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CLOSE OF THE GROUSE SEASON ON THE GRAMPIANS.
My “ Highland home!” I love thee well,
Despite thy rugged sliore :
Fled to return no more.
Despite thy barren plains:
While memory remains.
It would be a "thrice-told tale” for me to enter into any lengthened description of the Grampians ; these have so often been described, that it would be only taking up valued space in the pages of the magazine ; so without further preface we will on to the sport of the past season, which terminated on the 10th day of December-we mean as regards the “grouse family." Brother sportsmen of the south, don't think that all sports among the mountains terminate on the 10th day of dark De
No! there is the wild roebuck, which is fast getting into prime condition ; they should never be killed till December, January, or February : aud in many parts of the Highlands, wildfowl and woodcock shooting is to be enjoyed in great perfection during these winter months. Then, in clear, bracing weather, and the mountains free from snow, what is more exciting than a day's sport at the white or Alpine hare, which are here in plenty? But we must on to the foray, which has been going ever since the 12th of August ; and although the weather has been anything but " pleasant” among the moors, still the sport has been of a first-rate description, and the slaughter great ; though thousands of birds are yet left to multiply and replenish the bonnie moors of Auld Scotland.
The Duke of Atholl and party have had good sport at Blair Castle and in Glentilt, and many a noble hart was brought to book, and many a good bag of grouse out of some of the wild corries which are situated in that part of the country,
The Marquis of Breadalbane, at Blackmount Forest, has not had such brilliant sport at “red deer" as in past seasons, the weather being much against their sport during the sojourn of the party at his Lordship's forest lodge ; yet some twenty or more “red knights” were laid low while his Lordship party remained at “ Black Mount.' The Earl of Dalkeith and Lord Panmure have killed some good deer in the Drummond Hill Forest, near Taymouth Castle.
Mr. Balfour, at Strath Corran, has had most magnificent sport this season.
His forest is among the best in this mountain land, and some famous and heavy harts have been slain, many of them over 24 stones in weight. To cast his eye over the antlers of these noble beasts of the barren waste would make many a sportsman's mouth
Lord Dupplin, in his forest in the “ far north,” had by no means good sport at deer ; but this is the first season of his Lordship’s party in that locality of country, the “ forest” being young : a few years of care and protection will, we hope, bring a better reward. His Lordship was also very sparing with his grouse this season, with the hope of being more bountifully supplied in the next.
The Earl of Stamford rented the “ Bannock Shootings,” and, considering the unsettled state of the weather, had very good sport at grouse, killing some 2,000 birds in a few weeks' shooting, and, I hear few deer,” in some of the black corries in that wild district.
Lord Charles Kerr and Mr. Wingfield have had good sport at Corachan," on the “ Abercairny property,” and brought some 600 brace of grouse to book, besides a quantity of other kinds of gane—such as blackgame, wild duck, snipe, and Alpine hares.
The Duke of Buccleugh and party, at Drumlanrigg, in Dumfriesshire have had capital sport at blackgame : in that part of Scotland they are in great plenty, and the sport good. We were told by a noble lord who participated in the sport that it was magnificent on many of the days, and that in the end of October and beginning of November the number of killed amounted to nearly 200 head a day.
The Earl of Mansfield, at “ Logiealmond Lodge," has had first-rate sport, and killed upwards of 3,000 grouse, with a quantity of other kinds of mountain game. On the 10th of November, his Lordship and friends had brilliant sport on the Logiealmond Moors, and brought to bag, in four hours' shooting at wild grouse, 122 birds! This is a most extraordinary occurrence, when the advanced period of the season is taken into consideration. They had another good day on the 8th of December; and two days previous to the close of the season. The total at the end of that day was 82 grouse, 281 Alpine hares, and a woodcock.
Lord Panmure had good sport at Drumour Lodge, and killed 2,000 brace of grouse, besides other kinds of mountain game.
Enough has been said to show that glorious sport has been obtained on the mountains in the past season, while plenty of birds are left for another.
Grampians, Dec. 15, 1853.
Counsel.--"Did you sce the witness run away ?”
MS. note, Old Bailey, Dec., 1853.
Turfite winnings—A word on stallions—Distinguished crosses-Breeding mishaps
-Racing prospects of '54-A Bishop nonplussed_Middleham Mems-Sundry Derby ites—The elderlies--Handicapping between limits.
Although neither the Buzfuz junior, nor the witness who figured in the above cross-examination, was able to explain to the court the exact
“ form” in which an old tea-kettle is supposed to "go," the racing world have in Ruff and the Book Calendar two very competent expounders of the "forms” in which thorough-breds have “gone” this In the present “figure-paper
we shall use them both as our text-books, the latter more especially as an expounder of the past, and the former of the future. As racing manuals, both are perfect in their way; but we must venture one critique on the offspring of “6, Old Burlington-street,” viz., that it wholly ignores the most recent Jockey Club elections—a very strange omission in so prim and proper” a publication. After dealing month after month in “Crayons” and ** Pencillings,” we approach figures as a little relief, in the same spirit that an eminent diplomatist, after three hours of stiff protocol discussion, was wont to propose a little conversation in bad grammar, "just by way of a change." Our figure exercitations, however, must be on a very much smaller scale than they have usually been at “ this festive season.” At one time no one but ourselves used to care for such things ; but, really, Bell's Life has of late employed such an eminent descendant of Jedediah Buxton or George Cocker to make up
its racing statistics, that there is nothing left for us but to gird up our mantle and fly from the field. Hence, instead of pirating wholesale from its lists of "
winnings of eminent turfites," we will simply remark that (according to our private calculations from the data in its columns of Dec. 18th) Earl Derhy has beaten Mr. Bowes by £402 for the head place, and that Lord Glasgow has improved by £670 upon his £2,250 winnings of last year. The list of the different “ racing premiers” for five seasons (political premiers seem to change as often now-a-days) may not be without interest. Here it is : 1849. Earl of Eglinton ...
£19,426 1850. Marquis of Exeter
11,012 1851. Sir Joseph Hawley
15,360 1852. Marquis of Exeter
12,150 1853. Earl of Derby ...
11,497 Dismissing bipeds with this brief notice, we pass on to the performances of the stock of the different stallions. Melbourne and Irish Birdcatcher are equal as far as their “ No. of Winners are concerned, but the Irisher has the pull by 3 as regards “ No. of Races Won.” The former completes his twentieth year with 1853, and showed, when we saw him last summer, no symptoms of age, beyond a little knuckling over. The popularity of Touchstone and Cotherstone seems quite on the wane ; and if their legs only do justice to the high looks which are everywhere attributed to his stock, Surplice will quite go to the fore among the younger stallions. Longbow, if the winner of the proposed £100 essay can succeed in proving that roaring is not hereditary, ought to be popular at Easby Abbey and 10 gs. He was credited with £6,475 in the Racing Calendar ; and, seeing that his noble owner has such a number of magnificent animals coming forward, there was no occasion to peril his laurels, especially as his Bull of Bashan propensities (out of which Josh. Arnold achieved that natty £70 last October) did not by any means decrease with age. Teddington, in his Ascot Cup form, might have done it; but I can think of no horse, either in this or any other year, who could have beaten him at high weights for age, over a mile. Teddington and The Confessor once more join company, but at Enfield
instead of Fyfield this time ; and Hobbie Noble, the six thousand guinea prodigy, is also about to form his seraglio. We know not whether the Emperor of all the Russias intends to make a charger of Van Tromp in his Indian or Wallachian campaigns ; but there seems no reason to regret him. He has, however, left behind him a very fine son, Dirk Hatterick, out of Blue Bonnet, who looks likely to retrievc the winning luck of Lord Eglinton, which this year figured at only £490. The list of foals (941, out of which 62 are dead) is not so large as it was last year, but quite up to the average.
One of them, by Pyrrhus the First, and belonging to Sir Tatton Sykes, is entered as
“chesnut skew ball!” Oddly enough, 62 were reported “ dead” last year. We subjoin an abstract of the number of
From Cowl there is no return ; and the whilom 3,000 guinea Lanercost, as thoroughly “ brown stout” a British stallion as ever stepped, has only one foal fathered on him. How are the mighty fallen! In the list we perceive the following, which may clearly be designated as
DISTINGUISHED CROSSES IN 1852.
B. f. Horatia
B.. Farmer's Daughter has a b, c. Bucolic, to a brace of very distių. guished lovers, to wit Flying Dutchman or Orlando ; but Beeswing,
Barbelle, Crucifix, and Miss Twickenham are nowhere to be found. Some distinguished authors have won their spurs by writing one or two first-rate books, and failed ever afterwards. So it seems to be with these four mares. Miss Twickenham has thrown nothing worth training either before or since Teddington ; and she lost her colt to Orlando or Cowl in 1852. Beeswing has had four black fillies in succession since Newminster, and two out of the four have died. At present she is in foal to The Flying Dutchman, and Lord Eglinton has the first offer of it. Crucifix has not had one race scored up to the credit of her progeny since Surplice's legs failed him ; and Barbelle (besides losing one foal and getting another hopelessly maimed) has missed four times, twice to Bay Middleton, once to Lanercost, and once to Irish Birdeatcher, since she foaled The Flying Dutchman in '46 : she has, however, thought better of it at last, and is now heavy in foal to Orlando.
On the whole blood stock has quite kept up its price during the past year, as 24 yearlings have been knocked down at 200 guineas, and upwards; the highest price reached being 520 guineas for a bay colt by Orlando out of Ellipsis.
The entries for next year are so far satisfactory. Something like 23 inatches are already made ; avd at Newmarket all the great stakes are beyond the average. The 2000 Guineas has 49 subscribers. Of public performers, Ruby has only Boiardo, Phaeton, and Champagne to beat in it ; and if he does this in clever style, he will start about first favourite for the Derby. The “temper rumours are no more heard ; but while there have been ample indications in the market that his party mean it, “ the talent” will have it that he will be chumping his corn very deliberately at Rockley, and 2 p.M., on the Derby Day. For my part, “ I am free to confess,” that his high Northampton form and action stiil haunt me ; and that I look to his Derby chance at present with as much faith and hope as a Mahometan looks towards Mecca. fillies figure in the 1000 Gs. ; and among them are Miranda, Sortie, and Omoo. The former is a lengthy mare with suspicious legs; while Omoo i s strong and compact, but still with no very great bone, and looks rather a short-coursed animal. The July Chesterfield and Hopeful average 34 a-piece. Even Epsom, with its great Woodcote Stakes entry of 52, comes three short of the Hopeful Stakes at Doncaster Spring, which bids fair to be “ a great fact
in the north. Out of the 217 Derby horses, only 42 are sold, out of training, or “non est inwentus”; and out of the 156 Oaks fillies 36 are in the same box. Of the 120 left in the latter, the straddling Meteora is, to my mind, quite the prima donna ; in fact, there is such a pile of muscle and such capabilities of improvement about her, that, as an investment at the same sum, I should prefer her to Dervish out and out. Still we must remember that too many of the crack Molbournes have shown infirmity early on, which should always make the public a little cautious about backing them too long before the race. The Derby chances of Dervishi (and his friend Autocrat) I never can fancy, though there can be no doubt that this year he cleaned out the whole two-yearold division at Malton. Boiardo will not do, but age will do a great deal for Acrobat, who gave us quite the idea of an improving horse, though perhaps a trifle short. This charge cannot be brought against Sortie, who is as long as her sire, and with a precious deal larger heart than her neat little dam. Ascot seems in an atrophy; and if its Emperor's Plate