OUR MEMORIES
Annual Race Meeting 1937-02-20 The First Day


Dearing the Bear Flawing the Claw

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1937-02-20 Annual Race Meeting was held for five days.

The first day had an auspicious opening on Saturday when a near to record attendance was viewed.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

An excellent programme of events which were highly commented upon by the majority of those present.

Disappointing display by the Derby griffins performed on the first day.

BEAR CLAW equaled the record was the headline.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Race 1 – The Foochow Cup One and a half miles

The field only of 4 ponies started.

Faced to make all his own running it was quite plain that Marshall had to do a certain amount of hard thinking.

In the opening race on the card, he was astride of KING’S WARDEN.

Held in check, however, the Dynasty candidate produced a magnificent turn of speed.

He was challenged by Frost, who piloted Mr Dunbar’s WILD LIFE.

Inside the distance WILD LIFE was actually in front of KING’S WARDEN.

But only for a fleeting second for Marshall succeeded in lifting his mount over the last few yards to score by a short head.

WILD LIFE got a good reception with Frost when they returned to weigh in.

PONTIAC BAY ( H M Pih ) was pipped for third place by SOLDIER OF PEACE (F F Li).

 

Race 2 – Wong-nei-chong Stakes ( First Section ) Half a mile

The first biggest field of the day with eighteen of this season’s subs turned out for the race.

The result was an effortless wiin for ARAXY ridden by Marshall.

The issue was never doubt for Marshall benefited by an excellent start which he made the most of.

He had a good length and half to spare at the finish, it was his second in succession of the day.

NATIONAL ANTHEM ( H C Pih ), which was better favored in the betting than the winner,

secured second place by half length.

The minor prize going to INCA which in for a fair amount of support owing to Frost being in the saddle.

 

Race 3 – The Maiden Stakes Six Furlongs

This race had 12 starters, though far from being on the best fancied pony in the race.

J Pote-Hunt scored a fairly easy victory of on EXPANSION TIME.

The winner was full of running at the finish and was certain to gain a host friends in the day’s classic.

Mr Eu Tong Sen’s POTENTATE (E C Leighton) which secured second money by half length.

He started as a hot favourite but did not appear enjoy the run as well as the winner.

THUNDER BAY, ridden by Frost, was well out in front at the start but dropped back to collect the minor offering.

KING’S CORONATION ( F Marshall) and RED FEATHER ( H J Hearne), though well backed, failed dismally.

 

Race 4 – The Sydney Maiden stakes ( First Section ) Six Furlongs

The race had 12 starters to run too.

Carrying nine pounds overweight, D S Li rode a spectacular race on hot favourite, GYPSY LOVE to win.

By the comfortable margin of half a length, the race was in rather slow time for Australian ponies.

Punters were well on the mark, for GYPSY LOVE started a hot favourite.

HOME BREW nicely handled by H M Pih, ran a good race for second money. and was galloping on

He galloped on at the finish three length ahead of SUCH FUN ( Y T Fung ).

This pony might do better over a longer distance.

SUCH FUN, which was practically neglected in the betting, gathered in the third placing.

Mr H M Wood received a mild shaking when he was thrown owing to his saddle slipping.

 

Race 5 – China Stakes Five Furlongs

It was a race where seven China ponies went to the post.

Punters confidently expected Mr Dunbar’s BEAR CLAW to win the China Stakes.

It returned a time which equaled the record of 1.09.2 held by OAK BAY for a five furlong run.

Frost helped his pony considerably with an excellent start, and seeing that he beat SOLDIER OF BRITIAN ( H C Pih) .

The margin was one and a half length, one could imagine that the finish was most exciting.

GLADIATOR ( V V Needa ) was also very near over the last bit, finishing a short head behind SOLDIER OF BRITAIN.

 

Race 6 – Wongneichong Stakes (Second Section) Half a mile

Just before the start of the second of the Wongneichong Stakes, I C Harris had a torrid time.

His mount HAPPY VENTURE bolted back to the stables.

Mr A H Potts, the starter, had a most unpleasant time trying to get the second biggest field of 18 to square up to the tapes.

The chance of a good start was spoilt when quite a number of runners shied away as the tapes went up.

H M Pih who secured a good start with LANCASHIRE TICH ran in a winner with a neck to the good.

ATOMIC STAR ( K Y Ip ) made up quite a lot of ground for his second placing, which was secured a length in front of ARAMIS ( L G Frost ) .

 

Race 7 – The Sydney Maiden stakes (Second Section) 6 Furlongs

Following on his success in the previous race, the Lancashire stable saddled up LANCASHIRE CHIPS in this field of 11 runners .

For the rider, H C Pih the big brother of the jockey who won the previous race as his pilot.

The selection turned out O. K., for Pih won by two lengths in the fast time of 1.17. 4.

Mrs Dunbar’s AZTEC ( D Black), the hot favourite considered a cinch for this event.

He ran second by two lengths too, with KATINKA ( L G Frost ) gathering in the third prize.

A much better display was expected from DICK TURPIN ( E C Leighton ), which failed to impress his admirers.

 

Race 8 – Trial Plate One and a quarter miles

Backed sensationally in the Trial Plate, HAVOC EVE ( D S Li ) certainly caused havoc amongst this field of good, bad and indifferent six runners.

When he cantered home to an effortless victory even carrying a pound overweight.

Running away from the field near the six furlong post after a fast 28 seconds quarter, he was never troubled afterwards.

He won pulling up by two lengths.

Mr Dunbar’s COMMENCEMENT BAY ( L G Frost ) , which ran second by two lengths, was well and truly cooked at the finish.

ROB ROY ( E C Leighton ) certainly disillusioned all the punters who might have fancied him for the Derby.

As a downright dismal performance, nothing was worse than the display of KING’S HIGHWAY ( Marshall) in the event.

 

Race 9 – The Valley Stake 6 Furlongs

This race 11 starters turned up.

From the moment PAGAN LOVE shot out of the barrier until he passed the winning post Marshall never stopped ridden.

This little speedster needed all his rider’s attention for.

He would have chucked it in a moment if he hadn’t been kept busy for the whole trip.

GORDITO ( V C Sung ) came in for a fair share of support in the betting.

He ran a very good race for his second place, after the neck to neck fight with MARIPOSA .

Norman Deitz was both lucky and unlucky when he ran MARIPOSA into third place.

Deitz was knocked clean out of the saddle when GORDITO barged into him after passing the post.

CORONATION DAY, mounted by Mr Frost did not justify his position as second favourite.

 

Race 10 – Old Course Handicap One and a quarter miles

NIGHT VIEW ( T L Wong ) was almost weighted into the ground with a colossal burden of 168 lbs.

He was ridden to a three lengths win during this 16 runners race.

T L Wong left nothing to chance by getting out and getting home in the shortest possible time.

The time,2.37, was fairly fast for this class of China pony, one and a quarter miles.

Punters would do well to watch this flier in other engagements during the meeting.

Considering that Frost was on SYLVANDALE, came second by two lengths, a dividend of $28.20 was more than expected.

Good old PRIDE OF TSINGTAO ( Y T Fung ) did his stuff.

A medium display at Fanling recently had lost him many friends.

The hot favourite, WADEBRIDGE ( F Marshall ) had every chance but never looked like a winner for the space of a second.

 

Race 11 – Bendigo Stakes One mile

This race for “ B “ Class Australian ponies, one mile, produced field of the day with eight runners.

SAUCY FACE ( H C Pih ) made a back field of the opposite and galloped on in the fairly fast time.

1.46.4 which was not so far away from the record established by herself a long time back.

Quickly away at the barrier rise, Pih soon settled down to an armchair ride and hanging on till the distance.

Then he came through like a shot to score by three lengths, done in 1.46.1.

SNOWY RIVER ( D Black ) put in a fast run over the last furlong and finished second, wide out, but going very strongly.

A great set-to was witnessed between BLANDFORD ( Ip Kui Ying ) and VIOLET QUEEN ( S C Liang ) the result being a dead heat.

CENTRE COURT ( F Marshall ) wandered about quite a good deal and was missing in the run home.

 

Race 12 – New Stables Plate A mile and 171 yards

Only four China ponies lined up for the last event.

But it gave onlookers a chance of seeing what a big-hearted pony could do in spite of old age.

Mr Dunbar’s DIANA BAY( L G Frost ) was still the most popular pony on our local turf.

It gave one pleasure to hear local racegoers cheer her to the echo whenever she won a race.

Frost, who piloted his old favourite never gave his backers a solitary anxious moment.

From the time he took over the lead the race was all his own, for he cantered in with a winning margin of two lengths.

Mr Lan’s COSSACK’S BEAUTY ( T L Wong) succeeded in getting second five lengths ahead of HONEYMOON EVE ( V V Needa ).

 

 

SUMMARY

 

On a medium fast track, Mrs Dunbar’s BEAR CLAW equaled the five furlong record in the China Stakes.

F Marshall notched the best aggregate for winning rides.

The local champion, L G Frost, running him close with two wins, three seconds and four thirds.

Two accidents, luckily without serious results, occurred when Mr R M Wood and Mr N Deitz were thrown.

 

 

REFERENCE

 

ARAXY, Armenian meaning of a river that inspires poetic talent.

 

BEARS PAWS, the native American chief, was head Chief of the Stoney Nations. Chief Bears Paw lived from 1837 to 1903. He was signatory of the 1877 treaty on behalf of the three Stoney Nations.

 

ARAMIS is a fictional character in the novels 《The Three Musketeers》.

 

KATINKA means – pure.The name Katinka originated as an Greek name.

 

ROB ROY 1671–1734 Scottish hero Rob Roy MacGregor.

 

GORDITO means “little fat one” and it’s a term of endearment for Spanish speakers.

 

MARIPOSA is the Spanish word for butterfly.

 

SYLVANDALE, Sylvan or silvan refers to an association with the woodland ,dale is a hill in undulating country.

 

 

RELATED LINK

 

1848-02-07 Annual Race Meeting – 《RacingMemories.HK》

 

 

Acknowledgment to HKJC Racing Registry for offering relevant records.

 

 

 


 

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