Here and There on the Turf: Significance of Big Match Papyrus Not a Second Rater. Prospects for next Year, Daily Racing Form, 1923-10-20


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Here and There on the Turf Significance of Big Match. Papyrus Not a Second Rater. Prospects for Next Year. Donoghues Reception. Now that the uncertainties and worries of the last few days are ended the Jockey Club committee in charge of the International race, which will be run at Bslmont Park this afternoon, may well congratulate itself on the success of the undertaking. Of course, the size of the crowd and such details will not be known until this afternoon, but the most important feature of the whole undertaking is the tremendous impetus which it has given to the advancement of racing in the United States. Thousands of people who a few weeks ago hardly knew that there was such a sport as horse racing have been aroused to interest in the-turf through the great appeal of this international match, and not a few of them will be among the spectators at the big Nassau County plant this afternoon. Horse racing has been a popular sport in the United States for a number of years, but even the most ardent racing enthusiast cannot deny that it has been a sport with an appeal restricted to a comparatively small proportion of the population that is, of course, in comparison with England, where practically everybody is deeply interested in the outcome of the big turf events. The International match race promises to mark the beginning of a new era for racing in this country. It is inconceivable that the wide interest aroused by this great race will ever be allowed to lapse. This international competition, which is the life of so many other sports, must go on in racing if not annually, at least every two or three years so that the gains registered by the sport as a result of Papyrus visit here may not be lost. It was an enormous venture which was undertaken by Major August Belmont and his associates when negotiations were begun for the big match. One obstacle after another was overcome, however, and finally the match was clinched, in spite of the fact that some of the richest breeders and racing men in England made every effort to prevent Benjamin Irish from sending Papyrus to the United States. There can be no question that a victory for Papyrus would be hailed in England as a great triumph for British bloodstock, in spite of the fact that many of the leading English turf writers and breeders have been hard at work trying- to arrange alibis for the colt in case of defeat. He has been called a second rater by J. B. Joel and "Vigilant" among others, but American turfmen, after watching the son of Tracery in. his trial of Thursday, are inclined to think that English "third raters" might be excellent stake prospects over here, if Benjamin Irishs colt is correctly rated by these genial British sportsmen. Of course, the truth of .the matter is that Papyrus, although not quite up to the class of the great smashers of turf history, is a higifclass thoroughbred. He was beaten by the filly Tranquil in the St. Leger, but before her recent defeat in the Jockey Club Stakes no less an authority than William Allison, the Special Commissioner of the London Sportsman, rated her as the best filly since Sceptre. It will be no disgrace for the American colt to be beaten by Papyrus. This years three-year-olds, with one or two exceptions, are generally considered by turfmen of good judgment to be far below the average. This is in no sense an advance alibi for the American colt in todays race, but merely a statement of a fact. But there are other years, and there certainly should be other international races. If the owner of next years bzst English three-year-old is as fine a sportsman as Benjamin Irish it is possible that there would be another such an event next year, possibly in England, if Papyrus wins todays race. With such two-year-olds as Sarazen, Happy Thoughts and St. James to make up the three-year-old division of next year America should be well fortified for international competition. Of course, all sensational two-year-olds do not develop into high-class three-year-olds, but it is only reasonable to expect that one out of many good youngsters of .this year will go on to big-things in 1024. , There are several stake races over a mile distance for two-yearclds . yet to be decided in Maryland and Kentucky, and if the top-notchers of the division face the barrier. . in; these fixtures they will, serve to give a good line on the staying qualities of the 1923 two-year-olds. Stephen Donoghues impressions of America thus far must have been decidedly pleasant, although perhaps a trifle wearing. A Dairy Racing Form representative, interviewing the great English rider Thursday after his wild welcome at Empire City, found the little Britisher rather overwhelmed at the enthusiasm of his reception. As a matter of fact a bodyguard of four-Pinkertons, assigned to him when hs arrived at the track on that day, proved altogether inadequate when the crowd began its rush for a close look at this foreign wonder. Great public figures in sporting events attract notice, but this little man, with his fine pair of hands and stout heart, ha3 done things that appeal to the imagination of the sporting crowd far more strongly than the great achievements of politics and commerce. Perhaps the -philosopher would find a theme in this incident for a discourse on the tendency of the crowd to make much of comparatively unimportant things, but most people will find, something fine and inspiring in this spontaneous tribute to clean sportsmanship and riding ability which knows no political boundaries. Stephen Donoghue,- Englands present greatest rider, has come to America and found the same enthusiaHmuoveruhisachievcments here as in the land where his wonders were- performed. And the American crowd,- quick to .take up a catchy slogan, will probably be yelling that familiar, "Come on; Steve!" as Papyrus swings into the stretch at Belmont Park this afternoon, just as the English crowds have done so many times before. America likes Steve, and no doubt Steve likes America.

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