Englands Newmarket Craven Week.: Incidents and Horses Conspicuous in the Years First Flat Racing Meeting., Daily Racing Form, 1917-05-11


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ENGLANDS NEWMARKET CRAVEN WEEK. Incidents and Horses Conspicuous in the Years First Flat Racing Meeting. In many ways the Craven meeting of 1917 will establish records that we hope may never be repeated. 1 daresay it was the quietest meeting ever seen on any racecourse since racing first began, and I do not believe that there would be more than a thousand people present. I sat on the top of tlie stand in Tattersalls and counted four hundred all told on Wednesday, and so far as I could glean there were not , M in the paddock or elsewhere. Those who came passed quietly to and fro without inconvenience to themselves or to the railway companies. The platform at Newmarket as the afternoon trains departed showed no sign of there being a race meeting at all. There was ample accommodation in the ordinary trains, and everything passed on without the slightest hitch. as all of us expected, though the orders given the Brail Eastern Railway were that they were to provide for no more than one hundred first-class passenger-, and three hundred third-class. The weather, fortunately, was bad only during the night, and on Tuesday and Wednesday it rained from bedtime to morning, with the natural result that the ground was soft, and cut up badly. Inder sucii circumstances the stamina of the horses was most severely tested, and it came as a huge surprise that the condition of the majority of the horses in a year when little real good work was practicable should have been so good. Many of them really Stripped in perfect trim, and the provincial sta Ides. North and South, quite held their own. Except in a few instances, also, the test gallops worked out absolutely correctly, and in out-forecast of the probable results we were seldom off tlie line from beginning to the end. Tlie most interesting items to lovers of high -class hor-es are tlie weight for age races for the two and three-year-olds, and in view of the classics near at hand the appearance of probable candidates excites the keenest interest. It is not often that we see a three-year-old maiden of much account entrusted to the care of a lad in an apprentices* race, as was the case with Argosy, trained by lie Mestre; but so smoothly did he gallop from pillar to post that Al.lridge had merely to sit quite still and let him stride along at his ease. He is a fine horse, in deed, with plenty of length and g I limbs, and though he was only opposed to selling platers, lie wen with sufficient ease to show that he is capable of much better things. The Right Course. We were not prepared to see him stripped for this sort of a race, when he had bigger engagements riming the week, but De Mestre followed the right course, for such will give him confidence where defeat would have doi.e harm, and tlie colt is susceptible of considerable improvement. Though he looked pretty straight, his neck is soft and loaded. and his muscles throughout will bear considerably more work. He is quite a credit to his sire. Bachelors Double, and in a year like this, when the three-year-olds look like being moderate, there is no telling what may happen; there is plenty of room for another Hurry On. Later in the day we had the Spring Three Year Old Stakes, run over a mile and a quarter, and tl:is was won by Brown lrince. which was well ha. -kcil down to second favorite, in spite of a poor show when galloped with the modi-rub- Saxon last Saturday. It has since been explained that Saxon, coming along as hard as he could, got him unbalanced: but when they passed me Brown Prince was hopelessly beaten. It is probable, therefore, that the young one was trying to give too much weight. In the race he ran much liettor. and. Iioing capable of considerable improvement, will hold his own among the stayers later on. Helford was fancied and ran well, but though unlikely to take high rank, there is excuse in his shirking a severe task in such heavy ground when not, perhaps, fully wound up. The field was a pretty good one and among those that had won good gallops were Vallance and Iizz Bang. Vallance was. unfortunately, the greatest disappointment of the week, and at present his performance is quite inexplicable. He was galloped in full view of a goodly number of sightseers along side the Cambridge road, on the same track as Brown lrince and Saxon and he defeated Ocy-drome. St. guin and others in quite easy fashion. The victory of Oey drome over Pass|tort and a big field in the previous race should have justified any belief in Vallance being almost a certainty, and I do not think he could have reproduced his trial form. lie did not improve on his performance on the second day; though I do not attach much importance to that, as he may have been feeling the efTects of his first race, and on This day we saw St. Quiii, which was beaten many lengths into third place in the trial, make a good race with the crack Dansellon at a difference of fifteen pounds. The difference in the going is not enough to account for it. nor was there any sign of his being amiss, so that unless he has a soft spot we shall hope to see this horse recover his trial form. Possibilities About Katruh. Another disappointment was Lord Lonsdales Fizz Bang, which has grown into a fine horse, and on his trial with Mr. Lainbtoiis Passport, which had just perviously run second to Ocydrome in the Visitors Plate, he ought to have ran better. On tin-face of it. one would come to the conclusion that these three-year olds have not grown out of their class of last year, beyond strengthening the handicap division: but we shall wait for a second rehearsal before condemning them. Sometimes we see a good horse bought out of a selling plate such as The Speaker, which is nearly at the top of the tree -and there are great possibilities about Matruh. a big, strong, good looking son of Dark Ronald, which Miss Shirley Kellogg got cheaph enough for 650 guineas, after he had won the Three Year Mil Selling Plate. He was no good at nil when a two year-old, and it is hardly likely that the late development of his racing merit has by any means reached the limit. He was one of our numerous winners during the week. There was no fluke about his victory, for he had been showing great improvement, and there is enough of him for hurdle racing or a Orand National one day. A further Instance of remarkable improvement was revealed in the case of Wayward whose success we predicted in the Severals, and if she stays the mile she is going to make the cracks sit up in the classic races for fillies. Site is a perfect type of the wide, strong filly, with wonderful quality and true symmetry, and we had seen her go well enough with The Speaker to justify our confidence in her ability. She stripped moreover, in grand condition, and will go on winning. Margarethal made a good fight under her big weight, for the ground was heavy, and her preparation had been a light one. though I would not attach too much importance to this after her performance, for it evidently suited her. and we saw so many horses run better on the lightest of preparations this week than they ever may do again. In these sharp five-furlong races a good start and fine speed are the chief requisites, and a quick beginning gave Margarethal and Wayward some advantage over Lord Ijonsdalcs Eagle Rest. one of the Governments fillies, so that there is hope of something better next time she runs. Tagamor and Sunset Glow showed little promise, and the lack of a back rib leaves a weak spot in the conformation of the latter, made more apparent now that she lias grown so much. North Country Winner. The Wood Dillon Stakes gave us a glimpse of the North-country horse Roubaix, a sou of Miuoru. which showed excellent stamina last season, aud in a particularly smooth performance lie defeated Vallance quite as easily as Brown Prince had done the previous day. There was some doubt about his having done enough work owing to the heavy falls of snow in the North, but this may have proved Ceilings saviour, as it is stated that it was generally possible to do work throughout the frost. There was nothing in the nice to show exactly the merit of the performance, but Roubaix is a fine horse, and it is evident that Colling is going to have another good year. Perhaps the most important of all the three-year-old races was tlie Column Produce Stakes, for which Coq dOr, Gay Crusader, Athdare, Minstrel, Rosmarin and Aleli provided an important Two Thousand Guineas trial. In a paddock inspection prior to the rnce we thought Gay Crusader had grown up a bit on the leg, was still a bit too narrow in bis quarters. He did not bear the final polish of the best Manton efforts by any means, and has room for great improvement. Coq dOr unfortunately is a gelding, which naturally relieves him of much substance, so that he evidently stripped the fittest of the party on the lightest possible preparation. Aleli is a particularly fine, powerful, but gaudy, chestnut of the Blair Athol type, which cannot fail to improve, and Athdara. which had done as much work as Mr. Gilpin had been able to venture on. still stripped considerably above himself, though he had not grown in length or height, and was always of peculiar temperament. The fine, upstanding Minstrel has thickened con siderably, though he carried no stable confidence, and was further behind Coq dOr than was the case last year. It was said then that his only attribute was fine speed, and this he displayed in his race on Wednesday nearly to the Bushes, so that he is bound to win in bis turn on bis proper course. Athdara simply did nothing at all. but he will see a better day even if the classics prove beyond his powers. The honors of the race rested with lay Crusader, which, in spite of a sl.iw beginning, ran on under his big weight of 135 pounds with great stoutness, and finished like a good horse. It will lie recalled that last autumn Coq dOr made a great fight with Dansellon over the Rowley Mile, and with the latter also on view on the final day when he won the Craven Stakes we have a confirmation of their two-year old excellence, and get a reminder tiiat the positions in which the two-year-olds finished last year will with slight variation be maintained as three-year-olds. Mr. Hultons filly Rosmarin ran sufficiently well to prove most useful as a trial nag to Knutsford for the Two Thousand and Margarethal for the sister race, ami will improve further herself. Concerning Dansellon. Dansellon was eagerly scanned as he walked around the enclosure in the Birdcage before racing. It may be remembered that he was our winter selection for the Derby. It cannot lie said that he is a lieauty to look at. for he is high on the leg, narrow ami of the lightest possible build throughout. There is nothing good aliout him. in fact, beyond his splendid action and that lean, sinewy appearance, which so often denotes fine stamina. This is just what he possesses in the highest degree, and with indomitable courage he is one of the lazy sort that will do no more than he is absolutely obliged. I heard Donoghue say yesterday that he would not beat a back at home, and this is just about bow he ran his race against Rhonn and St. Quin. He was always there, and though it required some pressure to get the race out of him up the hill, be kept on with his 132 pounds without the slightest sign of faltering and I like his Derby prospects all the better. Unfortunately, be is not in the Two Thousand and the brunt of the battle in that race will be borne by Grand Fleet, Knutsford, Gay Crusader or Teleplius and Invincible. Magpie ran well in a handicap, but it would have taken less than a stone to have brought him and Dark Legend together, which looks hardly good enough. — "Warren Hill" in London Sporting Life.

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