Allisons Latest Memoirs: Memories of Men and Horses of Great Interest, Daily Racing Form, 1922-10-10


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ALLISONS LATEST MEMOIRS "Memories of Men and Horses" of Great Interest. Reviewer in English Publication Cites Interesting Anecdotes In Valuable Addition to English Turf Literature. LONDON, England, September 1G. The latest book from the pen of William Allison, "Special Commissioner," of the London Sportsman, is one of the chief topics of discussion these autumn days in English turf circles. The following review of the book is from Horse and Hound : There are few things in the way of reading which are more fascinating than an authentic book about the turf, and the racing giants of the past, human as well as equine. It is not too much to say that that view is shared by a large section of the public, and it is gratifying to see that pens are busy in the fingers of men who know from firsthand the things of which they write. One may hope that the number will increase, for of all history turf history is the least dryas- dust rather let one say the most attractive. This is why a wide welcome will be extended to "Memories of Men and Horses," by William Allison, the well-known "Special Commissioner" of the London Sportsman. Mr. Allison is a practised writer, and knows his subject thoroughly, while he has for very many years moved intimately among the men and horses he writes of, so that he is completely equipped for the task he ha3 set himself and which he has carried out with entire success. That is to say, he has produced a book of intense interest and one which, taken up, it is difficult to put down again. It is a fitting companion to the same authors "My Kingdom for a Horse," published not long since. REPRINT FLATTER VALUABLE. Not an inconsiderable portion of the book consists of articles from the Sportsman, but they are all worth reprinting and will be of great interest to the younger generation of racing folic Take, for example, the story of the alleged poisoning of Orme. Mr. Allison reproduces his interview with John Porter, in which that able trainer was represented as saying that the Duke of Westminster who had informed the public that Orme had been "foully and deliberately poisoned," and nearly dead, being kept alive by injections of milk and eggs had "formed his conclusions too hastily." The horse had not been "nearly dead," said Porter, who added that Professor Loef-fler had extracted a decayed tooth, although the trainer could not see that it had caused the trouble. In the same issue of the paper in which this interview appeared, "toned down" as it was, the Duke had a letter, in which he stated his conviction as to poison. Of course, there was bound to be trouble. John Porter denied that he had said that the Duke had been hasty; as a matter of fact, the Dukes opinion coincided with his own and that of the V. S., Mr. Williams, and Mr. Allison was compelled to throw oil on the troubled waters. But Loeffler was certain the horse had not been poisoned, and Mr. Allison is disposed to agree with him. But "Audax" tells us that Mr. George Williams assured him that there was not the slightest doubt that the colt had been poisoned, and he examined him thoroughly. So there tho matter rests, still in doubt ; but all of this will be of great interest to younger racegoers, as well as of importance as contemporary testimony in regard to a mysterious and notorious incident in turf history. STORY OF SCEPTRE SALE. Tho history of the sensational Sceptre sale is also related. It was, says Mr. Allison, Captain Machell who prevented the filly from remaining with John Porter, for he advised the present dukes agent, who had instructions to buy any yearlings that John Porter wanted to keep, and had been forced to go to 7,500 for Cupbearer to use some discretion in view of such prices as were being made, and so he gave way at the final touch and Mr. Sievier took the filly. She lost the Derby, as wo all remember, and the cause was lack of work, for it was discovered in the course of time that she needed strenuous work, even on the morning of a race, to clear her pipes. Her gallop in the Derby helped her to win the Oaks, and Mr. Allison thinks that Mr. Sievier, taking on the training job as he did, did wonders to win four out of the five classics with her. Mr. Allison has himself been involved in many notable horse deals, largely for abroad, and he has met and acted for some of the best-known purchasers in practically every country where racing flourishes. He has much that is of exceptional interest to relate regarding these men, and the horses they purchased, and the people who sold them. Incidentally, he relates an incident which shows what extraordinary influences affect the price of bloodstock now and then. Leon Mantacheff will be remembered as buying a large number of horses shortly before the war at big figures, and at the sales he wore an extremely wide-spreading plaid cap, which was strangely conspicuous, and had a curious effect on several opposing bidders, one of whom was incited to further efforts by his good lady. "Go on," said he, "dont be beaten by a man with a cap like that!" As a result Mr. Mantacheff was outbid for that lot. Sir Mortimer Singer became involved in the atmosphere of antagonism to the remorseless cap, and he too outbid Mr. Mantacheff for a mare, giving between 5,-000 and 0,000 for her. "I know," said he, "I have given about 0,000 too much, but I was determined not to be beaten by that man in the cap !" This mare, we believe, was Monte Fiore, which was then carrying Nant Coch, and later produced Achanalt; but Sir M. Singer did not benefit to any great extent from these useful performers, while the rriares stud history apart from them has not been particularly lucky ; so that the blatant cap was not altogether a fortunate influence. Sir Gilbert Greenall was too strong for the spell, however, for he fought a duel with the Russian buyer, but retired at 0,000. It is impossible in the limited space at our disposal to give a really adequate idea of the contents and the wide range of the book. There is much about famous trainers, jockeys, owners, of both the past and the present; and various questions appertaining to racing are touched upon.

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