Notes on French Racing: Cold Weather Interferes with the Early Season Steeplechasing, Daily Racing Form, 1924-03-15


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I ! NOTES ON FRENCH RACING Cold Weather Interferes Witn the Early Season Steeplechasing. Great Increases in Roth Flat and Crosscountry Stake Distribution in France for the 1921 Season. SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE. PARIS, France, February 29. Although steeplechasing is now in full swing in the neighborhood of Paris, flat racing will not begin until March 14. If the preparations which have been made by the authorities meet with the success they deserve, the season will be the most brilliant since the war. It is hoped particularly to sec a revival in steeplechasing. Since the armistice it must be admitted that steeplechasing has been rather under a cloud. The prizes have been small in comparison with the stakes to be won on the flat. In this matter the authorities have not had an easy task, for they have had to meet heavy expenditure in connection with the transformation at Auteuil. However, there will be big increases in stakes for most races, and this fact, it is hoped, will stimulate owners to put more of their horses over a country. Richer prizes will be offered on the flat, as well as over the "sticks," and the total increase will amount to several million francs. VALUE OF DERBY INCREASED. Thus, for instance, the value of the Derby is increased from 150,000 francs to 200,000 francs, and 25,000 francs has been added to the Oaks Stakes. Among the stable changes which have taken place during the closed season, Richard Carver, who since the war has been with George Stern, will take charge of Lord Derbys stable in this country. It is also understood that Quirke, the Irish jockey, will ride for him. Racing has been spoiled during the past week by bitterly cold weather, which made the ground hard, so much so that last Thurs- day at Auteuil racing had to bo abandoned, As a result interest .centered in the meeting at Enghein, but many owners and trainers, not wishing to risk their horses, kept them in the stable, with the result that small fields were the rule. An interesting race was the Prix Courcolet, which brought Meissonier and Se Souvenir into opposition once more. These horses had been concerned in a close finish at Nice, the advantage resting with Meissonier. Saturdays race did not upset this form, Mcison-nier winning by over a length from Se Sou-venier, which in his last five outings has been placed each time. ORICAN SCORES AGAIN. Orican, which showed good form on the Riviera, won his second race since his return to Paris, when he carried off the Prix Quand Heme. But the opposition was scarcely worthy of mention. There were only two other runners, one of which fell. A feature of the meeting was the success of the favorites, which won in every race, but the odds in most cases were so short that it cannot be said that backers really had a good day. It was a Finot day at Auteuil on Sunday, for the principal event was named in memory of that good sportsman, and the other races bore the names of some of his famous jumpers. There were large crowds present, but the racing was somewhat tame, there being barely sufficient runners to make the sport interesting. However, for the Prix Finot seven of the best four-year-olds in training went to the post. Bapeaume, the favorite, gained an easy victory, and incidentally the first success which has attended M. Gugenheims colors for some time. Mitchell had Bapeaume well placed throughout the race, letting Le Fugitif make the running to the last fence. Once on the flat Bapeaume went clean away, and won in a canter by three lengths. Les Flanquins was a moderate third, and Lago-bette a poor fourth. PALATIN AND VIGO. The Prix Baudres was a match between Palatin and Vigo, for the third runner, , Sesekhris, only started in case an accident befell the two others. Palatin defeated Vigo by live lengths after a tame race, and thus confirmed his victory of the previous Sunday, when he beat Salam. The only thrill of the aftemoon came in the Prix Val, which was won by Bon Placement, a 39 to 1 chance. There were only five runners for this selling plate, and when the last jump was cleared it appeared as if Spec-tateur, the favorite, had the race well in hand. Bon Placement was then only third, but he overtook Clafouti, and then proceeded gradually to overhaul Spectateur. It appeared as though Barre were riding Spectateur with a little too much confidence, for Bon Placement, making a supreme effort, succeeded in winning by a neck on the post. . j I j , 1 1 : l 1 .

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