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In some quarters just now racing or the mAiMff«* ment of it appears to haw got into a nulld slate of chaos Jn this State. And as far as I eon make out^ no one appears to be responsible. Someone remarked that the duties ot the stipen diary steward do not begin until 10 o'clock on tiie morning of a raco day, and ^ handle«/ip:r states tiut he Is bound to give- weight to atl
horses sent to him by the secretary of tho club racing. He did add that of course if ho hap pened to know that a lone \raa not eligible he would notify the secretary to that effect Ad the Port Adelaide meeting the starting vvna not up to standard, end on Saturday Mr. 3. McOor tnaok's work was not (-qufll to big best. The cul minating point of the troubles of the past few weeks was readied on Saturday at Gawler, when the crowd took a hand and reminded Mr. Harold Bickford (the judge) that his decision in the Wi! labtou Welter did not meet with the!r approval. The objectors let themselves go with vim, and Uie curging, angry crowd made it plain that they regarded Antos not ptami as the winner of the race named. The demonstration brought back to mind some of the courso incidents of a few years ago before Mr. Campbell undertook th» duties of starting for the chief clubs of this State. Dtmonstrations against officials on Sjuth. Aus tralian courses are reasoTjbly common. Stipen diary stewards, starters, and judge* have all been boo-cd at In turn by the crowd, who when s:-me incident -was not to their liking indulged in a hostile demonstration. AM went well in spite of the distressing ?weather at the Gawler meeting on the Evanston Course on Saturday until it came to the finish of the Welter. In that Wizzo held the inside running, with Ptaro! out from the rails as they turned into the stwight for home. Atftoa, ridden by J. Ilopwood, was wide at the bend, but he began the in-run with all pace on. A cl:se and an exciting finish resulted, and the Judge awarded the race to Ptami by half a head over Anlos, while the latter was declared to be a 6imilar distance in advance of Wizzo, the Jiowe plaend third. A number of people standing in front of -the grand stand took exception to the verdict of the judge in awarding the s'.ake to Ptami, and they at once began to boo at Mr. Bickford, and to cry 'Antos, Antos won,' And of course, once a noise begins on a racecourse it quickly grows in volume, and the jeering and boo-hooing at Mr. Bickfortf became painful as it increased in volume and the numbers of the 'hooters gathered strength. ?
It was one of the most pronounced demonstra tions against a racinjr official seen on any course for 6ome time. Indeed, there was a fear at one period that Mr. Bickford would meet with rough treatment at the hands of the boo-hooing mob, but happily several policemen came on the scene and Mr. Bickford was enabled to safely reach the city train in waiting outside the gates of the Evanston racecourse. Some time back on the occasion of a criticism of one of his verdicts, Mr. Bickford remarked that it was really 'silly' to crltise the judge. 1 wonder if he tried that line of argument with the crowd that flocked around him at Evanston on Saturday? Personally. I strive to play the game fairlj', and if any racing official feels tliat any criticism passed Is not quite sound I invite him to write in reply. So that on Sunday evening I rang up Mr. Bickford and asked if he wished to make a statement. Mr. Bickford stated that i» as deeply hurt by the conduct of the crowd. There was, he added, in his mind, no possible doubt as to tihe correctness of his verdict. When he saw that a close finish would result, as Wizzo and Ptami were on the rails, and Antos under his box, he called upon Mr. Monten, who was with him In the box to move back, and he got 'right down to It,' to as to get the line right. A stride after passing the past Antos who, he said, finished fast, stood right out in front of the other pair, but, added Mr. Bickford, 'he did not win.' 'I never,' went on the judge, 'dreamt for a moment that the decision would be questioned, and when the row began I got the shock of my life. 1 went back to the box to enter up my book.' Mr. Bickford was in no way injured by the joattinz
that }ie met with. All that need be added i- that there is not .the slightest doubt of his integrity. That he strives 1o act conscientiously is beyond all doubt. Like the handicapper (Mr. W. G. Hughes), Mr. Bickford is not dependent upon racing for his living. He is happily placed otherwise', and his friends would regret to see him retire from his post simply because a race course crowd came ip the conclusion that they were right and he was wrong. My empathies arc with Mr. Bickford over Saturday's incident, and it will be a sad day for racing or anything else it incb rule is permitted to take the place of sound, wise government. An old resident told me iltat the weather on Satur day was reminiscent ot the Gawler briokflelders of years ago— of the days of Governor Cairn6. Kothing more distressing in the way of weather could be imagined, and ft wan indeed unfortunate that the club should have been called upon to race on such a day. How far it affected the attendance is not easy to say. All that one knows is that several regulars were missing from the enclosures. Tlien again, it was ill-fortune, both for the Cawler and the Peterborough clubs, that the two fixtures should have clashed. It would be hard to say whether the meteorological conditions led to the many ecratchings. The club has made a good job of the new turn, as with perhaps the one exception of Antos, ail the hojcej made the bend just as smoothly as they do tlTe home turn at Mornhettvillel And one could not help noticing that' the gran at the spot where this fine improvement has been made was nice and green. Backers came in for a blow early in the day' hy the failure of Lord Mintberry in the opening event. Going on his Martindale form the Etake appeared -to be at the mercy of his lordship, and the sum of £535 went on him, the total in the machine being £995. All went well with -the favorite to the home bend, although he never got away from Battle Queen, as he did from his two opponents at Uartindale. From that point nothing had a chance with Outtha, who is a daughter of Pistol, and is trained by H. Butler. Battle Queen is one of Dr. Bennett'i breeding, end the mare is out of Cyrenaica. The companion race, the Summer Purse, saw another favorite in San George . fail. Foxhead. who won, was bought by Mr. Tremellen as a yearling, and in spite of his repeated failures he has kept him going, because he knew he could gallop.
This 4-year-old is an instance of the pluck re quired by an owner at times, for Foxhead had cost Mr. Tremellen £300 one way and another, and he had broken into ths fourth hundred by Saturday, when hj- happily won a stake. Fox head Is a good-looking bay horse, and Mr. Tre-. mcllen, who for a long term of years has been a consistent supporter of the turf, was con gratulated on having captured a stake with him. The Hurdlle Race gave the light weight, J. HopnooJ, Ilia first ride in vuch an event, and he began the new departure by winning on Mount Milts!'. Hopwood, by tb» way, is no novice with a jumping horse, for he lias ridden schooling
?work over hurdles, and no doubt he does not Jntend to become a regular «t this branch of sport, but he may «o on until he becomes quail- j fled to take part in jumpers' flat races. A short price was taken about Mount Uiltsin, but the teiue was never In doubt, as Mr. Allan Bowman's gelding stood out from the lot he met, and he, gave Hopwood a pleasant ride. The form ehown( by Epsom Kose showed that there was no fluke about her 6uocest at MartlndaTe. J. H. Scale again rode the coiintiy-bred mare, and he showed a bit of pluck by ranging v&, alongside Mount Miltsln going up the back and mixing it with the favorite. The latter, however, outjumped Epsom Rose, who is out of Opal, the dam of Naval Gem. Old Rytol met with an accident in running, his huad coming in contact with a hurdle, and he| bled freely from the nose. Five of the lot in the Modern Athens Handicap wtnt out, and Kongo- 1 rung, who looked ths bost of the balance of the( field, was entrusted with more money than any of ( the opposition. Some time ago Longacre satisfied ( Mr. H. G. Young and his trainer (C. Howie) of his ability over fl mile and a quarter of grotod. j This son of Linacre, however, failed more than once to run up to track form, and finally Mr. Voung allowed him to go to Mr. W. A. Tenn.iut, and for him the old scamp succeeded st the drat time of asking:. The fact that Ferrignite, the hurdler, finished second dofs not say much for. the strength of the field. Longacre was bought with the idea of doing stud duty at Mr. Te nant's place, and later on he is to take up his new work.
There was some excuse for the failure of Mu rundi in the Jumpers' Flat He had a fall dur ing 'the week, and did not go well in his work on Thursday morning. Royal Union -was always going nicely, well up, and from the home bend1 had the field in trouble. The race over, «om?' people began to discredit Murundi, but, person ally, I would not condemn him on his Gawler form. By the way, the Bowmans— father and M-n —should have a strong hand in the jumping races at Oakbank. Mr. A. P. _Bowman told me that Mumngong is going on -well, and 60 far has shown no sign of the old trouble. The Evan ston trainer, J. J. Doyle, has not been heard of fore some time, but he won the Flying Handicap with Pladdia. The latter is a filly owned by Messrs. Walter Thomas and Edge, the latter a pastorallst in Queensland, who purchased Pladdia for hinuelf and another for his racing partner at the Randwick yearling sales. With some people there vras a doubt as to whether Pladdia would stiy out six furlongs. All the eame, she met with solid support in the machine, being backed down to a 6hade under evm money. Apparently the trainer had no doubt as to the filly running out thi course, as JIup wood quickly had her out in froirt, and bh? is a nice mover when stretchod out. Placidia strung her field out, and gliding around the new turn, close to the rail*, for a moment it looked like a runaway victory. Called In, however, now nmged up, and with Placi.iia no doubt tiring a bit after the fast running she had nude, th-j favorite only got home by half a head. Ihe time, 1.14, was fast. Bottle King ran, and got away from the barrier, and at the beml for home he looked tov have a chance, but failed to come on. As a two year-old PJacidia and To«nacr« ma a dead heat dn the Dequetteville Stakes at Victoria Park, and although the filly haa given Doyle a little trouble she may yet turn out a fast sprinter. It was back in 1806 when Doyle captured the Onkuparinga Cup with Stray Lid, who wan a galloping machine tnav day. At that time Doyle stated that Stray Lad was so well that he thought he could have won the Sydney Cup with the same light weight on hia back. There is no need to go into the in cidents of the Welter again. Mr. Bickford de cided for Ptami and hia verdicf stands. E. B. MoKeon must have Ptami in great condition, as lit run twice at the Martindale meeting, where the going was hard, and three days later he took the Welter at Gawler. At two years Ptami won six races for Mr. W. H. Richardson, and in his ?last race at that age he flailed under 9 st. 13 lb.
There is a feeling among some owners that the stakes in this State arc not based on as liberal a scale as they should be. The question, I take it, is one for owners themselves to take up, and if they desire to see an improvement they should make representation in the proper quarter. Some yeara ago I went into the matter at length in this column, but while both owners and trainera are glad to ask sporting writers to take 6uch questions up they themstl.-ep, the people chiefly concerned, do but little. At odd times they indite short letters to the papers, and let it go at that. Owners are represented on the committees of Uie various racing- clubs, and if the stakes are in adequate why not nuike an attempt to bring the point up in committee? My sympathies are with owners, for, after all, they go to the initial out lay of providing ilie nport, even if lovers of ricins do come along afterwards with their money and give splendid support to racing, not only at the pates, but through -he medium 'of the totalirator. As regards the latter they are not actuated by disinterested motives. How often do you hear the question of increased stakes raised at tlic annual meetings of the clubs? Kacing is an expensive sport to run, but surely it is possible without an agitation such as was vet on foot in Adelaide many years ago by an association to ascertain whether, firstly, the complaint as to tlic value of stakes is well grounded, and secondly to find out whether it is safe financially to add to them. For some time many of the clubs all over Australia have made magnificent donations to the jmtriotic funds, and credit must be given to the ruling committee! for the good work done. ' Re cently the A.J.C. committee turned round and showed that they are not. unmindful of the claims of owners by adding to the etake money, particu larly of the wcight-for-age eventB, When he was In Tasmania 'Goodwood' had a chat with Mr. W. A. Guesdon, who owned Dar riwell and Darebin. The first-named won the Melbourne Qw- for him— he raced as Mr. Rawlin- 1 son— and Darebin, who came to Adelaide in 1882, ran in the name of Mr. F. F. Dakln. The Dukuw, F. F. and W. E.— the latter managed Morphettville at one period for die late Sir ' Thomas Elder— were two young Englishmen, who] landed in Victoria with the wideljMcnown horce, J The Marquis. The writer says:— -For the Derby . and Melbourne Cup of 1£81 Mr. Guesdon backed tho 'two Itereblns' to win £80,000. He still has tlic records of the befai in a book he showed to me. S. 'Jacobs executed the commission for him. Darebin (The Peer— I/urline) was owned by the late Mr. V. V. Dakin, while his brother, TV. E,, trained the colt-at that tune, at any rate. Being in want of ready cash, F. 7, gave a bill of salo over Darebin to the breeder, the lat* Mr. S. Gardker, «jf Bundoora. lie in turn
became financially embarrassed, and the bill was bought by a third party. Eventually Mr. Guesdon came in as the sole owner, but the colt continued to be run in the name of Mr. F. F. Dakin. Darebin had started a hot favorite for the Melbourne Oup in the yoar he won the Derby,' only to run a poor race. Mr. Guesdon did iiot lay off any of his £80,000. When he acquired Darebin he sketched out an ambitious programme tor him. He tras to go to Adelaide tor ihe St. Leger, but -was not to run in any handicap. He was a magnificent colt, standing over 10.2 hands high, and he formed the impression (hat he would not be at his best until five years old, as was the case with Darrlwill, and the Melbourne Cup was to be his particular mission in that season. Dare bin was to be raced but little as a four-year-old. These plans were all upset, owing to the happen ings in Adelaide. Darebin duly won the St. Leger -his only opponent was Dutchman— and on the second day of the meeting carried 8 A. 8 lb., end accounted for the Queen's Birthday Cup, one mile and three-quarters, for which Mr. William Pearson's Commotion, in the same stable, darted favorite at 3 to 1. On the day after Darebin won the Birthday Cup in Adelaide Mr. Guesdon was elected a mem ber of Parliament in Tasmania. He got a fhock w]i?n he received word that the colt had won. He had not a copper on, but another patron of the stable, lie subsequently discovered, had won £8,000. This victory knocked the bottom out of everything from Mr. Guerdon's point (A view. He tried to accept tho situation in a philosophi cal way, and hoped for better things In the future. Darebin was jumped qp in the weights, and for the next Caulfield Oup was allotted 9 st. 8 lb., while he had the same weight in the Melbourne Oup. One day Mr. Guesdon received a wire from Mr. F. F. Dakin advising him that he had backed Darebin on his behalf to win the Caulfield Cup for £11,000, at 100 to 0. though this was not fn accordance with his intentions, he accepted the wagers. It was understood that the stable's first jockey, £. Power, would ride Darebin, but he was put up on another in the stable, Mr. William Pearson's Fryingpan. The services of Walter Hlckenbotham were secured for Darebin, who met with Interference and. failed to secure a place. Fryingpan was fourth. Mr. Guesdon asked Mr. Dakin by telegram why Power had not been given the mount on Dare bin. The answer was, 'Power elected, to ride Fryingpan,' He Incident brought about a seve rance of friendly relations between Mr. Guesdon and Mr. Dakin, but Power rode the horso in ±he Melbourne Cup. The nee was run in a deluge of rain, and the winner was The Assyrian. Darebin, with all hi* weight, ran a great rice, just finishing behind ttw placed horses, and he might have won, Mr, Guesdon thinks to this day, but for beingr knocked back by Stockwcll as he was making his final run. Shorrly after wards Darebin was sold to the Hon. £. K. Cox, in whose colors he won the Sydney Cup of 1883 with 9 st. 8 lb. In the saddle. *-