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THE MELBOURNE CUP.
(BY OUR SPORTING CONTRIBUTOR.)
The fact of telegraphic communication hav- ing been at length fully established between our own and the neighboring colonies, en- ables me to lay before my readers at this early moment the issue of the greatest race, both as regards the numerical state of the field, and the attention that it has given rise to in the sporting world, that has ever been run in the Australian colonies. Partaking of the character of a Champion Race from the fact of New South Wales and South Australia having sent representatives to take part in the contest, the Melbourne Cup has become deserving of a still higher inte- rest on account of its being a handicap, and so good a one as to cause no less than twenty two of the horses engaged to pay up the full amount of the sweepstakes, out of the ori- ginal entry of fifty-seven.
The establishment of the Two Thousand Guinea Stakes by tho Victorian Jockoy Club last year, induced their rival, the Turf Club, to originate, if possible, a race of a still higher class; and after considerable discus- sion, it was unanimously determined that a large handicap, on the principles of the Chester Cup and many similar races in the old country, would be an event that would be certain to meet with success. That the expectations of the pro- motors of this race have been fully carried out, cannot for a moment be doubted, and I think there is little fear but that the Mel- bourne Cup will continue for years to come to be the best patronised and most interest- ing race in the colonies.
Great has been the excitement both in Victoria and Sydney for the last few weeks with regard to this event; and when the electric telegraph transmitted the news from Melbourne, on Thursday last that the race was over, and that it had been won with ease by the New South Wales crack, Archer, the enthusiasm of the sporting tion, the land lying between Wickham, fraternity in Sydney knew no bounds. For a long time Archer, the property of Mr. De Mestre, his owner and breeder, had been first favorite, although, with the exception of one, vix., Mormon, he was the heaviest weighted of the lot. Five to one were the longest odds that could be obtained against him for some time past, and he became still
a greater favourite after the contest for the Two Thousand Guineas, which was won so easily by Mormon, from the fact of his having
defeated Mormon at the Randwick Autumn Meeting last year. Still the contest on that occasion was a severe one, and many who saw the race thought that, had Mormon ran a little straighter under the whip, that he would have been the conqueror. To Mormon, then, the Melbourne men looked to uphold the honor of their colony, and to wrest the victory from the New South Wales crack, should the light weights be unable to go the pace; but it appears from the telegram, which, as far as the race is concerned, is meagre in the extreme - that Archer won with the greatest ease, whilst Mormon obtained second place, and proved himself worthy to be the winner of the Two Thousand Guinea stakes, by defeating a large
field of Victorian horses.
The following are the conditions of the race and the names of tho horses who ac- cepted:-
The Melbourne Cup, a handicap sweep- stakes of 20 sovs., 10 sovs. forfeit, or 5 if declared, with 200 sovs. added by the Vic- toria Turf Club, 2 miles. The winner of the two thousand guineas to carry 5lbs. extra; if any handicap race of the adver- tised value of 100 sovs. after the declaration of the weights 3lbs. extra; of two or more such races, 5lbs. extra. Penalties not ac- cumulative above, 71 bs., 57 subscribers, 12 of whom pay 5 sovs forfeit, 23 pay 10 sovs. forfeit. Value of the stake, £930.
Mr. E. De Mestre's b.h. Archer, 5 yrs., by
William Tell - Maid of the Oaks, 9st.
10lbs (including 3lbs. extra)............. 1 ? Henderson's hr. h. Mormon, G yrs., by:
Tho Premier, Delaware Girl, lOst.
llb. (with 51b. extra). 2 - ? T. Bavin's gr. g. Fhttcutchcr, aged, 9st.
? G. Watson's h. g. Bolero, aged, 9st. ,'
? G. Watson's Wk. g. Tho Moor, aged, Sst.
? J. D. Fisher's ch. g. Nutwith, aged, Sst.
? J. Henderson's ch. in. Despatch, aged,
? S. Ohirnsido's h. g. Partisan, aged, Sst.
? De Mostre's h. g. Inheritor, aged, Sst.
? 13. Coleman's h. g. Defeucc, G yrs., Sst.
Gibs. . ¦¦ '
? Pearson's Wk. g. Princo, aged, Sst.
? J. Goldham's br. m. Twilight, aged, 7st.
. ? J. Coldhant's h. m. Groy Dawn, 4 yrs.,
? S. Bavin's h. h. Moscow, i yrs,, 7st. V 121bs. .
? W. 0. Yuollo's gr. g. Toryhoy, 4 yrs.,
? AV. S. Evans' Wk. m. Black Bess, 6 yrs.,
? J. Henderson's hr. f. Medora, 3 yrs., 7st. ? J. Henderson's ch. g. Soreoror, 3 yrs, Cst.
? P.- Wnrhy's hr. e. Autonclli, 3 yrs., Cst.
? J. Orr's br. c. Eagle's Plume, S yrs., Gst.
? Cole's rn. g. Eircnway, 3 yrs., Cst. Gibs.
? E. Coleman's br. f. Lttoy Auhton, 3 yrs.,
PkDIGUKB AND I'Eni'OBMANClSS OF THE
Archer, tho property of E. de Mestre, Esq., is by the imported horse, William Tell, out ol' thc Maid of tho Oaks,, and was. bred at Exeter Farm, in the Brnitlwood district,' by Messrs. Hassal and Roberts, lie is a lino up-standing powerful horso, with immense boDO and muscle, nnd stands over IC hands high. The immense size of Archer foi- a thoroughbred horse is tho first thing that strikes tho observer, and one would at first feel inclined to suppose that ho would be too largo nnd clumsy to be nble to get over the ground nt anything over a moderately swift paco. This is not the caso, however, as his performances clearly show, and his apponrauco when in motion is very imposing, as he goes along with along power- ful sweeping stride which -munns gotting over tho ground, and looks like staying a
¦ The first appearance of Archer on the turf was at tho Randwick Autumn Meotiug last year, when, ns a 3 ybar old, ho started for the Tattersall's. Free Handicap of 150 sovs., with a sweep of C sovs. each added,
carrying 7at. dibs., and disappointed his' stable and backers by running nowhere. Not satisfied with this,defeat, his owner determined to give him another chance, and on tho third day of tho same meeting stripped him for tho Randwick Plato of 120 sovs., with a sweep of 5 sovs. each added; li miles, for 3 and 4 years old, hut only again to meet with another inglorious defeat. ;
Prior to his nppearanco at Randwick,. Mr. De Mestre had such confidence in our hero, that ho had entered him for the Second Australian Ohninpion Sweepstake), to como off in Soptemher, but duding that lie cut up so badly on his first appearance in public, ho refused to pay tho secoud 50 sovs., and drew him, preferring his chance with Moss Rose, who, it will bo remembered, pulled up
Tho causes attending tho defeat of Archer as a throb year old, appear to me to be satis- factorily accounted for by his tremendous size, it being a well-known fact that young stock of a largo growth seldom, if ever, show well-iit that age, as they require moro time to furnish, aud aro generally awkward and unwieldly.
By tho time the Randwick Spring Meeting came round in Septembor, Archer had had time to fill out and thicken a, little, and his first victory was scored nt that mooting on the 6th Septembor, when ho won tho Metro- politan Maiden Pinto of 150 sovs., with a sweep of 3 sovs. each added, l'J miles, after a good race with "Io,"?Warrior, Fisher- man, St. Giles, nnd Butterfly, hoing all behind. Time 3 min. 32 seo. (J. Cutts.)
The third day of tho same nieoting^tgnin
found him a successful candidate, for he won with easo tho Randwick Plato of 100 sovs., with a sweep of 3 sovs. caoh added for 2 and 3 year olds, 1J miles, beating tho swift little maro "Flying Doe," (J. Cutts.) Shortly after Randwick, Archer was tnken to thc Hawkesbury, to see if there wore not a few crumbs for him to pick up in that locality, nnd with good reason too, as ho won with easo tho Maidon Plate of 150 sovs. on the first day of thu meeting, and finished the season successfully by again polishing off Flying Doo in tho Steward's Purse on the following day.
Tho performances of our hero during the present year have been all that could bo desired, aud up to tho present moment he has hot met with a single defeat. Com- mencing with the Randwick Autumn Meeting on tho 2nd May ho won tho Aratra.
lian Plato of 120 so vs., with a swoop of 5 sovs. each added for all horses, weight for age, 23- miles, defeating Mormon and Veno (J. Cutts.) Tho hotting at starting was even between the three, and the race
splendid one, Archer winning, but not with- out rousing by a length, whilst many thought that, had Mormon not swerved from ?tho'-whipin-tho last few yards, that" to him would have boon awnrded tho-victory.
The Randwick Plate'bf 100'sovs., with'a sweep of .3 sovs. each added, for 3 and'4-year -olds; 1.V miles. On tho third day pf .tho meeting, was tho ricxt:ovent;'wliich occupied his nttcntion,,and Warrior, Transit, Heather Bell, Mira, and Koh-i-Noor, found him' too manyfor thoin'.' (J. Cutts;) ' '
From Randwick .Archer' proceeded' to Maitland,- where on ? the,: first day; of the annual meeting, ho.succeeded in appropri- ating tho Town Plato of 100 sovs.,1 with a sweep of 5 sovs. each, added, for : all horses, 2J-miles, by merely cantering abend; bf old Veno, who was only started to secure second money; ¦ (Mr. De Mc'stre.)
This was tho last appearance of our hero in New Sbutli Wales prior -to his trip io; Melbourne,, where, as wo havo scon, he suc- ceeded in polishing off a large Cold of Victo- rian celebrities in tho'Melbourne Cup, a full account of tho running for which event wo may expect to receive by the next steamer.