An Old-Time Australian Celebrity: Etienne De Mestre and His Exploits with the Famous Archer, Chester and Others, Daily Racing Form, 1917-08-11


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j " J o a s c t , a I I I i I I I J I j I , , ! i 1 J ! I - I AN OLD-TIME AUSTRALIAN CELEBRITY C" 3up I bln ilack. I wlu Etienno De Mestre and His Exploits with the fon I in in Famous Archer, Chester and Others. enti I asti c. Q. : The death of Mr. Etienno Livingstone do Mestre, I of 3t announced in these columns last week, recalls to I fan mind many important and interesting turf events day day of a period in which Australia had quite a galaxy of at 1 of large-hearted, enthusiastic, and clean sportsmen. I Coc and not one perhaps more notable than the old Ros Rose squire of Terara, who in his honorable racing ritj rity; career of thirty years contributed a big page to I Rol the sporting history of this country, both as a the the studmaster and owner, as well as trainer. He was I the the born in Sydney in 1832. His father, a native of I Fro From France, was a city merchant for some years, and I at at had stores near the old Tank Stream, in Pitt street, ma mares De Mestre, senior, purchased the Terara estate, of I stu stud. thousand acres, on the Shoalhaven river, two I in in miles east of the present town of Nowra, and this, I the the with other farm property that he subsequently I nar acquired in the same district, was at his death left I .Mr, .Mr. to his son. "Ettie" early became infatuated with I tur turf racing and the raising of stock, and attracted I I considerable attention as an amateur horseman. I nai name When fifteen years old he won a good race at I wii Bnthurst on a mare named Sweetheart, his own I Pai Paul, property; but it was not until 1857 and 1S58 that Ida black he showed that he was a master of the art of for fore. training. I paf pagne In the above-mentioned years Mr. De Mestre I Pri Irix, became associated with Messrs. Rowland, Hassall Mc and Tom Roberts, of Exeter Farm, Braidwood, the the and Mr. G. T. Rowe father of Mr. G. W. S. Rowe, the present popular Rosehill secretary ; and on I the Liverpool course in 1857 he won the principal I handicap on a gray mare belonging to Mr. Rowe. noi He followed this up by training successfully on one Mariner and Sailor, both by Sailor, and the con- hoi horse tinued successes of these two horses, which were I yvo the property of Messrs. Hassall and Roberts, may I in jn bo said to have been the starting point of a Na thoroughly honorable and singularly successful I wh career. Another good friend to the subject of this I wa was notice was a mare named Greenmantle, which car- ried the colors of Mr. Rowe first past the post in yi quite a number of prominent events. Several other I hoi hoist good horses got into his hands, and won inuumer- I tin the able races between 1858 and 18G0. he lie First Melbourne Cup Winner. The great Archer then went into his stable, and I set with this horse Mr. De Mestre won the first Mel- tli tld bourne Cup ever competed for. This was in 1801, I di Club and in the following year Archer won the Cup De again. On the first occasion his weight was 133 j Vi pounds, and on the second 142 pounds. Cutts, one I Hi of the best of our old-time jockeys, was the sue- on on cessf ul pilot each time. Archer appropriated many j h,j handicaps and weight-for-age races, and at the ag age close of the great horses career Mr. De Mestre I i0 became the caretaker of the gallant Tim Whif fler, J by by which carried the black and all black to victory in I Hi a great number of the leading events of the time. I be In many of these races he had to do battle with I v the mighty Barb, Fireworks, Glcncoe, and others I th the cf John Taits powerful string. Yattcndon, win- co ner of the Sydney Cup of 1SGG, was another good I f0 for horse that passed through his hands. In 1807 Tim -Whifflcr won a big double, as with 120 pounds he la landed the Metropolitan Stakes in a field of seven- Mi teen, and, journeying on to Melbourne, he won the Melbourne Cup with 123 pounds, having 20 behind him. And this is the only occasion on which this I double lias been won by the one horse. Johnny th the Driscoll was Tims pilot in each race, and the name I yc of De Mestre became highly popular through these I pa wins, to say nothing of many other events secured le: by the triumphant pair. About tills time the Terara I ev trainer had two useful horses in Stumpy and M Phoebe, and won a large number of races with t them in manv parts of New South Wales. From I to to 1SG8 to 1S72 the stable had a fairly good winning th the turn. In the latter year Dagworth carried the all- w black to victory in the Hawkcsbury Handicap, and hi big Metropolitan Stakes, and repeated the Hawkcsbury N performance in the following year. On this oc- ri casion he was ridden by George Donnelly, one of the most respected of our turf-goers. In 1873 I d Horatio, a fine son of Maribyrnong, won the Met j tl: the ropolitan. Thus Mr. Do Mestre had landed the tl Hawkesbury Handicap and "Metropolitan," two ft years in succession. With Horatio and Dagworth Si lie had a try for the Melbourne Cup, but suffered w defeat, although each ran into a place in their re- tl spective years. I Robin Hood and Robinson Crusoe. I In 1873 Mr. C. B. Fisher placed a number of j , valuable youngsters in Mr. Do Mestres hands to y undergo a preparation. Among them were Golds- I ri broughs brother, Robin Hood, Burgundy a son of I p ? Sour Grapes, Sovereign a son of Fireworks 1 Rose of Denmark, a colt by The Marquis sf Slyvia, and Redwood, by Manuka Springblos- jr in som. These youngsters were taught their duties nf by Ned Bourke and William Brennan, the latter of I n I I whom was afterwards a successful trainer in the I Vi metropolis on his own account. In 1875 Robin Hood I 0 suffered defeat in the Australian Jockey Club s: Derby, won by Richmond; but, travelling on to u Flcmington, he turned the tables by carrying George Donnelly to victory in the Victoria Derby. At p the 1875 Spring meeting of the Victoria Racing a a Club the Angler Chrysolite colt, afterwards called h Robinson Crusoe, ran badly, and Mr. Fisher then p handed him over to Mr. De Mestre to train; and 4. at the Australian Jockey Club Autumn meeting of the same year the Champagne and Produce Stakes were credited to Mr. Fisher, and Robin Hood won the Australian Jockey Club Leger at the same y meeting, a performance repeated in the following vear bv Robinson Crusoe which in the previous K spring had also placed the Australian Jockey Club J; Derby to Mr. Fishers credit. About this time the li imported horse Grandmaster was placed in Mr. De- r Mestres hands, but he proved a failure, and was ; j I x. returned to his owner. The Terara trainer also i v "i put the finishing touches uikhi Imperial and A. 1. I j prior to their victories in the. Sydney Cup in. 1875 i t and 1877. In the latter year Mr. De Mestre, by the aid of Chester and George Donnelly, placed the : j n, Australian Jockey Club Champagne Stakes and i other races to Mr. K. K. Coxs credit, and at the ; close of the meeting the late Hon. James White ; i purchased Chester for 2,000 guineas, but left him i ; in Do Mestres hands to .be trained for his three- . year-old engagements. Wintering well, Chester put t I .s in an appearance at the Australian Jockey Club j I I Spring meeting of 1877. and was made a great t I t favorite for the Derby, but Joe Silberbcrg, then i one of the leaders of the ring, upset the pot with i i Woodlands,. Brickey Colley being on the winner. . Yattendons son, however, scored two wins at the s I F. pi meeting, and was then taken to Melbourne for the a spring events. I j ?s. I Der1- nd Cup Winner Chester. I I The Victoria Racing Club meeting opened aus- . J II piciously for Mr. De Mestre, as Vulcan, a son of f Yattendon, won the the Maribyrnong Plate, and j His Lordship, in the same stable, ran third. This s E was a good start, and, as the stable was in form, , I the public piled the money on to Chester for the e I Derby. Paddy Piggott, one of the leading jockeys, i ble had the mount, and the Hon. James White scored j his first Derby win. This lie followed by Avinning s the Melbourne Cup, and the ringmen received a a I terrible facer over both events, which Avas not im- . I proved by the stable winning, several other import-, . ion I nnt races at the meeting. In the interim between n I Ka the spring and summer meetings the Terara trainer r for for I took things easy, until the Ncav Years Day of 1S7S, I when he brought out Chester for the Champion run, jn Race of the Victoria Racing Club, and he Avas ex-in in ceedingly confident of victory. Meeting James Wil-icli such son, the veteran St. Albans trainer, who had First I King Avouud up for the event, Mr. De Mestre told the the him that Chester would run three miles in 5:30. this his "Will he?" said Mr. Wilson; "then, if lie docs, the the First King will run it in 5:2G. And the result that liat proved his judgement, as First King Avon in the I the the time predicted by his trainer. Remaining in Mel-igh rough bourne for the Autumn meeting of the Victoria the the Racing Club, Mr. De Mestre Avound his charges up on on to the moment, and, for a start, Avon the Ascot day lay Vale Stakes with His Lordship, and then brought out Chester to meet First King in the St. Leger; the the but to no purpose, as Mr. Wilsons horse Avon coni-ked fortably. A similar result followed in the Aus-ity tralian Cup, and then the two great guns lay back in in for the Town Plate, oh the last day of the meeting, ind In this event First King had to carry a penalty of tricks cks seven pounds, and, this difference enabled Chester or or to score a victory. Other races at the meeting had, the the however, fallen to the all-black stable, and the may lay check on settling day was a big one. Returning to sport iort Randwick, Chester suffered defeat in the Leger, :rly Cap-a-pie being the Avinner. His Lordship, hoAveA-er, her avenged this defeat by appropriating the Cham-ite. state. pagne Stakes. Chester and Cap-a-pie met on the third day of the meeting over a mile and a quarter, s-w A dead-heat resulted, and Chester won the run-off, and finished up by winning the three-mile event. The meeting was a successful one for Mr. De Mes-lich which tre, and Avhen his team retired to Avinter quarters day he had a Avonderful record for the season. He came be be out in the spring with a fine team, and at Rand-ines James Avick appropriated the "blue ribbon" by the aid of this this His Lordship. Others of his string Avere victorious i of of at the meeting, amongst them being Calamai. been jn De Mestres Fifth Victorian Derby, ad- The Victoria Racing Club meeting found His This his Lordship a big favorite for the Derby, but lie only branch iich managed to run third. In the Cup. Mr. De Mestre His His had two engaged, Chester and Calamai, ridden re-ced spectively by Joe Morrison and Tom Brown af tor-eat great "wards trainer for the Hou. William Long, and Chester scored a Avin, this being the fifth Melbourne C" 3up bln ilack. wlu fon in in enti asti c. Q. : of 3t fan day day of at 1 Coc Ros Rose ritj rity; Rol the the the the Fro From at at ma mares stu stud. in in the the nar .Mr, .Mr. tur turf I nai name wii Pai Paul, Ida black for fore. paf pagne Pri Irix, Mc the the I noi on one hoi horse yvo in jn Na wh wa was yi hoi hoist tin the he lie set tli tld di Club De Vi Hi on on h,j ag age i0 by by Hi be v th the co f0 for la Mi th the yc pa le: ev M t I to to th the w hi big N ri I d j tl: the tl ft Si w tl I I j , y I ri I p 1 sf jr in nf I n I Vi I 0 s: u p a h p 4. y K J; li r ; j I i v I j i t : j i ; ; i i ; . t I j I I t I t i i i . s I a I j I . J f j s , I e I i j s a a . I . n I r won by horses trained by the owner of the all p Chester, unfortunately, struck against a post ivhennihulng avcII" aiid the result was that Morrisons leg Avas broken. Mr. De Mestre scored avcII L the minor races. Subsequently lie unfortunately jntercd upon ail enterprise that turned out disastrously for him. Tired of the racing Avorld, Mr. B. Fisher, who had long been n staunch supporter the Terara Stable, determined to dispose of his famous Maribyrnong Stud, and on the eA-entful sale al Mr. De Mestre purchased, at big figures, some rt the choicest mares in the stud, among them being tl Cocoanut, Rose of Denmark, La Mousse, Nightlight, r dAmour, Art Union and many others of celeb- b and to make sure of success, the stallions p Robinson Crusoe and Piscator Avere also purchased. I former at a high figure. In fact, the Avhole of t Maribyrnong purchases told up to a big check, fi the moment of these valuable animals arriving tl Terara disaster set in, many of the choicest r dying during their first Avinter at the coastal Then, again, those that lived failed, except f two or three instances, to produce anything to w racing AAorld AA-orthy of their high lineage. Fi- T nancial losses and failing health ultimately impelled t De Mestre to disperse his stud and retire from e activities. .A During the years 1878 to 1880 Mr. De Mestres " did not find its Avay to the roll of classical p winners, but, by the aid of Guinea, Success, Gudarz, q Malmaison, Chesterfield and others, the all- n banner AA-as upon scores of occasions to the o In 1880 the Australian Jockey Club Cham- t Stakes and a Produce Stakes fell to Grand d a fine son of The Marquis, of Avhich Mr. De t Mestre Avas extremely fond; and the same colt Avon .A Victoria Racing Club Ascot Vale Stakes. v Advent of Navigator. In 18S2. the veteran avus in great form Avith !! horses of his oavii breeding. The leading light was f that competent judges had declared the best . they had ever seen, not even excepting the wonderful Carbine, Avhich Avas, indeed, fortunate . never having met as good a thrcc-ycar-old as t Navigator,, or even his brother. Trident, both of which Avere bred at Terara. Navigator for such y the name of the champion started his racing , career in the spring of 1882. In the Maribyrnong , Plato he met Avith defeat, but caused the judge to his number before the meeting AAas OA-er. In Autumn of the same year he shoAved Iioav good was. Starting with the Victoria Racing Club meeting, he carried off the Ascot Vale and Sires Produce Stakes, and, going back to Randwick, secured the Champagne Stakes. As a three-year- a Navigator walked off with the Australian Jockey t Derby and Leger, the Victoria Racing Club c Derby and Leger, the Australian Cup, and other 1 vents not included in the classical list. Tom : Hales rode the bonny black in all these races, and 1 one occasion, Avhen he met that magnificent i mare Hecla, in a mile and a quarter, Avcight-for- race at RandAvick, public excitement knew no I bounds. Navigators stable mate, Nicholas, ridden 1 Brickley Colley, was sent to ensure a pace, i Hecla Avas ridden by Williamson, and some heaA-y I betting took place. At the fall of the flag opinions were so divided as to the merits of the pair that ! betting was almost even about either; but, i good mare though Hecla Avas, she Avas no match 1 Mr. De Mestres black son of Robinson Crusoe i Cocoanut, Avliich Avas looked after by W. Hed-lan, Avho was subsequently given charge of Messrs. I Mcrthyr and Baronets string at NeAvcastle. Black Jacket Falls Out of Luck. 1 Mr. De Mestre Avas to the fore at this time in 1 Geeioiig Clip with Guinea, and the following year repeated the performance Avith Gudarz. This i pair Avas successful, also, in several handicaps of lesser importance. The biggest double-event Avager ever made by one firm in Australia Avas laid by Miller, Jones and OBrien, then the heaviest bettors in the ring. The Avager was 50,000 pounds 250 pounds about Navigator and Gudarz for cup. Mr. W. Gannons unlucky Sir William was an inmate of the stable, and Avas backed for money to Avin the cup, as also in doubles with Navigator. When the latter landed the Derby the ringmen were in sore trouble, but The Assyrian jtood their friend by finishing in front, Avith Gudarz a good third; and, game fielders though Tingmen were in those days, they shivered in their boots Avhen they snvr Gudarz coming to the front, and it was a happy moment for them Avlien Savilles horses number went up, as the Avinner was scarcely backed except by those connected with the stable. From 18S3 the black jacket Avas seldom .seen in front, though always prominent, and for two seasons luck of the most heart-rending do-criptioii followed the veterans horses. There Avere many expressions of regret when, early in 1887, Mr. Clibborn announced the retirement from the racing .arena of the .owner of the black jacket. The dispersal of the Terara Stud took place on April 23 of the above-stated year, at the local stables, the sale being conducted by Mr. Clibborn, conjunction Avitli Wallace and Rowe, auctioneers, the Braidwood district. All the horses A-ere readily disposed of, excepting several of the veterans old favorite mares, such as Phoebe, Gi-ovalli, etc,, Avhich Mr. De Mestre retained. The sale realized big figures, and was attended by leading sportsmen of Noaa South Wales and other states. The Terara Estate AA-as soon afterwards placed iu the market, and was purchased by Mr. Hugh Mackenzie, of Bundauoon, Burrier Shoal-haveiL River , who paid 40,000 pounds cash for the property, AA-hich consisted of 1,000 acres, and has since been added to. Unblemished Racing Career. During his racing career of over thirty years there was never the breath of suspicion cast against Mr. De Mestre, and the public folloAvcd his horses knowing they got a good run for their money. Had Kticune De Mestre resorted to the tricks Ave see practiced at some of the meetings today, he would probably have become an immensely Avcalthy man. Hut there AA-as no deception about his dealings; his word Avas his bond, and the public knew it and I followed liis banner, as in later years they followed I the fortunes of the Hon. James Whites stable. In the zenith of his fame as a racing proprietor mid trainer, Mr. De Mestres extensive stables at t Terara Avere frequently visited by people from long ; distances, and telegraphic announcements of the movements of his string of horses between Sydney and Melbourne, and their achievements at either capital, Avere regularly posted at the little telegraph I office in the old township Avhich Avas named after his estate, and founded largely by his enterprise 3 and personal influence, and by the support gener-i - ally given to the center by the small army of stable 1 attendants and training hands that he employed there, He had a good training course on the Terara property, and, notwithstanding the demands made 2 upon his time and that of his staff by interstate engagements, lie liberally assisted local turf meetings s and occasionally sent a horse or two to engage in II the events. The names of quite a number of the 1 successful Terara horses Avere adopted for business s concerns. A tobacconists shop would bear the name ? Gudarz, and a billiard room that of Calamai, Avhilst stage coaches ran under the names of Navigator, ; Tim Whiffler, etc. Mr. De Mestre AA-as fifty-five years of age Avhen "1 he removed from the coast to the milder air of 1 the tablelands at Moss Vale. It Avas then knoAvn n that his health Avas in a precarious state, but the change of residence and circumstances must have e proved beneficial, for in the new environment his s days AA-ere lengthened to eighty-four years. The e widow, five sons and three daughters survive him. "Sydney Referee of November 8.

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