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. v I j | t t J I j j I I | I • ] t ] 1 I i ; . I THE BEST HORSES OF ALL YEARS. Mr. Chaplin is reported to have committed him self to a statement of opinion thai The Tetrateh j was the best two year old he had ever seen, led j even excepting Hermit, and it would really be nil reasonable tor anyone to declare that he had eer sen a better two year old than The Tetrarch. lor I there has never been one in living memory which won bis races more easily. But, after all. UUCS bona such as these are answered only by individual I fancy or prejudice. Mr Chaplin, for instance, might have thought of such two-year-olds as St. Simon. 1 Ormonde, or Minting, but quite naturally be harked back to his old friend. Hermit, just as I am in J the habit of harking back to BUir Alhol. So. too. many of us have taken an interest from time to time in classifying the Derby winners we have known; but, excepting for recorded trials which throw real light on the matter, our classification • does not ,-;t all convince others who are as capable j judges as w - are. The greatest authorities have never, so far as I ! am aware, been tixed ill their beliefs as to wl at . was their best horse. At different times I have heard Mallow Dawson mention St. Simon. Minting and I.adas in this connect ion; and I have also heard John Porter declare Rosi.-rucian to be the IksI lie ever trained, though events, later, tamed his fancy to Isonomy, Ormonde and Hying Fox. He could not believe that Flying Fox was better than Or- motnle. but then neither he nor anyone i jse ever knew how good Flying Fox was. We have none of us ever -nil the horse which could so effectually demoralise his opponents In the lirst two furlongs as Flying Fox used to no. A stable like the Kings j Here, one with lassie representatives year after year, could naturally, to some extent, keep in touch with the form as years went on. and Flying Foxs trials were really more remarkable than his public victories by reason of what he was asked to do at home, anil did without an effort. The late Puke of Westminster once said to me, after Flying Fox had won a race and was being led away: "We know no more of him than you do. He always wins like that at home, no matter what he is asked to do." Mr. Chaplin is at any rate correct in proclaiming The Tetrarch to have been an abnormally gxxl two year old. and the point °f substance is to ascertain whether The Tetrarch is really well. It seems to inc. however, that Mr. Chaplin was unite right in refusing to commit himself to any prognoeticatioti as to the colts Derby prospects. Why on earth should be do so? I have several times instanced the case of Kccossiis. which was possibly an evn more brilliant two year-old than The Tetrarch. and he failed in his three year old classics. What I came out t . enquire, however, was if any man had ever known a best horse which he could prove to be. or have been, better than any other horse that is or has ever been. The proposition is impossible on the face of it. though we may si ill take Rtair Alhol in his "vintage" year: also Ormonde, in a similar year: Spearmint, bv his gallops with Pretty Pally; Bayardo, by his wonderful Ascot Cup victory but, after all. what does Individual opinion amount to: Peer old Bruce Lowes judgment by results is the only useful test after all. and it will hold iat for ever and ever. I do not want to be understood as maintaining that it is mil of the question to arrive at any sort of definite conclusion when trying to compare classic winners of one year with those of another. I suppose no one would be inclined to dispute a statement that Bayardo, for Instance, was a much Indler horse than Abbyeur of Night Hawk, or that Spearmint was a better Derby winner than Minoru. Persimmon nia. without fear of contradiction, be preferred to Jeddah: Ormonde to Merry Hampton; I. idas to Sir Visto. or Flying Fox to Volodyovski. lh short, it is not too much to say thai classic form varies from year to year to ike extent of at hast twenty-one pounds That was what Sam Darling estimated to be the difference between his two successive Leger winners. Suttee More and Wild fowler. Where the notably best classic winners, however, are concerned any useful comparison is really Impossible, and we may l o glad that they were never ante to meet one another, for then all tint on* would have had to figure as shattered idol-. "The Special Commissioner" in London Sportsman.