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RACES IN JULY.
Ipswich .........1 1 Rochdale.....
Mansfield ........ 11 Guildford ...
18 Newport .......
REGATTAS IN JULY.
“ The stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires," says Dean Swift, “is like cutting off our feet when we want shoes.” The philosophy of this aphorism shall govern the logic of our lecture upon a subject at present of great popular interest. We will not consider the social convenience or inconvenience of a system such as the turf. We will not canvass the policy of keeping race-horses, or of betting about those kept by others. We will start with the fact as we find it. A royal commission is engaged upon the state of the metropolitan sewers ; an humble inquiry is here proposed into the condition of a great national sport. The leaven of life hath both meal and bran. A more graceful charge might have been selected : a more gracious theme could easily have been found. But this working day world is not all couleur de rose. It has its duties as well as its dulcia oblivia. The Augean labour of Hercules is typical of that which befalls every man in his time, whether the member of a drainage committee or the journalist whose office it is “ to show scorn her own image."
Chronologists distinguish the epochs of time by characteristic names. They begin with the Golden Age: we will be godfather to the present, and christen it the Age of Diggins. Go where you will all is inquisition. Paul Pry has succeeded the schoolmaster abroad as well as at home. A popular problem is being worked by every people under the sun. In France, it is Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité; in Spain, it is “ philoprogenitiveness ; in America, it is “ go a-head ;” in England, it is doxology; in California it is called “ diggins :" but “ diggins” it is everywhere, under one alias or other. Quest after something had in account is the order of the day. We propose to ourselves a task that would have szared Edipus. The Sphynx never dreamt of an enigma so dark and desperate in perplexity as “ The Practice and Principle of the Turf.”
Suppose some one in the course of a miscellaneous gossip were to state that a custom prevailed in certain places, or among a particular society of playing at whist for large stakes, upon a system which enabled the poor players to look into the rich player's hands. Suppose any one to put forth an assertion of this kind, and tell it to the Marines, what do you think they would say or do? They would set him down for a fool, or kick him out of the room for his impudence. Now whist is, no doubt, a keen encounter of wariness; bnt what comparison does it bear to the sablime strategy for which they are proverbial who occupy their business on the turf? A trainer is as chary of speech as was the oracle of Apollo; and jockeys and stable-boys are as mysterious as were the priests of the Delphic ten.ple. That is to say, as regards all mankind, save the privileged set connected with “ the stable,” And how gain admittance into this sanctum sanctorum--this ark of the covenant ? The fee is two guineas per week, including the best of living for your horse. “Ay! ay!" you comment; " that is, if the individual-so placing a horse be an acknowledged member of the racing circlés--if he keeps a stud and runs horses in bis name and colours." The more distinctly to answer this assumption, the most modern instance bearing upon the case is offered to your notice, with a few preliminary notes.
The letter subjoined was addressed by Mr. W. Treen, the proprietor of one of the great public training stables, to the editor of Bell's Life in London, and appeared in that paper on the 16th ult. Damask, a black colt, two years old, by Touchstone, out of Moss Rose, appears in last year's Book Calendar as the property of Mr, Gregory in three places. This is the animal which furnished the casus belli. Mr. Glen, who is spoken of as its present owner, does not appear among the masters of race-horses, of which that volume gives a perfect list. It is not necessary here to allude to any connexion with the turf, attributed, upon an occasion now considerably out of date, to Mr. Glen. Mr. Treen, perhaps it may be assumed, was au courant to all such facts as might come within the province of one professionally engaged in racing. Damask was quoted in the returns from Tattersall's on Thursday, the 6th ult., at 7 to 1 for the Ascot Stakes. He then went back several points, but on Saturday as little as 4 to 1 was taken by those who were behind the curtain. The colt had on the previous day been tried at Marlborough with Wanota, and the result was such as to leave the issue of the handicap very like a foregone conclusion. Such, at least, was the on dit which reached Mr. Glen's ears, after the cream of the market had been skimmed ; not, as he asserts, having given permission to any one to try his horse ; he was dissatisfied with the liberty which had been takeu, and first adopting the legitimate precaution of laying against him, he proceeded, with his title to the horse, to the Messrs. Weatherby's, in Burlington-street, and there and then "scratched ” him for his Ascot engagement. On Monday, as it is asserted, Mr. Gregory sent a written protest against this "scratching” to the keeper of the match-book, on the grounds, it was understood, that he, Mr. Gregory, had sold the animal to Mr. Treen, but had never been paid. The position in which this placed the affair was, that Treen had disposed of a horse which did not belong to him for the sum of £400, as per stamped receipt produced by Glen to the Messrs. Weatherby. Those who saw Damask at Ascot said he was “ fit to run for a man's life ;” a condition, moreover, as rumour went, by no means in accordance with his proprietor's proviso. The prologue, which might be spoken by Sir Benjamin Backbite, is wound up with a word to the reader, reminding him that the hero of the piece is the proprietor of a popular public training establishment.
TO THE EDITOR OF BELL'S LIFE IN LONDON. Sir, I send you the following statement relative to "scratching" Damask for the Ascot Stakes, that the racing world may know all the facts of the case ; and that, while I acknowledge myself deserving of censure, that censure may be awarded to me solely on the ground for which it is deserved; and that no other part than that I really acted should be attributed to me in the transAction,
At the elose of last year I sold Damask to Mr. Glen, having first given my employers the refusal of him. Mr. Glen expressly stipulated that I should not divulge the fact that I had sold him the horse, but that I should in all respects continue to treat him as if he were my own property. I therefore entered him for the Ascot Stakes, prepared him for his engagement, and on Friday last tried him with Wanota, which trial was most satisfactory. I wrote immediately to Mr. Glen, asking him to meet me at Reading on the day following. He did not come; but I received a note from him, stating he would meet me on Sunday morning at Ascot, which he did. I told him the result of the trial, and he expressed himself very much gratified, and said he would go and back him for a great stake; and he assured me in the most positive manper possible that the horse should start. I begged of him most earnestly not to deceive me about that, and he again assured me he had no other intention than that the horse should go for the stake; consequently, I felt perfectly satisfied upon that point. After I got back to my quarters, Mr. Gregory and Captain Hervey called, and questioned me as to the real ownership of the horse. I told them he was my own. They requested me to sign a document to that effect, which they produced. I did so. "On the following day (Monday) I called upon Mr. Glen in London, and to my utmost consternation he acquainted me with his determination to scratch the horse. I told him if he did so he would ruin me, and most earnestly entreated him to reconsider his decision. He would not. I went immediately to Mr. Gregory, and told him the whole truth; and the following morning saw him again, and begged him to bring the matter before the stewards at once, that it might undergo the most searching inrestigation; which I trust will still be done, and there it will fully appear that my conduct is clear from all imputation, except that of stating to Mr. Gregory and Capt. Hervey that the horse was my own, and signing the document to that effect; for which no one can blame me more severely than I blame myself. But it should be borne in mind that I had expressly stipulated with Mr. Glen that I would call the horse my own. I had always done so. I had the most entire confidence in Mr. Glen's assu. rance that he should go for the race, and I felt assured that it could not possibly affect the interests of any parties whether the horse was really my own or not; and it cannot fail of being distinctly seen, that in consequence of my engagement to Mr. Glen I was placed at an unexpected moment in the unfortunate position that I could not possibly keep faith with both parties.
Mr. Glen has no right whatever to complain that I tried the horse without his knowledge. I had full authority from him to treat the horse as my own, and in the exercise of my own discretion, in virtue of that authority, I tried him, and instantly wrote to Mr. Glen to meet me, that I might communicate to him the nature of the trial. I had the entire management of the horse. Mr. Glen never interfered with it in the least degree; he never entered my stable; indeed, he never saw him from the moment he purchased him until last Tuesday morning at Bracknell, when, in extreme disgust, I desired him to take him out of my possession. Moreover, when I acquainted him last Sunday morning with the result of the trial, he expressed himself perfectly satisfied, and made no complaint to me at all. I have carefully abstained, in this statement, from making any observations on the conduct of any parties ; my sole object has been to explain the peculiar circumstances in which I was placed, as I felt assured that when those circumstances were fully known they would tend materially to mitigate the censure with which I should otherwise have been visited. 1 throw myself, Mr. Editor, upon your known impartiality for the insertion of this long letter, and am, sir,
Your most obedient servant, : on Beckhampton, June 14, 1850.
W. TREEN. From this fact with the trumpet tongue we will turn for a space to the milder melody of theory.......with incidents apropos of our purpose, for illustration is the order of the day. In the course of the past month
there occurred a passage in modern British chivalry, called “ The Fight for the Championship,” wherein the two doughtiest of our fistic heroes contend--or are supposed to contend- for possession of the “belt,” a plebeian decoration instituted “detur fortiori.” On the occasion to which this notice refers, a gentleman well known in sporting circles officiated as referee. We allude to Mr. Dowling, the editor of Bell's Life in London. Our views for years have differed widely from those entertained by him upon the practice and principle of pugilism-an antagonism of opinion more than once rather emphatically argued on both sides. While discharging his duty in the aforesaid instance, he narrowly escaped being put to death-a jeopardy which has drawn from him a commentary to this effect : "It is now nearly thirty years since, in our character of Editor of this Journal, we have been the unceasing advocate of the manly sports of the ring....... Despite our efforts, of late years, however......it has altogether degenerated : instead of being encouraged and supported by gentlemen as a means of demonstrating the rules of fair play, it has sunk into a mere source of gambling.......A British pugilist is no longer the character we have so often pictured ; but too many of them who bear this title, we fear, are leagued with characters of the worst description, whose crimes they would rather abet than repress, and this perhaps not from innate vice-but from positive cowardice....... The game is now up....... During a series of some 35 years, we have not escaped personal injuries, insults, and robberies ; but the climax has been the attempt on our life, of which we must hereafter be more chary.” These are the farewell words of the editor of “ Fistiana” to his friends. It is a grim “good bye,” but not without a moral. The Ring is ruined, and the voice of the Oracle is heard proclaiming the cause—"it has sunk into a mere source of gambling." There is yet another ring destined to point
“One modern instance more.” Rule the fifth, “Concerning Horse Racing in General,” commences as follows :~" Horses are not entitled to start without producing a proper certificate of their age, if required.” From this sample it will be seen that the Code Olympic is somewhat loosely constructed. The orders “ Respecting Stakes, Forfeits, and Bets,” are also eminently in this category. Order 29 recites, “In case any forfeit shall remain unpaid three calendar months from the time at which it has been first put upon the list,” (?) “a notice of such forfeit being due, with the name of the subscriber to the stake, and the name or description of the horse, with the name or sufficient description of the stake, and the amount of the forfeit, shall be advertised in every succeeding sheet Racing Calendar, until Messrs. Weatherby shall receive notice in writing from the stakeholder at the place where the forfeit was incurred, or from the winner of the race, that the same is paid, or until it is paid at Messrs. Weatherby's office.” Now, this is plain enough. When any forfeit shall remain unpaid for three months, notice to that effect is to be given in the Racing Calendar, as an announcement of bankruptcy is advertised in the Gazette. Unfortunately, the notice of racing engagements is so vague and arbitrary, that it is impossible to enforce such a course in all instances ; but as far as relates to arrears of stakes, or forfeits due to the Messrs. Weatherby in their capacity of stake-holders,