TALK OF THE DAY.
*k* A sharp attack of influenza cavsght'me last week and compelled me to knock off before my notes wete finished. One of the subjects then in hand was the Lobo case. The decision of the Appeal Board which sat at Wanganui was not generally anticipated. There was an impression abroad that while the facts as observed on the course were not very conclusive, and might, indeed, have warranted the stewards in coming to the decision that it was merely a suspicious and not c. proved case, after revelations endorsed the stewards' finding, and made it fairly clear that the disqualification was merited. That seemed to be the general opinion about the case, and most of our sporting men reckoned that Mr Sewell's appeal would be dismissed. Hence the Wanganui decision evoked some surprise. Personally, • however, I was quite prepared to find Mr Sewcll succeed. Remembering' that Lobo raced well up to a mile and a-half o_i the first day of the March meeting — as a matter of fact he was one of a procession of four at the quarter-mile post, and there was no great space between auy of tho quartette ab that stage ; knowing also that the son of Le Loup has never got his mile in a hurdle race, and has always shown his best form over shorter distances, and allowing something for the improvement caused by his first day's gallop ; keeping these surface considerations in roiud, it waa never proved to my satisfaction that Lobo's win on the second day proved him to have been stiff on the first. At the worst, it was a case for raspicion, and something more than mere suspicion is surely necessary a3 a ground for disqualification. There should be a reasonable amcunt of proof, and I maintain that that proof was not forthcoming to the mind of a person who ss»w the facts and judged them without bias. With the talk of the man in the street I have nothing to do. It is intangible, it is not open to crossexamiutition. and it may ba very untair. I understand that Mr Sewell, in hia statement prepared for the purposes of tbe app^c-l, mado point 3of the facts I have mentioned, and also that Lobo had nut been properly schooled for jumping, and he tells me that he did not back the horse with any confidence, being satisfied to put on a couple of pounds each day. Evidently he made oat a sfcroug case, siice the appeal committee ictimated that they did not wish to take his evidence and s,ave him a verdicb without calling upon him. What the Dunedin Jockey Club's case was I cannot say. It is, I am told, not yet available for publication.
*»* But* while willing to admit that in this particular case an apr 3al * was a fair thiDg, and while inclined to support the finding of the appeal body, I am very much afraid that the ruling of Sir George Clifford which makes appeals possible will on the whole not pan out satisfactorily. I fear that it is an unsound principle to take away questions of fact from stewards who have seen the running , and take the judgment of men who can only rely on hearsay talk and evidence, which is more or lees open to suspicion ; and it seems to me that tho doctrine now laid down is unconstitutional inasmuch as it practically establishes a New Zealand Jockey Clvb — the thing which Otago and Auckland and Taranaki have stoutly objected to — and brings in the new system by a side wind — that is to say, without the question beiDg again discussed. Those persons who want to see a New Zealand Jockey Club initiated are no doubt delighted to find the principle of the thing affirmed in this sorb of way, but I question whether it is legal, and feel sure that the procedure will be hostilely criticised at the meeting of the conference. I know perfectly well that the success of the Lobo appeal will be quoted in support of Sir Geo. Clifford's ruling. Capital is sure to be made of tha fact that the ruling worked for justice in the firat case decided. And, feeling bound to endorse the finding in the Lobo appeal, I have a hard fact to fight against. That, however, shall not pub *ma o£E mv duty. It is not justifiable to do a
wrong in order to accomplish a right. I grant the righteousness of the Lobo decision, but am honestly apprehensive that the next and perhaps the next and many following appeals may lead to the wealthy man getting too much privilega, and to the manufacture of evidence) and to a general feeling of distrust as to the justice of our turf procedure. And, above all, the knowledge that any decision may be appealed against will cause stewards' decisions to be very lightly respected. This is a most serious consideration.
*** A very strong case for the handing over of racecourse administration to paid stewards is made cat by the Australasian. " A steward should be an unbiassed man, with no interests to serve You can only get this when you have men who do not bet, and have ao entangling ; alliances through owning horses themsetveo, and 1 being in the habit of comparing notes with less j reputable owners with a view to Gnd;ng oat hovr their chances of winning a certain rase *U_<d. The paid steward would not bet, he v?ou'.«i not own horses, and he would have no frinuds to conciliate or protect. We know' from our experience, first of the late Mr Hacrie Smith, and then of Mr C. F. Fraeer, that oace thsy accepted office as stipendiary steward they went on to a cacecoarse to do their duty. They refrained from belting, and disregarded friendships. Does it not staad to reason that three salaried men to do the work on all courses would give greater satisfaction thau the present stewards, who have little practice, and because they act in an honorary capacity do not feel bound to deny themselves the pleasure of betting ? We aro constantly coming across instances of the folly of adhering to the present plan. Some well-intentioned gentlemen cannot reconcile the positions of accuser and judge. We have more than once heard a steward say, 1 Ob, I thought ac-and-so wa3 pulled, bub the others (stewards)' saw uothing, and I was not going to pull the fellow up and act as prosecutor and judge.' This is where the paid man would have no such scruples, because he would simply be performing a duty for which he was well paid. Other stewards are squeamish about inniating upon an inquiry, because they feel that nothing will ba done, and that the fact of their Laving forced the ioquiry will be conveyed to the persons brought to book. When stewards bet they / cannot' always go to an inquiry with an unbiassed mind. Take this case : A horse looks a real good thing for a race at a suburban meeting, and is at a short pries. The stewards all bet. Tha horse belongs to doubtful connections, and there is tbf> rink that he may nut be going to try. The steward reasons with himself that he will risk this, and takes Wfi £6 to £4, or £10 to £5, as the case may be. The race is ran and the favourite, suspiciously handled, is beaten. When the jockoy gets off the scale he is told he is wanted, and an inquiry is baguc. Is it reasonable to suppose that the parties charged will have quite such a good chance of establishing their innocence as would be the case if they were tried by men who were not smarting under the loss of the few pounds which they honestly thought they should have won ? "
*** I am satisfied that if such a system could be adopted in New Zealand it would save a lot j of bother and worry, load to the furtherance of i the ends of justice, and make racing brighter ! and plea.anter all round. And though the appointing of stipendiaries would mean a considerable outlay, there would be some compensation. It is now declared optional to. carry every protest to appeal. This appeal business is very expansive, and if finality in regard to stewards' decisions could be made reasonably secure by making it tolerably certain ; tbat the j decisions would be so sound as to be inv'ulcer- ! able against appeal, a large part of the expense of maintaining a stipendiary staff would be saved. Still, lam very sorry to say that I cannot think out a scheme that would not entail too great an expense. The Australasian argues for three salaried men to do the work on all courses, and probably at least two would be necessary in order to command confidence. Three, indeed, would be better. But none of our clubs can afford to stand such &n expense by itself, and if, say, we had thcee for Otago, three for Canterbury, and co on, these men could not overtake all the work on public holidays, such as Boxing Day, and St. Patrick's Day, and faster, when in each district several race meetings arc customarily held. The only plan that seems to me a'i all possible would be for the Racing Conference to appoint a staff of licensed stipendiaries and tell them off, say, a week beforehand to the particular meetings they' are supposed to attend, and when there are two or three meetings in one district on a certain day to send, say, one of the regulars to act as chairman with a couple of assistants ; said assistants to be a reserve corps of suitable men to be called upon only in an emergency and paid simply £or the work they do. I don't like this idea very much, but it seems to me the only possibility if we are to have the system so strongly argued for. Perhaps somebody elsu can tell us how.to get over the difficulty. 1 for one am pretty well full up of to. hor-o/ary steward systom. The betting steward i* an anomaly, a*id is doomed to go sooner or. ia*er. Yet we cannot as yet dispensa with his services, for reasoM3 often given in these columns. One of these is that if you put (be betiiug stewaid on one side you leave the business in many cases to the stewards who know fche leant abont racirg. Besides, it would be unsafe to have a hard-and-fast rule disqualifying a man for stewardship hecaues he occasionally bets. The man who now and again puts a sovereign on may be far more reliable than another steward who never bets himself, but has a chum or a brother that does. lam afraid we cannot do without the betting steward atpresent. But I for one shall be vesy pleased when the stipendiaries get to work to the exclusion of not only the bettors, but also the invertebrate and the lazy and the mere holidaymakiDg steward. Is not this a fail* subject! for consideration by the conference ?
#„* English ideas as to riding are, it seems, tba fashion in India. Even Trahan, who went there some years ago thoroughly versed in the game from an Australian standpoint, appears (sayri " Reginald") to have yielded just a little to the custom of the land of his adoption. Trahan loses nothing by the change. Given regular practice, he is just as much uee to a horse now as ever he was. - His case is merely taken as showing that a man, even after be has thoroughly mastered his trade, can, in a new country, by watching others in the same liDe, be prevailed upon to amend his style to a noticeable degree. TrahaD, for instance, now appears to ride much " longer" than he did in the old Commotion days. In the school under the late Joseph Morrison, where h& gob bis first teaching in the art of steering the galloper, to ride " short" was considered the correct method, and, accordingly, Trahan went out into the world well coached in this respect. But it would appear that a few years' experience of old country methods in India has caused him to somewhat modify his first learning in I the direction referred to. For you must know •that according to English authority ft iock.ro. to
ride properly, must ride "long." To.ihe uninitiated it may not seem to matter* much, whether the leg is allowed to go neatly full length before reaching the iron or the kneo. suffered to " cock up" about- the pummel, butf as horsemen know this is an important; and debatable question. It is curious to contemplate how ideas on this head differ in different countries. In England "ride long" is the advice given. In America they say the direct opposite is the order ; aad here in Australia there is no fixed rule on the point, but a general mixture. Perhaps the happy medium would be found the best in this case. The boy with his "knees in hid mouth " is not a very graceful spectacle on a horse, oor can he be a comfortable burden for the animal under him, since his " poae" sends him forward too far. It is even a greater mistake to go to the other extreme, for a rider who has to stick his toes right out to get a grip of the stirrups is more likely to be a hindrance than a. help to the horse under tufa. A little sense used and a choice between the two ought lo be just the tawag.
*#* " Eaciyclopeedia of Sport " has ft good chapter on jockejs. v During one year, when Archer rode an enormous number of races — from 600 to 700 — hie successes averaged two in five. He possessed one of the chief secrets of his profession — the ability to under-staiid the peculiarities of the various horses he rode. Hi 3 principal fault, was extreme severity ;• .what; might happen to a horse afterwards appeared to be no concern of his; his mind was set on winning the race he was at the moment contesting, and not a few two-year-olds on whom he had won were good for very little afterwards, his whip and spur having taken all the heart out of them. At the same time, if he could persuade a horse instead of coercing him he, would do so. His method of sitting back and/ as it were, driving his horse before bim was in striking contrast to that of his great rival, George Fordhana, who had ar-ything but a graceful seat npon a horse,' and was a man of little education and general knowledge, bub whose appreciation of the delicacies of his profession was simply phenomenal. It may be doubted whether anyone who ever lived understood hotses and ths art of lace-riding more thoronghiy. In contrast, again, to Fordhans was his friend, Tom Oauuou, who to the other - requisites of perfect jookey* ship added extraordinary grace. Foe George Fordhaoi Cannon had the warmest admuation, declaring that all he knew he learnt from his colleague — an expression, however, which may be taken as not a little exaggerated, for ha continually profited by his ova experiences and singularly asbute observation. Tom C&nnor's bands on a two-year-old will long be famous in the history of horsemanship. He was usually the personification of gentleness ob a hone, and declared that he would as soon fait a child as an anxious young two-year-old that was doing its best ; and in this respect, it may be remarked, George Fordh?.m entirely agreed with him. There can be no doubt that; Tom Cannon often got more out of a horse by - his persuasive methods than any other jockey could have done by the administration of punishment. Both father and son, T. and M. Cannon, were much given to waiting, 'a practice which some critics consider that SSornington Cannon carries to excess. Both riders; however, when they have just lost races, have sometimes expressed the conviction that if they had only dared to wait for two or three strides longer they would just have won ; and . it is by no means certain in this matter that lookers-on see most of the game, or, at any rate, are best able to estimate ths situation.
*#* Nawhaven created a most favourable impression in the City and Suburban, his first race in England. •' I never saw anything like it," said one of the jockeys who was pretty forward at the finish of the big race. " Like what ?" '• Why, the way Newbaven came past; me. If he had gone like that from the start ha must have won in a canter." There can be no doubt, writes the Sportsman's special, that the above opinion is a correct one, and why the Australian champion muddled along behind the others until they turned into the straight I do not pretend to understand, but perhaps he did not realise that a start without the machine means serious business. Certain it is that when he did take hold and sot himself going he mada up hi? ground in an amazing fashion. He was fully 100 yards— if not more — behind the leaders at the time, not to mention the difficulty of threading a way through the field. Several times he was disappointed, bnt when he got his final opening and bore down on Bay Ronald, Kilcock, Knight of the Thistle, and Craftsman, who were in the front rank, he caught them so rapidly that not only did he run into- second place but in another 100 yards, he would have won. Bay Ronald, the winner^ had previously to h's credit the Lowther and the Limekiln Stakes a. Newmarket and thb Hardwicke Shakes at Ascot. As against these there is a long liafi of defeats. This City and Suburban is, indeed, the first important handicap that Mr Brassey has won. Form, who comes of New* Zealand blood on his dam's side, was another colonial representative in the City and Suburban, bat: kept amoßgst the last lot all the way.
*** Jeddab, the Derby winner, was well backed for that race at 100 to 6 about the middle of Apri^and after he won the Craven Stakes at Newmarket he was considerably fancied for the Two Thousand Guineas. It will probably turn out when the papers svrrive that the colfc started for and shaped very bfcdly in that race. In do other way- can I acccunt for his being knouked back to 100 to 1 for the Derby. Regarding the Craven Stakes, the Sportsman's s_ scial writes : In the morning there seemed to be considerable doubt as to whether the son o£ Janissary and Pilgrimage would run. He had beyond question been a little off colour, and had been eased to some extent in his work, so that there must have been no small anxiety about running him. The bold policy, however, prevailed, and was rewarded. When a race finishes at the top of the town there is but little time for paddock inspection, and tfiere was small need for it on my part, for Caiveley, the only other runner I wanted to see, was not there, and Jeddah I know by heart. Of course many people declared him leggy, and said the^ did not like him ; bub anyone who has kept him carefully in mind since his two-year-old days mufit hold a very different opinion. I remember that Mr Robert Peck, though he owns Janissary, disagreed with me last year about; Jeddah, and did not think nearly so well of him as I did. I feel sure he would change his mind now. That the colt is on the leg cannot be denied, but he has braced up to a remarkable extent, and looks like improving right on into his four-year-old career. My own belief is that he may as likely as not prove to be the best oc his year, though I base the opinion on his looks and his action and his breeding, regardless of his form. He won his Craven Stakes like a gdod herse, bnt such a s victory proves little, A quarter of a, mile from home Madden had to rouse him, and many thought he was beaten, but he was only running sluggishly, and when presently he began to understand what was wanted he drew out in uncompromising fashion, and made a rare example of his field. Ths
jorm, is I say, may amount to nothing, hat it
was good enough to show me that Jeddah has . mot deceived me by his apparent improvement, ■ *nd the race will have done him & lob of good.
*** Trick«ry at the scales is not a common - fcntf ©flence, but there «re cases of this sort in the books, »nd some .of a rather -curious character. London Sportsman revives one the. moral of which has a local application. It relates to , the disqualification of Sir Joseph Hawley's Blue Gown for the Doncaster Champagne Stakes on accountof his jockey, Wells, oarryiDg s too much weight. ''No longer the J 'tiny" Wells of earlier days, the f atnow) horseman was m the antumn of 1867 putting on flesh rapidly, »nd instead of trjing to get down to the weight by wasting, be trusted to his ingenuity to pass the scale aH right, and had previously succeeded, probably on »umerous occasions, in escaping deteotlon. At Doncaster, however, "he was bowled out by a jockey named Doyle, who bore him a grudge, and was pretty well aware that he was overweight. DoyJe mentioned his suspicions before the race to James Watson, fche tr»iaer of Virtue, who finished second, aud they adjourned to the weighing . jroom when Bine Gown had passed the post m front of Virtue. On Wells weighing in he leant back in the^sale, but managed to keep one toe on the ground, just contriving to draw th.c weight niceiy. BeforeMr Manning could pass him, however, Doyle said, ," Mr Watson, the - traicerof Virtue objects to Blue Gown on the '. .ground ■* iha,k his jockey , carried overweight." . " Put in ,the extra 2:b," said Mr Manning to the : attendant, and Doyle chimed in, pointing to' one of the jstirrnp irons which. Wells had dropped on ' gettmg-into the scale, " Put all the weight In, -*■ -Mr Welie, and irJie jour toe' off ,the ground." Xhus pnbiicly -adjured, Wells Taad »o alternative lut;to comply, with the result that dowa with a jjbuinp went his side of the*cale. Mr J. Watson fcben .came ia and claimed the race for Mr Holmes, the owner of Virtue^ Tjut as Sir Joseph Hawley "was looking on Mr Manning was puzzled what to do, and kept Wells in the scale, sending a messenger at the same time for Admiral i&ous.' " The fcimti that .elapsed, 1 ' says one authentic account of the scene, " before the Admiral was found must have seemed like an *ge to Wells, who sat there perepiriog at every ;pore, the moisture jrunning down his face so copiously that a facetious bookmaker remarked, - * If they'll only let him stay in the scale a little longer bell sweat the extra weight off.'" When the Admiral arrived Blue Gown was promptly disqualified. Sir Joseph Hawley was naturally much incensed at "vVelle's stupid and compromising conduct, bnt he «oon forgave his favourite jockey.
*.. s * * l Umpire " ssys of the finish for the Birthday Gup at Sydney : Duddingeton made a most resolute bid inside the distance on the tails, and Brazen Lad put in bis claim on the outside, whilst Syerla made a bold effort. The x&oe was very exciting as they ne&red the
■winning past, owing to Brazen Lad, who was going well, swerving a good deal. He' was running out as he gained the judge's line with Jh&lf a neck advantage of Duddinsgton, and only
. ahead away was Syerla. War God ran » good : i race, but could not sustain a. .dangerous-looking ' i ran long enough. Glendennoa was prominent j -• to -the turn, but Charge .disappointed his.j > backers. Ace of Diamonds ran well .while he \
■ lasted, bnfc the journey was too far for him. - -Bat for running • unkindly Brazen Lad might
, have won more decisively, bn£ he did win; and - wai ■eome'srhafc lucky, oaring to his shifty finish, .- tfaafe. the winning, post was no f nrther^away. The success of P, Nolan's, Steeplechase candidate, Ditto, was particularly well received. The erstwhile cross-country, rider retains his popularity, and now that he cannot ride, shows that he understands putting a jumper through his facings if there^is anything In Mm. Ditto may not" be anything Bpecial, bnt he is certainly useful when fit and well. In New Zealand Ditto waa cot rated .as much good, bnb-he has a little pac, jumps pretty well, and stands driving slong g^tuely enough when, he is well. Goipg on his training track form Nolan's friends were quite to pack him, and they finally had to take 7 to 4. It wag & close thJDg up to the last furlong with
Whitefoot 11, but then condition told, and JDitto got home comfortably. Whitefoot hifc - pretty hard at the sheds, otherwise he would
have been very difficult indeed to account for. Parnell and Ranji fell. The latter ia not seasoned enough, but may do better later on. There is room for new blood in the jumping , ranks, and perhaps one or two rated as much superior to Ditto might be spared from New
2ealapd long enough to piok up a few races on _ fchia side of the water. They will be welcome ~ if they come along.
*#* An interesting description of the Wanganui Steeplechase is supplied by the Sporting Ueview. The race was robbed of considerable Interest by the pen going through the names of -Prince Charlie, who. hopelessly broke down at work, and,Toriki; who was reporbed-to be sore. Plain Bill was installed 'a strong f avourite, 389 being on him out of 970. Muscatel, with whom Tally-ho was .eveely backed, was next in demand.' -When the field went on the journey Tangaroa was the first to show in front, Trouba- ' dour and Muscatel lying next. At the iirst jump — the stiff 'spar near the six-furlong post — the two leaders (Tangaroa aad Troubadour) toppled over and took no further part in the race, leaving Claymore to take up the running, with Mupcatel end Tally-ho as his nearest attendants. Claymore still led as they canie round the bend from Mascatel, while Plain Bill had moved up a bit. No alteration took place as they swept paat the »>tand or as they parsed through the centre of the course, except when approaching the water Higging rattled Plain Bill at it, reducing the gap somewhat. Claymore showed the way through the trees into the- Recreation Ground, Muscatel lying close, with Plain Bill third, Riot and Tally-ho being handy to the top weight. When they came into the «ourse proper, Muscatel was in command, the rest being bunched in close attendance. Riot, ClaynTore, and Muscatel crossed the doable in front of the judge's box all abreast, the second jump bringing Tally-ho down and giving Sweeney a casty shaking. Muscatel, going strongly, again assumed a decided lead from Riot and Claymore as they went down the " back of. the course, Plain Bill lying a bit far aufc. At the half-mile post Higgin3 got to work on Jfche.fcop weight, and he quickly overhauled Riot and Claymore, leaving Muscatel to tackle 'nexk Plain Bill gob- to Muscatel about a qiiarier of a mile from home, and cries went up ■ that the favourite would win ; but Percy John- - ion drew the flail on the Taranaki mare, and it i could be seen that Plain Bill had met a tough customer. When the ,pair rose at the last fence —* stiff K-ucoop epar— Musc&tel had a slight : advantage, and both riders rode for all they were worth, bat Muscatel was not to be denied, - und drew away, winning comfortably by two lengths, with Claymore - eight lengths *way ■ bhird. - Riot was the only other horse to finish. Both Setter (the rider of Tangaroa) and George Laing (who was ,on Troubadour) were carried in^ but, beyond » severe shaking, they were - none the worse for their mishaps, both getting About later ia the day. The Hurdle R*ca was
a contest between Opat and Dummy. Both horses were locked level as they came into the home turn, but Opai was not to be denied, and, gradually drawing away, won comfortably by two lengths, Missfire being third six lengths away.
*** Showery and cold weather was expe Tenced for the V.R.C. meeting at Flemington i ° May 2A, and the attendance was only fao tt " Ajax " writes : The Tasmanian-bred Kangar II fell at the judge's box the first; round in th Hurdle Race and broke his neck. His rider, JEdge, had a narrow escape, but managed to get off with a few bruises. Cherry won the Royal Handicap after an exciting finish withAlabacuiia, who came too late. Trahan rode Cheery a. fine race. There were several mishaps in the Steeplechase, only three out of the eight ficishing. Nilus struck one fence heavily, but eventually won easily. None of the riders were seriously injured. The Birthday Handicap proved a good fchiog for the favourite, The Chevalier, who came through at the distance and easily disposed of the leaders. The Bird, who is a fnll brother to Candour, was in the heavy goipg served by his light weight, and easily accounted for the Twoyeas-old Handi* cap, for which he started favourite. Alabacuila, who was a strong favourite, won the Welter Handicap very easily.
*jj* Mr Hordwn's sale in Sydney was not a come-and-take-at-your-own-price sort of affair. The three yearling coifs submitted wore staTted at the prices paid for them by Mr Hordern at the autumn Bales, and two were withdrawn, the owner electing to -offer rheta for lease by tender, and in default of disposal that way they will, I suppose, go op with the next bate!) of youngsters to be offered next September. It is understood tbut Mr Hordern intends to breed on an ext«Bi'ivd scale for the market. Two ol' the h«rees in training that found buyers were T>red in Auckland. Cravat, by Caßtor— Necklace, was one of these ; he cost 1050gs as a yearjing, and has proved a perfect frost Ha wili'in ail likelihood be cent to India. Astronomer, by Castor — Frailty, therefore half-brother to Troeton, is the other Aueklsnaer ; he fetched 1575gs as a yearling, and nowj in his prime, is let go at l2ogs, presumably with a view to his being put to the stud.
*** The Australasian is of" opinion that the Russian Government has paid quite enough for Galfee More. After being in the market at J820,000 all last year this horse has been sold for £25,000. Presumably the latest winner of the triple crown -is to be used at the Imperial girod, and for that purpose the Russiass could probably have suited themselves just as well at about & fifth of the cost. Mr John Gubbins, the owner and brr eder of Galtee More, would have taken £5000 less for the colt before he began racing last year. Had any millionaire bought Galtee More then he would have secured a bargain, es the coii his price in Btsakes before the close of the season. As it ia, Mr Gubbins has secured the £20,000 odd in stakes and £25,000 as well. That, from a commercial point of View, ha has acted wisely in selliag there can be no j>wo opinions. Three hundred guinea stud fees are not procurable Ireland, and Mr Gnbbins owns a good St. Ssmoa horse in St.-Florian, besides an elder brother te Galtee Morer
*#* Mr V/. Douglas, of Te Mahanga, Napier, whose death was recently announced, bred horses wholesale and Tan them in immense paddocks, producing in this way a few very sound^and useful horees. One of the very best he ever raced was W&itiri, who so persistently competed against Nelson when he was at his best. Rosefeldt, winner of the New Zealand Cup in record time, was another of Me Douglas's representatives. With Sfcrephon he had a good show of the Cup in Wolverine's year, and this son of' Ingomar was at his beat really a smart horse. He won the .Wellington Cup with Brooklat, the Egmonfc Cup with The Brook, the Taranaki Jockey Club Handicap with Rivalet, and the Ha.wks'e Bay Guineas with Quiitiri, and at one time and another lias b&d such jumpers as Couranto, Baron, Chemist, Mutiny, Waterbury, Donald M'KinnoD, and Tiritea facing ia his colours. Few sportsmen in New Zealand have been better known than the sheep farmer of Hawke's Bay, and his name was also respected on the Australian turf, where, however, he was not. as a rule, lucky.
*#* The nominations for the New Zealand Cup generally do look disappointing at a first glance.- One's eyes naturally catch sight first of the strangers, the horses that are not up to the mark as far as reoords are concerned, and the occasional sprinkling of what may be called ascertained rubbish. That is the experience this year again. Yet I have no doubt that when we come to sort out the candidates and put in their pedigrees and think the whole subject out it will be seen, as in former seasons, that most of the eligible members are represented. Quality is undoubtedly represented in Multiform and St. Paul and Waiaku, and we have a fair lob of handicap hor«es in Tirant dEan, Douglas, North Atlantic, Altair, Swordfish, Antares, Bob Ray, Starshot, Sequin, Nestor, Goldleaf, and Sylvia Park, whilst some of the youngsters, such as Nihilist and Dundas, may be very dangerous. I put the li3t aside for future consideration, satisfied that any attempt at picking just now would be simply trifling with one's luck.
* # * The Tahuna Park meeting, though to some extent interfered with by bad weather, necessitating a postponement of the second day's races, passed off very well indeed, and some capital form was displayed. There was nothing, however, calling for particular remark in respect to the form bar the performances of Cliag, the wonderful Sydney-bred pony. She is not only the mistress of hfer class, but proved able to win in open company. I congratulate the club on its well-managed meeting.
*#* The Auckland Steeplechase meeting passed off very well. It will be seen that Ihe winning double was Opai and ■ Muscatel, the pair that got home afc Wanganui a week or so earlier. The Press Association has sent a good report, and our correspondent supplements this with a large budget of particulars concerning the fkst day's proceedings. Next week the second day's events will be dealt with.
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TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 2310, 9 June 1898
TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 2310, 9 June 1898
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