TALK OF THE DAY.
*** The Dunedin Jockey Club has gob oub the Hunt Club programme without delay. It commences, as usual, with the Hunters' Hurdle Race, to which 30*ovs is now given instead of 35sovs, as last year; and I observe an alteration in the conditions — for, whereas it used co be the practice to allow amateur riders 71b, the race is now supposed to be for amateur riders, though professionals may take a mounb by carrying 101b extra. The professionals, though not debarred, are distinctly discouraged. Personally, I think that a good professional at 101b extra is to be preferred for a winning chance to most of the amateur race riders ; but owners have a rooted dislike to overweight under any circumstances, thinking, no doubt, that if they put up extra weight it will give handiovppera an idea that they think they have a bit in hand ; and 1 think it probable that the result of the new conditions will be to bring the amateurs into more request. This will be regarded by some persons a3 a move in the right direction. lam not ao sure myself. Ib is *cry desirable to sees our young men taking to the saddle, and strengthening up their backbones and giving energy to their livers by the splendid exercise to be found on a horse taken across country, bu'i race-riding is something, that ought to be learned thoroughly before ib is practised in earnest. That is my personal opinion. However, I have now simply to deal with the facts, and, taking the programme before me, I see that the conditions referred to apply also to the Hunt Club Cud. while the
new race introduced — the Maiden Hunters' Steeplechase — making eight instead of seven events as formerly, is for amateur riders only. "Gentlemen" riders, the programme &tates, but I prefer the word "amateur." The sum of 25sovs is given to this new race, and as the other events remain as before, the total of added money provided for is 20sovs in excess of last year.
*** The Ascot Summer meeting was bhis year a marked success, which is pleasing to learn, seeing tlfat several members of the New Zealand volunteer contingent, including Mr W. Hazlett, were present. The Ascot Stakes was won by the French colt; Masque 11, son of bhe Bosicrucian horse Tyranb and Maskery, the latter by Mask from Leila, by Blandford. Masque II was bred in France, his dam, Maskery (bred at the Yardley stud in 1886), being sent over to that country in 1893, covered by Tyrant. As a two-year-old he ran twice without success, bub bhis year he has not known defeat.- For the Royal Hunt Cup Balsamo and Kuight of the Thistle had from the opening of speculation been fancied public candidates, and .they held their positions firmly until the fall of the flag, though the pair were at the finish separated in the quotations by His Reverence, in whom his connections had the utmost confidence. The last-named and B&lsamo gave disappointing displays, but Knight of the Thistle fulfilled expectations, and pulled through for a stable often associated with success in this particular, race. But " the Knight" found a rough customer in Victor Wild, who, though defeated, - added to a brilliant and popular reputation in only succumbing by three-parts of a length under the steadier of 9.12. Exceptional interest surrounded the contest for the Gold Cup from the fact that Persimmon had undergone a special preparation with a view to winDing for hia royal owner, and ib was inevitable, says the Sportsman, in view of his brilliant record last year, that he would start a pronounced favourite, df spito the confidence of the connections of Winkfield's Pride, whose form as an exceptionally good handicap horse when a three-year-old, teemed to warrant the idea that he could claim pretensions to tackle " classic " form. He was regarded as the chief danger to Persimmon, and while the result of the race gave ample confirmation of the assumption, it showed the son of St Simon and Perdita II in the light of a thoroughbred of the very highest class, and when Watts asked him to win he responded in irreproachable style, making a sorry example of his three opponeuts. The victory of the royal colours gave rise to % scene pf loyal enthusiasm such as was never before witnessed on Ascot Heath.
* # * The Sportsman's " special," commenting J on the meeting, says : No such Ascot meeting km !' the present has been held for msny 5 ear*, and I 1 cannot call to mind that iv two successive seasons we have had Derby winners equal to Persimmon and Galtee More,, both of them scoring victories at the royal fixture. Which ia the better of the two I should hesitate to even guess at. For my own part I can go no further than to say that each is, no doubt, in the highest class of Derby winners, though Galte*> More has had no St. Frusqum, or anything within 211b of St. Frusquin, to beat. His form , can only be gauged by the grand style of his ; j performances, and by what we know of his . home gallop with; Kilcook. It is easy to show from this that Galtee More would have established an extraordinary record had he been in ' the Royal Hunt "Cup with 90. Vicbor Wild on ; the Kempton running canuob be more than » 3lb or 41b better than Kilcock — poasibly over 1 the shorter distance at Ascot he may nob be j even that ; and if we take Galtee More as the equal of Kilcock at even weights, and bear in mind the splendid show made by old •• Victor " for the Hunt Cup with 9.12 in the saddle, we may conclude that the three-year-old G»ltea More could actually have won with 9.0, unless, indeed. Knight of the Thistle had more than 7 lb in band. Bub if we take the c&ae of Persimmon, how would it be possible to handicap him outof a Cesarewitch or Cambridgeshire, supposing Galtee More was not entered ? What ! weigbb would bring him and Winkfield's Pride j together ? It is really impossible to say ; for 1 had Winkfield's Pride been the commonest selling plater he could not have been defeated with greater apparent ease than he was. No one can doubt that Persimmon is 141b the better horse, ■ but for aught we know to the contrary it might 1 ; take 2.0 or even 3 0 to bring then together ; yet Winkfield's Pride himself commands all the handicap form and would have to be given a 1 very substantial weight, while the great Victor Wild, as already shown, can be but little better than the three-year-old Derby winner at even ; weights. How, then, would it be possible i . for a handicapper to deal with Persimmon? 1 ' A great thing in his favour, from a breeder's point of view later on — and I understand his fee next year ia to be 300g« — is that, while he has all the fire and vitality of , the St. Simon tribe when he gets bis clothes off and knows that business is meant,' he also i derives from the two Melbourne lines in hie dtvra 1 a really equable temperament, with great size, ! power, and bone ; indeed he has in these attri- 1 butes the makings of a batter sire than St. Ssnaon himself. Count Schomberg keeps on improving, and won the Gold Vase in smashing ', style ; but Ido nob think he would have been j any more able than Winkfield's Pride was to 1 extend Persimmon had he been able to start for the Cup. Kilcock added to his fame as a miler, and Sandia, a very good-looking American j gelding, took honours as a sprinter. Mastue 1 11, believed to be the best three-year-old in j France, proved his pretensions to class by beat- ! ing the four-year-old Earwig — third in last j year's Derby — at a differeace of only lib ; but ' this is a very different matter from Galtee More's form with Kilcock, and I think M. Halbronn would drop his money were the I suggested match between Maatua and Galtee j More made. *** Forty-eight horses have accepted for the J New Zealand Cup and 11 have dropped out. ; The only one to wibhdraw prior to acceptance j ' night was Black Pool. His retirement from ! tbe race was leas of a surprise to me than his 1 being entered tor it, but I think he will be a racer of fair class if he lives long enough to fuliy develop, and meanwhile he may pick up i a stake if his owner does not aim too high. If I he goes ou entering the colt for cups I fear that I for some time his only chance of a lead will be, i agin tbU case — a lead out. At the same time, Black Pool is the makings of a good horse. The other Otago representatives that failed to i pay up were Lord Zetland, who surely did not ! retire on aceouut of his weight, and Linkshot, who, being not himself, a sorb of soreness having stopped his work, could hardly be expected to get ready for such a contest as the winner of the ; New Zealand Cup will have to come through. Canterbury has lost only one representative by the acceptance, and this one suoh a disregarded member as Aldington, concerning whom the lines — [ Like flies in amber, neither rich nor rare, , The wonder is how the devil they gob there, ' apply with even more force than in the cue of '
Black Paol, since the brother to Barmby was supposed to bo at the end of his racing career when shipped awny as a stud hcrse to the Chatham Inlands tome time ago, and he never was a really good one on the turf. Auckland's candidates are reduced by a couple that have been considerably talked about and possibly backed in their own district. Woodstock has, at any rate, though probably the support; has been confined to a few largish wagers rather than of a general character. From what I can make out, certain persons assumed, evidently**- on faulty information and despite the warnings of newspaper writers — our Auckland correspondent; for one derided Woodstock's show from the first — that this St. Leger four-year-old would be the representative of Wright's stable, and. sought to make a rise by getting on early. Their loss is the gain, for the present at any rate, of the other backers who preferred Haria. Possibly enough this horse may go out at a later stage, but he is alive so far. The other disappearing 'Aucklander is Picklock, one of Mr M'Kinnon's youngsters, belonging to the Waikato district. This colt was a fairish performer, and had the reputation of being game and possessing staying power, and I fear that his defection means that he has gone amiss. Certainly hit weight was not the moving consideration in not accepting. The other four members who have dropped out — Dauntless, Douglas, Mars, and Waterstone — beloDg to Hawke's Bay, and I don't think they had been supported to any extent. It is in all rejpeots a satisfactory acceptance. The top weights are all kept in, and it is concerning these that any growling as to weight might have been expected if Mr Henry had given an excuse for dissatisfaction.
*#* To tell the truth, I did nob expecfc any demonstration of bhis kind, and there ie none. Euriclydon, as was generally said at the time, might have had & little less weight, but we all knew that he would be paid up for, since, though Mr Goodman is not satisfied, he freely admits that bhe big hoi so has a show as against the horses whose form is exposed ; and the others immediately below him in the list are nicely, and iv come cases scientifically, weighted. Good accounts are received from the training tracks with respect to mesb of the horses that survive. I can speak personally at to the soundness of the work being done by Euroclydon, Lord Rosslyn, FuSmen, Britoruarb, and the other Forbury-trained candidates Buroclydon particularly pleases the watchers just now. The big horse is in greab heart, galloping regularly, and, though never ntrefcehed, he seems quite ready to have a go on his own account with anything tbat gets nigh to him. I am able also to give an aaturance as to Skirmisher, trained at Riccarfcou, and the northern horses nre being pushed along pretty well. A« yet the work has nob been fast enough to prove much beyond soundness and health, and for another month we shall have no ( trials worth speaking of. Bud from what is known, there is plenty of room to hope'foi 1 an interesting Cup this year. When the nominations camo out we were all deploring the absence of horses whose names had been expected bo figure in the list, and I am not going to admit even now that the 59 entered comprise anything like an exh%ufttive collection of our btsb handicap horse*. Another 25 could be uominftted to hold their own with »ay 25 taken in a block oub of the list as we have ib. The faoti is that the race does nob meet bhe wants of all owners. The Cup is a fine lifb bo the winner. Were he bo fall dead five minutes afterwards, it would have paid his owner very well to bring the horse to bhe post. There is nob a house in the race as valuable as tho slake — that is what I mean. On the other hand, however, all but the winner are generally sorry for ft month or bwo afterwards that they had anything to do with the Cup. The preparation leaves many horses unfit for ordinary races until after a spell. These considerations are of weight with some owners, and hence they elect to leave Ihe Cup aloue and train bhoir borses for easier races. Still, the Cap is the Cup, and I ho2>e tbat ifc will always continue to bo coveted by owners who are able to spare one or two of their best borses for the competition. And this year, though we snorted a bib when the nominations were made, there is every promise that the big race will be as interesting as ever. No one pretends to be backing anything with confidence, and unless Timarn should reveal some surprise, the chances are that it will be an open race up to the fetil of the flag. I observe that my half-doz^n — Fabulist- 8 10 Skirmisher ... 7 13 St. Paul 8 7 Telemeter 7 10 Waiuku 8 b" Haria 7 6 are keeping their engagements so far, and I have no reason to add to or take from this batch in the meantime, though, as X remarked from the firat, I am always prepared to fiud something good pepping up from bhe light-weight and practically unbried division.
*#* We have nob yeb received bhe papers containing the judgment of the English Appeal Court in the Kempton Park case, bub reports of the argument, which took place on the 16th and 17th June, are to hand, and frcm these the nature of bhe judgment may perhaps be to somn extent derived. It was a specially-constituted court, conmstiog of the six Lord Justices of Appeal, that heard the argument, and the case itself was an apppal by the Kempton Park Itacacourse Company from a judgment of the Lord Chief Justice restraining it, at the suit of one of its shareholders, from allowing betting within its enclosure, the point involved being whether the enclosure is a "place " within the meaning of the act of 1853 for the suppression of betting houses. Sir Frank Lockwood, Q.C, M.P., with Mr Joseph Walton, Q.C, Mr C. Mathewe, and Mr Stutfield, were counsel for tho appellant) company, and Mr H. Asquitb, Q.C, M.P.,-with Mr H. S. Cautley, represented the respondent plaintiff in bhe action. Mr A'quith spoke for aboubbhrce hours and n-half. In the course of his address he said he was there to submit that bhe judgment appealed againsb was correct, and ought nob to be disturbed. The question, and as he conceived the only question, to be determined on this appeal was whtther the enclosed area described in bhe case and used in bhe manner and for bhe purposes admitted in the particulars filed by bhe defendants was or was nob a " place " within bhe meaning of bhe acb. If ib was a "place," that it was used by professional betting men for the purpose of betting with persons resorting thereto could not be disputed, and if it was a place and was nsed to the knowledge of the defendants the inference of fact which tho learned Lord Chief Justice drew in the courb below was irresistible. Whereas the preamble only referred to the owner or occupier or persons acting on their behalf, bhe enactment itself dealb with house, office, or room, and with any person using the same. The Legislature obviously, and for wise reasong, refrained from defining what was a "place," and he put it that the natural interpretation of the provision was that where a man who made a business of betting invited and permitted resort to a spot where he might be found by persons who desired to bet with him, that was a "place" within the meaning of the tot. Lord Justice Lopes: Does not)
mention of a house, office, or room seem fr( imply something structural P Mr Aequith said it might be so, and that the word " place " was used for that reason. They must look at the language in connection with the mischief the act was intended to put down, and he pub it that not only the preamble, bub the enacting section, pointed to its being capable of being occupied or kept ; there must be an occupier. More important atill was that ib must be a place oapable of being used by the persons conducting the business of betting. Lord Justice Lopes : Mas*-, ib be an exolusive ocoupation P Me Asquith said he apprehended ib would have bo be shown faiat he wai an exclusive occupier, arid this got rid of the suggestion on the other side that it included an undeflued area. If there was an area, within, say, a quarter of an acre, used by professional betting men, capable of being identified by persons resorting to ib for the purpose, he submitted they had got at the mischief the act was intended to meet, and that ib - fell within the language of the section.
• *#* Mr Walton, in the- course 3f hii reply, pointed out that & man who betted must bet in a place, and that the logical result of these decisions was that no man could bet without making the place where he betted a place which he used for -the purpo.-e of betting, and, therefore, a " place " within the meaning of the act. Lord' Justice Rigby : Though yon are there, you are not always there, and people would nob know where to find you ; it must be a place where it is known and you make it known you will be found. There must be a locality to which a man may be directed. Supposing a I man wants to bet with so-and-so, and he is directed to top of the hill and finds his man there, why it not that a place ? Mr Walton : Mr Justice Hawkins sayc there is no question that betting is not unlawful, and that professional betting is not unlawful ; what the act makes unlawful is the business of betting. 4 The Master of thn Rolls : The act talks of the trade of betting. Have not there been old gentlemen and young gentlamen who have made it their business to bet with anybody who would bet with them ? — Mr Walton : Yes, long before this nob , was passed. This act has not a word in ib , about bookmakers ; what this act does is to ' make it unlawful to keep a house, office, or pltce for the purpose of betting or persons resorting thereto. Why are the words house, office, or room introduced at" all P My learned fuend gives no effect to them whatever ; "place" would be amply sufficient and much more apt. The Master of the Rolls: Yoar contention is that by house, office, or room they indicate what sort of place they mean P — Ms." I Walton said that was so, and the mischief the act I was aimed at was the opening of what he might: ** oall betting offices. The Master of the Rolls : The act is not against betting simply, nor ag&inut one m&n betting with anybody who comes to him — what is it against P — Mr Walton : It is against any man keeping an office for betting. The Legitlature has added the vrord " place" lest someone should contend ! an office must be a covered place or building. j I agree that an office may bo uucovered, but; ib must be a place, and must be occupied by the man as his office. It mutt be made the man's office, and the act has made the offence entirely .independent of the title by which the person makes use of the office and of the physical structure of the place so made use cf. There may be a betting house on a racecourse, but how different that case is from the present, where there is a stand to which people would go | to see the race conveniently and comfortably. [ One essential ingredient in all these pases 'was | that . there must be a place oqoupied by some ' man, and by him absolutely and solely, for the ' purpose of carrying on hia business, and by him alone. That, to put it as briefly as possible, was his point and submission. It was not so much whether it was a place or not. It must be a place capable of being used as an office or betting house or shop, or betting establishment, ■ or by whatever other name it might be called, I and be used for that purpose. These obligvj tiono were altogether absent in Jthe present j case, which, he submitted, contained no > features making the appellants liable under the ' aot, and consequently the injunction against | them ought to be dissolved. The Master of the | Rolls said the court would take time to cou- : sider its judgment.
#** A couple of years ago Newman would have read like a good thing for the Caalfisld Cap with only 8.0 on his back. That is hie weight this year. What makes me speak of the elderly gelding is his reappearance as % winner. Ha walloped a decent field at Rosehill very badly last month. He ia, however, in hia lftter day» more uncertain than ever. They say that Mr Kelso backr d him on this occasion, and he won, and was brought out very freuh, but it is nine months ago since his previous win of any sort, and I take the Roiehill to be a mere flash in the pau. All tho same ib was a fair performance. " Umpire " remarks that tbe field was a pretty good one, The Meddler 7.10 getting a preference from backers after her prominent running . at Moorefleld when Lady Trenville won. Bet she did not do better than run fourth, whilafc Projectile 9.5 never^goa up with his horses until quite too late to 'tiavs any chance of winning. Then he ran through^ tbe beaton division. Lady Trenville 7.8 was prominent for over a mile, when she retired, but something better w&s expected of her. Shaughraun 6.13 made a very bold bid, carrying the field along at a solid pace. At the distance he eeemed to have the race in hand, when suddenly Newman 8.5 shot through, and aftas a short struggle ib was all over with tbe leader, D. Cook being in a position bo ease up the Newminster gelding as he pasted the post. Wingello 6.13 performed creditably, but the distance found Telegraph 810 out. The milo and a-quarter and 100 yds occupied 2nain 19aec.
*#* Th« proceedings at the conference oi the Trotting Associations, held at Wellington last month, deserve more notice than was given them in the telegraphed report. One of the earliest discussions arose over Mr Hungerford's proposal that the" aanual conference shall consist of delegate sfrom clubs. Mr Mark thought ib would be better that each association should appoint an equal number of delegates U'resp&3« tive of the number of clubs, and he threatened to block the putting of the motion, bub was eventually talked round, and remained content „ with formally protesting when the motion was declared to bB carried. The proposal of Mr Chadwick to allow jumping as well as fiab races on a trotting programme led to «m amendment by Mr Hungerford to the effect that no galloping races be permitted to appear in such programme, and this caused a. warm debate, during which the. North Island repra* sentatives defended the practice of mixing trotting with pony .racing. Mr Caulton "s&iG that ever since the/ Auckland Trotting Chtis had existed ib had had pony racing on its programme, and seven oaf of the ten clubs also had pony racing. Ib was uncalled for for bha southern members to interfere with the work* ing of the North Island clubs. The Soutifc Island had good trotting horses, and North ' letand had cot, but would bate ttoeua in tip*
m they were now being bred. Pony racing wm a recognised thing, and shonld not ba wiped oufc, as it did not affect the South Island at all. The rnle eventually passed as printed, leaviag pony racing permissible. Mr Hungerford's motion to the effect that ths associations approach Parliament * with a view to making "ringing* in" a punishable offence was negatived — not beo&ase of any sympathy with such offenders, bat on the ground that it would be unwise to approach the Government and say things that might imperil the totalisator. The motion, however, had & beneficial result in bringing about a discussion on the question of how the expenses of inquiries in "ringing-in" cases were to be borne ; and, though no motion was passed, ifc was understood that funds should be provided by the two associations jointly. The question of totalisator permits also came up, and Mr K. S. Begg, the delegate from the Tahuna Park Clvb v managed to get a motion passed to th 9 effect that in the event of only one extra permit being granted it be given to his club. I notice also that Mr Rollitt spoke of the absurd disproportion of permits for trotting in this district. He pointed out that there were only two clubs for the whole "of Otago and Southland, and he said it was ridiculous that big populations like Dunedin and Invercargill should have only three permits between them. I take the liberty of thanking Mr Bollitt for his advocacy of Otago's interests in this matter, and am pleased to see that the conference generally agreed with the justice of the claims urged by Mr Begg.
*#* The newest dodge of the desperate race- j course proprietor — but perhaps it is an old' dodge — is, says the Sydney writer " Delaware," to prime his paid bandieapper to do work that 'would be repugnant to any honest or independent man. Awhile back a mare was running at cue of the suburban meetings, and the jockey had instructions to win if possible, as the mare gees to the stud in a month or two, and her owner would be glad to win a prize with her without backing. The mare held a good position for two-thirds of the journey and was pulling hard. Something galloping behind her, •hod with sharp tip?, ran into her and cut one of her legs right into the bone. The mare dropped btck as if she was, shot, and her jockey thought she had broken down. She finished in the last lot, and when the race was over a wellknown proprietor of a raccecourse approached one of the suburban handicappers and said, * That mare was very stiff to-day, and she in waiting off for my place ; clap the weight on her.'' The handicapper did clap tbe weight on her, and clapped it on heavy. The facts concerning the mare's running are true, and well known to a score of reputable men, and the man who owns her is a reputable man who has always held himself aloof from these suburban wire-pullers, and for these very reasons he nan been punished. If he had been " one of them " his mare would have been in the race alluded to with at least a itone lessthan the " paid " handicapper put on her — not tbat she ccnld have run for the race even with 6.0 on her back But her . crippled state does not alter tbe fact that she was dealt with in a most unfair manner. However, most of the horse-owners and trainers know Buch things to bt, yet they patronise and keep these dens of infamy alive. Bub they argue that the A J.C. will not deal liberally with them, so they are forced to race foe oats at j' these places, though they do so much against ■ theirwffl.
*«* The annual meeting of the Gore Club was held' on Thursday last. The outgoing com- '- mittee reported that during last season the usual one day's Spring and two days 1 Summer meet- ; ings passed off very successfully, tbe attendance being a record for Gore. Both meetings proved profitable, and the result is that the mortgage on rhe property has been reduced by £150, and improvements have been effected to the value of £8 11s. The grounds and buildings are in fairly good order ; but the committee would recommend their successors to have the buildings painted and a shelter eked ereoted, 'also to improve the training tracks and saddling paddock. Mr Dawar having gone on a visit to England, the committee presented him with a small tribute in appreciation of , his many good services to the club. Mr '< Latham has carried on the secretary's work ■ since Mr Dewar's departure. The election of '■ officers resulted as follows : — President, Mr T. i Green; vice-presidents, Messrs Gibbs and Ward ; secretary, J. Latham (at a salary of 30gs) ; treasurer, Mr F. Wallis. After discus- ' sion, it was decided to recommend the com- ' mittee to hold two days' spring and two days' . summer meetings in lieu of one day's spring and J two days 7 summer meetings, it being pointed ! out that the two days' racing invariably proved ,' more profitable than one day. It was decided to advise the committee to carry out the recommendation in the report in the direction of framing a comtitution for the olub, to be submitted to the members for consideration at some future date.
*** A scandal has arisen in France, involving an English owner. The French Steeplechase Society has published an official declaration to the effect tbat Mr W. Easlon, whe has owned and ridden horses in France for three or four years, is warned off for having, as the official declaration goes, pulled a horse that he rode at .Colombes races. The decision comes as a surprise, the alleged offence having been committed as far back as October ; but the facts of the case only came out in Apiil, and that in a rather curious way. Mr Esston, who had a horse called Witness in the Grand Steeplechase »t Auteuil in May, accused M. Grasset, owner of Solitaire, engaged in the same race, of having tried to bribe him in order that Ike might pull one of M. Menier's horses. The case was entered into by the stewards of the Steeplechase Society, and the evidence they have heard has led them to get rid of both patties. M. Grasset has received a hint to sell his horses, and has disposed of Solitaire to Mdlle Marsy, the actress of the Frangaise, who has & large stable of horses ; while Mr Baeton is formally declared guilty of roping, and is warned off all French racecourses. He has already sold his horse Witness to M. Kenier, bat latest reports say that he has fallen tame and will not be able to run. No graver ic&ndal has occurred for a long time.
*,* "Castor" has some readable notes about the early Grand Nationals. The first race took place in 1876, at Riccarfcon, over a very et\E course arranged by Mr H. P. Lance. Bain fell heavily, bub this did not prevent half a dozen horses going to the post. The distance by the my was four miles, and as the club added a prize of 2faoaova to- the sweepstake of 15sovs each, the among/If won" by the first horse was fairly substantial. Mousetrap and Tommy Dodd, owned respectively by Mr Larry Markey and Mr Patrick .Campbell, divided favouritism at 5 to 2, while D. O'Brien's mare Auckland j Kate, ridden by her owner, was at 3 to 1, and ] 8 to 1 wm cflfered against eaoh of the other | starters, Don Juan, Royalty, and Gazelle. The ! last-named fell when aboufc half the distance l i^ n «> Tere d. a »d her example was followed by Tommy JJodd. Royalty, meanwhile,
I had been lying last;, and it was not until the last fence was reached that Mr Martelli brought him alongside Mousetrap. The last-named straggled on gamely, bat he was no match on the flat for Royalty, and Mr Frank Brittain's horse won easily by two lengths. Mr Martelli was shortly after his victory killed in the hunting field at Timarn. In 1877 the Grand National was ran at Timarn. Tommy Dodd was again made favourite, but he refused early in the race, and later on, in company with the majority of his 12 opponents, be took the wrong course. These accidents left Shillelagh, on whom T. Sheenan had hia first 'mount in the race, Home distance in front. However, the Little River representative fell immediately afterwards:, and although Sbeenan lost next to no time in remotmtiDg, be was beatea a length by Mr 6. P. Williams's Fakir, ridden by Osborne, while the favourite was a similar distance away third, and Ivanhoe fourth. Little Mousetrap, who did not start in 1877, was successful in 1878. MrNeilsen's Te Whetumaramara was an equal favourite with Mr Markey's horse. However, he fell, and ib was left for his stable companion, The Moose, to finish second, 20 lengths behind Mousetrap, whose fuperior fencing undoubtedly won him the race. Perhaps, too, he was a trifle fortunate, as a mile from home Fakir,, in runniDg off, collided with 1 The Moose, and both horses tell.
.*#* "Phaeton" writes: — Time flies apace in these days, and one can hardly credit it that a period of two decades has nearly slipped past since Nigger and King brought about the initiation of the gentlemen who race under the assumed name of "Mr R. Burke." But so it is. It was a very modest commencement certainly that was made by the North Shoceites when they entered on the turf with Nigger and King, for, as a matter of fact, both the horses in question had to do duty by carrying a boy with a basket. However, though this was Nigger's lot, he one day showed his ability to bring off a coup, and the expression on the faces of the bookies on the occasion when the black son of Mangle romped home in front of some flash company at Takapuna was a sight to remember. To this day the incidents in connection with Nigger's victory and the dollars that were unexpectedly scooped in over it remain a prime subject, and though it is a page from old-time sport, I am tempted to relate it. The story runs that Nigger had been tried to run what was regarded as the correct distance attaching to a certain race in good time, and on the strength of this he was strongly backed. Bat, lo and behold ! when the starter took the horses ia hand on the day, the owners found to their dismay that they had started their horse in his trial from the wrong post, and the gallop which he had put up, and which by them was regarded as so satisfactory from a time point of view, was only a furlony short of the actual distance to be traversed.' Here was a pretty kettle of fish, to be sure ; and the feelings of the owners on that occasion may be better imagined than described. Robert consulted Richard, and Richard consulted Robert, and the conclusion come to was that the fat was in the fire in real earnest. However, what seemed to be just about as hopeless an errand as it could well ba turned out all right, for Nigger got home in front ; and thus one more sensational incident was added to turf history. Those were, however, the days of small things wiih the North Shore sportsmen, and in after years they were able to claim some thoroughbreds of high lineage — to wit, Brigadier- and Cuirassier.
*»* The death of Lady Astley was not altogether unexpected, and she has barely survived her husband, the genial " Mate," three years. She was, says the World, as fond of racing as he was, and had a great fancy for backing horses that bore the names of birds. Sir John used to tell some very amusing stories as to this, one being that he was at Derby on a certain occasion and had backed a "loser" — no uncommon occurrence with him — whereas she had put £5 on Screech Owl, who had won at seven to one. "And to think," he wonld say, in telling the story, •' that there was I toiling about to fiod a winner, and losing ' two,' while the missus was at home, lying in bed, and picking 'em out at seven to one ! " Upon another occasion he had backed Fullertoti for .the City and Suburban, and on returning homo was *t once interrogated by Lady Astley, who had been confined to the house with a cold, as to what had wod. "Why, a brute called Goldseeker," he replied ia high dudgeon, " and I wish he was dead." He said that no sooner had he "mentioned the name than she clapped her hands. So I told her this was a 'appy sort of a 'ome to come to when you have lost your money and your missus begins to dance. To this the replied, 'Why, you silly toad, don't you see that Goldgeeker's dam is Swallow, so I had £5 en at 50 to I.' This, of course, altered things, as I thought she wonld share a bit with me." In her younger days Lady Astley, who was the only child of Mr Gorbett, and brought her husband the Eliham property, which now belongs to her eldest son, was a fine horsewoman, and no figures were more familiar on Newmarket Heath than those of her husband and herself.
*#* From Wanganui comes news of the death of that good horse Vanguard, the property of Mr G. Walker. Some fowls got into his box, and in his fright Vanguard fell and broke his shoulder. lam very sorry to hear this, as
Vanguard, though well up in years, had by no
means outlived his usefulness. He was a Bhowy-lcokiog, good-legged, mascular dark brown horse, bred by the Middle Park Stud Company in 1879, gob by Traducer from imported En Avant, by Lord Lyon — Lady Mary, by Orlando — Splitvote (granddam of St. Albans), by St. Lake. Though not in the last batch of the Traduoers, for July and a few others appeared in the following season, Vanguard was really the reargnard of the great family born to the renowned eon of The Libel. He e&me in a good season for two-year-olds, Nonsense and Siesta being of the same age ; also Welcome Jack and Cheviot, though this pair did not do much in their first season. Neither did Vanguard, for that matter. He started five times as a two-year-old, and was placed twice behind Nonsense and twice behind Siesta before he broke his duck by pulling tiff a small handicap for two-year-olds at Timaru, having only Te Ata and Whitlow to beat. As a three-year-old, however, Vanguard showed better form. He got third place in Welcome Jack's C.J.C. Handicap, giviDg 91b to the winner, and finished third in the Canterbury Cap won by Sir Modred, and he had 7.10 on his back when beaten out of a place in the Christchurch Midsummer Cap won by Bandoora 8.3. Next season Vanguard came out in great style. He began by carrying 8.7 into third place in the Wellington Cap won by The Poet 7.1, and coming to Dunedin, he ran second to L»dy Emms in the D.J.C Handicap, and won the Forbury Handicap with 8.0 ap, defeating Taiaroa 7.9 and Salvage 7 12 for places. Then he won the Great Autumn Handicap with 8.3, his closest attendants being Hippodamia 6.7 and Lady Emma 9.1, and he also annexed the Flying ! Handicap at Timaru. As a five-year-old Vanguard started seven times and won six of his
races, these being the double at Geraldine, the New Zealand Cap (with 8.9, Leonora 8.0 second and Ike 7.9 third), the Duuedin Cup (9 3, with Trenton 7.9 second and Minerva 7.0 third), the Tramway Plate, and the Marshall Memorial Stakes, his only opponent in these two lasfcnamed races being Minerv». Vanguard's other race that season was the Stewards' Handicap at Christchuroh, in which, carrying 9 5, he got eecond place behind Turquoise 7.10. That was the end of Vanguard on the turf. His best race, so far as my observation went, wai in the Dunedin Cup, which he won with the greatest ease after the mere semblance of a struggle with Trenton. Trenton, however, was at the time only half ready. As a stud horse Vanguard is so far best' represented by Skirmisher. I had almost forgotten to mention that Vanguard fetched 475gs at the yearling sale when knocked down to Mr Delamain, who either acted for or soon after sold the colt to the Hon. W. Robinson. That was the sale at which 675g8 was refused for Matanaka !
* # * After declaration of second forfeit in the Second Eclipse Stakes, to be ran next February, 39 horses are left in, including Gold Medallist, Multiform, St. Conoo, St. Paul, Marquis of Zetland, Fulmen, and a lot of other good ones, besides a fair representation of the best-bred saplings in the colony. There is every prospect of the popularity of this venture by the D J.C. being retained. I may mention that the Hon. H. Mossman's pair of two-year-olds are still at Auckland, in Mr Morrin's care.
*#* Maremma was taken to Christchurch on Monday for the Grand National meeting. My final selections are : Levanter or Kings wood for the Steeplechase and Ilex or Tally-ho for the Hurdles ; and in respect to the minor events, Coastguard for the Hunters' Hurdles, Missfire for the Maiden Hurdles, Jewel or Maremma for the Winter "Handicap, and Violence for the Bnfield Steeplechase.
* # * Mr Sydney James has sent a copy of the new rules of racing as revised by the last conference and now in force. Clubs can obtain copies by applying at the D J.C. office. The attention of secretaries and other officers of clubs is called to this fact, and I expect they will be sending for a copy for each club, since it is all-important to know what the law is.
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TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 2267, 12 August 1897
TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 2267, 12 August 1897
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