Memoirs of the British Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1922-08-01


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" t Memoirs of the British Turf J , BY THE HON. GEORGE LAMBTON. ! Third Article. J At that time, and always, I had a great admiration for Matthew Dawson, and many ; are the pleasant afternoons I havo spent . In his company, listening to his words of wisdom on horses, men and jockeys. Know- j ing my love of racing and being a great raconteur, he never seemed tired of impart- , ing his great store of knowledge to me. By the way. It must not be thought that the story I related In my recent article about Mr. Fcnwiclc and Mimi left any unpleasant relations between owner and trainer. They were both far too good sportsmen for that. Noel Fcnwiclc, although he betted heavily himself, was as open as the day about his horses. At Exning. a fortnight after the Middle Park Plate. I was having a cup of tea with Matt while he partook of whisky, when in strolled Archer. They began talking about the race. "You nearly threw that race away. Fred." said the old man. Archer admitted that ho had held Braw Lass too cheaply, thinking he had only one horso to beat in Saraband and that he had called on his horse too suddenly coming into the Dip. with the result that Minting was completely unbalanced, and it was a hundred yards before he could get him going again. "But." said he, "the horso does not act well downhill and he will not suit the Epsom course." ARCIIEIiS HOUSE KNOWLEDGE. After Archer had left I asked Matt what he thought about this with reference to tlic following years Derby. Tho old man scratched his head, and said, in his usual broad Scotch: "Im no saying hes not right; Ive liad doubts meself, and the young divil, when hes ridden a horse, seem to know more about him than I do." Thus at the end of tho season 1885 wc havo three unbeaten two-year-olds all engaged in the Derby of tho following year, owned by great sportsmen, trained by three of the best trainers of the day and sure to bo ridden by high-class jockeys. The Bard was not engaged in the Two Thousand Guineas. During the winter and spring of 1885-8G I was more interested in hunting and Bteeplechasing. and I had not been flat racing except at Liverpool beforo tho Two Thousand week. But up to that time none of tho crack three-year-olds had been seen In public. Reports a3 to their progress wcro most flattering. John Porter was supposed to have said that Ormonde was the best horse he .had ever trained ; Matt Dawson vowed Minting was a smasher, and Peck averred that The Bard was better than ever under tho skillful training of Gurry, and also that he would give the two cracks a dusting up with Saraband in the Two Thousand, as lie was very forward and greatly improved. MINTING A PICTURE HOUSE. Tho week before the first spring meeting I was staying at Exning and went to see Matt Dawson. He showed mo Minting, which was looking a picture, having gone through one of Matts severe preparations with every satisfaction, and there was no mistake about it. a horso had to work for his living when Matt set about him. Often three. canters before a gallop, and out nearly three hours every morning. I wonder how the horses of these day3 would stand it? Perhaps they would do better on it than we think. But at the same time Matt liked his horse to go out for a race full of confidence, and, as he put it, "thinking ho could lick creation." Beforo going away I asked him what he thought about Ormonde. He replied: "VtTien John Porter says he has a good horse, you may be certain that he has a d d good one, but he does not know what I have got," adding, "when it comes to a matter of talking Ormonde wins the Two Thousand, but when it comes to a matter of racing Minting will win." On tho day of tho raco confidence In Minting was unbounded. Ridden by Watts, he started at 11-10, Saraband with Archer 3-1 and Ormonde, George Barrett up, 7-2 ; any price the rest George Barrett was a clashing young jockey just coming to the front, mucli like Archer in style, but inclined to be in a hurry. Tho race was disappointing to watch. From the fall of tho flag Ormonde and-Minting raced right away from the field, each jockey trying to cut the other down. ; Half way up the hill It was all over, and Ormonde won cleverly, if not easily, by two lengths, nothing else near. MINTING CHANGES STRIDE. As I saw Minting again roll and change 1 his legs coming into tho Dip. I remembered Archers words to Matt Dawson after the ! Middle Park Plate, but unfortunately for my pocket I had forgotten them before the ! race. Naturally the disappointment of Mr. Vyner and Matt Dawson was great, and the old 1 gentleman retired from view for two days, . but never again from that moment did he ! have any illusions as to which was the better horse. Archers view of the Two Thousand is interesting. I was much disappointed at l- what I thought a rather tame display on i tho part of Minting, arguing that he must be quite ten pounds behind Ormonde. Archer would not have this, saying that t when you get two smashing good horses s trying to cut each other down over the i Rowley mile the pressure is so great that L one or tho other is sure to crack some way r from home ; it may be just a toss up which i gies way first, but the one which does has no struggle left. He said: "Minting will 1 never beat Ormonde, but Ormonde will never " again beat Minting two lengths in a properly - run race." I have experienced the truth of this theory many times in my racing career, and there is no better illustration than when Diadem, the best mare I have ever trained, and that t great sprinter Tetratema met at Goodwood over three-quarters. They raced together for five-eighths at t terrific speed, Tetratema eventually winning a length and a half. Carslake, who rode Tetratema, told mo afterward that he did 3 not have a pound in hand at the moment the mare cracked. Ormonde and Minting never met again i until Ascot of the following year, when Mint ing was again beaten, this time by a neck, :, with the great Bendigo three lengths off. It was decided soon after tho Two Thou ! J ; . j , ; 1 ! ! 1 . ! l- i t s i L r i 1 " - t t 3 i :, sand that if Ormonde kept well Minting c would not run in the Derby, but would be kept for the Grand Prix. So Ormonde had I 1 nothing to beat but The Bard, which had not yet run that year, but had satisfied Peck in his home work that he was good enough to win ninety-nine Derbys out of a . hundred. But tho public would have nothing but i Ormonde, and with Archer up the Duke of i Westminsters horse started at 9 to 4 on, 1 and Tho Bard C Wood, 9 to 2 against, j As in the Two Thousand the two good j horses came right away from the others, Ormonde winning, as I thought, easily by a j length and a half. 1 I believe that Robert Peck, and I know that General Williams and Gurry, thought 1 that Wood rode a bad race in not making : enough use of his horse, but I dont think , there was anything in it good as he was, j The Bard could not beat Ormonde. j Three weeks after the Derby The Bard i put up a great performance in the Man- 1 Chester Cup when he was second to Rivers- dale, a very smart horse, giving him no fewer than thirty-one pounds. After this he , was never beaten again. j Minting was sent over to run for the : Grand Prix, his old pilot Archer to ride. : I went over to Paris for the week. At that 1 time the feeling between England and France ! was not at all friendly, and the authorities j wero nervous lest there should be a riot if the English horse won. Besides Minting ; the Duko of Hamiltons Mis3 Jummy, win- : ner of the Oaks and the One Thousand, was in the field, ridden by J. Watts. The race before the Grand Prix was a : handicap with a biggish field. Archer got a mount, as he wanted to have a ride round the course before the big raco, but, said he, "I am not going to take any risks ; they are a rough lot riding, and if they want to put me over the rails they will have to : do It on the outside, for that is whero I am going this time." I felt rather sorry for the owner. In the Grand Prix they went off as usual ; at a cracking pace ; it was a very wet day and the going was heavy, and half a mile from home Minting was some way behind the leaders, but coming through quickly he won in a canter by two lengths. Archer, having been warned of the danger of a riot, pulled his horse up short on the post, was into the saddling inclosure and off his horse before anyone had time to F E RN AND E AND HIS SUSPICIONS. At that time there was a Yorkshire solicitor named Fernandez, who for a short period had some influence with Mr. Vyner ; he was a shrewd judge of racing, but a most disagreeable man, and thought the worst of everyone. He told Mr. Vyner that Archer was going for Miss Jummy, and that he had backed her to win him a !ot of money. I told Fernandez that Archer had advised me to bet on Minting as much as I could afford. "Oh," says he, "he will put you in tho cart like everyone else." I laughed and offered to bet him ?2,500 to fl.OOO on Minting beating Mis3 Jummy. After tho race I saw him looking as sour as a green apple. "What about it now?" said I. "The d d thief," he replied, "he never let Minting go till Miss Jummy was beat." It is impossible to convince such people, nor are they worth the argument To continue the story of the season 1SS6, Ormonde won the St Leger and every other race he ran for, always without an effort, and Tho Bard, after his defeat at Manchester, was also unbeaten. The Eclipse Stakes of ?50.000 at Sandown was run for the first time that year and won was by that great horse Bendigo, which beat a good field, including St. Gatien. Minting was in the race, but his leg filled a few days before and he did not run. I have little doubt that he would have won had he gone to the post fit and well. BENDIGOS niGH QUALITY. Bendigo was tho property of that good sportsman Mr. H. T. Barclay, "Buck Barclay," as he has always been called by his friends, the right sort of man to own a good horse : a fine rider to hounds, a fair jockey, riding his own horses in welter races, and as straight as a gun barrel. He is well known to present-day racegoers, as for the last ten years ho has been officiating as judge at many meetings, a position which he has filled with great ability. Bendigo, the winner of the first Eclipse Stakes, deserves a word of notice. He was a magnificent brown colt, by Ben Battle, bred in Ireland. As a three-year-old he ran so well in th? Ccsarewitch that he was marked down by clever judges as the likely winner of the Cambridgeshire. Unfortunately he started coughing badly after the Cesarewitch, but throwing it off a few days before the race Mr. Barclay decided to start him and let him take his chances, and, ridden by Luke, he beat Tonans by a head. Tonans was trained by Tom Brown and backed to win a fortune. Luke, who rode Bendigo, was a very excitable little man, and often lost his head in a raco. On this occasion he went all over the course and finished by himself on the stand side. After the raco ho said to Joe Cannon: "Well, I pulled that race out of the fire." "Did you?" said Joe, "then the fire must have been all over the course." The following year Bendigo, like most Irish horses, improved greatly and won the Lincoln Handicap and the Hardwicke Stakes, but his greatest performance was in the Cambridgeshire again, when, ridden by Archer and carrying 13 1 pounds, he was j second to that good French mare Plaisan-5 terie 12 pounds, she having just previ-1 ously won the Cesarewitch. Plaisanterie, which by her victories took an enormous amount of money out of England, was the dam of Childwick and the grand-r dam of that good horse Tracery. ST. GATIENS PAIR OF BEATINGS. Bendigo in the Eclipse Stakes and Cam-1 bridgeshire beat the Derby winner St Gatien practically at level weights, and he affords an eloquent testimony to the great qualities of Ormonde and Minting, for in that mem-5 orable race at Ascot in 1887 he was a moderate third to these two champions, al-t though that same year he had won the Jubilee with 133 pounds, had been second for the Cesarewitch with 133 pounds, and again second for the Cambridgeshire with 139 pounds, being beaten only half a length. The performances of Ormonde, Minting and The Bard had made the year 1886 a remark- able one, and the Cambridgeshire of that year was also a memorable race in more ways than one. Many people thought that the severo wasting which Archer had undergone, in order to ride St. Mirin at 119 pounds, was the cause of his early death. St. Mirin was trained by old Alec Taylor father of the present master of Manton. He trained for tho Duke of Beaufort, Mr. Manton the Duchess of Montrose, and many others. Ho was a most independent man and did not care a damn for anyone. His language was strong, as, for instance, when the Duchess of Montrose asked him what he thought the chief danger to one of her horses, "Damned to hell if I know, your grace," was his reply. Taylor was a great trainer and was always especially to be feared In the back-end handicaps. There was one class of man with whom he would have nothing to do, and that was a commission agent, and he never employed one to back any horse that was his own property. Several times he came to me with a check for 00 in his hand, saying, "Put this on my-horse." When I told him that 1 was not clever at getting a good price ho said, "Never mind; do the best you can." After the Cesarewitch of that year he advised me to back St. Mirin for the Cambridgeshire, telling me that Archer was going to ride and that tho horse was at a good price. I followed his advice and took 25 to 1 to 50. Four or five days before the race Carlton, an unknown three-year-old in the same stable, suddenly became a strong favorite. Rumor said he had won a great trial. Carlton belonged to Lord Edward Somerset, son of tho Duke of Beaufort, who raced under the name of "Mr. Somers." In those days racing at Newmarket began on the Monday and on that morning I met Alec Taylor going out to exercise. He said. "Come and see my horses work." I did so, though I was feeling a little soro at having been put on apparently the wrong one in St. Mirin. After the work was over I asked old Alec, "What about this Carlton, and do you remember you told me to back St. Mirin?" "Well," said he, "do you see this stick?" he always rode with a very short stick. "There is not more than the length of this stick between the two horses and the long un Archer rides St. Mirin." I was delighted at this, and later on when I saw Archer I asked him what he thought about it. He said that no doubt Carlton was a good horse, but might be a handful for even as good a boy as Woodbum, who would ride ; he had not himself ridden in the trial ; and believed that Carlton had not beaten St. Mirin far. adding that he thought he could get a good deal more out of St. Mirin than the boy who rode him in the gallop. The Cambridgeshire was then run on the old course, finishing at the Old Stand, almost at the top of the town. It was tho finest course in the world, but the stands and inclosure were so placed that it was impossible to get a good view of the race from them. I and Mr. Arthur Coventry were on our hacks below the red post, and I can see the race as if it was yesterday. Coming to that historic landmark Carlton, who had always been in the front rank, was going as well as anything with Tom Cannon on Melton, and Archer on SL Mirin drawing rapidly up. Melton looking especially dangerous. In a moment Woodburn flew to his whip, upon which the horse in two strides was rocking like a ship.; Melton tiring under hi.i big weight. Archer dashes out SL Mirin and rides desperately for home, something on tho far side of the course catching him fasL I thought St. Mirin had just got home, but the outsider. Sailor Prince, beat him on the post by a head, Carlton being a bad third. Archer afterward said that Melton cost him tho race; he was going so well that he brought SL Mirin out too soon. Sailor Prince, trained by that most patient of men, W. D. Stevens, brought off a big coup. I used to ride occasionally for Stevens in welter and hurdle races, and some weeks before the race his commissioner came to me and said he had taken ?5,000 to 25 for me about a horse in Stevens stable. I had forgotten all about it, and it was quite an hour after the race when I realized that was on the winner. One of the reasons why I consented to write these articles was the opportunity they would give me of showing how stories arising out of scandal and rumor come to be almost universally believed and eventually are accepted a3 facts despite their slender foundations, for I think the ugliest side of racing is the ready way in which people believe in the wrongdoing of others. To Be Continued.

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