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J F HAMILTON
A man who had a lifetime association with trotting in Southland, Mr James Francis Hamilton, died at his home in Winton recently. He was 80.
Born in the Winton district, he was a member of a family closely associated with trotting since its formative days in the province. He farmed in the Oreti district before retiring to Winton some years ago.
Hamilton bred and raced a champion straight-out trotter in Bellflower, one of the best of her time, who put up some phenomenal performances under the saddle. She was trained and ridden by Mr Hamilton, who sent her to Canterbury when she was handicapped out of Southland classes to be trained by the late Andy Pringle.
In August 1916, Bellflower beat a field of pacers over two miles at Addington, and she repeated the performance in the Australasian Handicap at the NZ Cup meeting the same year. The following season, at her last appearance before being retired, Bellflower again beat the pacers over two miles in the saddle in the Australasian Handicap, winning by 10 lengths in 4:35 2/5. She was then 12 years old.
When racing in Southland, Bellflower, after winning five races, became so badly placed in the handicaps that Mr Hamilton did not race her for a season and he bred her to Marvin Dillon to whom she produced a winner in Flowerbell. Bellflower had nine foals. Two of them, Nelson Bell and Bon Fleur, were useful winners, but the best of her progeny was Arctotis, who developed outstanding form. He was sold for a record price at the time of $1200 but later developed unsoundness. Bellflower's daughters bred on to some purpose and today the family is widely and successfully represented. A top juvenile trotter of a few seasons back in Halberg was a member of it.
Mr Hamilton held a trainers' and horseman's licence for more than 40 years and a short time ago recalled driving in a race at Invercargill involving a 'ring-in' in 1924. This was the notorious case of Willie Lincoln, a Cup class horse who raced under the name of Lookout.
Mr Hamilton raced, educated and bred many horses over the years. Azaleas, whom he drove at Invercargill in Willie Lincoln's race, later bred to advantage, leaving such winners as Tritoma, Picotee, Azure, Arabia and many others. An early winner for Mr Hamilton was Bellfashion, who won the first mile and three furlong race at Forbury Park. Bellfashion, a son of Bellman, proved himself an able pacer and was unbeaten in the show ring.
For some years Mr Hamilton was a member of the committee of the Winton Trotting Club, being a vice-president for a time. On his retirement he continued to take a close interest in every phase of the sport and had a keen and studious knowledge of the breeding side. Mr Hamilton is survived by three sons, Ian, Colin, Murray, and one daughter, June(Mrs Smith, Edendale).
Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 10Jun70
Just as the horses were going out of the enclosure to warm up for the Cup, a lady leaned over the members' balcony and called out that the stand was on fire. At first it was thought to be a false alarm, but it was only too true and the whole building was soon blazing.
On account of a ridiculous regulation the fire brigade would not come to save the building for some time and when they did arrive it was a hopeless case. It is presumed that the cause of the outbreak was the same old thing, fused wires.
The officials stuck gamely to the programme and though a damper was put on everything the day's racing was finished as previously arranged. Our Thorpe was the only scratching for the Cup. The champion is not quite himself, so his people decided to pull him out. Cathedral Chimes ran up to his track form and won very easily, but an ugly accident at the beginning of the last lap made things much easier for him. At the beginning of the final round for the Cup the field bunched and things looked good for a fine termination of a grand race, but, unfortunately, Succeed put her foot through Eccentrics wheel and down she went with Erin's King and Brown Bell piled on top of her. Tommy C. and Jingle were saved by being swerved to the outside rails, but their chances were settled. Eccentric had to be pulled up on account of a bucked Wheel.
Ashburton backed Emilius as if he could not lose and, of course, saved their money through the stable's second leg, Evelyn, running into a minor but dividend paying place. They are still satisfied that, taking a line from Evelyn's performance, that her brother should have won the Cup. Writer is of the opinion that on the day nothing could have beaten Cathedral Chimes. Admiral Wood paced a great race and but for the accident certainly would have finished in front of Evelyn.
Wallace Wood, Frandocio, St. Ursula, Steel Bell, and Don Caesar never gave their supporters any reason to think they might get a dividend. W. R. Thomas's pair, Brown Bell and Succeed, were both going well when they fell and looked to have a chance of getting some of the money as they stay well. Thomas was unfortunate enough to break a collarbone.
Manderini got fourth money, but he fluked it. Eccentric made all the early running, but he was gone when the smash occurred. Hendricksen was driving a great race on Erin's King. This horse did not get going very smartly, but his driver got on the rails and never left them. Always creeping closer to the leaders he was on the fence just behind Thomas's pair when the smash occurred.
Writer was very pleased to see E. Berry turn out two wlnners in Miss Salisbury and Olive L. This young trainer until lately has always had to do with horses that other trainers could not do any good with, and such is not a profitable business. It is only during the last few months that there has been anything decent in his stables. Berry is delivering the goods with them . Erln's King got some skin knocked of when he fell.
Trotting In great style Olive L. never left the Middleton Handicap in doubt. The little mare got over the two miles in 4.44 3-5. which is much her best time to date. She was handicapped on something like 4.51. El Carbine might have won the Middleton Handicap if he had attended to his work properly. He would not go steadily for any distance and so had to remain content with second place. The bracketed pair, Woodchild and Commander Bell, did not get away properly and were never near the leading division. Once again Treasure Seeker and Norval King showed themselves to be poor stayers.
The pony Soda paced a great race in the Lyttelton Handicap. It was a fine performance for one of her inches to get to the end of two miles in 4.57 1-5. A protest was entered against her by the owner of Cappriccio for foul driving on Bryce's part but it was not sustained. Irvar, ran like a non-stayer or else he is a rank quitter. Sir Fulham is not to be relied upon at the start. He has got undoubted pace. The Whip is both looking and pacing well. Messervey deserves credit tor the condition he has the chestnut in and deserves to win shortly. As usual, Cappriccio went a great race, but the pony had too many guns for her. Huon Drift still has got a great objection to leaving the mark properly.
On account of a great go over twelve furlongs, Author Dillon was made a hot favorite for the Rlccarton Handicap. He broke at the start and lost a lot of ground. In consequence of which he could hot catch Sherwood. Persuader is getting over his cold and should be capable of showing very good form before long.
Ariadne, ridden by the hurdle rider, Redmond, made an exhibition of his field In the St. Alban's Handicap, getting to the end ot the mile in 2.14 2-5, a smart performance. Brown Nugget is not to be depended upon to leave the mark. Louie Drift was whispered about as a good thing for the mile harness, but she lost her chance at the start. Rose Dillon came out of her shell and paced the mile in 2.16 4-5. She never gave the back markers a look in.
Gold Bell was too sore to show his best form at this meeting, and he looked as if it will take some time for him to get right. Jessie's Dream is improving. Her effort m the Whiteleigh Handicap, when she went 4.53, was much the best she has ever gone. Hula was produced at the meeting, but he was much too lame to do anything properly. Albertoria has not improved a second during the last twelve months.
Andy Pringle has no superior as a relnsman or rider either with a pacer or trotter. Tom Annett was in far too great a hurry to hit the front on Commander Bell. It cost him the race, for she was too tired to struggle home. In Cappriccio, McDermott has got one of the most solid pacers in commission. As she has only got two legs and a bit it was good business for her to go 4.57 3-5 in the November Handicap. Golindo Lou gave Free Holmes a sickener in the early part of the meeting and her owner got up behind her on the last day. She is very sour and, would do nothing but try to buck.
The much boomed Moorland did not answer expectations. Grainger is not ready yet. George Hard was patched up and sent to the post for the Courtney Handicap, but he was far too sore to pace and finished last. He is to be blistered and spelled. Black Erie is a fine pacer. It was bad luck for his owner (who was over from Australia to see him run) that be should break down m the Courtney Handicap. Stanley's Child went an ugly "seven" when Black Erie swerved across her after he broke down. Sherwood and Emilius ran very bad races in the Courtney. Emiliuus does not shape as if he will ever stay.
Hal Zolock, like many horses that have done stud duties, does not race well at this season of the game. St. Ursula is looking in great buckle and she should make some money for her owner soon. This mare does not begin very well, but she stays like a boy in a lolly shop.
Notwithstanding the fact that the burning down of the stewards stand at Addington quite upset the totalisator turnover for the day, there was £335 10s more invested on the New Zealand Trotting Cup than there was on the Cup at Riccarton. As expected, Agathos failed to stay out twelve furlongs. Raeburn will be benefited by the racing he had at the meeting. He is a good class pacer. Nance O'Neil who hails from Qamaru, is said to be very fast. She may be at home, but her showings last week were nothing to boast about. Once again Ariadne showed himself to be speedy, but a very poor stayer. Teddy McCann produced his charges in good condition for the meeting, but they were not good enough to catch a race.
Eccentric made the pace very solid in the Free-For-All. Beginning very smartly he got to the half mile peg in 1.4. once round in 1.37 1-5. Then Cathedral Chimes took up the running and flashed past the mile post in 2.11 4-5 only to bo collared by Admiral Wood in the run home and beaten by a narrow margin 2.45 for the mile and a quarter.
Tommy C. was not in one of his happy moods during race week. His displays were not as good as we have seen him give. The Bronzewlng was turned out in great condition for the meeting. She is not nearly as good as report made her.
Irvar is not at all a generous horse. Truganini and Electrocute were trotting well before the meeting, but they must have gone off, as their showings with the colors up and the money down proved. Norval King was stopping to a walk at the end of the Sockburn Handicap, and lasted long enough to win from El Carbine, who but for repeated breaks must have won. Flamingo does not improve. He is a seasoned trotter now and should be showing something better.
Young Freeman Holmes has been very successful on Law Chimes. When he won the Railway Handicap last week he rode her with the greatest confidence and judgment and she just strolled home. Cromstall is not himself. When right he can keep our best pacers busy for a bit.
Someone queried Soda's height last week, when the trainer claimed that as a pony she should be allowed to carry 9.0 instead of 10.0, the officials measured her, the writer being present. She is not more than fourteen hands and half an inch.
When Ben Dillon fell in the Railway Handicap, Ben Jardin looked to get an ugly fall, but he just hit the ground, gave a roll and a bounce and was on his feet again. Bob Allen has Yarravllle pacing well, but the big chestnut does not like the standing starts, Young Tohu, who won the Empire Handicap, the two mile saddle race on the first day of the Metropolitan meeting m 4.43 2-5, was put up to auction last Monday, but did not brlng a bid.
Sal Tasker, Vanquish, O.M.Y. and Gianella are amongst the well-bred matrons who have foaled to Logan Pointer and are to visit the same sire again. Sinado and Calindo Low were turned out in a section for a spell at the end of the meeting. They quarrelled about something and kicked holes in each other.
Anyone would fancy that a three-year-old colt by Wildwood Jnr,— Myosotis would bring some money, but a youngster bred on those lines was passed in at twenty guineas last Monday. He was on the small side but was shapely enough.
Caretaker French had a strenuous time of it at the Metropolitan grounds last week. The place looked a wreck after the fire, but with the assistance of a gang of men he managed to have the building habitable for the two last days. The fire at Addington made a great difference to the totalisator turnover at Addington.
Andy Pringle rode a great race on Treasure Seeker when he won the Governor's Handicap on that gelding. It was a masterly piece of work. King Capitalist is very well, and he can go fast but he is not very solid when the pressure is on. Neither is Commander Bell. She is also a bad breaker. Eruption is not nearly at good as was supposed. Hardy Wllkes is a good trotter until be leaves his feet. Afterwards he cannot be depended upon for any distance. Mr. George Iles purchased him at auction for six hundred guineas last Saturday. It seems a lot of money.
The writer does not want to condemn the standing-start and yards handicapping until they have had a fair trial, but if they do not improve on last week's showing they will have to go out. To start with, to call the start standing was a joke, for in nearly every race some of the competitors were let away with a fly. In fact, in one or two oases contestants were racing when the flag dropped.
A regrettable incident which happened at the Metropolitan meeting was the disqualifying of Emilius for interfering with Cappricio in the Christchurch Handicap. The writer does not intend to express an opinion on the matter, but it seemed ridiculous to suggest that an experienced relnsman like Ranald McDonnell should interfere with a beaten opponent. McDermott, who drove Cappriclo was manly enough to do his best for McDonnell when giving his evidence to the stewards. It was on the stipendiary stewards' evidence that Emilius lost the race. Erin's King was one of the unlucky racers at the meeting. He got pocketed in the Christchurch Handicap and never got out until tho race was practically over.
Bellflower was a trotter amongst pacers in the Australasian Handicap, but she showed more speed over the first half mile than any of her opponents and was in front at the end of a mile. The race was never in doubt after that and she walked home in 4.38 2-6.
Red Heather gave a number of his supporters a severe heartache as he would not begin in the Dominion Trotting Cup. He finished a long way back in fourth place and could not have trotted much bettor than 4.50.
A. Fleming gave £1500 for Our Thorpe last week. This is the biggest price ever given in the Dominion for a pacer, and certainly the horse bought for it is the best we have produced. W. G. Abbott, the Auckland owner trainer, bought Brown's Nugget for £100 during the week. This pacer is on a mark from which he is quite capable of winning. Mr. G. S. Simpson arranged the sale of tho well-known sire, Harold Dillon, during the week. The Messrs Thorne Bros., who havo had a lease of the horse, have now purchased him right out, the price is said to have been £750.
Author Dillon did not race nearly up to his form during the week. He must have won the Enfield if he had gone the mile In 2.15. He did not manage to go 2.17. Desdemona is showing plenty of dash in her track essays but she is not staying on nearly as well as of yore.
Credit: The Looker On writing in NZ Truth 18 Nov 1916