Reflections: Great Horses Racing in War Years; We Forgot to Mention Kindergarten; New Zealander Fastest in World?; Liken Him to Carbine, Phar Lap, Daily Racing Form, 1943-06-09


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Nelson Dunstan REFLECTIONS By Nelson Dunstan Great Horses Racing in War Years We Forgot to Mention Kindergarten New Zealander Fastest in World Liken Him to Carbine Phar Lap NEW YORK N Y June 8 8In In this column on Tuesday we stated that war years had seen their share of jreat horses in action Some that we mentioned were Man o War Count Fleet Whirlaway Alsab Gay Crusader and Gainsborough But we are hastening to add the name of Kindergarten the New Zealand horse whom some of those in the land down under proclaim the fastest horse in the world We have made references to this wonder horse before but after reading the story of him in a copy of Horse and Hound we are telling a more complete one to show that race fans are the same the world over Over here the question now heard is Is Count Fleet the best since Man o War Or again Is he the equal or superior of Big Red There can be no definite answer to the question but there will always be such disputes as long as there are horse fans who see them race and scribes who write about them In England they still dispute Ormonde and St Simon just as here there was controversy whether War Admiral was to prove the equal of his daddy or again was Crusader or War Admiral the best son of Big Red Recently we were accused of being ready at a moments notice to spill a few thousand words in defense of Man o War by a lad who took months of time and research to write a book about the very same horse Fans are no different in other parts of the world where horses are raced At the Auckland Cup meet ¬ ing last fall the horse Kindergarten came out to oppose a high class field in the twomile Auckland Cup For the first six furlongs Kindergarten was nearly last of a strungout field and fully a dozen lengths behind the leader But at the mile pole jockey Ellis started to move up with his mount He kept on the outside of the field all the way but in spite of the pace he was soon on the heels of the leaders and then drew away to win by five lengths in the new record time for the race of 322 As he carried 142 pounds it was a stupendous victory and the 42000 people who had come to see Kindergarten win let themselves go without restraint The New Zealand papers reported it as one of the greatest ovations ever given a horse and the cheering continued right up to the time he left the track The previous weight carrying record for the race was 138 pounds while the time record of 323 was established in 1936 by that great mare Cuddle when she won the Cup for the second time carrying 129 pounds After the race jockey Ellis who frequently rode Beau Yite son of Beau Pere the champion horse in Australia said Id hate to be on Beau Vite and meet Kindergarten The words of Kindergartens owner were even more extravagant than those of the jockey He said My horse can beat any horse in the world and he is the best horse foaled in any part of the world He has four gears From that moment on Kindergarten became the same copy that Count Fleet is here today Kindergarten was bred and is raced by E Fitzgerald of Gisborne The horse is by Kincardine from Valdore by Valkyrian and like Phar Lap descends from the Adventure mare Miss Kate He ran six times as a twoyearold to win three but won 10 straight races as a threeyearold and then went on to a fine career of 18 wins and three times unplaced But just as many re saying that Count Fleet is a freak horses so are they saying in New Zealand that Kindergarten is also a freak In fact he may be one for the reports say he is a cryptoorchid a double rig but yet that he has all the tributes of a stallion Professional men say that it is an impossibility but his owner states he is now the sire of a foal and it is his intention to use him as a stud His owner also claims that if he had been foaled in normal times he would have been brought to this country lo carry on where Phar Lap had left off And adds the writer in Horse and Hound Phar Lap died in the United States from natural causes and not from poisoning as is so often stated in some of our sensationlovin press It was only natural that the New Zealand and Australian turf writers would soon start comparing Kindergarten with Carbine and Phar Lap both of whom were bred in the Dominion Some took one side and some took the other Carbine until the coming of Phar Lap was considered the greatest horse ever to race in the land down under The people loved him as racegoers of a generation ago loved Exterminator When he went to the boat to l le e shipped to England people came by the thousands many bringing floral horse shoes for the departing champion During his career he raced 43 times to win 33 to be second in six third in three and but once unplaced In the Melbourne Cup of 1890 he was under the heaviest weight a winner had ever carried and defeated 38 opponents After he was sent to England he established a great staying line which has since spread all over the world Phar Lap too was a Melbourne Cup winner and we recall after his winning the Agua Caliente Handicap that Townsend Martin owner of Bolingbroke wrote us to say he was the greatest horse he had ever seen Phar Lap gave a remarkable performance in his only start on this continent How great he really was will never be known for he died of colic in California just when the American racing world was agog over the contemplated match race against Equipoise These debates concerning horses of different generations go on in every country But just as that of Ormonde and St Simon has raged for a halfcentury in England so will those of Kindergarten versus Carbine and Phar Lap in Australia and Count Fleet against Man o War and others in this country Count Fleet still has Occupa ¬ tion Ocean Wave and Devils Thumb to vanquish in the threeyearold ranks but an even more arduous task when he tackles Whirlaway Alsab and other handicap champions in the later summer or fall Scarcely a day passes bufc what we are not asked our opinion of the outcome of such a race We maintain it is too early to get a line on the respective merits of this trio Count Fleet is one of the i astest horses we have ever seen In fact we now believe he is faster than Boojum At weightfor ¬ age it is going to be something to watch when he goes away from the gate as he did in the Belmont to set his own pace as Man o War did before him It is also going to be something to watch when Whirlaway Alsab and others who like to come from behind make their stretch run at him That will be the race and even if we have to walk to wherever it is staged we will do so gladly

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