Theodore Andrea Cook.

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^500 for winning the Derby but bestowed double that amount on Robert Peck
who trained Bend Or. The formidable sums considered justifiable as presents
at the beginning of the twentieth century to a jockey already in receipt of
a larger income than a Cabinet Minister, are no more an indication of increased
excellence in riding than the huge fees now asked for stallions, or the inflated prices
for a fashionably bred yearling, are a guarantee that bloodstock has improved.

A few of the famous jockeys of the eighteenth century have already been
mentioned, and their exploits were celebrated all over the country in their time,
though the chronicles are somewhat too silent as to their doings, save in such forms

"Moll Tonson" and "Barefoot" at the Well Gap, Newmarket.

a difference which the late Duke of Westminster



as that sono- which records how John Tow (in red) met the redoubtable Matchem
Timms (in yellow) one famous August at York in 1700 :

" Come all ye noble sportmen that love to show fair play,
I'll tell you of a valiant match that was run ac York one day
Between Mr. Warren's Careless, which I tell o'er and o'er,
And the Duke of Devonshire's Atlas that never was beat before."

I am not sure that " fair play " is an exact description of the " cross and jostle"
which was somewhat prevalent in Yorkshire and elsewhere when this spirited ballad

was first popular ; but it is not often that
a more trustworthy word is obtainable
of the doings of the period. One
jockey's mounts, however, I have been
able to trace in a rather more connected
manner from the old race-cards, and the
name of John Singleton will serve as
well as any other to introduce us to the
Old School, for he died only five years
before the nineteenth century began and
he spent no less than fifty in the saddle.
Born at Melbourne, near Pockling-
ton, in Yorkshire, John Singleton began
as a cattleherd on Ross Moor, but was
soon attracted towards his master's
stables. Mr. Read was a sporting farmer
' on the Wolds. In 1735 his bay mare

John SingLetvn. Rackcicl, by a son of Bay Uoltun,

raced at York, and in 1734 at Hambleton ; in 1733 his ch. g. Tantivy was
beaten for the Galloways' Plate at York, and in 1732 his grey mare won His
Majesty's 100 guineas at Hambleton, thus making a capital beginning with the
first entry of his which I can find recorded, and he was no doubt glad enough to get
a boy with good hands to win a country wager now and then. This boy was given
a ewe one day for a clever bit of work, and with the price of her progeny he paid the
fee of Smiling Tom (by the Conyers Arabian] for covering his master's mare. The
foal was a good one, and John Singleton rode his own horse past the post in the
Subscription Plate at Hambleton, and also at Morpeth, Stockton, and Sunderland.

/ ,



Mr. Read, who was a persistent racer, won the Hunters' Purse of twenty cruineas
(owners up) at York, in 1739, with Three Legs. At that date Matchem Timms was
still riding, but I find no mention of Singleton on the Northern cards before 174%
though in view of his first purchase it is most interesting to see that Mr Read's b.
Lucy (by Gallant's Smiling Tom, who also sired Mr. Barley's gr. h. Plunder] was fourth
for His Majesty's 100 guineas, for five-year-old mares at Hambleton in 1737. She
was beaten at York in 1736. Singleton's fine riding had soon attracted the attention
of the Marquis of Rockingham, who eventually made him both his rider and his
trainer ; and he used to attend at Newmarket in the spring and Thixendale in the
summer. Riding the
Marquis's Bay Malton, he
beat Herod at Newmarket,
and seven years after-
wards celebrated his
fiftieth year in the saddle.
He died at the advanced
age of eighty years in
1795, and was buried near
his old master's grave by
Ross Moor.

We begin the con-
trasts already ; for where
could we find a jockey
nowadays who only

served two masters all his life, and was buried in the same church with his
first employer by the desire of each ? Singleton made money and founded the
fortunes of his family at Great Givendale, where he was universally beloved. In
1769 he had married the widow of Peter Jackson, a name well known in the annals
of th'e saddle. His own son John did not ride, but his nephew rode Lord Rocking-
ham's Alabacuha, and had a son of the same name as himself, the third John
Singleton, who won the Derby of 1797 for the Duke of Bedford, and also the
St. Leger for Lord Fitzwilliam in Orville's year, but died young. To the end of his
life the original old John could lilt a full glass of port without a tremor, for his head
and nerves remained as cool as his chest and arms were strong and solid. He could
ride Sst. 7lb. when he was fifty-seven years old, as may be seen from the card of the

'Oscar" by " Saltram," from a "Highflyer" mare.



York Meeting of August, 1772. One of the best of his North Country predecessors
was Thomas Jackson, who rode and trained for Mr. Cuthbert Routh, of Snape Hall,
near Bedale, and for Mr. Jenison Shafto at Newmarket, who died at the age of
sixty-two, " worn out in the service of his friends," as his epitaph in Nunnington
Church declares, though a stern accuracy compels me to relate that he left the Turf in
consequence of the opinions held concerning his riding against Leonard Jewison at
York, which also led to his being supplanted as principal rider by Anthony Wheatley
in the stables so successfully managed by his brother, Christopher Jackson, who rode

Lord Darlington's " Rubens " (1805) by "Buzzard."

Matchem for Mr. Fenwick of Bywell, and afterwards trained at Middleham for
Messrs. John Pratt of Askrigg, John Coates, William Bethell, Jenison Shafto and
others, until his death in 1790.

When Singleton retired, Lord Rockingham gave the green jacket to Christopher
Scaife of Bedale, a pupil of the Christopher Jackson just mentioned, and husband of one
of Singleton's nieces, on the recommendation of Mr. John Pratt. After Lord
Rockingham's death in 1782 Scaife continued his work for Lord Fitzwilliam, until an
accident in 1793 compelled him to retire, for Sir William Lowther's Minion fell



backwards over him and broke several ribs. H is saddle was taken by young Singleton,
and his training stables went to his son, John Scaife. Another famous Northern jockey
was Mangle, who rode first for Isaac Cape at Tupgill near Middleham, whose training
establishment he subsequently took on, being responsible for the horses of the Duke
of Hamilton and Brandon, the Duke of Norfolk, Mr. Henry Peirse, Mr. William
Bethell, Mr. John Pratt and others, with such success that he built a new house and
stables at Brecongill, near Ashgill, afterwards occupied by the Dawsons. He won
five St. Legers, four for Lord A. Hamilton, whose Paragon, Spadille and Young Flora

" Seliin " by "Buzzard"

won in three successive years, and he was known as " Crying Mangle," perhaps
because so much success had spoilt him for bearing up against reverses. His chief
jockeys were John Jackson and Benjamin Smith. He died quite blind and very old,
in 1831. That Yorkshire was particularly successful about this time may be judged
from what was done by James Croft of East Wilton, near Middleham, who learnt his
riding under Mr. John 1'Anson, of Newmarket, but went back to his own moors to
train, where he prepared Fil/w da Puta, The Duchess, and Jerry, besides Theodore, in
whose St. Leger the first four horses all came from the same stable.


A few more of these older jockeys deserve mention before we pass out of sight of
the times in which they lived. Among them Michael Mason will be chiefly remem-
bered as the rider of Morwick Ball, and as a successful trainer on the Wold until his
death in 1786. Another pair always spoken of together were Charles Dawson of
Richmond and Mr. Mutton's Silvio, who won the Richmond Gold Cup in 1764 after
being beaten four times previously for the same event by Dainty Davy. Dawson
subsequently trained for Sir Lawrence Dundas of Aske, with W. Arnold and T. Fields
as his riders, both of whom succeeded to his stables. Yet a third indissoluble connection
in the memory of every racing man is that between Eclipse and John Oakley, who died
in ' 793- The hard work some of these men had to do may be judged from such

exploits as that of Joseph
Rose of Stokesley, wht>
once rode Mr. Stapleton's
Beauf remold (by Tartar}
on Monday, Sept. 3,
1764. for the King's Plate
at Lincoln, and on the
Wednesday for the Ladies'
Plate ; rode Dainty Davy
at Richmond in Yorkshire
on Thursday ; and Butc/ic-
lor a,t Manchester on the
Friday ; all this before
railways, or even macada-
mised roads, were dreamt

of. The jockey who won most Gold Cups in the eighteenth century seems to have
been John Kirton, whose St. Leger on Mr. Coate's Omf>hale (by HioJiflyer'], after
she had been amiss for some time, and was very short of training, was his most
notable classic triumph, for he beat the fa.vourite and won easily. He came into
a fortune and lived till he was ninety-three, but was blind and crippled ere he died.

The name of Alabacnlia has been mentioned in connection with old John
Singleton's nephew. When the race in which this was the first victory was
definitely called the St. Leger, its first winning jockey was George Herring, who
rode Hollandinsc for Sir Thomas Gascoigne and Mr. Stapleton, and whose career
was as brilliant as it was short, after he had learnt his riding on Bramham Moor with

Sir Charles B 'anbury's "Thunderbolt" (1806) by "Sorcerer."

1 1 ' r ~

VHl\s~*" e





" Black Jack," as Mr. John Lowther, the trainer, was known in those parts. Herring
once won nineteen races in succession, a feat which will take a lot of beating, and
was killed in 1796, in the last races that were held at Hull, by Mr. John Hutchinson's
black mare Gipsy, an own sister to Hambletonian, who threw him three times at the
start of the Mai-den Plate, and finally killed him on the spot. It was in this Mr.
Hutchinson's stable that John Cade (a compatriot of the elder Singleton) received
his first tuition. Cade succeeded Leonard Jewison on Mr. Peregrine Wentworth's
horses. Yet a third famous jockey came from the same village of Melbourne, in
Thomas Fields, who trained Miss Corn/art h for Sir Walter Vavasour, and succeeded
William Arnold in Charles Dawson's stables. His best race was on Sir Harry
Vane's Cockfighter by Over ton at the York August Meeting of 1800. The brown colt,
who was favourite, bolted at Middlethorpe corner and lost about 300 yards, but
Fields brought him up to his antagonists inch by inch, and just pulled off the victory
after a display of the greatest judgment and coolness. It will be remembered that
on the Tuesday of the meeting this same Cockfighter (then mounted by J. Shepherd)
beat Wonder (F. Buckle) and Mr. Cookson's Sir Harry, the owner of the last-named
colt being very angry with his jockey, Sam Chifney, for what he considered his bad
riding. But Sam stuck to it that Sir Harry " could not run," and when he was
ridden by Singleton the next day he came in last again, which proved the jockey
knew what he was talking about, and also rode straight, as I am inclined to think
was the case in the famous incident of Escape. To this I must now turn without
further delay, or the careers of other jockeys will carry me too far beyond the story
of the Prince of Wales, which must be told in this chapter.

Samuel Chifney (senior) wrote a book. Its published price was five pounds, and
it was " Sold for the author at 232, Piccadilly, and nowiiere
else." Not long ago I bought a copy in the same neighbour-
hood for rather less than one-tenth of that sum, and the confiding
sentences upon its title-page are worth consideration.

j u y ney

" Genius Genuine, by Samuel Chifney of Newmarket. A fine part in riding
a race, known only to the author. Why there are so few good runners, or why
the Turf horses degenerate. A guide to recover them to their strength and speed,
as well as to train horses for running, and hunters and hacks for hard riding ; to
preserve their strength and their sinews from being so often destroyed ; with
reasons for horses changing in their running ; likewise a full account of the
Prince's horse, Escape, running at Newmarket on the 2oth and aist days of October, 1791, with
other interesting particulars. January gth, 1804."

Just three years after this was printed its author died within the Rules of Fleet

VOL. II. 7 p,



Prison, leaving a widow and six children without much to live upon. But this was
not owing to " Genius Genuine." Indeed, there was more truth in the title-page just
quoted than any other jockey of the time could have claimed successfully. There is
little doubt Chifney's exquisite " hands " that mystery of mysteries in horsemanship
have never been surpassed, and only equalled perhaps by George Fordham. The
rough old school of Yorkshiremen feared him more than any other of their hated
Newmarket rivals, for he had a style they never understood, and he could do more
with a plain snaffle than other men could manage with a Mexican curb, as he showed
when he rode the Regent's Knowsley first past the post at Guildford with a slack
rein. " The Chifney rush " and general style of finishing, which were inherited by

the son, is admirably
depicted in the picture
by Stubbs of the elder
Samuel on Baronet,
which is reproduced on
page 335 of this volume
It is explained, if words
can ever explain the
thing, in the following
passage: "As the horse
comes to the last ex-
tremity, finishing his
race, he is the better
forced and kept straight
with manner, and with
fine touchings of his mouth. In this situation the horse's mouth should be
eased of the weight of his rein .... when horses are in great distress
they cannot face that visible manner of pulling. They must be allowed to ease them-
selves an inch at a time as their situation will allow. This should be done as though
you had a silken rein as fine as a hair, and were afraid of breaking it." The son
benefited enormously from such intelligent teaching, and when no more than three
stone in weight was taking lessons on his pony from his father into which every phase
of finishing was compressed. " By the powers, it's not fair," used to say Dennis Fitz-
patrick ; " Buckle and I will be having old Sam and Sam's son down on us soon."
Born about 1750 in Norfolk, the elder Chifney learnt training and practised

" Pericles" (1809) by " Evander.


riding under Richard Prince, Lord Foley's groom, and his riding soon put him in a
place by himself above Oakley, the two Arnulls (or Arnold), Buckle, Hindley, or
Clift. He was employed by Lord Grosvenor, the Duke of Bedford, Mr. Thomas
Panton, and finally by the Prince of Wales himself. He was five-foot-five tall, clean
run, muscular and light, and among many other victories he won the Derby for the
Duke of Bedford on Skyscraper (see pages 290 and 345). I have already hinted at
my opinion that, though Chifney was probably by no means a " plaster saint," he was
not so much to blame as Sir Charles Bunbury imagined. One side of that famous
inquiry will never be known. Chifney's own evidence may be summed up as follows :
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales had entered his b. h. Escape (by
Highflyer, dam by Squirrel] for a race at Newmarket on October 20, 1791. He
had bred the horse himself, and named him because he had kicked through the side
of his stall when a yearling and was rescued without injury. It is curious that after
he was sent to the stud, one of his colts, called Hairbreadth, was killed in the Maiden
Stakes at Chester in 1798, by violently colliding with a soldier after bolting over the
cords. One of Escapes victories was at York in August, 1790, when he beat Actaeon
and Gustavus for the Great Subscription of ^"295 for five-year-olds, 8st. ylb., four
miles, in the year after the Prince of Wales made his famous visit to the York races,
saw Miss Farren as Beatrice in " Much Ado," dined with the Lord Mayor, and
finished a triumphant progress through the North by staying at Wentworth House
with Lord Fitzwilliam. In 1791, at the same meeting, Sam Chifney rode Traveller
(see page 254), Creeper (see page 229), and Traveller again, for the Prince of Wales,
and was beaten in all three races. The jockey (who was riding about 8st. gib.)
thought Traveller (6 years) was unfit, and said as much to his trainer, Casborne, and
to the Prince, but recommended his royal master to back Creeper (5 years), and
backed the horse himself for two hundred guineas. When he stripped Creeper for
saddling just before the Wednesday race (the Great Subscription) he " believed him
poisoned, for his carcase was swelled in so extraordinary a manner that I never saw a
horse so before." There was no time to hedge, or to warn any one else, and though
the pace was easy at the start (four miles) the horse was beaten by Walnut three or
four lengths. Mr. Orton gives the betting as 3 to i on Walnut. On Thursday
Traveller, who had been beaten by Spadille, Gustavtts, and Fox on the Monday, was
again beaten by Tickle Toby and Walnut over another four-mile course, " universally
allowed," says Mr. Orton, " to be one of the finest races ever run." The finish was so
close that Chifney, who " poured upon the leaders " in the last hundred yards,

3 6


thought he had beaten Walnut, the favourite, as well as Gustavus, and got in second.
He was placed third, and Tickle Toby got the verdict by a head. The betting was
3 to i against the winner, 7 to i against Gustavus and Traveller. Two months
afterwards Chifney was back at Newmarket, where Escape was matched on the 3rd
of October against the Duke of Bedford's Grey Dioined (see page 238) at even
weights, four miles, for a thousand guineas, and just won on the run in. " Sam
Chifney," said His Royal Highness, as the horses were walking back to scale, " no
person but you shall ride for me," and shook him by the hand. The next day the
same two horses met again, for a Plate, under the same conditions, and with the

same result, Chifney only
winning by a small part
of what he could have
done if he had wished.

On the 2Oth, Escape
was entered for the Sixty
Guinea Stakes, Ditch In,
for which Chifney did not
think him fit, and dis-
suaded the Prince from
betting on him. The
owner's orders were
given as he sat in the
royal carriage with Lord
Barrymore, near the
lower end of the rails by the Turn of the Lands. "Sam Chifney," said His
Royal Highness, " I am never afraid when I am giving South and you orders, for
I know you are both too good jockeys to overmark your horse ; but now I will not
compel you to make play with Escape ; providing there should be good play made by
any other horse, you may wait with Escape, but should there be no other horse make
such as you think good play, you must take care to make good play with Escape."
These orders did not commend themselves to Chifney, who found that his mount had
not had a sweat since his last race with Grey Diomed ; so that on Mr. Lake's
suggesting that he should wait, and that the Prince should be informed of the
change they had both made in the instructions, Chifney waited, and the result was as
follows :

The Duke of Graf fan's "Partisan" (1811)
by " Walton" out of "Parasol."


r. Mr. Dawson's Coriander 4 to i against

2. Lord Grosvenor's Skylark ... ... ... ... 5 to i against

3. Lord Clermont's Pipeator

4. His Royal Highness's Escape 2 to i against.

The Prince naturally thought himself "a better jockey than Mr. Lake or Chifney,"
and considered the race had been lost through the change in his instructions. The
jockey, however, insisted that it had been lost through the horse's lack of preparation,
and was equally confident that after this sweating Escape would be fit to win next day,
saying he would back him to win himself, and urging both the Prince and Mr. Lake,
the superintendent of the Royal Stable, to do the same. The Prince did so, and
gave precisely the same orders for the race of the next day, October the aist, and
Mr. Vauxhall Clark got Chifney's twenty guineas on for him The first race had
been over a two-mile course, and the running had not been severe until the last
half-mile. On the 2ist, over the Beacon Course, Skylark made the running at once,
and kept ahead till a hundred yards from home. The result was as follows :

1. His Royal Highness's Escape ... ... ... 5 to i against.

2. Lord Barrymore's Chanticleer ... ... ... 7 to 4 against.

3. Lord Grosvenor's Skylark ~ ... ... ... ... n to 5 against

4. Duke of Bedford's Grey Diomed ... ... ... 6 to i against.

5. Lord Clermont's Pipcator

6. Mr. Barton's Alderman

There was very naturally a good deal of comment on this, and Chifney was had up
before the Stewards, Sir Charles Bunbury, Mr. Ralph Dutton, and Mr. Panton.
The jockey testified that he had had no bets on the first day, and twenty guineas on
the second, and that he had waited because he knew Skylark had a turn of speed,
"though a jade," while Escape was also "very fast." Sir Charles, however, had
evidently made up his mind. No further reasons were given, and the examination was
concluded. Chifney knew, of course, that Escap,. could give Baronet twenty pounds and
a beating, and that Baroiift had won the Oatland Stakes (page 338) and ^,17,000 at
least for his royal master, in a hot field of eighteen, besides having beaten Coriander
on the 6th of October. He knew that Escape had been unfit for the Oatlands, and
he felt a considerable, and justifiable, distrust for Neale, the trainer, while Casborne
had already fallen under suspicion over Creeper 's race at York, and was actually
dismissed for doping horses later on. There was also a good deal of tension
between himself and Mr Lake, who was evidently anxious from the first to put the
worst construction on the business, and not without some success, if we may judge



from the contemporary caricature by Rowlanclson, which is reproduced in these
pages. Clearly, too, Chifney's superior knowledge of condition, and probably ol
training also, could not always be unreservedly placed at his master's disposal without
a good deal of friction among those other servants whose main duties were rather to
feed, groom, or prepare the horses than to ride them. Moreover, the evil practice of
doping had unfortunately already appeared, as " Mr. Hodges, the great bettor," was
aware. An instance of it is indeed recorded by Mr. Orton in 1778, when William

Turner was tried at York Castle on
the charge of having given two pounds
of duckshot, made up in putty-balls, to
Mr. Bethell's Miss Nightingale by
Matchein, from the effects of which she
died on the Sunday before a race for
which she was entered at Boroughbridge.
The nobbling of Magog in the same
year has been already mentioned. The
unhappy creature won, though his
tongue was nearly cut out. Another
case in the North Country occurred at
Doncaster in 1808, when several horses
were poisoned by means of some deadly
drug which was put into their watering-
troughs by the scoundrelly firm of
" Dawson & Co." Three years later
one of these rascals, named Daniel
Dawson, secured the assistance of one

Cecil Bishop, shopman to a Wardour Street chemist, who first met him in 1807, and
had helped to poison various horses since that time, assisted by a person named Twist.
They had attempted to "nobble" Lord Darlington's Rubens, who won the Pavilion
Stakes at Brighton in 1809, and they finaJly poisoned some animals entered for the
Claret Stakes and the Craven Stakes at Newmarket, which were under the charge of
Richard Prince. Among these were Lord Foley's Pirouette and Spaniard, Lord
Kinnaird's Dandy, and Sir F. Standish's colt by Eagle, together worth some ,12,000,
considering their value and engagements. In May, 1811, Mr. Talbot was betting
Lord Frederick Bentinck five guineas at White's Club "that destroying a horse by

" Filho da Puta" (1812) by "Haphazard?


poison is not a capital offence by Act of Parliament." Lord Frederick, firm in his
opinion, was also betting Mr. Sloane and Colonel Osborne that it was. All three

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