view raw text
HORSES OF TODAY AND YESTERDAY Australian Turf Writer Says Thoroughbreds of Present Time Superior to Those of the Past. Comparison of horses of the past with those of the present day is a favorite theme with many lld-time racing men. and some will tell you they wen really as good thirty years ago as they are now. Especially will the impress upon you their consistency as against those of our own day, but I fancy they lose sight of the fact that, as a rule, jt was easier for a horse to win two or three races right off the reel then than now. Our liaudicapiMTs s,.,. the same horses racing so often that they can gauge their merits with a degree of accuracy that Make it difficult for a competitor to win «nt of its turn. And if our horses did not show all-around improvement as compared with those racing up to the beginning of the 90 s it would mean that nothing had lieen gained by aU the care exen laed in latter-day mating of thoroughbreds We all know that no certainty attaches to the result of any mating, but where careful selection is made of strains of blood likely to suit each other it is onlv reasonable to supiK.se the .Mid- are more in favor of a breeder getting son. thing good for his pains than if he had not gone lM-vond consideration of the fact that he bad -cm a well -bred mare to a well-bred stallion. I hav- often heard the remark, "You don t bee horses standing out like Carbine and Abercorn did in ilieir d.iv.- Admittedly that is so, but though tliev were undeniably great performers, the margin then was prol.ai.lv much greater between first-rater* and second-raters than at present. With a greater number racing, it is much more difficult for two or three horses to continue to demonstrate their superiority for a couple of years. At all distances horses now put up times that would have Im-cii regarded ;s almost impossible thirty years ago. and in answer to the contention that proportionately a greater number of stayers were met within I lie earlv da vs. the fact remains that horses then won mile* and a half and two mile races in time that would now seem ridiculously slow. There is no need to indulge in lamentation over the alleged decadence of our race horses Development of pace is the principal object Hi breed-i ,g bloodstock, and it is not too much to say that . mat object is ling accomplished. Most men have li,«- idea that there were never such men, women. or horses as those of their youth; but, as speed machines, the horses of twenty-five years ago were, as a whole, inferior at all distance* to those now racing. Exception may be taken to this statement, but the watch — in which we put so much faith in Australia — goes to prove the correctness of it. With times gradually improving, it is surprising that it should be argued our horses are not Ix-tter. I have never yet heard it contended that the man able to run 100 yards in ten seconds was inferior to the man who took ten and a half seconds; hut that is actually the position some racing men take up in respect of horses of the present and the past. So far as the tracks are concerned, som» in the various metro|tolitan areas may have improved, but in the country then* are some that have chaiiged but little; and even on these some of the "had horses" of today are knocking seconds off the times recorded by old-time champions. — Pilot, in Sydney Referee.