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TALK OF THE DAY.

*„* About the middle of last week there was a decided demand for Day Star for the New Zealand Cup, the backing coming chiefly from ' Auckland. Several hundreds were backed to my' knowledge, and probably the commission extended to other places. At the finish the backers accepted 100 to 9. lam not prepared to say that thia was a stable move, bat whoever started it the backing fairly satisfies me that my conjecture of last week — that the reported , defeat of Day Star by Htiria in a trial was all wrong— was pretty near the mark. I have &n , ide» that at tbe ' finish the sou of Castor and Hilda will be the representative of Wrighfs stable. Blarney is said to be - doing a .sound preparation, bufc so far I have net heard of any important move about him in the betting market. St. Paul has regular and faithful friends •who profess to regard him as the pick of tho Auckland crowd. Whatever this horse's chanc& may be, there in little doubt that he is doing well. Lord Rosslyn-Beems-to be-coming into favour, and 1 trader6tai>d that his mile and a-half gallop • on Sunday morhiug is regarded as vsry eunouraging,. proving that he is coming on well, j Those, who back thi* colt have to take the j chance '«f his' feet going again, but at present, j they seem to ,be sound ..enough'.' It will bs remembered that Atlas was somewhat similarly troubled.- On one occasion he burst a hoof ] while doing a preliminary gallop on tbe Crom- i well course. They patched up the hoof with waxed thread- and the horee won the race. Eurcclydon did a long gallop on Saturday, and when pulled up seemed to have had quite enough of it, but after » rub down he resumed hii game and cocky appearance, and walked away quite right". Britomart the sam& morning shaped id differently, but she has done a better gallop since. " Defiance is reported to, be in queer street, arid Manser may be regarded as a gone coan. Tire bai been genuinely backed ' for a tidy sum within the week, and they sas he is a fere starter. General Wolfe, qn the other hand, failed so badly at Geraldine as to mak.e his chance seem hopeless, ' and Sarda, with ■whom- Mr Douglas accepted, has died of strangles. It would be tolerably easy to make up a -list of 25 that should include all the sure starters for tbe' Cup, bui I 'don't care to put forward such a list, particularly as the £7 payment is nigh at hand. *** Multiform had the easiest possible task in the H*wke's Bay Guineas this year. St. ConoD, regarded' by many as a possible hops for the northerners, failed miserably, being never prominent for an instant" and finishing "last of % the" four starters. . After this he will not be backed very much for the New Zealand Cup. Daunt got second place and Miss Emmy third,' neither,' however, making any impression on the favourite, who simply strode away from the start- and won as he, or rather as Derrett, liked. I note that the time, lmin 43£ sec, constitutes a record for this race. The previous best wss Clanranald'a lmin 45sec in 1891. It may therefore be argued that in an ordinary Guineas field Daunt, and perhaps Mies Emmy, too, would have been very hard to beat. But tbo presence of Multiform lifts up the quality to fi-sb class. • His win is the second for Mr Stead in this race The previous one was with Maxim in 1887. Some of this stable's failures in the Guineas hnve approached the sensational, For instance, the defeat of Medallion in St. Andrew's year — the wearer of the yellow jacket started »t a very short price, and never had a look in. Stepniak was another -disappointment in St. Hippo'rf year, but he did a not start; first favourite. Backers had got wind of St. Hippo's quality, and 'struck the winner in one. All the same, knowing what we do sow of Stepniak's character, he ought tp have made a race of it if well,. instead of being fourth. 'More surprising still, however, was Bloodshot's failure two years ago, when Quiltirt won. comfortably by a couple of lengths. Altogether the Guineas has been a particularly unlucky race for Mr Stead. •Previous winners in recent years ara thus ebown:— 1887— Maxim, by Musket, lmin sljsic." 1888— MantoD, by Musket, lmin 45§;ec. **- ISSi)— Tirailleur, by Musket, lmin 48sec. 1890— St. Andrew, by St. Legev, lmin 451360, 3891— Clanranald/by St.Leger. lmin 45.cc. 1892— St. Hippo, by. St.iLeger, lmin 50sec. 1893— Pegasus, by Nelson^lmin 47£ sec. 1894— Forme, by Nordenfeldt, lmin sSsec. 1895-Qniltiri, by Qailt,Mnun 47 4-ssec. 1898— Day Star, by Castor, Imiirs2sec. 1897— Multiform; by Hotchkiss, lmin 43Jsec. Reserving my general comments on the meeting for neXfc week, I note a general downfall of N.Z. Cup and other fancied horses in the Spring ' Handicap* on the second day. Haria, put about as a really good thing, did not even gain a place, ; und, on the other haud, Douglas, reported as lame, if not knocked out, got a situation in » remarkably fast race. Xdo not know that the.

Hawke's Bay meeting sheds more light on the problem as to which horse wjll win r the New Zealand Cup, but it certainly points .to some that can't, and amongst these Hafia is one, if form is anything to go by. _. - *** What a wonderful run of outsiders there has been in the two big Sydn»y handicaps since Wallace won the Sydney Cup. The Epsom Handicap of 1896 was won by Steward (20 to 1), the Metropolitan by The Skipper (25 to 1), the Doncaster Handicap of 1897 by Superb (25 to 1), the Sydney Cup by Tricolour (33 to 1), the Epsom Handicap by Robin Hood (33 to 1), and The Metropolitan by Survivor (25 to 1). What a series of successes for the ring ! The Metropolitan, observes " Terlinga," has been remarkable for the failure of hot favourites. : Since The Barb started at 6 to 4 in 1868, and I won from Tim Whiffler, who figured at 2 to 1, I I find that on 18 occasions the favourite has ■gone ou^ at '3 to 1 or less. Only two of these favourites were sacsecsful-r-viz., Dagworfch (5 to 4 agst) in 1872 and Abercoru (3 to 1) in 1869. In 1869 Warrior started at 3to 1, and was third to Circassian, who was forthwith made a hot favourite for the Melbourne Cup, which Warrior won. Arum*, at the' same price, | failed in 1871 ; while Dagworrh and The Ace ; were equal favourites at 3 to 1 when Horatio .(6to 1) won in ,1873 Goldsbrough and Ki»gs- ,' borough, the favourites in 1874- and 1875 j respectively, ran second ; while Auckland (1878) ! and Sweetmeat (1819) - both started at 5 to 2, ■ aod both failed to gain a place. In 1880 I Hesperian^ at's to 2, ran a- good race, but The j Pontiff, an outsider of Mr White's, stole a I march, and waT" never caught. The hottest | favourite ever kDown in the history of the race | was Trump Yobs in 1881. He started at even i money, and was nowhere. Sting, at 5 to 2 in : 1882, was unplaced, but in 1883 little First . Demon, who went out at 3 to 1, only lost by a j head to The Gem, a2oto 1 cbimce. Bungebah I was a 2 to 1 failure in 1390. Magus figured at 1 3 to 1 in 1891, and Brockleigh, who fell in 1893, ; was backed down' to 2tol. • The last red-hot* j failure prior to Positano was Quiver, a 3 to 1 i favourite in 1896 When the race was inaugn- [ rated in 1866, Yatbradon was the backers' ; choice at 7 to ♦, and he was badly beaten by j Bylong. ' . , - *#* Captain 'Russell 'explains why he has given the name of Ekatarini Passaropoulo to ; his filly by Dreadnought $rom Kmtherine, j daugh'er of -Katie Ferguson. " Mosb of my success on the turf has been with the progeny of Katie Ferguson. Naturally I wished to perpetiiate the name of KSfcaerine in some form. Bkatarini is the modern Greek form of Katharine. Much as I admire the Greeks, it is not \ every one of them that can be directly connected ! with fearlessness. 'Happily, however, contem- *. porary history lent itself to my assistance. A ' Greek girl has proved that she did dread s nought, and a blow for freedom was struck by ; Ekatarini Passaropoulo, who fought in the late ' Greek war. and was severely wounded in one !of the buttles. She has been styled the Greek j Joan. of Arc. 1 have commemorated thn sire, the dam, and a Greek heroine." This is the first time, so far as I remember, that an owner has so far paid heed to criticisms with regard to a name ac to vouchsafe an explanation, and in view of the compliment paid to turf writers by thus acknowledging their right to question au owner's choice of a name one naturally feels loth to make any further objection. Still, relying on Captain Russell's forbearance, t- venture to say that he does not make out a good case if Ekatarini 'sis to be argued on its merits.' For one thing, only a few will • in future years identify Ekatarici with a Greek heroine, and without that the connection is lost. { Most racing men will probably regard ife as a | Maori word. If it was desired to perpetuate •' Katherine," could not that .name itself have nerved, the purpose, or why not me simple Kitty ? I have found by experience that the slightest involvement in regard to naming is fatal to its primary 4 objtct- Ooce we had a hunter, named Glenat«&. I asked its breedipg. The trainer told me the. sire was Rolling ( York. I smiled to myself and jotted down "Roland Yorke." Concluding from my silence that I had some doubt about the name, my friend added "I didn't know the. horse myself, but a fellow told me the reason why they called j him Rolling York was because )xe had one leg 1 sborter than the other and he used to roll about when he walked." ( *** Is Amberite a fkßt-classer, or has he been lucky ? Some say one thing, some the other, j and those who question his claims to Al form ] point to the fact that he was not entered for the Randwick Plate as evidence that his owner did ! not believe him to be a stayer. " Delaware "is j one of those who refu c to bow the knee to j Amberite. This colt, he remarks, has won two ; vices, the second with & stone penalty up. -, Therefore the masy-beaded worshippers of 'the rising sun bave made a little 'tin. god of him. Rmson for which I cannot exactly see. Amberite ia /very well, and may bi is a bit better than the balance jast now,' but the balance are nothing wonderful at present. Altogether the threej year-old's form is hoc majestic: Consider the ' first three days, now :' Amberite beat Clarion ! with, s%v, a stone in,-hand in the Derby rime — j 2min 45£?ec. Nor'-East administers about the ' same do«f! to Clarion' in tbe Maiden iv 2min 38£<»fe. The time here is 6£sec faster, but rhe weights were 151b less. For the sake of argument let the time, difference even the weight d.fiSrence, and it looks as if Amberite isu'fc j much better than Nor'-East ; and we prefer the ! latter's breeding. Come along to Rhymer, who | beats Metford. By little it is true, but had i there baen farther to *go the beatiDg would j have been more pronounced. Rhymer is I said to be better than Nor'-East in private. So where are you ? As for Holbrook, in receipt of 15ib from Ambsrita this sou of Lochiel in the Metrop. gave the Derby winner a deuce of a trouncing ; but in tbe Duff Memorial mile at j 9 10 and 8 0 respectively, Amberite beat Holj brook after a, ruucdling race by two lengths, in ■ lmin 44£3 ec, and we reckon had things been' ! lively all the way, in lieu of a quarter mila j sprint home, , Amberite wouldn't have had j tbings so much his own way. He evidently likes things to be easy-going at the commencement. Gome on to the Wycombe, Sarviror, conceding 261b, beat Clarion rather easier than when conceding 251b he beat Holbrook,' the comparative time being slower — i c, one "and a-half mile, 2min 35-ec ; one mile three furlongs 2min 25^iec— and they * couldn't have run another iurloDg ;n lOsec. So this makes' altogether Holbrook read better than "ClarioD, which last-named, we fancy, wants time, and is likely to be much more dangerous, at tbe back end of the season. At any rate, his " fabt-run race " requirements got & set back in the Maiden. And so, on the whole, we iodine this way': That the three-year-olds are too much of a muchness at prerent to be real.bobby-dazzlera, and we' kaven't seen tine equal to the task of beating at w.f.a. the old stagers that have bean galloping before us for the last two years or so. Also note the three-mile affair. ■ • *£*. The Moonee Valley (Vie.) stewards were kept busy on the 15bh September. The Sportsman saya that Tonrang commenced the busi-

[ ness by winning the Hardies. It was an extra- ; ordinary race. No less than five of the starters fell, four of theio coming down on the flat after crossing the laet hurdle. Among the runners to thns strike trouble was Blitz ( J Cameron), who, - under 12.13, looked uncommonly like winning when he fell. Worse still, the black was found ! to be so badly injured, his shoulder being j shattered, that there was nothing for it bub to end his existence there and then. Together | with him, Colimo (F. Gleanon), Breadalbane ' (B. Saunders). and- Bandolier (W. Wilcox) came to grief, Yarrow having turned overearlier in the hunt. All the horses excspt*Blitz got out of it fairly well, but of the riders, Glennon had hii collar-bone broken and Cameron sustained an injury the shoulder. On returning to scale, Underwood, who steered Towrang, was charged with foul riding, and,, after an inquiry, he was disqualified for cix months. Underwood has ; appealed against the. finding. Portland, who j was not r great deal fancied, Un'ded the Trial ] Stakes. The running of The Brewer was called j into question by the stewards, but in this case a | satisfactory explanation was forthcoming, i Trichord, utiftine favourite, led all the way in ' the Welter Handicap, and here again there was j an inquiry. Lena, the runner-up, did nob : altogether please the stewards, and the matter was investigated, but it went no fucbher. j Fortunate was entrusted with the bulk of the J bullion in the five p.nd a-qaarter f urlocgs' sprint, [ bat he failed to even get a place, and Moon- ! { lyong led all the way. The Steeplechase, won i by 0.X., provided still .more work for the ; stewards. Confusion, who started favour|te,~ i and ran third, was. with hi* trainer (E. - j Martin) and his rfdvr (A Cooper), retired, for 12 months. There is an appeal in this oaie also. , *£* All agree in stating that the bookmakers , of Australia have of late fallen on troublous i times. Things don't go bo pleasantly with them as was the case in the days that are past, jtod, unless » change takes place bfifore long the metallicifins will cease to fear a knock-ontwhen . the totalisator finds its way to Fletuiugbon and Randwick, since they will be by that time completely beaten with their own weapons. At the I recent A.J.C. meeting they had a peculiarly < annoying experience. They .beat the backers ! and then made uo thing. The results ou the I whole were in favour of the ringmen, but, says j' the Australasian's representative, it is hardly ah exaggeration to say that they outnumbered the backer?, who , were "very shy of betting. Hence the exasperation of the bookmakers, who had to take tremendous risks. They stood to j t lose a lot and win nothing. Some of the j principal bookmakers had " skinners " for such i i-mall sums as £7. £10, and £14-; and on handicap?, too. In the race won by Viviau, an. outsider, one of the big men never got a bet, | and you bet he felt wild. " I feel inclined to i shut up my book." he said, "and go on a rousing alcoboliday." ' To gat money out of the pockets of the punters was like trying to 'get butter out of a dog's mouth. The men who , | used to bet in ponies and fi ties were cou- ! spicuous by their absence. The men wbo have i sprung up in their ' places bet in threepenny pieces, or drinks, or cigars, or not at all. Betting " across the bar" has almost gone oub of fashioD. A swell just out from England was desirous of backing his fancy ; but he went < aboufrit with the cautiousness of a Scot. " Who ' is a good safe man to bee with ? " he-asked of i { a friand. '> Oh," replied the other, " I d*re ■' say Mr Joseph, will be happy to accommodate '; .you." Advancing to. the rail*, the swell pro- j ceeded to rake aiock of the big Bendigoniao, i eyed him from top to toe, and back again. : Then, carelessly pulling a-^jtenner.'^-out of his j pocket, heWaid, "Er-a, what price So-and-So, j Mr Joseph ?" " {Seven to one, sir." "And — . ! er-a— Such-and-Such?" "Ten to one, sir."] i " Well — er-a — I think- 1 will have five shillings ! ;ou Such-and-Such." "No thanks," said Mr' j Joseph with a gracious smile ; " this isa'b a j silver shop ! " And the swell sheepishly I retired. j *** The bold showing made by Carbine's ; stock at the A.J.C. meeting has been already i commented on. The Sydney writer " Umpire" makes these remark* on the subject : — Clarion will be among <h« winners sooner or latar. He narrowly escaped such a distinction in the Wycornbe Stakes ou Thursday, but Survivor's I I dash was a trifle too 1 much for him, and he went I under by a head. Metford has been prominent, ' tbough not a winner, and perhaps Prinoe ' i Carbine or Welbeck will be able to act on a ] j future occasion. The performance of Fucile ' i was a good deal remembersome, as the | Yankees have it, of his illustrious sire. Backers i did not count on Facile in the R*udwick Plate, S thtee miles, though hiß trainer thought a surj prise from this four-year-old scion of the line j ! quite on the cards. Holbrook was a flrm j favourite from the moment betting opened, 6 to j , 4 being finally laid on him. According to the ! j betting Projectile was deolared as next best, ! but the real outsider of the quartet was Fucile.' ? Not having- shown any form for a long time, the representative of Carbine was rather overlooked ; but he bore the appoaraDc'a of a homo . in blooming health, and little sbort of being wound .up. -.It was evidently, | according to instructions that Holbrook I was dashed along in- front. When, they j bad gob half way Newman was beaten, but j Projectile and Fucile were waiting, off, the I former staying about 10 or 12 lengths behind Holbrook, with Fucile half a dozen farther back. Six furlongs from home Harris set to work to reduce the gap, and began by slowly closing up to Projectile. He passed him at the three furlongs, and then, after getting into the ! straight, drew steadily on the three-year-old. Holbrook was getting very tired, but his pursuer was going .under ' pressure at the Leger stand. He gained something, however, stride by stride, and when Holbrook rolled at the half distance, weary and" worn out, Harris got Fucile alongside. Then it waß all over, the | older oue being able to hold up sufficiently to r prevail by half a length. The finish was quite exciting, ha'; a bitter pill for backers and a turn j •up for the ring. After the successes of Ambe- j "rite, Fucile's victory was another win which went { I to show that Dugsta'n's stable was in pretty j "good form, aod that trainer was liberally con- ' srratulated pn the success of his two Carbines. i Fucile -is owned by a well-known bookmaker, ; and being engaged in the two Cups, his perfor- , mance naturally drew attention to his Victorian | prospects. In the Melbourne Cup he has 7.13, j but in the shorter race his weight is 8 4-. Some time since the backing of a double, Amberite j [ and Fucile, for the two Cups was reported, and there are more unlikely things thin that both will render good accounts when they go over the border. - . }*** PcL'3immon got shaken by his race on ..hard' ground at Ssndown Park. His royal ■ owner therefore declined the Goodwood en- | gagements. We now learn by cable that the ' cols has finally retired from the tarf, presumj ably because it would have been ricking a breakdown to keep him galloping. Very few ! Derby winners are allowed to run an ascertained ' risk of that sorb. To win the Derby any way, even in such meritlea* style as Sir Bovys did, mean* a priceless advertisement in England, , ginco it is a permanent fashion to use Derby , winners i'or,,breodiua tnirposei, md v ft tele '

' the first serious symptoms of inferiority are ' accepted as a signal to close the horse's raoing career. This, no doubt, is the oaute of so many ;of the cracks , retiring ' after the Donoaster ' meeting Persimmon , has done better than j that, having lasted long enough to run and win las a four-year-old. He must be sounder than ! the average. Iv all probability he will com- ' mand a high figure at the stud should the j Prince of Wales decide to use him for public mares as well as his own. The one thing to be regretted in connection with Persimmon's retiremeat is that it settles the chance of a match between this colt and the French horse Masque ; but Galtee More is there to represent tbe old country should the Frenchman become bounceable. „ " *** Australian writers a-e taking sides in respect to Positano. Some hint very plainly I that he was not' trying in the Metropolitan'; J others have excuses to make for his defeat in j that race. Rt-ad the, following s,b samples :—: — "Martindale"(Town and Country): "Posi-, tano's form was a bit erratic. Certainly he was asked to do a hard task in tbe Metrop. when taken wide of the fi-.ld, but because he was !• beaten in that he should not have I been co r readily condemned, as he afttrl wards proved^ in the Craven Plate, whan Delaware beat him." Sydney Mail's report *' " In view 0? the great form that Positano bad shown on the Saturday at weight for ages, 1 his display on this cccaMOn must be Vagatdedlas most disappointing, and- it i« very hard to ■ account for such a decided change of form.. -' It rnay~ber th»t rhe powerful-looking eon of St.' Simon is a little uncertain in temper, or that ■ being' a trifle short of work hi» effort on Saturday last told' against him." " Milrdi " (Mail) : "When a~ racehorse is not thoroughly vronnd' - up, like Positano in at the time of writinar,-he is ; apt to run one good' race, and in his next essay quite'fail to repeat himself. That Positano is ' not at his best is tbe opinion of many good ■■ judges, and the A J.C. Spring Stakba was run exactly to suit a balf-ready horse. Still feeling ; the effects of his first day'e battle, Ponitano ran j for the Metrop , and from the word * go ' ib wan a high-pressure pace. This has often happened ! before. Many good horses, when not fit:, have run their first- race at a great rate, but failed when asked to repeat it. With another month's work Positano will be' a different horse." "Ribbleden" (Australasiau) : ''Taerewaßno apparent excuse for Positano, aud his failure j set every tongue wagging. At the 'start Posil tano was on the extreme, outside, and as soon j as the barrier was raised his jockey drove him i along as if intent on securing a front place, and so avoiding possible danger ; bub he never got | near enough to look dangerous, and was bully [ beaten. If he had been allowed time to find his i legs, Positano would probably have shaped ' more in accordance with his position at, the end of the Spring St»kes, iv which he proved, he is equal to the best< iv Australia. ' After the race> , Positauo swelled out tremendously, as if lacking condition." And please read what our own t "Hori Po'ene" has to nay. He is a thoroughly capable judge and absolutely independent. *** The Baker, on the strength of 'his ! previous successes, was baoked right and left' i for the Wynyard Plate at Stockton, and went^ ' down badly. ' St..la, the winner, whnwas bred '• by, her 'owner, Sir R. Waldie' Griffith, won the Lmoolji Stakes at the Lincoln Spring meeting '; this year on the first occasion of spoVijiDg silk, i arid 1 folio wed up this ; success by carrying her | popular owner's colours to"., victory in the' j Rendlesham Two-year-old ' Plate abcKernpton 1' Park in April; when ' she started a' very'warm' ;" favourite. Her next appearance was at Ascot,, I bufc. she. ran, unplaced' in ;the, Windsor GastleJ | Stakes, while in the Fulbouiue- Stake* at New- ! market, in Juue, she was benten by a length by ' Do&y. She atoned for her defsat, howev«r, by j carrying off the Crabbefc PJate at Gatwiok, and ■ her success agaia at Stockton gives the daughter j of St. Serf, and Bereagatia a record of four I wins against two defeats for her first season so 1 far. Her dam, Barengwria, is by George ! Frederick from Bon Accord, by Adventurer from a Birdoatcher inure. The unnamed • daughter of Ayrshire out of Lady Alwyno that won the Hardwicke Stakes was bred by Captain Fife, and at the Newmarket July sales last I year was purchased by the Duke of Portland ! for 550gs. She- made her debut at Stockton^ ' when she started her raoing career in a manner j that must have been very gratifying to her , noble owner. Grey Hag, who effected a surprise in the Northern Legor, had previously a very poor reputa'ion. She only once sported silk as a two-year-old, and then ran unplaced in the Gimcrack Shakes at York. She made her first appearance this season in the Hastings I Plate, but failed to run into ther first three, i while she was no more successful in the Ascot j Biennial Stakes, woa by Lord Alington'u ■ Butter. Lord Zetland had a shot for the Swsiffbam Welter at Newmarket with her, bub again 6he ran " nowhere," and at Redcar she succumbed by a neck to Lady Sykes for the, Upleatham Welter ; but she atoned for her' ■'previous failures when'^ehe" scored :her first success in the Great Northern Leger. ' ' . *#* Breeders in the Taieri,- Tokpmairiro,, and. Cluths, districts have .this season the (i opportunity of getting their mares served at a reasonable fee by that usefurhorse-Blaclismith. I have seen Blacksmith off and on for a number .of years, and always liked him for his compactBess of build, his vigorousneis, and his unj doubted courage in racing. He opened his tarf

*#* Breeders in the Taieri,-Tokpmairiro,,and. Cluths, districts have .this season the (i o'p'por- | tunity of getting their mares served at a rea- I gonable fee by that usefaMiorse-Blaclismith. I have seen Blacksmith off and on for a number .of years, and always liked him for his compactness of build, his vigorousneis, and his undoubted courage in racing. He opened his tarf career ab the Bftaumont as a three-year-old in the season of 1890-91 ; in the next year won the three-mile, races at TuapeVa and Waitabuna; next, finished second at Tuapeka when receiving 16iec from the crack Tommy at two miles, and was second at Bttrick when trying to concede ' ssec to Native ; next, jumped right to the top of the ladder by. a couple of splendid wins at Dunedin, doing the two miles at tbe Forbury in smin 9sec, and a mile at Tabuna Park in 2min 34-aec ; and since ! then Blacksmith has also proved the possession • of great speed, particularly in the race at' the r Taieri when he was interfered with. The smin 9sec was at the time the colony's record, and as for the 2min 34sec For a mile it should be borne in mind that Blacksmith won by bOyds, so that there was notbiDg to force him to his extreme speed. As to Ws, breeding, on the sire's side he gets stout Tasmanian blood through his grandfather Mahratta, who was bred by Mr J. Field, the famous studmaster' of the island colony, i and his dam is a mare bred by Mr Grigg, of , Longbeach, a station that has a great name for prbdncing sturdy horses. I don't know what Bella it is that Blacksmith's dam comes" from. If it" is Fairley's Bella, she was'amare that would take the Btick without flinching in a. finish. But, whatever his blood may be,J3laeks'mith is a good horse and a natural trotter, and I should like to see him get a show with decent mares. ->

*** "Terlinga" writes: Moßt of, the visitors to Sydney bave come back very .much impressed with Amberite, who they think will giva Aurom a deal of trouble in our Derby. They base their opinions on th» improvement 'Amberite -hM, modo since Aurum gave bim 141b and ft baatinx last AprtK ' I d»re •ay'Amberite has improved a «reac d«al, bat I niust sUud bi tae colt that

I was a good 211b in front last autumn. Amtts" ; rite is no doubt a good deal better than the rest of the Sydney colts. So he was last autumn,' , and Aurum, in turn, was just as superior to him. I Some people argue that .Amberite went off be« ; tweeo'the Champagne and' Easter Stakes, and ! that- this accounted for Aurnm's defeat of him ' on the second occasion being so muoh more def cisive than when they met in tho Champagne | Stakes. This idea does not work out well, because,' although Amberite was three lengths behind Aurum in the Easter Stakes and only a length behind him in the Champagne Stakes, he himself beat The v Hyptotist and El Norto much further in the second ' race than in the first. This clearly points 'not to Amberite having' deteriorated, but to Aurum bavirig improved 'With his first race and a good gallop on the day afterwards. .' Those who bave backed Amberite } for the V.R.C. Derby will no doubt get good J hedging for -their money, as he stands out from ; everything bar Aurum, but I cannot yet seeany- ; thing in his form to make me think he will beat 0 Aurum at even weights. Fleet Admiral's owner seems to have decided on bringing his colt over, ' but he can have no possible chance after his - failure in Adelaide. Perhaps if he goes to tho post a few people who remember Zulu will have : a pound or two on Fleet Admiral,. but they will be very few. Tois will, be a cage 6f the owner having the market to himself and being able to get-all the money he wants at'bis own' price. < '■-' ' '' '< '' ' ;• " V / ' *#* For .yeVrs'pastl "the Australasian has - ' firmly supported the',proposal to introduce the • totalieatpr into Victoria, and in a recent article • ib devotes 1 attention to some of the objections 'praised by those Who; are nob. in favour of the ' ''machine. ,It has • been •, aaid,- • observes the y ' . -writer, that the tot'alisator increases, betting. There m*y have been . some, warrant for this ' assertion when it was 1 applied to Adelaide 15 j yeara ago. Then bookmakers --were not so j numerous as now, and betting in small amounts !, was not, ao common. But in Melbourne andt Sydney, where there is no totalisator, people can now get the odds to a shilling from a bookmaker, whereat the totalisator never takes less than ' \0 times that amount. Tbe argument • that the tokalisator encourages betting in email • sums certainly does not apply in Victoria. We ' do not go *o far as some people as to the good the totalfsator does -in checking the " roping " of horseß. Owners run byes in South Australia ■ ; and New Zealand just as they do here, bnt not :so often. The reason of this is easy to gee. ' The stewards are not more clear-sighted in de1 tecting a " stiff 'un " under the totalizator than | they are where the bookmaker* ia in force, but [ there is nothing to be made out of the nontrier. He cannot be handed over to a friendly bookmaker to lay for the benefit ' of owner, trainer, or jockey, or all combined. The bye may deceive the handioapper and assist the owner to a race in the future, but he does not get the handling of any of the money lost on his horse. That is divided among the backers of the winner. This inability to, rob people by fraudulent .running does away with the- motive for pulling horees, and .thus minimises bye running, although ie may -not oaute its absolute discontinuance. *#* The projected sale of two-year-old stock which was to bave. taken place, at Randwick •fter the A.J.C/ meeting,' fell through on account of>«6 few lots being * catalogued, 1 so' they h»d a general, sale instead, and it waa, at' this that Holbrook' f etched. ;the"irare % price- of • 800g8,, the sale being subject,' to the owner's " approval. ,Mr , Craven * was to-- the fore. ' • paying 400gs' for Gauleon '<(£ 'twi^year-old brother to Ga'ulUi.'); 350#s for Wopdlark, 203cs for Marathon, 150 go for. Oly*mpia, : »n&loogs.for. . Hydra. , Mauee -went to «; Queensland buyer a<; 130g», Tornado was purchaied by'Mr'W. Kelso for2sogs, and. Mr D. O'Brien took 'at <Ugj a. three-year-old gelding by Splendour — Rose of Cobham. .Amongst those passed in were :— Bonnie Boy. 60gs ; UnisoD, 105gs ; Royal Rose, no offer ; Alaska, no offer ; Dandy Dick, no i offer ; Jack Homer, < 92gs ; Wingello, 90gs ; [ Dalmeny, 350gs ; Elected, 97gs ; and Mecca, I 200gs reserve. What really interests us New < Zealanders most, however, in connection with the sale is that Mr J. Stephenson bought a couple of two-year-old geldings,' giving ,31gs for tho one by Abercorn — Gymkhana, bred at Kirkhnm, and IQjs for the one by. the English horse Far' Niente out _- of Kalitnna, bred at. the Hon. W. A. Long's Hobartville estate. In another column I have set' forth thefull pedigrees of these youogaters, and it wilj be seen that they are clean-bred right through,, both being by leading sires from mare 3 that be* long to South ' Australian families. In order to avoid a possible mistake I would remark that the Hebe in tbe Kalimna gelding's pedigree is not tho dam of Coup Garou, but one that comes from a totally different strain. At the time of writing Mr Hazlett had no word from Mr Stephenson in regard to the purchases, but as MrSlephenson would'bo in tßydneyt Bydney at the time ot "the sale there is little 1 doubt that- be. is, the Stephenson mentioned as the buyer." This racing partnership has frequently, bought' in Australia and Tasmania, aiwitnes»'Bsme of their greatest successes. in Gipsy -Grand, "Occident; Hyacinth, Captain Webster, -and -Te ; mpest, ; whilst Taiarosy Captain Cook, and others^.thathave belonged to ■ their, stable' have been bought after, coming he;.T on their own hook. ..Theimportance^-f'tbop-a.'-ehas'e lies in the evidence ■it affotei; tbattiiis ' popular and straight-going firm <io*> a'otw.tOTv^. to immediately dissolve. A ipontk or twe «g? this wa? regarded by outside** ut pcobablr.-

* # " A boomed Cup candidate \a Mallo crom an awful fall at Moonee Valley, «»ys the Age. In each Cup he was quoted at 10(1 to 4 on tbi> Btrength of ,a solitary performance of note — a, runaway victory at Caulfield. 'He was well in at Moonee Valley, was spoken of by the Caulfield touts as being an absolute certainty on bis' work on the Heath, and especially on a gallop Jast Thursday morning, when he tried to dodge the watchers, and as short a price as even money was taken abont him in a good field of seven horßes. He flattered bis admirers for about 'six' furlongs, and then collapsed like a pricked balloon. While he has, perhaps, plenty of paoe, he seems to want racing, and maybe the fact that difficulty seems to have been experienced in his' training may reduce his chance in the Cups. ' Oatspaw, who won, is not in tha Cups, which is a pity, as he is one of the best handicap horses in training in Melbourne. Miicbietf, wbo ran second under 8.8, has undertaken both engagements, and with 7 13 in tha Melbourne Cup and 8.1 in the Caulfield Cup aha is not to be dismissed' from notice, as at present he is certainly not at her best. Moonlyong, ' ho filled tKird place, has 7.9 in'the Melbourne np. She will do better than, she did at oonee. - Miss Glanstone was badly beaten, and Bitchioa failed to give even a glimpse of her country form, although she was ia at 6.7.* ,; . —••••• - ■ •.- -.

"! * # * The p.^T.C. Comjmttee^Veiy; property took upon themselves it last week's meeting tha duty of 'filling up th« two 'vacancies oMued by the death of Dr Jeff coat and the resignation of Mr Jowittl-T- Three candidates were propoied— WUI Hesira S. 8. -MyetlV'J?QtiiidUy, £nd (*. S. (latott, and > ballot renulttd' in the return of the two last-named." l jMt i Lihtott vcm •

member before. Mr Grindley has never previously served on the committee, but I feel sure (hat his appointment.will strengthen that body. Mr Myers is a good m*n, too, and no. doubt his turn will come later on. In the present case the others had prior claims to the seats. Another important bib of business transacted by the committee was the reeolution with respect to the 40 persons whom the Works Committee had recommended for ~ readmit sion, to the privileges of the curse. The decision arrived at was not to adopt the 'recommendation, but to leave the disqualified persons in tbe mud for the present. The why and the wherefore of this decision can only be guessed. My guess is that the relief will only be granted when the club is fairly rid of the trouble caused by perpetual persistence in illegal odds^laylng. At this very meeting four other men. were put under the ban for the same thing, and the committee probably had before them a bill ,of costs in connection with Price's case. Under ■uch circumstances one can hardly he surprised to find the committee indisposed to clemency., It is absolutely necessary that the club should have and hold a perfect right to the management of its course. On this head, however, I note with pleasure that none of the leading layers compromised themselves or their fellows when admission was granted them to the Hunt Club meeting. Their consideration of the club's righto on tha^ ocoasipn will not, I am Cure,' be forgotten.

*** Time wss when the Geraldine meeting had the eyea of, the colony- 'upon it., since it was accepted as to some extent a custom for the New Zealand Cup .candidates to- hare a public trial. in the Cap. Nowadays, however, other meeting* h*<ve. shoved this one aside to some, extent, and this year the fixture seems to have ■ been duller than e*er, there being few good horses engaged, and the totalisator betting reaching to only £1164 for the two days. In the Hurdle Race on the first day Dundee won pretty easily, after indulging ihe hunter Jaff * with the lead for a while. Cactus, with 94, was made favourite for the Squatters' Handicap — rather bad judgment, one would^ think, as rhe old gelding was never a weight-carrier, and, as tte result proved, he ended a bad third, beaten four lengths by Geosral Wolfe, who in turn finished half a length in the rear of Alce»tis. The Trot was a one-horse race» M»kiicibi winning all alone in a tick under even time. A protest, on the ground that the winuer ran at a ( sports meeting at Pleaeaut Point as Cupid, was j dismifsed, but theow'ner of Devil's Kmg having , ! given notice of appeal to the South Island Trot- j ting Association, the machine money is held j ovar. If Devil King gets the »t*ke ths dividend | ■will be £5. . But, by tbe way, he can't, as this k horse, though second, was distanced. The trio ) of starters for the Cup included the New Zealand Cop acceptor Belligerent, who got a decisive beating by Double Event. There w»s three lengths' space between them at the finish, and" tbe winner was easing up. Previons j ■winners of the Geraldine Cup have been :—: — ' .• 1890— p. Warden Byrs 7..0 2mm 40 sec £2 W» 1 JB9l— Bay Kipg 4yrs 8.7 2min lb" sec £2 5s 3892-Galtee ... syrs 8.0 2min oOJsec ,£3 6a 1893-I'. Warden 6yra 9.8 2min 54 sec £1 12s 1894— Goodwood, . 6yrs 6.12 2min 19 sec £4 2s 1895— Chaoa' ..; : syrß 9 13 2miu 19 sec' £1 6s IS9S— Culverin ... sy.w>- 9.: i 2ruin 164»ec £1 15s t 1897-^D. -Event... iyrs 1 9.7.' 2niin 14* sec -£1 6s I It will 'thus be seen th*t Double^ Hint's perf or- ■ nußce is relftlivelyreer>ecb».bleraß he had a fair [ freight dh his back and did better time than has' ; •ver before be.gn.made in tbe years when the.? race was a mile and a*qu»rter. Bogengang, j - Jorothtr ' to V-ogengang, 'being brought down, to the poor company of the "Hack Race, had no difficulty -• in winning.-,. He wa«r'bought in at' £10. The Stewards' Stakes was a repetition of the Squftttfra' Handicap.- The same horte? filled the places, Alcestis winning with her 71b penalty from' General Wolfe, while Cactus dodged into third place. Miller-broke down in this race. The Flying found Mount Clair to the fore. This brother to B!*zer had failed badly at the finish of the Squatters' Handicap earlier in the day, and when he romped home in the Plying he had to undergo the ordeal of a protest, but the stewards were apparently satisfied ,' that the contention on behalf of tbe winner that I the shorter distance suited bim was correct. Oa ; the second day Dundee again won the Hurdle j Race, but he was all out, and the stewards j officially said that they were not satisfied with the riding 'of Windermere, who finished third. Paladin, a three-year-old by St. George from Nelly, won the Spring Handicap from end to Bnd, nothing ever getting near him. His name was not in the • list of acceptors telegraphed to tbe Dunedin papers. Double Event,- though burdened with 10.4- in tbe Racing Club Handicap, won just as he liked, thus making a perfect hack of the well-bred Maxiraus. Crescent bad nothing much to. spare in the Welter, and ■ even now he is not quite sure of the tote money, for, though the protest on the ground that he is on the unpaid, forfeit list was disallowed, tbe objector 'i» appealing to tbe Metropolitan, and meanwhile the machine investments are impounded.

* # * America is the country for excitement. Mention has already been made of the lively scene at tb.B Turf Congress meeting, and particulars^ fully confirm the early reports. It appears that a Colonel Clack was holding forth, when a Me Corrigan interrupted with "That's m lie." Colonel Clark responded with "You are a d d liar," at the same time whipping out an able-bodied revolver, nearly as large as a small blunderbuss. The colonel was standing up and Corrigan sitting down, and two or three of those present got between tbe pair. "Very likely it was fortunate for Corrigan that he made no 'attempt to rise or show fight. He remained seated, and, apparently _very little excited, remarked leud enough to be heard by all, " Be jure you make no mistake or you will never puTl a gun again." To which Colonel Clark * responded, "I will make no mistake." The following day two members of the congress weie asked what would have happened if Corrijgan had endeavoured to rise, and both promptly responded, " Colonel, Clark would certainly have shot him."

*** Outside provinces have nominated pretty well for tbe leading handicaps of the Dunedin Spring meeting. x Skirmisher, Marino, Bracelet, Epaulet, Starebot, Cannonshot, Uniform, and Bloomer aire in the Otago Cup. as Canterbury's noimatioDS, St. Conon represents Hawke's'Bay, and Umslopogaas and Strathbraan belong to Wellington. It is a capital entry all round, for the home contingent is a stronger one than usual. The surprise of the entry list is Umslopogaas. - -He showed a lot of speed when he won the Grand National Hurdle Race, and had previously proved" himself fast over \ short, distances — for instance, by. winning the Telegraph Handicap at _Masterton with 7.10 in lmin 15 4-ssec for the six furlongs, and by doing the- five, furlongs "of the Autumn Handicap , at Wairarapa (3.2. up) in lmin 3»ec. But this -pace, was known — if the records are reliable — months and months ago ,■ and what I don't understand is why, aßgumuig the credentials are reliable, " Umslop." was not entered for big races before this one. It is a consideration of these things, and the further f»ct that he was lame after the National, that

causes surprise at his present nomination, All the same, I wish him luck. , The first entries for the Fourth Eclipse Stakes are distinctly disappointing. There are 'only 24 altogether, and Mr Morrin is the subscriber in regard' to 18 of the number. There are,, however, other entries yet to be made of present foals, and it is to be hoped that these will liven up the prospect.

*«* Cromwell and the surrounding districts are this season getting the benefit of Trump Card's presence, ahorse whose recommendations are by this time tolerably familiar to* Otago settlers. It is not likely to be overlooked, for instance, that he claims as sire that wonderfully good borse Trsducer, who, up to Musket's advent, was the greatest sire in New Zealand, and perhaps in the coloniee. TheD, again, the fact that Trump Card is out of Revoke (winner of the • Canterbury- Cup .and other races) counts for something, for she 'was also dam of that u«eful horse Duntrcon, while The Governor, Amazon, and Trickster all helped to establish the, family's reputation. On his merits, moreover.* 1 , Trump Card must beheld in high esteem. He was not only a good-looking horse, bub a great racer, it standing to his credit amongst other performances that he once defeated Templeton in the Queen's Plate, two miles and a distance, at Dunedin, and that at a time when Tetnpleton was deemed invincible over a long course.

-- * # * There is nothing much to say about the magistrate's decision fining Peter Grant £20. A .fine was expected by those iv the know. There did not seem to be any way out of it. - What I do desire to remark is that, as usual in ; regard to betting prosecutions, the exfecation of i the law's 'decrees baa not and will not and cannot advance tfoe public interests by one jot -or tittle. Tt most certainly will not lessen betting ; and if it did there would not be much advantage to tke body politic unless the betting that was lessened was that which is pernicious. The eort of business done by Peter Grant and other leading men in Dunedin is not pernicious so far %s my observation enables me to judge. Decent, sensible men by the ecore find it a pleasure which they can afford to indulge in to have a little flutter now aud again, and unless one can swallow holus bolus the arguments of Chtdbaud and Co. it is hard to find any reason why these persons should not take tbeir amusement in tbis w*y. It is not a vicious form of gambling. Still, | there is no - doubb • that Grant did offend I against the law, and the fine will be a warn- \ ing to him and others in tbe future to be ; more careful. That is all the good it will do. I *** Seeing tbe good form recently displayed I at Geraldtue, one would naturally select Double Ev«nt as having a big show in the North Otago Spring Handicap ; but in Marlin and Pitch and Toss, to say nothing of the top weight, the AshburfcOß horse will find sterner opponents than Bel1 ligerent and Diploma, and as he is no certainty ! I for tbe chief event tbe stable may send him for | the Publicans' Handicap, which Would look to be a fairly good thing for him. It asked to pick the winners ju«fc now I should select Double Event foe the Publicans, Pitch and Toss for tbe Spciog Handicap, and Cannonehot for the Fly- , ing. ,They all have a «bow. .1 «ay Pitch and* . Teas for tbe Spring Handicap because I have a i doubt whether Eurodydoh will be quite forward f enough to carry 10 Bup that bill. He. dfdn'fc ) look too; bright after a heavy gallop on Saturday, | and maybe Groodmau vrill elect to let him .come ) on gradually and not race him before the New ; Zealand 'Cup. Ihia, of course, is ■' only conjecture". ' I have nob spoken to Goodman aboat it. , *** " Nmtive," in the Winton Herald, says : The going on tbe Winfcou coarse is at present all that could be desired. I was out the other morning and saw Laweon's string going. He has eight of them in hand. ' * The big gun of this stable in St. Patrick, but bis recent indisposition has thrown him back,' and I am afraid he will not be rk to race in the early part of tbe season. The Guineas colt Ike is the picture of a racehorse. He stands over 16hds higb, a ', beautiful black, and in his work shapes like a ! good-'un. I believe that it is intended to call - tbe Artillery — Shadow mare in this stable j Ocean Beach. I think the name I suggested i much more appropriate — viz., Sunset. This mare h»s improved wonderfully under Lawson's care, and I will be much surprised if that painstaking trainer does not pick up a few of the j season's crumbs. The light-weight " Scotty " 1 Cameron is now in Lawson's employ.

*a* Mr W. Brown, of Waikonaiti, makes it known that tbewel 1-par formed and stylishly-bred trotting horse Duncan Abdallah is to stand this season in* the Waikouaiti and Shag Valley districts. This horse has won at Geraldine and AshbnrtoD, and it was a. good performance on his part, when a, thr«e-y«ar-old, to finish second in the stallion race at Plumpton Park won by Berlin Abdullah, who, thoagh & year older, was cent away from tbe same maTk. Mr Brown also places the thoroughbred horse Ruby at the service of breeders in the same district. This was a gre»fc racehorse in his day, for be won the CJC Champagne Stakes against strong opposition, and his time in the C.J.C. Craved Pi ate IB still the revrn-farlong record for the colony.

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TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 2275, 7 October 1897

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TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 2275, 7 October 1897

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