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BY THE DRUID.
"A hound and a hawk no longer
Shall be symptoms of disaffection;
A cock-fight shall cease to be breach of the peace,
SONG OF THE CAVALIERS.
"I am a friend, Sir, to public amusements; for they keep people from vice."— DR. JOHNSON TO SIR ADAM FERGUSON.
"The first place where Ready-money Jack attracted my attention was in the church-yard on Sunday, where he sat on a tombstone after the service, with his hat a little on one side, holding forth to a small circle of auditors, and, as I presumed, expounding the law and the prophets; until, on drawing a little nearer, I found he was only expatiating on the merits of a brown horse."-BRACEBRIDGE HALL.
It is of course a most dreadfully vulgar confession to make, but I do not in the least envy those of my acquaintance who wander off down the "arrowy Rhone," and "the dark-blue Rhine." "Ouse's silent tide" and the "Don's barge-laden wave are the "jockeys for me," at each recurring autumn; and I look forward to revisiting them with all the enthusiasm and pleasure of a child. Accordingly as Dent's clock scored 7 h. 45 m. on August 23rd, I entered the portals of the Great Northern ; and the Special Express, drawn by their best 3,000 guinea engine, did its duty nobly by running into York some three minutes before its time. The day was beautiful, as we swallowed our ox-tail soup at Peterborough, and equally so when we stretched our legs for a few minutes at Newark ; but when merrie little Doncaster was fairly on our lee, the rain began to come down, and continued to do so, with certain breaks, throughout the whole of the day. Knavesmire was therefore in firstrate order, without being the least "deluded with wet" (as old Will Carter used to remark in his huntsman days), and its appointments were as good as usual; albeit the red coats might take a dress wrinkle with advantage from Charles Payne and his two Pytchley whips. One of them amused me by saying to some fair dames, who got too much into the course, "I wish to be uncommon tender with you ladies,- -as if this war gans on, the men 'ull get scarce." Jacques has only had a poorish sale," was one of the first remarks we heard, as we proceeded up the town; but really the mad prices which were made at the Royal Sale have quite altered the public's notions on this head. The Dundas Stakes was over when we reached the course, and the ten horses were just leaving the enclosure for the Biennial. Dervish was on the card, but, very wisely, only entered an appearance on paper, leaving Meteora with " Sim," in the "black jacket and white cap," once more to do the honours for Lord Derby.
He looked very unwell; and his absence from the saddle for nearly two months in the height of the season is solely attributable to that cause. The shake Marley Hill gave him at Ascot was no light one, and his knee feels it yet. On the present occasion he had wasted more heavily than he intended, and scaled 8st. 2lbs. with a 5lb. saddle. However, he rode as beautifully as ever, and starting last with Dr. O'Toole, to cut out strong running, gradually moved his mare forward till he caught Ivan within the distance, and beat him in beautiful style. The mare never looked better; and certainly she was 7lbs. better than ever she was in her life. Mincemeat with her 5lbs. extra, however, kept away; so the Oaks mystery remained unsolved. To our eye, Meteora was damp and nervous on that day, and so confident were the stable about her being in form now, that they, una voce, declared that the St. Leger was over with Boiardo, as she had (so they said), been easily beaten by him in the trial. Ivan looked sleepy as usual, and caught it pretty strongly from Marson's heels; but he had been "off" some ten days before, and somewhat stopped in his work by a curb. He must be at least 18lbs. worse than Andover; and hence what a dreadful lot those behind him must be! but there is no doubt that, with three or four brilliant exceptions, all the three-year-old forms are wretched this year. It is said, but we cannot vouch for it, that Andover was successfully tried before the Derby, to give 7lbs. to Virago over the Derby distance. Dr. O'Toole is not a good-backed horse, and blessed with long creeping thighs. The Yorkshire Oaks was an absurd canter for Virago; and Lady Lambton was such a wretch, that she was beaten some thirty yards from the second horse before they came to the Middlethorpe turn. Adelaide was a very lengthy Melbournite; and as for Virago, who still shows slight traces of her spring curb-she did not turn a hair. Lord Londeshro' is however most desirous to give her a turn with West Australian for the Doncaster Cup; and really from what we now happen to know of the ease with which West Australian won the Ascot Cup, we really believe that even at 22lbs. difference he will be able to beat her. Doncaster has seen some tremendous Cup issues, but this will be the greatest yet. Apropos of great races, an old Yorkshire jockey was lately telling me, that the most terrific he ever saw over York, was that between Acteon (Harry Edwards) and Memnon (Sam Chifney)." "Sam," he said, "never came till the last three strides, and then he rushed it, and gave his horse a stroke that seemed fit to cut him in two. Will Chifney, who was beside me, jumped right into the air, and shouted, Sam's nailed him.' He was, however, fairly beaten a head by Old Harry, who had made tremendous running throughout, and got his pull half way up the distance,"
Lord Glasgow had very different horses in those days: but his match on this day was a very sporting one. His Caracara seems to fine down with age, but he has not the power of Muscovite; and even the luck of "Alfred the Great" would not shed its inspiration on the hapless "white and red sleeves." No Græculus Esuriens, who was nevertheless left on the card, paraded among the seventeen Convivial Stakes youngsters, and Lord Eglinton saved his Dirk especially to contend with Bonnie Morn and Gretna over his favourite Doncaster Course. Lady Palmerston looked very much grown; and but for her lop-ears, would really be a very pretty mare-perhaps too high and short in proportion, suit a very critical eye; and walking rather tender, as we
thought, on her off hind-leg. Fandango is a useful animal, and his well knit forehand reminds us not a little of his uncle, Mango. Lord Alfred however, proved the Ripon running to be correct and a little more. Really this grey is the most wonderful thing Osborne has ever had on hand; and he looked as fresh as if he had not run a yard this year. Osborne has made up that silly Radcliffe quarrel with his son. The story is, that old John backed the second horse for a "pony," and ordered "Johnny to take no part in the race. Johnny, however, would not be denied, and went in and won, to the intense rage of his sire, who secretly suspected that his orders were not going to be obeyed, from the fact of his getting no response when they were given. Ashmall, accordingly, rode for the stable on the following day; but matters were made up at home, and we trust that we shall hear of no such "Seducer" tricks again. But to proceed : Sicily is like Evadne, but rather a light mare; and Pearl (who once talked of turning a Metropolitan licensed victualler, but now lives at Beverley) looked fearfully wasted to ride 8st. 4lbs. on Knight of the Village. Cavalier, the 520 guineas premier yearling of last year, and stable companion to Yellow Jack, the 1,000 guineas premier of this, was the most racing animal amongst them, and did every credit to his Orlando and Emilius descent. His forehand is very bloodlike, and his thighs and quarters good; but we have seen better backs, and he is slightly narrow. Like Teddington, he runs wonderfully game in difficulties, and was so close up, that his owner fully thought he had won. Rifleman was only "threatened" by Nat, but he was obliged to race for it; and his chance was not bettered by one of his comrades rather swerving on to him. He looks much grown and lengthened out since Ascot, and is not unlike Mountain Deer; but we should fancy that "2,000 guineas and contingencies," was considerably above his market price, when he pulled up. Rylstone is a fine promising animal, but lusty; and the Cropper was as smart, lengthy, and bloodlike a hunter, for a light weight, as we have seen for many a day. In fact he is quite the neatest young flatcatcher we have seen stripped. Fortune Teller played sad Astleian pranks with her jockey-lad in front of the stand. Cartwright did not care to waste to 7st. 13lbs. to ride her; and although we heard a Middleham admirer protesting that she" could move like a fiddle," she made some more devilry at the post, and finally arrived at the Stand, in the contrary direction from her companions.
The Chesterfield Handicap produced a very pretty race for second place, while Ellermire nobly bore out her dam's York fame. She is not a mare of any great size or substance, but with her machinery well placed for working, and hence she slipped along like a deer. To Chanticleer she bears very little resemblance beyond the outline of the head; and is a good brown, not a dirty grey. Early Bird, Dervish's Epsom conqueror, is a dangerous looking horse, but he is not "wanted " yet. His stable companion, Merry Monk, made a very fair struggle at the Stand, in the Queen's Plate; but Hermit, albeit he cut out the work throughout, was too much for him at last. Lerrywheut had his right pastern bandaged up, and could not live a yard; and Defiance did nto seem much in earnest. The contrary may be averred of Vindex, who never looked better, and showed very little temper. Every precaution was, however, taken; and when the uninitiated spectators were groaning over" a walk over," because he did not appear, he was espied quietly