Imatges de pÓgina

For, mark th' advantage: just so many score
Will gain a wife, with half as many more
Procure her beauty, make that beauty chaste,
And then such friends-as cannot fail to last."

The odds at starting may be described as nearly as possible at the following quotations:-6 to 4, and 13 to 8 agst. Cotherstone, 5 to 1 agst. Gaper, 14 to 1 agst. Newcourt, 15 to 1 agst. Gamecock, 18 to 1 agst. General Pollock, 20 to 1 agst. Winesour, 28 to 1 agst. Dumpling, 30 to 1 each agst. Aristides, Elixir, Parthian, and A British Yeoman; 50 to 1 each agst. Languish colt, Fakeaway, and Siricol; 60 and 70 to 1 each agst. Mercy colt, Gorhambury, and Humbug.

Before the time appointed for starting (half past two), most of the horses intended to try their luck for the great prize--the Derby Stakes of 50 sovs. each, half forfeit, to which there were 156 subscribers,— had congregated in the vicinity of the starting post, from which to judge Clark's chair a distance of one mile and a half intervenes. At half past two the bell summoned the jockeys to their duty, who, knowing the penalties to which they were liable for want of punctuality, were on the alert to saddle their nags in readiness for the


From Scott's stables three made their appearance-Cotherstone, ridden by W. Scott; Dumpling, by Holmes; and Parthian, by Butler: their appearance on being stripped was highly prepossessing, and as is usual with his horses, they looked very blooming and big. Cotherstone in appearance is a wonderfully powerful, racing looking animal, with remarkably good legs and feet, with good shoulders, deep in his girth, and has extraordinary fine quarters; his colour is bright bay with black legs, save and except one white heel behind. Dumpling is a fine dark bay colt, with most fascinating action, but appears a little defective in his back ribs-at least, so he appeared to me. Parthian looks like a race horse all over.

Gorhambury came to the post, ridden by Buckle, looking in splendid condition, and doing the greatest credit to his trainer, George Dockeray. Ill-natured rumour had circulated a report that he possessed the advantage of a year in hand-an insinuation, under all circumstances, quite unworthy of credit. He was purchased from Lord Verulam, and it is a very singular coincidence that his lordship should have bred the colts which ran second for this great race on two consecutive years; the first of which, with due care and attention to his horse, there is little doubt but he might have proved victorious in. Col. Charritie is now the nominal owner of Gorhambury; nevertheless it is well understood that he in reality belongs to a certain individual who, being a defaulter last year to a large amount, cannot show, but having a great desire to re-appear, exerts his industry and ability to enable him to do so, and being gifted with an extraordinary tact for scene-shifting, is either before or behind the curtain, as may best. suit his purpose. The amount for which he had backed this horse through the agency of other performers in the ring, it is reported, would not only have enabled him to have made good his deficiencies, but also to have put a large accession of funds into his pocket.



was very near coming off, and if he ever has another better chance he will be a fortunate man.

Solon is represented to have said —

"I would be rich, if not unjust my gain;

A curse attends what guilt and fraud obtain."

Gaper's legs appeared to be as bad as report and John Day had described them to be: independent of his legs he has the characteristics of a race horse, and no doubt he is one for a certain distance; but such legs must tire, especially when any part of the course is down hill; indeed, the event proved this assertion, as he was well in front until he came to descend the hill after passing Tattenham Corner. He was ridden by Rogers.

The quondam first favourite, A British Yeoman, justified the impressions that had been formed; he looked lusty at every point. He was ridden by Templeman, who mounted him opposite the Grand Stand; an example worthy of imitation, but which was not followed by any of the others.

Sir Gilbert Heathcote's two, Siricol and Khorassan, with George Edwards and Chapple, looked fit and well-the former by far the better looking horse.

Aristides, having recovered from his lameness, made his appearance with Robinson on his back, exhibiting too much the character of a pack horse, to be esteemed a first rate racer; if he can undergo the work requisite to enable a horse to run, all judgment is set at defiance. The remainder of the field were composed of the following, of whom particular notice must be dispensed with-Chotornian (Mann); Fakeaway (Bartholomew); Gamecock (Nat); Newcourt (Whitehouse); General Pollock (Marlow); Winesour (Hesseltine); Languish colt (Darling); Humbug (Macdonald); Highlander (J. Day, jun.); Magna Charta (Boyce); Merton Lordship (Crouch); Hopeful (Bell); Mercy colt (Wakefield); Elixir (Chifney).

At starting, Gorhambury, Gaper, Khorassan, Cotherstone, General Pollock, Siricol, A British Yeoman, Newcourt, Aristides, and Elixir, got off in front; Highlander, who showed symptoms of temper, and Merton Lordship absolutely last, which enviable positions they maintained throughout. Having got into something like order, Gaper took the lead, and made the pace tell up the hill, when Aristides, who wore a bar shoe, tore it off, and gave up the contest. Before reaching Tattenham Corner, General Pollock, who had been going as well as his infirmity would permit him, showed positive symptoms of defeat. Gaper was first round the turn, when there was an exclamation in his favour which could not have been very gratifying to our friend John Day, who, independently of having hedged to so great a loss, still stood heavily against him. The sensation, however, was of short duration; on crossing the road, that is, so soon as the descending ground could produce the anticipated effects on his legs, he tired, and the blue jacket and white cap were no longer to be seen in front. Black (Mr. Bowes's colour) had supplanted its place; Cotherstone bore the colours of his worthy owner triumphantly in the van, closely followed by Gorhambury, who, it is said, on nearing the distance post had got "the crack" extended here. Sirikol, by the greatest per

severance on the part of George Edwards, was a good third. Opposite the stand, however, it was very evident which would win, and Cotherstone passed the winning post upwards of two lengths in advance; the other two preserving the positions they had acquired at the distance, and the field composing a tail in such order that it would be impossible and useless to describe.

The race was no sooner over than the rain descended profusely, cooling the ardour of the winners and refreshing the languor of the losers; but this is a moment when winners and losers invariably rally together, unpack the well-stored hampers, discuss their contents, drink mutual success on future occasions in flowing bumpers of champagne, and endeavour, at all events, to equalize the excitement of the moment.

So little notice is taken of the races which follow the Derby, that a very brief mention will suffice. The Epsom Stakes of 5 sovs. each, 35 added, brought six to the post, of which Solomon (Sly) was the winner. The Walton Stakes of 5 sovs. each, 35 added, a field of eight, which Sequidilla won, ridden by Whitehouse; and the Burgh Stakes, of 5 sovs. each, 35 added, sixteen subscribers, all of which, except one, shewed at the post, and was carried off by Henri Quatre (Boyce).

Thursday, June 1st.-The day after the Derby may well be compared with "the day after the fair"-a sort of racing "dies non"-a dormant day every one seems fatigued and listness: even the rain appeared to be tired of descending, and after a few showers we had a tolerably fine afternoon. The betting-ring was comparatively deserted; nevertheless there were three races, two of which were heats, and they afforded ample amusement for the few who had assembled to witness them. The first, a sweepstakes of 10 sovs. each, with 50 added, was won by Teetotaller (T. Day), beating eight others; he carried 7st., in conformity with an allowance of 21lb.; if left open, to be claimed for the sum of £150, at which price he changed owners. The following race was for a purse of 50 sovs., one-mile heats, which was won by Hydaspes (Perren), beating six others, three of which were satisfied with one heat. Another £50 was given, mile and a quarter heats, and won by Titania-a useful-looking filly, belonging to Lord Maidstone; she was claimed by Mr. Shelley, according to the articles, for 150 sovs.; she defeated five others of little importance.


Friday, June 2nd.-The importance of the race for the Oaks, despite the showers which ushered in the morn, did not deter the votaries of pleasure and the numerous speculators, with whom the hope of gain invariably ranks pre-eminent, from wending their way to the scene of action. There was on the whole a goodly muster, and no less than twenty-three fillies, engaged in the Oaks Stakes of 50 sovs. each, half-forfeit, ninety-one subscribers, made their appearance at the usual summons. Of these Mr. Payne's Bessy Bedlam filly was the favourite at 3 to 1; Decisive found friends who were willing to take 6 to 1; Sister to Jeffy's price was 9 to 1; Judith Hutter and Maria Day were 12 to 1 each; Fanny Callaghan 15 to 1, Messelina 20 to

1, and La Stimata 30 to 1. In consequence of her indifferent performance at Newmarket, and the present heavy state of the course, the owner of Poison was not disposed to fancy his chance at all within the pale of probability-so much so, that it has been reported he commissioned a gentleman of great influence in the ring to bet against her even at the tempting odds of 1,000 to 10, as far as the amount of the stake would permit; but there was no one to be found bold enough to invest. There was certainly nothing in her appearance to justify a belief of her superiority; she is a fretful, ordinary-looking animal. When prepared to start, the Sister to Jeffy and the Bessy Bedlam fillies attracted most especial notice. Decisive looked light, and somewhat over-trained; Judith Hutter showed symptoms of a recent indisposition, the effects of a blister being still apparent on her neck. But the most conspicuous exhibition was that of Fanny Callaghan, with Tommy Lye perched upon her back: a subject more peculiarly adapted for the pencil of Cruikshank could not be imagined, to illustrate his extraordinary genius in the delineation of equestrian outline. This filly is an immense, raw-boned, straggling-looking animal -a dark sandy chestnut, drawn very fine, as plain as nature could devise, and hinted at as being four or five years old, which her frame denoted, whilst her teeth bore evident witness of her legitimate age; and it was only to be lamented that she was not the winner, in order that her portrait, together with that of the inimitable Tommy, should be placed on canvas.

In defiance of every precaution, and in opposition to a declaration that no false starts would be allowed, no less than four took place ere a definitive one could be effected; and even then Cowslip and the Macremma filly were left behind. Lord Exeter's fillies both evinced great reluctance to go near the post, and Neale, on the Laura filly, showed as great a disposition to create perplexity; so much so, that he was fined for his refractoriness. The start being effected, the Sister to Jeffy, Bessy Bedlam filly, Carillon, Decisive, Elegance filly, and Fanny Callaghan (the very antipodes to Elegance, to say nothing of her accomplished jockey) got off in front at a moderate pace, which, although bad, was sufficient to establish considerable tailing before they reached Tattenham Corner, when Sister to Jeffy had the lead, full two lengths, which she kept to the road, when Fanny Callaghan and the Elegance filly raced with, and defeated her. Extempore now appeared to be a most dangerous antagonist, steered on the upper, or right hand side of the course, by the inimitable guidance of Sam Chifney, with Poison on the lower side. The four being nearly abreast, a most interesting race ensued; at the distance it appeared exceedingly doubtful which would be the winner, when one of the finest specimens commenced of the art of race-riding ever witnessed. Chifney made his usual scientific efforts, and for an instant had his mare in front, but she could not stay. Poison, on the extreme left, shot out from the cluster, emitting such a dose of venom in the way of pace, that nothing could live with her, even opposed to the increasing perseverance of old Sam, whose rush at the finish can never be forgotten by the admirers of jockeyship who were fortunate enough to witness it.

The lot which composed the field were as follows:-Poison (F. Butler); Extempore (Chifney); Bessy Bedlam filly (Nat); Decisive (J. Day, jun.); sister to Jeffy (G. Edwards); Elegance filly (Rogers); Fanny Callaghan (Lye); Judith Hutter (Scott); Maria Day (Templeman); Laura filly (Neale); Messalina (J. Marson); sister to Potentia (Sly); The Lily (Cartwright); Macremma filly (Mann); Fanny Davies filly (S. Darling); Egidia (Holmes); Cowslip (Robinson); Temerity (Wakefield); Allumette (Boyce); Utica (John Day); La Stimata (Chapple); Flirt filly (Buckle); Carillon (Whitehouse).

During the day the rain fell with partial intervals, to the great annoyance and discomfiture of all who could not gain shelter; but no sooner had the race for the Oaks terminated, than it came on in torrents, the wind at the same time blowing almost a hurricane.

"What first was called a gust, the same

Hath now a storm's, anon a tempest's name."

The other races were concluded with as much dispatch as circumstances would permit. Gorhambury (Rogers), beating two others, was declared the winner of fifty sovs., over the Derby course.

Adrian, of the Members' Plate, ridden by Calloway, beating nine; and Teapot, of the Derby and Oaks stakes, of 5 sovs. each, 35 added, ridden by Nat, beating fourteen; on the conclusion of which all were most anxious to seek shelter and refreshment in a more genial situation, and bid adieu for the present year to Epsom Downs.


This, the merry month of June, teeming with fruits and flowers, redolent of sun and fair weather, wherein ladies come out like birds in fine feathers, and in which birds display that full tide of song that in its glad freshness palls not on the most fastidious ear, for that it is the ebullition of nature, and no effort of art; this, the rich and o'er-bounteous mid-season of the various year, when London folks awake from London beds, and dreams of verdant lawns and silver streams, pic-nic parties in the woodlands, four-in-hands for the races, harmonious music for the pleasure boats, agreeable friends for the mountain excursion, and awaking, incontinently smell to the Covent Garden nosegay which bedecks their toilet-table, by way of still pursuing the rural current of their morning slumber. This same English June has proved a tear-dropping and woe-begone, a sorry and deceitful jade, whose tricks and turns deserve exposure, and whose vagaries, for three weeks of her holiday-life, have compelled the pleasure seeking to depend wholly on those evening and in-door exhibitions, emphatically termed Public Amusements of the Metropolis. A fair sample, nay, a very abundant harvest have we had of these, and crops of art and science and legerdemain, of fancy and invention, quite sufficient in the market to supply to the motley their retail, and to enable us, in our

« AnteriorContinua »