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FEATURE RACE COMMENT

 

YEAR: 1914

The New Zealand Trotting Cup meeting opened in beautiful weather. There was a very large holiday attendance. The course was fast and the racing of the highest class. Some fast times were registered and the public were rather astray in their selections. A very large sum went through the Totalisator and the Club must be well satisfied with the prospects for the concluding days.

Fancy Gantle was made an even money favorite in the Spring Handicap (2 miles, saddle) for trotters only. She refused to leave the mark. When she eventually got away she did not show exceptional pace. Lochiel got well away and trotted steadily the whole way, winning with something in hand from Frank Wilkes. Fiction was a poor third. Time, 6.3. Frank Wilkes showed some pace, but always broke when the pressure was on. Armamenter trotted well, but faded out in the last half mile.

A largo field saddled up for the Empire Handicap (2 miles). Wingatua hopped away smartly and led for well over a mile, and Sherwood took up the running. Disappear made a good run through tho field, attended by Stanley's Child. Disappear continued near the post. He then wavered. In an exciting finish Sherwood won by a head, Stanley's Child was third, two lengths away. Time, 4.48. Grandee was favorite but failed to run up to his form.

The New Zealand Trotting Cup brought out the best twelve horses that have ever raced together in the colonles. The scratchings were Havoc, Red Mac and Lady Clare. Don Caesar and King Cole lost time at the start. Win Soon took the lead from the start. Win Soon, Country Belle and Eccentric led in that order past the stand the first time round. They maintained their positions during the second round. Entering the last round Emmeline ran up into fourth place half a mile from home. Win Soon and Country Belle left the field and in a good finish Win Soon, won by four lengths. Eccentric was twelve lengths back third with Emmeline another six lengths distant in fourth place. The fast time of 4.31 was recorded. The race was rather uninteresting, as the leading horses kept their places throughout. Win Soon was all out to win, the only horse threatening danger being Country Belle. Emmeline ran right up to her best time. Denver Huon ran a good race and was timed to do 4.30. His task was an impossible one as he would have had to do 4.25 to get up to the winner. Don Caesar was favorite, Win Soon being next m demand.

Norval King took out the Middleton Handicap (2 miles, harness) for trotters only. He and Imperial Crown were in advance for a mile when the latter cried a go. Adventuress then ran up into second place, Olive L. following. They ran in this order to the finish, Norval King winning all out by a length, Olive L. two lengths behind Adventuress. Olive L. lost several seconds at the start, otherwise she would have won. Time, 4.35 2-5.

The Lyttelton Handicap (two miles, harness) was an exciting race. Antonio and Erlna wont away with a good lead. A mile saw the end of Erina. Our Thorpe and White House closed on Antonio six furlongs from home. At the distance, Our Thorpe passed Antonio and, in a stirring finish, won by a length. White House beat Antonio on the post for second money. The time was very fast 4min. 38 4-5sec.

Kinetic was very warm for the St Albans Handicap (1 mile, saddle). He got away smartly, but was soon displaced by Qulnaldine. The latter went on with a good lead. Four furlongs from home, Frandocia worked his way through into third place, Caledon being second. Fifty yards from the post Frandocia caught Quinaldlno, and went on and won by a length. Rawene was placed third. Time, 2.17.

A largo field started In the Rlccarton Handicap (1 miles, harness). Tommy C. was favorite. He hung on the mark and Al Franz went away in front and stayed there for half the distance. With a milo to go, Jingle put in a great run and secured a good position. Entering the straight he had everything settled and went on and won comfortably from Mountain Rose and Muricata. Time, 3min. 27 4-5 sec. Marble Arch showed great pace during the early stages of the race, but failed to stay on.

The money was on Frank Tracy in the Hagley Handicap (1 mile, harness). He failed to got anywhere near the front. Bequest took the lead and bade good-bye to the others. Corbell and Child Beldon chased her the whole way. The order at the finish being Bequest, Child Beldon, Corbell. Time, 2.24


Credit: Brent Locanda writing in NZ Truth 14 Nov 1914

 

YEAR: 1914

The New Zealand Metropolitan Club should be well satisfied with the result of the Cup meeting of 1914. The weather throughout was fine, and the attendance large. The racing was of the highest class and the management all that could be desired. For the three days, the large sum of 117,999 10/- went through the totalisator, as against 124,362 10/- last year. The decrease was probably due to the fact that a large number of races were won by "outsiders," the money from the machine thus going into fewer hands for reinvestment. Of the twenty-four races run, only four were won by first favorites. The Australian contingent were but fairly successful, only two races going, to them. The horses showed, plenty of pace but did not appear to be tuned up for hard racing.

Stipendiary Stewards opened for the first time in the history of trotting m the Dominion. Their duties were not arduous, but they attended to a number of minor matters which were not made public. No doubt their presence had the effect of lessening irregularities.

The second day's racing opened with the Whlteleigh Handicap (2 miles, saddle), for trotters only. Fancy Gantle was again made favorite, she trotted very well but was not quite good enough and had to be content with third place behind Armamenter and Fiction. Armamenter won easily and by doing 4.54, greatly improved upon any previous effort.

The November Handicap (2 miles, saddle), was remarkable on account of a great performance on the part of the Australian owned Spot. Starting slowly, he appeared to be right out of the race with Breeze winning easily. With a lap, to go he commenced a great run and gradually closed on Breeze. With fifty yards to go Breeze tired and Spot passed him and won by three lengths in the fast time of 4.34 2.-5. Spot now holds the record for the paced two mile saddle event.

Admiral Wood went out very hot for the Courtenay Handicap (2 miles, harness). At the finish he was the only one in it. Adelaide Direct was leading half a mile from home. Admiral Wood then passed her and went away and won with the greatest of ease in 4.34. Jingle cut out Adelaide Direct on the post for second money. Admiral Wood's performance was most impressive and he is probably the best horse m training.

The American-bred mare Bonista carried off the Metropolitan Handicap (1% mile, harness). Bonista and Kokomoer had the race to themselves. The former took the lead early and won nicely by two lengths in 3.33 4-5. Bonny Jenny, the dam of Bonista, occupied third place.

There was a great finish in the Sockburn Handicap (2. mile, harness), for trotters only. Mystic made nearly all the running but tired in the final stretch. Norval King and Olive L. then came along and the verdict went to the former by a head. Muricata was close up third. Time, 4.49 3-5. Muricata ran a great race. She trotted 4.38 and was most unlucky in being beaten in such greatly improved time.

The Free-for- All (1 mile, harness) was a fiasco as of the seven starters, only three got away to the bell. These were Dillon Bell, Eccentric and King Cole. Emmeline was nearly 3secs back and the others still further. The three that got away ran together for well over half the distance. Dillon Bell then broke. A little further on King Cole broke and Eccentric went on. In the meantime Emmeline had been putting in great work. She chased Eccentric up the straight and just failed to reach him and he won all out by half a length. Time, 2.48 4-5. The bad start was quite inexcusable, as the starter was not pressed for time. The start reminded one of tne good old days when the horse with the money on always got a good start. On the whole, the starting, was good and I cannot understand the starter's lapse in this instance. The bad start un- doubtedly robbed Emmeline of the race.

The double bettors wanted Nan to win the Railway Handicap (1 mile saddle). It looked any odds on her up the straight. Ripon Child, however, came with a great rattle and just cut her out on the post. Time, 2.17. Ripon Child's win was unexpected and he paid a large dividend.

Owing to her. good showing in the big event, Adelaide Direct was made a solid choice for the Royal Handicap (1 mile harness). Frank Tracey secured a big lead. He tired badly near the end and the favorite came along and won easily, with Andy Regan third. Time, 2.15 "2-5.

The Governor's Handicap,(2mile saddle) was the first event of the final day's racing. The race was for trotters only. Whispering Lad was favorite, the public going right off Fancy Gantle. A little backed one in Fiction led the whole way and won in 4.53. Miss Dexter trotted well, but found the handicap too great. She tired to nothing up the home stretch and Benmore beat her for second place. The favorite broke up badly.

Our Thorpe ran a sterling race in the Victoria Handicap (2% miles harness). Childsdale was favorite, but started badly. Wallace Wood and Antonio made nearly all the running. A quarter of a mile from home Antonio had had enough and Wallace Wood went on and had a lead entering the straight with Our Thorpe close up. In the final run Our Thorpe passed Wallace Wood and won an exciting race by two lengths. Time, 5.12. In running the race at a 2.19 gait the winner put up one of the best efforts of the meeting.

The Christchurch Handicap (2 miles harness) produced the best finish of the meeting. As usual St. Swithin was made favorite with Emmeline and Jewel Chimes well supported. Jewel Chimes went away well, St. Swithin losing several lengths. The former continued in the lead, the other positions changing. St. Swithin was always handy and Emmeline was making ground in good style. Jewel Chimes still led at the home turn, with Emmeline and St. Swithin close up. Here Adonis put in a streak and got second. He tried to pass Jewel Chimes on the Inside but got blocked. Jewel Chimes led to within a few yards of the post, but the honest little chap tired and Emmeline and St. Swithin both got up to him and the three passed the post together. Emmeline won by a bead, with St. Swithin another head in front of Jewel Chimes. Time, 4-34. The champion mare came in for a great reception and her win somewhat atoned for her misfortune in the Free-for-All.

Favoritism rested between Frandocia, Breeze, and Spot in the Australasian Handicap (2 miles saddle). Miss Florrie C and Lady Rattoo were in the van for a mile, with Breeze closing up. A little further on Breeze went to the front and got a solid lead from Frandocia, who began to tire. Breeze continued on with Persuader, and Disappear showing up. In the straight run home Breeze held his own and won all out by a length from Persuader, with Disappear another half length away. Time, 4.39.

A rank outsider won the Dominion Trotting Handicap (2 miles harness). Muricata was installed favorite. Olive L. was quickest to begin and led from Treasure Seeker and Norval King. At the end of a mile the latter two found the pace too warm and Electrocute ran into second place. All through the last round these two held command. In the home run Electrocute ran past Olive L. and won by three lengths. Master Raymond came up at a gallop and got his head in front of Olive L. on the post. Time, 4.44. Olive L. was the most unlucky horse at the meeting. She was placed in her three starts and failed to get a win. As she is but four years old she should have a great future, always providing she is not worked too hard.

By winning the Hornby Handicap (1% miles harness) that fine mare Bonista scored her second success. Lord Rlbbonwood was put about as being the best horse the Australians had brought over and the money went on accordingly. He ran a good race for a mile and then tired away. With half the diatance gone Bonista rushed to the front and stayed on to the end. She won comfortably from Wallace Wood and Brown Belle. Time, 3.29.

Cameos was the order for the Enfleld Handicap (1 mile saddle). She failed to strike a proper gait and never showed up Sir Solo soon had the measure of the field and won With ridiculous ease in the fast time of 2.13 2-5. Nan and Clingschild filled the places.

Country Belle was favored for the Recovery Handicap (1 mile harness). Marble Arch rushed away in front, with Mandarene and Rlpon Child handy. Marble Arch led to within thirty yards from the finish. Mandarene then came strongly and won by half a length. Little Tib was third. Time, 2.15.


Credit: Brent Locanda writing in NZ Truth 21 Nov 1914

 

YEAR: 1915

1915 NEW ZEALAND TROTTING CUP

Despite a fine second the previous year and a win in the New Brighton Cup in 4:32 2/5, which made her a backmarker and gave her a reputation as the best stayer in the land, Country Belle was one of the outsiders when she wore down fancied leader Don Caesar and fought off Our Thorpe.

She became the fourth mare in eight years to prevail and through her daughter Rustic Maid established a quite outstanding family.

**Credit: NZ HRWeekly 1Oct2003**

-o0o-

In the 1915 Cup Country Belle, urged on by Albert Hendricksen, went in pursuit of the leader Don Caesar and, after taking control two furlongs from the finish, fought off the challenges of newcomers Our Thorpe and Jingle. Don Caesar was fourth, and then followed Admiral Wood, Tommy C, Win Soon, Frandocia and Manderene. Country Belle's winning time was 4:35.6.

It was Hendricksen's second success, having won with Albert H in 1912. A seven-year-old mare by Wild Moor from Bonnie Bell, by Lincoln Yet, Country Belle was bred by Rakaia owner Bill Morland. After her fine second in the New Zealand Cup the previous year, she won the New Brighton Cup a month later in 4:32.4, which stamped her as one of the best stayers in the country.

The stake for the Cup remained at 2500 sovereigns, but the overall stakes at the meeting reached 10,000 sovereigns for the first time.

Country Belle and Emmeline trialled well on the Sunday morning before the Cup, yet the Morland mare went out 10th favourite, with only three others less supported in the 15-strong field. There were two bracketed pairs - Wallace Wood and Adelaide Direct, and Admiral Wood and Manderene. Country Belle had been a consistent performer early on. She started racing as a three-year-old and won twice from five starts. At four years she won at each of her three starts. The current season, however, was her best, and her Cup victory enabled her to end the season the leading earner, with 1930, followed by Our Thorpe. Morland, with 2635, was the season's top owner.

Country Belle and the previous year's winner, Win Soon, were the scratch markers in the Cup, giving a start of six seconds to Manderene. Win Soon, who had not raced since August, did not go well and finished a long way behind the placed horses.

The rising star from the previous season, Admiral Wood (then in the James Bryce stable, having changed hands for a record sum), was race favourite and shared the one-second mark with Emmeline. But he too raced below his best. Because of his outstanding achievements, Admiral Wood was asked even then to race from long marks, and was another victim of a less-than-satisfactory handicap system. He did win more good races, including the 1916 New Zealand Free-For-All and the Auckland Cup the same year, and when retired at the end of the 1919-20 season had a two-mile record of 4:26.6.

Our Thorpe, a five-year-old by O.Y.M. from Lady Thorpe, whose dam was a Young Irvington mare, received solid support, as did Adonis(Free Holmes) and Frandocia(Artie Butterfield), the latter another son of Franz. Our Thorpe was slow away and was left behind by the scratch pair. He made a forward move, with Jingle, in the back straight on the last lap to follow Don Caesar and Country Belle. Our Thorpe ran past Don Caesar in the straight but could not match Country Belle. Adonis collided with Manderene at the start and lost his chance, while Frandonia, slow away, plugged on without ever looking likely to fill a place.

Third placed Jingle - owned by Greymouth solicitor Harry Kitchingham, for many years a great patron of trotting - was by Capitalist from Merry Bell, from Silver Bell, a Blackwood Abdallah mare. Robert Wilkin imported Blackwood Abdallah, foaled in 1878 at Lexington, Kentucky, to New Zealand. He stood at the Fendalton Stud and later at Ashburton, and in all sired 57 winners. Among his descendants were the racing idol of the 1930's, Harold Logan, outstanding trotter Ripcord, and Gold Chief, the sire of Rupee. Kitchingham set up a stud in Russley Road, Upper Riccarton. Jingle was the best horse he raced.

Country Belle, after her impressive Cup victory, earned favouritism for the Free-For-All, along with Our Thorpe and Emmeline. After one false start, the seven-horse field was sent away, with Our Thorpe last to settle, while Adelaide Direct broke stride at the starting post. Our Thorpe made up his lost ground and finished brilliantly to beat Country Belle, with Emmeline third, 40 yards away. Our Thorpe recorded 2:41.4, a mile rate of 2:09, the fastest winning rate paced in New Zealand to that stage.

On the third day of the meeting the outstanding performance came from Solo, in the Enfield Handicap. Driven by Eugene McDermott, he registered 2:10.8, a mile winning record. Michael Galindo (Cliff Tasker) won the Dominion Handicap from Galacian and Master Raymond, and in so doing became the first double winner of the country's prestigious trotting event, having recorded his initial success in 1913.

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

 

YEAR: 1946

CERTISSIMUS

The mirth that greeted the running of earlier contests for the NZ Trotting Stakes subsided on Saturday when three of the field - Acclamation, Flame and Balmoral - provided an interesting race with Acclamation winning in the excellent time of 3.29 3/5.

One can imagine the shudders that must have run through the stalwart frames of Mr A Matson and Mr C S Thomas when ridicule was heaped upon the four-horse fiasco for the Trotting Stakes in 1944. But they were men of courage, idealists who knew that the trotter is an integral part of the light-harness sport and must be catered for. "Carry on at all costs" was the slogan.

Saturday's contest was the best yet provided by the baby trotters, with progeny of Certissimus, the greatest juvenile trotter yet bred in the Dominion, finishing first and second after good exhibitions. Acclamation and Flame are daughters of this popular and handsome horse, and they are among his only crop of foals, as he survived only one season at the stud before meeting with a fatal accident.

All three place-fillers were bred to trot, Acclamation being out of Raclaim, a good-class trotter by Wrack from Trix Pointer, Fame from Belle Lorimer, winner of races at both gaits, and Belmoral by Worthy Belwin-Bessie Bingen, both sire and dam being trotting winners.

J Wilson trained three of the four place-fillers - Acclamation, Flame and Sandwrack (fourth). He must have expended a great deal of patience on his charges, who are a credit to him, and he is performing a service to the pure-gaited horse that will be recognised by every lover of the trotter throughout the Dominion. We could do with a dozen of him.

-o0o-

There are only nine living 3-year-olds by Certissimus.

D Teahen, who bred, trained and drove this greatest of all juvenile trotters seen on Dominion tracks, gave the Calendar some interesting information regarding his old favourite's only crop of foals.

Apart from Acclamation, Flame and Carissima, who started in th NZ Trotting Stakes, there are six of the progeny of Certissimus in various parts of Canterbury. They are a filly from Wee Wrack, a filly from Morewa, a gelding from London Tan, a colt from a Denver Huon mare, a filly from Random, and a filly from a Logan Fraser mare. All are trotters except the one from the Logan Fraser mare, and all, of course, are 3-year-olds.

Betty Jinks produced twins to Certissimus, both of which died, and the same fate befell a colt from Paying Guest and a colt from a Jingle mare. This Jingle mare, which is out of Lluvia de Oro, is the dam of several winners, namely, Royal de Oro, Guncase, Maximum, Walter Jingle and Rustle. Teahen related how a passing drover, with the best of intentions, climbed through a fence to help the Jingle mare, which was having difficulty in foaling. The mare unfortunately took fright, which caused the death of the foal, a fine colt

"Considering the old Jingle mare could not leave a bad one, I took that colt's death to heart a bit," said Teahen, "but I can never hope to sit behind a greater horse than Certissimus. He was just too good to be true - speed, looks, manners, and anything else you like."


Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 10 & 17Apr46



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