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reference to the prosperity and popularity of a race-meeting. Mr. Henry Dorling has done and is doing more to promote the legitimate objects of our great national sport than any one who ever preceded him in a similar official career. Nothing ever approached the perfection of the arrangements. The alterations in the grand stand had transformed it into a courtly pavilion, provided with boudoirs for the fair, and such facilities for the brave-at jousting with fortune—that a man could be “done for without almost crossing its threshold. The ring was formed on the terrace, and the saddling in front of it; and, in fact, all the necessary ingredients for ministering to enterprise and spirit were provided that ever entered into the catalogue of the completest ruination shop in the civilized world. The all-absorbing event, the Derby, went through its ordinary phases as the day of its destiny approached. Fancy Boy was the favourite at starting-to say no worse of him a remarkably unfortunate horse all through for his backers. Sting, the young invincible, made his appearance at the post in a perilous plight. He looked as if he had just been drawn backwards through a thorn-hedge; his coat stood erect like that of a frightful porcupine. Sir Tatton Sykes was brought on very theatrically; the others more or less artistically; the ensemble, as they cantered
the course to start, a panorama of peerless interest! It is the general opinion that Scott threw away the race—it is not mine. Sir Tatton's running with Iago for the Leger was far from a brilliant performance: it was good, and no more--nothing to entitle a horse to be backed for the two greatest stakes of his year. He was said to be “hard to ride”- his heart was none of the best; that was the solution of the difficulty. That want of honesty it was that gave Iago the victory over him at Newmarket. However, the Derby of 1846, like so many of its predecessors, went to prove that the market averages were for the most part all drawn from mistaken premises. The Oaks furnished a moral on the maxim, that “the race is not always to the swift.” Mendicant pulled through by the sheer dint of game. To the eye she was anything but a filly to pin your faith on over such a hill as that crossed by the Oaks course. These two great issues were won by Mr. Gully-his horse, Pyrrhus the First, and his mare, Mendicant, being trained by John Day, jun., at Danebury. It was a glorious achievement for the stable, and not the less cheering for the family, as it completely restored John Day, sen., who for some time previously had been in a very declining state. Ít cured him as if by magic; never was such a prescription as “the Derby and Oaks” for rescuing a patient from the jaws of death......
According to proverbial authority, after a storm comes a calm," and so it was with turf affairs. The meeting on the moor adjacent to Manchester is not yet, at all events, a matter of much racing account. The course is about the worst in the world, which may in somewise furnish a reason for it. Moreover, it—the meeting-exists upon the proceeds of its immediate industry: it lives from hand to mouth, on the revenue screwed out of the occasion. None of the races call for any especial notice, except the Hurdle-race, from its bad pre-eminence. It is astonishing that stewards are to be found countenancing such deadly exhibitions at a season of the year when the probability is the ground will be as hard as a hearthstone. One
of the unfortunates who rode in that suicidal contest was killed outright, after many a hair-breadth escape in more legitimate fields.
It is no reason, because this observation was made at the time, it should not be here repeated. This reminiscence is, in some wise, a refaciamento, and on no subject can the managers of races be more conveniently refreshed than on the dangerous practice of hurdlechasing: an exhibition only fit to wind up the sport at a bull-bait. I see no cause to alter my opinion of the character of Ascot Races. The Queen and Her Royal Consort were prevented giving them their usual courtly éclat, and the intense heat of the weather was a great drawback on a fete, subjecting the company to something very like a premature taste of returning to the dust from whence they all came, high and low-however uncourtly the moral. I wish, as I have before remarked, the Jeremiad might end there; but I am bound to express my anxiety at the decay of a feature, once the comliest of this great holiday tryst. A dozen years ago the ground on the Cup-day, for a good half mile above and below the centre of attraction, the Royal and Grand Stands, was a promenade, of which probably the world never saw an epitome elsewhere. I lament such it was not on its last anniversary. The gala character of the turf received its first heavy blow and great discouragement at Goodwood. There nobody that was anybody ever ventured beyond the precints of The Stand: there it is still that “divinity doth hedge” itself-that fasbion enshrines its minions from vulgar contact! Alas! for the boon old popular pastime, should ever this system of centralization be consummated; should exclusiveness ever burke good fellowship between the sons of this land, of whatever heritage!
Here Iago put money in his gallant owner's purse, and Grimston, the Queen's Vase, not precisely according to the axiom "sweets to the sweet.” Here and there the running was singularly in and out, as in the cases of the Ascot Derby, won by the brother to Valentissimo, and the Royal Hunt Cup, by Leaconsfield. Alarm won the Emperor of Russia's Cup in a very racing-like form, of which it came to pass that subsequently those who booked him burnt their fingers. Slander, one of the leaders of the Two-Year-Old party, had nothing to do to carry off the New Stakes; but for all these easy victories the ground left its reminiscences that would be served hereafter.
Hampton races no one ever goes to with a view to the racing : Moulsey Hurst is the great popular resort of such pleasure-seekers as make the course their pretence for a holiday al fresco, no more. As a place of wholesome recreation it deserves support—but on no other. It is conducted with a grasping griping spirit-or rather the want of it-most ungrateful in its influence. The heat on the last anniversary was the most intense I ever remember to have felt here, or any where else—it was positively terrific.
We now enter upon that division of the racing year which has for our observance not only the good things in esse but those in posse : we have not only the three-year-olds for our pastime, but the twoyear-olds “for our learning. The south country meeting at Bibury and Stockbridge is the contemporary and rival of that at Newcastleon-Tyne in the north. The consequence is, that both suffer—in the way of business. There is not materiel extant for two rings ; and what
is racing without betting, now? A body without a spirit. In the north there was a good deal of fun for those who hold by the maxim, “ The more mischief the better sport!" For the Derby, there, the two champions in its great namesake of the south met, to settle the question of their quality. The result was, Sir Tatton Sykes tumbled about, and so did Fancy Boy-and Dolo triumphed. The less said of Bibury the better, as an exhibition of legitimate racing ; it was, as La Bruyere once said of a newspaper for which he entertained little goodwill, "immediatement au dessus de rien.” Newmarket July Meeting-the middle week, as the natives call it may be looked upon as the first drawing-room of the season for presentations. The July Stakes served for a début, not without some éclat. In the instance we have to deal with, the weather having taken a temporary change for the worse, damaged the pageant, and one animal having engrossed all the speculation, business was crippled. Half a score went, but they laid 7 to 4 on one of John Day’s “ lot,” hight Cossack, and named nothing else. So paralyzing was the betting, that not a stable would back its own inmates for a farthing. The “crack," however, was beaten before one-half of the distance was run, and Miami won with ease. Either this Cossack was under his Danebury form considerably, or he don't like a public performance-for one can't suppose it any error of judgment. Honest John is celebrated for his trials “and no mistake." The Chesterfield—the other twoyear-old stake-gave us a fine spirt for the half-mile. It was won by Nerissa, by a neck, the 9lb. penalty beating Miami: this latter filly ought not to be lost sight of. Liverpool July Races—alas ! that I should have to write it!-sadly lack both the sinews of war and peacemoney. They are, indeed, right energetically upheld by a few individuals; but until fostered' by public countenance and support, they cannot hope for the position they ought to occupy in reference to a great national sport. There is no spot in the world better suited for a turf rendezvous than Liverpool. It is central for all the divisions of England; as well as for Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Let them only find cash, and the cavalry will find themselves. Here, as almost universally during the year, the wickedness of backing animals at small odds for great handicaps was shown—as if through Lord Ross's telescope. They took 6 to 4 eagerly that Mendicant won the Cup, and she was not within a quarter of a mile of it. Here the great creature of the winter speculation was destined to make his first appearance, in the person of Van Tromp, the winner of the Mersey Stakes. The performance was a moderate one, but “he kept the word of promise to the hope” of those who then and there backed him for the Derby. If there be an earthly paradise, it is Tattersall's, to the man who goes “ down” with the certainty of hedging himself upon velvet. It's worth fifty settling days, with a stiff balance on the creditor side of your book. Van Tromp, as it will be seen, subsequently did better, and his two-year-old form was the best we have seen out. That he is an animal to train on, I do not believe: horses, indeed, run in all shapes and of all sizes; but these are the exceptions, not the rules. Tom Tulloch gave us another sample of his quality for the St. Leger here. He really seemed to do his dévoir. What could they have taken his measure with ?
There was a most picturesque meeting at Newton, to which succeeded several of minor account, such as Dudley, Stamford, Bridgnorth, and the like, not to forget Southampton, with its lovely sylvan course, in all its features the most appropriate appendage to an English town that can be imagined. Thus we come to the middle of the racing season of 1846, with this conviction attending every step we have taken---that the popularity and prosperity of the turf have reached a point they had never before attained; that it never exhibited more healthy symptoms, or more excellent promise.
As the deduction from these premises, behold Goodwood-princely Goodwood !-a meeting that would it were not to be anticipated !) probably reached its climax in the past season. Certainly it attained à point of excellence never before known in the annals of the turf. It came, however, not without "a great discouragement”-the knowledge that he who had made it what it was would no more lead its brilliant revels as of yore, as the greatest patron of the sport of horse-racing that the British turf has ever possessed,“ take him for all in all." I allude to the secession of Lord George Bentinck, which may Jupiter Olympus avert! The first considerable stake, the Gratwicke, was won by as perfect a sample of an English gentleman and sportsman as the present age can boast. I speak of Sir Richard Bulkeley, my antagonist in my first race. Epirote, a rising favourite for the Derby, won the Ham Stakes pretty cleverly, but in a poor field. Weatherbit did for the great 300 sovs. Stakes what a good horse is sure to do one day or other : he put a large sum into his owner's pocket. To be sure he earned it dearly. The heat was absolutely terrific; and such an example as it--and the distance-the Queen's Plate course-made of the quartette that went, I never saw. The Lavant—a short half-mile spurt-gave us a sample of Van Tromp's speed. He beat the Cobweb filly by a head, in a good field of half
In the Drawing Room Stakes Joinville broke down (the day would have broken an iron horse in a second essay); and Humdrum won. Good luck is better than good desert. Passing the amateur display, and also the minor events of Wednesday, we come to the Orange Prize, for which a crack lot of half-a-dozen came together. There was Alarm-in uncommon form--and Jericho, and Wolf-dog, and the Cure, and Red Deer, and last, not least, Sir George. The first, of course--but I mean the first of my classification-won, after a very fine race, by a head. They said Jericho ought to have won: I don't know wherefore. It was a very interesting struggle—that's the fact. The Handicap of Sussex is the Goodwood Stakes a very spirited-betting race on this, as on other occasions. The best three-year-old of the season, by a great deal, The Hero, was the favourite, though a good many others had staunch backers. Jonathan Wild, however, receiving a stone, won; and this brought off the first moiety of a bet of 10001. to 51., that Mr. O'Brien would not win that and the Cup! One-and-twenty horses started. Pretty Lady Wildair carried off the pretty cup presented by the stewards, and Leaconsfield the Queen's Plate, whereof came a dispute touching the entry. More of the philosophy of Queen's Plates requires revision than the mode of entry and naming. There was a dead heat for a sweepstakes, worth a couple of thousands, between Mathematician and King of Morven, which the former won in a canter on the second attempt. This was the first race on Thursday—the especial festival -when the temperature on the leads of the Grand Stand was up to “spontaneous cookery." The Racing Stakes honest Iago put into his master's purse; albeit a wrangle was got up about some of the field having run the wrong course.
The courses at Goodwood are complicated in the extreme, and, no doubt, difficult for strangers-in a hurry. The winner carried 8st. 13lb., being 6lbs. extra : a good performance, if the actors in the same scene were worth any thing. Misfortunes never come single, as the song says. This race was followed by another row, that arose out of the succeeding event, a 100 SOV8. sweepstakes, produce: 6 subscribers—all the money. The winner was Mr. Wreford's Wilderness; entered for it when a foal, as being by Sultan, out of Wapiti, instead of by Sultan Junior. The case was decided against him by the stewards, and the second—the Duke of Richmond's Cuckoo—got the stakes. Mr. Wreford grumbled, of course, and argued that the sire of his filly was no longer Sultan Junior, seeing that old Sultan, his father, is dead. These subtleties are matters of opinion. Grimston won the cup very cleverly, beating Wolf-dog a couple of lengths for second, but in a poor field. Thus did a young gentleman of spirit lose his 10001. to 51., considerably to his surprise, as it is believed he looked upon the winner, when he laid the bet, as safe as if made up into sausages. The Molecomb was an easy victory for Planet, with his stable-friend Slander next to him. He beat the Cobweb filly-now Clementina—"off;”. but most probably it was the Tuesday's work did it. Besides this, there was a surfeit of sport, under a burning sky, and amid horrid oceans of dust. I never remember such grilling weather as accompanied the whole of the four days at Goodwood.
Passing by half-a-dozen provincial meetings, we come to Nottingham, where horses were scarce, in consequence of its clashing with four or five others; and thence turn to Brighton, of which it has thus been written :-“Although the matériel was but of a very moderate character, still the sport it furnished was extraordinary. On the second day the racing commenced at two, and concluded at eight, and yet only three races were run. It is to be hoped that at the next meeting a stand more worthy of so aristocratic a town will be erected, so as to afford some protection from the weather to those who are induced to visit the Downs. The prospect for next year is most encouraging."
The York August races are rapidly rising in importance, and consequently in popularity. They are promoted on the part of the inhabitants with much spirit; and the result was somewhat in this wise. The fields in all the races were large, especially for the Prince of Wales's Stakes, which brought out twenty-one of the elite of the “young fry.” Of these, Slander proved the best, defeating her opponents in the same clever manner she did at Ascot. The Great Ebor Handicap, which had been a good deal speculated upon, drew together a field of seventeen horses. Bourton and the Laura colt, the representatives of the Danebury and Middleham stables, were, of course, the favourites; but in this instance they, for once, deceived their backers, not even getting a place. The winner, Arthur, was not