Here and There on the Turf: Visit of Epinard. International Racing. Englands Attitude, Daily Racing Form, 1924-02-28


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Here and There on the Turf Visit of Epinard. International Racing. Englands Attitude.- There is a great deal of speculation at the present time regarding the possible effects of the projected visit of Epinard to this country upon the American turf in general. There is no doubt that the appearance of the Wcrtheimer crack on American rac2 courses would be a great stimulus to general interest in racing, but whether public interest will exceed or even equal that aroused by the visit of Papyrus last fall is a question. Epinard, on the strength of his p2rform-ances, appears to be a better horse than Papyrus. The carefully laid plans for his American campaign hold much more promise of success ban the hurried arrangements that were necessary in the case of Papyrus. With three races scheduled for decision after Epinards arrival, the French colt will have a much better opportunity than Papyrus to "establish his real class. Tha visit of Papyrus, generally speaking, is likely to stand for years to come, however, as the most spectacularly successful venture ever attempted in American, racing, so far as attracting public interest is concerned. An Epsom Derby winnsr usually gains by that one victory a prestige altogether out of proportion with his real merits. The presence of Stephen Donoghue, Englands leading jockey, served to stimulate public interest even more. The visit of Papyrus was an altogether new and fascinating venture. There was something about the scope and size of the whole affair which appealed irresistibly to the public imagination. The newspapers were generous with their space, because the facts held so much real news value. Even a repetition of the Papyrus visit would not attract such vast attention again. There is something about the first attempt at ! such a project which attracts general interest, far bsyond anything that may be possibh when the venture is repeated. Epinard will come to this country with an exceptional reputation. He .will be accompanied by his American trainer, Eugene Leigh, and his American jockey, Everett Haynes. Iiis two races at New York tracks will undoubtedly attract big crowds and his third appearance, in Kentucky, may establish an attendance record for the Latcnia course. But it is too much to hope that publio interest in his visit will reach the heights of last fall, when Papyrus came to this country After the Papyrus race was over and the English newspapers had given vent to their frequent and bitter comments on the international match, the prospects for a continuance of international racing in any form appeared extremely dark. The failure of the Epsom Derby winner seemed likely to react unfavorably against any future attempt to bring about another match, of similar character. This condition, so far as England is concerned, remains unchanged. Although Stephen J Donoghue and Basil Jarvis have expressed the hope that they might return with another horse for another attempt to lift the Inter- national Challenge Cup this year, it does not appear likely that the owner of a really high-class horse will see his way char to challenge for the trophy. Under the conditions announced by the Jockey Club when the International Cup was offered, it will remain in the custody of this country until a challenger appears to race for it against the best American three-year-old. These facts give to the visit of Epinard an added interest. If the great French. colt comes to this country and fails, as Papyrus failed, international racing will probably suffer a serious setback. On the other hand, if Epinard wins one or more of his races his success will do much toward offsetting the effect of the Papyrus invasion on the attitude of English turfmen. There is a strong attraction in international sport for all nations. The English take an active and fairly successful part in international racing in France and sport of other sqrts, and it is only natural that they should turn to international racing as well whsn it is definitely established that such competition is feasible. It would be an excellent thing for the future cf international racing if the American owners who made nominations for the Ascot Gold Cup and other races to be run in England during the coming summer could see fit to send a few horses of high class over there to compete. This would make it impossible for the English to accuse the American turfmen of a desire for all the advantages in such competition. This was the cry which was set up by the English, sporting press last fall during the negotiations for the international match race. In spite of the fact that the English visitor was accorded every consideration after his arrival, the result of the race appeared to demonstrate that the American had all the advantages. This, as a matter of fact, was ! almost entirely the result of New Yorks fickle climate, which turned the track into a lane of mud the day before the race.

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