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RACING HISTORY

 

YEAR: 1952

FEATURE RACE COMMENT

1952 NEW ZEALAND DERBY STAKES

Rupee, magnificent New Zealand Derby winner of 1952, is a son of Gold Chief, winner of the event in 1940 and whose dam Dusolina, was a daughter of Doraldina, winner of the 1920 Derby; and Doraldina was the dam of Daphne de Oro, the 1927 winner. It is a classic chain probably without parallel in Dominion light-harness history.

All the trouble that was going seemed to pile up against Rupee on Saturday: he drew No.12 marble and had to start from the second row; he went away in a tangle and was at least 36yds behind the leaders with a furlong covered. He had made some progress with the race half over but at that stage he nearly came to grief when Peter Again, the pacemaker, broke and came back through the field. Rupee had to change his course abruptly and must have missed a collision by the proverbial whisker.

From that point Rupee had to travel three and four out to get within striking range of the leaders at the home turn; but it made not a bit of difference to this superb colt. He came on in his effortless style - he has one of the most perfect actions seen in a Derby colt for many years - to win without the whip and with apparently something in reserve.

To say he outclassed his opposition is putting it mildly. He was timed the last mile and a quarter in 2:36 3-5, phenominal speed for a three-year-old when it is considered that the mile and a quarter Australasian record is Gold Bar's 2:35. Rupee is undefeated in his only four starts to date, all classics - the Timaru Nursery Stakes, the New Zealand Welcome Stakes and the New Zealand Sapling Stakes, all at two years, and the New Zealand Derby Stakes.

Jaunty, Distant Star, Black Douglas and Sandman broke at the start, and all were near the rear early. Jaunty made a smart move round the field to get near the pacemaker, Peter Again, with a little more than six furlongs to go but he could not sustain the run and was beaten out of sight. Magellan went away surprisingly well and the race was made to order for him. He came through with credit in getting as close as he did to Rupee. Heroism, third, was also prominent from the start. Moss Hall, the leader in the middle stages was a close fourth. Distant Star made up some ground after his poor beginning and was fifth.

Gold Chief, sire of Rupee, was a high-class pacer. At his first start he ran second to Walter Moore in a division of the Timary Nursery, 1940, then run over a mile, in 2:11. Walter Moore's time, 2:10 4-5, was a new two-year-old race record, and it still stands as the winning record - the only better time in a race is Highland Fling's 2:10 when he finished second from 24 yards to Sprayman, scr, in the Welcome Handicap at Addington in 1945. At three years Gold Chief raced consistently in the leading classics, finishing second in the Riccarton Stakes, NZ Champion Stakes and NZ Futurity Stakes, and winning the NZ Derby, besides two races over two miles. Gold Chief was the leading money-winning three-year-old of the 1940-41 season - a vintage year for three-year-olds.

For Gold Chief's class to be fully realised it has to be known that he met with an accident early in his racing career - another horse kicked him - and the injured leg never became sound again. He had to race on short, cautious preparations, and he was really a marvel to go as far as he did. His form was of a very high order indeed, and the gameness he showed to retire from the racetrack a winner of his last two starts was typical of the courageous breed he came from. "He did most of his racing on three legs," was the way his trainer, L Davidson, of New Brighton, put it.

Gold Chief's sire, Rey de Oro, left many great pacers, notably Roi l'Or, Parisienne, Silver de Oro, Morello, Turco, Graham Direct, Blair Athol, De Soto and Cantata and probably Daphne de Oro, who was by 'Rey de Oro or Logan Pointer.' Rey de Oro was leading sire in the 1931-32, 1935-36 and 1936-37 seasons and left 226 individual winners of nearly 220,000.

Gold Chief, on the dams side, belonged to the famous Jeanie Tracey (imp) family, one of the best sources of winners in the Dominion for close on 70 years. Jeanie Tracey was imported to NZ in 1882, when a five-year-old, by Mr Robert Wilkin who, after breeding three foals from her, including a champion trotter in Kentucky (sire of Thelma) sold her to Mr John Grigg, of Longbeach, who bred many more winners from over a long period by the late Mr J B Westerman, of New Brighton, produced Doraldina (NZ Sapling Stakes and NZ Derby), Daphne de Oro (NZ Derby and Great Northern Derby), Special Edition (NZ Futurity Stakes), Great News (Wellington Stakes) and Gold Chief (NZ Derby). From Jeanie Tracey also descended the champion trotters Waikaha and Gay Belwin, and high-class pacers in Oruarangi, Peter Pirate, Recess and others - altogether close on 70 winners in NZ alone. Gold Chief's dam, Dusolina, 2:08 1-5 was a good sprinter. She was by Drusus (imp) from Doraldina, by OYM from Dollar Princess, by Rothschild-The Manageress. An interesting link in this pedigree is OYM, who was a son of imported Owyhee, grandsire of the mighty Globe Derby, the greatest sire Australia has ever known. Gold Chief, on limited opportunities in the Dominion, sired a good percentage of winners, and it was a stroke of very bad luck when he died soon after arriving in Australia to take up stud duty there last year.

Rupee's anticedents on the dam's side are not nearly so distinguished as those of his sire. Canister, dam of Rupee, won two races and was several times placed. Canister was got by Jack Potts from a mare by Logan Pointer from a Kerwood mare which was out of a Prince Imperial mare. Apart from Rupee, there are no winners of distinction from this family. Canister's first two foals did not come to anything on the racecourse. According to Rupee's owner-breeder, Mr J Grice, the dam of Canister, the Logan Pointer mare, produced other winners. The sire's in Canister's pedigree, Jack Potts (imp), Logan Pointer (imp), Kerwood (through his sire, Wildwood (imp)) and Prince Imperial are all great names in Dominion breeding. Jack Potts and Logan Pointer were both leading sires for many years and the number of champions who carry the strains of Logan Pointer, Wildwood and Prince Imperial is remarkable. Just a few: Highland Fling, 1:57 4-5, carries the blood of Logan Pointer and Wildwood; Gold Bar, 1:59 3-5 (Prince Imperial and Logan Pointer); and Haughty 1:59 3-5 (Prince Imperial and Logan Pointer). These are our only Dominion-bred two-minute pacers.

Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 26Nov52



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