Memoirs of the British Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1922-08-10


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Memoirs of the British Turf BY THE HON. GEORGE LAMBTON. Eighth Article. After three or four years with Joe Cannon, Hammond had a disagreement with him, and his horses left the stable. I will tell the story in his own words, as it brings out Joes character in a strong light. It was a year or two after the event that Hammond said to me, "I wish I had my horses with Joe again ; he is the best man in Newmarket, but I insulted him, and lie wont train for me any more, although he is quite friendly with me." He then proceeded to tell me the story of the rupture, saying, "I had a horse in a race at one of the Newmarket July meetings. This horse was a bit backward, and I proposed to run him. Joe said I had better not, because, although lie was not fit enough to bet on, yet he might win. "I said he could not win and that I should run him, thinking to myself that Joe would give him a bucket of mash the night before to make things safe. But I did not know how damned particular Joe was, although he warned me again that it was dangerous to run. I was obstinate, the horse ran, and won, without my having a shilling on. After the race I lost my temper and abused Cannon. "That evening I found a note from him saying that I must take my horses away at once. I wrote back trying to smooth things over, but he replied that if my horses were not out of his yard the next day he would turn them loose in the street. He also inclosed a check for a thousand pounds, which I had lent him, and you know as well as 1 how hard up he was at the time." Jack Hammond was a most kind-hearted man and a great friend to the poor in Newmarket, but he was not so "damned particular" as Joe Cannon. CANNONS 31 ANY JtKVKRSKS. It is a curious thing that many of the best people in this world seem pursued by ill luck. Joe Cannon has sustained many reverses of fortune. I have known one thing after another happen to him which would have completely knocked me out, but he has always met these disasters with a joke and the sunniest smile that ever a man was blessed with. The only real good luck that I have ever known come his way is his extraordinarily happy family life and his many-devoted friends. 1 shall always think that if Sir Martin had not fallen in Minorus Derby he would have won it for Mr. Winans and Cannon. I am sure he was a really good horse and never j completely recovered from the effects of that fall, although he won good races afterward. At one time Joe trained for that eccentric and gallant bookmaker Charles Hibbert. Beyond Mercutio, which won the Lincolnshire Handicap, Hibbert did not have any horses of particular note. He Avon a lot of j money on Mercutio, and I always think it was a wonderful feat of training to win a race of that importance with such a nervous, excitable horse. Hibbert was a dashing layer and a dashing backer and ni every way a good sportsman. Another of Joes patrons was Charles Mor-bey, who raced under the name of "Mr. Ellis" ; for him, in addition to many other races, he won the Cesarewitch with lied Eyes, or rather she dead-heated with Cypria, trained by old Tom Jennings, one of the best long-distance trainers that ever lived. Here was an instance of Joes bad hick: Bed Eyes should have won easily. She wai ridden by Tommy Loates, who thought that , he could go and beat the little boy on Cypria when he liked, while if he hyd set about his business from the Bushes he would have won by two lengths. On the Monday after there is a lot of difference between dead-heating for a race and winning it. Charles Morbey, like Hammond, had a remarkable career, also beginning as an apprentice in Peter Princes stable ; he was a fairly good jockey, but it was not long before he was ownins horses himself. He was not only exceedingly clever, but also astoundingly lucky, and whatever he touched turned to gold. "When Charles Morbey backed a horse his money was good to follow, and the same is the case now. HISTORY OF JtED EYE. The history of Red Eyes is worth recording, to show how horses can improve in form. As a two-year-old she belonged to Sir Charles Hartopp. Now "Topps," as he was called, the cheeriest and best of good fellows, was fond of a gamble. Joe Cannon trained her, and having tried her smart, they sent her to run at Liverpool in a selling race of bad class, and betted on her "till the cows came home." Ridden by George" Barrett, she was last. She went back to Newmarket and was tried again. This time she won in a canter. She ran again, heavily backed, and was down the course, and so it went on through the years. She was a good-looking, well-mannered, sober marc. As a three-year-old theie was the same story. One night in a July week Sir Charles made a match with Lord Durham, who also had a horse that always ran last, but Rod Eyes was beaten by about ten lengths. In disgust "Topps" gave her to his trainers son, who sold her to his father for ?50. She was sent to Worcester to run in a selling race with orders that she was to be sold afterwards for what she would fetch, but owing to some mistake, although unlaced, she was brought back to Newmarket. She was then put to jumping, and was as disappointing as ever, until at last she scrambled home in a hurdle race at Dcby carrying bottom weight. She then Avon another hurdle race in a canter, and before the year Avas out she had won the Gocd-Avood Stakes, the Lewes Handicap, dead-heated for the Cesarewitch, and AAas beaten at even Aveights by Lord Rosebery, one ef the best mares then in training, for the Queens Plate at Derby. If she had changed stables previous to these successes it Avould haAe been said how greatly her neAV trainer had improfed her. When I started training myself Joe Cannon took as much pains and trouble with me as if I had been his OAvn son, and A-ith-out his help and adice I should never have i got on. 1 His brother-in-laA. Harry Sharpe, was , with me in my early days, and after that, until last year, I had the valuable assistance of his son, "Young Joe." Since I wrote the aboAe "Young Joe Cannon," to the great regret of all Avho knew him, died at Newmarket on April IS last. He had been ill for eighteen months and the courage and fortitude with which he bore constant suffering was Avonderful. He was a Avorthy "chip of the old block " I haA-e not nearly the space in this article to pay tribute to the man who for so long Aas my constant companion and assistant and must defer it till I deal with later years. I was looking through Sir John Astlcy.? book on his life the other day and I rcod that if Peter had won the Manchester Cup instead of being second to Valour, Sir John would have bought that great horse Bar-caldine. This intensifies his ruel bad luck, for Barcaldinc was one of the best horses that I have ever seen and would probably have put "the Mate" on his legs again. Barcaldinc belonged to an Irishman rnd had never been beaten in Ireland. His owner, having got into trouble with The stewards of the Jockey Club, tin; circumstances of Avhich I never knew, he was forced to sell the horse, which b?eime the property of Robert Peek. Owing to these troubles Barcaldine Avas not able to run as a four-year-old. He AAas a grand looking horse, nearly seA-enteen hands high. TRAGEDY OF BARCALDINE. His first appearance on a race course in England Avas something of a tragedy. He ran in the Westminster Cup, a Aveight-for-age race at Kempton, on May 4, 1SS3. There Avere only four runners Barcaldine, Tristan, Wallington and Lucerne. Barcaldine looked much on the big side and Robert reck said that he Avas not half fit, consequently even in this small field he started at 10 to 1. But in spite of that he beat that good horse Tristan in a -canter by a length, Robert Peck not having a shilling on him. The fat vas then in the fire. He next Avon a handicap at Epsom Avith 130 pounds, a race at Ascot and the North-umbreland Plate with 13G pounds. He came from Ascot sore and there Avere doubts of bringing him to the post for the Northumberland Plate. I belieAe it to be a fact that he did nothing but Avalking exercise and had his leg constantly in a bucket of ice betAvcen Ascot and NeAvcastle. His only gallop Avas on the eA-ening before the race. In consequence of this he started at 11 to 2. Archer, aaIio AA-as riding him, told me that he Avould Avin, saying that in spite of his 13C pounds his speed A-as so great that he Avould have his field settled before they reach the straight. Sure enough Archer let him stride to the front a mile from home; he had them ail beaten coming into the straight, and Avon without an effort. But he pulled up sore. He ivas then put by till the autumn and entered in the Cambridgeshire. I think his Aveight Avas 140 pounds. One morning at exercise I met Robert Peck, and he said, "I am going to try Barcaldine, come and see it." He Avas tried with a smart horse, Fulmen, Avhich had Avon the Lincoln Handicap. Peck told me the Aveights, Avhich I haAe forgotten, but he said, "If he can just win this trial he .nil win the Cambridgeshire." STORY OF FAMOUS TRIAL. I can see it noAV. They Avere tried up the Cambridgeshire course, and at the -od post Barcaldine, with Archer riding, Mt the others as though they Avere rocking horses and came home alone, except fjr Robert Peck. Avho AAas cantering alongside of him on his hack, cheering him on Avith his hat in his hand like a huntsman Avith his hounds. Fulmen Avas second, mauy lengths in front of the others. It Avas some trial, and Peck Avas bubbling over with excitement, saying that there had never been such a horse and that the Cambridgeshire A-as a certainty. Alas ! for his hopes; the canter found out the wcap spot and Barcaldine neAcr ran again. He AAas what some people call a high-couraged horse, but Avhat I call a bad-te n-pered one, and I haAe noticed that Avhen you have a Barcaldine in a pedigree you often haAe temper. What a clever man Robert Peck Avas. He had practically giAen up training before I knew him, but he Avas extraordinarily-quick and sure in his judgment of horses, full of Aitality, and liAed eAerA hour of his life. I remember Avhen I was training Canterbury Pilgrim as a two-year-old I Avas disappointed with her, as she could not stay one-half mile, although she had great speed. I told him about it at Doncaster one morning, as he took a great fancy to her after seeing her at AAork. She ran in the Champagne stakes and for half a mile led the field. He came to me after the race and said, "Dont be downhearted about your mare ; she Avill be a stayer and Avill probably Avin the Oaks." Hut for these encouraging AAords I do not think I should eA-er have set my mind on training her as a three-year-old for the Oaks and setting aside all other races. She came out for the first time that year in the big race and won easily at 100 to 8. Robert Peck AAas the father of Percy and Charles Peck, Avho haAe all his ability and haAe both trained Avinners of the Derby. In the eighties there was some great stables and trainers in the North of England, also some great North-country jockeys. Although for many years I haAe lived and trained in the South, eAen now there is something about North-country racing Avhich appeals to me. When I go north and get on to a race course, although so many of my old friends haAe retired or are dead, I get into an atmosphere of sport and good felloAAship which is somehow less conspicuous in the South. In the old days there Avere among the trainers the brothers Osborne, Fred Bates, William 1 Anson, Harry Hall, Tom Green, Charles Lund and Saundersoii ; and of the jockeys, John Osborne, Jim SnoAvden, Fagan, BruckshaAV and Weldon AAere all in the first rank. And AAhat" a host of good sportsmen as OAvners Lord Zetland, Lord Londonderry, Lord Durham, James LoAVther, F. W Lamb-ton, Charles Cunningham, the two brothers, Clare and Bob Vyner, Charles Perkins, J. B. Cookson, Dudley Milner, the Duke of Montrose and many others. To Be Continued.

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