FAR AND NEAR. (By THE POSSIBLE.} i The Amberley Steeplechase Club was rery fortunate in the matter of weaker for its anniuvl ra. a, meeting last Phursday, the day being beautifully inc. There was a very goo.d attendance, including a strong contingent rom Christchurch. Local sportsmen tlso mustered well. The track w^is in japital order, and some fair racing was utpessod. The class of horses com>eting; was, . bowever, , very moderate, [t is ,a matter for argument, in fact, whether any good purpose is served by ;he granting of a totalisator permit to [Fbatyis, to all. intents and purposes, a nunt' club gathering. Since last year :he committee has removed the post-.n-rail f once at the back of the course Hid substituted . an easier obstacle in ;he shape of a .brush fence. The result iras that falls were not nearly so numerous as usual. Racing opened with j he' Maiden Hunters' Steeplechase, for which Bungler was made favourite in a ield of five. Lancewood came to grief at . the _econd fence, and Alex ran round at the back. Bungler waited with the other pair till half a mile from home, when ho came away very easily. Kotu wais soon disposed of in the Hurdle Handicap, as he ran round the first obstacio, and after an interesting duel Gold Bangle defeated Rattlesnake comfortably at the finish. The fohr starters in the. Brackenfic-kl Plate all got round,^it]ip^^s^ripu^.jiiish&pi".ySfc--. the* last obstacle Wi Waka . blundered badly, but soon recovered,.! aiid ran past Gnat a.nd Craigmore with- ! Out,, ah effort-. Wi Waka, tbough usually a finished jumper, did not giyo a good exhibition of fencing, • Gold Bangle was saddled up again for the Hunters' Flat Handicap, which she won easily from five very moderate opponents. Though she won a double. Jjro,id Bangle ia a long way removed from being a gcod one. Spendthrift, *Jio finished third, is an aged gelding by Flintlock — Legacy, flnd was bred by the Hon J. D. Ormond. He has plenty of' size to reoommend him, but is not cf much account. There were eight starters for the' Final Steeplechase. Rowlock made the early running, and, though he was joined by Gnat, Rattlefnake, Apremete and Barlock a mile
from home, Rowlock drew away again and won very easily. Nino • rnodoratec contested the Farmers' .Hack Race. The start was of a straggling order, Palada getting off in front of Great Gun, with the rest of the field a couple of lengths further away. Pallada's advantage at the start served him well, as, though Great Gun caught him in the straight, Pallada shook him off in the run horns and won. by a neck. The firsb acceptance for the New Zealand Cup on Friday night resulted in a iL'ig weeding out of rubbish. Of the s. yen ty • horses ori.2ina.lly handicapped. M.irty-nine have had their engagements .Dntinned. and among thc_i are pretty well all that wero considered tp have [ a chance of success. The defection of I .Vladimir came as no surprise, in view 'uf the fact that he has jnst gone into J work after a spell. The fact, too, that one of his legs has been causing trouble ".53 not a good sign from a Cut) point. .1: view. Orloff, St Miohael and Melwood belong to the unsound brigade, aid Roseal Las also been similarly suspected. Ten three-year-olds have d opped cut. In the case of Sir Tristr ai, Apologue and Multifid some surp.'ise has 'boon expressed, as they were regarded as likely juveniles. Porcelain a\d Cuneiform came frora a stable which is still otherwise represented, aid a similar remark applies to Not a: and Armamento. The withdrawal oi fie other three-year-olds has not caused much- surprise. As for the balance 1 "1 the old6r division that are now I missing from the list, the race is not "ikely to suffer 'from their absence, as oany of them would find it difficult yo win in niuch more moderate company.' Tho thirty 7 nine horses which ifcand their ground include nearly all :he best animals in the. colony at pre- ' sent, and - they look like providing •.mole material for a* first-class race. J .he" Porirua stable holds the strongest land with five representatives, Achilles, >-hoorka, Maniapoto, Gold Crown and .amen, the property of four different nvners; Mr G. G. Stead has three good jue3 in Nightfall, Noctuiform and Sunned ; while five istables are doubly represented. Sir George Clifford has and Gay Spark; Mr E. J. Watt, Melodeon and Boomerang ; Mr J. Buckley, Convoy and Beau Seaton ; Mr J. C. N. Grigg, Golden Knight and Calibre; and J. Y. M'Craoken's stable, Clanburn and Blythemaid, the lastnamed pair being in different ownerships. Among those still in are a few tha. have already shown distinct signs of unsoundness, though in ono or two instances they are horses that would play an important part in the race if safely landed at the post. Tho infirm brigade includes Noiiette, Convoy, Bnlawayo, General Symons and Calibre, while one or two . more might bo inoluded as scarcely likely to survive a searching preparation. On the other hand, there is ample material among the sound ones to ensure a good contest. During the next few weeks a large number of Cup candidates will be seen Out, and we will then be able to dis- ! miss many of them from further con- : sideration, while others will probably have their chances improved. Commencing on Saturday, Maniapoto, Nightfall, Noctuiform and Sun'god will be fulfilling engagements in Australia for a week. ' The doings of the quartet will be carefully watched, but Maniopoto will be the chief
attraction for most people, as so far he has only performed in moderate company, and his first effort against gcod horses will be of special interest. In our own colony quite a number of Cup candidates may be seen out tiiis month. The Ashburton and Geraldine meetings should bo^ more than usually interesting in this connection, seeing that Golden Knight, Calibre, Bulawayo, Beau Seaton, Clanburn, Ability, General Symons arid Veneer are engaged. Further afield, at "Wanganui, the horses claiming en-, gagements include" Gay Spafk, Armistice, Gold Crown, -'King's Birthday, St Joe, „ Nonette,;'- Parituty^.yMelodeon, Boomerang, Black Reynard, Flamen' aud Ghcorka. Thus, during September, there is a prospect of twenty-four New Zealand Cup horses sporting silk, so that in ajiother month . ~~e should be a__e to pretty welLsize up the chances of a good many of the aspirants ror tne honours at lliocarton in November.
Judging from the nominations received last week the Ashburton and Geraldine meetings, to be held this month, should be more than usually interesting. The chief event at Ashburton has attracted nine nominations, among them being seven New Zealand "Mr. omrrlV * , s ..* T^W-^ QoMen Knight, Calibre, General Symons, Clan- ' uit/u, Aoii.«._- ~iivi' i>_au ta^uton, while another Cup horse in Veneer is also engaged at' the meeting. It is pretty -0..i~; n thnt. nearly all these horses': will be given a run* eo'.the racing at i
th© Ashburton fixture should attract a large orowd. Bulawayo has not .ported silk since last spring, but information roaches me to the effect that he is likely to be seen out in the Ashburton Gup. Tho committee of the Ashburton County Racing Club has praotioally decided to run a special tram on the first day of the races, leaving Christohurch about 10 a.m. and returning from Ashburton about 5.30 p.m. This is a wise move, and one that is certain to be appreciated by. sportsmen from Christchurch, as the present cx T press train service is not very suitable for those ■ wishing to journey to Ashburton for a day's racing. I hear tihat the Ashburton course is in first-rate order, so that everything point© to a successful meeting. The Australian Jockey Club's Spring Meeting will be commenced at Randwick on" Saturday, and in view of the large number of New Zealand horses engaged the fixture is of more than usual interest to sportsmen in this colony. The chief attraction to most people will be the Epsom Handicap, in which Machine mm. Grand Rapids and Maniapoto are among the horses engaged. Maniapoto appears to be pleasing the track watchers, as he holds his ground as favourite. If he is as good as report credits him with being he should win easily, but it will bo v*me enough to class him as a champion when he has earned the title. In the meantime he is well treated, and ho may win. Berthier and- Graceton may be- the best of the Australian lot, and I would not be surprised to find Machine Gun shaping well. Charles Stuart overshadowed the rest of the Australian two-year-olds last season, and ho looks like beating them again in the Derby, but unless he is a really good colt he may find trouble in disposing of the better of the Yaldhurst pair, presumably Noctuiform. Tho Spring Stakes will bring together the cracks over a mil© and a half at weight ! for age, including Nightfall, Fitz Grafton, Emir and Gladsome, lt should be a good race between this quartet, but I fancy Nightfall will win. The Randwick . course is famous as ono of the fastest in the Southern Hemisphere, ample evidence of this being given by the number of records that have been put up there. Oh August' 19 a new record was established, which is likely to stand for some time. For years the nine-furlong record was lmin Sosec, and stood to the credit of Valiant and Postillion} but last season Fitz Grafton reduced it to lmin 54fsec. This was easily beaten last month by Marvel Loch, who cut out the distance in lmin 52isec when she won the Rawson Stakes. > This was not the only fast performance of the afternoon. Lucknow covered a mile and a quarter, with 9st lib up, in 2min 7*sec : Machine Gun, with the steadier of lOst 61b, ran six furlongs in lmiri 14sec ; and Fashoda, carrying 9st lib, left a mile behind in lmin 41 Jsec. A cable message received from Sydney last week stated that Dividend had been scratched for all engagements at the Australian Jockey Club's meeting. News to hand by the last mail suggests that all is not right with the four-year-old son of Summer — Lady Trenton, who, last autumn, was the best of his age in Australia. His joints were giving trouble, and there was considerable doubt about him being sent to Sydney. His trainer, W. S. Hickotibotham, favoured keeping him at home for the Melbourne Cup, fearing that the hard tracks at . Randwick might knock him out. His presence- at Randwick would have added considerable interest to the weight-for-age events, but even now, with Emir, Gladsome, Fitz Grafton and Nightfall on tho scene, they should provide exciting contests. For some time past there has been some difference of opinion as to whether the Derby winner, Cicero, was a really great colt, and the feeling which had been growing, that he' was only the best of a moderate lot, was apparently proved by his defeat by Val dOr in the Eclipse Stakes in July. More than ever it is now realised that he was lucky to beat Jardy in the Derby. Val dOr was not very judiciously handled in the Eclipse Stakes, and half-way up the straight he got pocketed. Just inside tho distance he got an opening, and ranging alongside Cicero, he soon had the Derby winner in trouble, eventually winning by half a length. With a clear run all the way, he would have won very easily ? and there can no longer be any question as to the correctness of the high estimate which French sportsmen have all along ? ilaced on tho merits of M. Blanc's amous trio of Flying Foxes — Adam, Val dOr and Jardy. As tho first-named is said to be greatly superior to the 'other pair, he must, when all right, be a veritable smasher. Val dOrs ap-. pearance came in for some criticism after the Ellipse Stakes, the chief objection to him being that he is straight in his shoulders, or, at any rate, short in . front of the saddle. It has been pointed out, however, that the same fault is now to be found with Flying Fox and Ormonde, Orme being the only member of the family in the male line with a really long rein. The Doncaster St Leger will be decided on Wednesday of nest week, and there are indications that the contest will be one of- the most interesting in th© history of .th© race. Aftor the Derby and Oaks running, the general opinion was that the race would be a match between Cicero and Cherry Lass. As a result of the Eclipse Stakes, however, in which the French colt Val j, 1 Or defeated Cicero, it is apparent that the English colt and filly are iikelv to meet with strong opposition. Naturally, Cicero and Cherry Lass have the good wishes of English sportsmen, who like to see the homegrown animal successful in the chief races of the year. A victory for Val dOr would, however, be very popular with all classes. M. Edmond Blanc has raced horses in England at great expense. ' and with results that would have disheartened any man who was not a sportsman, and a plucky one. If his colours are successful at Doncaster next week, he is certain of a great reception. Outside Val dOr, Cicero and Cherry Lass the only horse that is much spoken ot in a St Leger connection is Llangibby, a oolt that has
been coming on during the last month or two. In the Eclipse stakes he was finishing very fast behind Val dOr and Cicero, and it is on the cards that he may prove dangerous next week. Form, however, points to Val dOr as the most likely winner, and probably Cherry Lass will be found the best of the English lot. Latest betting on the race was, 5 to 4 agst Val dOr, 3 to 1 Cherry Lass, 4 to 1 Cicero.
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SPORTING NEWS., Star, Issue 8414, 6 September 1905
SPORTING NEWS. Star, Issue 8414, 6 September 1905
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