Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
This article displays in one automatically-generated column. View the full page to see article in its original form.

TALK OF THE DAY.

By MAZBPPA.

*#* St. Clair is nae mair. News of his death i at Warrington reached town on Friday mornipg. When the little horse got, cast in his box he broke the thigh-bone of his off foreleg near *! the upper socket. This was the irijury referred to when I reported that ha was incapacitated. I did not at the time know it was to serious, i The manager of the farm had, however, a hope of getting the bone set and thus saving Su Clair j for fttud use, and the horse was under treatment with that object when he somehow or other got the same leg broken near the fetlock joint, and in his pain he stamped and smashed the limb so bfvdly that he had to be destroyed. It was in 1883 that SS. Clair was born, he having been bred by the New Zealand Stud Company as the result of putting Musket to Pulchra, the dam of Lady Evelyn. This Lady Evelyn was one of the fastest fillies under a light weight that the colonies have ever produced. St. Clair also had the gift of speed, and Fulchra's next foal, Formo, kept up the mare's reputation, not only by deeds on the racecourse, but by producing that smashing colt Multiform. Lebel and First Shot likewise came from Pulchra. These names will for ever keep green the memory of' the RoMcrucian mare. When St. Clair first came to Dunedin everybody thought that the Hon G. M'Lean had been rather venturesome in giving such a price as 200gs for the fat and dumpling like yearling. He looked short and ponyish and podgy, and few ever thought- that he would develop into a racer. As the months went on the doubt of his being made useful on the turf increased. Mr C. Turnbull, then in charge of the stable, could not reduce those thick layers of fat without imperilling the . little fellow's none-too-promising hocks, and it was feared that the galloping necessary to bring down the youngster's bulk would make his feet give out.

* # * .All hope of racing him as a two-year-old had to be abandoned in despair. Bat in the spring of St. Clair's three-year-old season the continuous efforts with him at last made an impression, and one morning he rather astonished the fcoutß by doing a really nice gallop with St. Ives. From that date the trainer took heart, and at last, after many months of patient trying, the stable ventured to start the youngster in the Maiden Plate afe the Duaedin Spring meeting. St. Clair was even then only half fit, and he finished nowhere behind his stable companion Sfc. Ivee. Bub he kept improving, and by February, having the luck to meet a particularly weak lot in the Maiden Plate at Dunedin — Jealousy and Mistake being his oaly opponents — he won pretty comfortably. Still, however, he was. far from fit, and it was his gameness rather than bis condition that enabled him to land the D.J.C. Handicap at the same meeting. As a matter of fact his obstinate corpulence troubled him right through his racing career, and so far as I can remember he was only once thoroughly fit, that being when he was handed over to E. Cubts to make the northern tour on which he captured the Burke Memorial Stakes and the Napier Cup. On the whole, however, St. Clair must have paid about bis way as a racer. During his three seasons he ran seven races, which, with place money, represented £1248 in takings, his three-year-old earnings being £405, four-year-old £665, and five-year-old £178. This is not; so bad for a hone that as a sapling threatened to be absolutely untrainable ; and I may further remark that the little horss would have paid very well to follow in the totaliaator, since in h ; s 26 races be returned dividends totalling £77 6s 3d, fchu* leaving to the £l-a-pop backer a profit of £51 Ga 3d. This, however, meant very little to the owner, as he does not bet. St. Clait's whole record on the turf may be thus stated :—: — WON. At 3yrs -D.J.C. Maiden Plate, February, 8.1, mile and a-half, 2min 57sec ; £1 143. At 3yrs— D.J.C Handicap, February, 6.5, mile and a-half, 2min 43}iec ; £76 Is 6d per £2 ticket. At 4yrs— Wanganui Consolation, March, mile, 7.0, lmin 46»ec ; £6 13. At 4yvs Hawke's Bay Burke Memorial Stakes, March, 6.7, mile aud a-half, 2min 40 4-ssec ; £16 6-t. At 4yrs — Napier Park Cup, March, 6.10, mile and a-half, 2inic 441 see ; £4 17. At 4jrs— D.J.O. Birthday Handicap, 3lay, 7.9,

mile and a-half, 2min 47isec ; £5 43 6d. At syrs— D.J.C. Provincial Handicap. May, 7.3. mile and a-q.uarter, 2min 14jec ; £i 11s. SECOND.

At 4yrs— Forfcury Handicap, February, 6.10, won by Silvermark, 7.12 At syrs— C J.C. Autumn Handicap, April, 6.12; won by Ravenswing, 7 2. THIRD. At 3yrs— D.J.C. Tradesmen's Handicap, May, 7.12, won by Bard 7.2. At 3yrs— D.J.C. Consolation, May, 7.10, won by Apropos, S.O. At 4yrs— Wangaaui Stakes, March, 6.9, won by Silence 9 0.

UNPLACED

At 3yrs— D.J.C. Sfaiden Plate, November, 7.12, won by St. Ivea 7.12. v At 3yra--Forbury Handicap, February, 7.2, won by Silver Prince 6.12. At 4yrs — New Zealand Cup, November, 7.0, won by Lochiel 7.12. At 4yrs— C.J.C. Metropolitan, November, 7.5, won by Beresford 7.0. ■ At 4yrs — D.J.O. St. Andrew's Handicap, November, 7.9, won by Quibb'e 8.7. At 4yrß— Dunedin Cup, February, 7.0, won by Gipsy King 8.4. At 4yrs— D.J.O. Handicap, February, 6.12, won by Gipsy King 9.2. At 4yrs— Waneanui Cup, March, 7.0, won by Dudu 6.8. At 4yrs— Hawke's Bay Cup, Match, 7.0, won by Cruchfield 7.fc

At iyrs— Havrke's Bay Grand Stand Handicap, March, 7.6, won by Tongariro 8 7. At 4yrs— >apier Park City Stakes, March, 7.9, won by Sileno.i^B.9._ AOyrs— " Cf T.G. "Autumn ' Haudicip", April, 6.1P, won by Spriugston 7.5. Atsyrs— New Zealand Cup, November, 7.5, won by Manton 6.10. At syrs— D.J.O Birthday Handicap. May, 8.0, won by Chudleigh 7.12. Bats while St. Clair, taken all in all, was useful as a racer, it was as a stud horse that he proved of the greatest value. Breeders could not overlook his fashionable pedigree — there ia nothing better in the world than the Musket and Pulchra combination in him represented — and the stylish little bullyboy brought steady patronage to Warringtoa, besides doing the home stable excellent servicD. Beadonwell was oae of the firafc of his successes ; Ecnmeline, Belle Clair, Blazer, Lord Kosslyn, and other racers of high repute come from his loins ; and last season he was well up on the list of winning sires with 14 representatives, who between them took £2169. The most promising of hia stock to ace as his successors are Baadouwell and Lord Rosslyn, both bigger than their sire.

*** Strange to say, the other stallion owned by the Hon. G. M'Lean is also numbered with

the slain. I refer to Rubezahl. At the time of writing I had not seen the owner, and cannot say exactly what was the cause of the death ; but word has been sent from the farm that the son of Seesaw and Fairyland had to be shot. This horse had hi» origin in' England. When Mr Stead imported Fairyland in 1882 this daughter of Or'audo and the Harkaway mare El Dorado, was carrying the foal sired by Seesaw, aud this was the iellow who, born in Canterbury, was in November of 1882 disposed of at Mr Stead's big sale, finding a purchaser in the Hon. G. M'Lean at 130gs. The name Rubezahl signifies in German folklore the mountain spirit of the Riesengebirge, in Sileßia and Bohemia. The colt was placed in Jas. Kean's hands, and did not race until he had reached the age of three years, when, riddea by Stewart Waddell, he made hi* first appearance in the Riccarton Welter won by Mata, finishing nowhere ; and nexb day, with Alick Sutherland up, he fared no better in the Juvenile Plate, won by Marion. Coming back to Dunedin, however, he had his revenge on Mr Stead's stable by beating Puck a head in the Maiden Plate, and he wound up the season by finishing second to Billy in the seven-furlong Welter of the D.J.C Spring meeting. As a four-year-old Rubezahl ran uuplaced in the St. Andrew's Handicap, for which Talebearer and Hermitage were adjudged to have run a head heat ; he was eecond to Everton Lad in the Spring Handicap at the same meeting ; and battled one successfully a really good race in the Tahuna Welter, beating those slippery customers Tit-bit and Don Jose. After that he had a rest from racing uutil going to the Wellington Cup meeting, where his beat performance was to finish third in a six-furlong event won by Miss Dargon. His next appearance was at the Dunedin Cup meeting, where he won nothing ; and the March meeting at the Forbury saw the last of him as a r&car, for he broke down when winning the Anniversary Handicap. Taiaroa broke down in the same race, and both limped in' astern of Indolence, the only other starter.

*#* Thus it will be seen that Rubezihl's turf record was not brilliant. He ' won only two races, and his total earnings did not exceed £200. In appearance he was rather a noticeable sort of horse, being of commanding appearance and a nice wholesome brown ; and so far as breeding went he had no cause to be ashamed to argus with his enemies in the gate or in the paddock. Somehow or other, though, he did not strike one as the make of a galloper. His after ribs were so prominent and large and so far back that there seemed to bs no room for the play of the hip, and we used to call him (behind his back, of course) the iron-hooped horse. At the stud he was not a consistent success, though in Dilemma and Maremma he produced two most honest and reliable gallopers. Dilemma narrowly misled winning a fortune for his backers when he ran second in the New Zealand Cup won by Sfc. Hippo— a really fine performance on the little fellow's part, as at the distance he fairly stretched St. Hippo, the mightiest galloper wa have aeen since Carbine and Maxim ; and as for Maremma, vs-e have him still with us as an example of honesty and reliability and bulldog courage. Many horses have beaten Maremma, but ne'er a one has got his tail down.

*#* The soratchings for the New Zealand Gup for the week ending Tuesday are Coiverin, Searchlight, and Antares. The latter had been backed a couple of months ago on the strength of a rumour that he m^ght represent Wright's stable. It is pretty plain now, I rhould think, that if this stable is to have a look in it will be with Day Star. Haria shaped disappointingly at Hawke's Bay, and it is an open secret that Mr Morrin fancies the chance of his colt. The gossip of the week among the clever division would lead one to the supposition that this Cup can be picked in two — Day Star and St. Paul. They wou't give Buroclydon a show mow. The story is that the big horse is under a cloud — anyway he is uot the mode. Lord Rosslyn is preferred to him of the Dunedin honses. Well, I'm nob going to argue against Lord Rosslyn's chance, lor he ia doing very well indeed, and made a deep impression on those who saw him reel off a mile aud a-quarter on Saturday morning. Bus it is altogether premature to conclude that Buroclydon is dead and buried. He did a nice sound gallop on Friday, and, though I understand it is quite correct that he seemed (o pull up a little sore six days earlier, it nrait be remembered that this was after a gallop severe enough to make the soundest horse look quisby for the moment. I don't think, in fact, that he was gore at all. Mind, I never did say that thd big fellow was going to win, but I do assert that so far as I know it is yet; altogether premature to say that he has no chance. He will make the next payment, beyond a doubt, and the owner sends me word that he expects to get the horse to the start. The nexb , acceptance is just about due, I hear, and they say that the members to possibly take fchig stage to drop out are Fabulist, Mauser, Belligerent, St. Ouida, Wakelyn, Chasseur, Matarawa, Inchcape, Miss Anna, and General Wolfe, while half a dozen others are doubtful acceptors. Britomark will probably pay up ; she is going pretby well — soundly, at any rate. Ooher races at the C. J.C. meeting besides the Cup are now attracting attention. The Stewards' Stakes weights are out, and backers are picking the be»t goods out of this to make up doubles with the Cup horses. On a cursory glanse through the six-furlong lot I should say that Vedette is well in, also Acone (I disregard his H&wke's Bay running), and others that may be mentioned approvingly are Cannonahot, Bracelet, Jewel, Blazer, Arline, Goldleaf, and Fulnaen. Golden Legend is scratched. My fancy, in two, is Vedette or Acone. As to the Steeplechase, one can hardly go paib the top weights, for Clarence and Violence are about the, onlj representativei of class engaged*

*** They had good fields at Hawke'e Baf for this year's Spring meeting. A total of 11? starters for 14- races gives an average off nearly B£. And there were ¥bme very "wbrfctiyr horses at the meeting. Vedette fairly comas within this category. He started twice and won twice, in each case putting up what readf liks a sound performance. Take the October Handioap. In this he gave none of the others a hope, and ran the mile and » distance in lmin 59£ sec, though all out by himstlf. The real meaning of this was not disclosed nntil the second day, when Cceur da Lion ran horae an easy winner of the Spring Handicap. Thii was to all appearances a true-run race, and so was the October Handicap, and, reading backwards, it makes the winner of the October Handicap » particularly fast horse. This he also proved ia the Final Handicap, wherein be did the six furlongs, without being severely pressed, in lmin 14§iec. There are not many hones in New Zealand or any other colony that could give thi* fellow a start. Vedette is four years old, ! by Vanguard from Venm Transit, she by Derby or Sledmere. This is a line of breeding that we got in Lottie's pedigree, Lottie being by Muskapeer, who is half brother to Vedette. We first saw Vedette oul; in the Sires' Hack Produce Stakes at Egmonfc last season, which he won ; he afterwards won a hack race at Wanganui, and then won the Bell Block Cup. His record to date, therefore, is five starts, five win*, and' no one can say how good he is. . Another good horse at the meeting was Multiform, whose mile in the Guineas, done in a tick over lmin 43sec c with 8.10 up, is one of the finest performances ever seen in the spring. Mr Stead's colt simply left the others as though they were anchored. Presumably he is on the eve of another' series of victories. Without doubt this was the dandy performance of the meeting. Daunt, runnerup in the Guineas, was alto second to Vedette in the Final ; bu l ", though the opvort.unity is tempting, I am not going to make- c<"nparigonß as between Multiform and Ye •" . Each, probably, is at the head of his cUi s and that is near enough until, should Mr Nicholson's i ambition go that way, Vedette challenges Multii form. Next to these flyers cemes Coeur de Lion, j who won the Spring Handicap moat impresI sively, shooting out at the finish in a manner indicative of a stayer, and romping borne in the record time for the race— more than 2»eo faster than the previous best time made by Crackshob in 1890. Previous winners of this race have been : ISB7— Maxim 3yrs 7.13 2min 51 l-ssec 1888— Leopold 3yrs 7.0 2min 44sec 1889— Tirailleur 3yra 7.11 2tnin 48 2-ssec I 15iO— Crackshot 3yr* 7.7 2min 39 3-ssec ! 1891— B. Lion aged 7.» 2min 41 3-ssec 1892— St. Hippo 3yr3 8.0 2min 45 l-ssec 1893 -Ran jiatea 4yrs 8.0 2min 44 2-ssoc 1894— N. Atlantic syrs 7.4 2min 53 2-ssec 1895-The Shrew 4yrs 7.12 2min 45 B ee 1896— Dxystar 3yrs 7.7 2min 48 2-s«ec IS97— Cceur de Lion 4yrs 7.9 2min 37 2-ssec ■ Up to this meeting there wai nothing, in Cceur > de Lion's performances to suggest thmt-he could win this race. An a matter of fact, it is hta I first win. Last season he ran nins titnei, and [ the nearest he got to a win was when he finished second to Primula in the May Handicap at Napier Park, the mare conceding 191b. No doubt, however, he has now won handsomely, and I am very glad to see such a capital sportsman as Captain Russell getting a turn, especially with one of 'his own breeding, for the Lion in out of Leonora, and is, by the way, nicely named for a son of that' m»r<s by Dreadnought. Sir Launcelot also deserves notice amongst thu winner.) at this Hawko's Bay meeting, but I should think more of him had he won a longer race than the Flying., The two-year-old form is a little mixed. Tigretß got away badly iv "the Welcome, yet won, and then failed to live out the extra half furlong next day, this race being won by Musketry's close relative, Victoria Cross, who was bred by Mr Stead and sold to Mr Connop last season. So much for the winners. Ao for the losers, are we to conclude that Haria, Tire*, Searchlight, Primula, Defiant;, Wakelyn, New Forest, and Douglas — all New Zealand Cup candidates — are no good ? Hardly ; but it is alto tha facb that their runDing seems to pretty well settle their hopes of the big race. Searchlight, indeed, has since thrown up the sponge. It ii one of the curious things about this year's Hawke's Bay meeting that its evidence in respect to' the New I Zsaland Cup is strictly of * negative character. I Several horses, named above, are prejudiced in their chances ; .and not one horse in the race is helped forward to a better value.

*** •• Paeping Tom," the Lake County Press writer, thus treats in a common-sense way a question which seems to have the property of eternal youth : It is a. common outcry &mongsb visitors to our local racecourses that Dunedin horsea always carry off the richest prizes. Ou every hand you will hear the question asked : " Why don't the handicapper put more weight on there cracks from down country ? " A question more easily asked them answered. Herein lies a h&ndicapper's most puzz'.iug and difficult task, let him be evec so capable and conscientious. Iv the first place, it is hard* to get a lins ag between a moderate plater from down country and our local horses, ' at least tha majority of them. The time test is no good because them is such a marked difference in regard to the time alleged to ba put up at Cromwell or Frankfcon and the subsequent inglorious display of the same animals on metropolitan racecourses. If our local time taking is correct; both Rebec and Misafire have cut out the mile and a-half at Frankton in something like 2min 44sec, the former carrying 7.10 and tha Utter 9.12. With 7.8 at Dunedin Missfire cannot gain a shop in a mile and a-hilf race run in 2min 43sec, while little Rebec if let in at 6.7 would not have Buckley's chance in a minor handicap. So muoh for the time test. Then, again, the question of ways and means crops up. To comply with the rules of racing and get a permit to use the totalieator for a two days' race meeting our up-country cluh3 must give away a certain amount per day. Our chief source of revenue is through the machine ; professional racing men are heavy backers, and contribute very largely to our funds by big investment! on the totalitator, in addition to entrance and acceptance fees ; and the majority of us must admit that a large proportion of the success of our goldfields race meetings is brought about through owners from Dunedin and elsewhere being induced to come amongst us with their horses, bringing with them at the same time the wherewithal to back them liberally on the machine. If the Frank* ton meeting was confined to local talent) the fields must of a necessity be wretchedly small, and the machine receipts poor in proportion, because our local owners only back on a very moderate scale, and money ii scarce amongst; the general public compared to what it was eight or ten years ago, therefore we could nob hold a two days' race meeting at all, because the amount of added money necessary to comply with the rules could nob be given away. OE course a fair and conscientious weight-adjuster will always try to bring the horses together as nearly as possible, but would be unwise to> starb a handicap with a weight that would scat* down country owners from coming round the.

goldfields meetings for the reasons already stated. If a number of horses entered from down country fail to accept, the club considers *£t -lif.-C^czppsr is to - blame. " To~ do "local owners justice I must say they very seldom murmur about the travellers winning a race or two. Those chips off the good old sporting blocks are wont to remark, " Let 'em come ; they'll have to gallop, anyway." All honour to them, say I, for the liberal sporting sentiment conveyed in such a remark.

*** Tahuna Park's programme has escaped the threatened blocking. A message from Christchurch statts that the association has passed it. This was generally expected. The arguments on behalf of those who objected to permission being given the club to race on Boxing Day and New Year's Day demanded, and no doubt received, consideration, but these were not as weighty as the contentions of those who desire to see the club fulfil its function as the leading trotting institution in Otago. Speaking for myself, the question had nothing to do with the particular interests of this club or that club. Every club has a right to be heard in defence of its individual interests. The welfare of the sport as a whole is, however, of paramount importance, and when, as in this case, the question is the good of the sport on one hand and the interests of a particular club on tbe other, the club must go. It would be absurd to argue that any one club has the right to arrest tbe progress which is necessary to the wellbeing, if not the very life, of a sport so much maligned and misunderstcod, and therefore so unfairly handicapped, as trotting is. If it could have been shown by those who petitioned against the approval of this programme that the Tahuna Park Club is merely desiring to further, its own concerns, and that the proposition to launch out aud give big stake* is not likely to help forward the prosperity of trotting in Otago, 1 for one should have said nothing in Bupport of Tahuna'* claim. I do, however, believe, from what I know and hear, that this club aspires to make trotting in Otago what it has become in Canterbury — to encourage the breeding of the best and the promotion of race meetings which shall be free of the wretched paltry swindles that are always " on " •when the rats of the game are left to compete with their miserable hacks ; and in supporting this venture I am satisfied that I am actirjg in the best interests of country as well as town owners, since they will come from all parts of tbis and the neighbouring districts and get a ahow to win and to keep going with their breeding, and thus supply outside districts with a class of racers something better than the eventircers which in tbe past have done duty.

*£* The V.R.C. meeting on the 25th ult. was importance in view of the near approach of the big fixtures. Not that the results were by any means accepted as an infallible, or even a sound guide to the coming events, for several runners were plainly out simply for exercise ; still one likes to know wh&t was done. Therefore I put it on record that the Paddock Handicap wa» won by Mr Wilson's filly Virtue, daughter of Trenton and Maid of Honour, who bad 6.10 and did the six furlongs in lmin 15£ sec, beating Luster 6.10 and Alabaculia 6 9 for places ; and that Alabaculia 6 8 beat Sanbury 7.7 after a fine finish in the Stand Handicap, tbe mile and a-quarter being covered in 2min 9sec. Devon 8 3 and P»ul Pry 8 7 were among the beaten ooes, .The latter, it is specially remarked, was not backed, Alaba<eulia is by Marvellous from Tuscarora, and she, as well as Virtue, belongs to the St. Albant stable. The weigh t-f or- age September Stakes, a mile and a-quarter, being important, I bare set out the full report in another column. There is a difference of opinion amongst the reportera as to tbe merit of Ayrshire's performance. The Sportsruiu says that little notice Deed be taken of tbe running ; that it was a falsely-run race — it took tbe leaders 54-sec to run the first half mile, and lmin Bsec the first live furlongs, so practically it was a six-furlong flutter instead of a mile and a-quarter r*ce. "Aj»x" reports that Key w*o -seriously interfered with when something cannoned against her at the entrance to the straight ; that Hypnotist was also interfered with, and •otherwise would probably have won ; and that the race was not a true-run one, as the majority of the horses were fighting for their heads in the first furlong or two, and this -suited a brilliant horse like Ayrshire, who, nicely nureed by Stevenson, was able to come out at tbe finish, and, with a brilliant ruo, cut down Wait-a-Bit. The Age scribe remarks : The race was robbed of much of its value as a guide to the probabilities of the Cups because of the want of pace in the flrßt half-mile. Ayrshire has never been regarded as a horso (hat would like a journey of a mile and a-quarter, and there is no reason yet to think that he does, as this race was practically a six furlongs' go. The race should not be taken too seriously ; it was not truly ran, and it would not be surprising if the form were proved in the near future to be all wrong. Oa the other hand, " Reginald " says : No excuse can be made for the defeated ones. Honours were distinctly with tbe winner, who came and conquered in a stride. There can be no two opinions about the superiority shown. Wait-a-Bit looked like smashing things up near home as be bowled along in front, but Ayrshire fairly smothered him when be ranged alongside. If the way the race was run favoured Ayrshire, it certainly would not militate against flyers like Wait-a-bit and Key. John. Anwio is under -the critics' displeasure for his handling of Wait-a-Bit. How he is to be blamed it is difficult to see. He was out in front ready to inswer challenges, and when Ayrshire put in his claim Anwin was fully alive to the position. He got to work at once, but it was no use ; Ayrshire blinded Wait-a-Bit— swallowed bim, you might say. Rest assured Anwin was not at fault. Wait-a-Bir, and tbe rest of them for that matter, had met their master fairly and squarely. That's the whole case in a few words.

*#* The York meeting in August opened unpromisingly, heavy showers falling. In the colonies this would have been the office to field *nd let the favourites pay a price, but the Tykes back their fancies freely ; hence in the Prince of Wales' Plate, though a baker's dozen started, backers accepted 11 to 8 about a filly that had never won a race, and, more, she pulled them through. Simylla — that's her Bsme- is by St. Simon (son of Galopin) from Palmflower, by The Palmer— Jenny Diver, by Buccaneer. They say that she was stopping badly at the finish, and the honours of the race , are generally bestowed on M.D., who was conceding a lot of weight. Of the eight runners for the Yorkshire Oaks, form pointed to Galatia as a good thing. She ran extremely well in the One Thousand, in which she was second toOhelandry, and finished many lengths in front of Fortalice. In the Oaks the latter

sertainly kept her out of a place, but Galatia «ras then dead amiss from natural causes, and irh«n the pair met again at Liverpool Galatia reasserted her superiority in the most marked manner. Yet in the Yorkshire r&ce Galatia was nowhere, and Fortalice won after a set-to with a rank outsider. They say now that

Galatia does not stay. Fortalice, who is by FHz-Simon (son of St. Simon) out of Zariba, by Hampton from Zee, by The Palmer, won iue~HydVrcirk~Pii»t~ey the Acorii Stakes, the Exeter Stakes, and the Prince of Walen'a Plate at York last y«ar, bub this season had never won a race until getting to York. The seven runners for the Great Ebor Handicap made up a rather poor field. Bach started a hot favourite, but had no show. When the struggle began in earnest there were only two in it, and Harvest Money, helped by having the stronger lad on his back, beat Asterie by a head. The time would be reckoned pretty fast out here, the winner having done the mile and three-quarters in 3rain 6sec. Harvest Money is by Doubloon (son of Sterling) out of Corn Rose, by Cornfield from a daughter of Raunds and the Knowsley mare Patty. The time-honoured Gimoraok Stakes, which gets its name from the famous grey, was won by Lord Rosebery's Mauchline, who was making her first appearance on a racecourse. She must be pretty smart if it is true that she cast fcha six furlongs behind in lmin 13 2-ssec, for this is a fraction under tbe best record ever made in the colonies, and she ran home all alone, having plenty to spare. This filly is by Ayrshire (son of Hampton) from the flyiDg Corstorphine, by Foxhall from Chopette, by North Lincoln. The old-established Great Yorkshire Stakes went to History. The scribes cannot understand how eight could be found to oppose tbis colt in view of his having got a place in the Derby, and his backers are regarded as lucky in having secured odds, even though it was only 8 to 4.

*** The next meeting of importance was [ the regular fixture at Derby. For the Peveril " of the Peak Plate, a valuable handicap, Mr Rothschild's disappointing horee Foxo, recently named afresh, being formerly known as Imposition, was made farourite, and again put his backer in an 'ole, for, while pulling double, and apparently winning in a canter, he suddenly stopped as though shot, and left the is«ue to two outsiders, Diakka and St. Noel, of whom the former gob home by a neck. This American colt thus repeated his success of last year, and it ma; be mentioned, as illustrative of the theory of "horses for courses," that he ran •ihird for the Derby Cup in November and last April filled the tame position for the Doveridge Handicap. The unbeaten Champ de Mars went out at 2 to 1 on for the Foal Stakes, but he failed to concede 111b to Disraeli, who won ! somewhat easily. This colt, by G»lopin out of Lady Yard ley (and an own brother to Bucking- j ham, who did good service as a juvenile for the j late Lord Caithorpea few years ago), was bred j by Sir Tatton Sykes, and cost Mr Wallace j Johnstone lOOOgs at the Doncaster blood- ; stock tales last year. Th« unlucky Merle ' managed to get home in the Biennial Foal Stakes, under circumstances elsewhere recorded, and the only other noteworthy occurrence at the meeting was the pheno- ; menally close finish in the Hartingtou Handicap. The judge could cot separate the first three past the post, and the fourth horse finished only a head away from the deadheaters. The Sportsman says it was a most { exciting race between Luscious, Cunctator, Olivewood, and Remember Me from the distance, at which point the verdict seemed likely to go to the last-named, -bnt the other three just got past her, and ran home locked together. The owners agreed to submit the matter to a cecond trial. Olivewood was chosen for favourit«isin, but backers were out of their reckoning, and Luscious, sent alpng by her jockey from the fail of the flag, ran home the I easiest of winners by four lengths. Prior to this tbe last dead heat between three in England I was at the York August meeting last year, t when Casse Cou, Messala, and Bajardo fiuished together for the Badminton Plate. Another memorable Instance was tupplted at the Lewes Summer meeting so long ago as 1880, ; when Scobell, Wandering Nun, and Mazurka \ made a dead heat of it lor fehe Astley Stakes, with Cumberland and Thora finishing together for second place.

* # * Speaking of a visit to Baton, the Sportsman's special cays : It was in one of these paddocks that Touchstone lived to such a ripe old age, and sired the many great winners which have transmitted to distinguished posterity the sure tokens of his vigorous, healthy life, and in that very paddock Orme will winter and go through his coming seasons. This great son of Ormonde is at present, and has been since his strange seizure last spring, in another equally convenient paddock close by. His box door is left open at night, and he go6s in and out at will, just as Touchstone did, and though as a natural result of tbis life he does not present the rouudly-moulded appf arance which the ordiaary treatment of stallions produces, he is probably — indeed one may say certainly — all the better for it. He is now a? quiet as a sheep, and has completely got over his mad fit. What is more, this was practically demonstrated before the season ended, for three mares were mated with him in his present home, and they are all in foal. One of these was a maiden two-year-old, and stud masters will therefore realise that Orme must necessarily have proved temperate and perfectly manageable. It is most likely that Touchstone lived so much longer than stallions usually do through the simple fact that his manner of life was so much more natural. Locking over the very interesting old service book which Chapman was good enough to show me, I noted that 24 mares visited Touchstone in 1856, when he would be 25 years old, and of these none visited him on more than a single occasion. It may well be that Orme's malady of last season came as a blessing in disguise, and that living the same simple life as Touchstone did he will attain to equal success. At present he might well be mistaken at first glance for one of his own yearling eons, for some of- them are such strapping fellows they stand but an inch or so lower than be does, while several have distinctly more bone.

*** There were plenty of people at the Kurow races, but they, or many of them, were there rather for pleasure than business, and the total of £923 put through the totalisator by Mr Probert was £178 less than last year's. Walter Buddicomb had a very easy ride on Talune in the Maiden Plate, this aged gelding doing as he liked with his opponents. They say that he was bred in Australia. All I know is that he won a hurdle race at Wai mate last season. Phaeton for the Two-mile Trot was the good thing of the day. All the knowing ones were on it, and were lucky to get a dividend of over even money. These pure things are generally backed down to odds on. The Cup was a good go between Vandyke and Venus. Matthews, having confidence in the ability of Vandyke to hang out the distance, made the pace hot from the start, and this, as it so happened, just suited Venus, who proved to be a better iticker than she had been getting credit for by those who didn't know her. In a regular ding-dong go nhs fairly beat Vandyke at the distance, and eventually ran in a winner by about a couple of lengths. Miss Stella Garnet had an easy victory over the more-fancied Maud in the Maiden Hack Race. Vandyke was un-

lucky to lose the Spring Handicap. After leading to the home torn he ran out, and before he could be straightened Glenore was with him. Then it was impossible to say which would win, until •' Van" swerved, under the whip, leaving Gleuore to secure the stake, Haka got left at the post in the District Selling Race, and Barney was slow to move ; but in any case First Shot would have taken a lot of beating. The Jockey Club Handicap, won by Molly Darling, produced an exciting finish. She oughh to have won easily, but her rider, not wanting to lead by too much, got hold of her aud gave Rainbow his only po3sible caance with Venus — viz., of a rush in the last half furlong. Alf waited patiently, and duly made the rush, but Molly, spry mare that she is, answered the call at once and got home by a nose. It was a nice little trap, and nearly coming off. After this the people trooped off, very few wanting to see the Consolation run, and no one put a penny on the machine.

** w Ohoka and Eyreton races, held last week, produced a record attsndance, and £1897^ was passed through the toUlisator, or £207 more than last year. Backers badly failed iv their task of picking the Hunters' Flat Race, for Proepect, the chestnut four-year-old that was turned up by Loughlin last season, went out favourite, with Dragoon next in demand, and the latter was done with 100 yards from home, after he had held the lead into the straight, -whilst Prospect tailed off the whole way. The Ohoka and Eyreton Handicap provided something like a public trial for' two horses that were engaged in the New Zealand Cup. Of these, Monte C»rlo was the heavier backed, and made some sort of a show in finishing second. He was, however, apparently outpaced all the way by Rangefiader, who won comfortably by a couple of lengths in moderate time. Culverin, the other Cup horse, made a very poor display. She was first to show in front, but got collared before half the journey had been compassed, and all her struggling to hold her own proved resultless. As the outcome she was scratched for the New Zealand Cup. Miss Annie, winner of the Trot, is a well-come mare, but (he had nothing to beat after Pilot broke up. The first success during the day for an actual favourite was Manawanui's in the Welter. Making his own pace, this good-looking and well-conditioned son of Somnus had the opposition killed long before reaching the post, though, easing up, he allowed Cactus to finish on his girths. Cherrystone, winner of the Hack Sailing Race, is by Ruby. I suspect that this stallion' has more winners than has been stated during the past season or two. Country reports often omit the breeding of winners. Dave Price got Pilot to go steadily in the Mile Trot-, and he won as he liked, but on time it was not a great performance. Free Holmes had two horses running in the Flying, and they were not bracketed. The public consequently made a favourite of Starshot, the mare that bead Plotter so badly in the Maiden at Dunedin last season ; and they 'went down, for Holmes'a pair had the race $o themselves, and Manawanui won by half a length. Beggarman had a 71b penalty in the District Welter, notwithstanding which he took the lead when he wanted it and could not be dispossessed.

*** The Opbir correspondent of the Cromwell paper, writing of the Matakantti Handicap, says : — Stockmaid and Orphan are the most fancied here, but when they are done with Old Sport, Black Bess, <jtiickaho!;, and Redwjng they will have been travelling pretty fast. Mr Inder's Suofiower 6.10, on her run at Beaumont last year, when she ran into a place in the Fiying Handicap behind Jane Eyre and Red Ensign, has a chance. Her breeding is good ; Cheap Jack — Sunbeam, by Scud. Mr Armour's Magic can race if well, but bad legs make a bad horse. Snowdrift 7.10 won the All-aged Stakes at Matakanui and Trial Stakes at Naseby. She has an unbeaten record, but she ha« never met a strong field jet. Black Bass 8 6 is a very constant mare, and runs well on tkis course, but I think she can hardly win, though she may get a place. Georgie Sharp 8.12, by St. George— Becky Sharp, is fast, bub she bred a foal last year, and that may not improve her. Jackson 67. Sapphire 67, and Emerald are all untried. Young For 6 10, by Revolver — Verbena, has been a fross so far. Glencoe 6.10, by Gorton — Highland Mary, is a bit of a puzzle. He ran once last year unplaced in the Handicap Flutter at Matakanui, and if that is his true form how did he g.'fc in the Handicap instead of Kelso ? One would be inclined to think that he is tho belter of the two ; and, if so, he must have a chance, as Kelso carried 8.7 in the All-aged Stakes, and was only beaten by a head in lmin 22<ec. I know his owner has picked him with Blackthorn in the double — Matakanui Handicap aud New Year Trot. Old Swivel may win, but I think Bedwing will b at him on their last year's ran. Stockmaid 8.2 reads well, and will have the advantage of being well trained. So will The Orphan, as Mr Scoles's horses run well at the right end of their race. Old Sport 8.3 has an unbeaten record, but his wins have been mostly in hack races. It must be born in mind that he has won five races. He may be another Knickerbocker Sam. Qaickthot 710 should be very handy at the fiuish, if she will stand training. If this mare were sound I would pick her to win right out. I expect tbe winner from the .following six : — Scockmaid, The Orphan, Old Sport, Redwing, Georgie Sharp, aud Clare's pick of Glencoe or Quickshot.

* # * Melbourne folk are up to their eyes in sport at the Caulfield meeting. The Caulfield Stakes, the opening event of Saturday last, brought the disappointing Coil to the front. He must be a great horse when things suit him, for he won by 10 lengths from a field which included recent performers of merit in Key, Ayrshire, Fucile, and Amberite — the latter considered a possible for the Derby. The Guineas went to the favourite, Aurum, whom nothing troubled in the least. His time, as will be seen by the appended list, is slower than any since Annesley's in 1890 :—: — 18S7-Carylon, by Chester, lmin 42£ sec. 18SS— Volley, by Musket, lmin 4Saec. 1889— Rudolph, by Martini-Henry, lmin 49Jsec. 1890— Aanesley, by Neckerggat, lmin 47sec. IS9l— Strathmore, by NordenMdt, lmin 4*j3ec. ]592 Autonomy, by Chester, lmin 45Jsec. 1893— Patron, by Grand Flaneur, lmin 4Clssc. 1894— Cobbitty, by Abercorn, lmin 41sec. IS95 — Wallace, by Carbine, lmin 4o]sec. 1896— The Officer, by .Robinson Crusoe, liuin

44* sec. 1897— Auruui, by Trenton, lmin 46Jsec. Aurum, it will be noted, had one of his hoofs wax-threaded before the. race. If this is genuine, it means that his backere will not be very confident for the Derby, and if they lose heart ib must be an open race so far as betting is concerned, since Amberite's chance is weakened by his failure in the Guineas.

*#* For the Cesarewitch Stakes to have been run yesterday, Winkfleld's Pride was handicapped at top weight with 9.4. Galtee More had 9.3. and has since been scratched. The French colt Masque 11, on whose behalf there was the suggestion of a challenge to the English horses some three or four months back, was let off with 8.7, so he could not comolaia if be had

a dog's chance with tbe Irish crack. Mr Jersey's Australian-bred Merman was placed on the 7.5 mark — a nice handy weight for a. five-year-old bred to stay that long course. In_ regard-to the Cambridgeshire, the mile" and a distance race which forms the second leg of the favourite autumn double, and is to. be run on the 27th, the nine-stone division consisted of Clorane 9.10, AVinkfisld's Pride 9 7, Galtee More 96, and Count Schomberg 9 6, while Masque II is at 8.8, and Mr Jersey's Maluma, winner of the V.R.C. Newmarket Handicap, is at 7.0. Whatever the result of these races may be, it can never be said that the Australian pair have been unduly weighted, T« us they seem to be thrown in. English handicappeiM may be to blame for sticking the colonial horses of repute up very high at first and asking them to prove their right to come down ; but once they do come down there is no miserable provincial jealousy to give them an extra half stone for the sake of letting the Home-bred horses win. It seems to me that Australian as well as American and French horses are treated generously as a lule in English handicaps.

*** The Irish steeplechase sire Ascetic, the property of Mr Johu M. Purdon, of Cloneymore, Athboy, died suddenly last August. He was returning to stable after his uimal two hours' exercise, apparently in the best of health, when be dropped dead. The name of Ascetic has for 3 ears been familiar to breeders both in Ireland and in England. He was undoubtedly, declares the Sportsman, the premier steeplechase sire of Ireland for the past dozan years. Bred in Eogland by Mr King iv 1871, the horse was over 26 years of age. He was by Hermit (by Newminster), his dam being Lady Alicia, by Melbourne from Testy, by Venison, and w/i8 a splendid specimen of the thoroughbred. Ascetic won the Croker' Challenge Cup at the Ballsbridge show, having been awarded the first place amongst sires exhibited for three yours in succession. Oa the last occasion that Ascetic was exhibited he was fully 21 years old. He sired a great numbor of steeplechasers and highcKjs hunters, foremost among them being Cloister, Royal Meath, and Roman Oak, three 1 champions. j *** It turns out that the Mr Stepbenson who ; bought two geldings at the Sydney sales was j our Mr Stephenson, and the horses are for the rei-and-whits stable. They came over in the Wakatipu, and were at once taken c&arge of by Sid Bishop. As yet I have' not had an opportunity of getting out to St. Kilda to have a look at them, but I am informed that they were landed without a scratch of any consequence, > and that, though they are nothing very wonder- ' ful in appearance, they have tbe look of a useful pair. The Abercorn gelding is the smaller of the pair, but seemingly the more forward. The Far Niente one is rather on the leg. This is • what I hear. When time serves I will go and ' see them for myself.

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OW18971014.2.91

Bibliographic details

TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Volume 14, Issue 2276, 14 October 1897

Word Count
8,022

TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Volume 14, Issue 2276, 14 October 1897

Working