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TALK OF THE DAY.

By MAZEPPA.

*** A special meeting of the Tahuna Park Trotting Club was held last week, when it was unanimously resolved — '• That- in deference to the request of the Colonial Secretary that the club alter the date of second day's trotting from January 1 to some previous day, and in deference to the wishes of and to preveut clashing with the Caledonian Society, the club alter the dn.te from January 1 to Wednesday, | December 29." The meeting will now be htld on Monday .(Boxing Day) and Wednesday, December 27 and 29/ This, I understand, is final ;- apd. it seems to me that the reasons given for giving up the Ist of January are such as must .commend themselves to the club's patrofis and the public at large.' To race on j New Year's Day would be to directly competai with >-tne Caledonian' Society ;. and aparb from ' the question of right,' it is a nice thing to try to avoid such a clashing. Palmerstou's case is ' entirely different. That club is two hours distant from 'Dunedin, whereas the Caledonian Society is right on the spot,' the very neighbour of the TahuDa Club. I understand that the Colonial Secretary has now ' expressed himself as entirely satisfied' with Tahuna'd arrangements, and the meeting will goon and probably become a fixture on the date named. Tha sum of £530 is offered in stakes, v»rj'iugfrom 70*ovs to 20<jovs,- and a liberal list of nominations may be expected on the Ist December when Mr Harry James comes to make up the count.

*£* The D.J.C. Committee were called on for an interpretation, of the rules ab their last j meeting. Several percorts wished to know . whether a man who had never received pay f o£ training or riding could train his own horse without bak : ng out a license, and the decision arrived at and formally minuted is "that under the rults everyone training a horse must take out a license." Having given this subject a little consideration, I come to the conclusion that this interpretation is correct. The rules of racing which came into force on the Ist of August this year state that "only holders of ; liceuses shall bo qualified to train," and thab ■ "any trainer who shall train without a licenne shall be fined." The old iule? contained the firat-mentioned of these two provisions — namely, that-" only holders of licenses shull be qualified to train," bub a clause added by 'the conference, to the cod« which was in force prior to this season authorised the issuing of permits,, and such permi 181 8 wet« freely twked for. That authority is ! now cancelled. I can find co, sign of it in the j new' rules. .The \ D.J.C. Committee had there* ! fore no option but to rule as they have that j everybody who trains mast take out" a license. | So, at least, it-.aj.pears' to'me^ Whether this j was intended .'by, the confer* nec -is another, question, and it may' be fairly considered open j to -argumeut;. • I- myself .have a doubb on the | poiub. In the first pUca, ibis at least suspicious that such a radical alteration in the 'rules should be as it were' smuggled 'through without raising a protest, and without the slightest pretence of seeking to know the mind of the country on the question. jßy a simple erasing stroke of tbe pen the right of i a man to train hisv own ~ horse is taken | away, and Sir- George Clifford, should ho for his own pleasure desire to train a hack oa his , station for a local race meeting, must takeout a licence and go on the official list jusb the same as Bill Jones, who is at 'the beck and call of the i -public at 30s a' week per head. This is a level- < ling proce'f s that' one would hardly expect to ba adopted without some show of consulting those concerned. Another reason which makes me doubt whether the conference deliberately and purposely assented to this new arrangement is that the main secbion of the rues has been allowed to stand without adding an adequate penalty clause. The old penalty for employing a trainer who has not a license was a fine not ' exceeding £20. Probably that was sufficient under the system in force up to last year. At a matter of fact it did prove reasonably sufficient. We had no great crop of cases in which the rule was broken. There was no temptation to break so mild a law. Now. however, the position is materially changed. Every man who trains a horse ia required to take out j a license, and between those on the one I hattd who are refused licenses, and those on the 1 other who will object from meanness or because they consider it infra dig. , to be catalogued in public wfth Tom, pick, and Harry, I txpeci , there will be a considerable amount of dodging going on/- dodging that will take the risk of the fine. /

*** to my way of thinking, seeing that the rule is now so comprehensive, nothing short of a provision that disqualification shall follow as a penalty for unlicensed training will suffice to bring all our men into line, and it is partly because I cannot find such a provision, but merely the power to inflict a fine — which may be nominal, and therefore ineffective — that I seriously doubt whether the conference really meant to declare that the permit system should have no place in the rules. Intention or no intention, however, it is perfectly plain that the permits are done away with. Personally, lam rather pleased that this is no. The system was sadly abused. Permits were granted to men who morally had no right to thorn, bat whose claims could not be very well disputed from a legal- point of view. * Day by day the clubs were pushed into a corner,* as it were, by applications from persons who were never intended to get a license oh the cheap, and clubs had to grant them because in law they could not very well refuse. Thus the permit list became a scandal, and to some extent an injustice to the regular professionals who paid their fees and often found themselves bard up because of so many men who could well afford to pay taking up training work on their own account, or pretending to do so, while really trusting to boya to do the work. There have been some mean tricks worked under cover of the permit system, and lam not sorry it has gone. The other consideration that this new system places. poen'.o'i various janks on a level is also a matter of.no importance in my estimation. It would not lower Sir George Clifford or Captain Russell or the Hon. G. M'Lean in my eyes if they were desoribed as trainers, nor yet if I were to catch them doing up a horse or forking his bed.- The point is whether the conference designedly meant to put all men nominally on an eaualifcy. and to declare that a

farmer .must not look after his own home. Per/ haps they did, but I doubb it. Attention is now, however, pointedly directed to the new rules as they stand, and if there has been au oversight perhaps some steps will be taken to remedy it as soon as possible.

*** It was in 1883 that the Canterbury Jockey Club changed the name of the C.J.C. Handicap to the New Zealand Cup and doubled Che stake to lOOOsovs, thereby making a bold stroka — fully justified by its success — for the premiership among the colony's Cup 3. The name has a little to do with maintaining the supremacy of this rec* ; the extra money has a greater share in fulfi ling this object; a more potent factor still is the peculiarly happy period of the season at which the race is run — this being the first of the spring holidays and a lime of the year when horses are fresh after the winter's spell, and when their form is not exposed ; and, further, the Cup must of necessity d,rskw, because it is one item on a programme which provides chance 3 for horses of all classes, and therefore alfcraets owners to the meeting. Sound common sense really lies at the root of the club's success with this meeting, and so far from begi urging the C.J.C. the popularity which it enjoys, I glory in it. They are nice people who. have charge o* the arrangement*, and they manage the meeting* admirably; and it isjor the good of racing generally thab it should prosper at headquarters. Well, this meeting' is jusb upon us again, and even those' of us who haven't a chance of attending are very much interested in , Iha prospects. Before discussing these it may be at well, to britfiy run through p»sb results since the New Zealand '- Cup took its new name. That goes back to the spring of 1883 — the meeting at which Liverpool won \h* Welcome from. L\dy Evelyn, «.nd Ondeis romped over Sir Btsdevere in the Derby, and Walcome Jack won tbe Canterbury Cup hard held. For the New Zealand Cap a dozen weighed out, and though the Hon. W. Robinson and Derretfc had fallen out, leaving "Bob" free torideTosmftn, the Robinson stable's declaration for Nonsense instead of Cheviot brought the mare to the short price of 5 to 2. Wattie rode. her. The stable were very confident. The owner himself pat £100 on^the machine, pretty openly, and, turning to tho«e mar him, he said, " Gentlemen, the New Zealand Cup is all over.-" But Nonsense suffered tremendously by the long delay of over half an hour at the post — she lathered all over owing to her fre(jueut breaks away before the flig fell, and when, after ranking the pace throughout; in company with Cheviot up to five furlongs from home, the latter fell away beaten, and Tasman began to close on the more, ib was as much as t-lie could do to respond to the challenge. Under pressure she retained the lead to within half a dozen stride? of the poat, and then Derretfc called on Tasman for a final effort, and the little bulldog respanding g»m»ly won a fine race by a head. Nothing bub these two, however, had any say in the finish. That's how the first Cup was run.

*#* The Cup of 1884- was very easily won, and j a turn of the wheel of fortune found Derrefcb riding the winner, owued by the man who had. owned the loser the-'year before. I refer, of" course, to fhe Hon. W. Robinson and Vanguard., I There was really, only' one horde in the .race., j Tim. Wh ; ffl-r was the ' first to force the pace ; then The Poet made a meteoric rush, and at once collapsed; Leonora also had a try, for, the lead, . but found herself " held in 'check by ' Tur- < quoisetand the latber led inbo the straight, folJowed^by Leoriotra and M Vanguard. The latter had/ however, been "kidding." Once in a line' for home he romped % to the front, had everything dead licked at the distance, and ran home, hard' held, three lengths in front of Leonara, who in turn was 10 lengths ahead of Ike. In this year Black Rose beat the favourite, Liverpool, in the Derby, and Welcome Jack- won the Canterbury Cup after a struggle with the Derby winner. The 1885 Cup brought out a field" which seemed at the time and still reads like a strong lot ; but I don't think ib was a strong -field, and I am morally sure that Fusillade, the winner, cannot be /clas&ed amongst the best horses that have won the race. Captain Webster tried to make" a runaway of it from the jump off, and after disposing of Leon, the only one who had ever headed him up to thab point, he led till reach- j ing .the last bend, where Administrator and Nelson. got up together.' Administrator drew clear in the straight, but Fusillade went after him, and a " closely-contested race found the latter winning by a length, Lochiela good third. Stony hurst won the Derby and Canterbury Cup I that year. In 1886 Disowned started a strong I favourite, and had no show whatever, the leadership being carried on by Lochiel and I Spade Guinea, of whom the latter lasted I loDgest and eventually won in the record time | of 3min 32? Ec with something in hand from Nelson, Lochiel a fair third. .The lop-eared mare paid £17 10a 6d per £2 ticket. Disowned won the Derby at that; meeting, and Artillery beat Nelson in the Canterbury Cup. Loehiel's ' Cup was the next in order. Bookmakers and backers will always remember that Cup. It knocked the ring kite high as a body, and there are lots of wagers unpaid to this day. ' Year after year there had been some horse in this race on to which the public fastened and fell. Lochiel was their choice of the 1887 lob, and for once in a way they got home. The bookmakers, for reasons best kuown to themselves, took liberties with the Prince Charlie horse, and throughout the winter could always lay him at a price. Attful backers, noting this, held off, or supported something else ; the rank and file of backers, on the other hand, would not be put away, bub planked down their dollars on Lochiel with as much confidence as if they had j been picking the winners year after j ear. To the bookmaers' dismay Lochiel did not got to Australia ; he stopped here, and he paid up, and he started, and he won with something in : hand ; and then these fine gentlemen, who time after time bad had tbe smile on their side when at the finish the public's fancy proved to be a "milker," found them--selves up a- tree, and frankly owned that they could not face their liabilities. Many.of them paid all that they could, and owed the balance ; some paid leas than they were able to ; and both lobs shut up shop for ever. Ib was the last of the Ring as we used to know it — the old maleficent Ring — the good old Ring of monopolising and turf-directing bookmakers. After that we h*d no Ring of any sorb for a while. Now we have a decent set of men, who pay their way and take no risks. For the change we are directly indebted to Lochiel.

*#* The Cups since then are comparatively modern. history. Manton won in 1888. He started first favourite, and baafc Son of a Gun and Exchange for places, and emphasised the correctness of the form by carrying off alio the Derby and the Canterbury Cup. The only horse in that year's New Zealand Cup that really had a chance of beating the favourite was gilvermark. Had he kept right, he would have made Mr Butler's colt stretch himself ; but going off badly before the race, Mr Goodman" horse hod only ooe ran left ia him, and fch»fc

was exhausted long before the real pinch came. Tirailleur in 1889 would no doubfa also have won our " triple crown " of New Zealand Cup, Derby, and Canterbury Cup but for the circumstance that he was not entered for the Derby. He conquered Scots Grey in the New Zealand Cup in decisive fashion, though the latter had him going at top at the distance, and followed this up by beating Scots Grey in thorough manner in the Canterbury Cup. With Tirailleur out of the way in the Derby, Scots Grey was juet as much the master of the remainder of the three - year - olds, and whopped Cynisca badly, from which fact, remembering what a good mare Cynisca proved herself to be, vre^ can form an idea that Tirailleur was indeed a clippar. Wolverine, winner of tha New Zealand Cup in 1890, gob through bis task in a style which left no chance for the suggestion that it was a fluke, as he was niggling away at the leaders all the road, and assumed command when aboub seven furlongs from home. Tbe next year found Flinders, the public fancy, badly beaten, and the despised British Lion getting home on a heavy course. Some argue that ib was a lucky win, bat there was no luck in the race itself, though, no doubt, the soft going suited the Lion. Bb. Hippo, thehero in the following year, beat Dilemma eaeily at; the finish, but he had to make a record to do it, and the little horse had the Aucklander fairly going at top specd > in the straight. Rosgfeldt won the Cup that' it was said Response eouUi not Jose; then onme Impulse's year, followed by Buroclydou'a and L»dy Zetland's,;' which, of course, are still fresh in the memory.

*** Now, then, what is to do the trick this year ? I cannot honestly pick Euroclydon, for he has a big joiut and. must be 'short of work ; therefore, though he .looks well, and will, por-" haps, run forward, he can hardly be expected to win with 9.11. Day Star is one of my f uncies. As against his chance, we have the big weight and tbe fact that he has not been racing lately;' bub his weight' is, after all, only his weight for age, and as for tbe other consideration, if he has not been racing hi* cbutn.Haria hap, and if the stable really fancy Day Star he must be very dangerous. This is .tire difficulty— Do the stable really faucy him ? * On this beading the information to (hand is contradictory, Blarney is scratched. St. Paul is the public favourite, and will probably remain so. Ha is voted a nice litt'e horae and tho cub of a stayer, aud the touts like him, as does the . trainer. He must be accounted one of the highly-likely division. Waiuku is said to be looking well and going well, and no ' on.c can understand why he should be figuring as an outsider when on the handicap he is the pick of the bunch. Skirmisher in in, the same position exactly, and I am inclined to think that backers are foolish to let long odds go begging about him. By all accounts he has done a found preparation. Tbe Brook is not one -of my fancies, bat the noxb on the list, Lord Rosslyn, has certainly a show and will be worth attention if he comes sound to the post. They say that Cannonshot ran a mile and a-half trialat Ashburton in 2min 36sec. If so, he will ntarly win. But I have no means of verifying the report. All the same I expect to see this horse run a good race. Strathbraan is not likely to start. EjJs«lefc is still a maiden — doing capital work, no doubt, and he maywin, but , I must have as my choice something that has public form ssi a recommendation. Haria is such ahorse, .and besides* fair'l.iab of performances — inconsistent, if you like, bub at the best^ meritorious — he is alco. doing t slashing work.' A mile .and a-half ab Riccartou in 2min 4-lsec iaone of his training gallops, and the.besb I have heard of. '_, The question to my mindis whether 1 ; be or Day Star is the better of Wright's pair. .If sura 'of this X aiiould tip the .better one straight out. Tire, who was backed three orionr weeks since, has been scratched. Leda may, perhaps, follow suit. She is said to be too big. ■ Anyway I don't fancy her. Defiant will, ib is j supposed, be held safe by hia stable companion Sir Launcelot. Venus cannot, I fear, hope for more than a pltce. St. Conon's unreliability places him out of count. Primula has no claim to consideration in a race like this. s Britomart is not, I hear, a certain starter.- And the last on the list is Oraa, ' whose' chance I cannot assess, being destitute of data. What, then, are my fancies ? Day Star, St. Paul, Waiuku, Skirmisher,, Lord Roselyn, Cannonshot', Haria, and Sir Launc'elob, ' and, ' being driven to make a selectioika week before the race, with the final payment Nof'lOsovs jet to be made, I must take a pair and select DAY STAR or HABIA, though these are really one, since they are ia tbe same stable, to win the New Zealand Cup of 1897. As to the other events, I select Ilex for the Hurdle Race, Double Event or Manawanui for -the Riccarton Welter, the Sincerity Colt for the Welcome Stakes, Monte Carlo for the Ladies' Purse, and Uniform or Blazer for the Stewards' Stakes, with Target dangerous. The Derby is a certainty for the better of Mr. Steady pair ; the Oaks will probably go to Bloomkr ; and the Canterbury Cup will likely God Day Star fighting, out a finish with Mr Stead's representative.

*** " Milroy " writes that S'gnora, the granddam of Amberite, was selected in England for the late Mr W. J. Dabgar by 'his friend, Mr Bruce Lowe, daring one ."of their jaunts to the old land. ' The dam of Amberite was bred according to Mr Lowe's old system, for he had a great notion of the pure Arab at three or four removes, and as he held the opinion that Sappho, by Sir Hercules, was bub a short distance from the pure Arab, he no doubt mated Signora with Sappho's son Lecturer for the blood of Kingston, Sir Hercules, and tbe supposed Arab. Nothing is known of Sappho beyond the fact that she was by Sir Hercules from Sappho, by Marquis from a mare by Zoh'rab, who, I presume, was a grey horse by Roue's Emigrant from Gulnare, therefore a full brother to Yattendon's granddam Alice Grey. There ia no Arab close in there, consequently Mr Lowe must have conjectured that the deserb blood was in old Sappho's unknown dam. The Sappho family were mostly greys. Seven out of the nine foals of old Sappho . were grey, and nearly all, young Sappho's foals were also grey, and withthe exception of Kingsborongb, who was essentially all Kingston, her sons got mosfe of their stock grey. As Kingsborough was far and away the most successful of Sappho's sons at the stud, and got his stock, chiefly bright bays, ib is very evident that Mr Lowe was after a drop of Arab when he mated Signora with Leoturer instead of Kingsborough, as the former followed the fashion of his mother's side, and whitened his paddocks with Arab greys, while Kingsborough's stock were KiDgsfcons over again — good coloured bays and speedy. The fact of Amberite's mother being a grey no doubt had much influence on Mr John Lee when he purchased her and her foal (Amberite) at Mr D. S. Wallace's sale. Nobody knew the valae of or loved the blood of Sappho better than Mr Lee, who saw the markings of the old mare in the mother of Amberite. When Duenna came to Bathurst she was stinted to Carbine, and the result of that union is a robust; chestnut-grey colb now being pub through his facings by W. Duggan. The " Sappho grey "is wcx ttftcsed in the younger brother to Amberite.

whom Harry Raynor describe* as a strawberry.' This fellow is built on better and more generous lines than Amberifco, and his legs are very much superior. '

**** Biserta's produce are earning a name fo* frightful in consistency. Examples are given by an English writer in speaking of the Dunoasbec meeting. A jab. once more knocked form into tbe proverbial cocked hat; by cutting down tha favourites in tbe Champagne Stakes. On the Now Stakes running at Asoot 211b would scarcely have brought Florio Rubabtfno and Ayah together, and it seems almost impossible that the filly should have been beaten out of the Brat eight in the race for the Prinoess Cup behind the Ditch in July. Here Qrviepano, Argosy, and Yokohama filled the three leading positions, and the Lady Hetty colfc, Id»tone, Atale-ya, Morning Dew, and Platonic were behind them, bub well in advance of Ayah, who had the benefit; of the allowance as well. A fortnight later this extraordinary youngster came and won the Chesterfield Stakes, beating Bllio, Florismarfc, Myrto, and others. Since then Champ de Mar< beat her like a common plater at Goodwood, and he in turn suffered defeat at Derby, so that ib was certainly on form all' the 20 to 1 thab was offered against her at Doncaster. She is assuredly one of the sort that; are be3t allowed t« run loose, for she inherits the unreliable temperament of the family, as transmitted by the dam Biserta, who, however, <has_ had. plenty of chances^iven her with- different sires.' Ufcjoa, whom Bhe foaled to -St. Simon in 1 1892, was more or lops-unreliable — in fact aha always work ' when le*st expeoted ; 'indeed; whenever a race looked. good for her she' was- cerbaiuvto " hole " herbaclrers. "•-O*tp, 1 who followed .fj ticajn 1893, was by. Satiety, and -was -a mere plater^; while /GolebOa. is nwcb.in order, and most of' us know to our cost' how she deteriorates or improves in' her efforts in public to the extent of stones '. Jut<t look at her disgraceful exhibition when Monterey beat her and her gallant 'struggle on tha same course- against Velasquez and Knight of the Tbibtle, while a still more'extraordinary contrast was her shocking display in the Oaks and her tearaway victory in the Coronation Stakes. It would break the Bank of England to follow such : performers as the progeny, ot Biserta, in whose veins, however,' courses tha cho : &esb strains of Stockwell and Sweetmeat; blood.

*#* One of tha caprices about breeding that; I never could understand, was the separating of Mermaid, from her old/ love, Traducer, after their union had produced suca~good racers as Lurline, Cusfcaway, and Le Loup. ■Mr Nosworthy was, however, an authority on the subject-, and it may be presumed tbat he had sound reiisons for putting ' Mermaid to Albany in 1877. Presuming a determination to patronise a fresh horse, A'bvny was at any rate 4 wise selection, for thia joker was getting 8om« v ( ery speedy stock. And in the firdb union with Mermaid he gob a fitly that could gallop. X refer to La Mode. She thowed her psce.in the second Welcome Stakes, wherein, after a slashing fiuifth from the distance, she defeated Hinemoa by a neck. It could hardly be argued, however, that La Mode was in bhe first flight. Tho^e rh\t finished behind the two leaders; ia the ; .We)cbtne Stakes . just referred ' to —Bla« Jacket, Renowu, Amulet, Louis dOr, and Nonpareil — v» ere none of them much good iv their subsequent careers,- and La 'Mode; never -won 1 another race. As 'a matter oPfacb, she, only 'started 'twice after that, when sha 'got badly -beaten by Somnas in the A "J.C. .Champagne and h»d to give in; to. Hinemoa >in the Nursery .Handicap.' But: though herself- a p'odr'.-'per-' former,' La Mode'eoraes/Qf/ real-racing families. Most -fellows would say that it' rtquld have) 'been an advantage to her to .claim Tradacec instead of Albany as a sire-^not that: Albany is to be disparaged, but because; the cross of Tcaducer upon Mermaid produced exceptional horses. , Stil), Albany is - good enough. And if Form, now in England, should have the luck to win an important race, we shall all be wanting to claim thab this colony shares' the credit, because ib waa here ,that his d*m, La Mode, was produced. Humbug is tha fashion with regard to pedigree talk. We wait/ „ until a horse wins a, big race or two and then •proceed to argue that the Victories are dne. to certain strains of blood. ' I mention Form's base not because hi has done something- wonderful, not because l'feel th»t he is going to win a big race, but bf cause h? has, jusb made his first appearance on English racecourses. The son of Cran brook and La Mode was a .starter, in the Great Yarmouth Handicap, of 132sova, on« mile, run in September, and he finished sixth, having, as a matter of fact, taken no active part in the race ; but this is no wonder, seeing that he carried 10.2 and was conceding from 181b to 371b to those opposed to him:- It may be re- • membered that Kirschwasser, who finished third in the race, is another offshoot of colonial product, being a son of Kirkham, who went Home to win the Derby. ' *#*. It is only quite recently tbat horses have been taken up country into' the African interior* and the fact: , that - the . -little ; band -_bf. British officials had a'few horses natarallysuggested & race • noeeting,. 'lAdyabtag* w*a 'taken' ofy.the,^ celebration of her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee,' ' and the fired; horse races , ever held c -iri East Africa cams off on June 22. There were two races — " The BSachakos Clip, open to all horses in Ukamba- Province, distance about throequarters of a mile " ; >and " The '" Ukamba Derby/ a sweepstake for all horses, catchweight over lOsb, aboub one mile -and a-half. Nine horses were enbered for the first event, bub a difficulty aroee as to jockeys. Only five Europeans were present, varying in weight from 106b to 13sb. Ib was, therefore, decided to have catch-weights over lOst, and as one of the Europeans did not ride, four Somalia and a Soudanese were put up ; Mr Lane, Mr Ainsworth, Dr Hinde, and Captain Harrison riding their own horses. Mr Hall's Tempest, ridden by a Somali, came in first, beating Mr Lane's Belle by a length ; another length separating Belle and Mr Ainsworth's Jumny, which came in third. The V Ukamba Derby " was unfortunately spoilt as a race by four of tbe horses going the wrong side of the first flag ; but an exciting struggle took place between Dr Hinde'B Parson and Captain Harrison's Sultan, the former winning by half a length. It is intended that the Ukamba race meeting shall be as annual event, and a cup has been ordered.

general and apparently well-founded allegation .of crooked running. I w*s not present myself, and therefore cannot speak from personal knowledge, but information comes from all quarters guarding me against placing too much reliance on the recorded results. The heavy going may no doubt be charged with this in part, but even after making every allowance for this, there remain two or three facts which are at least very suspicious. The club must waken up to this sort of thing, or else the Gore races will be left high and dry by the better class of sportsmen. Having given this warning, I proceed to briefly comment on the recorded facts. In tbe opening Hurdle Race, Saunterer and Narrate led to the first obstacle, where Rebel went to the front, and stopped there, being more at home in the slushy going than any of the others were. Fultnen having been sent to Christchurch and Zephyr beiDg on the sick list owing to his fall at Oamaru, the Maiden Plate resulted in a walk-over for Red Banner, tbe three-year-old by Rubezahl —Red Ensign. As for the Spring Handicap, Venus made no show, Senior Wrangler (who looked well and was genuinely wanted) sulked and refused to try, and Jane Eyre had no difficulty in heading Lady Somnus all the way. This race has been won by :

FinetWs tace was a mile and a-quarter; Manner's a mile and a distance; then for two years tbe coursa-.was a mile and a furlong ; and, this ytar it is made again a mile aud a distance. This jumping about between a distance and -a furlong seems .to be quite objectless. Lexington, * son of Berlin, completely smothered all his opponents-in tbe Trot, and enters the Hat o£ even-timers with a record which could have' . been^ .considerably improved in case' of need. Lady Lear got-galloping quickest in the Flying, and lasted it out from Jane Byre, though the latter was catching up at the finish. Lexington's penalty in the Mile Trot was a mere fleabite, - and of no consequence. He won anyhow. la tbe District Race, Letty waited on the leaders till a quarter of a mile from home, and then ran past without an effort. Lady £omus nude the tunning in the Charlton Handicap, and w.-.a just able to hang out long enough, to stall off tbe brilliant run of Venus from the distance.

*** On the second day Narrate, having half s> stone the better of the weights with Rebel as compared with the first day, rushed to the lead at once in the Hurdle Race, and amply revenged herself on the Dunedin horse, winning all the way. Saunterer, ridden right out under punishment, gained first place from Belmont, who was very properly eased up when beaten. I notice, by the way, that Narrates came has recently appeared in the forfeit list, among a batch of others inserted at the instance of the Bgmont Club, on account of a debt of £2 contracted apparently in 1883 by Mr J. Green. This posting is, of course, perfectly useless so far as the recovery of the money is concerned, since there is in the rales a " statute of limitations " which bars recovery of * forfeit not published within six months of its being done ; and possibely enough Mr Tennant, the present owner, knows nothing about the debt. At any rate, he has since been allowed to run the mare v at Christchurch . and other places. In the Farmers* 'PUije' the quickest, to move' waa Black Pearl ; but she waa steadied for a while,! till-half the journey had been covered, when she, again went to the front and won easily. The " Racing Club Handicap provfded a good" struggle. Venus, en the 1 inside, led Jane Eyre for a mile, Lady Somntfs- close behind; and ' apparently all : . faying. At' the distance' Venus bad the greymare settled', and Lady Somnus could not quite - jjet up, being* beaten by nearly a length. Butcher Boy — driven in a/ sulky — soon got' the lead in the Trot', and was never headed. Native looked dangerous for awhile 1 , but broke badly, and co did M&y and Harold. The Welter was Bimply no race at all. Only two started — namely, Jane Eyre and Lady Sumnus, and they met on exactly the same terms as in the Racing Club Handicap, when Lady Somnus beat JaneEyre. In this Welter, however, Lady Somnus had only £18 invested on her, while her opponent had £68, and that backers' suspicions thus indicated bad a foundation in fact was quickly shown, for, to quote one of the reports,. •• Lady Somnus's jockey let Jane Byre get away with a lead of a dozen length?, and apparently only made the merest sham of trying to lessen the gap,"- while another report tells us that •'the public showed" a good deal of digeatisfaetion at the running of Lady Somnus, after a protest being entered against Venus"; and independent information received by me states that these criticisms were fully deserved. In the general interests the stewards ought to have held an inquiry. Barm by hung at the post in the Shorts, and lost two or three lengths, but his quality brought him home after a struggle, and the crowd applauded both him and Black Pearl, the mare that fought' oat the finish with him. ..Barmby. pulled- up; perfectly sound. I am" glad "to hear Harold, won; the Mile Trot comfoifobly, ' and Intrigue' got home in the Croydon Handicap. . Senior' Wrangler' ran into>a pott and sent his rider flying ; but he was done before he met with this mishap — not done in'the cenSe of being, rumble to gallop, but licked because he had given - up trying. They tell me that it was positively, ludicrous the way that the colt picked up bin legs and pat them down again in the same place.' The starting by Mr Wallis was pretty fair* throughout, and fi\r Gibb's handicapping appears to have been satisfactory.

*** The Leger this year, observes the Sportsman's special, was no race at all. All the runners are speedy animals, and they jast had a ; final flutter over three or four furlongs. The fillies is the Park Hill Stakes actually beat the Leger time by lOsec, Some foolish person will probably argue that because this was to, and because you could hardly measure tbe superiority of Galtee More over these name fillies, tbe time test is, therefore, nonsense. On the contrary, however, it is just here where the time test in of such use, for it shows us b«yond all cavil and question that the Leger was a false-run race, believing as I do that Galtee More, with something to really bring them along, would have itrung out his field in commanding style. lam not satisfied, at the same time, that we saw him at his best at Doncaster. It is no easy thing to keep a big horse up to the mark all the year icund, and those who were so ready after the race to say that Mr Gubbins's colt would not have been in the hunt with Persimmon should remember the way in which Persimmon himself won last year, when he certainly did not look to have more than 71b in hand of Labrador. To go. a little .further back, we saw Common, after running away with the Two Thousand Guineas and; Derby ■ in. the- most uncompromising fashion, hard- driven to get home for the Leger from a,- very .moderate opposition. * This was solely because he was getting stale, ' Ido not say that: Galtee More has been overdone, though I believe he it the only horse who ever won the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Ascot as well as the treble event. My. 1 impression if, rather, that he had a pretty easy time since Ascot, the Leger being, regarded as no difficult task for him. That he looked clean and fit Ido not

dispute, bat he is a light-fleshed one, and nobody but his trainer and the jockey who rode him could really tell whether he waa clean wound up.

*#* Several drawbacks made the Timaru Trotting Club's meeting last week less pleasant and lees satisfactory than might have been hoped for. The wind blew great gans and chilled everybody to the marrow ; the track was a bit rough ; the fields on the poor side, there being only 38 starters for the eight events ; a dispute arose over the starting in one of the races ; ■ the investments for the totalisntor came in very slowly,, the betting being spiritless and exceedingly wary ; most of the races were won very easily ; and there was reason to suspect that some of the riders were qualifying for Manasses Markv's " V.C ," which by his own interpalation signified "very cronk." Perversity was in tha air, and the officials must have gone home that night with modified views about the glories of racing. In tbe Maiden Race the pace was made by Joker, who, however, failed to stay, and wu collared in the last furlong by' Son. The Two-mile Trot found the leaders breaking all over the shop, and Spider overhauling them fast, but Wearwell settled down in time to win by three lengths, A protest was entered by Mr Rogers on the ground that Spider was started after his time. It was shown that the bell of the starting machine, owing to the accidental turning off of tbe switch, failed to ring, but the starter kept .watch, and n6ticing this let Spider away in the usual manner. ' These, facts being proved, the protest was dismissed. > lihulet won the Dash Hundieap very decisively, and Joker had nothing to beat in the District Race, but the Gten-iti, Handicap, produced "■ a most interesting struggle most of tho way between luhulet and Spider, tbe latter not gettieg up until they were -rounding for home, where Ishulet broke dowc, leaving Spider to trot in practically alone. la the Timaru Trot? the scratch horse, Duke, was with the. others after going half a mile, and though Wearwell made a fair pursuit he would not pass the sulky and at last broke, leaving Duke to win easily. Highland Laddie seemed to have the Electric Haudicap won up to ttie^horne turn, wheo he went up, and G»rfield then went on and won. His rider, Rogers, was cautioned by the stewards for not properly pulling up when the horse brrke. The Farewell Ttot was, to say the least of it, a most unsatisfactory race, and the stewards held an inquiry before deciding to pay oat on Winchester. M'Kinnon, rider of Joker, and W. Babbiogton, rider of Son, were severely cautioned, and it ii said that the club will make further investigation into the circumstances of the race.

*** A tribute to the memory of the late j Lord Rosmead is a duty imposed upon me this week. The tide means nothing to us. Ninetenths of those who read this column have probably never heard of Lord Rosmead ; yefc» in fact, they did know the man very well, either personally or by reputation, for the man who, in his later years, secured this patent of nobility was none other than that good old bluff racing owner Sir Hercules Robinson, whose name in the colonies is a synonym for all that is honourable and upright in turf matters. Sir Hercules was an Irishman by bii-th, having been born in the County of Wtstmeath. . He owned racehorses in New South Wales ..before coming 'to this colony, and in Kingsboroiigb had ' * fast one and a stayer, who was very nearly Stat-class, aswas noted a- few weeks ago when the, death, of the animal had to be recorded. Habena, winner o£the Maribyrnong Plato 0f.1876, and Hyperion, . winner of the A.J.G. Champagne of 1875, were also owned by the then' Governor in the mother colony.' "When he came to New Zealand.be kept the game going by bringing over Lady Emma and Gitana, and buying Gorton from Mr Ferguson, of the Waikato, and it was with j these animals that be aborted the partnership i with the Hon. G. M'Lean, their trainer being Jim Kean, now unfortunately laid aside in Auckland. Kean began training for his distinguished emp'oyers at Oamaru, and afterwards shifted to Powell's stables at St. Kifda, from whence the hor«ea were trained until Lady i Emma's successes warranted the building of the St. Clair stables to the order of the Hon. G. M'Lean on his assuming the ownership single* handed. Sir Hercules deserves kindly rsmembering if for no other reason tban that he made & racing man of the popular gentleman who started and has continued the St. Clair stable and the Warrington stud farm. * j

*** Carronade, by Nordenfeldt — Rosarina, died in Canterbury last week. Rosarina being by Traducer from Yatterina, and Nordenfeldt bringing in the best of the then known Mu«ket blood, it was hoped that Carronade would prove a racer of the first water ; but in her case it was once more exemplified that breeding is only one means to an end, the d^s^ndant of threestaying families — Traducer, Tut n<*on, and Musket — turning out a mere 1 sprinter, and not first-class at that. Iv her three-year-old 'season she ran a bad third to Diadem and Pearl 'Powder in the Oaks, and -the only race she won that season was the Hopeful ■ Stakes, six 1 furlongs, at Dunedin, when with 6.13 she beat Huguenot 8.0 by a length and paid £9 6s. ■ For Mr Stead she further ran a couple o£ seconds — one at the C.J.C Autumn meeting and the other at Ashburton, and she was' then ' sold to Mr W, Russell, for whom she ran second 'to Galtee in the St. Clair Welter before the sea- on was out. In (he next season she captured the Spring Handicap at Qeraldine, carrying 9.2; was second with 7 5 to Clanranald 8 5 ia the Stewards' Stakes ; won a double at Ashburton ; and in the early winter won short races at Ashburton and Heathcote. In her five-year-old career Carronade pulled off the Flying at Geraldine, was third to Stepniak and Quidrant in the Stewards' Handicap, and won the Flying at ABbbartoti and Heathcote. After that season she passed into the baud* of Mr Nutt, who raced her twice unsuccessfully at I Akaroa and then sent her to the stud.

*#* Taieri races will no doubt be, as usual, a draw to those Otago sports who cannot get away to the Christchurch meeting. Looking at the handicaps produced by Mr Dowse — the acceptances are not out in time — I feel rather diffidont about picking the winners, but will have a try. Of the Trial Stakes lot, Zephyr m&y not be quite recovered from her fall at Oamaru, and I take Belmont, Linkshot, and < Blackpool to be the most likely three, my vote going to Blackpool, as this son of Trident ought to be pretty fit ; and I know he has done a fair gallop. The two that I like in the Taieri Cup are Hippomenes and Jane Eybi, and I bracket them in the meantime, with this explanation : that on firm going my pick is the top weight, and if the track is heavy I' prefer the grey mare. The latter is very well. All the same, L would caution- backers that her real form may not be quite so good as the Gore running would seem to make out. On paper Victim looks like having a show in tbe Stewards' Purse ; and it would b« as well, perhaps, nos to quite overlook the chances of the well-bred Far Niente. But all things considered, I feel inolined to prefer Lady Somnus for this race. The Flying may give Seotin a

show. In her absence I should look to Red Lancer or Lady Lear to do the trick. And of the Selling Race lot there is nothing I like better tban Musket, if he strips at all sound. The trots are mysterious, and I leave them alone.

*#* Winton acceptances promise good sport on the opening day, the 9th. Taking a line through the Gore running, I select Rebel for the Hurdles, the old horse being a better stayer than Narrate over the two miles. The Cup would be a really soft thing for Prime Warden at his best, but he appeared to be past his best when he last ran, rather more than a year ago. Barmby, on the other hand, shaped like a sound horse ia his race at Gore, and he evidently retains some of his pace, wherefore I take him to win if he is started for the Cup is preference to the shorter races, while my stand-by in case of his scratching shall be Btnmeline. The Trot reads like a sure thing for Lexington, though I hear good accounts of the Auckland mare Schoolgirl, who is at scratch. False Impression is said to be amiss, and in his absence — or even if he starts, for that matter — I would sooner stand Decot to win, and take Damigella to be the next best. For the Flying nothing bub Barmby would carry my money if he runs, but he is in three race*, wherefore I cannot have a second string, and I choose Battlefield. The same remark applies to the Tradesmen's, only in this case my alternative tip is Emmeline.

*** The Committee of the Dunedin Hunt Club met last Thursday, evening and resolved that, as general support was not forthcoming, it would be advisable to disband the club in preference to running the risk of getting' into debt. The hounds wilt be given away should any' other club care to have them. ' In making this announcement I take this opportunity of acknowledging tho manful way in which Mr Ted Reid has battled to keep the game alive. But for his enthusiasm this — "the sport of kings," as it has been called, for tho phrase applies in its original sense to hunting and not to racing — would have di«d out, so far aa Dunediii was concerned, jeara ago. Lots of fellows like the sport ; fetv care to pay for it or to give their time to its interests ; and thab'a the whole truth, and also the explanation of tbe funeral which is about to take place.

*** Italy ha* lost the Nestor of her trainers, in Thomas Rook, an Englishman by birth, who died a couple of months ago afc Barbaricina, near Pisa, after having three attacks of paralysis. He went to Italy ia the service oL King Victor Emanuel as trainer and breeder? Italy greatly needing at that time to improve the breed of her horses, which the King did everything to encourage, and as public and private trainer, and subsequently as proprietor of the most renowned racing stables in Italy, he contributed immensely to the development of racing in Italy. In 1884 Rook had the satisfaction of winning, with hio famous Andrelna, brad in his own stables, tho first Royal Derby, and six other of bis howes won the Derby in 1885, 1886, 1888, 1891, 1892, and 1896, vrhioh makes seveu out of 13 run.

j * # * Taratahi-Carterton races will attract the I Wairarapa people on the 9fch. I cannoli prei tend ta be personally acquainted, with these caticßdatev but one Who does kqow tells me thai; the .Hurdles will likely go to Roderick Dhu, .that Ruatnabanga' hits a big show if sent for the Hack Flying, that Ring's Bowman and Sir Agnes should between, them account for the .Railway Handicap and' the Prince, of Wales Handicap, that In the Swim is a good thing for the Taratabi Hack Haudicap, and that£)drringcotte with, all his weight "will pretty nearly gefc home in ttie Birthday Handcig.

*#* Mr Linfcofct has excused himself from .serving oh the D.J.O. Committee. In a letter forwarded to the meeting last week he thanked the committee for electing hrai to fill cue of the vacancies, but intimated that For private reasons he could not accept office. Under the circumstance* Mr S S. Myers was appointed. I feel sure that the committee's selection will give satisfaction. Mr Myers is a sportsman of the best type — one who would sooner lose than stand in with a eross — and I am confident that he will always give a straight vote and work hard for the good of the club.. You should hear what the North End Boating Club fellows, who kuow him beat, say about him.

tBP2— Finetta LS93 — Mariner 1895— Stockfish 1896— Victim 1897— Jane Eyre 3yra 7.10 6yrs 8.0 aged 9.3 aged 8.5 6vis 8 7 I 2miu 17J«c £2 6a 2min 17Jsec £1 12s 2min llisec £L 6s 2min 3jsec £ i 18s 2min 15 sec £'i 7s

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TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 2279, 4 November 1897

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TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 2279, 4 November 1897

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