YEAR: 1889


Though some may find it hard to concede with the present ever growing list of super sires, there is a strong case for suggesting that the greatest sire that ever stood in NZ is not Light Brigade, U Scott, Jack Potts, Dillon Hall or even Logan Pointer.

Rothschild, now a name that is only come across well back in modern pedigrees has as good a claim as any when it comes to rating sires in order of merit. For one thing he sired over 300 winners. That's a cracking total today but at the turn of the century it was a sensational achievement, difficult to appreciate now. There were fewer meetings then and so fewer races.There were fewer finely bred mares and it took some time for Rothschild to attract the ones that were available. What is more, Rothschild had to do everything on his own achievements. His name appears only once in the list of winning sires, in 1915-16 the first year records were officially kept. But no one doubts that he was the leading sire for many years before that, and had the records been kept he would have more premierships than anyone.

Bred in Australia in 1889, Rothschild was by Childe Harold, an expensive, but somewhat disappointing sire who has Harold Park named after him. Rothschild's dam Belle Briggs was considered to be the best bred mare to come into Australia to that time and but for being unsound it is doubtful that she would ever have left America. Rothschild had a brother called Osterley who was a top rachorse across the Tasman, only Fritz being able to beat him. Dan O'Brien, that most colourful figure of the turf, recommended to NZ friends that they buy Osterley, but they were unable to do so so bought his younger brother instead. It was just as well, for Osterley was a major disappointment at the stud.

Rothschild started in a number of races but never won, and as late as 1902, when 13 years old he was still making the odd appearance, though most owners would have given up by then. He stood at Mr W Jarden's Stud in Gloucester St, Christchurch and his breeding enabled him to command a five guinea fee. The bright bay stallion did not take long to make an impression. From his first crop came a sensational juvenile trotter Jessie Palm who streeted her opponents at two starts at two and went on to become a champion trotter. From his first crop too came The Baron who was a top performer in the last days of the Lancaster Park track in Christchurch.

The following year he produced Almont who was the sensation of his day. When he retired Almont took with him a three mile record of 6:50 which was actually never beaten. When he started his career the record was fully two minutes slower. Sal Tasker was another fine Rothschild mare going 2:20 for a mile at two years of age away back in 1906. She eventually went 2:12 and was the champion of her time. So was Emmeline a NZ mile record holder at 2:08.6 and placed in the NZ Cup. About the same time was the trotter Revenue, holder of the mile trotting record for 22 years with a time of 2:11.8 recorded at Forbury in the saddle. He often took on and beat fields of pacers.

Dan Patch, bred in Ashburton, but perhaps better known in Australia than his homeland, was another fine son of Rothschild. A free-legged pacer, Dan Patch held the Australian mile record of 2:10 for many years and in NZ he went a mile in 2:09.4 on Auckland's grass track. A genuine champion Dan Patch unfortunately died before starting a stud career of any significance.

Rothschild sired three NZ Cup winners. Belmont M upset winner of the 1906 Cup was the first, Albert H in 1912 the second and Ravenschild, second to Albert H the previous year, won easily in 1913. In the 1912 Cup in fact Rothschild horses filled the first three places while other sons and daughters to fill places were Evelyn, Lord Elmo, Moneymaker and Bright.

Harold Rothschild, later a very successful sire was another of Rothschild's offspring to do well and other sons who were fine racherses and sires were Gold Bell (one of the finest pacers the North Island ever saw), St Swithin and Jingle. Master Raymond was an outstanding trotter by Rothschild winning eight times over two miles. Pearlchild, Aileen, Capitalist, Lord Chancellor, Lady Sybil, Emilius and Coin were other very successful racehorses.

If he was a great sire himself Rothschild gained even greater fame through his daughters. Many of his most successful matrons were themselves good on the track and easily the best known was Pearlchild. Winner of many races for Mr H F Nicoll, including the National Handicap, Pearlchild, a daughter of Verity, produced ten individual winners at stud. Among them were three Derby winners (Ciro, Childe Pointer and Nantwich) a successful sire (Casanova), First Wrack, winner of 11 races and outstanding mares Vanity Fair, Pearl Pointer and Double Measure. The great record of the Verity family owes much to Pearlchild. Vanity Fair in particularly was an outstanding broodmare herself.

Another Rothschild mare now well known was Moonbeam, the grandam of Horotane and therefore ancestress of current Broodmare of the Year in Nancy Lee. Henrietta produced Haymetta, the winner of five and in turn dam of Duncraig who won nine. Jessie Fraser produced the successful racehorse and sire Logan Fraser. Cocaleen was the dam of four winners including the earlier mentioned top pacer Moneymaker and Logaleen who won five.

An unnamed Rothschild mare produced Golden Square the dam in turn of Graticulate who won eight. Sweet Daphne was a most successful mare being the founder of the family best known in recent years though the deeds of horses like Bright Highland and Bright Enterprise. Bright Alice, another daughter of Rothschild produced Cup winner Kohara who later did well at stud, and the Rothschild mare Kola Nut produced King Cole the mile recordholder of his day and a very successful sire. It was from King Cole's matings with Norice which has produced one of the greatest breeding lines in the Stud Book, a line commonly associated with veteran breeder Ben Grice.

A mare by Rothschild was the dam of Yenot who gained fame through the deeds of Parisienne and later La Mignon, Garcon Roux etc. Another Rothschild mare was the ancestress of Van Dieman and yet another unnamed mare the founder of the family to which Vanadium and Van Glory belong. Sal Tasker produced Coldstream Bells, a successful sire in the first quarter of the century. Another great Rothschild mare was Ocean Wave, dam of Muricata who produced two champion pacers in Ahuriri (two NZ Cups) and Taraire and who is the fourth dam of the trotting sire Great Evander.

Auckland Girl, who won eight races herself, was another successful mare at stud as was Dollar Princess who produced seven individual winners. Among them was Doraldina, winner of the Sapling Stakes and Derby and who herself produced five winners. Recess, grandam of Aldora was a member of the same family as was Gold Chief a Derby winner and sire of the champion Rupee. Another Rothschild mare Lady Derby founded one of the best branches of the Norice family which includes Maudeen, Queen Maude and Indecision among it's members. A mare by Rothschild founded the Gentle Annie family which claims among others the champion trotter Moon Boy and top pacer of yesteryear in Betty Boop. Then there was Olive Child, dam of Audubon Child, who in a colourful career won eight races.

The full relations Emmeline, Emilius, Aileen and Evelyn did great work for Rothschild's reputation and they may have set a record when three of them appeared in the same NZ Cup field and two were placed. Aileen produced at stud the Cup class pacer Ronald Logan and Emmilene founded a successful family, one prominent recent member being Cuddle Doon. Evelyn won five races herself and was the dam of four winners. Emilius had some success as a sire.

Altogether Rothschild daughters produced over 300 individual winners. Rothschild had much more success than many imported sires as far as his sons were concerned and a number of them are well known stud names. Harold Rothschild did very well down south and as a son of one of Southland's most successful foundation mares in Harold's Rest he played a prominent part in two other big Southland families, particularly in that of First Water whom he sired.

Capitalist sired the fine racehorse and good sire in Gold Bell. Lord Elmo sired some good mares in particular and so did Almont. George M Patchen appears in the pedigree of Cardigan Bay and Globe Bay and another son St Swithin sired the dam of Springfield Globe. Woodchild, Lord Chancellor, Imperial Crown, Proudchild, Prosphorous, St Kevin (a brother to Dan Patch) and Pygmalion, were other Rothschild horses to make an impression at stud while his Cup winner Ravenschild did well also.

Rothschild spent his declining years in the unlikely location of the Wellington Zoo and he died there in the early 20s at the age of 32. Shortly before his death his stock held the Australian and NZ mile pacing records, the Australasian trotting mile record and the world record over three miles. Though he officially topped the sires list once he remained in the top five for many years, even into the 1920s which shows the hardiness of his stock. Indeed his last representative on the tracks was still going in 1929. At one stage in his hey day just before World War I the sons and daughters of Rothschild held every official record in Australasia, a feat few can equal.

He was a horse of quite remarkable disposition and an existing photo of him shows him being confidently led by a lad not five years old. I wonder how many of our much boomed later sires could have fashioned a record equal to Rothschild if serving the class of mare which dominated his court. It might be worth noting that during his stud career Rothschild, in NZ alone sired more winners than the great Globe Derby managed across the Tasman. He was a remarkable influence in the development of the standardbred as we know it, and it would be a brave man who could state with certainty that any of his successors was a greater sire.

Credit: David McCarthy writing in NZ Trotguide 23Mar77


YEAR: 1906


In 1906 great interest was shown in the race. The winner, Belmont M, by Rothschild-Puella, came from Australia when noted Sydney horseman Gus Milsom brought the NZ bred Belmont M back in this year. Euchre (A Pringle) was second, and Marian (J Tasker)third.

The stake was 400 and the class was let out to 4:50. Belmont M's time was 4:46.

Unlike Monte Carlo and Birchmark, who began from the front, Belmont M had only one behind him at the start and turned a top staying performance to get around nine runners.

He was royally-bred, being by champion sire Rothschild from a sister to the dam of champion trotter Fritz, and was a brother to another top pacer in Almont, and when sold at the dispersal sale of breeder Henry Mace fetched a record price for a 2-year-old of 400 guineas.

This was exhibition year in Christchurch and "It was a truly representative gathering."

**'Ribbonwood'writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 25Oct44**


Belmont M, a son of the great sire Rothschild, won the 1906 New Zealand Cup with a wonderful stayer's run. Unlike the two winners before him, Monte Carlo and Birchmark, both started from the front, Belmont M had only Euchre behind him on handicap. His performance was considered exceptional, because he was forced over plenty of extra ground to get around the other 10 runners. Belmont M was not well supported and started as ninth favourite.

The race favourite was Woodend, but he lost his chance at the start. The second favourite and backmarker Euchre, driven by Andy Pringle, almost carried his supporters through. Euchre took the lead a furlong from the winning post, only to be run down by Belmont M, who was driven a patient race by his Australian trainer-driver Gus Millsom. Marian, one length behind Euchre, was third, followed by Boldrewood, Cocoanut and Terra Nova.

Belmont M was New Zealand-bred but had raced in Sydney in the previous four seasons, graduating to the top class. He was a brother to Almont, another very good pacer, who had won numerous races in Australia. Henry Mace, at Brooklyn Lodge, New Brighton, bred both. Mace died in 1902 and his stud was disposed of by auction in November the same year, when the 47 lots were sold for 2440 10s. Australian buyers paid record prices of 640 guineas for Almont and 400 guineas for Belmont M, then a two-year-old. Both were by Rothschild from Puella, by Berlin from Woodburn. Puella was also auctioned and fetched 90 guineas. Mace, a cordial manufacturer in Christchurch, was an early and avid supporter of harness racing. In 1881 he bought land in New Brighton from Canterbury Sports Company Ltd when it went into liquidation. The Sports Company had bought the land from its original owner, Tom Free, for the purpose of encouraging athletics. Mace soon established his home, stables, training track and stud at Brooklyn Lodge. Later the land passed to the New Brighton Trotting Club and when it shifted operations to Addington to take advantage of night facilities, the cycle was completed when the Queen Elizabeth II Park sports complex was established. Mace, whose private trainer was Tom Frost, was the leading owner for two seasons, with totals of 800 and 760. He was awarded life membership of the Metropolitan Club in 1900 and was a steward of the club at the same time.

Belmont M gave his sire Rothschild the first of his three Cup winners - the others were Albert H.(1912) and Ravenschild (1913). Rothschild was the top sire in New Zealand for many seasons, up to 1915-16. He was a bay horse foaled in 1889, by Childe Harold from Belle Briggs, both sire and dam imported from the United States. Rothschild was bred in New South Wales and imported to New Zealand by William Jarden in 1893. He was trained and started in a few races, but never possessed much speed. He sired 306 winners in this country and died in Wellington Zoo, aged 32. His first winner was Jessie Palm, who, as a two-year-old trotter, won the Juvenile Handicap at New Brighton in April 1897. His other good winners, apart from Almont and Belmont M, were Sal Tasker, Emmeline, Lord Elmo, Bright and Glendalough.

In 1906 - Exhibition Year - the Metropolitan Club raced over four days. It was generally agreed that the best collection of standardbreds ever assembled in New Zealand were at that meeting. Stakes of 5000 sovereigns were distributed and the Cup stake was lifted to 400 sovereigns. The totalisator turnover for the four days reached 48,428, with Show Day creating a one-day betting record of 15,604. The New Zealand Cup was raced on the first day of the meeting, with another feature of the day's racing being the performance of the three-year-old filly Wild Wind, who reeled off a mile in the Riccarton Stakes in 2:21.6. The second day was notable for the success of the overseas contingent. Dan Patch, owned by the Melbourne-based Allendale Stock Farm Company, had a convincing win in the Christchurch Handicap. His driver, Lou Robertson, also won the Halswell Handicap with the Syney pacer Little Ned, but was disqualified for starting before his time. Verity, by Vancleve, in the hands of Andy Pringle, and Birchmark were successful on the third day. A violent storm after the main race churned up the track and Birchmark, revelling in the conditions, won the Best Handicap easily.

The three-mile event was still a regular feature of each day's programme, but on Thursday the race was run with a difference. The drivers of Impatient and Sydney, the leading pair, became confused over the number of rounds and raced on for a full curcuit after the distance had been completed. With the introduction of the sprint distance of a mile-and-a-quarter, the three-mile races were destined for elimination.

The visiting Australian horses - Fusee, Dan Patch, Jewel Heiress and Lady Inez - won half the last day's programme, but the day belonged to Sal Tasker, a four-year-old mare, who won the 500 sovereign Exhibition Cup, the first harness race in New Zealand with a stake of that sum. Starting as the favourite, she made no race of it, winning by 30 yards. She was the first out and was first home, in 4:44.6, much faster than the time Belmont M had recorded to win the Cup. Sal Tasker, by Rothschild from Jessie, had the makings of a top-class performer, setting a mile record of 2:20 for a two-year-old, but never fulfilled her promise. She was the season's top earner, with 575. Sal Tasker started in the 1907 Cup, finishing fifth.

**Bernie Wood writing in The Cup**

Credit: Calendar 25Oct44


YEAR: 1906

NOTES ON HORSE AND SULKY (By THE POSSIBLE.) Jewels Heiress put up a fine performance in winning the' Shorts Handicap in 2min 19 sec. It was very bad luck for the connections of Prince Elmo to run up against such a speedy customer as the American mare. Electrician and Al F, two members of Albaugh's team, were among the mcst unlucky performers at the meeting, as they both reduced their records considerably without winning. Al F was three times third out of four starts.

The victory of Lady Inez in the last race of the meeting, the Au Revoir Handicap, was rather unpopular with a section of the crowd, who apparently found it hard to reconcile her winning performance with her defeat earlier in the meeting.

When still a lap from home in the Champion Handicap, won by Verity, Black Venus was pulled up the bank and slowed down. Her driver, Wright, was asked for an explanation, when he informed the stewards that he thought it was the last lap. The explanation was accepted.

The racing throughout the four days was uniformly good, Mr Brinkman having brought his fields well together. No records were broken, but the times recorded taken on the whole, were very fast, and more than one horse had the task of winning in future seriously affected by a big reduction on its previous record, without the compensation of annexing a stake.

Though he had to put up with second place in the Exhibition Cup, Dan Patch proved that he was quite- worthy of the reputation that preceded him to Christchurch from Melbourne. Immediately after the big race he was brought out for the Pioneer Handicap, in which he registered a mile and a quarter in 2min 53 2-5 sec, which works out at about 2min 19sec for the mile.

The big stakes offered by the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club at its recent meeting proved an excellent corrective against non-triers. All the same, there were several palpable cases of waiting tactics, and, in one case at least, the totalisator figures on the next occasion when the horse started furnished plenty of proof that a much better display could be expected.

The Allendale Stock Farm's team, under the care of the Robertson Brothers, captured a fair share of the spoil at the recent meeting. Dan Patch was the best winner, capturing the Christchurch Handicap and Pioneer Handicap, besides finishing second in the Exhibition Cup. Alice Palm won the Halswell Handicap, Birchmark the Best and Best Handican and Jewel's Heiress the Shorts Handicap. C. Piper has received many fine performers from Mr J. A. Buckland, but I doubt if he has had many more promising than Vanish and Vivid. These two Vancleve mares have only been in New Zealand for a few weeks, yet one is already close down to the 4.50 mark, and another broke 5min when beaten in her first race last week. Both mares can probably be improved a lot yet, so that they should keep the cracks moving before the season closes.

Albertorious is a greatly improved horse since he first raced on Canterbury tracks last June. At that time his owner was anxious that his horse should reach the 5min mark, but despaired of its accomplishment. He has, however, gradually gone on doing better, and now, with 4min 46 2-seec opposite his name, I would not like to say that he has reached his limit, as his last win was gained in very decisive fashion.

G. Milsom's Sydney team, though successful in several races, was a trifle unlucky, several unprofitable placed performances being recorded. The disqualification of Little Ned for starting before his time in the Lincoln Handicap was most unfortunate, but I do not see how the stewards could have done otherwise than uphold their official after he had reported the matter. I learn, by the way, that it is Milsom's intention to remain in Christchurch with his horses for a few months.

The recent meeting of the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club may be described as the most successful trotting fixture ever held in New Zealand. The attendance was large on each day of the meeting, the crowd present on Friday being one of the biggest I have ever seen on the ground. The visitors were prepared to bet, too, and but for the rain which fell on Thursday afternoon the record totalisator turnover, 48,428, would have been considerably larger than it was. The grounds were in fine order, and the track provided first-class going. Although in a very bad state on Thursday night, the track was looking all right again on Friday morning, and Caretaker French must have put in a lot of work to have it in such order after the soaking it got on Thursday afternoon.

Sal Tasker, who won the Juvenile Stakes two seasons ago in the record time of 2min 20sec, made only one appearance at the meeting, this being on the last day when she came out to contest the Exhibition Cup, the most valuable prize ever given for a trotting race in New Zealand. Since she last raced in New Zealand, Sal Tasker has filled out a lot, and she now takes the eye as a beautiful specimen of the trotting horse. D. J. Price had her looking well, and the manner in which she saw out the fast two-mile journey furnished abundant evidence that her condition was all right. Drawing to the front at the start, she was never seriously challenged till a mile had been covered, when Dan Patch ran up to her. For half a mile Sal Tasker seemed to be at top, but she proved too great a sticker, and had Dan Patch beaten when the back stretch was entered. From that point she was never troubled, and won easily in 4min 44 8-ssec. That she has reached the limit of her speed yet I do not believe, and I quite expect to see her do something better before this season closes.

Mrs R. 0. Duncan, the owner of Sal Tasker, can certainly feel proud of owning such a fine performer. Quite recently, I learn, Mrs Duncan purchased Jessie and a yearling sister to Sal Tasker, and the mare has been sent to Melbourne to be mated with the Americanbred sire, Abbey Bells

Credit: The Possible writing in the Star 15 November 1906


YEAR: 1907


In 1907 the race was again described as the New Zealand Handicap, and was transferred to the third day of the meeting.

The result was a win for A E Tasker's Marian (J Tasker) with J McDonnell's Advance (Owner) second and J A Buckland's Verax (C B Piper) third. On a heavy track Marian registered 5:16.

The 'also starteds' included Sal Tasker, Durbar, Lord Elmo, Boldrewood and The Needle.

Credit: ' Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 25Oct44


YEAR: 1907


Marian began a rich tradition of mares in the formative years of the Cup when she prevailed on a heavy track for James Tasker, who four years later trained another mare in Lady Clare to score.

Marian was a half-sister to the freak pacer Ribbonwood, who won the forerunner of the Cup in the New Zealand Handicap, but who had effectively won his way out of racing before the Cup was introduced.

Their dam was Dolly, who founded the family which led to other top performers such as Plunder Bar, Tactician, Twinkle Hanover, Stylish Major, Le Chant and Grades Singing and Roman Gladiator.

NZ HRWeekly 1Oct2003


At her third attempt, Marian became the first of many fine mares to win the New Zealand Cup. Her win was all the more meritorious because she led all the way on a heavy track, taking 5:16.4 for the distance.

The 1907 meeting was held on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, November 4,6 and 7. The Cup race returned to the final day, Show Day, which was cold but fine overhead. The Cup stake remained at 400 sovereigns. Of the eight races, three were in saddle and five in harness. Three races were contested over a mile-and-a-half, two over two miles, two over a mile and one a mile-and-a-quarter. The three-mile race disappeared. The Show Day turnover of 18,193 was again a record.

Trainer James Tasker started Marian's new-season campaign in August and she ran unplaced in the Midwinter Handicap and the National Cup. Tasker did not start her on the first day of the New Zealand Cup meeting, when Boldrewood, at long odds, upset the Cup candidates in the Courtenay Handicap, beating Electrician and Darwin. Despite this win Boldrewood was not well-backed and started the Cup 11th favourite, and for the second successive year ran fourth.

Rain fell on the second day and the track suffered. Lord Elmo won the Christchurch Handicap over a mile-and-three-quarters from Marian and Terra Nova, in a slow 4:22, with sensational young pacer Advance a well-beaten seventh. Three-year-old Advance was the third favourite, and the most interesting competitor in the New Zealand Cup. He remains the only horse this young to contest the country's premier event. Advance was only two years and 10 months old when he won the National Cup the previous August, against top-class horses, qualifying for his start in the New Zealand Cup. He was a black colt by Prince Imperial from Rose, owned and trained by James McDonnell, of Ashburton.

Unfortunately, Advance went amiss the following season and was retired to the McDonnell stud, where the best of the progeny he produced was Vice-Admiral, who placed third in the 1921 New Zealand Cup.

Marian, ninth favourite in the 13-horse field, led from barrier rise, and at the end of the first lap was just ahead of The Needle, Cocoanut and Verax. There was little change until a mile had been completed, when Advance and Lord Elmo became prominent in the second group. Entering the last lap Marian led from Advance, who had made a big run, with the others, led by Verax, Sal Tasker and Boldrewood, a long way back. Marian pulled away and won by 12 lengths from Advance, with six lengths to Verax, Boldrewood and the backmarker, Sal Tasker, who had to concede an enormous start of 11 seconds to the first horse away, Prince Warbeck.

Marian was trained and driven by James Tasker, who had his stable at Spreydon. She was an eight-year-old chestnut mare by King George from Dolly, by Young Irvington from a thoroughbred mare. Dolly was also the dam of Ribbonwood. Tasker produced a second New Zealand Cup winner, Lady Clare, also a mare, who won in 1911.

Auckland trotter Albertorious was the race favourite, but was slow away, broke during the running and ruined his chance. He reappeared in the next race on the programme, in saddle, and won. Second favourite Durbar also broke during the race and finished well back.

Another innovation greeted patrons in 1907. A new totalisator house, described as being built on "up to date lines", had been constructed. For the first time, above the totals shown in front of the totalisator, was a clock, one hand of which was stationary and pointed to the time the totalisator closed, while the other gave the time of the day. When the latter hand reached the stationary hand a bell rang and the betting closed. Previously, races were started before the totalisator closed. Lord Elmo was the top stake-earner with a then record of 630.

Bernie Wood writing in The Cup


YEAR: 1911

Lady Clare and driver Jack Brankin

Lady Clare, the second mare to win the New Zealand Cup, was a six-year-old by Prince Imperial from Clare, who was by Lincoln Yet, the sire of Monte Carlo.

Her trainer, James Tasker, who had been successful with Marian in 1907, took the drive behind her more favoured bracketmate Aberfeldy, and entrusted the drive behind Lady Clare to Jack Brankin. The Cup field was not a strong one, with Wildwood Junior out of the way. Also missing from nominations was King Cole, the star of the August meeting. King Cole, winner of the King George Handicap from Bribery and Dick Fly, and the National Cup from Havoc and Bright, had been temporarily retired to stud. The club received 14 nominations, but the early favourite, St Swithin, was injured and withdrawn. Sal Tasker, who had not raced for four years, and Manderene were two other defections. The front starter, Imperial Polly, received five seconds from the back marker, Bright. Al Franz, because of some outstanding trials, was race favourite, with the bracketed pair of Dick Fly and Redchild, from the stable of Manny Edwards, also well supported. Redchild was the only trotter entered.

The field did not get away at the first attempt because Free Holmes, the driver of Bribery, jumped the start. Medallion stood on the mark and took no place in the race, while Bribery went only one lap and then pulled up lame. Lady Clare led from the start and at the halfway stage was still in front, followed by Al Franz, Dick Fly, Imperial Polly, Aberfeldy, Havoc and Redchild. The mare held on to the lead to win by a length, in 4:38, from Dick Fly, with necks to Al Franz and Redchild. Then came Aberfeldy, Bright and Havoc.

The Cup victory was the last of Lady Clare's seven career wins, but she showed her durability by racing over eight seasons. Indirectly, she featured again in the Cup in 1988, when Luxury Liner turned the clock back 77 years. Lady Clare was the firth dam of Luxury Liner. Lady Clare's 700 from the Cup stake of 1000 sovereigns was the only money she won during the season. Emmeline, an outstanding mare by Rothschild from Imperialism, a Prince Imperial mare, won 949 and was the season's top earner. Rothschild and Prince Imperial were both still standing at stud in the Canterbury area. Rothschild was at Durbar Lodge, in Ashburton, available at a fee of 10 guineas. Prince Imperial and his son, Advance, stood at James McDonnell's Seafield Road farm, also in Ashburton. Prince Imperial's fee was also set at 10 guineas, but Advance was available at half that rate. Franz, the sire of Al Franz (third in the Cup), stood at Claude Piper's stud at Upper Riccarton, at 10 guineas. Franz was a full-brother to Fritz, by Vancleve from Fraulein.

A new surname at that time, but a very familiar on now, Dan Nyhan, introduced another great harness racing family to Addington. Nyhan trained at Hutt Park and ha won the 1909 Auckland Cup with Havoc. He was the father of Don Nyhan, later to train the winners of three New Zealand Cups with his legendary pair of Johnny Globe and Lordship, and grandfather of Denis Nyhan, who drove Lordship (twice) and trained and drove Robalan to win the Cup.

Of all the stallions in Canterbury, Wildwood Junior commanded the biggest fee, 12 guineas, but he held that honour only until 1914, when Robert McMillan, an expatriate American horseman, stood his American imports Nelson Bingen and Brent Locanda at fees of 15 guineas at his Santa Rosa stud at Halswell. He also had Harold Dillon and Petereta on his property. Harold Dillon, sire of the champion Author Dillon, was the top sire for six seasons, from 1916-17 until 1921-22, while Petereta gained some fame by siring the double New Zealand Cup winner Reta Reter.

The outstanding feature of the 1911 Cup meeting was the introduction of races restricted to trotters, particularly the Dominion Handicap. The move, prompted by the Metropolitan Club, came at an appropriate time to save horses of this gait from extinction in New Zealand racing. In the 1880s and 1890s there were two trotters for every pacer in New Zealand, but by 1911 the reverse ratio applied. With the advent of the sulky and harness from the United States, trainer in the 1890s found pacers easier to gait and easier to train, and learned that they came to speed in less time, so many trotters were converted to the pacing gait. Generally, the trotter could not match the pacer on the track.

Coiner won the Middleton Handicap on the first day, in saddle, and raced over two miles in 4:52. Quincey, who had been successful against the pacers on several occasions, got up in the last stride to dead-heat with Clive in the Dominion Handicap, with Muricata, a promising five-year-old, third. Muricata became the dam of double New Zealand Cup winner Ahuriri. The Dominion Handicap carried a stake of 235 sovereigns and was raced in harness for 5:05 class performers. Quincey's time was 4:37.4 slightly faster than Lady Clare recorded in the Cup on the Tuesday. Another of the 13 trotters in this race was the Australian-bred Verax, who started in the New Zealand Cup six times.

The meeting ended with some high-class racing on Show Day. In the Enfield Handicap, in saddle, Aberfeldy, from scratch, beat 14 rivals in 2:12.6, a New Zealand race-winning record for one mile. St Swithin, who had to miss the Cup, won the Christchurch Handicap from Emmeline and Little Tib. The Andy Pringle-trained pacer confirmed how unfortunate it was for his connections that injury denied him a Cup start.

Further improvements had been made at Addington, with a large new 10-shilling totalisator housebeing used for the first time. With bookmakers outlawed, the totalisator turned over a record 27,418 on Cup Day, and betting on the Cup of 6096 10s was a single-race record. The total for the three days of the carnival of 68,329 was an increase of 17,440 over the previous year.

Credit: Bernie Wood writing in The Cup


YEAR: 1907


The weather during the early morning was dull and threatening for the concluding day of the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club's Spring Meeting, but though cold it remained fine for the afternoon's sport. By starting time the attendance was hardly up to expectations, but it improved enormously with each race, eventually reaching record proportions.

The track, as a result of Thursday's rain, was decidedly heavy, and prevented the competitors doing anything liker their best times. Still, this did not interfere greatly with th racing which was of an interesring nature throughout.

The increased facilities afforded at the totalisator were taxed to their utmost, the record sum of 18,193 being speculated, making a grand total of 42,641 for the three days, as against 48,425 last year, when the meeting extended over four days. Results:-

GOVERNOR'S HANDICAP (in harness) of 140 sovs; second 21 sovs and third 14 sovs from stake. One mile and a half.

J Heinzman's b m Lady Disdain by Specification-Lincoln Yet mare, 5yrs, 18sec (R McMillan) 1
G G Holmes's Lord Spec, 8sec (F Holmes) 2
T Yarr's Dumbbell, 8sec (J Milne) 3

Scottish Mac 8sec, Fancy Girl 12sec(coupled with Lord Spec), Viceroy 10sec, King Tracey 12sec, Torpedo Bill 13sec, Lord Rue 14sec, Edward R 15sec, Thistle 15sec, Te Porangi 15sec, Wildwood Junr 17sec, The Gift 17sec and Rockfeller 19sec also started.

The Gift was in front for a couple of furlongs, when Lady Disdain took charge, and from this out had matters all her own way, winning by fifty yards. A great set to between Lord Spec and Dumbbell for second place ended in favour of the former by a neck. Time 4min 11 2/5th sec. Dividends - On Lady Disdain 3 15s; on Lord Spec 3 6s.

LADIES' BRACELET HANDICAP (in saddle) of 75 sovs; second 11 sovs and third 5 sovs from stake. One mile and a half.

Miss Edu's b c Bombay by Rothschild, 3yrs, 17sec (Mr E McIntyre) 1
Mrs G H McCullough's Romany Lad, 13sec (Mr G McCullough) 2
Mrs J Scott's Yankee Bill, 8sec (Mr W Hammond) 3

VR scr, Dolores 17sec, Huonette 11sec, Royal Tar 18sec, Lady Irvington 15sec, President Lincoln 16sec, Lone Hand 17sec, Rags 17sec, Ashwood 17sec, Winsome 17sec, Cyclone 17sec, Dolly Linton 19sec, Rosy D 19sec, and Rotholia 19sec also started.

Bombay soon established a commanding lead and with Romany Lad in attendance led throughout, winning easily by a dozen lengths. Yankee Bill was third a hundred and fifty yards back. Time 4min 5 1/5th sec. Dividends - On Bombay 6 7s; on Romany Lad 1 15s.

NEW ZEALAND HANDICAP (in harness) of 400 sovs; second 60 sovs and third 40 sovs from stake. Two miles.

S E Tasker's ch m Marian, by King George, aged, 9sec (J Tasker) 1
J McDonnell's Advance, 4sec (Owner) 2
J A Buckland's Verax, 6sec (C Piper) 3

Sal Tasker scr, Boldrewood 2sec, Durbar 3sec, Lord Elmo 3sec, Terra Nova 4sec, Albertorious 8sec, Cocoanut 9se, The Needle 9sec, Electrician 9sec and Prince Warbeck 11sec also started.

Marian soon got to the head of affairs, and with a round completed, she was just clear of The Needle, after whom came Electrician, Cocoanut and Verax. There was little change in the order till the mile had been compassed, at the end of which Advance, Lord Elmo and Verax were most prominent of the second division and Marian had got away from The Needle while Durbar and Albertorious had lost their places by breaking. Entering the concluding circuit Marian was two lengths to the good of Advance, after whom, at a considerable interval came Verax, Sal Tasker and Boldrewood. In the back straight Advance made great efforts to overtake Marian, but the latter more than held her own, eventually winning by a dozen lengths. Verax was third six lengths back, just clear of Boldrewood and Sal Tasker. Time, 5min 16sec. Dividends - On Marian 16 3s; on Advance 1 11s

AUSTRALASIAN HANDICAP (in saddle) of 200 sovs; second 30 sovs and third 20 sovs from stake. Two miles.

Wi Kaama's b h Albertorious by Albert Victor-Dulce, aged, 5sec (N Price) 1
H Hendricksen's Miss Florrie C, 10sec (W Hendricksen) 2
J Deyell's Lopp, 2sec (A Butterfield) 3

Viewmont 8sec, Carl 10sec, Hinau 12sec, Success 12sec, Vanclare 12sec, Sonbrino 12sec, Te Whiti 13sec, Woodbury 14sec, Begonia 15sec and Storm 16sec also started.

Storm made the running for half a mile when Miss Florrie C ran past her and Hinau took third place. With a mile gone Miss Florrie C had drawn well clear of Hinau and Success, Albertorious being most prominent of the back-markers. Entering the concluding round, Albertorious had taken fourth place and, getting to Miss Florrie C a little further on, drew right clear, and won easily by fifty yards from Miss Florrie C. Lopp was third, sixty yards back, just clear of Success. Time, 4min 53sec. Dividends - On Albertorious 3 15s; on Miss Florrie C 5.

METROPOLITAN HANDICAP (in harness) of 200 sovs; second 30 sovs and third 20 sovs from stake. One mile and a half.

J Tasker's ch g Derringcotte by Prince Imperial, 5yrs, 7sec (Owner) 1
H F Nicoll's Lady Lilian, 8sec (A Pringle) 2
R Davidson's Elmwood, 9sec (R Barson) 3

OYM 2sec, Fusee 4sec and Royal Ribbon 9sec(coupled), Wild Arab 5sec, Onward 8sec, Belroy 8sec, Mavourneen and Francesca 12sec also started.

Francesca held her advantage from Belroy and Onward for over a circuit, when Belroy and Lady Lilian closed on her, and OYM and Derringcotte became prominent. Once into the concluding round, Francesca lost her place to Belroy, while Lady Lilian, Derringcotte and OYM were following in close order. Two furlongs from the post Derringcotte joined the leaders, and, soon having their measure, went on and won comfortably by six lengths from Lady Lilian, who was three lengths in front of Elmwood and Belroy. Time, 3min 58sec. Dividends - On Derringcotte 3 1s; on Lady Lilian 17s.

ENFIELD HANDICAP (in saddle) of 150 sovs; second 22 sovs and third 15 sovs from stake. One mile.

J Milne's br g Hamlin by Prince Imperial-Minnie, aged, 4sec (F Holmes) 1
J Gray's Miss Burlington, 1sec (M Allan) 2
W Plaskett's Roosevelt, 6sec (I Price) 3

Plain G scr, Lopp 1sec, Discoverer 2sec, St Simon 2sec, Alice Wood 3sec, The Heir 3sec, Ferns 3sec, Factory Boy 3sec, Ianto 4sec and Asutrey 4sec also started.

Roosevelt soon established a substantial lead, and at the stand had The Heir and Hamlin as his nearest attendants. In the back straight Hamlin got to Roosevelt, and Miss Burlington closed up. A great race to the post ensued, Hamlin winning by two lengths from Miss Burlington, who was twice that distance in front of Roosevelt. Then some distance back came Lopp and Alice Wood. Time, 2min 24sec. Dividends - On Hamlin 12 4s; on Miss Burlington 2 16s.

PROVINCIAL HANDICAP (in harness) of 200 sovs; second 30 sovs and third 20 sovs from stake. One mile and a quarter.

J Cooper's b h Lord Elmo by Rothschild-Judah, 1sec (J Milne) 1
Mrs R O Duncan's Sal Tasker, scr (I Price) 2
W S Wootton's Florin, 1sec (R McMillan) 3

Terra Nova 1sec, Vanish 1sec, Myosotis 2sec also started.

Myosotis was in front for a furlong, when Lord Elmo ran past her, and at the stand he was right out by himself, Myosotis and Florin being his nearest attendants. From this out Lord Elmo was never approached and won easing up by a dozen lengths from Sal Tasker who was two lengths in front of Florin. Terra Nova finished a poor fourth while Myosotis was pulled up after going half the distance. Time, 3min 9sec. Dividend 8 16s

RECOVERY HANDICAP (in harness) of 150 sovs; second 21 sovs and third 15 sovs from stake. One mile.

S E Tasker's br g The Middie by Wilkin, aged, 11sec (J Tasker) 1
J Hempler's Elector, 4yrs (J S Weir) 2
J Milne's Hamlin, 2sec (J Milne) 3

Plain G scr, Withington 2sec, OYM 3sec, Berlin M 4sec, Grey Echo 6sec, Galatea 7sec, Al F 7sec, Peacock 9sec, and Queen Mab 9sec also started.

The Middie held his advantage till the stand was reached, where Al F ran to the front, having as her immediate attendants The Middie, Grey Echo, Peacock and Elector. In the back straight Elector and The Middie closed on Al F and a little further on Elector took charge. A furlong from the post The Middie ran down Elector and won by six lengths. Hamlin was third three lengths back, followed by Al F. Time, 2min 35sec. Dividends - On The Middie 3 1s; on Elector 4 19s.
Queen Mab fell soon after the start.

Credit: The Press 9 Nov 1907


YEAR: 1906


Early morning indications were anything but favourable for the concluding day of the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club's Exhibition Meeting yesterday, but by starting time the sun shone out, and a drying wind helped to erase the effects of Thursday's downpour.

The attendance was large even for a "Show Day," the inside enclosure in particular being crowded almost to the extent of inconvenience. Though still showing some effects of ther previous day's storm, the track was in fair order, and it improved materially as the afternoon wore on. A feature of the racing was the success achieved by visiting horses, Fusee, Dan Patch, Jewel's Heiress and Lady Inez each appropriating a stake.

Speculation reached record proportions, the sum of 15,604 being invested making a grand total of 48,428 for the four days, as against 36,826 last year, when the fixture was confined to three days. The following are the results:-

FARMERS' HANDICAP (in harness) of 125 sovs; second 18 sovs and third 12 sovs from stake. Two miles.

D J Price's b g Fusee by Prince Harold, 4yrs, 25sec (D J Price) 1
J C Paget's Prince Warbeck, 19sec (Owner) 2
T G Fox's Victor Huon, 8sec (Owner) 3

Vanish scr, Te Whiti 6sec, Dick Fly 8sec, Sydney 11sec, Bushman 18sec, Redchild 20sec and Aurora 26sec also started.

Fusee started off well, and with a round completed was a hundred yards clear of Prince Warbeck, after whom came Aurora and Dick Fly. From this out the favourite had matters all his own way, and won comfortably by a dozen lengths from Prince Warbeck, who was a hundred yards in front of Victor Huon. Time, 5min 16sec. Dividends - On Fusee 1 14s; on Prince Warbeck 5 10s.

LADIES' BRACELET HANDICAP (in saddle) of 75 sovs; second 7 sovs and third 5 sovs from stake. One mile.

Mrs Yarr's br c Dumbbell by Bell Boy-Secrecy, 3yrs, 7sec (Mr R Monro) 1
Mrs F Wright's Richard E, 12sec (Mr Wright) 2
Mrs N Price's Master Leo, 2sec (Mr Wilkinson) 3

Ferns scr, Vesta 1sec, Mah Honey 2sec, Ashcat 4sec, Te Porangi 4sec, Bugler 6sec, Miss Viking 6sec, Rubican 8sec, Lodi 8sec, Banger 8sec, Thistle 9sec Huanette 9sec and Fram 9sec(coupled), Seaweed 11sec and Rothie(coupled), Bonnie Wood 11sec coupled with Richard E and Rosy D 12sec also started.

Dumbbell and Lodi were in front by the time the enclosure was reached with Richard E at the head of a bunched field. A little further on Lodi retired and Richard E took second place. Two furlongs from home Richard E was in front, but Dumbbell came with a final run in the last fifty yards and won by a neck. Master Leo was fifty yards back in third place. Time, 2min 38 2/5th sec. Dividends - On Dumbell 2 14s; on Richard E 2 10s

ENFIELD HANDICAP (in saddle) of 200 sovs; second 30 sovs and third 20 sovs from stake. Two miles.

J Hempler's b g Vanclare by Vancleve-Clare, 6yrs, 16sec (M Edwards) 1
J Case's Durbar, 5sec (J Brankin) 2
A Pringle's Bell Car 16sec (Owner) 3

Belmont M scr, Mint 12sec, Vascoe 12sec, Darwin 13sec and Cinders 16sec also started.

Bell Car soon established a commanding lead and with a circuit gone he was well clear of Cinders, Mint and Vanclare. The leader kept his position till well into the concluding round where Vanclare closed on him and Durbar took fourth place. Two furlongs from home Bell Car compounded and Vanclare went on and won by a dozen lengths from Durbar, who was forty yards in front of Bell Car. Then came Cinders and Vascoe. Time, 4min 51sec. Dividends - On Vanclare 5 12s; on Durbar 2 10s.

LYTTELTON HANDICAP (in harness) of 150 sovs; second 22 sovs and third 15 sovs from stake. Two miles.

Wi Kaama's b h Albertorious by Albert Victor-Dulce, 5yrs 4sec (N Price) 1
J Ballie's Sir Joe, 14sec, (A Pringle)2
Dr Thacker's Sir Hector, 4sec (M Edwards)3

Monte Carlo scr, Electrician 8sec, Belroy 10sec, Huon King 13sec, Kerrwood 13sec, Fancesca 14sec, JP 15sec and Bill 16sec also started.

Francesca and Sir Joe piloted the field all through the first round with Bill at the head of the others. So they ran all through the first mile, at the end of which Sir Joe was leading Francesca, while Albertorious had worked his way into fifth place. Sir Joe held his own till well into the last circuit where Albertorious took charge and won easily by fifty yards from Sir Joe who was twice that distance in front of Sir Hector. Monte Carlo was fourth. Time, 4min 16 2/5th sec. Dividends - On Albertorious 4 8s; on Sir Joe 1 8s.

EXHIBITION CUP HANDICAP (in harness) of 500 sovs; second 75 sovs and third 50 sovs from stake. Two miles.

Mrs R O Duncan's ch f Sal Tasker by Rothschild-Jessie, 4yrs, 11sec (D J Price) 1
Allendale Stock Farm Company's Dan Patch, 8sec (L Robertson) 2
J A Buckland's Verax 8sec (C Piper) 3

Belmont M scr, Euchre scr, Birchmark 9sec coupled with Dan Patch, Lord Elmo 6sec, Silio Hue 7sec, Marian 7sec, Vickery 8sec, Boldrewood 10sec, Viewmont 10sec and Withington 14sec also started.

Sal Tasker held a sustantial advantage of Boldrewood and Dan Patch when the enclosure was reached, Vickery being at the head of the others. Boldrewood acted as the favourite's immediate attendant all through the first circuit, but in the next he stopped and Dan Patch took second place, the others being headed by Vickery and Lord Elmo. There was little change in the order through the third circuit, Sal Tasker having a little the better of Dan Patch, the pair being well clear of Lord Elmo and Vickery. When well into the final round Sal Tasker drew right away from Dan Patch and won easily by thirty yards. A great set-to between Verax, Lord Elmo and Euchre for third place ended on favour of the first-named by a neck, a similar distance separating the others. Time, 4min 44 4/5th sec. Dividend - On Sal Tasker 1 14s; on Dan Patch 1 8s.

PIONEER HANDICAP (in saddle) of 150 sovs; second 22 sovs and third 15 sovs from stake. Twice round.

Allendale Stack Farm Company's br c Dan Patch by Rothschild-Ruahine, 4yrs 7sec (A Pringle) 1
J Deyell's Lopp, 7sec (Butterfield) 2
J Case's Durbar 7sec (J Brankin) 3

Myosotis scr, Terra Nova 4sec, The Heir 5sec and St Simon(coupled), Fichu 6sec and ? 8sec(coupled), Mint 6sec, Austerlitz 7sec coupled with Dan Patch and Wild Rose 8sec also started.

Before a furlong had been left behind Dan Patch was in front and going along the back stretch St Simon was running second, followed by Austerlitz, Lopp and Mint. Passing the stand Dan Patch was going easily in front and not being troubled, won by three lengths. Lopp and Durbar passed St Simon in the last quarter the former gaining second place by two lengths, with Fichu fourth. Time, 2min 53 3/5th sec. Dividends - On Dan Patch 2 2s; on Lopp 2 12.

SHORTS HANDICAP (in harness) of 150 sovs; second 22 sovs and third 15 sovs from stake. One mile.

Allendale Stock Farm Company's blk m Jewel's Heiress by Heir-at-Law-Nellie Gray, aged, 5sec (L Robertson) 1
R Miller's Lord Elmo, 4sec (A Milson) 2
Allendale Stock Farm Company's Birchmark, 3sec (D J Price) 3

Euchre scr, Elector scr, Discoverer 1sec, Cocoanut 1sec, Vestina 2sec, Galatea 3sec, Hamlin 3sec, My Mistake 3sec, Florin 4sec, Anstrey 4sec and Al F 5sec also started.

Jewel's Heiress started off at a great pace, and at the stand was a dozen lengths clear of Prince Elmo. Easily holding her own to the finish the favourite won by fifty yards from Prince Elmo who was ten lengths in front of Birchmark, with Elector fourth. Time, 2min 19sec. Dividends - On Jewel's Heiress 2; on Prince Elmo 2 18s

AU REVOIR HANDICAP (in harness) of 100 sovs; second 15 sovs and third 10 sovs from stake. One mile.

J B Zander's blk m Lady Inez by Directo-Mabel, aged, 12sec (Wright) 1
G Hood's Imperial Polly 16sec (Owner) 2
W Henry's Fancy Girl, 11sec (J Milne) 3

Lady Cedo 11sec, Veloda 12sec, Susie Hue 12sec, Eulogy 14sec, Fusee 11sec 4sec pen. also started.

Imperial Polly showed the way from the start, while Fusee refused to settle to his work. At the stand Imperial Polly was well clear of Eulogy and Lady Inez, and a little further on the latter took second place. A great finish between Imperial Polly and Lady Inez was witnessed, the latter winning by a head. Then a dozen lengths back came Fancy Girl followed by Lady Cedo. Time, 2min 26sec. Dividends - On Lady Inez 1 10s; on Imperial Polly 3 12s.

Credit: The Press 10 November 1906


YEAR: 1905


The weather was far from pleasant for the second day of the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club's Spring Meeting, a strong southerly wind prevailing, accompanied at intervals by light showers. As the result of the rain that fell during the night the course, when proceedings commenced, was decidely heavy. It improved greatly, however, as the afternoon wore on, but at no time afforded first-class going.

The attendance was even larger than Tuesdays record, amongst those present being many notable visiting racing men from all parts of the colony. After the concluding event the stewards hald an inquiry into the running of Jewel's Heiress, but after hearing the evidence of those concerned accepted the explanation tendered as satisfactory.

Speculation was particularly brisk, the fine sum of 13,236 10s being invested, as against 11,002 on the corresponding day last year. The following are the results:-

HALSWELL HANDICAP (in harness) of 100 sovs; second 15 sovs and third 10 sovs from stake. One mile and a half.

M Friedlander's blk c Kerrwood by Wildwood-Rosewood, 4yrs, 20sec (W Kerr) 1
R Sunderland's Wild Flower, 2sec (J Farrar) 2
J McDonnell's Impatient, 2sec (Owner) 3

Lady Elmo scr, Myosotis scr, Betty 8sec, Lenape 14sec, Alice Palm 15sec, Aurora 20sec and Richard E 24sec also started.

Richard E made play till well into the back straight, where Kerrwood took charge. From this out the favourite had matters all his own way, and won easing up by three lengths from Wild Flower, who finished a length to the good of Impatient, with Lady Elmo fourth. Time, 4min 26 2/5th sec. Dividends - On Kerrwood 1 10s; on Wild Flower 1 18s.

SOCKBURN HANDICAP (in saddle) of 110 sovs; second 16 sovs and third 11 sovs from stake. One mile and a half.

R D Petrie's br c Dan Patch, by Rothschild, 8yrs, 16sec (A Pringle) 1
W Trotter's b g Micklebrook, 24sec (J McLelland) 2
C Davidson's Elmwood, 18sec (Owner) 3

Bessie B scr, Highlander 5sec, Longfellow 8sec, Miss Eadir 11sec, LEA 15sec, Glenroy 16sec, Laughter 16sec, Larry II 17sec, Duly Elected 18sec, Ingonyama 18sec, Kalmea 23sec and Vesta 24sec also started.

Vesta led for nearly a circuit, when Dan Patch ran to the front and soon established a commanding lead. Half a mile from home Micklebrook took second place, but he could make no impression on Dan Patch, who won by four lengths. Elmwood was third, twelve lengths away, followed by Longfellow. Time, 3min 59sec. Dividends - On Dan Patch 1 10s; on Micklebrook 3 10s.

CHAMPION HANDICAP (in harness) of 250 sovs; second 37 sovs and third 25 sovs from stake. Two miles.

E A Munro's b g Discoverer by Stanley, aged, 9sec (K Smith) 1
S E Tasker's Marian, 5sec (J Brankin) 2
Dr Thacker's Sir Hector, 7sec (J Mine) 3

Bolrewood scr, Verax 4sec, Darwin 4sec, Miss Vera Capel 6sec, Sal Tasker 6sec, Florin 8sec, McKinley 8sec and Master Poole 9sec also started.

Discoverer led past the stand well clear of Florin and Sir Hector, with Marian most prominent of the others. In the back Sir Hector ran past Florin and closed on the leader, the pair being almost on terms when the enclosure was reached for the second time. Marian was now in third place, well in advance of Florin, who was followed by Sir Hector, Verax and Miss Vera Capel. With half the distance gone Discoverer was still heading Sir Hector, the pair being closely followed by Marian. Going past the stand for the last time Discoverer had a slight advantage of Sir Hector, but in the back straight he lost his place to Marian. The latter gradually closed on the leader, and a furlong from the post was on terms with him. A great struggle to the post ensued, Discoverer by a final effort just gaining the judge's verdict by a neck. Sir Hector finished third forty yards back, just in front of Verax and Miss Vera Capel. Time, 5min. Dividends - On Discoverer 10 12s; on Marian 4 8s

NOVEMBER HANDICAP (in saddle) of 150 sovs; second 22 sovs, and third 15 sovs from stake. Two miles.

R Beckett's br g Sir Joe by Vancleve, aged, 18sec (B Edwards) 1
F H Lambert's Little Doctor, 7sec (F Holmes) 2
J Hempler's Vanclare, 13sec (M Edwards) 3

Miss Banks 13sec, Carl 13sec, Lena Bell 14sec and Bushman 19sec also started.

Bushman had a substantial advantage of Sir Joe and Lena Bell all through the first round, while Little Doctor was making up his ground at a great rate. With half the distance gone Little Doctor was in front. Sir Joe and Bushman heading the others. A break by the leader enabled Sir Joe to get to him in the last round, and the pair fought out a great finish, Sir Joe eventually winning by five lengths. Vanclare was third, nine lengths back, followed by Lena Bell. Time, 5min 9sec. Dividends - On Sir Joe 2 12s; on Little Doctor 16s.

HORNBY HANDICAP (in harness) of 120 sovs; second 18 sovs and third 12 sovs from stake. Two miles.

M Edwards's gr c Lord Althorp by Almont-Lady Thorp, 3yrs, 16sec (Owner) 1
C Kerr's Wild Arab, 15sec (Owner) 2
R Beckett's Sir Joe, 7sec (4sec pen)(B Edwards) 3

Cariola 12sec and Master Dudley 16sec also started.

Lord Althorp and Wild Arab soon established a long lead from their opponents, and though the latter repeatedly tacked the grey colt, he was unable to pass him, and suffered defeat by six lenghts. Time, 5min 10sec. Dividend - 3 8s.

SPEEDWELL HANDICAP (in harness) of 180 sovs; second horse 27 sovs and third horse 18 sovs from stake. About one mile and a quarter.

J Cooper's b c Lord Elmo by Rothschild-Judah, 3yrs, 4sec (J Milne) 1
J Hemplin's ch g Elector, aged, 3sec (M Edwards) 2
E Thomas's b h Boldrewood, aged, 3sec (M Albaugh) 3

Norice scr and Austerlitz 4sec also started.

Boldrewood broke soon after the start, and Lord Elmo went on from Austerlitz and Elector. At the end of half a mile Lord Elmo and Elector were out by themselves, while Norice was making up ground fast. Elector ran up to Lord Elmo in the second lap, but the latter drew away again, and won by a length. Norice broke badly in the last three furlongs, and Boldrewood secured third place, just in front of Norice and Austerlitz. Time, 2min 59sec. Dividend - 3 2s.

LINCON HANDICAP (in saddle) of 120 sovs; second 18 sovs and third 12 sovs from stake. One mile.

F Holmes's b g Vascoe by Vancleve, aged, 2sec (Owner) 1
J Messervey's Lilly C, 5sec (Owner) 2
C Kerr's All Day, 6sec (Owner) 3

Two Up scr, Cocoanut scr, Little Doctor 2sec, Royalwood 5sec, Whisper 6sec, Fredrick 6sec, Bessie B 7sec and Victor Huon 7sec also started.

Fredrick was the first to show prominent, but before reaching the stand Lily C headed him, as did All Day and Whisper. Lily C entered the back straight eight lengths to the good of All Day, with Whisper and Vascoe at the head of the others. The leader held her own till within a hundred yards of the post, where Vascoe joined her, and in a splendid finish the latter won by a head. All Day was three lengths away in third place, followed by Whisper, Two Up and Cocoanut who were almost on terms. Time, 2min 22 2/5th sec. Dividends - On Vascoe 4 14s; on Lily C 4.

ROYAL HANDICAP (in harness) of 120 sovs; second 18sovs and third 12 sovs from stake. One mile.

R Powrie's blk m Jewel's Heiress by Heir-in-law-Nellie Gray, 6yrs, 6sec (L Robertson)1
A Brown's The Needle, 2sec (A Pringle) 2
J Lewis's Ben Hur, scr (B Edwards) 3

Hamlin scr, Amusement 1sec, The Heir 4sec, Satinwood 4sec, Almond 5sec and My Mistake 5sec also started.

Jewel's Heiress got away well, and at the stand was fifty yards to the good of Amusement and The Needle. From this out the leader had matters all her own way and won comfortably by ten lengths from The Needle. Ben Hur closed up in the last furlong, and finished three lengths in from of Amusement. Time, 2min 28sec. Dividends - On Jewel's Heiress 5 16s; on The Needle 1 6s.

Credit: The Press 10 November 1905


YEAR: 1904


There have been few more colourful tales of our harness world than that of Norice, arguably the greatest broodmare in its history, and her owner Mabel Duncan.

In the World War One years Norice was the breeding queen of New Zealand and Duncan kept her in suitably palatial surroundings at the country's plushest trotting stud, Coldstream Lodge in Fendalton. The present homestead at the end of Chilcombe St - the property originally fronted Memorial Avenue when it was 59 Burnside Rd - remains the only memorial to what also was the first stud of any code in New Zealand and the place many harness fans angled to get an invite to visit during carnival week in Christchurch.

Coldstream had been established and named by Ernest Jerningham Wakefield on whose motion the Canterbury Jockey Club was formed in 1855. He stood The Peer there (Peer St is still close by) but Ronald and Mabel Duncan would enlarge and transform it at great expense into a showplace hosting four of the most famous standardbreds of their time.

Horse-mad Mabel Duncan, an accomplished show rider in her youth, was the youngest daughter of A J White whose furniture store was Christchurch's largest. Her Husband, an accountant, successful real estate agent and land speculator, was the sixth son of the former Mayor of Christchurch, Andrew Duncan (there were seven in all) and a dashing "man about town" in the land agency business. They had been married in Sydney in 1905, chiefly to avoid embarrassment to family. The Whites were the high profile Catholic family in the city and the Duncans leaders of the Presbyterian church - not a popular quinella at any religious ceremony in those far off times. The doomsayers would have the last laugh.

Ronald Duncan acted as judge, timekeeper and stipendiary steward at several Canterbury racing clubs and later on the executive of the NZ Trotting Association and King Cole (for a time) was the only horse he raced. He added 10 ha to Coldstream and built a luxurious stable complex and trainer's quarters which included, a reporter marvelled, a hot shower. Mabel was loosening the purse strings as well.

She bought Norice, the most famous racemare in the country, for a hefty sum from the popular Bower Hotel (New Brighton) owner, James Pettie, who had imported Norice from California (accompanied on the trip by Dave Price who brought back the first spreaders used here) but was now moving to the outskirts of Gisborne. Mabel also bought the promising King Cole from Nelson Price as well as his dam. Mabel's trainer, Dave Price, had already given her his half share in King Cole as a foal.

King Cole was one of only 17 foals left here by Price's champion, Ribbonwood. 15 raced and 12 won. Another notable and expensive purchase, before her marriage, had been the champion Sal Tasker, the fastest mare in Australasia, with a sensational official time at Addington in 2:20. She was named after Sarah Tasker the wife of her prominent breeder James Tasker - though Nelson Price first raced the mare and landed a betting plunge first up at Sockburn with her before selling.

At the outbreak of World War One Coldstream boasted both the fastest mare and stallion in Australasia (King Cole having broken his sire Ribbonwood's mile record in a special morning trial at Addington) as well as Norice, the most commercial broodmare. Mabel often used Sal Tasker when driving to town (Ronald played a big role in the tramway being extended to Clyde Road later) safe in the knowledge no challenger could possibly beat her down Fendalton Road.

Mabel also sent mares to be bred in Australia to Abbey Bells and horses to race there including Sal Tasker and her son Coldstream Bells, which was cruelly robbed of the biggest prize in Australasia, the Melbourne Thousand, when another driver deliberately crashed into him and Price at the start. Coldstream Bells still ran second and was later a sire of some note. Mabel Duncan seemed jinxed at times with her horses yet Norice was always there to give Coldstream its status. She also had a champion pony stallion which went years without defeat in Christchurch show rings.

Norice had six generations of recorded pedigree when most local mares, Sal Tasker included, rarely had more than two. She was by Charles Derby (ancester of Johnny Globe, Lordship etc) and after she was bought a half-brother became one of the fastest juveniles in America. Black, fast, sometimes erratic, Norice was the leading stake earner of 1904 winning six of her first seven starts here. She would have won the first NZ Cup that year too but she had problems which prevented Price from training her sufficiently for the race. Even so she led clearly most of the way and as she was eased when passed by Monte Carlo in the straight the big margin was misleading. The veteran never beat her in shorter races.

Norice made history again when disqualified from first in a Flying Handicap at Addington for galloping near the finish. In a landmark decision the race was restored to her because the committee had not taken evidence from her driver, Price, which would have established that a hopple had broken. From then on committees could not make decisions without hearing evidence from the drivers. Later in the day she won the Champion Free-For-All. Norice had also caused Pettie some grief because he had to lodge another cheque "under strong protest" with the NZTA before Norice could race here. Her previous owner was apparently in forfeit to the American Trotting Association and that body had just agreed to share it's rulings with this country.

At stud Norice left a series of smart colts who were in strong demand in Australia as sire but her most famous son was Nelson Derby, a striking colt from birth bought from Mabel by George Craw of Palmerston North for a record 750. He won the Great Northern Derby and the Auckland Cup though not sound, according to trainer Bill Tomkinson, and sired Haughty the first mare outside America to break two minutes. Therein lay quite a story.

The racing dream which seemed to belong to Ronald and Mabel Duncan started to fall apart around 1916 when Duncan took the extraordinary step then of suing his wife for 325 through the courts, presumably for Coldstream costs. Coldstream was sold with Mabel retaining the home block. Ronald Duncan bought and moved to the famous homestead block in North Canterbury. He later moved to Australia where he died in 1942 having remarried after Mabel's death.

Mabel had to cut numbers and sell virtually all her young stock. Watching Nelson Derby, the horse she had been aiming to breed for so long walk out the gate must have been heartbreaking. Selling Norice and Sal Tasker (whose descendants are still competitive today) was never an option. She still clung to part of Coldstream when she died in 1936 the once wealthy heiress having been adjudged bankrupt the previous year. Her parents had a strong social conscience and spent much of their wealth on community projects including building and supporting the large St Joseph's orphanage in Halswell. Norice had her last foal in 1931.

Among the horses sold was Queen Cole (King Cole-Norice) to John Grice of Tinwald whose son Ben inherited her first foal Colene Pointer (Methven and Timaru Cups) a fine stayer and dam of Queen's Treasure and Kingcraft. Ben had another foundation mare, Logan Princess, dam of the high class Regal Voyage. When that mare retired, down the road at Walter Gudsell's Pluto Lodge Stud in Tinwald was a poorly patronised Nelson Derby and so history in the form of Haughty was made. Crossing the two families and doubling up on Norice blood through Nelson Derby by Ben Grice to reinforce the family speed factor has ensured the survival of the Norice character through every generation since. Native King was another Norice colt successful at stud. Kingcraft, by the obscure Quincey who also happened to stand locally (Colene Pointer had broken down so badly she could not travel far) was almost a great horse, competing in the NZ Cup after just eight starts, but like his granddam was erratic at times.

Norice's essential qualities of high speed and waywardness combined with soundness problems have suvived to a remarkable extent through almost a century of breeding. At crucial times her tribe produces fast fillies like herself, like Single Star, Riviera and Petro Star for Grice. Perhaps the best example of the potency of the mare was the amazing Mount Eden. He was the essence of her pacing power and like her highly strung yet his performances were so stunning no less a commentator than Ron Bisman claimed he was to him the fastest horse the world had seen.

The Norice line has actually thrived on the superior breeding performance of relatively few mares, and largely just three breeders - Mabel Duncan, Grice and the Cummings family of Tuapeka whose mare Sakuntala has been the springboard of much of the family's recent success. The New Zealand Cup winners Iraklis and Monkey King, both from this source, were noted for extreme acceleration. Their ancestress Hindu Star, dam of Sakuntala, carried a close up (3x3) Norice masterminded by Grice. Holmes D G came from a more obscure branch of the Norice tribe but still had the essential double cross of Nelson Derby.

In earlier eras stars like Nicotine Prince, Chief Command and Indecision; the speedy Maurice Holmes 2yos like Strauss, Violetta and company; Hardy Oak, Single Star, Ardstraw, Canis Minor, Tuapeka Star, Ruling Lobell etc, etc kept the Norice name to the fore. O Baby is her current Horse of the Year poll winner.

The Norice legacy can be character building for those seeking to extend it. Lightning does not strike as consistently as with some families - but when its stars align it sends an electric charge through the pacing world that no other family can match.

Mabel Duncan and Ben Grice knew what they had to work with. Their work was not in vain.

Credit: David McCarthy writing in HRWeekly 10Apr13

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