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mail; which met with no check to its progress till it reached some posts which stood at the entrance of the town, which should have received the letters of above a dozen villages by its arrival, but on this day only one bag was brought, which "Jemmy" left at the abovementioned posts, thinking, no doubt, that they formed the "post" office. The poor driver was found on a cucumber bed over an adjacent fence, having descended through its glass frame; the animal himself was found in a stable at the "Flying Horse," with a pair of red shafts dangling by his side, quietly eating the remnant of a feed of corn he found there.
He was sent to Barnet Fair, and sold the same week; his purchaser was the man who owned him at the time of my never-to-be-forgotten ride with Mr. P——. What became of him afterwards I never knew, but long ere this he must have gone the way of all horse-flesh -to the dogs; but never shall I forget "Flying Jemmy," or My FIRST GALLOP.
BY RORIN HOOD.
"Stand forth, ye champions, who the gauntlet wield;
Stand forth, ye wrestlers, who these pastimes grace:
Frequently roving from place to place in search of sporting adven. tures, numerous occurrences come before my notice; and in the hope that they may tend to amuse and interest such of the readers of the Magazine as do not happen to have travelled the same path, I propose to take minutes of events as they may transpire, and offer them. to the public, without confining myself to any particular subject: thus racing at one period of the year, and hunting in its due season will, I trust, furnish sources both acceptable and palatable.
Epsom Races having just terminated, I shall introduce them as the first and most important of the racing events of the season, with an ardent hope that they will continue to rank in the same estimation in the hearts of Englishmen as they have done for many years past, and thus maintain their standing in the pages of this justlyvalued periodical. Before entering more minutely on the subject of the late race of races-the Derby, I must embrace the opportunity of introducing a few words relative to the numerous clubs or lotteries which originate from the event, and which are now to be found in almost every town, and indeed in many villages, throughout the kingdom, for various sums, from five shillings to ten pounds per share or ticket; thus giving rise to betting speculations to a far greater extent than have hitherto been known. Their effect upon the turf and the country at large is certainly very questionable, inasmuch as they are
the means of introducing a class of men-small traders and mechanics-into betting transactions; among whom such speculations are anything but advantageous. To the regular turfinen, connected with the betting ring, they are evidently exceedingly objectionable, in consequence of their establishing a new set of individuals, who are attempting to bet round every person possessing a ticket bearing the name of a favourite, being induced to do so in order to extend his speculation more widely, and afford him greater chances of profit.
During the entire period between Doncaster Races and the Newmarket meetings, A British Yeoman maintained the honourable position of first favourite, at various prices from 12 to 1 to 7 to 1; Murat at one time being second at 16 to 1. Maccabeus also figured at the same price until his unexpected defeat at Epsom Spring Meeting, by Captain Flathooker-a four years old, held in very low estimation as a matter of course sent him to the rightabout. Aristides was found steady at 25 to 1 till the end of May, when he astonished a few of the nervous-minded portion of the racing community by the quotation of 7 to 1; that, however, lasted but a day. Winesour had many friends, at prices varying from 20 to 30 to 1 during greater part of the winter, although, about a fortnight before the race, he fell back to 40 to 1. Amorino, on whom the Epsom people beheld in their imaginations a pair of wings, stood at 18 to 1; and Sirikol, sometimes at 40 and other times at 25 to 1.
So little was Cotherstone thought of during the winter, that 40 and 50 to 1 was generally attainable until about the end of March, at which period, as is customary, Scott's horses were tried, when he came up to 25 to 1; and, between the money invested upon him by persons evidently in "the commission," and his subsequent proof of superiority in public, as a matter of course he became first favourite at very trifling odds. After his running at Newmarket, it was a very common occurrence to meet with individuals who would exclaim"Ah, he has beaten nothing!" But then it should be taken into account how easily did he beat those nothings: I should doubt whether a stone would bring him and any of the horses he met prior to the Derby upon anything like terms-at all events, I would most gladly back him to give that weight, over the Abingdon or the Rowly mile, against any of those he met in the Riddlesworth or the Column.
A somewhat unusual, at the same time indefinite, declaration was made by Lord George Bentinck in October last-"That in all probability Gaper would not run for the Derby;" his lordship doubtless being impressed with the idea that the public might take a fancy to him and back him, thereby lessening the odds at which he would be able to get on at himself. Not much, however, need to have been apprehended from those who were of the same opinion as John Day, or who had faith in his judgment, when he laid 25,000 to 250 against him, and who stood altogether at one time 34,000 against the horse, declaring on the Monday previous to the race that he would not hedge a shilling; however, the counsel of a friend prevailed, and induced him to take 20,000 to 3,000 back again-an unfortunate, although a prudent sacrifice: at the same time, honest John has great cause to triumph in his opinion, that in the first place Gaper's legs
could not stand a preparation sufficiently strong to win a Derby, and that as soon as he began to descend the hill the consequences would be apparent. Had the weather been dry from the time the bet was made, there is little doubt but Gaper would not have shown at Epsom at all.
The same state of the elements was equally favourable to A British Yeoman, whose feet are defective from sand-cracks, and of whom report had for some time whispered that he was not undergoing his quantum of work. Some were convinced of it, others were sceptical; but his appearance on the Downs, when he took his gallop on the Monday before the race, declared the fact in the most unequivocal
The horse, of all others, most talked about was Newcourt, who stood during the winter at 40 to 1, at which amount he was backed very freely by many who had an impression that he would come out at Warwick. His superior blood also, he being got by Sir Hercules, was a reason why all good judges of racing pedigrees should hold him in great esteem. On his being entered at Warwick he became a still better favourite; but a slight overreach, it is said, put a veto against his starting, and precluded for the time the development of his real merits: thus the overreaches in the imaginations of his sanguine party had a little more time afforded for the enjoyment of those happy delusions and agreeable excitements which constantly await such visionary phantoms. Had he made his appearance at Warwick half prepared, as his trainer pronounced him then to be, against the Kate Kearney colt, there is no question as to what would have been the result-especially over a course so deep as Warwick was the dirt being now brought forward as the apology for his being defeated so far for the Derby. On reaching Epsom Downs about half-past seven o'clock on Sunday morning, the first object which attracted my notice at a distance was Newcourt, who, having performed his morning's exercise, was on his road to his stable; Jones, his trainer, appearing to be one of those who conceive "the early bird finds the worm." How far the chilly atmosphere of a damp inorning such as that was can be conducive to the perfect condition of a highlytrained race-horse, I will leave to the study and consideration of those who imagine it to be worthy of their attention, or feel from any cause disposed to follow the example. He was, however, vastly in favour with his party. The reported trial, in which he is said to have beaten Sterne and The Corsair, was looked upon as a sufficient guarantee of his superiority, without for one moment considering that The Corsair is not good enough to try a Derby horse; and eventually, when it was found out that Aristides was lame, and consequently that Robinson would be at liberty, in which case he was engaged to ride in Mr. Griffith's colours, the party became more sanguine than ever: in this, however, their hopes were disappointed-Aristides threw aside his infirmity, and appeared at the post as gay as a bridegroom.
In the course of a short time after Newcourt had left the Downs, A British Yeoman made his appearance. His round quarters and gross thick neck gave ocular proof, to all initiated in the mysteries of
training, that he was extremely lusty. His work this morning was confined to a gallop, about a mile at half-speed, which he performed so much to the satisfaction of his admirers, that he was backed in the course of the day at 5 to 1, and I believe in some instances at less odds.
"Parsanins' fame let others raise
Leutychidas or bold Xanthippus praise;
The ever-famed Jem Robinson mounted the aforesaid son of Bay Middleton, and rode him in his gallop; but he pulled up so decidedly lame, that his chance appeared to be quite gone; it was vexatiously perceptible in his walk even, and his prospect of maintaining
"The brightest glory of the Athenian name
appeared hopeless. In the course of the day an official announcement of the circumstance was posted at Tattersall's, accompanied with a declaration that he would start for the Derby, if possible.
Gamecock, who was attended by the Knight-of-the-Whistle as his schoolmaster, made his appearance, looking well; he is rather an imposing looking animal, but I do not apprehend that he will ever prove very first-rate.
Šir Gilbert Heathcote's string, the pride and the hopes of Epsom, paraded in formidable array, Sirikol, Khorassan, and Amorino being the most conspicuous in point of favouritism; they were not, however, at this period, as far as I could be informed, booked individually.
General Pollock's position in the betting at 16 and 18 to 1, was perfectly astonishing; both after his canters and his gallop he coughed in the most fearful manner I ever heard. I pronounced to his jockey and others my opinion of the utter impossibility of any horse winning a Derby with such an infliction. I was told, however, and somewhat laughed at for my incredulity, that it was constitutional, that he coughed ever since he was a foal, but that it never affected him. This much, however, I am quite satisfied of, that no horse labouring under such an infirmity can pull through such a severe race, when the pace is good, against anything like a race-horse to contend with: it is one of those maladies which will daily increase.
On entering the town of Epsom to hear the news, the first topic of conversation was that of some houseless wretch having been detected on the Friday night within the precincts of Scott's sacred boundaries; he having got over, with assistance too it appears, some high palings with which the premises are enclosed. On being searched his pockets yielded a bottle of vinegar, a treacherous looking glazier's knife, and a box of lucifer matches; beyond which there was nothing elicited calculated to throw any light upon any nefarious intentions, or to enlighten the motives which as yet attach to his mysterious trespass. After being conveyed to Kingston gaol, where he was lodged during the night, he was taken before the magistrates of Epsom, but nothing could be elicited from him conveying testimony of nefarious purposes; nevertheless he was sentenced to three months at the tread-mill as a means of keeping him safe and finding him employment till after the Derby was decided. His miserable appearance, and the absence of
any direct evidence to show that he was induced to trespass by guilty intentions, did not fail to draw forth from Mr. Bowes, who was present, the exclamation of "poor wretch!" as he was being conveyed from the presence of the tribunal who committed him to a place of greater security. If all those who attend these gatherings were to be committed as rogues and vagabonds who could not render a satisfactory reason for their presence, some new gaols would be required. When depredations are committed on horses on such occasions by making them safe, the trust is reposed in more aristocratic hands. The trainer, the jockey, or some person possessing equal facilities, becomes the instrument of the nefarious design; the business is not permitted to be so much a matter of chance as that of a wandering va grant being able to gain access to the stable, which with due vigilance, as in this instance, must prove a failure; moreover, this circumstance occurred so long before the day of running as to be almost a matter of circumstantial evidence that no damage to the horses was contemplated. Narcotics and deleterious drugs are given within twentyfour hours of the time of running; therefore nothing but the infliction of a diabolical wound could have been resorted to, for which purpose the man did not appear to be provided with any instrument. Had he been watched, and the fact ascertained as to whether he would attempt to force an entry into the stables, some more positive inference might have been drawn; but as it is, the transaction will in all probability remain a matter of doubt.
The quantity of rain which had fallen during the past month was all in favour of defective legs, and was no doubt the means of such horses as A British Yeoman, Gaper, and Winesour coming to the post at all.
On the Monday morning previously to the great event the sun broke forth with considerable splendour, inviting connoisseurs, bookmakers, and pet-fanciers, to watch the elastic step of each Derby favourite as he gaily bounded over the elastic turf. Never was it in better order, especially the Leatherhead and Mickleham training grounds, which are of that soft, spongy, absorbent nature, that they take up the rain as it descends, without permitting it to lie on the surface.
Scott, the invincible Scott, had a large string on the downs, including All Fours to lead gallops for Cotherstone, Parthian, Dumpling, Judith Hutter, and several others, which, as they did not participate in the chances of either Derby or Oaks, it is not necessary to particularize. The importance which Cotherstone had acquired made him, as a matter of course, the great object of attention. He may truly be described as a magnificent animal, with great power, and most extraordinary strong true action. He apparently possesses a fine temper, somewhat inclined to be indolent, as was observable from the fact of his not keeping his place up the gallop, although the boy who rode him sat down, shook him, and even flourished his stick over his head. Dumpling was distinguishable as a remarkably fine goer, but I should fancy him to be a little deficient in his back-ribs. All Scott's horses are looking remarkably well.
Fakeaway also made his appearance under the superintendence of his trainer, Rogers, and looked and went well.