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THE RACING IN JULY.
“Quocirca vivite fortes, Fortiaque adversis opponite pectora rebus."
In after times, when reference shall be made to this instant epoch of the English turf, it will be spoken of as the Olympiad of exaggeration. "The earth hath bubbles "--as the Southsea of that ilk, pant railwayism, and such like--" and this is of them." The month of July, 1852, was all racing : meetings did not merely tread upon the kibes of meetings, but encountered each other face to face. To such kind friends as may haply inquire was the reviewer who indites this resumé present at them all, he anticipates an answer in the negative. Not being a member of that ornithological family immortalised by the Hibernian naturalist Roache, it is inconvenient for him to be in two places at once, to say nothing of half-a-dozen. Perhaps science may assist locomotion out of this dilemma: it has already given us the Electric Telegraph, which wafts a thought to Paris before it has been conceived in London
“ And panting time toils after it-in vain."
Why should we despair of ubiquity? Because reason is opposed to such a proposition, and the natural laws forbid an impossibility? These are only natural rules, and there is no rule without an exception, which is a rule without an exception. The logic here may be obscure to the million, but the essayist is not bound to find brains for his readers. I met the following passage in the Quarterly a little while ago; and if I didn't deem it eminently perspicuous, am I to quarrel with Mr. Murray's serial ?...... “ The even-toed, hoofed mammals, or artiodactyles” (no relations to the spondees of prosody), " are shown to be characterised, amongst other structures, by having two trochanters to the femur; and equally divided astragalus; more simple premolars, and more symmetrically complex true molars : a more complex stomach, and more simple cæcum and colon. The odd-toed hoofed mammals, or perissodactyles, have more numerous
and more variable true vertebræ, and the odd number of the hoofs is singularly associated with three trochanters in the femur and an unevenly divided astragalus.”...... There, take your breath, and tell me what the association between “ three trochanters and an unevenly divided astragalus” is likely to convey to the mind--the recording power--the storer of deductions—the muse of knowledge of Mr. Briggs the Bagman. The fact is, the world is not yet out of its swaddling clothes--by-and-bve everybody will know everyihing : Briggs will be familiar with the affinity between " trochanters” and " astragali ;" and he who pens periodical papers like these presents, will see clearly the propriety of social sympathy with a system that confers impunities to rifle communities--the privilege of the turf in the middle of the nineteenth century.
"Quocirca vivite fortes, Fortiaque adversis opponite pectora rebus."
Some twenty race-meetings within a series of four weeks proclaim with sufficient emphasis the current popularity of our great national sport; they also suggest the necessity for dealing with them upon the Horatian epic principle. Up 10 June inclusive the running was far more unsatisfactory than in the general average of our vacillating seasons-in the majority of instances of account it was--wading. The mise en scene at Epsom and Ascot could not have been better suited to such an animal as Daniel O'Rourke, had it been furnished to order. I don't mean to say it was not the jockey that won the Derby, nevertheless it must be admitted that the weather was a most important auxiliary. The issue of the Emperor's Plate was eloquent of that glorious uncertainty for which Olympian policy is proverbial : it is not too much to assert that up to the last week in June the exception was when the best won. Apropos of those final seven days—their uliinate occasions were Carlisle races, which extended to the first ult. ; ditto, Chelmsford ; ditto, Ilsley Aristocratic Meeting ; Ludlow, Knigl.ton, et cetera! These trysts, with their heats and such like appliances, would fill a pretty little book calendar of themselves...... The opening scene of the July turf was at Salisbury, where, among other instances of interest, occurred the sport for the City Bowl, in four heats! The Honble. Sidney Herbert being about to dispose of his stud, there will be a further opening for leather-platers of enterprise and spirit. Next year we may perhaps have evening performances on the race-course-Goodwood by gas-light would be very effective.
Newmarket July week commenced on the 6th and “extended” to
the two following days. Contemporary with it were Lancaster and Worcester and Woodford and Ojibury races! The feature at the former was the evidence that progress is on its popular pilgrimage even in modern Elis. The experimental trial ground parallel with the colossal Dyke was energetically proceeding towards a practical result. This place des pas perdus faces the Round Course portion of the Heath. It will be soinewbat over three-quarters of a mile in length, and will shut out the espionage of the genus "tout" about as efficiently as a boiled carrot might serve to bolt the door of Newgate. Somehow it has been started unbarmoniously-fresh blood at New market breeds bad blood : between Protection and Free Trade lies the Devil's Ditch !...... The inarrow of the bones which was freezing but a few days before was seething as, few and far between, we swept across the Flat for the plantation adjacent to the finish of the R. C. The heat was in several cases fatal -killing a stable-boy who was “ walking” to get down his weight, and some labourers at work in a bay-field. Before dealing with the details of the sport, it may be as well to say it had little, if any prospective influence. The ground was dangerous, and altogether the occasion scarcely rated as high as the "temperature.” Tuesday's list mustered four events, but one only of any account the July Stakes ; the nominations amounted to tweaty-eight, the runners to four. of these they selected The Reiver to win, laying 7 to 2 on him, and the others friendless. The result justified the foregone conclusion, for he went in first by half-a-score of lengths. It was hardly a canter for him, and of course gave an upward tendency to his Derby quotation Wednesday-another fiery ordeal-was only distinguished by the failure of the Summer Handicap essay. The disposition, becoming by gentle degrees more and more manifest, that the spirit of the good old match-days is about to revive, promises far more healthily for Newmarket than the inauguration of a wilderness of handicaps. For the Town Plate the Ring was forewarned that “ Plot'' was started merely to qualify her for the allowance for the Lancashire Oaks at Liverpool
, ""What's in a name?” quotha ! Surely, when it was held expedient to make allowances for beaten horses, it never was contemplated that they might enter or would be started with the premeditated view to defeat, for the purpose of being entitled to a privilege awarded to want of quality---bonâ fide proven? Thursday, with a fair amount of racing, was only distinguished from a bye-day by the Chesterfield two-year-old trial. A field of seven went for it, and Dagobert won--cleverly, it was said. War-whoop was the favourite-even against the field, less a point of odds.
Worcester Summer Meeting-on at the same time-camc off better than might have been expected. The average of the racing was below the brand for more especial notice, and dulcia oblivia must graciously attend the policy.
On Wednesday, the 15th ult., the Liverpool July Meeting coinmenced. A great deal has been said and sung about the shabby treatment which the Turf receives at the hands of the greatest port in this great pautical kingdom. Has it never occurred to the chorus of animadversionists that the course is too far from the town? Liverpool
races are as germane to half-a-dozen other head-quarters as to the metropolis of the Mersey. Aintree is “no man's land" in particular, and every man's land in general. It is as accessible to Dublin as to Lord-street, in reference to convenience of approach--or rather more
How would Chester fare if the Roodee were at Eastham ?...... The gathering this year, moreover, was very unfavourably affected by the political movement at work over the length and breadth of the land. A new fashioned Derby was on the scene--a play-or-pay match between principle and interest, with odds at stake to the extent of the national welfare, and the hustings for ground and goal....... But these are no muttons" of ours...... Added to the electioneering fervour, the heat of the sun was another great discouragement to the character of the fields. Few men like to run their good horses over a surface as hot and as hard as the floor of an oven; and the sweepings of the stables are not the most attractive metal....... For these causes it will be no matter of surprise that the catalo
was an indif. ferent one. The first day's sport was exhibited to "a beggarly account of empty benches.” There were four races, and that was all!
Thursday—the Cup anniversary-was, of course, a popular bumper. Its holiday success was complete. With reference to the especial instance of the occasion, the same cannot be said. The previous night's quotations were in this wise
5 to 2 agst. Poodle (offered) 5 to 1 agst. Goldfinder (tk.). 5 to 1 agst. Colsterdale (tk.) 8 to 1 agst. Lucio (offered)
12 to 1 agst. Herbert (tk.)
Business, it is true, was far from brisk, but nevertheless there was
a few” done. On the course—the Queen's Plate being run for, and much time unnecessarily wasted, the eyes of the multitude turned to the board whereon it is customary to set forth the names of the dramatis personce for the next act. Obviously there was something
up,” for your yokels yawed and growled like vex'd Bermoothes. Some of them swore, so they did, and hinted irreverent things in form of speech very far removed from metaphor...... The earliest to show was Termagant, and the industrious rushed to back her, the cue being that she was to be the animal, and not Poodle-for, behold ! there was the board, but no Poodle among the promised performers. Thus it was-up went the names of the terrible cattle-up went the telegraph—and the pet of the fancy was “ non est." think then came to pass ? Down went the bill of the play, and Presto ! there's Poodle after all. What beasts are betting men ! Half an hour since they denounced the disappearance of the crackand now here they are tearing their hair, because of the grace which gathered him to the post! Is there no gratitude in the Ring ? Has honour no place at Tattersall’s? At length, in such sort as the pious Eneas reached the territories of Queen Dido, half-a-dozen coursers set themselves in array for the Liverpool Cup, “ in specie," value 200 sovs., and a Handicap Sweepstakes of 25 sovs. each, &c., &c., 106 subscribers, 44 of whom declared. The issue of the ups and
What do you
downs was that they took 6 to 4 against that precious cur Poodle —they could not help themselves —3 to 1 against Colsterdale--6 to 1 Lucio, and more if they could get it. Let it be here minded that in the course of the fore and afternoon Cossack and Herbert were what is termed “ scratched." Sad to say, the pith of the narrative is out before we come to the catastrophe. Colsterdale won, and Poodle was an indifferent fourth! Was it all a ruse, as they express sheer policy in polite circles, or a “ dodge,” as the fast phrase runs? For any influence his appearance had at Aintree, in fact, the pick of the talents might as well have been a real French fancy tyke, cut out like an African lion, with a ferocious fringe (and a blue ribbon) around his neck. Suppose the whole was a trap to catch those sunbeams—the list horses? Termagant was quoted at 10 to 1: this was, we will suppose, electrified to London: what pretty debonnair picking that would have afforded the cognoscenti who were behind the scenes as to Poodle being the true Simon Pure after all! We are familiar with the word "Ruff” on the turf_“ Revoke" is a new one, but it must henceforth find place in the Olympic vocabulary. The windup on Friday was very ample, in reference to the quantity. Lord Glasgow won the Liverpool 'St. Leger. Nobody would have the Earl's Caracara, but they laid 5 to 4 on Mr. Stebbing's Alfred the Great, and burnt their fingers. The Great Lancashire Produce Stakes, 10 sovs. apiece, and 40 subscribers, brought out but three, and of these there was even estimate between Sister to Mountain Deer and Auld Acquaintance. The former, however, had it in hand all through, winning as she pleased by a length and a half. Now, Fortune, dont play the Crichton of British sportsmen a scurvy trick in the sere and yellow leaf of his brilliant career.
See that you preserve and promote for him the speed and bottom and hale estate of the Sister to Mountain Deer, so that she be a hundred-fold better than her elder brother. Then wilt thou deserve well of our fair favour. The Knowsley Dinner Stakes Sackbut walked over for, and a Handicap Sweepstakes of 5 sovs. each, 5 subscribers, gave us a race with five; Coticular, the last in the odds, was first in the fraya winner on the post by a head. The Bentinck Testimonial Handicap, 12 nominations, one-fourth of the lot went for ; 7 to 4 on Red Lion ; it was won by Retail very cleverly, and lion rouge was last ! With a Selling Stakes of 8 sovs. each, 30 added, for all ages, the meeting finished; for this five ran; 6 to 4 only against Florence ; May Blossom won by a head.
It would be ungracious to stop short, in this review, superficial though it be, of the Liverpool July Meeting, of an acknowledgment for the liberal and tasteful spirit displayed by the gentleman who has the care of its official arrangement." Great improveinents have been wrought in the accommodations provided for those who constitute the racing practical staff. A leaf out of Mr. Topham's book might be profitably studied by the representatives of courses of higher pretensions than that at Airtree, if they would take the trouble rightly to distil its meaning. As I have enlarged somewhat beyond my ordinary limit on the policy pursued by a distinguished turf confederacy at this meeting, I take leave to corroborate my statements by the res