Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

invariably thrown away by bad management; but this season, by way of a change, it was won mainly by capital generalship, coupled with a slice of good fortune. I do not mean to say that if the race had been really run from end to end, we should have had something else first past the post; but enacted as it was, I have little doubt that had the Cure run tolerably straight, he must have won. Foig-aBallagh beat him by just a length, neither cleverly nor easily; and how many lengths did

the favourite by his vagaries lose between the distance and the chair? Had his heart at that moment been half as good as his heels, depend upon it the ten pounds extra would not have made such a wonderful achievement of the Irishman's second victory at Newmarket; or had Ithuriel been half as well husbanded, it would-run anyhow-have come to a very near thing between the two. In taking the true estimate of all Foig's races, and here particularly, we must not forget the immense advantage of a horse as fresh as possible, over a very stale one. Of this we had another instance on the last day of the meeting, in a third or fourth essay between the Princess and Sorella, though to the latter everybody now appears inclined to allow the superiority: certainly the Oaks has long ceased to stamp the fair ones who wear her honours as anything extra superfine. The Two-year-old Stakes did not muster such a hunch of great favourites as usual, still Lancashire Witch's winning the Champagne, her third victory at the third start, deservedly established her as first on the list for the Oaks; her position, however, would have been far more satisfactorily ascertained had Mid-Lothian, in courtesy be it said, got a good start, or in matter of fact, ever been started at all for the companion Stake on the Thursday. For the Great Yorkshire Pompey again put in his claim, a repetition of not every day occurrence.

Lord Eglinton keeps his hand well in here, as by the way does Alice Hawthorn, a name now more dreaded, though (in shame be it added) perhaps not so much respected as “ould Bee's-wing.” In fine, Doncaster acts up to the spirit of the age, to the very letter we may add, now the next meeting is announced as “a little compressed.”

The good effect of the finish in the Newmarket October Meetings was somewhat disturbed by the winding-up of the Ratan affair; otherwise in the general matter of the month all was excellent, both in promise and performance. The great gun, not of one but the three gatherings, was the Leger winner, whose easy victory in the first, as a natural consequence on the Doncaster running, was just what was expected; his repeating it in the second just the reverse of that, looking at age, weight, and distance, one would have been led to suppose; and his defeat in the third the greatest certainty of all, hinting to Mr. Irwin that sfortune yet might be fickle, and that Foig-a-Ballagh minus her aid was not invincible. For my own part, notwithstanding all this, I cannot so easily credit the unprecedented powers in this horse the world appear inclined to allow him the possession of-barring Alice Hawthorn, Robert de Gorham, and one or two more, the four-year-olds and upwards are a shocking bad lot, while of these some of the worst, and, as I have before observed, the stalest, have been drawn out against him. Almost the only one I can find among them, whose running within a reasonable time, before or after, can be called respectable, is the half-bred horse, the Counsellor, a nag that has been going spring, summer, and autumn, at all sorts of game, in every month for this year and a half, and who finished his career at the very next start, being, I am told, still laid up at Newmarket from the effects of his bad break-down in winning the Audley End. It would be folly, for a second, to question the good game, from-end-to-end powers of the Irishman, but I doubt very much his continuing in his Eclipse-like character. What a pity that last stroke of business—the humbugging match between him and the mare—did not come to a race ! Of the two-year-olds, the best out when they began remained amongst the best at the close, the Maid of Orleans, Reaction, Cowl, and Longitude increasing the profit side of the book, and My Mary so improved on making her début in a civilized country, that her worthy owner, the worthy alderman, determined to remain there for better or worse.

Cowl and Lord Lonsdale's Turquoise colt, two of the most promising of their year, are not in the Derby, the latter through the death of his breeder and nominator—the Duke of Grafton, while the former never was in it! Got by Bay Middleton, winner of the Derby, out of Crucifix, winner of the Oaks! what could his lordship have been thinking of when lie sent in his page or two of nominations? The Nursery that, despite the many feints practised to get well in, always ensures one or two smart contests, produced a couple of evenish classes, and a bit of a row touching the very unexpected and equally unsatisfactory withdrawal of Mr. Gratwicke's Carlotta colt when first favourite for the first; a case that would have been made more of, had the principal parties concerned been of less standing: it is not without precedent, but bears so closely on, and affords such an opportunity for robbery, that the practice of it is by no means commendable.

So falls the curtain on 'forty-four, a year of great event to the turfite, “ full of wise saws and modern instances,” of legal and illegal contrivances, which have brought so many outstanding accounts to a settlement, as to promise the transaction of business on a much better understanding in future-a promise right welcome to



Within the last twelve years—thanks to the Société d' Encouragement-races have assumed in France and Belgium a more important feature than they have done for centuries : the success of “ Beggarman,” the property of the late Duke of Orleans, who won the cup at Goodwood in 1840, is still in our readers’ remembrance; in 1841 too his late R.H. ran Nautilus, who was not successful; and, at the very last meeting of those popular races, no less than two horses from foreign parts were entered for the cup : it is true that one did not appear, and that the other (Cameleon, by Camel, out of Ion's dam, named by La Société Verviétoise) cut but a bad figure; still it proves that our continental neighbours are training on, and are anxious to contend for that pre-eminency which Cowper wrote of. “We justly boast, at least, superior jockeyship, and claim the honours of the turf as alí our own." If we can only remain at peace with la grande nation—"a consummation most devoutly to be wished for”—we have no doubt but that ere long we shall enlist many foreign sportsmen under our racing banners. Instead of war, let us contend for peaceful victory on the turf. Our army, headed by Field-Marshal Robinson, with General Nat commanding the heavy, and General Kitchener the light divisions, will challenge the whole world. Let the plains of Newmarket witness the contest, and, instead of emulating

“That great day of milling, when blood flowed in lakes,

Where kings held the bottle and Europe the stakes,” let the Derby, Oaks, cups, plates, and stakes be the prizes we combat to attain. The gallant, though somewhat belligerent Joinville has latterly published his views upon fighting, which, according to Albert Smith, are very ultra marine. His Royal Highness seems most anxious to

“ Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war ;and although we “Britishers" are always ready for a fight or a "scrimmage," and have never any fear of its result, let us hope that such horrors will be averted. On the turf, across the country, at the Red House, on the Highland Moors, by the Spey side, at Lord's cricketground, on the road, we are ever ready to meet our adversaries, giving the “allowances” for foreign blood. Had the ever-to-be-lamented Duke of Orleans lived, we believe that racing would have been even more patronized in France than it now is; for his Royal Highness was a most liberal and zealous supporter of the turf and the sports of the field, and a most pleasing contrast to one of his ancestors, who, at the end of last century, figured for a few years at Newmarket and Ascot: we allude to his Royal Highness's grandfather, the Duke of Orleans, more familiarly known by the name of Egalité. Without giving our pages up to the private or political history of this prince, whose rapid fall from the height of sublunary grandeur to the lowest abyss of earthly misery, imprisonment and an ignominious death, may “point a moral,” though it shall not adorn our tale." We cannot refrain from laying before our readers the duke's exploits upon the turf.

In 1789, his Royal Highness made his début as a sportsman upon the English turf, and in the following year sought the fountain-head, Newmarket, where he was generally unsuccessful. At the Craven Meeting, His Royal Highness's Boxer was beaten by Mr. Vernon's Scrub, 30 guineas. In April, the Duke's Lambenos yielded the victory to Mr. Fox's Shovel, and Lord Clermont's Tally-ho! At

the same meeting his Royal Highness was again unfortunate, his horse Hocks having been beaten by Lord Barrymore's Fop, and by Lord Falkland's Sir Charles. In the first Spring Meeting the Duke's Fortitude beat Lord Derby's Director for 100 guineas. But his luck was but transient, for, upon the same day his Royal Highness's horse Jericho was defeated in a stakes of 200 guineas, and had to pay 100 guineas forfeit to the Duke of Bedford's Skyscraper. Two days afterwards, at the Second Spring Meeting, Lambinos paid 100 guineas forfeit to Lord Grosvenor's Asparagus; and, in eight-and-forty hours, beat a field of ten for 50 guineas. In the First Spring Meeting the Duke's Fortitude could not stand up against the Prince of Wales's Serpent, or General Wyndham's Osprey, and in these two events his Royal Highness resigned himself to the loss of 200 guineas. Jericho too was beat by the Duke of Bedford's Dragon for 200 guineas. A ray of sunshine now appeared to the royal sportsman, for, in the First Spring Meeting, Conqueror beat the Duke of Queensbury's Dash six miles, 300 guineas. Where were the Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals in those days? In the Second Spring Meeting, the clouds again lowered over the house of Orleans. Conqueror was beat by Butler for the Jockey Club Plate, and again at Epsom by Tickler. Jericho was beat by Sir Charles Bunbury's Smack, for 200 guineas; as was his Colonel by Wyndham's Pecker, for 100 guineas. Whether his Royal Highness anticipated taking leave of the turf, and wishing a "good morning" to his sporting friends, we know not ; but a two-year-old colt, named Good Morning, by Trentham, is the last we have to record. This flyer happened to win a trial stakes of 50 guineas, beating six others, with the odds of 6 to 1 against him, and was immediately named for the Oatlands, 40 subscribers, 100 guineas each ; but, upon being beat in a match over the old course by Mr. Bullock's Contractor, his Royal Highness “shut up" by declaring forfeit.

To resume: the death of his grandson, the late Duke of Orleans, was a sad blow to the French turf; and although, under the able direction of Count de Cambis, the stud is still kept up, we lose the name of the prince, which was “a tower of strength" to the racing world. Had his Royal Highness lived, we have little doubt but that he would have annually presented a cup, to be run for at the spot of his racing triumph, Goodwood. As it is, the Orleans Vase, won by the Duke of Richmond's horse Mus, in 1841, leaves a lasting memorial of the prince's liberality and love of the turf.

In a former article we have quoted a sporting Frenchman's opinion of an Englishman's passion for equitation, in which he states that English lawyers arrive at their courts on horseback, duly spurred, with whips in their hands, and that their names daily figure in the betting lists.”

From these Gallic exaggerations we proceed to give the remarks of a most talented, though rather prejudiced French writer, upon the sports of the world, intermixed with remarks and anecdotes of our own. By the word sport,says the author in question, are meant all manly exercises, including hunting, shooting, racing, steeple-chasing, coursing, coaching, bull-baiting, cock and dog-fighting Every country has its national sport. Spain boasts of its bull-fights—a sanguinary sport, the remnant of Moorish barbarism ; or, as Byron writes

“ Such the ungentle sport, that oft invites
The Spanish maid and cheers the Spanish swain :
Nurtured in blood betimes, his heart delights

In vengeance, gloating on another's pain.” Rome and Florence find their sport in their races without riders. The land of the Czar has its sports on the ice. Racing too is known, but not upon such courses as we are accustomed to; instead of the

Ditch-in' and two middle miles,' we read of turnpike roads, twenty and fifty miles' length.* And here, while upon the subject of Russia, we cannot refrain from giving a slight sketch of an "out-and-out” sporting character lately arrived from that country. The subject of the sketch is a young Tartar, who, having been taken by the Russians, some four years ago, in a skirmish with the Circassians, had the alternative offered him of entering the Russian service, or being exiled to Siberia. He chose the former, and soon was promoted to the command of a small troop of cavalry. One day upon parade his superior officer gave way to the violence of his temper, and accused the Tartar of neglect and disobedience of orders. This the young warrior bore with patience; but when, in the heat of his passion, the Russian officer gave him the lie, and struck him, his blood was up, and with his sabre he cut the tyrant down. Feeling that his only chance was in flight, the gallant youth stuck his spurs into the sides of his steed, and was followed by six soldiers, anxious to avenge their commander's fall. But although they could not literally “ catch a Tartar,” they did so figuratively, for four of the pursuers fell under the unerring aim of the pursued; the remaining two

years old..

It is now some years that, with the view of proving the superiority of English thoroughbred horses over any others, Count Matuchewitz started Sharper and Mina against an Arabian and Cossack, for a race of forty-eight English miles, on a turnpike road, and which was won easy by Sharper. In the winter of 1839, another race was made, to be run at Libidian, a town about 120 miles to the southeast of Moscow, where a good race meeting and an immense horse fair take place annually. The events of the race were as follows :

Two Hundred and Forty Pounds (English money), given by his Imperial Majesty, with £50 added for the second horse ; four years old to carry 8st. 5lb. ; five, 9st.; and aged, 9st. Olb.; mares allowed 4lb. ; distance, 20 miles English. Mr. Koratchugan's ch. c. by Red Rover, out of Proserpine, four

Mr. Petrossky's br. m. by Regent, out of Fair Ellen, five years
old. ...

Mr. Wockoff's b. h. Concert, by Memnon, out of Cassandra,
five years old ...

Prince Tumen's ch. m. by a Persian stallion, out of a Calmuck

Mr. Talhoft's br. m. Mouse, of pure Calmuck breed.

(The last two stood still at the 18th mile.)
Mr. Varle's b. m. Hope, by an Arabian, out of a Cossack mare.. 0

(stood still at the 16th mile.) A pretty race between the three English thorough-bred horses for some distance, but won easy at last. Ran in 58 minutes 54 seconds. The sire of the winner was bred by General Grosvenor, by Nicol, a Selim horse, out of a Beningborough mare.


« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »