Bracketed at 125 pounds are Bold Ruler, the temperamental son of Nasrullah, and Federal Hill, a colt who gained more than average distinction when he handed Barbizon the only defeat of his career.
In Kilroe's next group of four, all at 122 pounds, are Amarullah (another Nasrullah with evident stamina), Ambehaving, a son of Ambiorix who looked sensational winning the Remsen, the Chicago champion, Greek Game, and Florida's King Hairan.
Behind the leading favorites come Missile, the late-season winner of the Pimlico Futurity, and then three West Coast challengers, Prince Khaled, California Kid, Lucky Mel. And behind them 111 other colts and fillies weighted all the way down to 103 pounds.
Owners of the top 10 horses have reason to expect a happy new year, but other owners need not despair. Racing handicappers are just as susceptible to fallibility in prophecy as other kinds of experts. On Jimmy Kilroe's 1954 list there were two sleepers well down the roster: Determine at 117 pounds and the 3-year-old champion, High Gun, at 108. More than halfway down the 1955 list, weighted at 111 pounds, was the biggest sleeper of all: Swaps.
The great British sporting public devotes itself to soccer above all other games whatsoever—and nurses a lingering suspicion that the gentry considers it plebian. So, when the Queen's New Year's honors list made its annual appearance last week and the great Stanley Matthews, 42, a soccer hero who combines in the popular English sports pantheon something of the luster of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, drew only a C.B.E.—and not a knighthood—the cauldrons of opinion boiled over.
"They have given him a-putty medal," mourned the tabloid
in breaking the news to its 4,725,122 readers. "There was a knighthood for Len Hutton [cricket], another for Gordon Richards [horse racing]. But Matthews—their equal in his own field—what does he get? He gets a C.B.E., that's what he gets. An honor shared by the late keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities in the British Museum, a controller of the Third Programme, the managing director of a lead firm, the catering adviser to the Royal Air Force and the chairman of the Aberdeen local savings committee." After catching breath the Mirror and others acknowledged that the C.B.E. had also been awarded last week to Donald Campbell for setting a world speedboat record (SI, Oct. 1) and to Roger Bannister, a couple of years back, for running the first sub-four-minute mile.
But this did not take the edge off first disappointment. "An insult to Matthews and to the millions who stand on the terraces to watch Britain's national sport," editorialized Lord Beaverbrook's empire-minded
. "It should be Sir Stan," headlined the Labor Daily Herald. "Little boys, as soon as they can talk football, prattle his name as a great figure to look up to; as a superb example of all that is best in playing-field competition." The Liberal News Chronicle cried, "Why no knighthood for the greatest and most beloved character on any British sport field?"—and took comfort in a long-range reflection; early in the year the 8-year-old heir to the throne, Prince Charles, tried a little soccer and seemed to like it.
As for Stanley Matthews, C.B.E., he took it all like a perfect knight. "I couldn't be more pleased with anything than I am with this high honor," he said.
THE CHESS BOWL