Memoirs of the British Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1922-07-02


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Memoirs of the British Turf V BY THE HON. GEORGE LAMBTON. SECOND ARTICLE. Archer was generally the first man out of the paddock, and by doing- so was able to get the- rails: there waa no draw for places then. He was a marvel at the start, never giving trouble to the starter, but always well away. Even with a horse which ho was going to wait with ho was anxious to get well off and to be in front for the first eighth. His faults were sometimes being too severe on a horse and not being too scrupulous in stopping a dangerous opponent. I remember a race for the Queens Plate at Newmarket when Archer rode Chippendale, Wood Edelweiss and Griffiths, a north-oountry jockey. Hagioscope. Chippendale was a hot favorite. Hagioscope the outsider, 100 to 15; the race finished on the old Cambridgeshire course. At the Red Post Archer was on the rails. Griffiths in the middle between him and Wood. Archer saw that Hagioscope was going too well for him, so he humped him on to Edelweiss, and between the two Griffiths looked like having a bad time. But he was equal to the occasion ; he nearly knocked Wocd over, and then squeezed Archer on to tho rails, kept him there, and beat him a head. Wodlow, who trained Chippendale for Lord Bradford, wanted Archer to object. Ho replied, "No, I cant; I began it." I met Saunderson, who trained Hagioscope, later and remarked that Griffiths had distinguished himself. "Well," ho said, "Griff may not be much of a jock, but when it comes to foul riding I will back him against any jockey breathin." GRIFFITHS EEPAHTEE. There was rather an amusing paragraph in a bright sporting paper of that week. Before tho race for tho Queens Plate everyone was saying: "Who the devil is Griffiths?" After the race Griffiths said: "Who the hell la Archer V Archer, of course, had his enemies and detractors, and rumor and scandal did not spare him, but I believe the best answer to the charges is the fact that once a stable, owner or trainer employed him they contln- j ued to do so as long as he lived and to the end he retained the confidence cf the public So much for Archer as a jockey. What about him in private life? He was in many way3 as remarkable. Even while quite a boy he was courted and flattered by every kin of man and woman, and early in life ue became the idol of the public. I have seen crowds waiting outside the Queens Hotel, Manchester, to see him come out and go to the races, and yet he never suffered from that prevalent and disagreeable complaint of "swollen head." I think the shrewd, hard, common sense of Mat Dawson, for whom he had the greatest affection and respect, was a great he p to him and he generally went to him for advice in his difficulties, .tith his quick brain he was a god judge of human nature, and could manage men aa well as horses. He .d not make many intimate friends, but to those he had he was affectionate and loyal and his friendship was lasting. DEATH OF WIFE GREAT SHOCK. The early death of his wife, a daughter of the late John Dawson, was a great shock to him and for a long time afterward his oovoted friend Captain Bowling never left his side, even sleeping in his room, as niere was even a fear that he might take his own life. He had one daughter, to whom ho left iiis money, which, I believe, was somewhere near ?500,000. Archers brother Charles was then training for l ord Ellesmere. He began life as a jockey. Like Fred, he was a fearless, dashing rider, but weight soon put a stop to that line of life, and he quickly made his mark as a trainer. He and his brother were great friends, but In spile of that on ono occasion in a race, when -e tried to come up inside Fred, ho was promptly put over the rails and nearly broke his necK. The biggest stake he ever went for was on Highland Chief in the Derby. Highland Chief was a great, leggy, split-up, long-striding horse by Hampton. He had started favorite for the Two Thousand Guineas and ran moderately, but he improved as the season went on and Charles Archer still had great hopes for the Derby. Fred, who rode him in the trial before Epsom, told, his brother that liis hopo of the Derby was forlorn, but Charles did not think so, and at long prices ho backed Highlnnc Chief to win a fortune. Undoubtedly he was unlucky not to land it, for Fred Webb, who rodo the horse in the race, waited just too long and was beaten a neck by St. Blaise. ST. BLAISE SLIPS TELROUGII. I saw the race from the ladies gallery at Epsom, standing next to Lord Alington and Sir tTederie.: Johnstone, who were joint owners of St Blaise. Wood, on St. Blaise, a nice handy horse, slipped round Tattcnham Corner on the inside and made tlse best of his way home, followed by Gailliard, Fred Archers mount, witli Highland Chief drawing up in tho middle of tne course and coming with a tremendous burst in the last hundred and fifty yards. Nearly everyone thought that Highland Chief had just got up and won, but unfortunately for Charles Archer it was two strides past the post that ho got his head in front. As the horses flashed past the post Sir Frederick Johnstone exclaimed, "By God. were done," and when St. Blaises number went up he was astounded. Gal-liard was third and Goldfield fourth, this confirming their Two Thousana Guineas form when they were first and second. Webb made some amends the next day, when he got home by a neck on Lowland Chief, owned by Lord Ellesmere and trained by Charles Archer, in the Royal Stakes, and by doing so upset a tremendous gamblo on Lord Gerards Sweetbread, hailing from Machells stable. Lov.tand Chief started at 100 to 12. Charles Archer was one of those men who would never be beaten, and he got back his Derby losses and more on the horse. I have heard many discussions as to which is the best horse which has been seen In the last fifty years; all such comparisons appear to me to be futile, but for what it is worth I should certainly give St Simon the first place. Perhaps he had not such great horses to oppose him as had Ormonde and others but no matter what his opponents, whether good or bad, when his jockey let him out to win his race, they appeared like common Belling platers. til 18S3 this wonderful horse electrified, the public by his astounding performances as a two-year-old. His history is too well known to need much comment. j Originally the property of Count Batthyor.i ! and bred by him, St. Simon came up for sale at Newmarket after the count3 death i in 1SS2. He was then trained by John Daw- son, whose brother Matthew went to see the j horse before the sale. Both hocks had !;; dressed. A story is told which I cannot vouch for j that the old gentleman looked carefully over the horse, then licked his fingers and rubbed j them over the dressing, smiled, and went i away murmuring something about "me ! brother John." When the horso came up for I sale he was bought by Matthew Dawson for ,000 for the Duke of Portland, assuredly j the cheapest horse that was ever sold. j Everyone knows that St. Simon was never j beaten and was as great a stallion as he was a race horse. He laid the foundations : of the great Welbeclc Stud and the wonder- ; fi:l success of the Duke of Portland on the turf. The last time I saw the horse remains in my memory. I was staying at velbeck. A Hungarian, Count Pctockl, who had come purposely to see St. Simon, was there. The count was an extraordinarily handsome man and a great lover of horses. When we were j shown into St Simons box he stood and 1 looked and looked, but not a word did he say. Eventually he took off his hat and made a low bow to the horse. St Simon lookeu somewhat astonished and as the man and horse stood looking at each other they presented a wonderful picture of the equine and human thoroughbred. St Simon did not run after 1SS4. He hac educated the public as to what a high-class race horse should be and the two-year-olds of 1S85 nobly lived up to that standard Ormonde. Minting and The Bard. I doubt if there were ever three such good horses of one year. Besides these three there were Saraband, Mephisto, Gay Hermit, St Mirln, Loved One, Fullerton. Oberon, The Cob, Carlton, Miss Jummy, Modwena. Nearly all these horses made turf history at some period of their career by winning great races. The flying little Modwena, the property of the Duke of Portland, won nine good races as a two-year-old, but thl3 was not surprising seeing how she was bred, by Galopin Mowerina. I remember so well the mare starting at 6 to 5 on for the Post Sweepstakes at the Second October Meeting at Newmarket There was a rumor that John Porter was running a good horse belonging to the Duke of Westminster, and everybody was on the qui vive in the paddock. Tho general verdict was that Porters youngster was a great, fine horse, but had not the best of shoulders and was not likely to beat such a flying filly as Modwena. OEaiOITDES TTTRF DE3TJT. In the race ridden by Fred Archer, tho big colt won without an effort, although the verdict was only a length. This two-year-old was tho redoubtable Ormonde, which never suffered defeat. Ten days later Ormonde came out for the Criterion Stakes at the Houghton meeting, which he won in a canter by three lengths. On the following Yednesday he started at G to 4 on for the Dewhurst Plate and again won easily by four lengths. That completed his labors for the year 18S5. Ormondo as a two-year-old, and even as a three-year-old, was low in front of the saddle and in hia slow paces was not a taking mover. Archer told ma himself that until tho horse was extended he always felt himself to be sitting on hi3 neck. Thi3 no doubt gave rise to the idea that Ormonde had not the best of shoulders. He retired into winter quarters in the opinion of many people the probablo Derby winner of the following year. Now The Bard, the joint property of General Owen Williams and Mr. Robert Peck and trained by Martin Gurry, was an exactly oppesito type of race horse. He was a beautifully made little chestnut horse, ticked with white, in shape and conformation Impossible to fault THE BARDS FIRST JIACE. He made hi3 first appearance in the Brock-lesby Stakes at Lincoln, which he won easily by two lengths. He won sixteen races without knowing defeat a wonderful record for a two-year-old, and he was never properly extended in any of these races. His last race that year was for the Tatter-sall Sale Stakes at Doncaster, and ho then retired for the season, his half owner. General Williams, declaring that he would not run again before the Derby and that no horso in the world would ever beat him. and there were many people who agreed with him. Minting, owned by Mr. 1L C. Vyner like Ormonde, was a great big colt of enormous pdwer and substance, but in spite of that Matthew Dawson managed to bring him out in June for the Seaton Delaval Plate at Newcastle, when, ridden by Jack Watts and starting favorite, he won in a canter by six lengths. He following this up by a victory in tho Prince of Wales Stakes at Goodwood, again ridden by Watts and winning by five lengths; Jacobite, a nice colt belonging to Mr. Bowes being second on each occasion. He then won the Champagne Stakes, this time his jockey being Archer, and he beat Gay Hermit and others easily by a length and a half. MINTING WINS TRIENNIAL. After that he beat two bad horses in a Triennial Stakes at Newmarket and then came the Middle Park Plato, a race which gave rise to an immense amount of discussion, both before and after. Robert Peck had at this time retired from active training and had put Humphreys in charge of his own horses and stable, but he still held the reins and kept the closest supervision over the establishment Mintings chief opponent was Saraband, a beautiful chestnut colt belonging to Sir John Blundeil Maple, who then raced under the name of Mr. Childwick, and trained by Humphreys. He had won six races out of seven, and it was known that his trainer entertained the highest opinion of him. Even in those day3 rumor was busy with the names of the leading jockeys, though, thank heaven, not to the same extent as it is at the present moment and there was no doubt that Archer, Mintings jochey, and Robert Peck were great friends. Archer rode for Peck ; whenever he could he dined with him, he hunted with him and that was quite sufficient for the suspicious Continued on page thirteen. MEMOISS OF BRITISH TTJEF Continued from page twelve. . and "know-all" brigade to say that Archer was in Pecks pocket. Therefore, previous the Middle Park Plate there was a prevalent "canard" that Saraband would win the race and not Minting. I remember tlie race vividly. It was run in heavy going, and coming down Bushes Hill, Braw Lass, trained by John Dawson and ridden by a "pillar-to-post" jockey called Giles, held a useful lead from Wood on Saraband, Archer on Minting waiting on the pair. Every one expected Braw Lass to stop as she breasted the hill, but instead of this, slipping through the mud, she increased her lead. There was a roar from the ring Archer and Wood were seen to call seriously on their horses. Minting rolled badly as came into the Dip, In a desperate race home it was always doubtful if Saraband would catch Braw Lass. Two hundred yards from the post Archer, having balanced Minting, put in one of those superhuman efforts which had gained him the name of "The Demon," and got up the last twenty strides to win by a neck from the mare amid intense excitement. Saraband being beaten a neck for second Tlace. After the race gossip was rife, tho aforesaid "clever brigado" saying, "What did tell you? If Saraband had been good enough to win Archer would never have got up Minting." A story went round tho clubs that Mat Dawosn had said, "If It had not been for me brother John coming down like an angel from heaven wi his Braw Lass, Minting would not have won tho Middle Park Plate." I very much doubt if the old gentleman ever made this remark, as I am convinced ho never for a moment doubted tho integrity of his jockey. To Be Continued. ; - r to o e a 3 d ,- r. p 3, as .s y he e S a. r, m in n n d i- we re h on m m ce :k in ;d iy

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