Englands Most Popular Handicaps: Interesting Occurrences Attending the Many Years Running of the Cambridgeshire Handicap, Daily Racing Form, 1916-10-21


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ENGLANDS MOST POPULAR HANDICAPS. Interesting Occurrences Attending tho Many Years Running of the Cambridgeshire Handicap. Established as was the Cambridgeshire in 1839. the same year as the Cesarewitch, the founders of those races launched upon their career two handir caps that have travelled hand-in-hand in point of popularity, and it would be difficult to discriminate between them as to tho degree of it. Certain it is that the event of the Houghton week has always been in high favor with owners, has, with few exceptions, brought large fields to tho post in that respect eclipsing the Cesarewitch and has been the medium of some of the heaviest speculation of the season. There is no stronger market formed in connection with any race of its class, and it was possible in days gone by to win more money on it than ou the long-distance affair decided a fortnight earlier. Many have been the attempts to bring off the "double," but until the coming of Roscbery in 187C Fate had set her face against its accomplishment. Other horses have followed the example set by that son of Speculum, but it requires a good one to win both, unless, Indeed, the handicapper has been in an unduly indulgent mood. Now that a more modest level of wagering is set. and "s.p" has restricted the scope of the ante-post market, there is not the inducement formerly existing to "lay out" for either the Cesarewitch or Cambridgeshire, and the special care and caution in these days adopted in connection with the adjustment of the weights have reduced to a minimum the chances of the handicappers being caught napping. It would be strange if with so long a history the Cambridgeshire was not associated with many striking performances, and in that respect some three-year-olds have played a bold part. Horses of that age, in fact, show a larger proportion of winners of the race than they do in the Cesarewitch, no fewer than fifty-seven having been successful, and one La Fleche had classic honors to her name. The Cambridgeshire citadel has often been an object of attack by the racing forces of the Continent, and on several occasions it was successful. A notable case was supplied in 1870, when Adonis won. By Grimston by Stockwell out of La Fille du Regiment out of Legerdemain, he was a three-year-old belonging to Count Renard, and was let in the race with the light weight of eighty-four pounds. At the Second October Meeting he won the Oatlands Plate, a handicap run over the Cambridgeshire course, and as only a three-pound penalty was incurred for the more important event, it seemed a good thing to bet on. Ridden by F. Lynham then a lightweight, and now training horses at Rottingdeau, he had no difficulty in pulling his backers through, but it was afterwards admitted by Admiral Rous, who made the handicap; that he had confused the winner with another horse of the same name and age that was then running in this country in poor company. The foreign-bred colt was with us again the next season at the "back-end," but received different treatment at the hands of the handicappers, and did not score once in five attempts, though under 121 pounds he was only beaten a head for a handicap at the Houghton Meeting and ran third, with 11S pounds, for the Liverpool Autumn Cup. Another "foreigner" was not long in taking Cambridgeshire honors, for three years afterwards the three-year-old, Montargis, belonging to Count de Juigne, followed the example of Adonis. As a juvenile the colt, which was by Orphelint Woman in Red, and then the property of M. Aumont, paid a visit to this country from France and came-near to winning the Middle Park Plate, for he was only beaten a half length from the dead-heaters, Surinam and Kaiser. In his second year he had scored twice across the water before coming over for the Cambridgeshire, and had beon backed for the Derby won by Doncaster, for which lie was unplaced, and later took unsuccessful parts in a couple of handicaps at Doncaster, for one of which he was only beaten a neck. The form he had shown earned him 111 pounds in the race of the Houghton week, with which he was not much fancied, and started at 50 to 1, but managed to get a short head the better of Walnut, a three-year-old with ninety-one pounds, which had been tried a "certainty" for the race and started first favorite. With odds of CO to 1 against him he essnyid to win the following year under 12G pounds, but was unplaced, and was brought out to tackle the flying Prince Charlie for the All-Aged Stakes over three-quarters at the Houghton Meeting. He finished last of the three runners. The Gallic star shone yet again in 1S74, when Peut Etre by Ventre St. Oris Favorite was successful for M. P. Aumont, and this was another three-year old, the weight allotted being ninety-four pounds. His victory followed a couple of wins at the Second October Meeting in Her Majestys Plate and the Newmarket Derby form pointing to the great chance the colt had for the Cambridgeshire, for which he was well backed. The judges verdict was a couple of lengths from Chieftain, another of the same age, to which he conceded two pounds. Like Montargis, lie had a cut at Prince Charlie later in the meeting in a match for 500 sovereigns over the Rowley Mile, but had also to strike his flag. The story of foreign successes was taken up again in 1S77, when Prince dArenbergs Jongleur three-year-old put in a capital performance under 110 pounds, and the price of 100 to 3 at which he started seemed scarcely justifiable in view of the fact that at the previous meeting at Newmarket he had won the Select Stakes easily, and followed up by running third to Lady Golightly a smart filly of Lord Falmouths in the Newmarket Derby, conceding her eleven pounds. Many horses of his age were his rivals in the Cambridgeshire, to which he was conceding considerable weight, and the victory was a distinctly creditable one and withal profitable to his connections. But a still more remarkable one was that of Foxhall in 1SS1, which rivalled the feat of Rose-bery by taking the Cesarewitch also. The American"-bred colt had shown some usefulness as a juvenile, though it was scarcely suggestive of what he was to accomplish in his second season, when he was undoubtedly the best of his year, for he included the Grand Prize of Paris in the races he won. It can be said that 1SS1 was quite a Yankee year, for Iroquois won the Derby and St. Leger for Mr. 1. l-orillard, while his compatriot. Mr. J. R. Keene, was doing such execution with Foxhall. In the Cambridgeshire the latter colt carried 120 pounds, presenting Lucy Glitters, another three-year-old, with no less than thirty-five pounds, and the contest gave an opportunity for the late John Watts to put in a superb piece of horsemanship and win by a head, with Tristan, of the same age as the pair in front of him, only a neck away. To the honors he had already reached, Foxhall added the Ascot Gold Cup in 18S2. A "double" was also brought off by our French friends in 1SS5 with Plaisanterie, a three-year-old by Wellingtonia Poetess, the fourteen pounds extra she earned in the Cesarewitch bringing her weight in the Cambridgeshire to 124 pounds, with which she passed the post in fine stvle a couple of lengths in front of the "bold Bendigo," which was shouldering 134 pounds as a five-year-old. Plaisanterie beat a high-class field which included St. Gatien, the winner of the Cesarewitch the previous year, and so much was thought of his chance that he was backed down to 2 to 1, despite the fact that he had the steadier of 130 pounds up, but he was not in the first four. The useful price of 10 to 1 was obtainable about .Plaisanterie at the start, and over the two races a lot of money was taken to France. There was another haul when Alicante was successful in 1S90. She had paid n visit to England as a juvenile the previous season, when she ran into third place behind Donovan and Chittabob for the valuable Lancashire Plate at Manchester, and as the daughter of Hermit and Madeira had shown some good form in her own country, the ten thousand pounds odd was a prize well worth going for. The invasion was repeated the next year, when she came near to repeating the performance of Plaisanterie, for she was runner-up to Sheen for the Cesarewitch, for which she started a good favorite. Carrying 103 pounds in the long-distince handicap, she had seven pounds more in the Cambridgeshire, and again was in most request at the fall of the flag. The losses on her for a fortnight earlier she recovered with interest for her connections, and it was once more a good day for France when she won by a couple of lengths. Since that time no horse from Old Gaul has won the race, but French representatives have, it will be seen, left a deep impression on it, and in later years French sportsmen displayed their liking for the Cambridgeshire alike by entry and by competition. American owners have, however, won the race since Foxhalls day. Watershed and Ballantrae being credited with it in 1901 and 1902 respectively, while as recently as 1912 Adam Bede placed it to the credit of Mr. L. Winans. Both Watershed and Ballantrae were the property of Mr. W. C. Whitney, who raced on a considerable scale in this country, and both were three-year-olds. Watershed, bred in the "States," was by Watercress Partheuia, and before his Cambridgeshire success had shown some useful form here, his winning the Trial Stakes at Ascot being by no means a bad performance. He stood sufficiently high in the handicappers estimation to receive 124 pounds in the Duke of York Stakes at the York August Meeting, for which he was unplaced this being his last appearance prior to the big race of the Houghton week. In that lie met a good field, and under 105 pounds, won by a neck from Osboch, which was the same age and carried the same weight. The latter was well backed and though Watershed started at 25 to 1 a price not indicative of great confidence by his party a good stake was won over him. Ballantrae, by Ayrshire Abevance, entered on her second season with good credentials, as she had a Nursery and the Clearwell Stakes to her credit, and though she did little to endorse them in the early part of it she was running in classic company, and was among those Sceptre disposed of in the One Thousand Guineas and Oaks and tho Nassau Stakes at Goodwood. At Doncaster in September Ballantrae won the Cleveland Handicap over the Sandall Mile, and though her weight was but 94 pounds, the verdict in her favor was five lengths. This runaway win made the Cambridgeshire look a tolerably good thing for her with only 97 pounds, and as Watts, who rode her, claimed the apprentice allowance, she stood at the short price of 9 to 4 when the flag fell. Like Watershed the previous year, she won by a neck, St. Maclou, the Lincolnshire Handicap winner, filling second place. To be continued.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1910s/drf1916102101/drf1916102101_2_3
Local Identifier: drf1916102101_2_3
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800