TALK OF THE DAY.
The Dunedin Jockey Club are deserving of congralidatioca on the- important improvements which have been effected on the main track at Wingatui. On Saturday morning last the finishing touches wore being bestowed on the fiEing- in of the dip at the foot of the -straight. The dip has been irlled in, Teturfed, and a top-dressing was -bring spread over the- new ground prior to putting a two-ton roller over it. A. tour of inspeotion was paid after witnessing the morning's training operations, and when next the sporting public assemble at Wingatui they will at once recognise the value of the improvement from a spectator's point of view. Standing on tlie lawn or on the outside enclosure in front of the machine prior to the dip being filled in a field of horses were partially lost sight of shortly after turning into the straight, and whon the excitement attendant on witnessing a close finish wns on the point of reaching its height, but now the improvement effected on the track will permit of one having a tdear and uninterrupted view of all the .heroes finishing. In tire future, after negotiating *he slight xtse- which, leads to the straight,. Ifoe horses -will finish -over a <tead level stretch -of ground, with the exception of a barely perceptible rise neaT tfee -win-ning-post. The improvement will be sure to inTMjt with the -approval of visiting owners Bnd trainers whose horses are in the habit of being trained on comparatively flat tracks. The improvement made at the six-furlong post is also worthy of nonourable mention, and when two or three of the minor depressions are aftend«d to the Works Committeecan coinplacen£ly smile upon each other, because, although they have Jiofc achieved the feat of levelling tho Alps, they have done sonietlu'ng whidh ie of far more importance locally— that is, they have levelled tlie Wingafcui race track. A slight waviness in the lay of a track cannot be considered a. great drawback, provided tii© surfeo« of -ti*e ground is level, and a couple of years hence the Wingatui course should rank second to none in the colony. During the morning some fairly interesting work was got through on the track?. Pampero swung round over a couple of circuits on the inside giass at a little Tjetter than half pace in a pleasing manner, and the rest of M'Ginnis's morning lot, including Red Gauntlet and Vladimir, got through useful exercise. Canteen, in the prpsenoe of his owner, wa« spun out over a fast cix furlongs in company with Edelweiss. The St. Clnir mare beat the grey a length off the mark, but he soon made up his ground, and ran home full of running in lmin 24see. The gallop was on the plough, and the track) was slightly on the heavy side. Canteen afterwards cantered over another circuit by himself. He is apparently very -healthy and well, but not «i forward as Pampero. The Castor horse, however, has always been one tc come on quickly, and with work and what racing he will get- in the menntinoe lie should be fit enough "by the time he is asked to fulfil his November engagements at ChTistclrurch. Canteen. Mr Mots informs ' me, will raoo at the- Wingytui October .meeting, and a -couple of "days later will leave ror '. Riccarion. It is probable that Canteen will ( be seen xuider silk at AsT>burton prior to the New Zealand Cup meeting. Several other, horses, including St. Denis, Aidnnrff, GlenHg, , and Abererombio (who -appears to be ; sound once more), .got through useful work. There are only two horses in work at Wingatui which claim immediate engagements, and these are Goldspur and the Cantor rolt SaTchedon. The former walks rather better i than ho did whilst at Chiistchurch, and Bhould take a power of beating in his races nt Timaru. Sarchedon has not furnished a great doal eince last year. He was givou six furlongs on -the plough, nud although he was not nsked to exhibit his best ppcf he blow a trifle at the finish and is a bit thit;k in the wind. Sarchedon will have to display something better than his Saturday morning gallop if he id going to win at Timaru, but as he > worked by himself and was evidently not on a. time-making mis- ! sion he may do better in company when carrying eilk.
"Wl«at'.s winning." is a frequently-asked question in the s-porting world, and by the last English mail to hand it is found that Curbing has been ousted from the position of second place in lhe li.->t of winning stallions for tlio present season, up to the data, of July 14. St. Simon is the liorse which has supplrnU'd Carbine, and this was achieved by the victory of S*. Windeline in the I»ingfie'd Paik Plutc. of the value" of £2760. Persimmon *till occupies th© pride of place at the head of tho Ji*t. «n<l thin lip holds tlirougli M»e sucecshcs of Sceptre (four vrius, \-aluo £17,153), Lucky Lady (one win, value £975), aiid The Coon (one win, value £142). ] Tho lotnl winiiiiiK^ of Ffr'imrnon's ftcck amount to £13,257. and St. Minion comes noxt on the list with £15,224 sh. Tlio son of (Jalopin and St. Angclu. Ikih 13 wihiiorn in his !i^t, v.ho M-i-oiiiilitl for <-.O l.if-i between them. Cail»'i<-'p hi tick lni\.» c:i; tuicd 23 racea up to ddte, aJ.tl thr«e ra« -. ni-rf *.couated for br Urn Uoxc«t. Xki totel
I standing to Carbine** credit, and which pk>ec-5 the son of Hu«':ct and Mersey third on the lirt to Prr^iinn'on and St. Simon, is I £13,873 15. Although Carbine occupies third pla.ee. no other ptaUion iiguiing on the list has sired horses which !ia- c captured so many ra.--;-3 ai tlio get of the ex-New Zea- : iaiuler. Carbine's ptock Lave- captured 23 races, and next to liim comes St. Simon willi 20. while Ayrshire the grandaire of Ayrdale) and Matchmaker are nr-xt with 18 raoea each. Then cojn-es Wolf's Crag, 14 : £.endal, 14; Icint:lass. 12; Common. 12; St. Serf, 10; Child wick a_".d St. Fi-usquin, 9 each; Friar's Balsam, 8 ; Melton (sire of Seaton Delavai), St. Floriun. Hampton, Royal Hampton. Blairfinclc, 7 each ; Persimmon and CJullinulc, 6 cacli. Sainfoin, who sired Rock Sand, the bbete c t two-year-old Been out during the season, has only one winner, who has won over £2000. Carbine is followed on tlio list by Isinglass, whose dozen winners have wen £12,859. TliPn comei tbo defunct B*-. FJorian (siro of Ard Patriok, the Derby winner), with £5355 : Ayrshire (Hampton — Atlauta, £9704- 4-s ; Frlar*« Balsam (Hermit — Flower of Dorset), £5127 10s; Common (lsonomr— Thlßtlt), £5060; St. Frusquin (St. Simon— lsabel), £4244 ; Royal Sovereign (Minting— Bcnr.let). £4220: Hampton idead), £4080; Cliildwiek (St. Simon— PUtisanterie). £4053 10s; Royal Hampton (Hampton— Princes*). £5811; Gallinule (Isonomy—Moorhen), £USZ-, St. . Serf (St. Simon — Feroaia). £5440 10s: Sainfoin (Springfield— Ganda), £3267 ; Matchmaker (Donovan— Matohgirl). £3219; Wolf's Crag -(Bareakline— L,uey A-rhton), £3142; Ehiir*nde (Kendwl— Mopganetfcd). £3100: Melton '(Mastpr • Kildaiys — -""Violet Melrose), •£2772; VTinkfield- (Bareaidine— Chaplet), d 5256 1; and Kejidal (Bend Or — Winder-mere), £2638. Gne thing_ notable about the 22 horses on the li*-t is tUxek of -i-he 222 races accounted for by tnem the descendants of St. Simon and his sons Perjriminon. St. Florian, St. Frusquhi. Child-wick, St. Serf captured 61 of the prizes between them.
IN REMINISCENT MOOD
It was not the expectation of seeing any sensational galloping -which drew me nut to the Forbury Park on Monday inornhig last (the date on which it was announced the tracks would be thrown open for training operations), "but rather the attraction -which oW associations have woven round tlie place. Horses which have been on the walking li3t do not ecrnmenco then- training by being tilted against the watch, although some traiiwrs exhibit an inclination to try their cattle before they have gone through a proper course of work oalculated to thoroughly fit them for the successful asking of a question. Standing on the lawn at Forbury Park, whilst waiting for tie horaes — which, by ihe wav, did not appear whilst I was on the ground — I drew on a mental pair of seven-league boots and ebrode back into t-he past. The firs>t touting I a-eanember doing at the F-orbury was oot implanted on my mind 'by the gallop ,of any particular horse, but by the cup 'of Jiot tea and incidental luxuries that my parental .guide treated me to. In those days, a well-known South Dnnedin Jehu pold hot ten and coffee from a .«tall which he mcd to erect near the gate which leads *to the tracks. And he was liberally patronised, or at' least deserved to be, hy the- large crowd of spectators who used to journey out to see the early morning's work. It was not tin unusual eight to see a couple of hundred imen present x»n the ground, and each one was keenly alert io note what weight «ach burse was probably carrying, what his condition looked like, •r whether Tie was thick in £he puff or otherwise. In those days it was sportsmen who attended race meetings, or a.t least JC imagine so ; but to-day it is mostly gamblers who follow the BporL of kings. Perhaps that idea is wrong, and there is more betting nowadays only because there is more money to bet with. There was some betting down in the old days, and chatting with an oldtime pcnciilar some little time back, he assiued me that at one time he never made less than a £2000 book on the Dunedin Cup. and that a horse «ould easily be supported to win over £20,000 in connection with the race. Times have changed since. It is many years fcincea, decent straight-out volume was made on the race, ami the only ante-post betting now is confined to the doable on the Cup and Publicans' Handicap. S.P. is all the rage, and a £2000 book even on the New Zealand Cup takes a bit of filling. Few men back a horse nowadays because he is a shapely, well-built horse. It is immaterial whether he is by Donoasrer or a donfc&y, provided he has beaten the hands of a split-second watch and carved out five or six furlongs in one-terrible, and also providing the owner's intentions «re to label the liorse urgent when placing him in the starter's hands. What a change has coave o'«j the scene id nee I first became aenua-inted with racing ! Once racing was ' only part of the programme, now it is everything. Down at a southern meeting Jast sea -on I saw a man put his head through a hole- in. a canvas screen and lot tke -sport- j ing public have four shies for a bob at his. ', cranium. He did a fair amount of business, and the audience enjoyed it immensely , when a .marksman would get one of the fairly solid balls home into the movabletargpt. It strongly reminded me of the old days when aunt-sallys, boxing tent?, wheels of fortune (for the owner), puree- , seller?, the i?pnt with the three nimble cards, try-your-luek and irtrength machines, galvanic batteries, and the hundred-and-one : attractions to catch one's attention and money at the same time were in vogu*\ Now a protecting police hay© swept away the painted goose *.nd the sagacious monkey, and if one has money to lose, it must be lost only through ' the "Jegal channel." In those days "coats on the green" w&re of frequent occurrence, now the crowd is as orderly as a church parade. It i 3 not for fun racegoers look now, but bend an almost unbroken stare on the face of the tote. The past has irequmitly a ?falß.e- .glamour, and perhaps it is , i doubtful and debatable » to whether the sport was cleaner in the old days than it is in the present. However, the up-to-date racing club been that its patrons do -their money comfortably to the music ' of a nrstclass ban<l. and the <mly 3-ealson the ' pabt would b"e preferred to the present is hec&ui>c it -would be the means of rejuvenating f.oiw of our old friends whom we would always like to have with us. ' '
A DIPLOMATIC STEWARD.
When one is meandering around a saddling paddock knowledge is of tpn gleaned of trifle* 'which induces ono to .place a bet or 'else avoid doing s-o on a horse*. Generally after tho knowledge obtained it would be rank lunacy to back some horaes, and it frequently appears that every man on the ground, with the ojsoeption of the stewards, are "wrtain Fine that, there i*. something -rotten in the
possible that with a view to getting as large » dividend as possible many a horse is bruited about as being "not quito ready," or else staved to have a very poor chance of succes*. In this way horses win who are supposed to be non-triers and legitimate triers sometimes lose, not because they arc "resting" (as maay people imagine), but because they are not Rble to win. Mr Gawcn, the stipeudiaiy steward of the Adelaide Racing Club, is apparently a man who exercises not a little diplomacy in carrying out the duties aitachsd to his office, and sometimes gives a judicious hint to riders who ccme under his official cbseivation. At the recent Adelaide Steeplechase meeting he had occasion to speak to one of the riders in the Steeplechase, and, in commenting on the meeting, a fecal paper remarked that '"the stewards had a busy afternoon. Ono of the men called before them was Charles Quinn. It appears that before "Whclan went to the post on Ebb (who, however, fell during the race) for the National Steeplechase tho stipendiary steward tendered that norsemsm a word or two -of advice. AH that -Mr Gawen asked him to do wos io ride a nice race, neither making nc intending any suggestion that herode unfairly. Quhm, who is the Irainer of Ebb, took exception io this, and did not hesitate to tell the stipendiary steward so. Mr Gawen is not impulsive, and he gave Qtrinn time to tlrjnk the jr.atier over. As he appeared to havo dtemifc-sed It from liis mind Mr Gatveu reported the facts to the stewards, and they asked <2uiun in. Ho Iranldly apologised for the remarks he had made, and .tne «tew,crds ,allowed tlie matter to .drop. TDhe chairman tMr Roberteon) however. «cmin3eil .Quiun that the stipendiaiy steward harl acted onder the autiiority of . •the- steward*, with -their full sanction and support. It 'is -as well .perhaps that tl>e chairman's observations sliould be made public — at least, for the sake -of the unenlightoned. No oi\*> could suppose that a stipendiary steward would faithfully, according to his Hghtfl, endeavour .to carry out liis duty, however unpleasant, unless he lmd the authority and tho full sanction of the committee. And no one could suppose that the A.R.C. Committee, having appointed an ofne ; aj, would be guilty of ir.-.ch unmitigated rot as not snpporting "him in the discharge of hit offico. It would not have, perhaps, foeen ovrt of place if someone liad spolten to two of the riders in the big J?teeplpcbase. As they came to the stand fences Htgent was being crowded in — bored is the usual term—^until the mare had but little jumping room. Thomas Driscoll "was also before th» stewards. Seeing him ride in th© Steeplcchn«e they gained the impr-ession that lift wrs 'tmdf-r the influence.' Now, of course, tlie proper thing for the stewards to havo demo if they wer» «atieited that their feara were well grounded was to .have delivered a homily to dhe Jsorueman. Eut th© officials are all men of the world, and seeing that b© rode -a pood good race, and that Thomas would have a headatiie in the morning, they contented themselves by admin istering a caution more or less severe."
THE S.C.J.C'B SPRING MEETING. The South Canterbury Jockey dub hx\Q .received excellent acceptances for the club's 6prhtg meeting. " 01 tlic 59 horkes weighted foi the Sour principal events on th& nTst ■tiay's card, 39 hay« cried content, aiul. v.*ilh oidfruary 3uok, there ds sufficient material available to provide racing that should "b© •well w-crlh witnessing.y With the defection of liong Tom from the Hurdle Race, Uo.ler now figures at the tuD of the handicap with 11.12. With 21b loss ou his heck ho accounted for Dundee 12.'5, Deny 10.5, Hairtrigger 10.13, and The Slumbercr 9.0 at the ia»L D.J.L". spring meeting, over a mile and a-IJHiI, Which he negotiated iv 2min 57 2-ssec. Prior to that, on the -first day of tho same meeting, lie Tan second with 11.9 to Dundee 11.4, and behind the pair were Hairtriggcr 11.2, Derry 10.7, and The Shnnberer 9.5. In his solitary appearance at Wingntui last May, with lI.C he was just heafcen for third piece by Vulcan 9.13, and in front of tlu* latter was tlic winner Huku 11.12, and Dormant 10.4. In this race Roller was not handled with the greatest of skill, and probably dit not qmto ciispwy his best form. Roller made an appearance at Oamaru, where ho was ridden by his owner, Mr 8. lirown, and, with all due respect to that gentleman, it cannot he taid chat he is to be considered a first-rate horseman when wearing -silk. "Roller ran well for a little over a .mile iv the Groiad National Hurdles, and fell when going well in the Lincoln Steeplechase. tender his present burden he should possess n good chanoe in the JnirdJcß at Timarn, <piwts cvilarJy a^ Skipper and Surrey may not be able to get 1 through a, preparation. -as th^y wre 3iot the sound«it of horaes. Zither -was improving with ©very i-ace lie had -at the C.J.C. National meeting, and -displayed something 4ike j the -pace he hud -brfore lie trote down w"hen racing in -the North Inland. Redoubt figures amongst the acceptors for t>he race, although he was recently l-eporfced to be -stricken with mid on the point ,6f ~bein£ shdt. It would be gtrange if he "paralysed the opposition" in the race. Mainstay jind Master I do not fsipcy for the race. All going well, I expect Surrey to win, and Skipper and Roller may fill the other places. Of those claiming engagement in the President's Welter, Narcissus may be the hardest to beat, and next to him Clanburn. The roan mare Ordnance, who has 9.5, oreated a favourable imprc-sioai by fiic manner jn which she accounted for a double at the Tiniaru autumn meeting, but I think Narcissus should be able to account for the race. Six have accepted for the Timaru Handicap, and T look to Somerled to -supply the winner. Muscovite should be greatly improved by his racing nt the National meeting, and, on his best form, looks to have a .good chance. Count of Kolmar gained a few admirer* by the form displayed in the Sumner Handicap, and should piove the best of the' others. In the Steeplechase, if Inchcape can reproduce the form he displayed when he beat Seobeloff and Co. in the Hunters' Plate, he should be a hard horse to beat. Hurricane displayed good form at the same meeting on the Hat and over hurdles, and I pick him to win the race under notice.* The Flying Handicap furnish a good race, brut as Gold«pur has kept going since the National, I look to him to provide the winner, and next to him I fancy WelbecK.
THE OPPORTUNITY, CASE.
What lirs now become known as the Opportunity oaf>e advanced another stage last week when, at a meeting of the Lawrence Jockey Club, that body heard further evidence on the matter, and. decided that the stakes won by Opportunity at the last mooting }x impounded for a further three months in order to give the club and protesters further time to procure evidence a* to her bona £des. It was understood that this jtuukl bt tit« tiatl aqjgttCUgftti * U 4
that if -sufficicnit evidence was not forth* coming within that time to prove- that th© mare had been "rung in," the stakes would be paid to Mr liore, the owner of Opportunity. The one-time owner of Lady Torrent, who ran second to Opportunity on two occasions is uoiv in the North Island, but some time back he disposed of his interest in the stakes won by Opportunity. It is now alleged that Opportunity, late First Chance, is identical with a Ne«- South Wales-bred mare named Blossom, who is stated to be by Loid Coclirano out of Orange Blossom, and conc-lushd evidence to substantiate that contention will probably he forthcoming at the meeting of the Lawrence Club which is to be held three mouths hence. Last jsea«on Opportunity started in nine races on the goldfield* circuit, and won on four ocoa-iinois. Iv the name of First Ohance. at the Alexandia J.C. anuiual, she beat six others in a hack race. At Cromwell she ran second to Tho Maltster in r hack welter, and on the sceond day of the same meeting she -wen a cix -furlong hack welter. Hei next appearance was at the Vincent D.C. annual meeting, aud atncler the name of Opportunity, late First tDhance, she competed unsucoessfully in a hack handicap. I made tho mare's acquaintance at Nasoby. w-here she started twice on tho second day without wincing. Dame Rumour wa« busy with hep luimc, and many present on th» ground took mental photographs of her. and the writer took notes of her brands and .general appearance. Theee were published at tl a time. Opportunity is a golden 'bay mar© with •black - points, white .fltar. and white -tipped roronet -behind-; Dadly-scaxred kneet\ «nd stands about 15 hands. Opportunity next appeared -at the Lawrence meeting, and in nor fir^t ©ngage■nKwit xomped homp in th<? Publicans' Handicap in front of Lady Torrent and The Maltrter. In the last race on the game day, the Shorts Handicap, four furlongs, after gejfing badly away, she got through on the outside, and won in 4££sec. Lady Torre-nt was again second. On the second day of the meeting Opportunity ran second to Sharpshot, over six furlongs. The owner of Lady Torrent lodged a protest against the owner of Opportunity receiving tho stakes won by her, and they have already beca hung up for close on seven months, and the matter now stands -adjourned ior an additional three month".
THE 3D.J.C.8 SPRING MEETING.
This week the programme of the Dunedin Jockey Club's spring meeting w advertised, and it is found to be practically the game am what was presented for The came meeting Leld last year. The principal event on the programme is the Mosgiel Handicap, lOOsovs, cue mile and a-quarter, and lOsovs is to be deducted from ' the siakc for the second horae. Tho .Mosgiel Handicap is to be decided on the first day of the meeting, and the next race in monetary importance ou the same day's card as the Electric Handicap, of 75sovs, tniiius sbovs from the staice for tho second Aorse, jtud run over six furkmgF. A ntUe and three-qnaxier thurdla event is endowed to the vacttznt of 6Qsove, and a seven-furlong welter has a prize -of 50sovfl attached to it. A «eveu-<furloßg 4Gsovß Maiden Plate, » six^fuflong 40sova Hack "Handicap, and a 4DjOv 'Selling Race, to be run over -furlongs, make up the balanoe of the -first day's card. On the second day the ' Ranfurly Handicap, of 3050v3, and .run over a mile mukc, is the chief event. A mile and a -half hurdle evenfc is worth 60£ovd, and a six-furlong welter and a five-furlong handicap are each endowed) to the extent of 5030v5. The balance of the card is made up by a Trial Handicap, of COaovs, -seven fur'.onga; a jSack HigKweight Handicap, of S(L-ovs, sue furlongs ;< and a Farewell Handicap, of '40sovs, one raile. Nominations are due for the pnncipa 1 events on "both days, on Friday, September 19, and on Friday, October 3, nominations close for the Maiden Plate, Selling Race, Trial Handicap, and Farewell .Handicap. Weights for the first day are due on Saturday, September 27, and acceptances must be declared on Friday, the 3rd of October.
RACING IN SOcSTH AFRICA.
By a paper to hand some particulars ar» gleaned of the first two d&ya of the Durban Turf Club's vinter meeting. During the two days £2465 was given away in stakes, including one stake of £1000, and for the two days tl»e amount put through the •tetalMaior totalled £15,200. In addition, 3* fieldcra paid licenses ro T?<»t during the meeting. Auslralian-'bred horses figured prominently at the .meeting, and the Aucklandbrod Strategist was amongst the field for the £100(5 stake. Strategist, who has won several races In South Africa, has, according to the local paper, turned -a. trogue, and, after bring very fractious at the po?.t, he ,gofe left, and .took -no part in the race. The Australian brad mare Truthful, by Butler from Reality, won a £50 ' Galloway race, and paid a dividend of £11 15b, and £3 5a for a place. For Durban Turf Handicap, of IGOOsovb, ono mile, a -field of 19 faced the starter, and the winner tmrned up in a Natal-bred horee named Chaos, who paid a dividend of JSBO Be. Amongst the starters -wan tho Australian horse Gunga Dim 8.12, nnd he finished last, with the exception of Strategist, who wa3 left at tho post. Two Australian-bred ponies won race 3 on the second day of the meeting, Btid those were Gcldseeker, by lattlo Bernie, and Little Bernie, who is also by the same iior&e as Goldseeker. There is apparently plenty of money for racing at Durban, anil there- was a first-class attendance on each day. P»M?terf» are accommodated by -fielders 1 , a straight-out totalisator, and a place mi« chine.
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TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 2529, 3 September 1902
TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 2529, 3 September 1902
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