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Sporting Topics and Comments.

Conducted by 'MINORU'  


(By 'Minoru')

Grand old Pistol— 'Old Father' he is called at Richmond Park — is to all outward appearances as sound in wind and limb today as when he set foot in South Australia 21 years ago. Pistol was foaled in England in 1899 and is 26 years old, Australian time. Big and burly the illustratious son of Carbine struts around his paddock with the verve and fire of a two year-old. Restricted to about 10 mares a season, nowadays, he is still getting winners!

IT was a lucky day for Mr. J. H Aldridge when he chose Pistol to   replace Garlyon at Richmond Park.   Carlyon had broken a leg, and Mr. Aldridge asked Mr. Archie Yuille, of Melbourne, to submit a. list of stallions suitable to take the place of the son of Chester — Moonstone. From the list supplied Mr. Aldridge selected Pistol, owned by the Marquis of Londonderry, and secured the son of Carbine for £1,250 in 1904. Helen Vane, by-the-way is named after one of the Marquis of Londonderry's daughters. Pistol was a noted performer on the English turf. A powerful, evenly built horse, he had all the strength and galloping power of his great sire, and out of 30 starts in the Old Country was placed 15 times. His greatest per- formance was to run second to gallant Sceptre in the Two Thousand Guineas, beating Ard Patrick, the ultimate Derby winner. by a length and a half. Pistol was an. instantaneous success as a sire. His first foal, was Son .of a Gun, and in the same - year .-he got. Tiercil (South Australian Stakes and Derby), Thorina (Westralia Derby), and Golden Gate, the best two-year-old in Tasmania. His progeny Avon £1,405 in stakes in the 1907-8 season, and since then Pistol has been placed among the cream of Australian sires, holding his place with wonderful consistency year after year. Pistol never had the honor of topping the Australian sires' list, but, considering the class of mares he received and the deficiency in stakes between South. Australia and the eastern States, his stud performances have been among the most remarkable in the history of the Australian turf. PISTOL (Carbine— Wenonah). Season Winners. Wins. Stakes. £ ?907-8 ? 5 l|i/2 1,405 1988-9 .. .. .. 18 . 28 3.706 - 1909-10 ? 17 33 4,950 1910-11 .. ? 24 53 7,468 I9H-I2 ? 44 80 10,779 1912-13 .. ? 44 116 14,397 1913-J4 .. ? .. 29 W/2 11,006 1914-15 ? 35 115 13,363 1915-16 ? 54 132 (3,232 J9I6-I7 ? 491/2 109 10,971 ? 1917-18 ? 41 91 9.033 1918-19 .. .. ..48 94 8,789 1919-20 .. .. 50 109 15,781 1920-21 .. .. .. 46 90 14,259 I92J-22 ? 38 9«i/2 15,165 1922-23 ? 45 87 A5&3 1923-24 ...... 39 75& 13,684 1924-25 ? 15 22 3,010 Sired 64 1 '6 winners. Of 1,423 races, Worth £186,021. Docile and Gentle Pistol is one of the family at Richmond Park. For 21 years he has occupied the same paddock, and, although St. Anton and Lucknow have somewhat dimmed the lustre of his fame, as a sire 'Old Father' is still the popular figure at the famous stud. Age or fame has not soured him, and the docile temperament, for which his stock are famous, is noticeable in the sire. Pistol was busy gazing over his pad- dock fence, when Mr. J. H. Aldridge and 'Minoru' intruded' upon his domain. Mr. Aldridge went straight up to the old fellow, and, grasping his tail pointed to the characteristic grey streaks where the tail joined the body. 'Many of his sons and daughters carry those self-same     marks,' the master of Richmond Park said.       Pistol turned his head.. ''Hullo! Who's ?

this?' It was as if he had spoken the query.         'A newspaper man!' Pistol left off gazing over the fence, and came- to investigate. A hand put   put to stroke 'him was greeted by a bar- ing of teeth — surprisingly white and strong — and 'Minoru' drew back hastily. 'Old Father' mizzled his master's pocket for the titbit, which, this time, was not there. Disappointed he stood with ears pricked and listened.   'He looks almost fit to race.' -     'Yes. and he is 26.'   'He has sired the winner of every im- portant race in South Australia except the Adelaide Cup,' Mr. Aldridge said proudly.                 'Old Nelly's Calf"   'Nowadays, however,' he continued,   'he only has about 10 mares a season, and for all his sprightly looks he is grow ing old.'   Pistol looked around again. 'I'll get that Adelaide Cup winner yet! he seemed to say, as with a flourish of his heels he turned and galloped to where a Jersey cow was, munching its cud beneath the shade of a spreading gum. Mr! Aldridge laughed. 'That's 'Old   Father's' mate,' he explained. 'She was   born in his paddock, and her mother, Nelly, was in the paddock before her. Pistol never looked upon the mother as he does upon 'Old Nelly's Calf.' 'They eat together, sleep together, and I believe tell one another their troubles.' 'The friendship began in a strange way. 'Old Nelly's Calf' took a fancy to Pis- tol's tail, and chewed it off. We took   her away from Pistol, and put her in St. Anton's paddock, but she began to do the same to him, so we put her back with Pistol.   'She has got over her tail-eating habit, and they are firm friends.'   Pistol after a rousing canter around his paddock settled down beside his bovine mate.     Two bright and two placid eyes watched the master of Richmond Park take his leave.

the name of a steeplechase rider along side that of a candidate in a weight   for-age race, was taken as a sign of no confidence on the part of the stable. An analysis of the riders in the three weight-for-age races decided during