图书图片
PDF
ePub

These are his only performances of any note, as, though he has had five or six tries at the Chester Cup, he never even got a place. Liddington bas ended his turf career, and commences his stud duties at the very modest figure of 10 gs. ; while the gelding Paris, his senior by a year, is as indefatigable as ever, and having appeared on nearly every course in England, and run in every kind of race from the Two Thousand and Derby to a £20 plate, is about to turn his attention to steeplechasing.

The Babbages and Cockers of the turf have been hard at work for some time past, and column upon column of statistics is the result of their labours. There has been a desperate contest for the premiership among winning sires, and the illustrious exile Buccaneer has just succeeded in displacing Stockwell from bis accustomed place, the stock of the former having won £30,888, while the latter is credited with £28,696. Buccaneer, however, owes his supremacy entirely to Formosa, and he can only show 24 winners and 68 races against Stockwell's 31 and 96 respectively. The late lamented Newminster is a fair third with £19,822; but that “all the Newminsters can race" is once more proved by 40 winners and 109 races going to his share. Beadsman, though the sire of only six winners who have taken 20 races between them, runs Newminster very close with £18,755. He gains his high position principally through Blue Gown, but he need not be ashamed of The Palmer, Pero Gomez, or Morna. It is an additional credit to Stockwell that, while he is such a splendid second on the list, his son St. Albau's, who invariably takes a high place, now stands fifth with £12,513. Were it allowable to reckon the Grand Prize of Paris won by The Earl, Young Melbourne's total would be far more imposing ; but, as it is, his £11,335 is sufficient to give him the sixth place, and bring him in before Knight of St. Patrick, £10,383, more than half of which is due to Tenedos. Thormanby gives promise of fulfilling the high expectations formed of him, as his 19 winners have taken 43 races of the value of £9,866. Rataplan and Wild Dayrell are very close with £8,360 and £8,097 respectively, and bis £7,497 saves Skirmisher from oblivion. We miss the names of Trumpeter and Muscovite from their last year's place; but the former, with no Lady Elizabeth or Challenge to help him, has earned only £5,932; while the exile, for whom Vauban alone made over £13,000 in the previous season, has only £5674 to this credit. King Tom (£7,770) has probably passed his zenith ; old Orlando (£4,3934) comes out wonderfully well considering his age; but Saunterer (£365) ought to earn more than a pound a day. Of the younger sires who have still their names to make, Carnival, another exile, has begun well with eight winners of 21 races, amounting to £3,299, of which a large portion was put together by Badsworth. His old stable companion, Macaroni, has however headed him, with £3,542, a very creditable performance for a first season. Dundee has only £1,355 to his name, and Kettledrum's £1,547 is lit le better ; but the greatest failure of all is the 100 guinea Blair Athol, whose three winners have only taken four races worth £310. It would not, however, be at all fair to condemn him yet, and if good looks are worth anything, Ethus and Braemar will do the Eltham sire good service.

The principal owners have almost as close a fight as the sires, but here Beadsman triumphs over Buccaneer, and Sir Joseph Hawley

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

comes in at the head of the poll with £20 855, beating Mr. “ Formosa” Graham, who takes £19,072 ; the Duke of Newcastle is a very good third with £18,669}, and Belladrum places Mr. Meiry a poor fourth with £13,381 ; then follow Mr. Padwick, £11,4713 ; Mr. Chaplin, £10,624 ; Mr. Savile, £9,474; Mr. J. Johnstone, £8,515 ; Baron Rothschild, £7,503; and Captain Machell, £7,299 ; thus the ten principal winnirs take £126,000 odd between ibem. Belladrum is foremost among the two-year-olds, and his £7,390 is well deserved, as no horse has wo:ked harder; he won ten out of his twelve races, and was second, only benten a bead, for cach of the other two. Tenedos, who comes next wish five wins worth £5,540, is in rath' r a false position, as he walked orer for one race and two of the others were rich sweepstakes. The £5,130 won by Pero Gomez was made still more easily, as he only ran twice for it : still the Criterion was no exercise gallop. Ryshworth has made £4,490 ; Abstinence, £4,360; Robespierre, £3,250; Crocus, £3 240; Melody, 3,135; and Chanoinesse, £2,815. Among the threes it is a case of “Formosa first and the rest nowhere," as this wonderfully lucky Buccaneer carries off £18,575. “If" is always a dangerous word to use, but in her case

, one cannot refrain from doing so. If Blue Gown had not been shamefully scratched on the morning of the Two Thousand, Moslem and Formosa would not have divided the pool. If Lady Elizabeth had retained her form, probably neither One Thousand nor Oaks would have gone to Beckhampton; and lastly, if The Earl had not “hit his leg,” Mr. Graham's mare, brilliart as her condition was, would only have tinished a fair second for the Leger. Blue Gown, who comes second, richly deserves his £10,020, which would have been for more had he been allowed to fulfil all his engagemenis. Athena, £5,665, is hardly a miler if the pace is true, but she was most furtuna'ely engaged, and was allowed to walk over for one race worth £1,350 ; Léonie who, as was subsequently proved, could have beaten her easily being content to save her stake. See Saw, £4,495; King Alfred, £4,230; The Earl, £3,897 exclusive of the Grand Prix ; Moslem, £3,520; Speculum, £2,875 ; Paul Joncs, £2,255; and Léonie, £2,235 are the chief winners among the remainder.

The ihree leading four-year-olds are Julius, £2,635); Blink hoolie, £2,160 ; and Romping Girl, £1,998. Thc two Newminsters, Vespasian £1,609 and Lanaret £1,180, are the pick of the fives. Success, with £786, rt presents the sixes; while thc aged Clown has most unmistakably proved his return to form by winning £1,020. A glance at two other tables shows us that 2,510 horses have run in 2,150 races, as against 2,458 and 2,140 in '67.

Billiards have been carried on vigorously during the month, and the inseparable Roberts and Dufton have, as usual, played several e shibition matches with varying results, Dufton making a fine break of 120 in one of them. The Champion played two matches of 1,000 up at Brighton with young Cook, giving him 200 points, but was defeated in both by 345 and 26 points respectively. This great performance, coupled with ihe very fine play be bas lately shown, seems to point to Cook as the coming man. Ho defeated Bennett by 242 points in a level 1,000 on the last day of November, but it is only fair to the latter to say that he was 200 a-head at the half distance, and would probably have won, but for very bad luck towards the end of the game. Too much importance, however, must not be attached to exhibition matches as the result is generally arranged previously and there is no betting. Roberts Junior and Charles Hughes have played 1,000 up level, and after a close contest the former won by 89. The great billiard handicap for the benefit of Charles Hughes, which was begun on Monday, December 7th, was won by Tom Morris, of Manchester (30 points), who defeated Alfred Bennett (35) in the final game. W. Cook, jun., was turned out the first round by Hinton ; and Bennett, the other scratch man, was also beaten the first time he played. A match of 1,000 up for £10, rising out of the handicap, between Alfred Hughes and Alfred Bennett, was won by the former by 202 points.

From the shires we hear that the Pytcheley is short of foxes, and that the sport has been inferior. The Bicester like their new huntsman, and are having a fair season, and the Hon. Mr. North intends to keep them on. Since the 7th of the month the Grafton have been doing capitally. They had six days of fine sport consecutively, and Frank Beers, who is in good health again, handles them well. They had a good hour-and-a-half on Wednesday (December 23rd) from Akeley Wood, and killed their fox under the Duke's drawing-room windows at Wakefield Lawn. Mr. Musters seems quite the man fur Leicestershire, especially when the baffled political conceit of Mr. Frewen is urging on him to such deeds of daring against the foxes. He is rery firm, a quality much needed in a Quorn master, yet very courteous with the gentlemen of the Hunt, and most civil and obliging 10 the farmers, and ready to listen to whatever they may suggest. Gillard, the huntsman, is a pretty good man : he lacks experience at present; but if he stands the work he will no doubt prove himself worthy of the position he holds. Until the last fortnight, sport has been most unfavourable, owing to the dry state of the ground; in fact, before the late rains came riding was most daugerous, and accidents of daily occurrence. There was a good 45 minutes with the Duke's on the 23rd, and the country rode well. Thorpe Arnold Gorse, whose foxes left it last season in consequence of a cub having been killed in cover, is full of foxes once more ; but “ Stockwell” has not returned.

A very large and influential meeting of the Bedale Hunt was held on 23rd, to consider the fox-famine. Not one of the men who are so carelegs about good fellowship with their neighbours, or their representatives, put in an appearance, The estates in question are Hornby, Constable Burton, Jervaux Abbey and Tanfield, and Hutton Moor, belonging respectively to the Dowager Duchess of Leeds, M. Wyvill, Esq., the Marquis of Aylesbury, and Earl de Grey and Ripon. While game is sent off from them by the tons, the scarcity of foxes is deplorable. There were

seven blank days last season, and in the first fifteen regular hunting days of the present season there have been four, and four

which Carr only found fox. About Hipswell, Brough, and Hauxwell a great deal of “ levelling off” not " levelling up'' has gone on, and the owners, of course, know nothing about it, and look on with folded hands. At Hornby they have found a fox this season, but it was a three-legged one. Last season they found a dead fox in Hutton Moor, and they have not yet been allowed to draw it again. It does not matter how weil foxes are preserved on small estates near the large landowner's, as

more

on

one once more.

a

they are certain to get into the big preserves, and then they are seen no more for ever. The same bad spirit flourished in Mr. Milbanke's day. He once turned down four brace of Scotchmen, duly marked, and only brought one to hand; and out of 85 couple turned down a brace was all they could account for. Every poultry claim has been settled, so there is no ill blood on that score. In Tanfield Banks the fiat has gone forth to kill every fox. A paunch was dragged round the place, and traps set near it; but so it will be as long as the keepers' wages and the account against the poulterer are regularly balanced by stewards. Mr. Milbanke thought that one thing was

. against fox preservation, viz., too much of the country being in the hands of widows, and he wished to see the mastership in the hands of Lord Downe, and the stables and kepnels at Norton Conyers occupied

Mr. Booth, to whom a vote of thanks was unanimously passed, explained that, when he took the hounds, it was with the expectation that Lord Downe would ultimately take to them, but his Iordship, who was at the meeting made no sign. Last season Mr, Booth laid down two more gorse covers on land granted by Lord Harewood, and in the spring he hoped to plant more. In him the hunting have had a 'most faithful guardian of their interests, during a very difficult time, but with a Master of the Horse (who supports hounds elsewhere), a President of the Conncil, and "the widows" against him, he has had a very hard fight of it, and if he gets through February it will be as much as the bargain. And thus, when Mr. Holford can have Silk Wood full of pheasants, and sometimes eight litters of cubs as well, the ignorant velveteens rule supreme in Bedale, and the stewards and masters love to have it so.

The result of the race between Kelley and Sadler has given universal satisfaction. The former, always very popular, has become more than ever so since his game struggle with Renforth; while Sadler's unfortunate habit of fouling has not raised him in public estimation. Added to this, it was generally understood to be the exchampion's last race; and there was a natural desire him to see him retire victoriously. There was a very large amount of speculation on the race, and £1,000 even was laid in one bet. At starting, Kelley, who rowed much quicker than usual, took the lead, and, continuing to gain, was nearly clear at the Soap Works, 4 to 1 being laid on him. Here, however, Sadler put on a grand spurt, and drew slightly in front, when the odds veered round to 7 to 4 in his favour. At this point one or two slight fouls occurred, the blades of the men's sculls just touching each other, but not sufficiently to interfere with their swing.

Sadler had been backed very heavily at 6 to 4 on him to be first under Hammersmith Bridge ; and as Kelley was put on a “pony" to nothing in the event of getting there before him, the pace up to this point was tremendous, Kelley succeeding in shooting the bridge about a yard in front of his opponent. The race was then over, as Sadler, being completely rowed down, was incapable of another spurt, and, though he persevered gamely to the finish, he was beaten easily by two or three lengths. The result quite confirms the general opinion of Sadler's want of staying power, as he died away to nothing after two miles; but he has quite wiped off any stigma on his gameness, as no man could have rowed more pluckily. It is said that Kelley's constitution will not allow him to train again ; and, considering his

age, all his well-wishers must hope that he will not lose the opportunity of retiring with “his blushing honours thick upon him."

James Renforth, the Champion, has published the following extraordinary letter :

Sir,-1, James Renforth, having won the title of Champion Sculler of England by defeating Henry Kelly, of Putney, on the Thames, on 17th inst., do hereby give notice that I am prepared to defend my right thereto against all persons disputing my ability to hold the same, and that I shall only contest that title with any person on the river Tyne, as I am firmly of opinion that an aquatic champion, in addition to the title, is justly entitled, until defeated, to have the championship races rowed on the river of which he is the representative. And I hereby further give notice that I place at the disposal of the Thames National Regatta Committee the title of Champion of the Thames, now held by me, to be rowed for at their annual regatta, reserving to myself the right of entering for such race.-Dated this 1st day of December, 1868.

(Signed) JAMES RENFORTH, Champion of England. Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Were Renforth allowed to have his own way, other champions would of course be at liberty to name their own terms. For instance, we could not be surprised if Roberts announced that, in future, he should only contest the title of Billiard Champion according to the American rules ; or Fleet could state that any aspirant for the Mile-and-a-Half Cup would have to run him round a ploughed field, instead of on a recognised ground. A race for the Championship of England must be rowed on the Champion Course--from Putney to Mortlake ; and, unless Renforth is prepared to contest the title over that course, he will have to resign it. His idea that “an aquatic champion, in addition to the title, is justly entitled, until defeated, to have the championship races rowed on the river of which he is the representative,” is manifestly absord. It is not certain that the Champion will always be a representative of the Thames or Tyne; and we may have an enthusiastic Warwickshire man, who happens to hold that position, insisting on maintaining it on the Avon. Then, with regard to throwing the Championship of the Thames open to competition, Renforth cannot do it without resigning his present title ; for Champion of the Thames and Champion of England are synonymous terms.

The singularly open weather of the past month has been all in favour of race meetings, which have consequently been far more successful than usual at this time of year. A hybrid affair was brought off at Sudbury Park on the last day of November, the two principal events being won by No Go, better known as the King Tom-Princess colt. He was looked upon as a good outsider for the Cambridgeshire, and probably earned his present name by his ignominious performance in that race. However, the company at Sudbury was far more to his taste, and he scored two very easy victories. The Kingsbury Steeplechase Meeting would have been a complete success, but for the unfortunate mistake with regard to the scratching of the Nun. The fields were large, the class of horses which ran very good, and there was only one objection during the three days. Life Guardsman won the two chief hurdle races, in the first of which Lord Ronald made his debût as a " jumper;" but the combined effects of want of practice, and 12st. 71b. were too much for him, and he was not placed. The Kingswood Cup produced a good finish between Roving Maid and

« 上一页继续 »