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BY the time these lines see the light we shall know what success has attended the venture of the Queensland Turf Club in braving the humors of the clerk of the weather at that ticklish period
of the year when The Atlanio Rolls gigantio ■ In the stormy equinox; and when E'en the Pacific ' Bents terrific, Whitening all its wave-worn rook*. (A little bit of Longfellow slightly altered, and wholly murdered.) And it must be confessed that the 18th of March does come particularly close to the fated 21st of the same month, and, sink or swim, it was a hazardous experiment to try at the heel of a great drought like the 1877 one. Like the sword of Damocles the rain-clouds hung suspended over the Eagle Farm racecourse on St. Patrick's Day, but not one drop fell. There was neither sun nor rain to annoy us in alternate relays, but cool clouds and a south-east wind, which some of our Sydney visitors no doubt thoughtfully brought up with them for the occasion. On looking over my notes of February 16 anent the Brisbane Cup I find that I selected seven horses out of some five-and twenty as the best; and dismissing two of these (who did not turn up) I find that the remaining five of them comprise the first, second, and third horses at the finish of the race—which is not bad picking for an outside amateur like myself, who never saw half the horses till the race day itself ; remembering, too, that the handicap was so good as to render picking winners a difficult job ; and a handicap, too, that produces such a finish as the Brisbane Cup of this year, in 3.38, must have been a good one. I backed Dean and Strathearn at even money against the field of ten, which also came off by good luck ; and that filly Ldlla is a credit to the colony. Blood will tell! I cannot close up without expressing my opinion as to the absurdity and inequity of any rule which compels dead •heaters—who agree to divide—to carry each the full penalty. It should, to my mind, be divided the same as the honors and dollars are, or else all dead heats should be compulsorily run off. Imagine a dead heat of three in a second handicap which con tained only one horse bejides those three ; then the race might as well be given ut once to that horse. A horse who only gets a half or a third of the prize is unfairly treated when asked to carry all the penalty, which is an iustitution in tended to prevent any horse who is clearly the master of all the others in a handicap from having quite a monopoly of the good things. But when there are two or three just on a level it certainly does appear to me to give the re maining horses an undue advantage if we pile the full penalty on the backs of each and all of the dead-heaters. I was right, after all, in my vaticinations, and many an astute southern prophet was wrong , about First King repeating his victory over Chester when they next met at the shorter dis tance of the St. Leger, after the Champion Race. It was a rare good struggle, and was bound to
be nothing short of that same. Their hearts are both in the right place, and whenever they meet, be it at one mile or three of the same, there will be sport, for the onlookers to Bee, if both be fit and well. There is a section of the racing community in Queensland who persist in thinking that Mel bourne should carry about the top handicap weight of any horse in Queensland, quite forget ting that much of his southern excellence arose from the "Tait polish," which is not always certain of renewal in the hands of Queensland trainers, who have yet to learn all about him. None of the outside two-year-olds appear to have been able to "get at" the swell triumvirate of His Lordship, Roodee, and Bosworth, in the Ascot Vale Stakes, or to displace one of them from the 1, 2, 3 position. My springy and elastic friend the gallant Laertes was, after his long, weary round of travel and seasickness, cruelly deprived by Mr. Elder's well-bred filly of the hotly-contested Brunswick Stakes at Flem ington ; but he is a racehorse none the less, beating Breadalbane at weight-for-age, over a mile and a-quarter, in "two twelve." Well done, oh! son of Maribyrnong. Waterford's running in the Keilor Stakes a mile and a-half weight-for-age, won by him in 2.45, will assuredly bring him into notice for the Sydney Gold Cup, and cause the stable to " pop it on." The grebt English steeplechaser Reugny, of whom I havo frequently written, has been pur chased for New South Wales, by Mr. Tindal, the gentleman who bred the mighty Yattendon, sire (amongst others) of Pardon, who finished third in several recent Victorian events ; Reugny won the Grand National Steeplechase at home in 1874 ; he is by Minos, a son of Sting, from Reine Blanche, by the Baron, the sire of Stock well. Reugny has beaten such horses as Con gress and Chimney Sweep, and needs no other credentials as a general negotiator of jumps, high, dry, wide, and watery. He won the great event under the substantial impost of 10 st 12 lb., and will be far and away the best steeplechase Bire yet imported into New South Wales. The very fact of his having once belonged to that excellent judge of horseflesh, Captain Machell, is almost alone a guarantee of his excellence. Betting has commenced on the Sydney Gold Cup race ; but the handicap, like most of Signor Scarr's little bits of sculpture, is so evenly chiselled that it does not present much to lay hold of. 1000 to 50 has been hud about Dock wood, 500 to 20 in re Mikado—a better "line" than the former one, in my opinion. Cap-a-pie has been dealt in at 500 to 30; while 200 to 16 is thought to be about the figure of Chester. The racing business in the old country was taking its usual winter Bleep at latest advice*, and the chief amusement of turf critics at home consisted of reckoning up the results of the past season. The twelve owners who head the list of winners show the following:—Lord Falmouth, with 41 races, value 434,373 ; Count Lagrange, with 25 races, value £12,388; Earl of Lon*dale,4S races, value £12,301; Marquis of Hartington, 16 races, value £10,200 ; Mr. Houldsworth, 19 races, value £10,000 ; Mr. T. ttretton,' 29 races, value £7775 ; Mr. "Pultenay," 13 races, value £7800 ; the Duke of Westminster, 15 races, value £6185; Lord Rosebery, 13 races, value £6135 ; Mr. R. Peck, 23 races, value £5750; Mr. Jardine, 19 races, value £5560 ; Mr. C. Perkins, 9 races, value £5373. The list in full includes over two hundred names, for amounts ranging from £250 and upwards. The aged horses who have won £500 or up* wards during the pant season at home are Snail, with £1330 ; Templar, £926 ; Little George, by Beadsman, £660 ; Caramel, £560 ; Fonterabian, by Fitzroland, £586; Hrppias, £555; and Dragon, by Asteroid, £500. In the six-year-old division of winners we have Pageant, with £2160 ; Ecossais, £1200 ; Bloom* field, £1105 ; and Dalham, £1075. In the five-year-olds, Hampton, by Lord Clif* den, heads the list with £3105 ; Timpniat (a son of Hermit), comes next with £234(1; Herald wins £1833; Chypre (the son of Blinkhoolie), £1490 ; Parramatta,£l43o ; Mars (by Mandrake), £1145. The four-year-olds give us the champion Springfield with £4655 to his credit. Mousque* taire, £2310; Petrarch, £2170; Hopbloom, £2070 ; Footstep, £1890 ; Hesper, £1780 ; Sky* lark, £1497 ; Umpire, £1451 ; Coltness, £1437 5 and Julius Caesar, £1345, as the principal winning horses out of a very long list indeed. The three-year-olds (a longer list still) are headed by Silvio with £12,150; Placida, with £6321 ; Belphoobe, with £5650 ; Chamanfcwith £5300 ; Lady Golightly, with £4795; Glen Arthur, with £3970 ; Jongleur, with £2585; Rylstone, with £2295; these and Hilarious with £2245, form the winners of £2000 and upwards at the head of a list of several hundred colts of that age who have won £200 or more in the Beason just past. I will conclude this list by citing the two year-olds who head the great division of winners at that age, viz.:—Redwing, by Blair Athol, £4915; Jannette, by Lord Clifden, £4686; Beauclerc, by Rosicrucian, £4215 ; Strathfleet, by Scottish Chief, £3725; Childeric, by Scottish Chief, £3815; Pilgrimage, by Earl or Palmer, £2870; Eralia, by Rosicrucian, £2660; Sir Joseph, by Pero Gomez, £1815; Birdie, by Macaroni, £1751. Thiß last list gives us a clue as to how and why certain sires are so " fashionable" at home. Lower down on it, for it extends over several hundred names, and down to two-year-old winners of the humble sum of £200, appear as sires the names of Favonius, Speculum, Dutch Skater, Blinkhoolie, Cremorne, Hermit, and Knight of the Garter, and many more eminent, but less lucky, sires of the period. Another piece of turf reform was effected in London last December. At a general meeting of the Grand National Hunt Committee it was moved by Captain Machell, seconded by Mr. Case Walker, and carried, that in future no hurdle race should bo run for less than two miles. A pestilential practice has of late years sprung up, by which worthless screws of horses, good for nothing on the flat, are taken in hand by clever jockeys, taught a few jumping tricks, and are then ready to compete with animals of superior leaping and staying powers by the mere rush of foot at the finish, which the short distance enables them to reserve, and which the proposed and now settled upon extra half-mile will place out
of their power. The practice in question has had anything but a beneficial effect upon the improve ment of the horse, and Captain Machell deserves the thanks of the lovers of sport and good con testa for bis movement in connection with this department of horseracing.