Imagens das páginas

and Mr. Wreford put Old John up on his colt on the Thursday, because he thought Young John had not made enough use of him on the Ham on the Tuesday.

The sport was as good as I ever remember it; and there is one blessing about it, that in the great majority of races, the weights suit the heavyweight jockeys, and we are delivered from the immense amount of boyriding which has so wofully crept into many other meetings of late. Among the two-year-olds at the meeting, Border Chief took my fancy most. He is a well-grown and most racing-like animal, with something of the Ruby cut about him. Annandale is getting his stock remarkably fine, and of a very rich brown colour; and really Mr. A. Johnstone has persevered so long in his stud farm, and done so much for meetings by his heavy nominations, that he does deserve something good to compensate him for the 3000 guinea Charles XII.'s failure as a sire. I am quite unable to account for his defeat here, except it was that his long stride was ill-suited to that long ascent, which was somewhat sticky and more adapted to an active little horse like Monge. The Flatterer's 5lb. extra of course told on him not a little; but it is pretty evident that either from the ground or other causes, he ran considerably below his real form. It is very strange that no one seems to fancy Flatterer for the Derby, as his performances are on the whole superior to any horse out. I have not seen two finer animals in this race since Hobbie Noble and Kingston ran first and third for it. Flatterer is, perhaps, a little short in the barrel, and with a somewhat ungainly head; but he is a very likely-looking Derby horse, and I have only heard one adverse criticism on him, viz., that he is rather light below the knee. Joshua is a very smart-locking animal, with a great deal of the maternal "Bay Araby" blood in him, and (to use the words of a brother writer) one of those tapering muzzles which, like Tadmor's, could almost drink out of a pewter pot." If Jericho has only the chance, he will get many such, as he was himself one of the gamest sons Old Jerry ever had. Hazel looks as if he had something in him, as, in fact, every one of the Nutwiths have, if their dam has had anything in her; but Corcbus is not after my heart in any way. "The Squire's" Rifleman is a compact Grapeshot sort of a horse, who ought to be heard of favourably a year hence; but Bonnie Morn, albeit very tightly built, will hardly be enough of a flyer to win the Derby, unless he has a day something like what his half brother, Daniel O'Rourke, had to perform in.


Among the three-year-olds, Hermit seems much improved since the Two Thousand day, and will, I think, ripen into a really good and useful horse. They were tremendously confident at Danebury about pulling off this event for some days before, and certainly the judgment was far below par, which allowed them to have a mere mile race for it. The Vase was the prettiest "Flagon of Honour " I have ever seen, and one in which the fine old man and his friends can worthily drink to his reviving turf fortunes. Bobby is a clever-looking horse, but his game knee will keep him in perpetual difficulties; and Marley Hill, as far as racing looks went, justified the information which I gave (from rather an odd source) some fourteen months ago, viz., that he was "no good;" at least, as compared with his big brother, West Australian. Still, despite his bandage and his blind eye, he was a better specimen than I had been led to expect. Phaeton looks well, but his legs and temper are sorely against him. I could see nothing wrong with Ruby in the former

department, and the magic of his name was still powerful enough to rally a large ring of lookers-on, who went away declaring that he was as fine a horse as they ever saw. Jones must have given him a great deal of work since the 2000 Guineas, as his condition was perfect, and in fact I should not have known him again. The sour eye, which was all I could bring against him when I first saw him at Northampton, has told its tale, and unless "the knife again" effects a cure, he will end his days in obscurity. In his present state, it is evident that he won't make an effort. Swiftsure, from the same stable, is rather a nice horse, and Baalbec has a good forehand, though sadly plain behind. Hospodar and Calamus are not unlike each other-the latter a little the taller of the two, and both lengthy and short-legged, which is a wonderful advantage at Ascot. Crosslanes is another of the good bits of stuff, which, along with Haco and Defiance, were dispersed far and wide when Sir Joseph Hawley gave up his stud, and as there is plenty of wear-and-tear about her, she is not dear at 600 sovs. Mishap is a racing sort of mare, and although she sadly lacks substance, she has speed and bottom enough to pay her way. It is some time since the once all-dangerous Fyfield stable bore off a cool thousand so cleverly as they did with her in the Coronation Stakes. Their animal, Lincoln's Inn, is a great lumbering creature with a curby hock. They did not, however, spare him; as Job Marson was hardly off him, after being beaten away for the St. James's Palace, than Bundy was put on, and off he went, with an equally brilliant result, for the Visitors' Plate.

West Australian is both grown and thickenned since last year, and "What a back!" was the simultaneous exclamation from every one who gathered round him, in the dip where Scott always saddles his horses. Still, in point of condition, he was, to my eye, below his St. Leger form, which was no doubt the highest the racing world have ever seen him in. If he had been as fine-drawn (which the recent dry weather would hardly permit of), he would, doubtless, have had an easier Cup victory. The Ascot Cup records are indeed a royal roll, and in fact the course is so severe that no bad horse can face it. Kingston is a horse who runs best in flesh; but he is not very quick, and his stable, I believe, consider that two miles is his forte. Hence Job Marson durst not come away with him so far from home as he otherwise might have done; and after his severe Stakes race, the horse must have been not a little stale. He has, however, borne his part nobly in Cup contests, as he has been first and third at Goodwood, second and fourth at Ascot, and second at Doncaster. He must be quite shut out now, with 9st. 11lbs. for the Goodwood Cup, where even the great West Australian will hardly care to confront Virago at 31lbs. Goorkah ought to run a good horse at 8st. 10lbs., if he has speed enough. The race of the year, however, ought to come off (as the mare is pretty certain to earn her 7lbs. penalty) between West Australian, 8st. 12lbs., Virago, 7st. 4lbs., Stockwell, 9st. 5lb., and Kingston, 9st. 5lb., for the Doncaster Cup; but the meeting of such a quartet is almost more than one dares to hope for. Lord Londesbro' will not run the slightest risk of having his horse beaten, now that he has won one great cup with him; and what with bad feet, paring, and consequent fever, last year, and lameness this, it seems as if Stockwell's career will come to an early close. The way in which King keeps Orestes up to the mark is beyond all praise, and no one can doubt his distance powers now, although the Cup pace must

have been upwards of half a minute slower than last year. The Orlandoes will serve themselves sooner or later, both for speed and bottom; but Prince Arthur, who resembles his sire more than any one of them, is one of the feeblest of the family. Rataplan is the most imperturbable horse going. Railway travelling must positively agree with him; as here he was, with his coat as bright as satin, and the same quiet sleepy eye. As a weight carrier he will go down to posterity by the side of Hetman Platoff; and he has a very fine turn of speed to boot, though not so high as Stockwell had, who was moreover a bigger horse altogether. Little Harry has grown; but neither he nor Joe Miller looks very thriving. Brocket is a big usefullooking horse, with long slanting thighs, which give me an idea that he is not very quick. Snowdon Dunhill is wonderfully improved, and very handsome, but he is one of the Cur family; while Nabob's legs seem to grow longer and longer every day. Little Jack is one of the everlastings, and one could have really sworn that he had shed his whole self, and put on immortal youth. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw Charlton mount him. The Pimperne training, too, has worked miracles with Lascelles, who led Autocrat as long as that dethroned crack had a leg to follow him, and he is no longer the poor flat-sided creature he was, when he was fairly beaten from the post in West Australian's 2000 Guinea day. Three days is a pretty good spell, and as I walked across the Great Park six times in consequence, even that loveliest of all sylvan spots rather lost its charm for me at last, and I registered a vow that I would (D.V.) trouble no more meetings with my presence for six weeks to come. About eighteen afternoons a year on the race-course amply satisfy my cravings, and I trust that in due time I shall find myself boxing the compass for Goodwood.

One great feature of the month, by the bye, should not go "unhonoured and unsung;" so I have no resource but to pull down my mouldy lyre from its peg, and do what little I can towards securing immortality for

The Copper Captain.

"A party who had laid against Dervish to an immense extent, and had afforded none of the backers an opportunity of hedging with him, was called to the door to receive payment in bags of copper of a bet of £40! In expectation of the 'scene,' a cab was in readiness, the bags were emptied into it, and the Potter of Pots went off as quickly as he could, amidst ironical cheers for the Copper Captain!'"-TATTERSALL'S REPORT.


The Copper Captain is "long in the fork,"

And long are his strides down the Birdcage-walk;
His action is "springy," his general air

Is decidedly buxom and debonnair.

For the beauties of nature he spares not a look,

His soul is wrapped up in a small red book:

It is not a poem, it is not in prose,

But scores of pencil-figures in rows:

For months he has styled it (the 'cute old fox)
"My excellent Dervish pepper-box."
No wonder our Captain is smart and gay,
He is Tattersall's-bound on the settling-day.

The Copper Captain has entered the yard,
And smiles on the victims he hit so hard;

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

But OMEGA whispers, "I'll pay at the door."
At the door stood a squadron of Dervish-boys,
With copper-300lbs. avoirdupoise-

Enough to draw down, in good "wasting weather,"
Nat, Marson, and Wells on the scales together.
"Ho, cab! ho, policemen !"-he rusheth away,
While the Dervishes howl on the settling-day.
The Copper Captain "dont think it the cheese,"
As he sits in a copper-heap up to his knees;
Fifty per cent. he'd fain sink to arrange
The matter, by way of a silver exchange.
Ne'er again will he summon a heart of good grace
To look a penny-piece in the face:

He votes, too, each writer or talker a beast,

Who alludes in his presence to mines or the East:

The conduct of little street-boys seems improper

When they tumble or sweep and beseech him for copper;

In short, he has felt quite "the devil to pay

[ocr errors]

Since he rushed from the yard on the settling-day.




[ocr errors]

However flighty or fantastic we may be at times, it is remarkable how certainly the English, as a people, come back to the dictates of common sense. "The Poultry mania is but another instance of this. A very few months since, and one scarcely heard of any sort but those very wonderful Cochin Chinas, and now we scarcely hear of them at all. They have given way, moreover, to no new discovery. The Dorking that now crows so signally over them, has long been as good as he is at present as handsome a bird to look at, and as dainty a one to peck at. It would be a difficult man to please who wanted more; and yet how fashion passed the Dorking over, in her first essay at any combination of the beautiful and profitable!

We cannot say whether His Royal Highness has any idea of rivalling the success of the Hampton Court Paddocks at the Home Farm. If so, he is laying the proper foundation. These Dorkings ran away with everything at the last Metropolitan Poultry Show, on the strength of which they at one passed into the Prince's hands. They were bred and exhibited by Mr. Hobbs of Boxted, Essex-a gentleman who has already great renown as a breeder, more particularly of Essex pigs. We may, indeed, very well apply to him the compliment which the fat-boy in Pickwick paid his master, when Sam Weller asked if he was'nt a nice man?" I believe he just is, too; and don't he breed nice pork!”

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »