CLICK HERE TO GO BACK

RACING HISTORY

 

YEAR: 1920

HORSES

CUPS KINGS - JACK POTTS

INTRODUCTION
Bettor's Delight in just about ready to make the list as a "Cups King"- the most influential stallion in the two major all-aged races on out calendar, the Auckland and New Zealand Cups. He already has three winners and given his domination that might grow rapidly.

But topping some of the "old timers" won't be that easy, even if he has gone past many already. Who are the best? My top 10, based on the following statistical model.
- 10 points for each winner of the New Zealand or Auckland Cup.
- 5 point bonus for each individual winner greater than one.
- 5 points for each broodmare sire win.
- 1 point for each winner sired by a stallion son.

JACK POTTS 1920
(Walter Direct-Margaret Steiner-Steiner) Died aged 24
Six WINS, Four WINNERS, Three BROODMARE WINNERS, Zero SIRE SON WINNERS = 90 points

Imported to New Zealand as a yearling by Alec Anderson and trained initially by Ben Jarden (later Ces Donald) Jack Potts was a top racehorse but a sensational sire because of his stamina. "If they had three mile(5000m) races nothing will ever beat him," a writer said of him in his racing days.
One odd aspect of his success was the naming of so many of his offspring after card game (such as Busted Flush the dam of NZ Cup winner, Thunder). Owners assumed that was the source of his name. In fact he had been named after a close friend of the breeder.

TRIVIAL FACT - The enormous popularity of Jack Potts put pressure on his stud duties and in at least one season he is said to have served over 100 mares. But the stud owner was later charged for using Jack Potts' sons for some services. He pleaded guilty.




Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed Nov 2016

 

YEAR: 1920

HORSES

CUPS KINGS - GRATTAN LOYAL

INTRODUCTION
Bettor's Delight in just about ready to make the list as a "Cups King"- the most influential stallion in the two major all-aged races on out calendar, the Auckland and New Zealand Cups. He already has three winners and given his domination that might grow rapidly.

But topping some of the "old timers" won't be that easy, even if he has gone past many already. Who are the best? My top 10, based on the following statistical model.
- 10 points for each winner of the New Zealand or Auckland Cup.
- 5 point bonus for each individual winner greater than one.
- 5 points for each broodmare sire win.
- 1 point for each winner sired by a stallion son.

GRATTAN LOYAL 1920
(Grattan Royal-Gwita-Wildbrino)(Died aged 31)
Four WINS, Two WINNERS, Six BROODMARE WINS, Zero SIRE SON WINNERS = 75 points

Grattan Loyal, a black was imported by Freeman Holmes in 1930 as a moderately performed 10 year old. He was from the tough American/Canadian "Grattan" line yet ironically his best horse was the brilliant speedster Gold Bar. Loyal Nurse was his other big winner here, taking both Cup events. The Grattan Loyals were tough to gait and generally scorned trotting(his sire left only two qualified trotters in a long career in North America) but they were game and durable, winning a lot of trainer's hearts.
His first broodmare Cup credit was with Integrity in 1946 and the last was Stella Frost 24 years later. All the more amazing because his first crop here arrived in 1932. He never won a premiership (he had most winners in 1947) but was leading broodmare sire.

TRIVIA FACT - Grattan Loyal's sire, Grattan Royal, went from Chicago to Canada to Iowa before his first Canadian owner tracked him down only days before he was to be shot because of a serious leg injury and no patronage. On returning to Canada he became a huge success and made the Canadian Hall of Fame in 1981


Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed Nov 2016

 

YEAR: 1920

FEATURE RACE COMMENT

1920 NEW ZEALAND CUP

By the time the big event came on for decision the whole of the stands and enclosures were packed with, a gaily dressed throng. Speculation was very heavy, over 20,000 being invested on the race. Albert Cling was the actual favorite, then came Bryce's bracket, Author Dillon, and Holme's bracket, in that order.

The start was a perfect one and all went off well but the scratch horse,- who lost a second at the start. Minston took charge followed by Erln's Queen and Willie Lincoln. Going down the back stretch Erin's Queen went to the front and General Link, Dean Dillon and Reta Peter had improved their positions. At the six furlongs Willie Lincoln was still in front with the field close up.

When the last lap started Willie Lincoln was still in charge, whilst General Link had taken second place followed by Erin's Queen. Six lengths away came Trlx Pointer, Reta Peter, Sherwood and Author Dillon. In the back stretch General Link headed Willie Lincoln with the scratch horse moving up fast on the outside.

Rounding the turn for home General Link was still in charge, while Willie Lincoln had retired beaten. Author Dillon challenged General Link with Reta Peter coming fast. In a great struggle the trio crossed the line together, Reta Peter winning by half a length from General Link, who was a neck in front of Author Dilion. Four lengths away came Sherwood followed by Erin's Queen with the rest of the field strung out.

Then followed a scene of excitement, the crowd mobbed the winner and accorded her a reception the likes of which has never been seen on a racecourse. Neither were the placed horses forgotten. Author Dillon was cheered to the echo. The honors of the race were undoubtedly with him, as he was checked once through Steel Bell breaking, and in addition, he had the wind and dust to contend with.

His effort produced a world's record and still it could not win. He went the first quarter mile in 32sec, the half mile in lmin. 5sec, six furlongs in lmin. 38sec, mile in 2min. lOsec, twelve furlongs in 3min. 15sec, and the full distance in 4min. 21 4-5sec. His achievement is all the more meritorious by reason of the fact of giving away 10 l-5sec, instead of 9sec., and thus his actual time was 4min. 20 2-5sec.

Reta Peter is an aged mare by the imported Petereta from Tot Huon. She was bred by her owner, Mr. F. R. Robson, and has been trained and driven by A. G. Wilson for a long time past. She was the only trotter in the field and her success marked the first occasion on which a trotter has won the valuable stake for a number of years. Reta Peter, by compassing two miles in 4.30 4-5 established a fresh world's record for trotting over that distance. Matchlight's chance was ruined through Steel Bell breaking and interfering with him at the end of two furlongs. Albert Cling, the favorite, failed to begin correctly and was in the rear the way.


Credit: 'Spearmint' writing in NZ Truth 13 Nov 1920

 

YEAR: 1920

FEATURE RACE COMMENT

1920 NEW ZEALAND TROTTING CUP

Reta Peter achieved a remarkable feat when she beat 11 pacers, even allowing for the fact that she received a head start of nine seconds over Author Dillon and beat him by less than a length.

Confirming her status as the best trotter bred in New Zealand up to that time, Reta Peter outfinished most of the rest off almost level marks.

She was one of the outsiders to achieve this, but returned to a rousing reception from the appreciative crowd. Reta Peter then attempted to add the 1000 sovereign Dominion at the meeting, but a 16 second handicap proved a little too much to overcome.

**Credit: NZ HRWeekly 1Oct2003**

Seventh favourite Reta Peter, the only trotter in the field, finished brilliantly to edge out General Link and Author Dillon to win the 1920 New Zealand Cup.

Reta Peter, regarded as the best trotter bred in New Zealand to that time, was the second of her gait to win the Cup. Monte Carlo was the other. Although one of the outsiders in the 12-horse field, and paying a dividend of 20 11s, Reta Peter and driver Alf Wilson were given a great reception from the big crowd when they returned to the birdcage after covering the two miles in 4:30.4. Patrons were quick to recognise the merit of the mare's performance in beating such a strong field. In the previous 12 months, five horses - Reta Peter (who had achieved a record 4:31.6 for trotters), Cello Sydney Wilkes, Dean Dillon, General Link and Hal Junior - had qualified for Cup class. It became evident, however, that several of the 18 nominated would not make the starting post. Oinako and Agathos were early withdrawals, then John Dillon broke down, Cello Sydney Wilkes fell on the road while training and cut a knee, Hal Junior went amiss, and Moneymaker was pulled out on the eve of the race. John McLennan's Albert Cling was race favourite, with the James Bryce pair of Matchlight and Erin's Queen also strongly supported, but neither trainer had any joy. Albert Cling lost his chance when he broke badly at the start and the Bryce pair were outclassed.

Reta Peter's assignment against the top pacers was always considered difficult, even though Author Dillon was asked to give a nine-second start to the front four and, indeed, a huge start to all his rivals. The confidence of owner Frank Robson and trainer-driver Alf Wilson, who had his stables at New Brighton, was never misplaced in Petereta's seven-year-old daughter. Dean Dillon failed to begin smartly and Albert Cling broke, but the remainder of the field went away at their correct bells. Wilson had Reta Peter close up all the way, following the early leader Willie Lincoln and just in behind Erin's Queen, Mintson, General Link, Sherwood and Dean Dillon. General Link raced into the lead in the back straight the last time, pursued by Author Dillon, and the pair entered the home straight, waging a vigorous battle. Reta Peter then appeared and got up to win by a half-length from General Link, with Author Dillon a neck away third. Then came Sherwood, Erin's Queen, Willie Lincoln and Mintson.

Robson bred Reta Peter from his own mare, Tot Huon. The imported Petereta stood at Robert McMillan's Santa Rosa stud at Halswell for a fee of 10 10s. Reta Peter had her early education from Addington trainer Arthur Cox. She had several trainers before Robson asked Alf Wilson, who had just returned from the war, to take her in. She immediately impressed Wilson, whose association with harness racing went back to Addington's early days. He had driven Factory Boy in the inaugural NZ Cup in 1904 and Reta Peter was his sixth Cup drive. Reta Peter won three races for Wilson at two miles against the trotters in the 1919-1920 season, prompting Robson and Wilson to set their sights on the NZ Cup.

Runner-up General Link improved his time considerably, while Author Dillon, who came into the straight only a length behind him looked the winner, felt the strain in the last furlong. He had to run an Australasian record of 4:21.8 for his placing, beating Admiral Wood's record. Author Dillon's run deserved a better fate. Earlier in the season, he had won a treble at the August meeting, taking the International and King George Handicaps and the prestigious National Cup.

Reta Peter was made a warm favourite for the Dominion Handicap on the third day, a race that offered the trotters their first 1000 sovereign stake. However, she disappointed her connectioms, and army of supporters, by beginning badly from the back mark and had no chance of making up her handicap. The Auckland-owned and trained gelding Gold Boy, from 16 seconds, ran out an easy winner. The previous day Gold Boy had won the Sockburn Handicap.

Author Dillon made it a hat-trick of wins in the Free-For-All, taking this race without difficulty from four rivals, Trix Pointer, Matchlight, Cello Sydney Wilkes and Dean Dillon. Author Dillon started in the Christchurch Handicap on the third day, but Ben Jarden anticipated his bell and had to pull Author Dillon out of the race. The combination made amends later in the day, winning the aptly-titled Recovery Handicap, raced over a mile.

Albert Cling, the beaten favourite in the Cup, and the youngest horse in the race at six years, won the Courtney Handicap, also raced on the third day. His driver, John McLennan, and 18-year-old James Bryce junior(Erin's Queen) had first NZ Cup experiences. Bryce remains the youngest to drive in a NZ Cup. McLennan never won the NZ Cup, but he had a memorable meeting at Addington in 1920, driving three winners on both the second and third days, F G Holmes also drove six winners at the meeting, so between them they won half the three-day programme.

The totalisator handled 90,296 on Cup Day and betting on the big race rose almost as dramatically, to 20,506. Show Day reached a new peak for Addington of 91,814, and the three-day total was a record 259,076. the 1920 Show Day record turnover remained intact for 22 years and the record total turnover was not exceeded until 1943.

The outstanding driving feat of the season was achieved by Harry Gaskill who drove an unprecedented six winners on the same day at Greymouth in April 1920. It was 16 years before this feat was equalled.

Ben Jarden and John McLennan, with 25 wins each, shared the season's driving honours and for the sixth consecutive season, James Bryce was the top trainer, with 21 wins.

**Credit: Bernie Wood writing in The Cup**

 

YEAR: 1920

FEATURE RACE COMMENT

ALF WILSON - RETA PETER 1920

We usually rate great drives on the final stages of a race but now and again it is won at the other end. Such was the case with the last trotter to win the Cup, the dual winner Reta Peter(by Petereta) in the 1920's.

She had been around the traps before breeder/owner Frank Robson persuaded First World War survivor Alf Wilson to take her over. She often went better against the pacers than trotters, and in 1919 after such a win, they decided to go for the Cup.

It helped that the handicapper had crucified the champion, Author Dillon, who had to concede the equivalent of 100m. Not everyone was convinced. "If Reta Peter could begin properly she could place in the New Zealand Cup," wrote one scribe. "But she won't. Don't waste your money." Brave words.

She went out 7th favourite though the crowd gave the little trotting mare a great reception. True, Reta Peter was always vulnerable in the first 100m while she got balanced. Wilson's velvet hands, getting her into third early, was the winning of the race. From there she did it quite easily.

She was awarded first place the following year on owner Robson's protest after his mare was checked near the finish by Sherwood who was first past the post. Controversial that.

TRIVIA FACT: Robson went from Linwood to a farm in Lincoln with his Cup winnings. Wilson found a 'freak' young trotter called Kawhaki, who won the Trotting Stakes by a country mile. Taken to Auckland he dropped dead on the training track. Wilson rated him the best trotter he trained. Some call, considering he had had one which won two NZ Cups!

Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed Oct 2016



In the event that you cannot find the information you require from the contents, please contact the Racing Department at Addington Raceway.
Phone (03) 338 9094