I have to acknowledge the receipt of the programmes of the Canterbury Jockey Club for next season, got up in the usual book form.
The annual meeting of the Wanganui Jockey Club takes place on the 29th. From the balance sheet I see that the expenditure for the year has boon £3498 7s 10d, or £246 5s 5d in excess of tho receipts. This is moro than accounted for by the sum expended on improvements and repairs (£329 16s 'The amount paid away for stakes totals up to £2497 13s, a very respectable ■sum for such a club as ours to disburse in a year. Of this Bum no less than £1000 camo from entries, which means that owners hare had to contribute nearly one-half of the stakes they ran for. The receipts from privileges and totalisators amounted to 42038 5s lid, and £128 14s from members subscriptions. The finances of tho Club are in a very sound state, as its overdraft at the Bank haß been reduced to £125 17s lOd.
Tho question of handicapping will, I hear, be brought up at tho meeting, as Mr Evett's handicaps havo not given unmixed satisfaction, too many rich stakes having gone to Napier horses of laleyears to please local owners, who say they cannot afford to train horses to run under Mr Evett's handicapping. One prominent supporter of the Club is in favour of the work being done by a handicapping committee, as in Christchurch, and thus saving the dS7S a year paid to the present handicapper. If a Club like the C.J.O. can do its own handicapping, it may be asked why cannot the W.J.C. do so too ? Three members, not owners of horses, might be trusted to do the work, and I have an idea it would not be found to give less satisfaction than the handicapping done for the Club by Mr Evett.
Talking of handicappers, Mr Alex Higgle tells me that he has decided to discontinue acting as handicapper for those Clubs along tho coast for which he has acted during the past. He is not able to devote the requisite time and attention to tho work, owing to the calls of his own affairs, which require all his dnergies just now. Mr Higgie has been a, fairly successful handicapper, and given tho Clubs lie acted for every satisfaction. They will have to select a successor, and will be puzzled to -find one as reliable as Mr Higgle, I fancy.
Handicapping is at best an unthankful task, as eomeono is sure to find fault with the work, and probably with reason, as it is impossible for anyone to framo handicaps that will please everybody or bo free from errors.
Mr M. Fennelly, so long known as the Hon. James White's trainer, has boon to Melbourne lately for the benefit of his health. "Augur" sayt of him :— Mr M. Fennelly returned to Sydney by the Maranoa. I am glad to say that there were signs of improvement in him during lv's stay here, and he gained a pound or two in flesh, but still few peenlo who knew him as tho burly florid-faced trainer of the Hon. Jas. Wlute's cracks would recognise him. From 18st 51b he has reduced to list, and )iis friends can readily imagine what a, change such a reduction in weight must have effected in him. During Ms stay at the London Tavern, I called and had several chats with him, and was glad to find him in excellent spirits, ever ready to converse upon turf topics, and especially tho giants of the turf that he had trained. With thousands of others I had fancied that the best animal that he ever had under his care was Trident ; but Mr Feimelly, without the slightest hesitatisn, pronounced Nordenfeldt tho greatest horse that he ever put through a preparation. He considered his Cup performance, when Sheet Anchor won, as tho greatest ever achieved by a three-year-old, for had ho not been badly interfered with no less than three times in the race ho would most assuredly have won, and he was receiving only a few pounds from three such animals as Sheet Anchor, Grace Darling, and Trenton, close behind whom he was at the finfeh. I remember several of the jockeys who rode in the race having declared that the colt would have won, but for tho knocking about he received from those who seemed bent upon stopping tho favourite. His dofeatjby Trenton, Mr Pennelly explains by an assurance that the colt
could not make his own running. Even as it was, he woidd have won if Robertson hadn't brought Trenton so closo alongside lum as to prevent Ellis raising his whip. With something to make a desperate pace for him over a distance he considers there
wa3 nothing ablo to cope with lum. Tridont, on the contrary, can make his own running without difficulty. I believe it is Mr Fennelly's intention to retire into private life, and in all probability he will dispose of his establishment to the Hon. Jame3 White. It is without doubt the most complete in tho Southern Hemisphere, and admirers of ft straightforward and honest trainer will regret that its present proprietor Is compelled by ill health to give up its superintendence.
The same writer remarks of Niagara : — " Since ho came into Foulshain's hands he has improved nicely, and as tho Caulfield trainer will leave no stone unturned to win the Derby for hia new employer, I oipect to sco him strip one of the fittest colts of tho season. Whether he can effect tho double conp remains to be seen "
Major Walsmloy has purchased in England for the Auckland Stud Company, the stallion Limestoue, by Wonlock — Duvernay, and full-brother to Quicklime. I think it is a pity the Major did not select a son of Hermit, as it would be a new strain of blood in this colony, and, I fancy, provo a successful one with our presont mares.
"Vigilant," of the London Sportsman, thus comments on tho result of the Derby : —"People who saw the favourite at exercise on Tuesday declared that he came down the hill like a cricket ball, somowhat to the surprise of those who considered the descent the portion of the course to which ho is least adapted. Yesterday he did not appear to be going by any means comfortably at that place, and, to cut tho matter short, he never once to my eyos looked like winning. His performance may be said to havo borne out the opinion of those who took exception to tho style in which the Craven Stakes was won, whilst people who saw nothing of much merit in his two-year-old running, and set the favourite down as much inferior in class to several recent Derby winners, havo had their views boruo out by the result. If The Baron ran a slow horse, the reverse must bo recorded with regard to Merry Hampton, who is apparently gifted with very fine speed. Both his lialfbrothers, Hermitage and Gay Hermit, had nico pace, but were probably inferior in that respect to the Derby winner, who, like Blair Athol, had never carried colours in public prior to winning the great race of the year on Epsom Downs. That a high estimato was formed of him when a yearling, the prico ho fetched at Doneaster — 3100g3 — tells, and his breeder, it may be added, was Mr Crowther Harrison, who has sent many a good young thoroughbred up for sale in the St. Loger weok. Until recently Merry Hampton was a stable-com-panion of Martley, and although the pair wero never, puttogothor, enough was seonof tho hero of yesterday to cause his then trainer to think well of him, He was sont to the post in capital condition by Gurry, and enabled that deserving jockey, "Watts, to score his first success in the Derby. Tho gentleman who races under tho assumed name of Mr Abiugton was of course much congratulated on his triumph. As a staunch supporter of horso-raeing, Mr Abington is ■n ell known, and I daresay his triumph will be begrudged by few. Mnrtley rewarded people who thought that tho recent publio trial with Bondigo and other good horses at, Kempton Park told that he would get a placo at least, whilst, by missing a ' situation,, Aintreo caused great disappointment. Eiridspord failed to do what I hoped, after running so prominontly that a very short prico was taken that lie hit tho mark outright. Although defeated, ho will not bo deserted by me when other engagements aro to bo fiddled, aud towards the end of summer may show that no undue estimate of his powers had been formed nt Manton. Of tho lot that took part in yesterday's groat raco neither Tho B.iron, Martloy, nor Aintrea is engaged in tho St. Leger. What would havo been the fato of poor Enterpriso had ho been ablo to compete yesterday is matter for conjert ure only. That thoso t\lio know most about the horse think that he would havo won Ido not doubt." Tho Newmarket correspondent of tho same journal remarks :—": — " Merry Hampton ha 3 followed the footstojw of tho renowned Blair Athol, and although there wore nono of that order to which G-oneral Peel and Scottish Chief, Ely and Cambuscan belonged in tho liold to-day, ho mowed down such opposition as could bo produced in st\lc worthy oven of Yorkshire's idol. But gallantly though Mcirr Hampton has won tho Derby, Jus conformation does uot boar dissecting. He stands about 10 hands high,
and is of tho very best colour —a dark bay without a speck of white discernible. Bus condition appeared clean enongh, and from head to heel he is imbued -with almost indeßcnbablo quality,whilr,t bis limbs are wiry, and suggestive of a long career. On the other hand, it is easy to pick Merry Hampton to pieces, ha being jumped up, pea* cocky, lacking in depth, and by no means showing to advantage if looked at fxs>m behind."
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Sporting Notes., Wanganui Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 6280, 28 July 1887
Sporting Notes. Wanganui Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 6280, 28 July 1887
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