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! ! . . SMALL TALK OF THE TURF ABROAD. If the returns of steeplechase meetings generally be reviewed, it will be found that the proportion of horses ridden by amateurs is smaller now than it w-u*. twenty or even ten years ajjo, and this decrease, reflected as it is in the Grand National, a mount in which is the ambition of every man who wears silk between the flags, is the point that wants explanation. — Bailys Magazine. Writing under date of February 13 from 21. Avenue de la Grande Armec, Paris, Mr. Richard Figes says: "I thought perhaps you would like to know that I have this day tendered my resignation as starter to the French Jockey Club and all societies in France, after twenty-five years service." We regret that it should be ill-health which is depriving the French turf of Mr. Figes valuable services. "Truth" thinks that the bill foreshadowed by the Bishop of Hereford for the suppression of a number of things in connection with racing will have the support of the government, and will become law, the most drastic of its provisions, such as the publication of the betting odds, being dropped so as to make an appearance of concession, though no idea was or is entertained of them being carried. In short, "Truth" anticipates that the story of tin-street betting bill will be that of the new and far stricter measure. It has been decided by the Auckland Racing Club committee that bookmakers wishing to do business at the summer meeting shall pay $]On per day, and an extra 5 for a clerk. Naturally, the pencillers say the charge is prohibitive, but there is nnlikely to be any change of front by the Auckland Racing Club. However, judging by the sympathetic reception accorded by the premier and attorney -general to bookmakers deputations, there is a possibility of governmental pressure being brought to bear in cases where racing clubs evinc ■ an inclination to treat the memliers of the ring with pronounced antagonism. — Sydney Referee. From all accounts. Mr. Weinbergs stable will again be a formidable one. G. Walker has thirty-four horses in training at the moment. Among them are ten three-year-olds and fourteen two-year-olds. Festa, the best mare in the stud, is represented .among the former by Faust, and among the latter by Fervor, a bay colt by Galtee More, which has pleased all who have watched his smooth action and the manner in which he covers the ground at home. With Murillo, a colt by Florizel II. out of Meta II., Fervor makes a pair full of promise, while the fillies seem certain to keep the reputation of the stable safe. The conditions of the meetings arranged by the Hungarian Jockey Club have just been published. and show an increase in the amounts given by the club of 5.500 sovereigns. At Budapest there will be three meetings, with prizes amounting to 97,-075 sovereigns: at Alag one meeting flat races, s.590 sovereigns; and at Tata one day, with 1,370 sovereigns, so the Hungarian Jockey Club offers races to the value of 102,005 sovereigns. A fresh course seems to be adopted by the new stewards, as only eighty-three handicaps are to be decided against ninety-five last year, and the distances of a considerable proportion of the races have been augmented. This is a good innovation, as there are- too many races over five and six furlongs, especially handicaps which are simply gambling races.