More About Pretty Polly: Sensational Debut of the Filly in British Dominions Plate, Daily Racing Form, 1924-01-27


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MORE ABOUT PRETTY POLLY Sensational Debut of the Filly in British Dominions Plate Trainer Gilpin Tells Amazing History of Her JnTcnllc Career Mow the Skepticism of Experts Was Overcome by Her Jlaclng. Continuing the story of Pretty Polly, P. P. Gilpin, the English trainer, writes in the London Weekly Dispatch: I am told that Sceptre, -which was a robust mare, throve on a hard preparation for any event, but Pretty Polly differed from her in this as in most other respects. She was not as robust as she looked and a light preparation always suited her best, as the amazing results of her first race plainly revealed to me. I have a clear recollection of the first time I saw the filly that was to be world-famed j as queen of the turf during her career. She j was then walking with other yearlings in the paddock at Eyreficld Lodge, Curragh Camp, and seemed to me to be a thick-set youngster of no outstanding beauty. To judge by her condition she had done herself well : she was fat. She was owned and bred by Maj. Eustace Loder, in whose colors she subsequently ran. It was not surprising that Gallinule should sire so speedy a mare as Pretty Polly ; for the Gallinule 7 rogeny have a great reputation "when in doubt back a Gallinule" is an old Irish saying. The cause for astonishment was that so moderate an animal as Admiration should be the dam of such a flyer. Admiration had publicly run a moder- , ate animal indeed. She won a couple of small races in Ireland, and was beaten in the Grand Military at runchestown when ridden by poor ilaj. Hughes Onslow, alas ! no longer witli us. AD3IIUATIOX GOOD 15IIOOD MARE. Admiration was one of those mares which, though poor performers oh the course, nevertheless often make good brood mares. Admiration has become somewhat famous for her progeny, of which Pretty Polly was her fourth. Her first two foals were of no account, but in 1900 she produced Veneration II., a useful animal, but famed on the turf . as the dam of the unlucky Derby winner, Craignour, the horse that was disqualified and gave place to Aboyeur. Pretty Polly was born in 1901. Next year Admiration produced an own sister to the , famous flyer in Adula, a useful mare and j dam of a good filly in Knockfeerna. After that Admiration produced, in 190::, Admirable Crichton, just a useful horse and in 1904 j another own sister to Pretty Polly in Ad-rjnnodjirtHMlMMH iiB MORE ABOUT PRETTY POLLY Continued from ninth page. j do they? "Well, Id be quite content to have the colt. Ten pounds better, is she? We shall see." . I Few -who witnessed the race -will ever J forget what happened. For myself I have never seen the like happen in a field of such good youngsters as ran that day in the ; British Dominions Plate. There must have teen a good deal of money floating around . for the mare. Up till the start the price was jumping about between 100 to 8 and C to 1. In one part of the ring it was eights at the same time that it was sixes elsewhere. ; Pretty Polly was fourth favorite. John o Gaunt was well backed into favoritism at 2 to 1, and Jack Hawthorne and l Lanline were second and third favorites respectively. In a field of ten runers John p Gaunt was conceding the newcomer six pounds. Each runner was criticized in turn as they went down to the post hard by i Ksher Station. The horse that attracted the most favorable comments was the beautifully 1 bred and much talked about John o Gaunt, on which sat Mr. afterwards Sir George Thursby, looking confident and naturally un- , aware that a filly was in the field which was to make turf history in the near future. They arrived at the starting gate and lined up. Then came the usual shout, "Theyre off:" followed by another of "False start!" as indeed, most thought was the case, for something was out by itself a hundred yards . cr so in front of a galloping field. I had my glasses up and could see there was nothing wrong with the start. It was perfectly all right, but Pretty Polly ran clean away from her opponents instantaneously. By giving it as ten lengths the judges greatly under-estimated the win, for, as can be seen by the photograph which I still have, there were forty-two white posts between the first and second. So the win must have been by at least fifteen lengths. From one of the descriptions of the race I cull the following extract: "It was only a moderate start. When the barrier went up Pretty Polly jumped off clear. After going half the journey Pretty Polly had drawn out with a twenty lengths lead, and though ATergia took second place at the distance, it was a case of hare and hounds, as Pretty Polly made all the running, pulling up by ten lengths." JOCKEY SURPRISED. "Was it a false start?" was the question put to most of the jockeys as they came into the paddock, but the surprised jockeys gave a negative answer and said "That chestnut filly Trigg rode went away like lightning, and before anyone could realize what was happening she had lost us." When a horse starts like this, as novices occasionally do, it usually comes back to its field before half the course has been covered, and the jockeys in the British Dominions Plate had expected something of this sort to happen with Pretty Polly. But she did not come back. After the race Mr. Thursby found in Trigg cause for some amusement ; for when un- saddling. Trigg was lamenting that Pretty Polly was slowing down of her own wili as she passed the post. "Considering she was a hundred yards in front of the favorite, I am not surprised at that," laughed Mr. Thursby. The Thursby stable had gambled heavily on their horse that day and suffered a severe blow through Pretty Pollys amazing debut, but Mr. Thursby was a magnificent loser and he was genuinely amused at Triggs quaint lament. Naturaljy Major Loder was astounded, and I who had invested two modest ponies at starting price was pleased and surprised, especially at the distance between first and second. The horse she had so badly beaten, John o Gaunt, was one of those animals that had been written up from his birth and had an altogether exaggerated reputation, to which he was quite incapable of living up. By Isinglass from La Fleche, he was bought by Sir John Thursby as a yearling at Doncaster and was never more than a second-rater really, though he was second in the Two , Thousand Guineas, second in the Derby and second again in the Newmarket Stakes. They were a moderate lot that year, the classic ; horses, and it was a case of Pretty Polly first and the rest nowhere all the time. The next day Mr. Huggins, who trained Major Loders other horses, came to congratulate me on Pretty Pollys debut and I asked me what I had been doing to produce such a result. There was nothing to tell 1 him, because Pretty Polly had been treated the same as my other animals, only she had I been born with the gift of that electric dash i that we look for so often and so seldom i find. Pretty Polly won the second race the National Breeders Produce Stakes at Sandown, over the same course again, as easily as her first, though it was not as spectacular a l race as that for the British Dominions Plate. In the latter race, Trigg, in winning on the : filly, had not shown quite the amount of r wisdom that I expected, although there was ; 1 excuse for his riding, since he had been badly treated by the crowd for losing a previous race, which might have been won. I patted I him on the shoulder and told him not to worry and handed Pretty Polly over to him, with the result stated. This time Halsey was her jockey, winning with her from a field of eleven by two 1 lengths at the starting price, 2 to 1 favorite. - She was giving weight away to most t and, hard held all the time, cantered home ; when asked. Many were the eulogies of the new flying , filly published after that race. Hero is one: "When Pretty Polly sailed home alone for the Dominions Plate many ridiculed the idea L that she was the same class as her stable j companion. Pet Colt Delaunay and even I ventured to hint that the result might have been, in a certain degree, a fluke. It can 1 now be clearly seen that she is the ten 1 lengths and more in front of Vergia when l receiving three pounds ; and, although it t would be unwise and unjustifiable to pick j holes in the coat of Pet Colt, I certainly . think that at the present time her claims on the point of merit are a little stronger." In the three weeks since Pretty Polly made - her Sandown debut she had come on in rapid 1 fashion and notwithstanding, therefore, that t she had put up the extreme penalty, unrelieved by any allowance, the 3table estimate , of her chance was of a confident nature. Another writer said: "Though I have seen Signorina, La Fleche, , Sceptre, Memoir and many other mares as two-year-olds, Pretty Polly is the best I r have ever set eyes on. I never saw any r two races won so easily as she did hers. For now, despite the fact that she was giving more than a stone, Halsey came out on her i j at two furlongs and won in a canter. She is the best filly out, it not the best of her year which I believe she is but time will prove, as she is Gallinulc from a Saraband mare. I fear this daughter of Gallinulc will not stay as a three-year-old."

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