Some Famous English Riders., Daily Racing Form, 1917-01-16


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SOME FAMOUS ENGLISH RIDERS. In his reminiscences of groat English jockeys. "Vigilant." the veteran writer of Ixindon Sportsman, discusses Tom Cannon. Goater, John Osborne and Custance, all among the leaders in their times: "Great jockeys who were among Fordhams contemporaries were Tom Cannon, surnamed the natty Hampshire horseman, and James Goater. A close triendship existed between the three, and never were happier times spent than when they met annually in company with Tom McGeorgo, facile princeps of starters. Charles Greenwood, cleverest of all turf correspondents, especially when he subscribed to the columns of the Daily Telegraph over the noin lie plume of Hotspur : Teddy Deazley, Harry Ivy, Joe Cannon, and the writer. I refer to the happy day-long ago when we were the guests of Tom Cannon at Houghton for the annual Stockbridge and Bibury Club celebration, the glories of which have gone never to be revived, thanks to the faddist ideas of the landlady who refused to renew the lease of that portion of Danebury Downs — her property — without which the meeting was no longer practicable. Thus became extinct the most delightful racing picnic, not even excepting the July re-unions at Newmarket, of the entire season, for though the Bihar? Club no aatera removed their tents to Salisbury the spell was brok- n and the charm was gone forever. I have described Stockbridge as a picnic affair, and so in great sense it was. but for all that the racing was oftentimes of the highest class, and assuredly there was no more aristocratic reunion. Hi. Majesty, then H. R. EL the Irince of Wales, was a frequent visitor, and it was there, by the way, that his Counterpane fell dead on the course a few strides after passing the judges box. There, too. the late J. F. Clark, who had an endless fund of wit. indulged us annually with his poem bristling with cur rent and local topics, and there also John Day. of famous memory, compiled his overnight handicap, which on so many occasions led to a genuine sport -lag race, and showed that though an amateur, he was nearly as lever in that capacity as he was as a trainer. Those were glorious times indeed, but grievous changes have since taken place, and of the jo!l. party above named only the brothers Tom anil Joe Cannon and your humble servant survive to tell the tale. Fine Horseman Was James Goater. "A fine horseman was James Goater. brother of the famous trainers. William and Harry, of that ilk. and much of his tiest work was effected in the colors of the great Count de Lagrange, when that noblemans horses were trained by the veteran Tom Jennings at Newmarket, but. strange to say. he met with but little success in the lassie races, though he had the handling of hamant in the Two Thousand Guineas and won the St. Leger twice, on Petrarch a. id Rayon dOr respectively. In France he was more fortunate, and in the colors of Henry Savile. for whom he rode many other winners, he had the distinction of riding The Ranger in the first Uraad Prix de Paris. It was. hovvever. in the Prix du Jockey Club that he made his best record, as for Count de Lagrange he won on Insulaire in ls7K. Seat in is?! and Albion in 1881, while in the following rear and in the same colon he rode Daudin in the dead heat with M. M. Kphrussis Saint James. Avoirdupois was his greatest enemy, and he had during the latter part of his career to work terribly hard to keep himself within racing weights, though he stuck to it to the last ami died practically in harness. Tom Cannon differed from most of his brethren in his profession in that he was scarcely out of his teens before he owned horses himself, anil at rarteaa times some good ones. He was always a good judge of a yearling and picked up many a fine bargain, a notable instance in point having been lie heimniss. which win the Oaks, though not in his own colors, for he had sold her to the late Lord Stamford. That undoubtedly was one of the very lew instances in which his judgment as a dealer was at fault, for the daughter of Boakraeiaa — Naaae- b ss proved to be worth more than double the monev he sold her for. Still, he had the satisfaction of riding her for his lordship at Epsom, and. as far as lie was personally concerned, that was a memorable year, for he also steered Shotovcr to victory in the Derby tlie only one be ever area, though he actually had the colors on ready to ride Hermit when he was claimed at the last moment by the Marquis of Hast baja far obvious reasons. He would also have ridden Robert he Devil but for a prior daia*, and had he been up. Rdbert, and not Bend Or. would surely hae won. For many years lie was a breeder on an ex- tensive scale, and was closely allied with the pro iluce frt in the stud of the late Tom Robinson, which also turned out a lot of good and useful winners. The veto passed on jockeys betting was. I think, the chief r-.ison lor his retirement from the profeaaion he had adorned for so many years, but he left ins sons. Tom. Mornington and Kempton. to perpetuate the riding fame of the family, though each has in turn since retired, the first and last named owing to prohibitive weight, while the inimitable Moray always set his face against the American methods, and last year gave up. owing to rheumatic troubles. Cannon Filled Vacancy. "Cannon, on the death of his father-in-law. filled the vacancy at Danebury, and on the expiration of his lease and the consequent lapse of the Stockbride meeting, built himself a fine place .it Chattis Hill, hard by. and it was only a week or two back that, having determined to take life a little more leisurely, lie disposed of the property to II. S. Persse. who. I am pleased to note, has already turned out several winners from there. As :. trainer Tom was almost as successful as a Jockey and it stands to his credit that from his apprentice material he perfected, in addition to his three sons. such fine horsemen as the late John Watts. W. T. Robinson — for years past a flourishing trainer — and Sam Loates. and it is. 1 fancy, a unique record that with the exception of young Tom. whose riding career was early cut short by his weight, all his pupils, like himself, tasted the sweets of lassie success. Mason also owed his tuition to Cannon, and was certainly a great man over a country, the zenith of his fame having been reached when ITayfair won the Liverpool Grand National Steeplechase for Colonel K. W. Baird. Dunn is another successful steeplechase rider who graduated in the same school. As regards his own records Tom Cannon has every reason to be proud, for he was undoubtedly one of the most skillful and artistic race riders of his time, and it is equally sure that none was ever more highly respected. Thirty-nine years have rolled by since he made his first lassie hit by riding Brig.intine to victory in the Oaks for Sir Frederick Johnstone, happily still veil and hearty, and other successes in the same race were achieved for the late James Men;, on Marie Stuart, two days after Fred Webb had won the Derby in the same livery on Doncaster. and. as already noted, for Lord Stamford on Geheimniss. Four times he bestrode the winner of the Two Thousand Iuineas. namely, when Pilgrimage won for the late Lord Lonsdale. Shotover for the late Duke of Westminster, and twice for Douglas Baird, on Enterprise and Enthusiast, and. as regards the defeat of Donovan by the last named, the praise was assuredly due to the jockey rather than to the intrinsic merit of the horse. "Repulse for the late Marquis of Hastings, of plunging notoriety. Pilgrimage for Lord Lonsdale. and Busybody for the late "Mr. Abington." were in turn piloted by him in the One Thousand Guineas, and once he won the St. Leger on Roller; the Devil, which al.-.o had him on his back when he won the Ceaarewitch and subsequently the Ascot Gold Cup. A chance-bred horse, by Bertram — Cast Off, Robert was one of the best stayers of all time. as was also Isonomy. which acquitted himself of some great performances in the handling of Tom, nolably when he won the Manchester Cup in 1880, under the crusher of 138 pounds, and the Gold Cup twice in succession. His services were also in great di maud with French owners, and in successive yean he won the Grand Prix de Paris for the Duke de Castries on Frontin and Little Duck, previous to which he had steered Ct ylon for the late Duke of Beaufort. Trent for W. R. Marshall and Thurio Cor the late Prince SoltykoIT. with whom be waa erer first favorite. He came near to winning the Derby with his own horse. Curzon. ridden by George Chal oner, which found but one too many for him in Sir Visto. and in the year preceding ran third to I.adas and Matchbox with Reminder. The last named subsequently won the City and Suburban, in the hands of his son. Moray, who rode the winner of that race on five other occasions through the iiistrumentalit v of Reve dOr. Nunthorpe. Worcester. Newhaven anil lirafton. In respect of the blue ribbon of the base Cannon was more fortunate, for though it may be news to many lie owned Casse Tete in partnership with E. lirayley. Among his training triumphs were also the victories "of Aladdin and Redpath. in the Grand Aateail Steeplechase and Hurdle Race respectively, and altogether he must be admitted to have been a good man all around, and one that has assisted in making much turf history. John Osborne, "The Pusher." "Two more portraits of old favorites are before mi. They are those of the veteran John Qatar at. one of the finest horsemen that ever came from the north, and poor Harry instance. The Pusher. as the first named was called by his intimates, has passed the allotted span of life, but is, I am pleased to say, as hale and hearty as ever, and still rides out with his horses every day. Like Fordham. he rode short, and like him again none of his contemporaries could give him an ounce. Having long since retired from the pigskin, he will hardly be remembered by many of the present generation of racegoers, hut he was great in his day, and of him Archer once said that he was one of the very few-jockeys he had known in his experience that never lost a race after he had once won it. Notable among his many triumphs were those of Vedette for Lord Zetland nearly fifty two years ago; Pretender for the late Sir Robert Jardiue. who then raced in the name of Mr. J. Johnstone; Bothwell. in the same colors; Camballo for the late H. F. Clare Vyner. and Ayrshire for the Duke of Portland in the Two Thousand iuineas. and the sister race he won for W. II. Brooke on Manganese anil for Mr. Launde on Apology. One Derby — and that a memorable one, for none but the judge knew that Pretender had beaten Pi -Ill Gomez — fell to his share, and none was more delighted than he when he saw his number go up, for w hi reas the iiest he hoped for was a dead-beat. Wells w is confident that he had just done the trick for the late Sir Joseph Hawley. Apologv was his only winner of the Oaks, and on the daughter of Adventarer he also won the St. Leger, iii which he had previously steered Lord Cliftlen for the late Lord St. Vincent. As far as I know. -Johnnv never tried his hand m France, nor do I remember distance winning over there, but he made some big marks in the home records, and was one of the most powerfal jockeys ever seen. Strange to say he never won either the Two Thousand Onineas or the Oaks, but for the late Colonel Pearson he rode Achievement in the One Thousand Guineas, was three times successful iii the Derby, namely, for Janus Merry on Thonnanby, for Sir Richard" Sutton on Lord Lyon -on which he won his one St. Leger— and for Mr. Curtwright ou George Frederick."

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