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cal observation. Here, also, he must in all important matters be himself present; or, at least, if he act by proxy, let it be by some intelligent friend, or his very breed may be misbegotten, or otherwise marred in the person of the sire or dam; so extensive and all-pervading are the arts of the honourable fraternity of legs. The professed turfite should not only well understand the training of horses, but should likewise accurately inform himself of the result of all the trials which succeed thereto; by which he will be enabled to judge to what extent be can back the individuals of his own stud, or otherwise hedge off, as circumstances may dictate. As the times of performance approach, he must be guided by circumstances how far it will be prudent to unfold his opinions to his training groom, private jockey, &c. The best method of keeping them honest, is to act both liberally and kindly towards them; it may do much, and will further ensure their future fidelity, if, on the settling of his book, he finds he is from five to ten thousand pounds a winner, that he adds a handsome present to each, in the order of their stands, as a reward for their actual services, and for their faithful keeping of his and their own secrets."

This is good, in the sense of well meant; but it would be "making a toil of a pleasure " with a vengeance. If such a system ever prevailed, or was accounted necessary, the time for it has passed away. Public training is now a profession which secures for the proprietors of racing studs men of high character and sound experience to prepare and bring out their stock. I am alluding, of course, to the studs of nobles and persons of condition, who keep them as sources of sport, not as agents of money making. The last few years have brought about many changes in horse-racing-some for good, some for evil. One of the best among its novelties is the Triennial Produce Stake, involving three anniversaries of interest. To Lord George Bentinck we are indebted for this sporting conception. The Produce Stake to be run off in a specified year and at a specified age, is of an earlier date. The Second Year of the Sixth Triennial Produce Stakes, to be run for on the first day of First October Meeting, at Newmarket, in the present year, has eighty-seven nominations. Stakes like these are pleasant prospects.

Mention has been made of the shadowy influence handicapping is already exercising on the future of the turf. Since the weights for the coming Cambridgeshire were quoted, in support of this position, it has been announced that Kingston, King of Trumps, and Virago, are declared not to start. It is impossible not to see and feel the extreme injustice of this case, particularly in its connection with the three-yearold filly, whose entrance stake of £5 being paid, straightway has a weight assigned her enough to break her back. Why should this be? Let £1, as fee for notice of nomination, in the event of the weight appropriated being approved, be charged; but surely it is the antithesis of fair play first to draw deposit of stakes, and then to crush the animal so named with twice the weight put upon another of her year. If such a perverse policy be persisted in, the owners of first-class racers have their resource for revenge. Let them keep their stakes in their pockets, abandon all handicaps to the leather platers, and monopolise all royal plates, rich cups, members' plates, town plates, in manner following: On Tuesday, in the Warwick Meeting, Kingston won the Queen's Plate of One Hundred Guineas; and the day after, Virago won the Warwick Cup,

valued at £200, with £100 added, in a canter, by six lengths, and beating off the winner of the Oaks. Who would enter for the Derby, the Oaks, or the St. Leger, with the prospect of having welter weight to carry?

It is to be regretted that these anomalies are suffered to exist, for in almost every other respect the great national sport has fallen upon days of palmy promise. When Apperley wrote his Quarterly article, the turf was in a far different "fix." We have now no hellites, butchers, footmen (I quote from his article as aforesaid, "haud meus hic sermo,") retail tradesmen, livery-stable-keepers, ostlers, by descent, et hoc genus The very names of most of these men, observed a commentator, suffice to shew that racing is now altogether a speculation of loss or gain. Improvement in the breed of horses is wholly lost sight of; but fortunate is he who can meet with one that can run fast enough to carry away the money of his owner's antagonist; particularly when his speed has remained unrevealed to all the world, but such owner and his trusty

omne.

groom.

The patrons of the English turf include many of the most distinguished of our aristocracy, and professional betting has fallen even lower than it was when Nimrod chronicled it or Tool. The abdication of Lord George Bentinck gave the first favourable turn to its policy, and thus good came of the Running Rein robbery. The part that was played with Ratan needs no recital here, beyond the rough but wholesome annotation it drew from a character once well and welcomely known upon the race-course, in which I cordially coincide. It was a rascally disgusting affair; an affair so outrageous that the Jockey Club dismissed the convicted parties from the race-courses within their jurisdietion, though only to admit them again whitewashed, and laughing in their sleeve, after hovering outside for a short year or two, as naughty boys set in a corner for not knowing their lessons better than to avoid being found out. Apropos of this case of malice prepense, it were ungracious to close this reference to the turf, in the past, without the good men and true being awarded the memorial they so richly deserve. Robinson, Chifney, Scott, Conolly, Pavis, and Butler-now too long. hors de combat-when shall we look upon their like again? Butler, I most earnestly hope, will be an exception to this list; a finer or more honourable jockey there is not in the annals of the British turf.

Adieu to the past and the present, and now a summing up paragraph to the perspective. A glance at the Book Calendar engagements for 1855, will reveal a rich prospect. All the old familiar stakes and sweepstakes are well filled. A few samples will serve to shew the premises upon which this statement is founded. For the Two Thousand Guineas Stakes, there are forty-seven nominations. For the One Thousand Guineas Stakes, there are forty-one nominations; for the first year of the Eighth Triennial Produce, sixty-eight subscribers; for the Derby, one hundred and ninety-eight subscribers; for the Oaks, one hundred and sixty-four; for the St. Leger stakes, one hundred and twenty subscribers; for the Doncaster Stakes, one hundred and seventeen subscribers; for the St. Leger of 1856, one hundred and thirty-seven subscribers; for the thirteenth year, 1855, of the Great Yorkshire Stakes, one hundred and fifty-eight subscribers; for the Convivial Stakes, one hundred

"Over the Open

and forty-six subscribers. The number of racers at present engaged and in training, is one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six-a good Olympic force. Many of these have been purchases by professional turfites, the breeders being the leading patrons of racing, who are the proprietors of all the great stock studs. The amount of money engaged and represented by this 1796 is enormous, and promises a golden harvest for the next three seasons. Thus, whatever objection may be urged against the inducement racing holds out to unjust and unfair speculationto indiscreet meddling with engagements, the nature of which is only understood by the shrewd and long experienced-because there are rogues and fools in the world, is that any reason men of sense and discretion are to be denied a national sport congenial to their taste? The same difficulty may be quoted against every description of amusement and speculation. We are not to hunt, to shoot, to stalk, to fish; but we will. We have shewn what the Turf is in prospectu: anon we will do so by the Chase.

"Quiconque ne voit guère,

N'a guère à dire aussi."

"OVER THE OPEN."

ENGRAVED BY E. HACKER, FROM A PAINTING BY THE LATE R. B. DAVIS.

Very pleasant trifling, as we take it, is that turning over the old volumes of The Sporting Magazine on a bye day. Say, in country house, when, thanks to wind or weather, there is really "nothing to do" with a brace of bright-eyed young beauties grouped somehow or other over either shoulder, and ready to quiz all they see; and a more sympathising papa, who can tell you something apropos of every plate you come to-of the race-horses Clifton Thompson and Ben Marshall used to paint; of the hunting incidents Woodward delighted to pourtray in so striking a manner; of the shooting scenes to which Abraham Cooper gave and gives so infinitely a variety. Ferneley's hunters, Laporte's dandies, and Davis' hounds, all brought back some pleasant recollection of "auld lang syne."

Even as the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined; and so it was with poor "R. B. Davis," as he was generally distinguished from one or two other limners of the same name. The son of a huntsman, and himself" entered" early in life, no man, when he once dropped the long thong for the pencil, ever kept more true to his first-love; no man ever continued to paint one subject with more perseverance, and few certainly on more evident acquaintance with what this one was. We have seen Herring give up, at least for a time, his great model the English race-horse. We have heard of Wilkie abandoning his real strength in depicting homely life, for the higher ambition of the historical. We have seen Cooper forsaking both the battle and the hunting field, for the dalliance of but thinly-clad beauties; and Grant

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