"Boss" Croker As Turfman: Irish and English Trainers Found Him Hard to Please.; Queer Notions About His Horses--Orbys Peculiar Handling and Placing in Races., Daily Racing Form, 1922-05-26


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BOSS CROKER AS TURFMAN Irish and English Trainers Found Him Hard to Please Queer Notions About His Horses Orbys Peculiar Handling Handlingand and Placing in Eaces Blackthorn the Irish correspondent ot the London Sportsman who was extremely friendly through turf avenues with the lato Richard Croker pen pictures the exchicfa peculiarities and horse doings in a most in ¬ teresting article as follows r rThe The many men associated with the lato Doss Croker in his horse breeding and racing enterprises in Ireland found him difll cut to handle for he was not a little whim ¬ sical and at tlaies obstinate while always he was emphatically unorthodox in his meth ods It is doubtful if Orby ever should have run as a twoyearold but be that as it may he should not have been started at the Leopardstown August meeting at P which he made his debut J J Parkinson trained Ormes son and he advised Mr Croker that it was sheer f fl recklessness to run him on the hard ground on account of the thin soles of his feet but the owner wanted hia colors sported and run Orby should He came back to the paddock with his feet bleeding Again I he was started at the Curragh and beaten Then in the case of Rhodora a grand i type of highclass mare he iusisted en mat ¬ ing her with her halfbrother Orby and i when the outcome of that alliance was an abortion he sold her in disgust A couple of years ago he met his boys leading in 1 his horses from the training groumL and stopping each boy at the entrance to tho lyartl Inquired Whats that So and so sir Take the bridle and saddle off it and let it out Into the field and so all or nearly all the horses in training were suddenly turned out but whether permanently or temporarily I did not hear About a year before he died he conceived the idea of breeding for sale and so his racing activities ceased though I fancy that in his heart of hearts he was sorry for mak ¬ ing such a resolve for th re is no doubt that he liked racing in Ireland much for he knew everyone and everyone knew him and that it gave him the greatest pleasure to see the Yale blue jacket on the race course courseJEALOUS JEALOUS OF HIS THOEOUGIHJKBDS THOEOUGIHJKBDSI I have read all the notices that I camo across of Mr Croker and his political activi ¬ ties in New York and also the many studies of his character that the announcement of his death occasioned The lengthiest review which came under my notice was that by T P OConnor in the Daily Telegraph It waff interesting but it was neither more in ¬ teresting nor informative than that in to ¬ days Irish Field Mr OConnor wrote that an American acquaintance of his had re ferrcd to Mr Croker as the silent Napo leon I knew Mr Croker well and while he may when a politician have been a silent Napoleon he was certainly not such as a sportsman I met him in his own house He was not talkative but not by any means the glum silent inflexible individual he has j been represented Moreover he was sensi 1 I tive about any criticism passed on his horses and that trait of his made it not a little difficult for those of us whose business I it was to write of horses and their merits with his amongst the number freely and without restraint to hear that Mr Croker was displeased with some view expressed I He did as a matter of fact reproach though not by any means angrily a col ¬ league of mine for not being more com ¬ plimentary to the Glencairn horses but when my colleague stood up to the com plaint and asked him to indicate one specific instance where he was uncomplimentary Mr j Crokers only retort was Youre not com ¬ plimentary to the Glencairn horses Thero was no use in continuing a discussion with one party to it harping on a single phrase and so it dropped but the accusation to use a damning word of the deceased sports jman was not warranted Probably some wouldJ I little remark that every other person would wouldI I have passed over stung him and not un likely he took it to mean something that it did not mean BOSS CHOKERS 3IA2fT TRAINEES Mr Croker was fond of changes and even during the few years he raced in Kngland j prior to making his home in his native coun i try he had at least five trainers in P Reiff j Clement Leigh C Morton and Vishard i while in this country J J Parkinson Jamea Allen Dr F F McCabe C Prendergast F Grundy acting under the Irish Bloodstock Agency hishorses and Power were in charge of his horses At times a number of them went over to England to the late P F Hartigan I and H S Persse PersseHe He formed at times an absurdly high idea ideaof of the capabilities of those he bred and when they did not live up to his estimate of them he was disappointed and usually j there followed a change of trainers But all his trainers cannot have been wrong all sjthe time and only himself right It was a pity that Mr Crokers idaa of his thoroughbreds was sometimes so unduly exalted because he was a good sportsman i and really liked racing He laid out an im mense sum cf money equipping tho Glen cairn stables and paddocks and while of course he had a big reward in breeding two English Derby winners in Orby and Grand Parade as well as an English One Thou ¬ sand Guineas winner in Rhodora he also had the satisfaction of picking up almost every important race in Ireland save tho recently established One Thousand and Two Thousand Guineas His best horse was Orby of course but a great many of the notices written about his sporting career have omitted mention of Illinois which broke his leg early in his histhreeyearold threeyearold days It was the general opinion that the son of Americus and Nara would have achieved splendid results had he not come to an unexpected end That something really was thought of him wag evidenced by the circumstance that the year after foaling him Mr Croker sold his dam to Lord de Clifford but on Illinois coming to the front he restored the mare to his stud by repurchasing her Rhodora was a wonderfully fine mare and a firstclasa per ¬ former

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1920s/drf1922052601/drf1922052601_11_4
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Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800