NOVICES ON THE TRACK.
The Public Schools M.C.C. and the Guildford and Woking M.C.C. took possession of the track on August 30th, and put up an interesting race meeting. A feature was the catering for novices, and though their riding did not compare with the brilliant work of the “stars,” yet it was sound enough, and they got most of the speed that their machines could offer.
One noticed that, at times, competitors looked round to see how they fared with the rest of the field, a thing which the racing crack seldom does, and some of them struck curious attitudes in the saddle, seeming to ignore the handicap of wind resistance.
In the handicap for big machines, H. J. Knight rode a plucky race. Coming off the Byfleet banking with his head tucked well down, he banged his chin on the handlebars and gashed it badly. Blood streamed down his sweater, but he took no notice and went on to win. Afterwards, his injury had to be medically attended to.
A. Williams was unlucky in the last race of the day, which he lost by a technical default. Just as he came by the stands on the first lap his silencer broke adrift, and he did a spectacular swerve toward the rails. He covered the next two laps with the silencer trailing on the track, and long before he finished—well ahead of the field—it was announced that he was disqualified.
This was much to the liking of the bookmakers, who, by the way, had adopted a most unfair “combine,” for the second man, Taylor, was practically unbacked. The ” combine ” to which I have referred was, in effect, an agreement not to offer odds of more than four to one, so that in a race of about a dozen starters, punters had the mortification of seeing the favourite at odds-on, and the rest of the field at “fours.” Such tactics call for practical objection, and one naturally considers the possibilities of running a totalisator at the track.