Sensational Match Race: Death of Man Who Arranged Meeting of Eager and Royal Flush Recalls the Contest, Daily Racing Form, 1922-09-15


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SENSATIONAL MATCH RACE Death of Man Who Arranged Meeting of Eager and Royal Flush Recalls the Contest. The death of J. Davis, a widely known English race track manager, recently in London, recalls to "Viator," writing in "Le Jockey," the sensational match race Davis arranged between Eager and Royal Flush. The French writers account of this race follows : Davis arranged a number of important match races, the most celebrated of which was undoubtedly that between Eager and Royal Flush. It was at the time of the "American invasion" at the dawn of the "monkey crouch" which had just been introduced by Tod Sloan. Eager and Royal Flush were crack racers of the period. Both of them had demonstrated conclusively their right to top rank. In their famous match race, Eager was ridden by Mornington Cannon, the last great jockey to ride in the old-time English fashion. Royal Flush was ridden by Lester Reiff, who imitated the American riding method. It was generally considered that this match would decide the question of supremacy not between the two horses, but between the new and old methods of riding. Eager and Mornington Cannon won by a wide margin. I have never seen on any track such an outburst of enthusiasm as that which followed the decision of the race. The match was at five-eighths on the straight course. From the time the race started the crowd, as the horses passed, surged out upon the track behind them, so that from the stands the spectators saw the horses coming toward them against a background of struggling humanity. As soon as the victory of Eager was cured this crowd which followed the contestants began to throw their hats in the air and the horizon was blotted out. Nothing like it has ever been seen on the Continent. For live minutes the police had to fight before they could clear a passage for the horses to return to the paddock. It was a wild demonstration. The English riding method had triumphed. Dear old England ! But, alas, it was only because Eager was so much better than Royal Flush. That day, thanks to the quality of Gilpins horse, had seen the last brilliant flame of glory for the English Tiding method a flame soon to be- extinguished forever. The "monkey crouch" was so great an advantage for the horse that the old style had no chance whatever to survive. Some months after the famous Hurst Park match those jockeys who sat upright in the saddle began to meet with regular reverses in their races at the hands of those who used the "monkey crouch." Mornington Cannon soon retired from the saddle and race riding had been revolutionized in England.

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