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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 10 (January 2, 1939)

Leading New Zealand Newspapers

page 54

Leading New Zealand Newspapers.

page 56

New Zealand … Nursery Of The Thoroughbred Horse.

(Continued from page 13.)

Out of twenty races for this classic prize of the Australian turf, ten have come to New Zealand, seven by our own stock, and three, in Prince Humphry, Biplane, and the dazzling Gloaming, horses born in Australia but raised with the benefits of New Zealand environment.

Many years ago, Mr. G. G. Stead once won an Australian programme, and feats nearly as great are reasonably common. At the A.J.C. Spring meeting, for instance, in 1934, New Zealand horses won fourteen out of twenty-seven races.

Now this recital of high romance does not end with the story of Musket and his descendants. I could fill a score of pages with the names of famous New Zealand horses known all over the world from Cruciform to Limerick, from Desert Gold to Sasanoff.

But it is not often remembered that our Sir Modred went to U.S.A. to remain at the head of the maternal winning sires’ list for many years. In India we have had a quartette in Heremia, Karapoti, Martara and Heritage, who have beaten the cream of England and France in such races as the Viceroy's Cup and the other great prizes of the Indian turf.

It is no accident that the two greatest horses bred in the Southern Hemisphere in Phar Lap and Carbine should both be New Zealanders. The blood lines that were established and are flourishing here to-day are emerging as the most potent in the world. We shall not lose our leadership. Our studmasters carry on the tradition; close study, practical knowledge and love of the thoroughbred horse, and surpassing conditions of terrain and climate, still work together for good.

I know of no more brilliant administrative achievement either, than the Premium Stallion scheme just put into operation here. Like all “first things well founded” it has been flawlessly constructed. The stallions to cost the microscopic price of four guineas, are a ranking array of aristocrats, and the results are certain; from hunter to utility hack, the horses of New Zealand will improve in increasing ratio.

I should like to make one final observation. Racing in New Zealand is a universal outdoor recreation for the public, and not a means of gambling concentrated in a few cities.

Every country town has a well-appointed course which is now and again the Mecca for a gay crowd of holiday-makers. Training establishments are ubiquitous, and the control of racing is vested in a Racing Parliament, elected on a democratic system which is unique in the world.

We should be proud of the history of racing in New Zealand. It is a golden book; it adds a sureness to the claim that those far-sighted forebears of ours, dreaming of building a Brighter Britain, wrought better than they knew.