Great Steeplechaser Discovered: Champion Hurdle Racer Waterbed Proves Himself Eligible to Liverpool Grand National Consideration, Daily Racing Form, 1919-02-04


view raw text

GREAT STEEPLECHASER DISCOVERED Champion Hurdle Racer Waterbcd Proves Himself Eligible, to Liverpool Grand National Consideration. The first racing of this year in England took place at Manchester January 1 and 2, the two days being devoted to steeplechasing and hurdle racing under National Hunt rules. The attendance on both days was simply enormous. The two big races of the meeting were the Victory Steeplechase on the first day and the Victory Hurdle Race on the second. The steeplechase was endowed with ,000 and the hurdle race with ,500 and each race was at two miles. The steeplechase was invested with added importance from the fact it was held to have a relation to the Liverpool. Grand National Steeplechase next March. The "favorites at 3 to 1 each were Pollen, 158 pounds and Saneso, 150 pounds. Third choice at 4 1-2 to 1 was the great hurdle racer Waterbcd, carying the top weight of 172 pounds. This was correct picking, because in a great finish Waterbed won by a neck from Pollen, with Saneso a good third, eleven others starting. This iK!rfonnanee was of such a striking character that "Vigilant" was moved to say in London Sportsman of the next day: "Just now Waterbed is the equine hero, and as a result of his fine performance at Manchester everv-body is singing the praises of the grand son of Feather Bed. whose name, however, finds no place in the Stud Book. He first ran as Sir Peter Walkers when starting favorite for the Manton Two-Year-Old Stakes at Newbury, but found one too many for him in Eager Eyes, which won easily. It may be assumed that he had been tried to go fast, but apparently never ran up to his form as a juvenile, for lie disappointed on several other occasions when much fancied. Waterbed did not run as a three-year-old, and reappeared as a hurdler in the following year, but without showing much promise until lie broke the spell at Lingfield in March by winning the Godstone maiden race, which he supplemented with another bracket shortlv afterward at Gatwick, having in the meantime been sold after the death ot Sir P. Walker for ISO guineas. There was nothing in these performances suggestive of great merit, nor did the horse accomplish anything out of the ordinary as a five-year-old. when he won the Lingfield welter flat race; but after he had run away with the Reigate Hurdle Handicap he did a series of good performances over hurdles under big weights. It was not until last year that he showed himself in the light of a champion hurdler, and sound judges liegan to compare him with celebrities of the past like Chandos, which in my opinion wus the best hurdle riccr I over sjiw, GREAT IMPEOVEMFJdT SHOWN. "At Gatwick in January Waterbed led off with a fine show in the Deepdene hurdle race, and completed a meritorious double by winning the Hever Handicap on the following day; but on the same course failed to concede twenty-one pounds to Saxon. These achievements were eclipsed at San-down when ho romped up the hill an easy winner from Stainton and handsomely avenged himself on Saxon. This was universally accepted as oue of the most impressive victories of recent times. There was no longer any question as to which was champion, but there were greater deeds to follow, and most of us stood spellbound when at Esher again, under the hunting burden of ISO pounds, the horse won the Waterloo Hurdle Handicap, giving literally heaps of weight away to the opposition. It was an electrifying exhibition, which was greeted with tremendous cheers. AVaterbed was subseqUentlv purchased on behalf of Lt.-Col. Busby Itird for 2,000 pounds, to be delivered up by Mr. Bennett, for whom he had done such yeoman service, after the Champion hurdle race at Gatwick. That event was reduced to a match, and there was heavy gambling between him and Seneschal, which received a stone and twelve lengths beating. It was by the adyiee of Mr. Sievier that Col. Bird bought the horse, and considering his position in the handicaps, his new owner seemed to have paid full value for this good horse and there was not much to hope for as a chaser on the flat. "The idea was, however, that Waterbed might prove as good over a country as over hurdles, and I fancy the Grand National was the object in view. At the first time of asking Waterbed won the Victory Steeplechase, and no doubt recovered the purchase money with compound interest. I believe there was some trouble with Waterbeds legs while being trained on the flat last back-end, but this has been overcome and he is apparently all right again. He Is a bold, natural fencer, and I should say a stayer, and although it was only by a neck that he won, I fancy lie will be better yet, and Pollen will never again get as near to him at the weights. It was, in fact, a good performance on the part of the winner and suggestive of greater things to follow. To find a first-class steeplechaser at Newmarket again reminds one pleasantly of the good old times when Capt. Machel was an enthusiastic supporter of National Hunt racing, and-Joseph Cannon, Marsh, Ryan and Jewitt hud first-class steeplechasers and hurdle racers under their charge."

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1919020401_1_6
Library of Congress Record: