OUR MEMORIES
WongNeiChong Stakes


 

Historic Trophy

 

WongNeiChong Stakes, an elegant and well-preserved silver claret ewer.
The trophy is 32.5cm high and has a hinged lid and scroll handle.
Its shoulder and lower body are decorated with foliage and it carries a wreath of flowers and grapes around its neck.
This magnificent trophy, over 150 years old, was made in England by master silversmith Henry Wilkinson & Co.

 

 

Authentic Legend

 

1852, it was first presented at Happy Valley, then later found its way to a South American vault for over a century before being “rediscovered” and returned to Hong Kong.
1852-02-03 at the Spring Race meeting, the inscription indicates it was won by COCKSPINNER.
COCKSPINNER was an Arab pony ridden by Lieutenant Burdon of the Royal Navy and its owner was Mr William Lamond.
As accountant with the Oriental Bank Corporation, he was probably one of the first signatories of banknotes in Hong Kong.
1862, Mr Lamond moved to the bank’s branch in China.
It is not clear how the trophy then traversed the continents after coming into the ownership of a Uruguayan diplomat who served in China in the late 1800s.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

1847, TETOY won both the WongNeiChong Stakes and the Valley Stakes.

 

1850, The WongNeiChong Stakes. Once round. For all ponies under 13 hands, weight for inches.
Previous winners of the race barred. Entrance $3 each, with $20 added. Seven starters, six of them Manila ponies.
Won by Mr Fletcher’s CRUISKEEN (8 st.), ridden by Mr Foster, of the 95th Regiment.

 

1852:, after presentation of this trophy, it began its 150-Year Odyssey before hit home again.

 

1858, won by a pony named POSTILLION, owned by Mr Mackenzie of Shanghai and ridden by Mr Stuart of the Royal Engineers. (This pony was said to have been bred in Japan.)

 

1868, the WongNeiChong Stakes and the Valley Stakes (reduced from “Once round and a distance” to Half a mile, done in 1 min. 2 1/4 secs.)

 

1869, the WongNeiChong Stakes were confined to China ponies.

 

1871, there were no record though the stakes opened for Manila and China ponies. It failed to produce a race as two ponies were entered, but neither started.

 

1874-05-06, Mr Pye’s CORONET won the WongNeiChong Stakes three years in a roll.

 

1881, $5 each with $75 added. Won by “the old favourite, Mr Risk’s STRATHPEFFER”.
Second, Mr F. S. Gordon’s SECOND VIOLIN, which overtook STRATHPEFFER at the distance but stumbled three strides from home and was beaten by a short head.

 

1884-05-06, repeatedly, one of the Ewo or Jardine racing member alias as Mr John Peel’s pony MERRY MONK won the WongNeiChong Stakes three years successively.

 

1885, DUNKELD was second in the WongNeiChong Stakes.

 

1886, winners were MERRY MONK and DUNKELD, dead-heated.

 

1887, DUNKELD won the race.
Some of Shanghai’s best jockeys, including the famous Wild Harry .Hutchings, rode for Mr Ten Broeck.
Broeck’s pony names suggest an affinity between owner and rider of which their team set an example of determination.
1689-08-21, started the persevere Battle of Dunkeld of which Dunkeld was the first capital of Scotland.

 

1892, SUSEWIND bore Mr George Hutton Potts “Dark blue, with white hoops” into third place in the WongNeiChong Stakes.

 

1895, Mr Dryasdust won the WongNeiChong Stakes with HARD TIMES.

 

1900, third in the same Stakes race was DEMON KING —the first discoverable bearer of the “King” name.
This branding was was to be the stamp of racing quality.
(The King ponies were always entered in the name of Mr G. H. Potts.
His brother Peter was content with a background role, having an unpretentious stable of his own.)

 

1907, NO SAVVY of Parker and Mackie stable won. The Parker was apparently Major H. P. G. Parker, of the Baluchi Regiment (Handicapper in 1907), and the Mackie was Mr Charles Gordon Mackie, of Gibb, Livingston & Co., who in 1929 became Chairman of HKJC when Mr H. P. White died.
Mr Mackie was Chairman also of the HSBC, and raced in partnership with the Hon. Mr A. C. Hynes, the Bank’s Chief Manager, with fair success.

 

1911 List of Winners may prove that WongNeiChong Stakes still being the first trophy race scheduled every year.

 

1920, “Mr Wong Sui Ngau” (Yellow Water Buffalo) an entertaining character Mr T. H. G. Brayfield (ship surveyor, of Messrs Carmichael and Clark) began racing in as “Mr Ritchfield”.
His LAIDLOW won the WongNeiChong Stakes.

 

1930, of the 74 entrants for the WongNeiChong Stakes, no fewer than 29 started. Seven had Chinese jockeys. No list of stables is available.

 

1932, there were no fewer than 87 entries. Of these, 27 started in the first section and 28 in the second.

 

1936, Programme changes included the promotion of the Foochow Cup to be the opening race of the Annual instead of the WongNeiChong Stakes.

 

1940, programme underwent much revision. The WongNeiChong Stakes, the Valley Stakes and other time-honoured events for China subs, were omitted, and there was no half-mile race for China ponies.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

2003, by good fortune, however, the trophy was spotted at auction by a Hong Kong silver collector, Mr Tobias Brown, who realised its historical value and seized the opportunity to bring it back “home”, to Hong Kong.
Mr Brown generously donated this trophy to HKJC in recognition of its long-standing commitment and contributions to community – hence its renaming as “The Hong Kong Jockey Club Community Trophy“.

 

2005-05-30, to give members of the public a better chance to admire this unique piece of history, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Community Trophy went on display at The Hong Kong Racing Museum, Happy Valley, throughout the month of June.

 

2005-06-01, HKJC Museum featured a magnificent trophy, over 150 years old, at its Exhibition Gallery.
This unique piece of historic trophy not only brings back to life a part of Hong Kong‘s earliest horse racing history,
it also reveals a fascinating journey in its own right.

 

 

REFERENCE

 

WongNeiChong Stakes used to be the opening race of the Annual Race Meetings, an honor reserved for many years.
Most of the time, it has been a half-mile race for China ponies.

 

Hand, is the archaic unit equal to 4 inches (10.2-cm) or 10.16 centimeters.
The withers is the ridge between the shoulder blades of a four-legged mammal.
In many species it is the tallest point of the body, and in horses and dogs it is the standard place to measure the animal’s height.
(in contrast, cattle are normally measured to the top of the hips).

 

 

EXTERNAL LINK

 

HKJC Community Trophy – 《RacingMemories.HK》

 

TETOY – The Horse of the Years in early Hong Kong racing

 

 

HKJC has brought countless benefits to society – Record File – HKJC

 

 

Acknowledgement to HKJC Racing Registry for offering record data.

 

 

 


 

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