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THE ADELAIDE CUP-DAY.
THE HISTORY OF THE CUP.
The Adelaide Cup, like many other old established races, has had its ups and downs. Yesterday it reached the zenith of its fame, but next year we shall probably see it lose its
present prouct position, tne withdrawal of the totalizator and the stoppage of betting being obstacles to contend against which even the energetic Mr. Barnard will find himself unequal. Many years ago South Australia is credited with having been able to give Victoria a lead in horseracing. But early in the sixties the Melbourne Cup was started, and with several of our leading sportsmen leaving Adelaide to take np their residence in Melbourne, we speedily lost onr position in the colonial racing world. To try and revive the steadily decaying interest the heads of the Jockey Club bethought them of giving a prize calculated to attract the best horses in Australia, and this determina tion resulted in the first Adelaide Cup being advertised to be ran for on April 21, 1864. The stake was a sweep of 50 sovs. each with 500, two miles, weight for age, and in the conditions we find the line ' Five per cent, ot the gross amount of stakes to be deducted for expenses.' What 'expenses' meant is not explained. Nominations closed on March 1, and sixteen horses were entered. This would be looked upon as a beggarly nomination nowadays, but then it seems to have been regarded as highly satisfactory, the Register remarking ' the nominations are much more numerous than had been antici pated, and include a large number of Vic torian horses.' However, when the eventful day arrived twelve horses were found at the post, and our sporting readers will see that they were a very choice lot when we mention that the field was made up from Musidora, Chrysolite, Lantern, Ebor, Falcon, Levity, Cupbearer (then a fouryear old), .Roebuck, Little John, Banker, Cinde rella, and Lubra, Every one of these animals, with the exception of perhaps Roebuck and Little John, either made its mark on the racecourse or at the stud, the names of Chry solite, Musidora, and Levity standing out pro minently among the most celebrated stud matrons of Australia ; while the late Mr. Joseph Gilbert's two mares, Cinderella and Lubra, both earned some distinction in the same way ; and the names of Lantern, Falcon, Banker, Ebor, and Cupbearer are all enrolled on the lists of winners of important races. Even in 1864, when these abominable handicaps were seldom seen, and everybody raced for honour and glpry, there was still an element of uncertainty about the national sport, for we find that Musidora on even money chance at the post failed to jcet a situation, while Little John started with the healthy odds of 15 to 1 offered against him, and Roebuck had no price at all. The winner (Falcon) started at 3 to 1 and beat his stable companion (Roe buck) by 'less than a length;' but an old sportsman, who probably knows a little more of the race than the writer of these remarks, was heard to say in Tattersall's the other evening that 'Roebuck would have won if he and Falcon had been in separate interests.' The race, it may be mentioned, was run at Thebarton, and although the day was wet it is estimated that there were 7,000 or 8,000 persons present, la 1863 the conditions of the race were the same, and a field of ten went, to the post. Three of the colonies were represented; the cause of New South Wales being championed by the mighty Tarragon, who had been brought over to run by the late Mr. Richard Holland. Tarragon was of course the favourite, but want of condition stopped him at the finish, and Ebor won from Falcon, with the mighty old son of New Warrior third. Four of the runners in this race started in the previous year, viz., Ebor, Falcon, Little John, and Musidora. The weather was fine on this . occasion, but the attendance did not outstrip that which assembled to see the race inaugurated. In 1866 the race dwindled down to seven starters ; but with such cattle as Panic, Seagull, and Ebor in the field, there was no lack of quality. No betting is quoted in the report of the meeting, but as Panic was in the heyday of his fame at the time we imagine he started favourite. Be this as it may, the old son of Alarm could do no more than Tarragon did, and South Australia ran first and second with Cowra and Tim Whiffler, the former being owned by Mr. E. M. Bagot and the latter by the late Mr. Adcock. Cowra won again in 1867, but the race had lost its hold iipon owners, and Mr. Bagot's mare was only imposed by Mid night and Crusader. Handicaps were getting too strong for the old time weight tor age contests now, and in 1868 we find the Adelaide Cup a handicap and the added money reduced to 200 sovs. Eight horses went to the post, and old Cupbearer carried Harry Tothill home in front of Cedric, with Lancashire Witch, the only Victorian repre sentative in the race, third. Cowra was a starter, but she broke down, and finished in the rear. The club was now getting decidedly hard up, and in I860 the experi ment of running the Cup on the Old Course was tried, an impromptu meeting held there in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh having drawn an immense crowd. The Jockey Club were not fortunate, however, in their experi ment. It rained steadily all day, and even the People's Course failed to attract a crowd. Nine horses ran in the Cup, and Lorma, the dam of Pollio and other fair horses, won, the late Hon. J. Baker's Corsair and Chavilla occupying the places. The club collapsed altogether after this, but after a time Mr. Gabriel Bennett, with the assistance of the late Mr. M. L. Conner and one or two others, took the racing affairs of the colony in hand and organized a ' May Meeting,' which was held on the Old Course in 1871. There was no Adelaide Cup in that year, but in 1872 the programme in cluded the Adelaide Cup— a sweepstakes of 15 sovs. each, with 200 added, two miles. Eleven horses went to the post, the late Mr. Ryan's colt The Ace being the favourite, but in very heavy going the three-year-old failed to stay home, and, thanks— so it was said at the time— to Lapdog crossing in front of Saladin in the straight, the Australian Buck, a six-year-old, carrying 7 st., was enabled to scramble home in front. Lapdog finished in front of Salad hi, but before the meeting was over the Dcg, his owner (S. Thompson), and rider (G. Thompson) were disqualified for twelve months, the Stewards being of opinion that the once popular idol had Deen deliberately pulled in the Consolation Race. The Cup in 1873 was of the same value as in the previous year, and many will remember how Nimblefoot was backed down to 6 to 4, but made no show in the race, which fell to Mr. W. Filgate's Dolphin after a slashing race with the handsome, but fainthearted, Praetor and After Dark. On the fol lowing day Nimblefoot came out, and beat Dolphin as he liked in the Queen's Guineas, though he waa meeting the mare on worse terms than in the Cup. There was some heavy betting on this meeting, and the gruelling received by backers gave rise to that very clever cartoon in which ' Cerberus' depicted the various members of the Ring flying back to Melbourne with their spoil, the '* Leviathan' bearingaway a bundle ticketed £15,000. Ace of Tramps, one of the best horses of his time, carried Tom Hales and 7 st. 13 lb. to victory in the following year, this being the now celebrated horseman's Srst victory in an Adelaide race. That good little mare, Sunbeam, now the property of Mr. S. Gardner, was second, and Sea spray, who started favourite, occupied the third berth. There were only six starters this year, and in 1875, when Mr. Wil liam Dakin brought over Lurline, who cantered in with 9 st. 1 lb. on her back, the field only numbered eight, and with the exception of the winner they were about as bad as racehorses are made. Backers must have fared well over this meet ing, as Darebin's grand-looking mother c,4-nl+aA «+?. o-irpn mnnfiv. and Benicia jBov. who
won the Steeplechase, was a o zo t cnance. After this the club (lately re-formed) secured the Morphettville Course from Sir Thomas Elder, and when Impudence squandered his field in 1876 the race took place there. There was some excitement over this Cup, the ad herents of Venus, Vain Hope, and Emula tion being very full of confidence, but the three-cornered black was a shade too good, although the friends of Venus think to this day that a very bad start lost her the race. Mr. W. Dakin was with us again in 1S77, and Ms Aldinga, ridden by Hales, plodded home in a sea of mud with the late Mr. Mortlock's Whisperer second and The Nightingale third. Some good horses ran in this race, notably Lord Harry, Spark, and The Painter, but they did not snow to advantage in the mud, and from the time Star fell Aldinga had the race pretty well in hand. There was rain about again in 1S78, and Glenormiston, Filibuster, and Lockleys fought out their memorable battle in very heavy going, a most exciting finish being decided by Mr. Bagot in Glenormiston's favour. The course was hard and dry on the day when Banter beat Jarto and Timothy and made the fastest time on record for the race, and it was pretty fair going when First ' ater put down Rivalry and Glenormiston. In 15S0 the King refused to take cognizance of the race in consequence of the totalizator being used, and the resalfc waa that a very small field started, and Totalkater won, with The Assyrian (then called Rothschild) Becond and VenuB : ' ? ' , ? t ?' ' ' , ? '-
third, the supposed racehorses 'of the' party, Lothair and First 'Water, not being W. £ tae following year the £1,000 was~ added to the stake, and the race was a great success, Euclid winning, while Commotion, Pollio, and Belladrnm ran a dead heat for second place. How the outsider Sting, whom every one considered ' not wanted on the day, beat 'Plunger, Guesswork, and others last year, must be near as fresh in the memory of those who saw the race as victory yesterday. PLACED HORSES IN ADELAIDE CUP. ? §SS l§ §23 §2 £=§ °°°° -£»S8»« 'i S^*- 00 oo3 cam 23 S§ ooS-s§2 g ' : : c i -'- r; ; i : : :': ; t i ? -£SL2g) 2t gP -o --* oooas fig3al£§iSf!38&3gi£i§!if *z? 's %u *'» !-? !'* gs^ss 2 ?w _a& p^ ^g -wo !°~ * 2 - W5 55 -M W^ fc*O O3H49 § ^ ?|si| II II Is ?I?I? i I ^Mt! 11 If £f fegll * r'« 51 -°s 5S Si « f *&£ i 3 3 K *s *i 5* h *$*& I » - 1,2 ,.2 -?? ?^ -„-„ S3«fgi» ? « g ^M a? sg ;,s «o &;£?« 1 ill el il 11 pspi&if liglifHfpMli 5 s & n I-; n # sw* * ?g P n r % ^ fell coccuco coco coco coco cou coca cocococo 4 fSSig g£ S3 SS £S £g gggg I * In this year the race was changed to a handicap! } Dead heat for second place between Commotion (3 yrs., 8 st. 9 lb.), Belladrum (6yrs., 7st. 121b.), and Pollio (5 yrs., 7 st. 6 lb.).