FAR AND NEAR.
-i — (By THE POSSIBLE.) A report was in circulation last week to the effect that Machine Gun had left for Australia, but it is a trifle premature, as the son of Hotchkiss is still located at Riccarton, and is doing useful work on the trackp. From what I can learn, the present intention is that Machine Gun will be shipped to Australia about the middle of next month, D. J. Price going over in charge of him. One of the horse's now owners. Mr H. Solomon, has St Michael and Sandy engaged at the Otaki meeting on June 3 and 5, and no more will be done till that fixture is over. Mr Solomon intends to journey to Australia at the same time as Machine Gun goes, and it is probable that Sandy will also make the journey, with a view to suburban racing. L. H. Hewitt will go over to ride Machine Gun in his Australian engagements. The rumour that Mr H. Friedlander intended to disperse the Kelburn Stud proves well founded, as it is now announced that the entire stud is for private sale. It is a matter for regret that Mr Friedlander has decided to relinquish breeding operations. During the last fow years he has spent a lot of money in fitting up tho establishment at Tinwald, as well as in purchasing stallions and mares. So far there has been very little return, but with such a fine collection of well-bred mares it was only reasonable to expect that Mr Friedlander could shortly look for a reward for his enterprise. The stewards of the Christchurch Racing Club held a meeting on Tuesday of last week, when they again had under consideration the form of some of the horses at their recent meeting. Good Sight' 8 performance in the Hack Handicap was gone into fully, but though the stewards viewed her running with grave suspicion, it was decided to take no further action in the matter. The Manj ess case was also further discussed, but the stewards declined to alter their previous decision. If the rumours current during the week are to be credited, there is room for a further inquiry into this matter, and it is by no means certain that the last has been heard of the case.
J. Higgerson, who is ninety-three years old, and who was one of the leading jockeys in Australia half a' century ago, is at present laid up in the Sydney Hospital as the result of a gunshot wound, accidentally received. A party of young men were leaving his house recently to go shooting, when, in some unexplained way, one of the guns exploded, and the whole charge, after carrying away part of his right hand, entered the unfortunate man's body. The gun was not three yards away, but though the wound web an ugly one, the old man did not collapse. Higgerson is credited with having ridden more winners in New South Wales than any man now living. He figured in some great matches, and rode Veno when he defeated Alice Hawthorn, each carrying lOst i lib, for £2000, at Flemington, on October 3, 1857. On the same day Veno, again ridden by Higginson, defeated Van Tromp for £800, the losing horse io each case being piloted by Mahon. Veno was afterwards sold to Mr J. H. Atkinson, of ' New South Wales, for £1000, and in May of 1858, Higginson rode him in a two-mile match against Lauristina for £2000. Veno was conceding his opponent 51b, but he had to strike his colours. A few weeks later Higgerson had his revenge, on Ben Bolt, 9efc 51b, who defeated Lauristina Bst lllb over the same course. Higgerson also rode Mr A- Town's Tarragon in the dead heat with Mr Tait's Volunteer, in the Champion Stakes of 1866, the three miles taking smin 47sec. The run-off was won in smin _B_ec by Tarragon, whose weight, 9_t 131 b, is the heaviest which has been carried to the front in the history of the race.
Michael Mooney, who was killed through Colenso falling in a steeplechase at Caulfield this month, was the leading cross-country Horseman of Australia. He was quite as popular as the late Tom Corrigan, and he was. an even more dashing rider. _ His judgment, fine nerve, finishing ability and cleverness in the saddle made him an ideal horseman in his own line, and it is doubtful if Australia has ever seen his equal as a hurdle or steeplechase rider. Consistency was, perhaps, his strongest point, as he never rode a bad race. To a great extent this was due to the fact that he was always as fit as his horse. He was very steady, and to the last he looked after a horse and kept himself in condition. He won nearly all the big jumping races in Australia at different times. The Onkaparinga Steeplechase was his unlucky race. He was second on Whernside, Colonel Shilinski and Cardinal, and third on N.Z. Mooney was aasociated for many years with Mr S. Miller's stable. His death caused an unusual gloom in Melbourne racing circles on account of his many good qualities and his general popularity.
The craok English jockey, W. Lane, who met with a very severe accident while riding at Lingfield last autumn, when well in the running for the jockey championship of the year, and who has not been seen in the saddle since^ left England in April on a voyage to New Zealand, accompanied by his father. Lane is taking the trip purely for the sake of hie health, and it is hoped that the long sea journey will result in his returning to England thoroughly cured. Apart from his merits ac a horseman, and he has no. superiors in England, Lane is extremely popular with the best class of racing men. Last year, up to the time of his accident, he had ridden 124 winners out of 568 mounts, and was St the time running neck and neck with Otto Madden for the premier position ti the list of winning jockeys. The tter finished up the season with 161 wins out of 788 mounts, Lane taking eecond place. In the preceding year Lane headed the list with 170 wins out of 810 rides. Though the Newmarket Stakes has only been in existence for _• comparatively short time, it takes rank as pne of the leading three-year-old events of the season in England. The first contest in 1889, was won by Donovan, and Binoe then other high-class performers who have been enrolled as wi* 1116 " in " elude Memoir, Isinglass, Galtee More, Cvileno, Diamond Jubilee aud William the Third. In 1902 Ard Patrick was successful, but was disqualified for interference. This year s winner, Cicero, was the crack two-year-old or England last season, and after five
engagements he wound up with an unbeaten certificate. He did not start in the Middle Park Plate, in which the French colt Jardy made an exhibition of his field. Cicero was not engaged in the Two Thousand Guineas, and as Vedas was not in the Newmarket Stakes, but has also defeated Signorino and Llangibby this season, it looks as if it might be a close thing between Cicero and Vedas in the Derby next week. As against this, however, it has to be remembered that the pair met last season, when Cioero demonstrated his undoubted superiority. It is stated that Vedas is a trifle uncertain, but even if be is at his best Cicero may still hold him safe. In commenting on Cicero's Derby chance an English writer recently said: — "For a good many years I used tb pass much time at Newmarket between meetings, as well as when they were in progress. Now lam seldom there except on race days, and have not therefore had a chance of seeing Cicero lately; but I hear that when lie goes to the Heath to his work he bucks and kicks and disports himself with remarkable vigour. He then does h's gallop, and, having done it, proceeds to buck and kick and plunge about as gaily as if. he had just come out of his stable. It is light-hearted-ness, and not vice, which makes him thus rampageous, I believe, and it certainly shows a wonderful store of energy. I have known good horses like this, and I have known good horses .the exact opposite — Isinglass was one — who appeared sluggish, inert, disinclined to exert themselves until vigorously called upon to do so, when t_ey would unfailingly pull out what was demanded of them — would gallop fast I and keep on galloping till the job was done and the pressure removed. Some people like horses of the Cicero sort, others are all for the Isinglass variety. Personally I have very little preference. Both may possess not only the highest capacity, but - the highest courage, though in one case it is on the surface, and in theother latent. The Cicero style of horse doubtless takes something out of himself with his vagaries, but then there is such a lot to take!" The Derby problem is rendered more difficult by the presence of the two Flying Fox colts, Jardy and Val d'Or. The first-named is on two-year-old formsuperior to all the English lot, but the betting market suggests that Cicero has improved a lot, and he may prove equal to withstanding the French attack for another year.
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SPORTING NEWS., Star, Issue 8325, 25 May 1905
SPORTING NEWS. Star, Issue 8325, 25 May 1905
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