Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

is withdrawn, it will have to bestir itself in right-down earnest, or its “royal" name will be sadly tarnished. Goodwood has a 35-subs. Gratwicke Stakes, and a 142 North and South Biennial. West Australian will, we conclude, be kept for the 300 sov. stake, where Cobnut is the only thing of note likely to race him in. Those straight pasterns of his bode no good ; and, to judge from his painfully apparent tenderness on the Friday of Doncaster, he will require all the delicate handling of his artistic trainer. At Chester, which gave £2330 added money

last

year, the Dee Stakes has a rare entry of 61, and the Liverpool St. Leger and Oaks, now that they are in a 10 p.p. form, average 35 a-piece. Manchester is also strong; and York, in addition to a heavy Great Yorkshire and Convivial Stakes, has a marvellous Oaks, with 95 subscribers. The Black Duck Stakes of 1,000 sovs., 300 ft., comes off this year, and five out of the eight mares engaged threw live foals. As might have been expected, this is likely to be its first and only celebration ; but if only three come to the post, the clear £2,600 stake

the largest ever run for, to my knowledge, by two-year-olds in England. Doncaster, with its 158 St. Leger, its 116 Doncaster Stakes, and its £2,100 of added money, is taking good care of itself at last ; and, in fact, the whole of these turf prospects hardly justify the opinion of the corporate solicitor, who, while in the agonies of an impending defeat on the £1,200 v. £1,000 grant, opened his sapient mouth, and “had no hesitation in saying, when he contemplated the changes which were taking place in the fashions and amusements of the people, racing pastimes would prove a total failure.” Now that “ quiet good sense has so completely won the day in the Corporation, it is really quite pleasant to read the speeches of their six Punches every November. Carlisle Races certainly deserve to thrive, as I see from the newspapers that their at once facetious and energetic clerk of the course, Mr. Daly, resumed the sock and buskin last month, and played “ Mr. Felix OʻCallaghanand “ Murtagh Delany," " for the benefit of the Race Fund.

There is very little racing news flashing athwart the gloom at this dull season. How the "regulars

regulars ” contrive to get over the blank quarter is as great a mystery to me as it is to themselves. I dropped in on a few of them some few evenings ago, and found one of them tickling his deadly-lively chums with the following little morceau, to the truth of which he offered to take his affidavit in the very strongest terms. It ran as follows :—“Not many months since, the very slyest' of our bishops gently intimated to one of his clergy, that he did not approve of his hunting. • Well, my lord,' retorted the white-choker Nimrod, 'I really do not see that it is worse than going to a ball.' This was a winder for his lordship, who, however, soon came to the scratch again. I conclude, Mr. you allude to having seen my name at the Duchess of -'s ball. I can positively assure you that I went for a very short time ; and I did not even enter the room where the dancing was going on.' • That's exactly my case, my lord,'

prompt reply ; . I certainly go to a hunt ; but, I can assure you, I'm never in the same field with the hounds.'" But to revert to racing. Lord Londesbro' has, I am told, quitted the turf, and sold his horses to Mr. Rudston Read. I can hear nothing of Knight of St. George. Andover is a fine lengthy horse with plenty of bone, and very

handsome in his clothes ; but he has a sadly light back, which gives one an idea

was the

a

that he will prove a “young gentleman of a very retiring disposition" when he has rounded Tattenham Corner. Jim Robinson is as fresh as paint, and walks about quite actively with the aid of a stick. A good strong "string" during the year, and plenty of prizes at the end of it, is our new year's benediction on him at the outset of his trainer career. At Middleham “ The little gentleman" keeps close quarters, and the tradition is, that he has made dollop

of money.” Even if he does

escape a Jockey Club scrutiny (a Queen's Bench one is not yet out of the queztion), he will hardly feel his future position “exactly the cheese.” Augur went back from John Osborne's to Aske a week before his companions. I hear that he looks a complete rip, and that the remedy of the day has totally failed in his case. It is freely reported that all the hair has come off his legs, and they look covered with hard brown skin. Fobert is obliged to erect extra stabling ; so we shall again see him with a team worthy of his talents and honesty. William Oates is also said to be thriving in this line, and really his chivalrous devotion to poor “ Bill Scott” and his Sir Tatton Sykes entitle him to some luck at last. Middleham, like Newmarket, has no “ Derby possible ;” and, next to Scott's lot, Neville seems to be the fancy in Yorkshire. As with Hurworth last year, there is

mystery cast over his ownership ; but from all I can hear, “ Clarkson” is only Richmondeze for Barber and Wintringham." He is very much grown, and has become a tall, showy, and weak sort of horse, and wrings his hocks about when he walks, which does not look like staying. Unlike their prototypes, the Napiers generally shut up early in the fray; and hence I quite doubt his ability to beat Canute when they meet over a three-year-old course. This chesnut is my idea of a thoroughly dangerous outsider. In fact we have never yet seen him to any advantage. When he ran with Dervish, Neville, and Barrel, he was very “big ;” while at Doncaster he was more “ tucked up” and “ hurried in his work” than any horse, bar Augur at the Derby, that I have seen for this many a day. Alembic may come into training again ; but he is a great tall animal, and flatsided and weak into the bargain. King Tom is in every sense an ugly customer.” He has a long coarseish head, and a straight neck : in front he is plain, but he has a clean good shoulder, and an immense barrel and set of ribs. Nothing can be finer than his back, but it droops rather too much towards the tail for beauty, and he is very short from the hip to the round bone, which gives him a sort of " squeezed up" air. Like all the sons of Pocahontas, he has a fine easy temper, and with health he will require an immense deal more shaking off for the Derby than Orestes did.

Of the older horses I hear very little. Knight of the Garter is made a hack of, and with that white knee of his, he “ will be good to know,” either on “ The Turf, the Chase, or the Road.” Stockwell has never got over his bad feet paring : he had a long attack of fever in them this autumn, and it just seems doubtful whether he will ever run again. Vindex is at Scott's, whither he wended his way from Doncaster : he has never held up his head since he went amiss from, it is said, bad water and corn at Goodwood. Nothing but strong bleeding when he got home saved his life. “ The Pigburn Wizard” will no doubt set him on his legs for Sir Charles again, or “know the reason why.” He is a racehorse all over, and well engaged, but it was hopeless to expect that such a martyr to the fidgets

would improve materially while he had only three companions at Belsay Park. He has, we hear, upwards of sixty now. Pelion is also among the doubtfuls: he has been queer in himself and suspicious in the fore-legs for some time past. Seahorse's running will be looked for next year with no little interest : his long legs and weak hocks prejudice me against him, and, from what I can hear, the judge who thought that he beat Ephesus in the Houghton Handicap was in a minority. There is a saying at Newmarket that, under the Clark dynasty, " the horse who runs close under the chair seldom wins ;” and this race is quite as much quoted in support of this theory as the Prendergast Stakes of '51 used to be. Whether, however, Seahorse won it, or got beat by the “half length” which the majority contend for, it was perhaps as wonderful a performance as can be found in handicap annals. A propos of handicapping, I am delighted to see that Pegasus, at the close of his recent Review of the Turf, has propounded precisely the same notions about the necessity of handicapping between limits that I so strenuously urged in the pages of this Magazine so far back as the spring of 1849. In fact there is only 4lb. between us ; for, whereas he would handicap between 5st. and 9st., it seemed to me that it was desirable to press still harder on the “weeds,” and, by raising the scale, throw still more riding out of the hands of the boys into that of the first-class "heavies.” It is quite galling to see the latter obliged to “ stand down” in so many great handicaps; and under such a system our diatribes against anti-race men who " don't see that the Turf improves the breed of horses” become mere stereotyped twaddle. Some will “ Oh! but many horses cannot race with llb. above 9st." This is doubtless true ; but wlly encourage such soft hearts? The Masters of the Horse are much more in the right when they let their Queen's Plate weights range as high as 10st. 511. Hence 5st. 510. and 9 st. 91b., which gave 60lb. for the handicapper to work on, seemed to me the “ more properer" limits. Once let this great principle be conceded, and I have no fear for the success of my pet idea of a crack” autumn all-aged T.Y.C. race, on the scale of “ two-year-olds to be handicapped between 6st. 91b. and 7st. 71b.; threes between 8st. 21b. and 9st. 21b. ; fours between 8st 121b. and 9st. 10lb. ; and fives, &c., between 9st. and 9st. 121b.” The racing world is begirning to get quite as sick of “ feathers” as ever the author of " On the Condition of our Saddle Horses” can be, or those unhappy wretches who may be seen scouring wildly about on the morning of a great handicap, and bewailing their hard lot in "not being able to get a lad to ride the weight."

say,

THE LATE DUKE OF BEAUFORT.

“ He gave his honours to the world again,

His blessed part to heaven, and slept in peace."

When the gloomy portals of the tomb have closed upon the mortal remains of one whose life has been distinguished for unbounded excellence and exalted worth, with melancholy satisfaction we contemplate the virtues of the departed spirit.

The death of the Duke of Beaufort was an event not unexpected, although the final warning was a brief one. His Grace had suffered upwards of two years from painful attacks of gout; but it was only on the day previous to his dissolution that immediate danger was apprehended.

The high-minded, honourable, and amiable qualities, for which the late Duke was eminent, are so well-known, and invariably acknowledged in all civilized societies, that it is impossible to add anything which can give more lustre to his name ; still it is due to his rank, and the esteemi with which he was universally regarded, that the lamentable event should be recorded with the most unassuming expressions of general sympathy and regret.

The history of this distinguished family is full of interest and important associations. Descended from the valiant John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, allegiance to the British Crown has been an hereditary virtue ; yet loyalty and attachment to Church and State were never maintained with greater firmness by any of his noble and gallant ancestors than by the late Duke.

At an early age, his Grace, then Marquis of Worcester, entered the 10th Hussars—as all the world knows, the crack regiment of the dayand, as aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsula, saw much service. He had a seat in the House of Commons for the borough of Monmouth during several successive parliaments, and in 1835 was returned for West Gloucestershire ; but his father died in that year, conscquently he succeeded to the dukedom. IIis Grace was Colonel of the Gloucestershire Yeomanry Cavalry, or Royal Gloucestershire Hussars ; and it was impossible the command could have devolved on one in whom the importance of military duties was more happily combined with the amenities of affability and kindness.

Few noblemen have ever gained so much fame in the sporting world as the late Duke of Beaufort did, and none more esteem for the honourable principles by which all his transactions, especially those in connection with the turf, were governed. It must be observed, however, that his Grace never embarked extensively in racing speculations. As a patron of the ribands he was an accomplished performer ; and some twenty years ago, when the road was in its zenith, his gay and elegantlyappointed team was justly esteemed the acmé of perfection. But it is as a master of foxhounds that the much-lamented Duke acquired cele. brity, which most enhances the regret associated with his dissolution. These hounds were established in the time of llenry the fifth Duke of Beaufort, somewhere about the year 1780; previously to which, staghounds were kept with great magnificence.

The founder of the fox-hounds died in 1803, when they descended to his son, who also paid the debt of nature in 1835. Thus they have passed in uninterrupted succession to the fourth generation, and have been in the family more than eighty years ; during upwards of fifty of which, two huntsmen only have had the management of the pack--Phillip Payne, who commenced in 1802 ; and William Long, who succeeded him in 1826 : the latter claims the flattering, though melancholy distinction, of having attended the funerals of three of his noble masters.

The frequent changes of masters and huntsmen, which have contributed to spoil many packs, have not had that injurious effect on these. To the length of time they have been under the same guidance, combined with the good judgment which has been exercised in the cabalistic mysteries of the kennel, is to be attributed the high repute which these hounds have attained.

During the last three seasons, his Grace was unfortunately deprived of the pleasure of following the hounds on horseback, in consequence of his tormenting malady ; but evidently delighted with the exhilarating scene, he frequently attended in a pheaton accompanied by some of the ladies of the family and the youthful Earl Glamorgan, and being driven to points, could often enjoy the amusing varieties incident to a run. Of the estimation in which the Duke was regarded in the field, it appears almost needless to utter a word of eulogium ; and yet those who never enjoyed the pleasure of hunting with his hounds can scarcely conceive the aristocratic courtesy which preserved decorum without the coldness of pompous state. To afford pleasure, and to promote the welfare of all with whom he was connected or surrounded, appeared to be his earnest wish. For hospitality and those considerations which are inseparably connected with a master of hounds, his munificence was unbounded ; and when it is added that as a landlord he displayed those generous feelings which distinguished him in every other position of life, it may be said with truth that the late Duke of Beaufort was the rich man's friend and the poor man's benefactor.

We are sorry to announce the death, on the 30th November, of the promising young huntsman to the Vale of White Horse hounds, Christopher Atkinson ; for many years known as first whip in Earl Fitzhardinge's establishment as “ Kit.” He entered as huntsman to the V.W.H. in 1852, and was generally esteemed for proficiency in his calling, as well as on all occasions for his becoming demeanour.

THE FINE ARTS.

Mr. Hogarth, of the Haymarket, has just brought out two coloured prints or lithographs, after sketches by the late Mr. Turner, the celebrated ac ademician. They are severally devoted to the illustration of

« ZurückWeiter »