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ENGRAVED BY 8. HACKER, FROM A PAINTING BY J. F. HERRING, SEN.
“ And how like you this shepherd's life, Master Touchstone ?”
"Is not this a rare fellow, my lord ?” enquires Jaques the Melancholy, respecting the Touchstone of Arden ; and, & Is not this a rare fellow, my lord ?” we repeat
this Touchstone of Eaton. There he stands, reader, in full-blown dignity, one of the brightest, if not the very brightest, star of his day; and we think you will agree with us that he is right worthy of such a master, our artist of such a subject, and that ample justice has been done to all
. For the last century the Grosvenors have held a deservedly high place in turf history : from father to son, and from brother to brother, we find the same unvarying passion for, and the same honourable conduct in, pursuing it. This, we feel pleasure in adding, has not been without its reward; for the honours of the course have not been wanting to those who strove only in the path of honour to gain them. It has been asserted, by a high authority in sporting matters, that such as engage on the turf with a strict determination to trust only to fortune and fair play, will scarcely ever meet with success proportionate to their merits, however good may be their horses, or however well laid their plans. Decrees of this nature, could they be confirmed, would go far to strip racing of all its honours and respectability; but happily we have too many noblemen and gentlemen at present pursuing this condemned course, and with success, to lead us to regard it as anything beyond a mere assertion. Were we to search the calendars from their commencement, we never could produce a better example of the fallacy of such an opinion than the noble house we have referred to, as bearing upon our present subject. No stain, we say, rests on the name of
“ Grosv'nor's earl, that honest upright lord
So justly loved, so worthily adored.” And yet, what brilliant success at different periods has marked the career of the black and yellow livery! Farther back than the late Lord Grosvenor we will not venture; and even then we are beyond our own depth, and must call in the aid of records and remembrancers much more venerable in appearance, and in fact than those who avail themselves of their treasured lore. From these we learn that Lord Grosvenor, the father of the Marquis of Westminster, had a larger stud, both breeding and training, than any other individual of his day in Europe. To give the names of all, or even a portion of his many capital race-horses, would be a hard task indeed ; and we must content ourselves (and we hope our readers) with the recol. lection of but one or two. Amongst the most celebrated were-John Bull, who won the Derby in 1792, and nearly every other race he started for; Nikè, winner of the Oaks in 1797; and Meteor, a very fair race-horse, being placed second for the Derby, and the most renowned stallion of his time. About the year 1800, perhaps the three best stud-horses in England stood at Eaton, all bred by and the property of Lord Grosvenor, and, what is somewhat remarkable, all chestnuts: these were-Alexander, sire of Hephestion; John Bull, sire of Violante ; and Meteor, sire of Meteora. Just to gather some idea of the extent of Lord Grosvenor's victories, we may add, that he was reported to have won two hundred thousand pounds in public money only, in addition to cups and pipes of wine, both of which, it must be remembered, were far more common as Olympic prizes in the days of old than in the present “ run for gold. ” Sam Chifney, the father of our celebrated jockey, was brought up in the Eaton stables, and first appeared to advantage on Lord Grosvenor's horses, for whom he continued to ride for several years, until, making a mistake with Meteor for the Derby (which, it was thought, he ought to have won), he lost, as well as the race, his seat and situation.
The Marquis of Westminster succeeded his father in 1803, and, with the material furnished him to work upon, we are not surprised to see him soon figuring in the calendar, with some of the very best race-horses ever trained attached to his name : amongst others, Bagatelle, Cesario, Agincourt, Enterprise, Meteora, Violante, Plover, Eaton, Chester, Pearl, Hephestion, Benvolio, and Eccle
Of these we need only say, that Violante, Meteora, and Plover were three mares whose performances are almost unequalled in turf annals, and that all were well worthy of the term we have applied to them-first-rate horses. From about the year '12 or ’14, however, his lordship's success gradually decreased; and some ten or fifteen seasons since the once far-famed Eaton stud had sunk wofully in general estimation ; but in 1833 Touchstone appeared, and with him commenced another era, rivalling in brilliancy that of thirty years previous. In the list of these cracks of the second dynasty are to be found Touchstone, winner of the St. Leger, &c., &c. ; Launcelot, second for the Derby, and winner of the St. Leger ; Satirist, winner of the St. Leger; Ghuznee, winner of the Oaks; Cardinal Puff, winner of the Chester Cup; Sleight-of-Hand, winner of the Liverpool Cup; Maroon, Maria Day, Van Amburgh, William de Fortibus, The Lord Mayor, and Fanny Eden. The majority of these were trained by the Scotts, and his lordship's success has certainly not been so great since his withdrawing his name from the number of their patrons; and it may at first appear rather extraordinary to leave a party with whom he had enjoyed such repeated triumphs. On the other hand, his lordship's name had been mentioned in a manner anything but flattering with reference to one or two particular cases; while the censure, if at all merited, should have rested on those more immediately concerned, perhaps more interested in the racc. At the close of 1841, Lord Westminster determined on
training his horses in private, and removed them for that purpose to Eaton, engaging Osborne as prime minister ; but he only held office one season, and the string is now under the care of Horsley, trainer to the late Sir Thomas Stanley. A change, too, has been made in the ground, the present stable being in Delamere Forest, though not far distant from last year's quarters. Having thus brought "master and man” down to the present time, it is time for us to give the necessary particulars of the crack before us.
PEDIGREE. Touchstone, a brown colt, was bred by Lord Westminster, in 1831, and is by Camel, out of Banter, by Master Henry, her dam Boadicea, by Alexander, ont of Brunette, by Amaranthus-May-fly, by Mateh'em-Ancaster Starling.
Some breeders, we know, have an objection to a first foal; but to such as may incline to this opinion we would cite Touchstone as a real “knock-me-down” example, he being the first produce of a sixyear-old mare. Banter is also the dam of Sarcasm (the dam of Satirist), Launcelot, Lampoon, and others. A portrait of Camel, with full particulars, may be seen in our number for September last.
PERFORMANCES. In 1833, Touchstone, then two years old, made his first appearance at Lichfield, where he walked over for a Produce Stakes of 50 sovs. each. At Holywell Hunt, he ran third for The Champagne, Queen Bess winning it, The Tulip second, and Noodle last.
In 1834, Touchstone, ridden by Calloway, won The Dee at Chester, beating Queen Bess (2), Abbas Mirza (3), and the following not placed :-Tom Jones, Fearnhurst, and Miss Chester. At the same place, ridden by Calloway, he won The Palatine, beating Queen Bess, colt by Peter Lely, La Danseuse, and Abbas Mirza—5 to 2 on Touchstone. At Liverpool he ran second to General Chasse for the St. Leger, but beat c. out of Miss Fanny's dam (3), and the following not placed :-Miss Chester, Cashier, Whitefoot, Queen Bess, Birdlime, Mr. Merryman, Inheritor, and Billinge-6 to 1 agst. Touchstone. At Doncaster, ridden by Calloway, he won the Great St. Leger, beating Bran (2), General Chassé (3), Shillelah (4), and the following not placed :-Plenipotentiary, Bubantes, Valparaiso, Lady le Gros, Worlaby Baylock, f. by Partisan, and Louden-40 to 1 agst. Touchstone. At Wrexham, ridden by Lear, he won the Bryn-y-pys Stakes, beating Vittoria. At Holywell Hunt he ran third for The Mostyn, Intriguer first and Birdlime second ; Uncle Toby and Lucy also started, but were not placed--7 to 4 on Touchstone. At the same place he walked over for the Chieftain Stakes of 50 sovs, each.
In 1835, at Chester, Touchstone walked over for the Stand Cup, value 100 sovs., added to a stake of 10 sovs. each. At Liverpool, carrying 8st. 101b., he was not placed for the Tradesmen's Cup, won by General Chassé, 8st. 9lb.—2 to 1 agst. Touchstone. At Doncaster, ridden by W. Scott, he won the Gold Candelabrum, value 300 sovs., beating Hornsea (2), General Chassé (3), and Shillelah and Bella, not placed—3 to 1 agst. Touchstone. At Heaton Park, ridden by Lord Wilton, he won a Piece of Plate, given by Count