Wood gave the big horse the office to go along the race was all over in just two strides. I am ] not exaggerating when I say that Galtee More I drew right clear away in two stride?, and that 1 he never exerted himself at any other part of the race. Having thus, with incredible ease, gained .a commanding lead, he was allowed to slow down again snd canter past the post very i much as in a sculling race wo are accustomed j to see the winner almost paddling in, while his opponent is labouring dasperately in the rear. ! *** I understand that the committee of the '. Dunedin Jockey Cub are not altogether uuanij raous as'to the wisdom of the proposal to put i farther* on in the season by about four weeks tho race meefciug which we commouly call the Spring meeting, and as it may be assumed that the question will b9 discussed at an early mettiug of the committee after the coming ! election, even if an expression of opinion is not 1 a-ked at the general mtebing of members — I think, by the way, it would be a wise thing to | take a voLe on that occasion — I venture to once ] more advocate the change. The reasons for ; supporting the proposition are :—(1;: — (1; That by [ the present arrangement Danediu has its races ; at a time when the public are "full up" of rncing, some having attended the Christchurch meeting and considering themselves bound to afterwards settle down to work, while the many who have dabbled in or absolure'y plunged financially over tho C.J.C. events are for the most part " whipping the cat " and not auxious !to re-engage iv a coutest against luok (2) The horses that assembled for the C.J C. carnival have mostly had quite enough galloping by the time that meeting is over. Half of them have been up all the winter, nearly all of them since the eariy spring, and after racing on the hard tracks usually found at Riccartonthey ara more or less soro. This being the case — the horses really requiring a few days' spell — owners seize with avidity upon every possible show of a growl with the handicapper, and make this the excuse for withdrawing horses that probably would go out in any case. Oa the other hand, a short rest to wearied horses would be possible it they had an interval from the end of the firsb week of November to the end of December, and the relaxation would do them a world of good, allowing them to be freshened up again and to strip at their best for a Christmis campaign. (3) By racing on Boxing Day and the following days the club would ensure a large gathering of country and town folk who cannot tpire time for a manufactured holiday in November, bub would hail with pleasure tbe prospect of a racing carnival during the general " off. period" of Chrishmastide. These are my ' main reasons for urging & change, and, though ' I have heard the opinion expressed that 'the change would be a mistake, I have yet to listen j to a fair answer to the arguments here pro- i pounded. Our club ia in need of some enliven- i ing influence. We have not bsen so sharp as some other clubs. I hopo to see this question battled out; to a finish. Another proposal for | which much could be said is one previously J advocated in these columns — namely, to make the Dunedin Cup a mile race and put a good weight- for-age long-distance race on the -second day's programme. This suggestion was not mine originally, but ifc is one which I heartily endorse, believing that it would suib ownertf, and at the same time save the club from thi j loss of dignity which is feared wouid re^lt ] from reducing distances all round. Iv pissing, | I may remark that we already have reduced ' distances, and therefore need not fear what ! might happen ab a re3ulb of such action. But I , do not propose to go auy further in this dircc- i tiqn. I want to see a race as attractive as the , ICaster Handicap and the Thompson Handicap inaugurated at Wingatui, and if we were to \ make our Dunedin Grip a race of that kind, putting in the second day's programme a valuable race at fixed weights, owners would not need to bother their heads as to what s-how they would be likely to get if they missed the Cup. _J

*)(* It has become quite the fashion for one horse to pull eft' a double at the one-day meetings at FlemingLon. says " Asmodeus,"and that game little mare Dora, carrying Mr S. G. Cook's colour*, followed at last month's meeting the recent examples set by Blackwood, Ironsidei, and Trent. A few similar repe'-ibions will no doubt inducj^ the oommibtea to consider the advisableness of raising tho. present peualty of 71b for winners. It was Dora's first appearance in the Pytchley livery, and her opening victory in the Stand Handicap was quite of an easy character ; but a different talk awaited her in the Welter Handicap, when she only jusb pot up in time to dead heat with Ironsides, though the line had no sooner been struck than she -had her head in front. Mr S. Miller having established a custom never to divide, Dora had to face the ordeal of confronting the barrier a third time within a couple of hours, and as a consequence odds were laid on Ironsides in the run-off, a proceeding which appeared to be justified by the way he saddled up on two previous occasions — once at Fleinitißton and again at Bendigo. The easy style in which Dora settled Ironsides was quits unlooked for, and the enthusiastic ovation extended to the mare and her owner bore forcible testimony to the popularity of the win. Mr Cook has not had the bast of luci this season, and so Dora's dual success came as a refreshing change, and was appreciated accordingly.- The Rsdleap staVe was also unfortunate with Romsdal iv the Steeplechase ; the black gelding seems to have taken a dislike to the business. He jumped a number of fences clumsily, and finally ran off in company with Britomarte. Tbe latfcer's rider blamed Peveril and Tarracom for the mishap, and entered a, complaint against Laverty and Edge ; but after an inquiry and examination o! the hordes' tracks leading to the fence where the alleged wilful interference occurred, the stewards decided that the running off of Romsdal and BriSomarte was purely accidental. The contretemps proved extremely unfortunate for Logan, who had his kneecap smashed through co'liding with the wiug, and he will probably be detained in hospital for a short while. With Mooicy also on the shelf as a result of the accident which befell him when riding Earlston at Bendigo, the Redleap jockeys have been exceptionally unfortunate at the. outset of the Grand National season.

*** " Terlirga," writing of the record, says : When Croaah Patrick. & horse imported to

' Victoria in 1868, won the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood in 1861 there were 45 starters. This is the biggest field on record in any race, but at Rosehill on June 19 the Australian record was raised to 43. Previous to that date The Ghost

won in a field ot 42 at Cauifield, and most people kDow that there were 41 starters for the CaulI field Cup of 1885 — the race which resulted in the biggest smash ever furnished by a race. ! There were no falls in Croagh Patrick's race, but there were two at Rosehill, and such large fields are not to he desired. The Rosehill Cup j was only worth £200, but the distance was short, and there was plenty of sweep money on offer. A fair percf-ntago of the btarters were t ent to the post on the off r h-vnee that r raceing miracle might happen, llatber thau nof; get a ■ iun the drawer of a horse will sometimes pay I acceptance fees, losing mount, &0., and lay the" ! owner one, two, three money as well. I re- ' member this being done in the case of the top- ' weight for a Sydney Cup nob very long ago. Tbe horse ran second, but the owner had no intention of scratching, and the drawer of the horse need nob have paid up £15 for the horse's j sweep. The record-breaker Precaution started at 4 to 1 tor the Kosehill Cup, but the race fell Jto Kelso, a 20 to 1 chance. When Croagh Patrick won his Stewards' Cup he started au equal favourite at 7to 1 with Nativity Six weeks after the race Croagh Patrick was objected to on the ground that he was tho property of a ' man in arrear for forfeits ab the time tho race I was ruu. After a loug inquiry Croagh Patrick I got the race, and he won the Chesterfield Cup i at the same meeting.

*#* The scratching of Bridegroom, a horse belonging to Mr A. F. Calvert, that looked to have almost au evea-money chance for the Kecnpton Park Jubilee Stakes, has caused a discussion in Eagland. Bridegroom was a hot tavourite uutil about three weeks before the i race, when his stable companion Clwyd began to figure in the quotations. Each day saw Clwyd shorten in price, until at last he touched 6 to 1, and wabalmo:tfavourite. Then Bridegroom went back to 10 to 1, and after a gallop wich Clwyd was scratched. Then it wa? asserted that the trial had nothing to do with the cise. "It was in everybody's moulh last week, 1 ' wrote Mr Allison, " that Bridegroom would not see the post, an<l the market afforded abundant indications that the rumour would* prove correct. Under the ciroumstances the formality of a trial with Clwyd might surely have been dispensed with, for it i<s perfectly certain that were Bridegroom still in the race, and a sure runner, he would be a hot favourite at this moment, whether Clwyd finished in front of him or not." And the paragraph wound up by aaying that an explanation from Mr Calvert was " desirable, not to say necessary." On the day the mail left Mr Calvert explained. He had never made a penny out of Bridegroom ; had not even laid off the money he backed him for early in the day ; and had gained nothing by keeping him in the race. He blamed the newspaper touts for all -the trouble. Olwyd, he declared, beat Bridegroom iv a. gallop a week before the Sunday trial, but all the touts gave Biidegroom as the winner of the gallop. "It was solely on this account, and acting in the interests of the public," said Mr Calvert, " that we decided co have another trial on Sunday last before •scratching Bridegroom, although we. had proved to our own satisfaction that Clwyd was the better horse at the weights." The upshot of it was that Clwyd won, and the British - public gave the owner a very unfriendly demonstration.

*j(* A record from Rosehill, New South Wales, is appropriate to the Jubilee celebrationo. Foriy-three horses ran for the Cap, of 200sove, six furlongs. This is the largest field ever seen in Australasia, and, so far as I remember, it has only once been surpassed in England, when 45 assembled for a race won by Croagh Patrick. "Nemo" reports that had the supply of riders been equal to the demand at Rosehill the competitors would have been increased by at least three or four ; but jockeys were not available, and consequently a world's jecord was missed. Tattersall's sweep considerations were mainly responsible for the g'eat number of contestants, and the haudicapper is also entitled to a deal of credit for the manner in which he brought his Jaorses together. Ib was rather unfortunate that the race should have been marred by a false 6tart, owing to which over a dozen of the competitor*) ran the whole distance, and the majority of the others covered three or four f uriongg at their top. Precaution was made a very warm favourite, and though she was among the leaders in the talse start,* her rider soon realised the state of affairs, and pulled up. In the race proper she also got well away, and ran prominently with Telegraph until fairly in the straight, where she faded out of the fray and disappeared in the ruck. Devoted was also in the leading division, and flattered her admirers after passing the distance, but could nob stay it out ; and a collision with Survivor near the three-furlong post greatly interfered with the chances of Mundiva, who, however, carni very fast at the finish. Samiramis did not get out of the ru?k until uearicg the distance, when she came with a determined run, but had to be content with third place. Telegraph acted well under his impost, but after cutting out the work until well inside the distance, the son of Metal was outpaced by Kelso and beaten by a length. The winner, despite his recent consistent nianin;, was nob much fancied by the public, aojl plenty of money could have been got about the son of Kmgsbarougb. ab 100 to 5 up to the fall of the flag.

*** The shrewder the man, apparently, the greater is- the mistake he commits (says "A Breeder" in Man of the World). Lord Alington has the reputation of being one of the most long-headed men the turf has ever known, and yet be sold the dam of Isinglaps for £19. For St. Blaise he got little more than £1500, and he saw him afterwards sold for £20,000. On the day aftsr Lsdas hsd won the Derby ue remarked to a friend, " I have done a good stroke of work this afternoon. I have sold £18,000 worth of horseflesh." One o? the items was Matchbox, who was imnae<m(ely afterwards sold for little short of £20.000. with a chance of winning tbe Grand Prix de Paris, the Sfc. Leger, and other races reserved by the vendor ; and the other lot waß Goldfinch at £2000. What, I wonder, would Goldfinch fetch now? He was, when in training, a faster hor3e than o:me. Here we have at least three big mstakes made by Lord Alington. The same number may be credited to the Duke of Westminster, if not four. .He let Paradox go for £6000 immediate'y after his first defeat. The horse for his new owner won the Two Thousand Guineas and many other races, and if be had remained the property of the Duke of Westminster he would have won the Derby, as he would have had Archer on his back. On another occasion his Grace, on going through his padpock, eaid, without asking for the identity of the animal, "Send tbat colt away, and do not let me see him again." It was Laceman, who afterwards won so many races. Then came the mistake, for such undoubtedly in a monetary

ficnse it was, of 6elling Ormonde, as apart from what the horse earned in the meantime he changed hands afterwards at a profit of £16,000, j which might as well have goue into the Duke of Westminster's pocket as not. The sale of Kendal was a still greater mistake. Though he was the only horse thafc ever beat' Ormonde iv a trial, the Duke would not; breed from him at any price, on account of his proppy forelegs. What, I wonder, is the value of Kendal now, to say nothing of what he has earned in the meantime P Mr Platt, of the Bruntwood stud, certainly scored immensely in bringing him back from Ireland, though it cost him, I believe, to do so close on £16,000. j *#* The Dunedin Jockey Club's annual report is nor, it must be confessed, cheerful roading. A loss on the racing of the year, a reduction in stakes, and a draining of the refer ye fund are facts ont of which an enemy could make capital. Bub who could be an enemy to a body like this, which exists bat to I serve the public, and has got into shallow water smply because it couldn't help it ? X for one would not liko to rank as an enemy of the club. And I don't think there are any who wish it evil. But the club has critics— Eome of them merciless, and to these I would address the observations that though the D. J.C. is no longer the corpulent body it once was, it can well afford to be honest and candid in regard to its reports ; also, the prospects are hopeful. Inorease of revenue and reductions of expenditure are calculated to accrue trom the projected shift to Wingatui. and I really believe such will be the case. One good sign is tbat there is competition for the seats on the committee. Three eligible citizens are nominated this time in competition with the old committee, and I venture to predict that at least one of the three will win his seat. If things were so very bad with the club at some would make oub we should nol find this healthy rivalry lor office. *** An American paper states that Colonel E. i\ Clay, of tbe Runnymede Stud, ii trying I to persuade his fellow-breeders in Kentucky to j organise, and have all light-boned and underj sized yearling fillies operated on before being : sold, bo as to render them uufit for stud pur- ! posss, and when their racing career is over they I will have to be utilised in some other way. | Colonel Clay has consulted a specialist, who assures him that the organs of generation can be removed without any injurious effects, the operation being simple and harmless. He further states that fillies so operated on would i train and race better, as, independent, of their i not being weakened from sexual causes at the usual stated intervals, they would be altogether hardier, as it has been demonstrated that the removal of tho organs of generation in the weaker sex causes them to become more robust and masculine, and as a consequence they will both train and race better. I * # * Chatting on Monday with Mr H. Goodman, he remarked that to his mind one of the i peculiar hardships of having Buroclydon estimated so highly by the handicapper for the New Zealand Cup is that the high estimate would probably ba followed by other handicappers if he entered the horse for Hawke's Bay or other early spring events, and that, already | having 9 11 in the Canterbury race, Euroclydon I is practicaliy told ho must nob incur a, penalty. Mr Goodman's expectation regarding Euroclydon's weight in the Onp'was 9.8. As ifc is, he - points out, the big horse will need to be at his very best to win, and there must be nothing of merit to come sgainsfc him from the lightweight division of unknowns. Under these circ umstances, as he has only a small team to work with and wants to get racing as aoou as possible, he would be inclined to sell Euroclydon if a fair price were offered, and with thn money purchase others that would give him a chance of a quicker return in a smaller way. * # * Tbe following story comes from Pretoria • At a recent race meeting in that land a hurdle race w«s one of the attractions. Among the starters were Fiudout, Steadfast, Tempe 11, Gold, and Fred. Findout and Steadfast fell at the first hurdle, Gold and Fred flew out, and Tempo II was the only one to negotiate ifc. * After the race Fred's owner reported the jockey — a lad of 12— for foul riding in having pulled the horse out of the course. The next day tho . stewards met to consider the matter. The owner's statement was taken, and then the boy was called in and asked to explain. " Please, sir," he said iv reply to the chairman, " I rode to orders." — " What do you mean ? " — "Why, sir, I was told to follow Gold, and I did." *#* From a hint casually dropped the other day, I fancy that Stepherison and Hazlett will not build or rent utablesat Wingatui, and that the raciug partnership wjjf very likely be dissolved -. if the shift to be made by the Dunedin Jockey Club leads to tha disuse o£ the Forbury as a training track. Both partners patronise racing because they are fond of horses, and if traming is done so far away as to make it inconvenient for them to go out pretty often and have a look round, the chances are that they, will " cut it." lam not speaking with authority, but that is my opinion. *** Buzz', winner of the Grand National Hurdles, won the same race last year, and has done nothing since. Larrikin, one of Australia* best steeplechasers, was mortally injured in the race.

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TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 2262, 8 July 1897

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TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 2262, 8 July 1897

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