Prospects for Racing in Spain, Daily Racing Form, 1915-12-05


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1. ■ ~ 0 8 PROSPECTS FOR RACING IN SPAIN. Since the death of King Alfonso XII. racing in Spain has been permitted to lapse to a considerable extent, but there are practical signs of a resneitation, the latest evidence of which was an "extra" meeting at Madrid only a few days ago. It ivas onlv a one-day affair, and took place on the coulae situated at the extremity of the ornamental street which divides the city into two distinct parts, to-wit, old and new Madrid. In circumference about 1,350 metres, the course is described as a miniature Coiomlies, and I imagine must resemble Chester to a certain extent. The public always likes a circular course, because the racing is within view of the naked eye all the way — but that is na recommendation in the eyes of our rulers, and no license would be granted to any course nowadays that had not a straight mile. I hear there was a really good attendance and that the meeting was a success. The program was limited to five races, two of which were Military Hurdle races, one for horses of Arab breed, another confined to thoe bred in Spain. The fifth event was open to all nationalities and was the piece de resistance, attracting, as it did. the unusually large number of fourteen runners. It will be of special interest to Col. Hall Walker to hear that the winner turned up in a good-looking daughter of Minoru. The filly belongs to the Marquis Villemajor. whose blue jacket is well known in the south of France. The starting gate was used, an innovation in Spain, I gather, but the experiment does not seem to have been an unqualified success. King Alfonso undoubtedly takes a great interest in racing for the pure love of the sport and i-J keenly desirous of improving the Spanish thorougu-bred. This will assuredly come in due course under his personal patronage, which will encourage the grandees and other sportsmen in Spain, but in the meanwhile the principal necessity is the importation of stallions of first-class blood, and no better opportunity for foreign breeders can be than now, when well-bred horses are purchasable at prices far below the value they would command in normal times. 1 announced recently on authoritative information that the king of Spain intended to encourage racing and breeding in Spain, and now learn that he has it in contemplation to establish a high-class meeting in his domain of Alvarez. It is to be an aristocratic affair, something after the style of our Ascot on modified lines, but a "royal" meeting, nevertheless. Hitherto there have been meetings at Madrid, perhaps four days during the year, and one meeting at Seville, but these have not been sufficient to engage and attract public interest, while in addition there has been another drawback in that the pari-mutnel did not "catch on." None the less the "esprit sportive" is strongly In evidence, and there can be no doubt that the promise of a series of high-el iss fixtures at St. Sebastien next year bas given the sport an immense impulse among all classes interested in the advance of racing and breeding. H this can be sustained, as no doubt it will be. tne Spanish turf will soon become au important factor in European racing. Meanwhile, the new St. Sebastien venture, which enjoys the patronage of King Alfonso, is making steady progress and will apneal to all nations. There will be an prize of 4,000 pounds at the meeting which is to take place next July under the direction of M. A. de Neuter, and it may be safely predicted that everything will be thoroughly up to date. — "Vigilant" in London Sportsman. *

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