This race was run at the NZMTC's Cup meeting until recently and perpetuates the name of the Hon Chas Louisson, who was president of that club from 1906 to 1924. He was one of the pioneers of trotting and took an active interest in the sport from its earliest days. He was a committeeman and steward of the Lancaster Park Trotting Club and was active in securing the ground of the present Addington Course and in making it what it is today.
During his presidency, the enlargement of the course and grounds to its present size was carried out. All the modern buildings on the ground, with the exception of the totalisator houses, were erected during his presidency. He laid the foundation stone of the outside public stand, and his name is engraved on it.
For some years he presented the Cup for the NZ Cup Handicap and was always ready to assist the finances of the club. In recognition of his great services, his widow and son, Dr M G Louisson, the present vice-president, were elected life members of the club.
Credit: H E Goggin writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 12May48
The second favourite for the 1914 New Zealand Cup, Win Soon, despite an interrupted preparation after qualifying the previous August, began best from the front line and led all the way for an easy win. She was the third mare, after Marian and Lady Clare, to win the Cup and, significantly, all three led from start to finish.
Andy Pringle, Win Soon's trainer, had almost despaired of getting her to the post because she had been troubled with corns, but fortunately the problem cleared in time. The win signalled a change of luck for Pringle, who in his two previous New Zealand Cup drives had been tipped from his sulky.
The Cup stake was increased to 2500 sovereigns, and for the first time the race carried a valuable cup, in addition to the prizemoney. It was made in London for the club's president, Charles Louisson, who donated it. The trophy stood 26 inches without the pedestal and surmounting it was the representation of a trotting horse, complete with sulky and driver.
From the original acceptances, Dan Nyhan's Havoc, Red Mac and Lady Clare were withdrawn, leaving a field of 12, with the front four on six seconds. Denver Huon, on another New Zealand campaign, started from the back, with King Cole, who had not raced since the previous November because of sore feet, refused to leave the mark - in all four of his New Zealand Cup starts, he eliminated himself at the start.
Most pre-race interest centred on the favourite, Don Caesar, a Cup newcomer. Like Win Soon, Don Caesar was troubled some weeks before the race with soreness. But brilliant performances the previous season, plus good trackwork preceding the Cup, confirmed his readiness for a sound two-mile run.
However, he spoilt his chance at the start, as did third favourite Denver Huon. The latter headed a strong Australian contingent and had performed exceptionally well in New Zealand the previous season. After finishing second in the 1913 Cup, Denver Huon had won the New Brighton Cup Free-For-All and, in an exhibition against time, had clocked an Australasian record of 4:28.2 in Auckland.
Win Soon's time, 4:31, was a winning two-mile record. She covered the last half-mile in 1:08 and the first mile in 2:15. Over the last mile Win Soon was challenged by the other mare, Country Belle, who paced a fine race for second. They drew away from the rest, with Win Soon holding off Country Belle to win by four lengths. Eccentric was third, 12 lengths back, folowed by Emmeline, Ravenschild, Manderene, Don Caesar, Denver Huon and Adonis.
Win Soon, the first Southland-bred horse to win a New Zealand Cup, was by the Rothschild horse King Child, from Topsy, who was from a thoroughbred mare. Win Soon, King Child's only winner, had done little racing since winning the Lyttelton Handicap in November 1913. She did not appear after that win until August 3, when she ran third in the main event and qualified for her Cup start, registering 4:37.2.
With £1530, Win Soon was the season's leading money-winner, followed by Our Thorpe, Frandocia and Emmeline. Win Soon's owners, Stevenson and McMath, were the season's top owners, winning £1690, followed by Emmeline's owner, Randle McDonnell.
Credit: Bernie Wood writing in The Cup
Author Dillon had only just escaped the fire at trainer Ben Jarden's stables a year before with a singed tail, but on this occasion was far too quick for 10 rivals on Cup day.
A son of leading imported sire Harold Dillon and Authoress, a sister of Wildwood Junior, Author Dillon was the champion of the time and was so superior on this day, despite giving away starts of up to seven seconds, that he had the race in safe keeping half a mile from home.
Handicapped on the benchmark of nine seconds and out of the next two Cups, Author Dillon won three consequtive NZ FFA's, comfortably having the better of Cathedral Chimes off level marks, and went on to a successful stud career despite limited opportunities.
His credits in that respect included the dam of 1940 Cup winner Marlene.
**NZ HRWeekly 1Oct 2003**
The 1918 New Zealand Cup was billed as a match race between the two outstanding horses, Author Dillon and Cathedral Chimes, the former handicapped at 4:27 and Cathedral Chimes at 4:24 in the 11 horse field. Cathedral Chimes, bracketed with Matchlight and Sherwood, Author Dillon, bracketed with John Dillon, and Randle McDonnell's Emilius carried three-quarters of the £11,158 10s invested on the race. Agathos and Admiral Wood, both of whom had lost all form, had little support. From the front, Sungod had a 10-second start from Cathedral Chimes and seven seconds from Author Dillon. But that huge advantage was not enough.
Sungod, driven by 19-year-old F G Holmes - having his first drive in the race - and Moneymaker (Andy Pringle) made the early pace, but failed to stay the distance, finishing third and fourth. Second favourite Author Dillon paced a splendid race, being patiently handled an well driven by Ben Jarden. Itwas obvious four furlongs from the winning post the Author Dillon had the race in safe keeping and he won by four lengths from Matchlight (Albert Hendricksen), who finished a game second and rescued the James Bryce trio.
Emilius broke at the start and lost a lot of ground. He made several attempts during the race to get closer by following Author Dillon, but faded and finished fifth. Adelaide Direct failed to show any dash, while Agathos, Admiral Wood, John Dillon and Sherwood were never prominent. The biggest disappointment, however, was Cathedral Chimes, who began slowly and toiled in th rear, finishing a long last.
Author Dillon's time of 4:26.4 was a national race-winning record and, when retuned to the birdcage, he and Jarden received a great reception. Cheering broke out again when the club president, Charles Louisson, presented the silver cup to Jarden. Author Dillon was hailed a champion and his subsequent form confirmed his standing as th country's best-performed pacer to that time. Two days later he won the first of his three consecutive New Zealand Free-For-Alls, beating Adelaide Direct by two lengths, with six lengths to Cathedral Chimes, and the only other starter, Admiral Wood, beaten off. Author Dillon's New Zealand Cup - Free-For-All double at the same meeting has been repeated 25 times.
Willie Lincoln, by Lord Elmo, who was second behind Matchlight in the Courtenay Handicap, won the third-day Christchurch Handicap. However, Author Dillon provided th sensation. He started 12 seconds behind the winner and was beaten by only a half-length. He paced a world-record 4:24.6. The £2000 won by Author Dillon was the largest sum won at a harness racing meeting in New Zealand. Ben Jarden raced three horses at this meeting, John Dillon and Huon Patch being the other two. All were in the money, netting Jarden £2405. Author Dillon was the season's top earner with £2350.
Cup Day racing was marred by a fall in the fourth race, the Riccarton Handicap, in which James Bryce broke his leg. No other driver was hurtand no horses suffered injuries. While the fall sidelined Bryce for a considerable time, the family name was not absent from the tracks, because James Bryce junior made his appearance at the age of 16 and won the third-day Australasian Handicap with Joan of Arc.
Author Dillon started in two further New Zeand Cups, pacing a world race record of 4:21.6 in 1920 when finishing third. Over seven seasons he was the top earner only once, though in 1920-21 he was runner-up to Willie Lincoln. He eventually went into retirement aged nine, having raced 58 times, for 18 wins and 14 minor placings. His lifetime earnings reached £7760, won during a period when stakes were very low by today's standards. He paid for his brilliant performances with increasing handicaps and from early on was starting from near-impossible marks. At the time of his retirement, Author Dillon had lowered his mile time to 2:06.4. In addition, he held the two-mile(4:21.6) and one-mile-and-a-quarter(2:41.4)records, sharing the latter with Our Thorpe who, just before the 1918 Cup, set a mile record of 2:06.2 against time at Addington. Sungod, third in the 1918 Cup, eventually went to stud in Southland, where he was the leading sire for many years.
Ben Jarden raced a big team. He later moved from Islington to Yaldhurst, where he set up his Irvington Stud and in 1940 he moved to Lower Hutt and trained a small team at Hutt Park. The Jarden name was kept to the forefront in the 1950's through the deeds of Ben Jarden's son, Ron, who became one of New Zealand's greatest rugby stars. For a time Ben Jarden stood Author Dillon at his Irvington Stud, and later Sir John McKenzie stood him at Roydon Lodge. Author Dillon proved a successful sire. He produced two Cup-class offspring (Author Jinks and Lindbergh) and a Dominion Handicap winner in Writer. His daughters produced several good winners, among them Marlene(1940 New Zealand Cup winner), Knave Of Diamonds(placed in the 1947 Cup) and Indian Clipper.
Author Dillon's sire, Harold Dillon, was an outstanding producer who took over from Rothschild as the leading sire in New Zealand. He was at the head of the list for six seasons, from 1916-17 until 1921-22. He was foaled in California in 1903 and imported to New Zealand bt Etienne Le Lievre as a yearling. The American horseman Robert McMillan stood Harold Dillon at his Santa Rosa Stud, at Halswell, with outstanding success. Author Dillon was certainly his best offspring, but others who made Cup class were Paul Default, Dolly Dillon, Oinako, Lord Dillon, Sungod, Waitaki Girl and Adonis. Harold Dillon mares also produced nemerous winners, the best being the great race and broodmare Parisienne, dam of La Mignon and Mary Wootton, La Mignon ran third in the 1957 New Zealand Cup and later produced the brilliant Garcon Roux. Mary Wootton, to U Scott, produced Scottish Command, who also recorded a third in the New Zealand Cup, in 1961. Scottish Command left his mark at stud, producing Sole Command, who won the NZ Cup in 1977, and the Auckland Cup in February 1978, and Trusty Scot, winner of the 1978 NZ Cup. Scottish Command became the third New Zealand-bred sire, after Johnny Globe and Young Charles, to break the stranglehold that the imported sires held on the New Zealand breeding scene. He finished top sire in the 1977-78 season.
**Bernie Wood writing in The Cup**
Credit: NZ HRWeekly 1Oct03