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the best horse-the property of one of the best men of the north-won; while Pompey, by making slight mistakes, led his party to make much greater. The running of both Hezeltine's Derby horses showed, as they long did in the betting for that race, little for choice, and that there was more cry than wool attached to the capabilities of either unfortunately Lord Normanby, though a steward, was not able to witness the triumph of Lorimer; a victory, however, which, unlike that for the same stake last year, was not conducive to placing him very high in the Derby betting.
The exclusives of Bibury Club have at length found out one great evil in their system--the rule of gentlemen's horses, as well as gentlemen riders, was surely hastening them to number amongst "the things that are not," the proportion of riders being far greater than that of owners. Opening the ports was suggested as the only hope of saving the meeting; it was this year tried, and with Stockbridge, as usual, afforded three days' sport well worth journeying down to see-good high-bred steeds, and plenty of them; jocks, ditto ditto, in every respect. The only thing that can tell against the new method of free entry is the zealous clerk of the course, "honest John," with his friend Saddler, ringing the changes to too great an extent upon his patrons and masters. It was this series of Day, Dilly, Saddler-Saddler, Dilly, Day, that spoilt the sport over the Port Meadow, Oxford; and though the riding portion of the club may care little about it, such as pay as well as play at racing will hardly be content at beholding two out of three of the club-stakes going into non-subscribing pockets. These remarks may perhaps be thought premature, but a glance at the past sport will show that the home-trained nags have made a good beginning.
At Winchester, now standing on its own bottom, the Stockbridge party are also too much in the light of the bull in the china-shop; though Isaac Saddler did not know when he was well off, or aware of the uncertain manner in which Gaper always had run-and, moreover, that he had run well-he would have considered his mare's triumph less, and closed at once with the very liberal terms of Lord George. As it was, his lordship, though against his will, made a much better thing of it, and none the worse for Bramble's absence.
Though the Hippodrome is fast fading away from the memory of the cockney sportsman, and, in place of trainers and jockeys, masons and carpenters are now going it like bricks, another meeting within omnibus distance, and for the especial benefit of the oi polloi, was during the past season started at Hatcham. That it answered, a second edition after a short interval proves, as well as a good attendance of horses and men at both gatherings. Anything very superior could not be expected, and Peckham, Kent, with third-raters from Hampshire, furnished the material; running as usual in all sorts of colours, all sorts of names, and all sorts of ways.
The Newmarket July Meeting was nothing more nor less than a complete failure; one of the few, very few, to be found in the sport of the past year. The apparent and only reason given is the superior attractions of Goodwood coming so closely after it. This when dissected is anything but a good excuse, for we find that the exertions
continued and increased in behalf of the great Provincial, has been seconded by proportionate apathy at head quarters. The Jockey Club is presumed to further the interest of racing in general, but more particularly and above all at Newmarket, where it is still held in something like estimation, and nothing of an inferior description should be enacted on that heath; either let the July Meeting be dropped in deference to Goodwood, or let the Jockey Club-if not one and all, the majority-give it what is justly due and expected, their presence and support. With their assistance it might speedily revive; without it, as at present, nothing but a failure can be reasonably expected. What racing there was excited no great interest; the fields for the July and Chesterfield (barring the winners) being very indifferent, and Colonel Peel having it all his own way, winning two-thirds of the whole, and everything he started for. Indeed, Cooper's stable generally shows to advantage during this meeting, particularly with the two-year-olds: last year he won the Chesterfield, with Canton; the season before that, the July, with Chatham; and now Orlando and Ionian claim the pair. Poison ran for Mr. Perran's donation, looking and cutting up as if she had been poisoned; the only reason I can see for her running at all was the fact of her having won the Oaks; and such a victory, with people who are not used to it, is apt to make them fancy their cattle invincible under any circumstances.
Worcester is a truly sporting shire from end to end; both town and country have hitherto pulled well together in this respect; they like sport of all kinds, and plenty of it: the consequence of which is a well-appointed pack of fox-hounds, a first-rate steeple-chase, a good cocktail Autumn Meeting, and (it ought to be) as good a legitimate two days' racing in July. In the last item, however, the men of Worcester have of late signally failed. The first and most difficult point to overcome is a want of funds: for instance, the Handicap with only £25 instead of £50 added; the Tradesmen's Cup of £50 instead of £100, &c., &c. This evil, if not altogether, is very much dependent on another-want of good management; and in this respect I must say the Worcester Race Committee, both in the summer and autumn, showed themselves much behind in the general march of improvement. Going to loggerheads with the Grand Stand proprietors should, at almost any concession, have been avoided; though, setting that question aside, there are many other things would be all the better for re-modelling. The last summer gathering, notwithstanding, brought together really good fields of horses-far better than, under the circumstances, the Pitchcroft deserved to be graced with; yet this very fact should give the committee renewed vigour in endeavouring to uphold the races, conveying an assurance that if they do their duty they will not lack supporters. Some say, the enemies of that daring sport of course, the steeple-chase, has usurped the place of the races, and certainly the spirit with which the supplies are granted for the former might account for a want of them for the latter.
Of late years Liverpool has taken the lead in all kinds of improvements upon the turf, and the Meeting of last season was not deficient under that head, a most important and much wanted regulation being
first put into trial upon the Aintree-the exclusion of defaulterswith what success it is needless to repeat; the prompt and equally effective manner in which it was straightway adopted at all other Meetings of note, speaking volumes in its favour. It is well known that Lord George Bentinck has had a great share in framing the new rules; and his lordship here appeared to as much advantage in practice as in theory-not only a capital judge, but as excellent a starter, and in the latter office without a superior. To begin at the beginning of the sport, we find Semiseria coming out in a wonderfully altered form, and beating the Shadow, the Knight-of-the-Whistle, and others, with but little trouble; for the two-year-old stake, Lord Westminster improved upon his last year's luck, Fanny Eden winning her race, run at high pressure speed, very easily, though with a fair field opposed to her, including the Cure, who has shown some smart running on nearly every occasion. Aristides here gave the most unequivocal signs of the bent of his temper; that his powers are of the best, I think is beyond a doubt, but whether he will ever be induced to use them when most required, is not equally apparent: had I the misfortune to have him running in my name, I should hazard the experiment of qualifying him for the Sultan's service; I repeat mis-fortune, for an animal who could run so well, and will or will not run at all, is enough to ruin a man of moderate means and of anything like a sanguine disposition. Passing over the others with just a glance at the St. Leger, won, without the shadow of a race, by Napier-who, notwithstanding the extinguisher to all his hopes in the same stable, should and would, had he been in other hands, have taken a prominent place for its namesake further north-we come to the race for the cup a long list of subscribers as heretofore, with but a moderate. acceptance. According to those high authorities, Messrs. Scott and Dawson, nothing but the Knight or Pompey could do the trick; the distance, however, if the weight suited, was too much for the former, and Pompey, from a variety of very excellent reasons, did not that he might have just won under more favourable circumstances is highly probable, but then Aristotle, with Tommy Lye and a whole bunch of laurels on his back, should have never been forgotten: the fact of his being backed by scarcely a person connected or not with the stable, shows how easily in the face of all common sense men may and are led astray. In the length of the Meeting, liberality, punctuality, and every other good quality, Liverpool now stands preeminent; though if there should be anything susceptible of improvement (to point it out I confess would puzzle me), I have not the least doubt but" the powers that be" will quickly turn their attention to it.
After a protracted and obstinate struggle, the friends of old England and her sports yielded, humbug was declared triumphant, and Cheltenham races are now held either altogether in remembrance or partly at Tewkesbury. Though Cheltenham promised and gave but little support, it was determined that the Gloucestershire Stake should not fall without one more forlorn hope being tried, and hence the removal in name, if in nothing more, to Tewkesbury. When we have said that the last was as good a Gloucestershire Stake as we have for
some time been accustomed to, we have said all we can for it, and this is but" damning with faint praise;" for the attempt at a grand meeting within a dozen miles of the old locale, if not a dead failure, was the next thing to it; and, barring all other considerations, the course itself holds out but poor inducements for either man or horse.
Goodwood races are now almost too good; independently of the injury they unquestionably do to many other meetings, from horses being bottled up for their more valuable prizes, twelve or fourteen races a day for four days in succession is almost enough to create a satiety. At Newmarket, where there is nothing else for it, a dozen races a day is all very well, though at present the average there little exceeds half that amount, but Goodwood, with so many other sources of amusement, could really well spare two or three. It may be said that although the races are run, people are not forced to look at them, and indeed I have seen many thorough-racing men, who have confessed that they were glad when the fatigues, rather than the pleasures, of the day had drawn to a conclusion; and these, I should add, not "legs," to whom it is nothing less than a week of hard labour. "This," I think I hear the reader exclaim, "is a novel and highly complimentary fault to find with the sport provided by his Grace of Richmond;' and, what is more, there is no telling where it will end; for season after season do the attractions increase, and the last meeting, without flattery, is now always the best.
As if by way of return for the exertions of Lord George Bentinck, and the almost unbounded hospitality of the noble host, the Goodwood stable had certainly its full share of the victories of the week; and these being nearly all handicaps gave rise to something like a feeling of discontent, the pith of which was that all these winners had been greatly favoured as to weight; that it was scarcely called for I know is the opinion of the "better half," and the disaffected should moreover remember that there was another advantage the Goodwood horses possessed over all others--they were running on their own ground; an item which always has and which always will tell. To carry this on, we find that their next-door neighbours-a party which the most dissatisfied of losers could never for a moment put down as enjoying any great favour at Goodwood, but rather the reverse-won the two most interesting stakes of the week. The handicap with Lucy Banks, for which she was well supported, as by the way was Aristotle for the very race he should not, considering all he had done and what he carried; nevertheless he ran a game, good horse, showing once more how strangely his merits had previously been overlooked by those who should have been best acquainted with them. In winning the cup, Hyllus at length accomplished what appeared to have been the great object of his life; and, having done so, shortly afterwards retired not only from the turf but the country: this same race also went far to satisfy his old opponent Charles XII.-a pair declining about the same time, which have been long familiar to the frequenters of the Sussex entertainments; Charles having run for it four years in succession-not placed in 1840 and 1843, and winning it in 1841 and 1842; Hyllus running second for it in 1839 and 1841, and winning it in 1843.
Fortune was equally kind to Stockbridge, with regard to the races for juveniles, as she was to Mitchell Grove with those of older growth; John Day winning both the Lavant and the Molecomb, his most formidable antagonist for either the Dog Billy; who, however, was beaten easily by the Wadastra colt for the first, and unluckily was denied a trial with the lion for the second. There is no question but the Ugly Buck won his race as easily as his best friends could wish; still his subsequent place on the Derby list must be attributed much more to the credit of what he can do, than what he has done. Of the many other good races and good horses which crowded on each other, it is unnecessary to say more than that Cotherstone, with Attilla's fate to caution his party, increased their confidence by his performance for the Gratwicke, and that everything connected with the week's sport tended to prove it unequalled in success from first to last.
Forth, in continuation of his good luck, took Hyllus and Vibration to Brighton, where he again won the two best stakes; this time, however, the mare was the better horse, and a better mare altogether than her owner has hitherto imagined. The only other race worth looking at was that for the two-year-old stake, won by the Dog Billy, the other scrambles all verging on the indifferent. Brighton, in fact, from all appearance, is one of the few meetings sinking from want of some good Samaritan to put his shoulder to the wheel-for want of exertion and little else: certainly a promise has been given that something shall be done by way of rescue; still promises are but pie-crust, and this said promise is none of the best.
The principal stakes also went off in pairs at Wolverhampton ; though Forth's sun, or rather that of Hyllus, was set even before he started for the cup, by winning which he last year broke a spell of six years' duration. The style that Una, confessedly a bad mare, ran in first, and first for the handicaps, says very little in favour of her opponents; while her winning the Holyoake, all circumstances considered, says more than, despite the previous victory, even her warmest admirers had conceived of her powers. For the Chillington the Alderman's mare cut up worse and worse; like too many of the present washy sort, she can run really well when getting the best of it, but has no heart to struggle when in difficulty: this is not the sort to pull well through the crowding of Tattenham corner. The remaining plates and stakes at this rendezvous afforded good sport, and Wolverhampton in every particular is certainly acting up to the spirit of the
If not increasing its attractions, Chelmsford, by the bill of fare offered, still continues worthy of the Queen's hundred, with which it has been honoured; a meed of praise many other meetings similarly favoured have not a shadow of a claim to--amongst others Guildford, where it is the plate and nothing but the plate, with a course inferior to a turnpike-road to run over for it. These men of Guildford have had plenty of time given them to revive their races, but not having shown the least inclination to do so, it is a shame that the guineas be not transferred to some other meeting, of which there are many, where it would act as a spur to present strenuous exertions.