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FAR AND NEAR.

(By THE POSSIBLE.) " At ft recent meeting of the cosrmittee of the 'Otaki Maori Racing Club, the secretary ; produced an : interim balance-sheet, showing the profits for the June meeting to have ifcen about £500. Nearly £700 was received from the owners and trainers . In nomination ajed acceptance fees, being H record for the club. A bones of fifteen guineas was voted to the handicapper, Mr J. H. Pollock, in addition to his salary, and the secretary w,as instructed to write expressing the satisfaction of. the committee at the manner in which he had carried out his duties and acted in the interests of the club generally. . • Ragabrash, who died at th& Hutt on Sunday night, from stoppage of the bowels, ; was bred in 1898 by Mr J. Redfeara, of Victoria, and was by Strathinore-r-Frag- : ment. On being purchased by an Aubk- '■-•■■ land sportsman, she raced with moderate success, and about eighteen, months ago she wras'secured by Sir George Clifford for 160 guineas. For some time .after coming to Canterbury she failed to show any 'form, but at the last summer meeting of the Canterbury Jockey Club she won the Hornby Welter . Handicap.) Later on, a% the autumn meeting at .* liiccarton, she ran prominently in two races, and was generally accounted unlucky in not placing a win to her owner's credit. Since then she. had been going on well, and she was sent to Wellington last week with a view of contesting the parliamentary Handicap, for which she was'believed, to have better than s an outside chance. When she left she was v apparently in good health, so that it came as a; great surprise to me to receive a, "telegram on Monday morning announcing her death; . I "understand that she was origin- ' ally purchased by Sir George Clifford for • brood.mare. She had, I believe, been mated with Soult, but as she did not prove in foal, she was kept in training. It is ■worth noting her-a that in the race she won »t Riccarton, Hewitt rede her without a saddle, a broad girth, with stirrup leathers • attached being, substituted for the custom- .-;..■ ary gear, '>' ..; '■[ vV .. - . . .. Bate American; files bring news of the death of Sir Modred, one of the best ■: .horses of his time; and . who, during his v career in Ameriea, was a big stud success. : Sir Modred was bred in 1877,': by the : Middle Park Stud Company, and was by ..- Tya4uceiv-Ida]ia, one of the gems of the ■';'■ ( \ N^w^Zealand Stud Book. In successive 1 years she threw Betrayer, Sir Modred, ..-'. Idalium, Cheviot, July, Liverpool, Fair, Nell, Enid and Ravenswing, her last foal , being Sir Launcelot. • Sir Modred was not sold along with the other Mid*dle Park yearlings of his. year. « Subsequently, by : private arrangement, he passed dnto the hands of the^BEon R. Campbell, and he wont into E. Cuits's stable. It was understood, however, that the Middle Park proprietors retained an interest in him un-,-til after his first engagement, the Welcome r Stakes, in. -which he finished oat of a place. He then became the sole property of tho Hon R. Campbell, in whose colours he won his two remaining two-year-old engagements, the Dunedin and Canterbury Champagne Stakes. On the strength of these performances, he came into -strong favour for the Canterbury Derby. Some weeks before the date of the race he injur- ' ed one,of his feet, with the result that.he \ had to be J&T7- carefully handled. ,EomenV» tations were applied to his leg-every-day, % eight hours a day being spent in this way > for aozne considerable time. During this

period, his training was accomplished before tho touts arrived on the, scene, ' and from the date of ? his accident his gallops were all done privately. In consequence of the doubt about his condition, the bookmakers took liberties with him, nor were they prepossessed by his appearance on Derby Day, as' ho looked light and wasted. In consequence, in a field of six;there were two better favourites, but Sir Modred won from Virginia Water and Badsworth. The result was a severe blow to the layers, some of whom took, their beating with a very bad grace. Two days later ho was brought out for the Canterbury Cup ; but, though he was made . favourite, want of condition told its tale, and he finished last, the race being won by Le Loup, while Virginia" Water and Lure, whom he had beaten in the Derby, both finished in front of Sir Modred. On' the third day, he was again made favourite for the Metropolitan Handicap, and ran second to NaUtor. He was then given a spell till the autumn, his next appearance being in the Dunedin Cup, in which he carried 7st 101b, and won comfortably. Later in the day he was brought out for the Publicans,' Handicap, in which he ran. third, and he finished the meeting by cantering homo in the Railway Plate. *Following this, he started in the Great Autumn Handicap, at Riccarton, running in the nomination of Mr H. Driver. He was weighted at Bst 101b, and ran a great race, only succumbing by a narrow margin _ to Lady Emma? .who 'was carrying 6st 131b. A in the Timaru ;Qup-,^brought- his three-year^ffid record to a close. With' the change of ownership' he went into H. Goodman's stable, and it was he who took the horse to Australia the following spring. At the Victoria Bacing Clubs Spring Meeting he ran unplaced in tha Melbourne Cup, won by Zulu, and unplaced in the Spring Handicap. On returning to New Zealand, he ran unplaced m the Great Autumn Handicap, and he did no better in the Easter Handicap. A week later he won the Publicans' Handicap at Ashburton, but the following day he finished last in the Ashburton Cup. At the' Timaru meeting he ran two thirds, and wound up the" season with a win m the Dunedin birthday Handiap. An-other-change of ;^ r 5f c r once more under E. Cuttos Care, B?« onUS dS - the Canterbury Cup h- eclipsed all -his previous efforts. ; IJwt wasTvintage year for the three-year-olds, WbriSiaS c y olts in Welcome Jack,Vanguard and Cheviot being on tee scene. On the first d*y Cheviot' had won the Derby, SSib Welcome Jack had won the Jockey Club Handicap, with Vanguard third. These three colts, as well as anothex-three-year-old in Leos, all opposed Sir Modred L the Canterbury Cup, and, they tried to cut him down, but he shook tfem all oa £ tuS anl won easily.. W Thomson, ; & w tad groom at Mr H. + Fnedlander's Kelburn stud, rode him in that ra.ee, ana he used to class the performance as one ot the finest he ever saw. Later m the same lay he easily won the Railway Plate. Between these two races, however, he was taken back to his bos at Chokebors Lodge, iiid his attendant, not knowing be had to run again, gave him a, mash. On the dast Jay' of the meeting he was brought out for the ©bristchurch. Plate, and defeated his iulT-brother, Cheviot, in. a canter. Subsequently he again went into H. Goodman e gtable, and' after running without success xt Geraldine, and in two events at Dunidin, he won the- Tramway Plate, afterwards running two seconds in one day at the same meeting: In the follow ing spring he 'made another trip- to Australia. At the spring meeting at Randwick lie ran unplaced in the Spring Stakes, and he /did no 'better in the CamlfieW Cup a month later, nor in the Summer Cup at Randwick. The following spring, at Randwick, lie was unplacedi in the Spring Stakes, won by Malua, but on the second day, carrying Bst 101b, he won the Metropolitan Handicap in ridiculously easy fashion, and on the third day he also won the Craven Plate, Malua being second. Shortly after this he went amiss, I and was sold for stud purposes. He sired ] a, number of fast horses, amorig whom may j 6e mentioned Antaeus arid Sir' William. He was then disposed of to Mr J. B. Haggin, the well-known American breeder,, for 1800 i guineas, and 1 he became one of the most successful sires in America. In addition -fei>_ ibis high qualifications as a racehorse, Sir Modred was .a beautifully-made horse. Indeed, according 'to good judges who knew him well, his equal' for .power and quality has rarely been seen in New Zealand. He j had a lovely temper, but was very playful; i and in this respect his half-sister, Fair Nell, greatly resembled him. • Many interesting stories: are told of Sir Modred's 5 playful ways. On one occasion he got out of the yard; at Chokebore Lodge and went for a wander by himself on the road. Taken albogether, Sir Modred was one of the giants of his time. His departure from the colony

1 ; — ~" . •— ~ j was greatly dejriored, and the feelings of regret have since been accentuated, by reason of his success at the stud in America and the unfortunate scarcity of other sires of the Traducer line in New Zealand. The most extraordinary exhibition ever seen on a Gisborne racecourse occurred on Thursday in the Park Steeplechase. Only two. horses, Mr O'Sullivan's Stray-bird and Mr F. B. Ross's T Hylas, started, the latter being favourite. Both are -well-known performers. Hylas, ridden by Ross^ baulked at the first hurdle, and despite the frantic efforts ' of his rider refused twenty times to clear . the obstacle. Meantime, Straybird had' proceeded at a slow canter to the water jump, where, to the surprise and intense amusement of the crowd,; he also baulked. His jockey, Burns, tried in rain to get his horse over the water, and the spectators had the remarkable sight of a "race" in which 'the two contestants were baulking for all they were worth, in different parts of the field. A number of people hastened to Straybird's assistance, and one individual was seen frantically endeavouring to " shoo " the animal over. Filially Burns- got the horse over, and Straybird, taking kindly to the other jumps, 'got round the course to where Hylas was still cutting up. Hylas quietly followed Straybird over the jump that hehad refused to take, and all went- well till the water, jump was again reached. Here Straybird stuck again, and so did Hylas. A second essay saw both horses over, and Straybird. going around again, managed to complete the three miles in 12min 53sec. Hylas, with another round to complete, again stuck at the water obstacle, but finally he scrambled over, losing his jockey en route. A spectator secured Hylas, and Ross remounted, only to have the recalcitrant stick up in front of the grand stand at the brush fence. Ross then gave up the struggle, and rode his mount in amidst hearty laughter. The last English mail brings details of the Epsom Summer Meeting. Never since 1867, when Hermit won the Derby in a. snowstorm and ■" broke " the unhappy Marquis of Hastings, have more wretched weather conditions prevailed on Derby day than those obtaining this year. Rain fell in torrents from the early morning, and in the forenoon a darkness covered the earth, that rendered gaslight necessary to the workers in the town, and caused racegoers to crack feeble jokes upon the subject of installing searchlights for the purpose of 6eeing the racing. There were eight starters for the Derby, Gouvernant being favourite at 7 to 4, while 4 to 1 was offered against John o' Gaunt t 85 to 20 Henry the First, 5 to 1 St Amant, 11 to 1 Andover, 33 to 1 Lancashire, 50 to 1 St Denis and 100 to v l Coxswain. Just before the start rain fell in torrents, accompanied by thunder and lightning, and the race was run in a blinding storm. Sfc Amant was first into his stride, and soon established a strong lead. A quarter of a mil© from. home John o' Gaunt made a. big effort, but he had no chance with St Amant, who won by three lengths, St Denis being six lengths away. Vociferous cheers greeted the/horse on hie victory, and they were renewed when Mr Leopold.de Rothschild, his face wreathed in smile6 and his garments streaming with rain, led the winner in. Among the first to offer congratulations was the; King, w*bose colt Persimmon just beat St Amant's sire 2 St Frusquin, for the Derby eight years ago. The win was one of the easiest on record, arid old turfites search in vain for a parallel case of .a horse making all his own running and winning as St Amant did. Without to detract from the win-, ner's perf ormance x it is -admitted thatr

several of the other starters did not showf their t true form. M. Cannon, who rode Gouvernant, said after the race that the French colt was demoralised by the storm. He got the rain into his ears and kept shaking them, and with every crash, of thunder he shivered like a child. He was doing very little in the race, picking up his bit and dropping it again. Henry the First would not face the storm at all, nor would John o' Gaunt, go against the rain. He kept flinching, and would not take hold of the bit until well, into the straight, when, it was too late. The Coronation Cup was by many people regarded as th-e most attractive r;ice at me Epsoin meeting, seeing that the field in J eluded Sceptre, Zinfandel and Rock Sand, who are generally regarded as the three best animals racing in England at the pre J sent time. Sceptre, who- was an oa.us-d.a favourite, looked well, though a trifle too calm for her. Rock Sand and Zingandel r made the running to f'he straight when the latter drew out. Sceptre made a very feeble display, and for a time it was. doubtful if she would beat Rock Sand,' while she never looked like catching Zin-fand-el. All sorts of excuses were made for Sceptre, but as she subsequently succumbed again to Zinfandel in the Ascot Gold Cup, it becomes more than ever clear that the latter is a reaJly good horse, and that the owner of -Rock Sand was lucky in not having to meet him in last season's ilassic engagements. For the Oaks there jrere only four starters, the smallest field on record. Pretty Polly, on whom odds o£ 100 to 8 were laid, was never at top, and taking the lead six furlongs from home she won in ridiculously easy fashion. Her victory gave th-a critics another chance of enthusing about the champion filly. According to one writer she is a magnificent aniiilal, as big in bone and substance as a? well-furnished six-year-old, and truly bicodlike withal. She is * wonderfully sound. Her legs are like bars of iron, big in hocks and knees, and with no flaw anywhere. The Sfc Legei* is now being looked forward to with interest, as the field may include St Amant, John o' Gaunt, Henry the First^ Ajax, Gouvernant and the unbeaten Pretty Polly. The latter is at present favourite, and on strict form she has only to be well to at least defeat all the English lot. As to the French pair, the Derby running was so inconclusive that the better of the Flying Fox colts, presumably Ajax, must be seriously considered. Mr Henry Musker, the owner of Henry the First, is one of the leading breeders in England. His enterprise in bringing Melton back to England from Italy has been attended with highly satisfactory results, and he now owns about half a dozen other stallions, all of the bluest blood. '. Quite recently, in consequence of the recent discussions regarding the relative merits of French and English horses, and the repeated invasions of England by French owners, he has been seized with a desire to carry the war into the enemy's country. With tins end in view, he has decided to breed and rear some of his blood stock in France, so as to be aible^to run "for the French Derby and ' other- classic races in? that country, which are only open to horses brod in France. Some months ago he purchased Flying Lemur, the full-brother to Flying. Fox, and ho will probably stand next season at a French stud. Mr Musker will also send at least ten of his. best mares over to be mated with Flying Lemur, and their foals will be kept in France until June of their yearling season. Ahus bsccfoing qualified to "run there'. Silken; of'ldfer Mucker's mares were pui: to Flying . Lemur this year, and the ten for nsxt year will probably l)e selected from among them, so that some of Flying Lemur's first foals will be eligible for French racing. M. E'. Blanc will not allow mares the property of French owners to be put to Flying Fox, though ho welcomes those of English breeders, sb that Flying Lemur would probably be in great demand.

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Bibliographic details

FAR AND NEAR., Star, Issue 8061, 13 July 1904

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FAR AND NEAR. Star, Issue 8061, 13 July 1904

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