FAR AND NEAR. I^y THE POSSIBLE:} After a glance through the list of nominations, it strikes me that a peculiar position has been created over the Nursery Handicap, which is one of the events on the first day's programme 'at the Mahawatu Racing Club's meeting. Noticing that the horses nominated included all ages, from two-year-olds upwards, I turned to the conditions'of the race, as advertised, and I failed to find any restriction as to age. Formerly the race was for two_ and threej-year-olds, and doubtless this was the intention this One , thing certain is that there will have to # be some modification of the nomination list to bring the race under the Rules of Racing, which contain a Testrictio-n preventing two-year-olds from taking part in a handicap in which horses older than three years are eligible to compete. The Feilding Jockey Club was very fortunate in securing such a y representative field for the First Feilding 'Stakes, which was decided on Thursday. Achilles was served up a hot favourite, though on what grounds he was so strongly fancied I cannot quite understand. Good horse as he is, the form in the Electric Plate at Riccarton pointed to the iPorirua crack being beaten by Munjeet," and this view was borne out by the result. Mr Stead's mare, however, had in her turn to strike her colours to Glenculloch, whose performance suggests that he has comeon a good deal since the Canterbury Jockey Club's meeting. At that fixture lie proved second # only to Eona, bt^t before the season is. -over it will be no surprise if the brother to Kirriemuir is found to be capable of defeating the speedy Birkenhead filly. One thing in Glenculloch'e favour is that he shapes like staying better than Eona, and over a six-furlong course I fancy the honours will rest with the colt. The pair may meet in the Great Northern Foal Stakes at Ellerelie on Boxing Day. Taking a line through Finery, who has Already defeated the Auckland juveniles, the Foal Stakes seems certain to be fought out between Eona and Gl'enoulloch, and even if there are not many more in the field the contest should be lan interesting one. i It is a long time since the two-year-old form in England has been so in [ter eating as is the case this season. (Early in the season Slieve Galiion, TraItiuair and My Pet 11. showed the best form, and opinions were somewhat divjided as to their respective merits. Some lof the critics, however, expressed them- ! selves very confidently to. the effect, jthat Slieve Galiion was not only the champion of the year, but that he was on© of the best two-year-olds seen out for several seasons. Then Galvani began to attract attention, despite one or two moderate displays, and when he iwon the Middle Park Plate, in which Slieve Galiion met hie first reverse, it looked as if the question of supremacy bad been settled,. All this time there .was another two-year-old that kept on. 'winning races consistently, this being ! Polar Star, by Pioneer—-Go On. Unfortunately, though he had a number of engagements during the season, he was not entered in the best races, and, despite the fact that he kept on winning, it was a long time before his merit was really recognised. He met
some of the cracks, however, in the Gimcrack Stakes in August, and the way" in which he defeated them all showed that he was a high-class colt. About a fortnight after the Middle , Park PLate, Polar Star carried off the Criterion Stakes, and from the easy manner in which he beat Galvani, there seems little doubt now that he is the best of his age in England. In view of \this fact, it is a matter for regret that Polar Star's three-year-old engagements do not include the Derby. Polar Star's owner, Mr W. Hall Walker, has earned a reputation for successful breeding on lines far removed from the beaten track. It Wias he who first brought Count Schomberg into prominence as a sire, through liis eon. Black Arrow, ajid now it looks as if Polar, Star would bring fame to a hitherto unfashionable sire in Pioneer. Foaled in 1886, Pioneer is a half-brother, by Galopin. to Gallinule, who- is one of the leading; stallions in England just now. With [Polar Star out or the way, the Epson! Derby of 1907 bears a very open look. In spite of his defeat in the Middle Park Plate, Slieve Gallion still has plenty of admirers. One objection to him is that lie is a tearaway galloper, who carries his head in star-gazing style, but, even with thia admitted, he is held to be the, fastest two-year-old in England, if he could be properly managed. There appears, however, to be very little to choose between Slieve Gallion, My Pet 11., Traquair and Galvani at present, while there are one or two others that may be able, next season to provide serious opposition in. the classic events. r >. : - . -. Prompted, no doubt, by the passing of the new Betting Act, the sporting section of the Sydney ' public is taking' steps for the formation of a New South Wales Sporting League. A start was made a few weeks ago, and though the new organisation has not attracted much notice so far, it is confidently anticipated that before long the leading sportsmen of the State will be enrolled as members. A public meeting is to be held shortly, at which an outline wiU be given of what is proposed to be done. For some years there have been sporting leagues iv England. They were formed when it was sought to obtain convictions for betting on racecourses. Everything hinged at that time on what was "a place" under the law, and cue Hawke, a gambling reformer. I sought to have a racecourse recognised as " a place." In this he failed after several bold attempts, and finally the case of Powell v. the Kempton Park Racecourse Company was responsible for having a legal definition laid, down that a. racecourse was "not "a place" ] within the meaning of the Act. The matter was seti at rest on an appeal to the House of Lords, and that decision held good for Australia. The New South Wales Sporting League has a staunch advocate in " Umpire." of the Sydney " Referee," who mentions that the new legislation leaves no loophole of escape as to where bets can be niado. No man can bet anywhere, not even in his own house, without taking 6ome risk. Exactly what amendments of the New Soutu Wales Betting Act are to be asked for is not known at present, but an effort is to be made to have a clause inserted leaving betting at sports meetings optional with the promoters. Under that arrangement, coursing, trotting and pigeon shooting would be exempt from the operations of the Act, just as racecourses are at present. Another thing that is desired is the removal of the provision which prevents newspapers from reporting the betting market on big races. Throughout the Commonwealth sportsmen, are wrath at this part of the ' Act, which was brought in with quite another object. Referring to another phast> of the question "Umpire" writes : — Legitimate sporting clubs should be allowed to exist, and no man's house should Be liable to quarantine by the police because he chooses to have a card party. As it is, anyone can be arrested by an officious policeman who chooses to allege he suspected him of betting with someone. The Bill ' was a bungle all through its legislative history, and it needs remodelling. The English Sporting League was in working order when Xord Davey introduced his Street Betting Bill in 1904, and its ample funds were used to engage expert professional assistance to watch proceedings in Parliament, and to checkmate Lord Davey and^ his .fanatical supporters. If something of the kind had been done here the present Act would not have been quite so objectionable. In Victoria the Victoria Racing Club is moving boldly to protect its interests and the interests of the racing men by advising the Government and giving points to members of Parliament. This is the correct policy, but things in this State were allowed to go by the board. In Victoria it_ is oonfidenlly expected that the Legislative Council will amend the Bill in many important inspects, and that when it gets back to the Assembly it will be comparatively unobjectionable. If not, a strong Sporting League will promptly arise in the southern State, with prominent men at its head. In addition to the League now being formed here, the coursing people are organising sepa^ rately to demand respect for their interests, and there will be a large movement, with members of Parliament among the workers. Tho trotting men are bound to do likewise, and when all the forces are trained on the objective, whatever is decided upon, it will be- a bold candidate for Parliamentary honours who will not think it desirable to placate the offended thousands, of
the New South Wales sporting community, who agree with repressive legislation up to a certain point, but rise up against outrageous excesses and unwarrantable interference of a fanatical, silly and offensive character. The Act is in many respects a challenge to the liberty, the manhood and the selfrespect of rour-fif the of th© people, and it will have to be altered. Recenb < files contain particulars of the riot which took place at the Longchamps racecourse, France, on October 14, when the crowd became infuriated, owing to the third race being won by an outsider, the favourite having been left at the post- The mob invaded the course and the paddock, destroying almost everything within reach, fighting the police* and striking the horses with chairs. The betting rings and parimutuels were then attacked, the officials being rendered powerless, and, after the cash desks and pari-mutuels had been sacked, the central office was fired, but the fire brigade arrived in time to save the pavilion. The municipal guards charged the rioters again and again, and in the paddock hundreds were trampled under foot. The fire was got under in time to prevent entire destruction of the grand stands. M. Ruau. the* Minister of Agriculture, decided that the remaining days of the. meeting should be cancelled, and a' committee was appointed to consider the question of the modification of the rules of racing, for the purpose of defending the interests of the public and of horse-owners, rendering impossible a recurrence of similar incidents. Though scenes of turbulence have at times occurred on. British racecourses, nothing has ever happened to rival that at Longchamps. At Poncaster m the " fifties?' the contradictory running of Lord Derby's colt Acrobat, in the St'.Leger and Doncaster Stakes, caused ja riot after he won the latter t race; while the famous Blink Bonny, ] after her successes in the Derby and I Oaks, started an cdde-on favourite for the St Leger, but did not get a place, the classic race falling to Impeneuse. . Blink Bonny made her next appearance in the Park Hill Stakes, a couple of days later, and/won with the greatest ease. Then a riot commenced, and the trainer and , rider had to seek polio© protection from the violence of the mob. The most remarkable outbreak of violence on Australian racecourses occurred at Eagle Farm, the headquarters of the Queensland Turf Club, in 1887, when a field of a dozen faced the starter for . the ' Sarldgate Handicap. After several breaks away, two-thirds of the field finished the course, Pirate, Ascot, Theorist and Blue 'Blood being left at the post, and the winner turned up in Honest Ned, a rank outsider, who paid a dividend of. £35 14s on the totahsator. There was a doubt as to whether the race had been officially started, but the starter declared in the affirmative, after which the crowd " demonstrated " in a most violent fashion, tearing the palings from the fences and attacking^ the police, who, however, protected the officials of the club from assault. So far as New Zear land is concerned, such scenes are practically unknown. I have witnessed several demonstrations on different courses, chiefly, over the running of some horse, but in none of them have I ever heard of property being destroyed or of violence being resorted to} . The cranks' who, ludicrously perched on moral stilts, are indulging in heated ravings about the co-called gambling mania, seem to have but...a.. faint idea of what gambling mean's (remarks "Ribbleden," of the " Australasian "). If there is a gambling mania to-day, it may be asked what was tLe extent of gambling twenty years ago, or before that period? Twenty years ago "two t ar three punters, invested more money on horses, at Flemingfcon than ail the people who go out to Flemington nowadays put together. Australians will readily call to mind the " Jubilee Juggins," Ernest Benzon — how he- rede Mr- Whittingham's horse Parwan in. a race at Elsternwick Park, and foil off after passing the post, to the amusement of the spectators. B&nzon went the pace in Australia, and returning to England he gave his experiences in a book, entitled, " How I Lest £250,000 in Two Years." Somewhere about the same time there was another Ernest, to wit, Ernest Brodribb, who, during the ©lander action Kelly v. Gill, said that he had £8000 on Moorebank for the Caulfield Cup; and it was quite a common thing for him to invest a thousand or two on an old "screw " in a selling race — old Ballarat, for instance. , Brodribb' s short and merry life enriched the ring considerably. Wales, a confectioner, was wonderfully lucky in his investments during .the early stages of his turf career, but he went out of the business a wiser but eadd<;r man. Walton, an American, was another that at one time peppered the ring, but luck turned, till one day his settling account was missing. Charles Jamee Fox on one occasion netted £16,000 by laying against a favourite at Newmarket, and at another meeting at headquarters won £30,000 in three days. His racing partner, Lord Foley, commenced his turf career with £100,000 in ready money, and an estate worth £18,000 a year, but when he died in 1793 he was bankrupt. Richard Early, of JBarrymore, started to bet heavily when only nineteen years old, and. after four seasons lost £100,000. During the closing stages of the eighteenth century an inveterate gambler was Lord Darlington. Two matches Avere arranged between his lordship's Pavilion and Mr Melish'e Sancho, each of which was for 3000 guineas a side. There w.as probably more betting on these affairs than was the case in 'the great match between Flying Dutchman and Voltigeur. The first match wae won easily by Sancho, but in the e©cond, after appearing to be winning easily, he broke down, and Lord Darlington netted nearly £20,000 as the result of the accident. In 1834, the same owner, together with the rest of the stable connections, believed that they had a good thing for the Derby in Shillelagh. Their faith in the horse was ©o strong that they would not hedge a penny. Shillelagh was, however, beaten by Plenipotentiary. By this defeat the owner lost £18,000, Messrs Bland and Halliday dropped £60,000, Stevens (fish salesman) suffered to the extent of £20,000, and the brothers Chifney— Sam and Will— were broke by the result of the race. The death is announced of the English stallion Royal Hampton, whcee deeds at the stud brought him even more fame than his exploits on the turf in the. colours of "Mr Childwick," an assumed name which only thinly veiled the identity of the late Sir Blundell Maple. Third in the Derby of 1885 to Melton and Paradox, Royal Hampton' won the City and Suburban of 1886, carrying Bst 41b, and many other races. By Hampton out of Princess,' by King Tom, he was a worthy successor at the etud to the mantle of his sire, and among his offspring special mention need only be made of such high-class performers as Marcionj Royal Lancer, Forfarslnre, Kirkconnel, Prince Hampton, and those two good fillies, Queen's Holiday and Oinladina. , ~ ~ .When th»fexj*>rt noting for the farer-
man Government bought the Aucklandbred Carnage in the Old Country for 10,0G0gs he was looted, upon as having secured a horse that was destined to put up a great stud record, and followers of the figure system were especially enthusiastic in their reference to the chestnut son of Nordenfeldt and Mersey. Carnage has, however, proved a complete disappointment, '.and the experts are puzzled to account for the same. A well-known German breeder asked me (writes the " Special Commissioner " of the London " Sportsman ") the other day how I could account for the failure of Carnage to sire good winners, while his .three-parts brother, Carbine, has done co well. Honestly, 1 cannot account for it, unles? on the ground that Germany is not nearly such a good horse-breeding country as England. Possibly had. Carnage been at Welbeck, and as well patronised ais Carbine, hoj too, would have proved a success long-sere this. He is certainly a far more truly shaped horse than Carbine, and, though he niay not have been ©o good 'a racehorse, even that point is not certain, and he w?is, at any rate, in the first-class and the best of his year. He is, of course, a grandson of Musket, while Carbine is a son of that horse, but already there has been abundant proof that the Musket line carries on successfully after the first generation, for Wallace, son of Carbine, is at present the most successful sire in Australia, and Multiform, another .grandson of Musket, is out by himself the beab stallion in New Zealand. It is clear, therefore-, that the fact of being a degree, further removed from Musket does not militate against Carnage as compared withj Carbine. There have, of course, been cases in which the sons of a successful^ sireHermit, for instance — do not" prove successful in their turn, but it is manifest that Musket does not furnish such a case, and the failure of Carnage must be due to some cause which is at present obscure. I by no means despair of him,, however, ' for he got some stock of considerable promise in England. " -™— f
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SPORTING NEWS., Star, Issue 8795, 5 December 1906
SPORTING NEWS. Star, Issue 8795, 5 December 1906
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