view raw text
TURF AND PUBLIC IN AUSTRALIA. The fact of being able to risk some money on It gives to a horse race a personal element that Is lacking to any other sport, says the Australasian. Thus the Melbourne Cup flourishes, while in other games the public fancy ebbs and flows. It is the element of personal excitement derivable from betting that makes the turf what it Is, for. to quote the American humorist, Mr. Dooley, "If it wasnt for the betting, there would be more people at one of Ibsens plays than at a horse race." The turf in Australia Is in a somewhat unique position. In England horse racing is a sport for the rich, and the multitude that follow it do so under conditions of discomfort that would not be tolerated here for a moment. In America horse racing is a business; on the continent a race day is merely an excuse for a picnic. But in Australia democracy has made the race course its own, and the gentlemen and sportsmen who own the animals competing are looked upon merely as trustees for the public, and any breach of trust is resented by vociferous bootlngs, often enough unfairly bestowed.