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: 1981

Ernie Trist at one of his machines

Even before the turn of the century, E Trist & Co., the well known 'saddlers etc' were begging to announce that they had the 'Largest Stock of Trotting, Racing and Polo Boots to select from in the Colony and every description of Trotting Boots are manufactured on the premises...' And now, eighty years afterwards, those at Trist & Small reckon they're the only saddlers in the country dealing in and manufacturing only trotting goods.

"Some of the boots, of course, can be used by other horses, but they're the exception - and then only by coincidence," one of the present principals in the company, Laurie Trist, explains. The other partner is Chris Owen, with Trist & Small since leaving school more than eleven years ago. There is not a Small in the place. There was once. But that was a long time ago, even before Laurie's dad Ernie can remember. And he's been taking notice of what went on in the firm since he was a youngster old enough to be taken into town by his mother and later to work there after school.

Ernie's grandfather, John Trist, started it all off. More than 100 years ago, 109 would be closer to the mark. "He was a tent and sailmaker by trade. I never knew him, never spoke to him...only ever say photos of him," the current senior Trist said when the Calendar visited the saddlery last week. That John Trist's business was eventually taken over by Ernie Trist's father John ('known as Bill') and uncle Ernest. Again they were into tents and sails as well as holding the 'largest stock of Trotting...' and so on. "They must have made good equipment. Only a year ago we had some harness in here to repair and it still had the 'E Trist' label on it. It must have been made last century.

Ernie Trist doesn't know when it was exactly that his father left the original family business and set up with a certain George Small. "It must have been round the turn of the century because they took a Gold Medal award at the 1906 NZ Exhibition," he explained. There's a faded, yet still impressive, framed certificate on the workshop wall to prove it. And an invoice sent out to a client in 1905 for work done on various pieces of leatherware. Working almost solely with leather has been the hallmark of the Trist & Small business almost from the beginning. Ernie Trist began a 5-year apprenticeship making racing and trotting equipment from leather in 1928. "And everything was done almost exactly the same way then as it is now. One of the few differences is that all the leather then was hand-stitched; today machines play a bigger part."

The firm had a name change for a couple years before Ernie Trist started work. For a while it as known as Trist, Smith and Jarden. Smith and Jarden were well-known names in trotting circles in those days. Robert Smith was an American who had a great influence on trotting here, being the man responsible for the importation of sires like Jack Potts to NZ. Jarden was a well-known trotting writer of the time as well as a handicapper and judge. But the partnership did not last all that long. Trist bought the others out after a couple of years and shanged the the name back to Trist & Small.

From the time the business was established until just after the war, it was located next door to Tattersalls Horse Bazaar, in Cashel Street in the heart of Christchurch. Regular sales took place there every Friday as well as the more spectacular events like the annual yearling sales. The bazaar was run by the Matson family, a name which has very strong links with the industry in NZ. Allan Matson was one of its leaders in the 1950s, president when the NZ Trotting Association and Conference combined. Trist & Small's had Tattersall's Hotel, itself gone now, on the other side. "We used to reckon all we had to do was knock a hole in the wall whenever we wanted a beer," Ernie Trist recalled with a smile. He also has a wealth of tales about the fun and games which often took place on sale day, the day when dozens of horses and gigs would be lined up after bringing prospective buyers and interested onlookers to the auction.

Horses weren't the only animals to be put under the hammer at the bazaar. Occasionally bulls took everyone's attention. "The bull sale at show time seemed to be of interest to the whole town. Crowds thronged to it." Perhaps it was excitement the people wanted , the minor chaos created when occasionally a recalcitrant bull would put his hoof down and refuse to go into the ring. Ernie Trist remembers one particularly wild specimen actually getting away from the bazaar and careering through the streets of downtown Christchurch before being caught. But all this was in pre-World War II days.

During the war Ernie Trist seved in the Pacific before coming home and being pressed into service under the 'manpower' regulations. Essential industries got the manpower they needed to meet wartime requirements, industries like mining and butter and cheese. Ernie Trist, leather worker, put in for the latter only to be told by the Labour Department that there were no vacancies there and he'd have to go into the coal mines. "There was no way I was going down into the mines and I told them so; I eventually ended up in building industry working for my brother until the restrictions were lifted."

Still, he used to work at the old firm on Saturday morning keeping his hand in. His father had operated the business throughout the war. And even then he was hard pressed at times to keep up with the orders. "I remember getting one letter while I was overseas which said he had 21 sets of hopples on order and six set of harness. The difficulty in those days was getting materials, especially English leather. We have always imported a certain percentage of leather from England, especially for overchecks, reins and tie downs. Trade and Industries have tried to convince us we don't need to but we have proved to them otherwise. When it comes to races, you have got to do everything you can to alleviate breakages which could have disastrous consequences."

When Ernie Trist started with the firm again it had orders for thirty sets of harness and a hundred sets of hopples. There was a waiting list of a year sometimes. Even now clients sometimes have to wait. It takes one man at least 45 hours to make a set of leather harness. "And even then you can never get a whole day devoted completely to the one job," Laurie Trist, 26, explains. It took one man the same amount of time years ago. The harness man worked on the 'black bench'. Chris Owens worked on that exclusively for three of four years when he first joined Trist & Small. He remembers it well. Remembers getting his hands pretty dirty. Ernie Trist, too, remembers what it was like in the early days. "We were the popular jokers in the dance hall. Funny how that stuff is hell of a hard to wipe off your hands and yet it got so easily onto the girls dresses.

The gear's the same now as it was fifty or sixty years ago. There haven't been many radical changes. Only hopple shorteners. And the price, of course. Ernie Trist recalled easily the times when a set of best leather race harness could be bought for 13/10/- or a couple of pounds cheaper for a lesser set. Hopples wer five quineas or 4/15/-, depending on the quality. That was round about the end of the war. Today leather race harness costs close enough to $700, hopples $250. "You could get a good class stock saddle for 13/10/-, a reasonable one for 8/7/6. Now they're hundreds of dollars, too." Trist & Small these days don't make or sell saddles but they did in the old days. And this highlights, perhaps, one way the trade has changed over the years.

Now, any one of the three men at Trist & Small can make a set of harness - or all three can work on the one set to get a rush order through. Back then, the saddler made all the straps and things. No saddles though. The saddlehand made those. The collar makers made the collars. It seems there must have been a bit of a class system in operation then. "The collar makers had the toughest time. He would freeze in winter, have sweat poring off him in summer. His was really hard yakka. I think there is only one alive in the country today, but I don't think he's working," Ernie said. "We on the racing side of things were regarded as 'refined' gentlemen of the trade."

Plastics have revolutionised the industrybut the Trists are convinced that nothing will ever replacereal leather for it's wearing qualities, among other things. Ernie Trist brings up about that recent repair job on harness that must have been well over eighty years old and still going strong. "Plastic is cheaper and it's easier to keep clean. But leather is the best." And while leather might be the best, the three tradesmen working away at their benches agree, too, that the quality of tools they have to work with has deteriorated over the years. Laurie Trist thinks he knows why. "In those old times, makers knew exactly what the tools were going to be used for. Saddlers were big business then. Now there's a small demand for specialist equipment so sometimes it is not as good."

The business is no longer near what used to be Tattersalls Bazaar. That was sold after the war and Trist & Small moved around the corner into Mancester Street and widened its scope to deal also in fancy leather goods, suitcases and the likes. Ernie's father retired from the business in 1956. Renie took over. Ten years later, another move, this time to their present home, upstairs premises in the industrial section of St Asaph Street on the outskirts of the city centre. With the move came a parting of the ways from the fancy goods side of the business. That remained with new owners in Mancester Street. The Trists wanted to concentrate solely on trotting goods. It was also Ernie Trist's intention to concentrate on manufacturing and selling wholesale. "There was such a phenomenal demand for out stuff then; there were no plastics to compete with. We wanted to get away from the mainstream retail trade, but before very long customers approached us directly. And we couldn't turn down old customers so we have remained retailers."

Chris joined the company straight from school in 1969 and five years ago bought into the business. Laurie started during school holidays when he was about 13 but went psychiatric nursing for two and a half years on leaving school. He then worked as a builder's labourer, getting his ticket later as a drainlayer before getting into the business, too, in 1976. "Too cold in winter" was his reason for getting out of the drains. Noe the senior Trist regards himself as "just the boy about the place. I'm convinced now that lives go in a complete circle." He doesn't have to get the lunches but he is the official tea-maker. "Mainly because he makes the best brew," the others agree. The others are three. Besides the two younger men there is Sadie Scott in the office. That's the total staff. At times there have been more. But for the next few months, things begin to slaken off a little and the present lot will be able to cope.

The company has a regular spot around the stables at Addington every racenight where they keep a range of their wares. The deal also in all facets of trotting goods and, for instance, are the only manufacturers of toe weights in Australasia. "We don't see as many races as we would like to, but we do have time for the odd bet. None of them owns a horse although Ernie's father owned a pretty useful trotter in Duke Bingen who raced uccessfully in the 1920s. The old chap was also a president at one time of the Canterbury OTB.

The workshop syndicate can't rate itself as one of the most successful around, but then it probably doesn't follow a system workers down in the Cashel Street establishment followed, especially on Cup Day. "For years, we would put out money on the horse whose owner bought new gear from us for the big race. It worked year after year. Indianapolis had new harness for his first two wins and again for his third. They probably didn't need that but they weren't going to take the risk," Ernest Trist, now 64, explained. "There were horses like Red Shadow, Lucky Jack...and more recently Lord Module." The system did come unstuck once though. Therewere four in the race with new gear. "And that confused us. We didn't know which way to go."

Credit: Graham Ingram writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 10Mar81


YEAR: 1963


The New Brighton course would now become Queen Elizabeth II Park and in 20 years time or so it could develop into the Hagley Park of the seaside suburb, said the Deputy Mayor of Christchurch (Councillor H P Smith) who was speaking at the closing ceremony of the club at its final meeting on its own course on Saturday. Cr. Smith said the New Brighton Club's gesture in offering the property to the City Council at much below the sub-divisional value was a magnificent one. The 'City Fathers' would be 'just as jealous of every square yard of it' as they were of Hagley Park, he continued. People would be able to enjoy recreation on the new park "for time immemorial".

The crowd of nearly 10,000 which attended on Saturday far exceeded expectations, and the 104,625 handled by the totalisator on-course was 32,000 more than last year. The main event, the A E Laing Handicap, carried a 50 trophy presented by Mr Laing, a former president who has been in hospital for some weeks. Five other presidents are still active officers of the club and races were named after them on Saturday's programme. They are Messrs W E Desmond, O Hutchinson, A G Jamieson, A McDonald and S J Moore.

Mr W F Stark, the president, in introducing the Deputy Mayor, thanked the public for their generous support in the past and extended to all a warm welcome to the club's future meetings at Addington. Queen Elizabeth II Park would be "real value for posterity" he said , and he was thankful that sub-division of such a fine place had been avoided. Officers of the club gathered in the birdcage for the ceremony, at which 'Now Is The Hour' and 'Auld Lang Syne' were sung.

A long list of champions, notable among them Wildwood Junior, Reta Peter, Adelaide Direct, Willie Lincoln, Agathos, Onyx, Peter Bingen, Great Bingen, Harold Logan and Josedale Grattan, were trained, at one time or another, on the New Brighton track. Between 25 to 40 years ago New Brighton was one of the busiest training centres in NZ, and trackwork was covered by the Christchurch daily papers - particularly when there were two morning and two evening papers - just as fully and prominently as the training activities at Addington.

Back in the late 1920s J N (Jim) Clarke trained a large team from Brooklyn Lodge (now occupied by George Cameron), and Peter Bingen, Great Bingen and Willie Lincoln were among the horses who occupied stalls in his stable. Contemporaries of Jim Clarke who come readily to mind included A J (Alf) Wilson, who trained and drove Reta Peter, twice winner of the NZ Cup; W (Bill) Warren, N L (Nelson) Price, J D (Doug) Smith, H (Harry) Frost, H(Harry) Aker, G (George) Robinson, A E (Arthur) Bussell and E R (Ernie) Husband.

Much earlier, the brothers W (Bill) and C (Charlie) Kerr, won renown with Wildwood Junior, Admiral Wood and others; M (Manny) Edwards took Adelaide Direct to the top; C Channing's Agathos was among the top flight of pacers in the early 1920s and Onyx, trained by J (Jack) Messervy, was the champion mare of the Dominion about the same period. Much later Pot Luck, trained by his owner H (Bert) Stafford, was a headline pacer trained at New Brighton, and F J ('Wizard') Smith used to quarter his team there on his regular visits to Christchurch meetings - Josedale Grattan and Nell Volo were among his great ones who had their final trials ay Brighton before important wins at Addington. W ('Tiger') Barron, was a prominent seaside trainer of over 30 years ago with horses owned by Mr D Rodgers.

There were others, many of them: the Jardens, the younger Kerrs and Smiths and Messervys, R (Dick) Motz and his son Arnold, E F C (Ernie) Hinds, D (Dan) Mahoney, E (Ernie) Hawtin, T H (Tom) Gleeson, G L (George) Mitchell, L C (Lester) Frost, F R (Fred) May, L (Lester) Davidson; and coming right down to the present day G (George) Cameron and A (Alf) Rhodes are among those still holding the fort along with A Richards, A Kendall, G Tisch, A L Mugford, W Ireland and a few others.

New Brighton at one time was as fast as any track in the country - Happy Voyage's 2.04 1/5, which stood as the NZ and Australian mile record for a season, was established on the track in 1923. In 1925 the champion mare Onyx, a lovely piece of horseflesh, went 3.13 against time for a mile and a half, which stood as a NZ and Australian record for a number of years. And on more than one occasion the peerless Harold Logan broke records from long handicap marks there - his 2.36 3/5 in winning the mile and a quarter Avon Handicap from away back on 84 yards (then a 'world's winning race record') will live on in the writer's memory as one of the greatest displays of good manners, brilliance and courage ever seen anywhere.

According to the late F C Thomas, a well-informed trotting historian of the early days, New Brighton is one of the oldest courses in NZ used solely for trotting meetings, and it is now more than 90 years since the first trotting event was held in the district. The New Brighton Club did not exist in those early days and was not formed until about 1890. For some time before that the New Brighton Racing Club held trotting meetings and mixed galloping and trotting meetings on the course. The New Brighton Trotting Club did not hold it's first meeting until 1895, when 190 was paid in stakes and totalisator turnover amounted to 1648.

Anyone prepared to dispute this statement is referred to the NZ Turf Register, 1894-95, which details the "New Brighton TC Inaugural" meeting, Saturday, March 16, 1895, "weather fine, going rough". The first race was won by J Gallagher's Swinton by "300 yards" in 6.01 for two miles. The mile Dash Handicap and the two miles Avon Handicap went to T Walker's Mistake in 2.54 and 5.54 1/2 respectively. The New Brighton Handicap, run over two miles in saddle, was won by H Mace's FB in 5.34. Other winners were J P Martin's Toby II(two races) J Barrett's Lily, and W Kerr's Felix.

The property was at that time owned by Mr Henry Mace, who with the club's first president (Mr H McIlwraith) and secretary (Mr A I Rattray) first gained Government recognition of trotting through the old NZ Trotting Association, which had been formed in Christchurch in 1888. On the death of Mr Mace in 1902, the course became the property of Mr H Button, who had a stud and trained thoroughbreds from the Brooklyn Lodge stables. The club continued to prosper and bought about half the present block containing the track from Mr Button in 1909, the same year in which the club's first course superintendent (Mr R Davidson) was appointed. Mr Davidson's son, L Davidson, has trained horses on the New Brighton course until recent months.

The course was very rough in the early days, but it gradually improved under Mr Davidson's care until he retired in 1924. He was succeeded by Mr W Stevenson, whose son, Mr T Stevenson took over in 1936. Mr T Stevenson will complete 27 years as course superintendent on September 27, and will remain on the course when the Christchurch City Council takes over on October 1.

The club did not secure the remainder of the property until the early 1930s.


Vanderford had to be good to win the A E Laing Handicap. He made his usual fast beginning and was quickly up near the leaders. Vanderford followed Kingsdown Patch, one out, till rounding the turn into the straight. At that stage Kingsdown Patch could do no better, and it appeared as though Vanderford's driver, M Holmes, was forced to make a forward move earlier than he would have liked. Vanderford had to race very wide turning for home, but shaken up a little, he soon collared the leaders, and once he did the result was in safe keeping. Vanderford won going away by a length, to record his fifth success on end, and his fourth for the season. He now requires only one distance win to become eligible for the NZ Cup. Rustic Lad was second, Flying Blue third and Avante fourth.


To the consistent Master Alan went the honour of winning the last race on the New Brighton course, and his success was a popular one. Earlier in the season Master Alan had been runner-up to Cardigan Bay at Hutt Park and second to Doctor Dan at New Brighton a fortnight ago. Master Alan raced in about the middle of the field until the turn and joined the leaders about the furlong. Master Alan responded in grand style to record 2.08 4/5, the last half being run by the leaders in 1.02 4/5, the final quarter in 31 2/5 secs, on a track which was not fast. Junior Royal paced a little roughly early in the race and was doing his best work in the concluding stages. Robin Dundee paced a sound race and made up ground for third. Doctor Dan was next, followed by Lordship, who had every chance. He is obviouslt not at his best.

Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 25Sep63


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

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