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BLACK DOUGLAS FOR VILLIERS.
Black Douglas will contest the Villiers Stakes for W. Booth's stable. He will not have opposition from that establishment, for Crown Area, who ruled one of the public
lancles for the race, was withdrawn at the
declaration of acceptances yesterday. There Is nothing wrong with Crown Area. It was not any mishap In training that led to his withdrawal, but rather that the astute train- er, W. Booth, Is of the opinion that the geld- ing is not in a condition that warrants him being supported in a strongly-run mile, and Black Douglas is to supplant him. The move was not anticipated until earlier in the morn- ing, when there were inquiries for Black Douglas among bookmakers who have pre post lists on the double. It is not possible to support a combination for more than a few thousands of pounds. There is not a ques- tion of a coup such as might be associated with the Spring or Autumn double. Not a tithe of those markets exists, but the book- makers who were approached were asked to accommodate inquirers almost to their limits at the quotations oilered, with the result that Black Douglas is second on the list of popu- lar quotations in combinations starting with his name being halved.
It would be fitting if Black Douglas could redeem the promise he gave as a two-year old by winning the race. At the outset of his career it appeared that he would be one of the best of the Rossendales for that season, but his form at three years was disappoint- ing and he fell so low In the estimation of the public that his efforts for the most part were not taken very seriously. Nor has he always retained the confidence of the stable. In fact, until early In the season, his trainer had almost despaired of him ever proving of any account. In the last six months, how- ever, Black Douglas has made rapid improve- ment, so much so that he was able to win at his last three starts In fairly good company. In fact, it would appear that the gelding is now In better form than ever. It is a remark- able thing that having fallen from grace, a horse is seldom taken seriously until he has done something approaching first-class again. It has been the case with Black Douglas, but, perhaps, those who have discounted him may be forced to alter their opinions.
THREE DIVISIONS AT RANDWICK.
It is surprising to find three divisions ne- cessary for the Trial Handicap, run at Rand- wick to-morrow. There were more than 80 nominations for the race, and when accept- ances were declared yesterday 64 remained in to contest the prize. The committee decid- ed to make three divisions, an event that has not occurred at headquarters for many years, li ever. There are many maiden perform- ers, and horses eligible for "class" 'races in work in the metropolitan area, and the big acceptances Is probably a reflection of the position.
VILLIERS AND CUP DISCUSSIONS.
By far the most Important move yesterday BO far as pre-post discussions on the Villiers Stakes and the Summer Cup are concerned was the move for Black Douglas, following the withdrawal of his stable-mate, Crown Area. The declaration of acceptances brought about a general tightening of quotation, and Crown Area's withdrawal left Gesto with the undis- puted title of favourite for the race. Ruffler Is still In demand, and is bracketed with Black Douglas on the second line so far as doubles are concerned. Eton Blue and Jey pore are still at the same quotation as before acceptances, but they are relegated to third line positions, whereas before they were on the second. Black Douglas was coupled prin- cipally with his stable-mate. The Banker, and the Summer Cup favourite. Star God. They are easily the most popular selections in the distance race, the quotation against Gesto and Star God being very short. The order of popularity for the two races is:
VILLIERS STAKES. Gesto,
Black Douglas, Ruffler, Eton Blue, Jeypore.
Casque d'Or, Panola, Perception.
Habashon, King's Arms, Western Lass ,
SUMMER CUP. Star God.
Leadight, Papatu, Wedding Eve.
Jeypore, Tangible, Western Lass.
Donald, John Buchan, King Conrad, Sun
THE BENEFIT OP THE DOUBT.
The stipendiary stewards of the Associated Racing Clubs yesterday concluded their in- quiry into the running of Mac's Fancy in the third division of the Novice Handicap at Ken- sington on Wednesday. They decided to give the parties concerned the benefit of the doubt.
Bookmakers registered with the Associated Racing Clubs have to comply with more con- ditions in order to secure their licenses for the new year. Formerly it was necessary for a cash guarantee of £250 or a surety of that amount before securing a license, but In keep- ing with Its policy to strengthen the status of the rings in the paddock and in the Leger, the board of management has increased that amount, and has furthermore ordered the production of bank-books and proof of assets on the part of those who seek to renew their licenses. Bookmakers were busy yesterday complying with the new conditions, and a i further batch will be dealt with to-morrow.
It is the intention of the board to reduce the number of operators considerably.
Ireland may have another Trigo (pro- nounced Trego) to represent her in the three-year old classics next season. Present . Indications are that Sallyferis will make his
presence felt. He had done all that was required of him at two years to suggest that i he will stay the Derby distance, and li the
opinion of the trainer, P. Behan, counts for anything, great things may be expected of the colt, for the mentor has freely stated 1 that Ballyferis is the best two-year-old he
has had, and since he is an accredited past master with juveniles, and trains for the owner of the Moygaddy Stud, Major Dixon, the recommendation is of some consequence. Ballyferis is by Apron, son of Son-in-law, and is another of the Stella family that has done so well this season, principaly through Trigo and his elder brother Athford. His dam Gilford was got by Corcyra, from Glen- ina, by Galloping Simon, from Templeboden, by Bushey Park, from Stella, by Necroman- cer, lines that resemble those of Trigo in so far as Galloping Simon is the accepted sire of Trlgo's third dam. Ballyferis won his last race as a two-year-old when he succeeded In the richly endowed National Produce Stakes. It was not intended to run him in the race, but plans were altered, and despite the in i terruption In his training programme he ac-
counted for the field, beating among others the English galloper Foretopsail, who was , brought across specially for the race, and to
whom he conceded 171b, and two good gal i lopers in Glannarg and Sol de Terre, carry-
ing his 9-12 to victory, by two lengths. Com- menting on the win the "Irish Field" says that Ballyferis did all that was required of ¿lm In no half-hearted fashion, and possibly he may have won even more easily were it not that he has a pronounced dislike for going away from other horses. He behaves similarly in his work on the training ground, but on this occasion his rider rode him to suit his prejudice, for he did not bring him to win his race until close lo the judge's box, When he flicked him with the whip, and the race was beyond doubt. Ballyferis has had five starts for four wins and a second.
SILVER BILLY'S TRIAL.
Silver Billy's trial at Randwick yesterday for the Villiers Stakes was a particularly attractive effort. With the flags out about 20 feet from the rails on the "B" gras3 track, he ran seven furlongs in lm 28s, the last half-mile being covered in slightly under 49s. Nightmarch on the same track before the Epsom Handicap, ran a furlong less In lm 13s, running the last half-mile in 48Js. On that occasion, there were no flags to keep the horses out from the rails. There cannot be a comparison between the two efforts, for conditions were different, but Silver Billy's gallop indicates that the race at Rosehill has not done him harm, and it is likely that he will be seen to better advantage in to- morrow's Villiers Stakes. Several of the horses engaged in the mile race were seen to ad- vantage yesterday. Eton Blue ran six fur- longs in lm 15¿s, and Golden Music got over half a mile lrr a fraction under 50s. Gesto, who is favourite for the race, worked on the tan track, and the watches showed him to run half a mile in 50s. His stable-mate, Casque d'Or could have improved very much on his seven furlongs gallop in lm 30s. He had Panola to assist him, and they nnlshed to- gether.
Cimon and Olympus are to do their future racing on A.R.C. courses. Both were expen- sive failures on registered tracks, but should pay their way in the weaker company.
Wedding Eve is favourite for the Holiday Handicap, run at Randwick on Saturday. Papatu heads the remainers, closely attended by Leadight, and after them come Donald, Tangible, Sunflare, and John Buchan.
Correspondents.-E.G. (Concord): Our cor- respondent is again asked to supply the in- formation. E.M. (city) : At Kennington on Wednesday, E. Mills had the following mounts, in the order mentioned: Fawnice, Lady Camer- on, Linursula, Tara's Hall, All Pop, Exit, De Luxe, Topette, Quagga, Linda C, Philetta, The Crisis, Simple Simon, and Clandulla. W.T. (Tamworth) : The dividend was 16/, as quoted In the "Herald."
City Tattersall- Club will hold a Christmas concert at the club house on Monday night.