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We cannot call to> mind a parallel to the scratching of Val dOr for the St. Leger. For a horse to stand at 11 to 8 in the betting within four days of the race., and without a moment's warning to be scratched, the animal being in perfect health and condition at the time, beats all the other soratchings we have known. This (says an English exchange) is one of the perils we incur in backing horses that have io cross the sea. "The Sea is England's C4lory," and it is she, rather than the prowess of our own "horses, that has saved the St. Leger from the Frenchmen. Tal dOr had been three clays at Boulogne do ; ng nothing, and waiting for the waters to assume a less angry mood, when M. Blanc, who is a creature of impulse, sud-d-tnly ordered that he should be sent back to his training quarters. No sooner had this order been obeyed than the sea became calm again, and by waiting another day a smooth, passage might have been obtained. With horses of such great value, it is, of course, for M. Blanc himself to determine what risk he will run with them Naturally, he would desire that his Korse should be in thoroughly fit condition to cope with the English cracks, and we should not like .to say what effect four or five days of idleness would have on an animal that, we believe, requires a lot of work. That he would figure a disadvantage with the English horses who had done their windingup gallops at home is certain, and it will now be for M. Blanc to complicate matters over the Cesarewitoh and Cambridgeshire. This scratching is certainly the most sensational thing of its class we have ever known. The scratching of The Earl for the Derby, which led to the "Spider and the Fly" correspondence, was a fleabite to it. There was a wholesale massacre of the favourites for the Derby in Wild Dayrell's year, and again when Gladi&teur won, but the scratchings were scarcely of an eleventh-hour character. It was when Vagabond was struck out of the City and Suburban that there was a semi-riot, but that was a handicap, and "Vagabond, though well backed, was not allto 8 favourite. In connection with the scratching of Orme. which was certainly a sensational affair, the market had prepared us for what was to take place, and therefore the surpriso was not so great.

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Bibliographic details

THE SCRATCHINGS OF FAVOURITES., Otago Witness, Issue 2695, 8 November 1905

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THE SCRATCHINGS OF FAVOURITES. Otago Witness, Issue 2695, 8 November 1905