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STEEPLE CHASES IN JANUARY. Siretrora ................................ 2 I Tallaght... Westbury and Wilts ....

4 Oundle .... West Kent and Bronnley................... 11 | Oswestry






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.......... 81 Hewell .................................. 18 Buldock Champion .............. 4, 5 & 6 | Amicable Club .......

.... 18 & 10 Appleby ........ ............ 5 & 6 Darlington Club ......

.. 19 & 20 Notts Open Champion ........11, 12 & 13 Altcar Club..

. 19 & 20 Rawcliffe ...

12 Southport (Oren) ...

25, &c. Bedwardine .......

........ 17 Blackpool ......................... 26 & 27 Southnester ....................... 17 & 18 Amesbury (North and South) Champion 30, &c.



“Will you go see the order of the course?”


Like the medal of the Italian axiom, experience teaches us, the proverb has two sides. Thus the reading of the wise old saw, “ After a storm comes a calm,” the modern instance of these presents renders, “ After a calm comes a storm.” Succeeding a serene and propitious life, and progress unparalleled in the annals of the world, came the disturbance, political, popular, commercial, and social, that set in during the year but now numbered with the past. It capsized the gravity of the Osmanli ; it ignited the ire of the Muscovite ; it scaled the Wall of China ; it laid the axe to Japan's Goridan knot. Italy resounded with its discord ; Poland and Hungary stood tip-toe at its alarm ; the Rhine murmured with its echo; last, not least, it routed the rabble of the Ring. As it was with the Lotteries and Sweeps, so it is with the Lists and Soothsayers : their doom has gone forth. Their sentence is pronounced in the letter and the spirit-in the preamble to “ An Act for the Suppression of Betting Houses-August 20, 1853 :

" Whereas a kind of gaming has of late sprung up, tending to the injury and demoralization of improvident persons, by the opening of places called betting-houses or offices, and the receiving of money in advance by the owners or occupiers of such houses or offices, or by other persons acting on their behalf, on their promises to pay money on events of horse-races and the like contingencies: For the suppression thereof, bo it enacted by the Queen's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows."......

The sequitur consists of twenty clauses, whose reference is absolutely confined to those establishments which are specified in the title of the Act. The crude and confused treatment of its application and purpose by several of the journals that have called public attention to the question it involves, demands a clear interpretation and understanding of the “ end and aim” for which it was designed. The Times said : “ The object of the act is not to interfere with horse-racing, but solely to put down the system of betting, which in betting-offices has been productive of crime.” The wording of this paragraph may, upon good grammatical grounds, be assumed to imply that a law has at length been enacted “ to put down the system of betting” generally, seeing that it has become a practice “ which in betting offices has been productive of crime." Either such is the fact, or it must be presumed that which was intended to be conveyed was —“ The object of the act is not to interfere with horse-racing, but solely to put down the system of betting in bet. ting-offices, which has been productive of crime.” At all events, that is its meaning and its object. Should any doubt upon the point prevail, the reward of fifty pounds offered for putting its inferences to the proof will speedily solve the problem.

Wagering, then, as a business, has ceased to be an accessory of the turf, through the agency of betting-houses, or in conjunction with any “ House, Office, Room, or other Place, opened, kept, or used for the Purpose of the Owner, Occupier, or Keeper thereof, or any Person using the same, or any Person procured or employed by or acting for or on behalf of such Owner, Occupier, or Keeper, or Person using the same, or of any Person having the Care or Management, or in any Mauner conducting the Business thereof, betting with Persons resorting thereto, or for the Purpose of any Money or valuable Thing being received by or on behalf of such Owner, Occupier, Keeper, or Person as aforesaid, as or for the Consideration for any Assurance, Undertaking, Promise, or Agreement, express or implied, to pay or give thereafter any Money or valuable

Thing on any Event or Contingency of or relating to any Horse-race or other Race, Fight, Game, Sport, or Exercise, or as or for the Consideration for securing the paying or giving by soine other Person of any Money or valuable Thing on any such Event or Contingency as aforesaid ; and every House, Office, Room, or other Place opened, kept, or used for the purposes aforesaid, or any of them, is hereby declared to be a common Nuisance, and contrary to Law.”

What the legal interpretation of this mortal sentence, wherein during a denunciation of upwards of two hundred words—the moiety whereof is imprinted in capital initials, and all chance and “consideration” for the drawing of your breath is prohibited— may be, Mr. Tidd Pratt and such like mouth-pieces of the Delphic Oracle alone can tell. What the upshot of it will be, must be-barring the exhibition of some cunning alterative-does not need the exposition of a necromancer. What sort of a " settling” will there be on the next Chester Cup ?

“When Things come to the worst,” says the philosophy which prescribes perseverance for cases of misfortune—“when Things come to the worst they mend." Perhaps they go to the bourne of good intentions, and another cross springs from their debris. However, the cause matters little : it is the effect that concerns practical people. The facilis discensus of the market being in an inextricable fix, no question but in this epoch of enterprise steps will be adopted to make “ Things”« pleasant.” When the turf was the exclusive pastime of “baron and squire and knight of the shire," personal acquaintance and familiar association afforded all that was necessary to carry out the spirit and convention of its practice. But the quick march of time has advanced the class rural sport of a century ago into a great national interest, in which a vast capital is invested. The days are gone by when the policy of the course could minister to itself. A wager is no longer a hypothetical venture between a true man and an honest, but a chain of linked subtleties “ long drawn out." The intricate combinations of " a book." involve the discomfiture, perhaps the ruin, of a library in the mishap that overtakes a solitary volume. Sheer confusion, worse, worse confounded, now menaces racing speculation, for lack of the means to carry out that which its system assumes. Those means should be constructive funds and vouched character, to which the negotiator of its multiform finance might turn for protection against deferred settlements, temporary or eternal. Such provision comes within the conditions of the act to which allusion has been made. Betting implies, as it always did, an understanding that parties to it were dealing with money in their possession or at their command. No pretence of discourtesy could attach to agency that should afford facilities for demonstrating the foundation of such a faith. When an institution, or series of institutions, shall be pronjoted, in conjunction with the turf, to furnish proofs of claims to confidence and credit, and appliances for making available those inferential assurances, then, and not till then, will the chaos of round-betting put on order, and the principle of the circle resume itself into “the square"...“ Now is the winter of our discontent.”

Lacking such “ appliances and means”—

" The odds is gone, And there is nothing left remarkable Beneath the visiting moon.”

The spring of 'fifty-three set in as the autumn of 'fifty-two went out ; none might say when the intermediate winter began or ended. The racing of the former commenced in February, and Nottingham took old Hyems by the forelock on the 8th of that briefest and banefulest of British months. Mr. Thomas Parr opened the season, as became the champion of the Weathergage. It was the first of that ultra-spring batch, which included Coventry Spring, Liverpool Spring, Doncaster Spring, Warwick and Leamington Spring, Lincoln Spring, Newton second Spring, Salisbury, Catterick Bridge, Northampton, and Pytchley Hunt, Abergavenny and Monmouth Hunt, The Hoo, Croxton Park, Cheltenham, and the bond fide business Epsom Spring Meeting. This tryst is debited to the London and suburban liquor monopoly for its eminence of exchequer, and credited to the promoters for their particular purposes. The winner of “ The Eighth Year of the GREAT METROPOLITAN STAKES ” was an animal called Gadabout, three years of age, weight estimated 5st. 7lbs., which is a liberal racing discount. Nobody prophesied such a possibility ; probably she had no market prestige or price.

Early in April the vernal series commenced on Newmarket Heath, with the Craven. It was a bitter bad anniversary, and but for a prominent feature of recent growth, would have been without anything whereon to lay the pen. This the public got a peep of on Tuesday afternoon. The renewal of the Newmarket Handicap, with eighty-eight nominations, had a field of seventeen. Of these one was selected to win by the cognoscenti, at one point of odds against him. But he did not, nor did he even win a place. Talfourd was first by a trio of lengths, being valued at minus three stone eleven pounds for his year than Weathergage. How he was put in the balance and found so wanting is hypothesis. There were three-and-twenty entered for the Column, and only four in earnest, Mr. Thomas Parr's Defiance, with 6 to 4 on him, and Lord Exeter's Filbert, with 4 to 1 against him ; the latter won, seeing that experience is as adjusting a postulate at Newmarket'as elsewhere. Next day, Defiance, again with 6 to 4 on him, tried his luck, or his pluck, for the Zetland, but was defeated by Comfit, a filly belonging to the Lord of that ilk. But that did'nt put his heart down, for presently "up went his hat" again, but with no better fortune: he could'nt make it even second for a $100 Sweepstakes, three years old, seven subscribers. Speed the Plough was the victor. The flavour of the Port was poor indeed. The King of Trumps was heads, and Filius tails, the two intermediates by no means on good terms.

Coventry, in advance of the spring, fell on the 10th of tearful April: one afternoon's fun. Next day comes early York, contemporary with

“ Violets dim, But sweeter than the lids of Junu's eyes,

Or Cytherea's breath." By this time “ lines” began to assume the character of “right.” As Talford had done by the Newmarket IIandicap, so did he with “ The Flying Dutchman's.” Again also was the King of Trumps“ first in the throng,” bearing off the Londesborough Cup, like a Ganymede, or a IIoundsditch professor. The Thursday following this achievement, presented Malton to persons of enterprise and spirit. Without betraying what did then and there ooze out, or who turned the tap, it may suffice to suggest that West Australian found friends for the Derby at 4 to 1. The principle here was handicap, as a nice touchstone for trials.

Now was Jupiter Pluvius in the ascendant, and bold Britain went forth amphibious—

"To do observance to a morn of May." The First Spring Meeting on New market's classic campagne, was put on the scene after the fashion interrogated by the First Witch in Macbeth. Like the atmospheric influences were the visits of the influentials, and the races of the swift--all was zero of the Olympic average. Alas ! for “pale primroses, that die unmarried,” for “gold oxlips, crown imperials, and lilies of all kinds;" “ but these I lack."

“ Methinks I play as I have seen them do

In Whitsun pastorals.' The Two Thousand-prologue of rich hopes, and pregnant with fair. promise, if not cheated by abortion should have privilege of weather ; but so it was not, when last, few and far between, we sallied forth, under the pitiless pelting, to the issue of its mystery. Now, bo it understood that physically the ring is "stuck in the mud :" how morally to be “planted,'' when at some future time transplanted, remains to be seen. Six-and-thirty having been set down for the outrance, soven set. to for it. West Australian, with 6 to 4, and Frank Butler on him, was a liberal fancy; next was Oronoco, 7 to 2, and then higher prices. I read Sittingbourne at 15 to 1, cheaper than I think he was. The favourite won, as in an exercise spirit, by half a length--officially ; Sittingbourne, the second clear of all the others, by lengths--in twos, threes, fours, and so forth. Subsequent running will show that referentially -I believe actually_West Australian is a horse that men see but once in their lives Olympic. The on dit was that the conditions of the race-mad and merciless heavens-were all in favour of the Australian, while Sittingbourne " was dead amiss." Thus runs my post scriptum ; in the first edition my scriptum ran its head against a post, “ by force of public plausibility." The One Thousand, for the

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