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Baily's Magazine of sports and pastimes, Volume 17 online

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the hurdles must be slanted the right way. The exodus from Baden after the
Meeting was something awful to behold, for the trains were nearly a mile long,
and contained nearly every class of persons on the Continent, and, as may be
imagined, they did not keep time with the punctuality of the Great Northern
express. For there were soldiers, English and French, Actresses of the same
nations, the most distinguished courtesans that London or Paris could produce,
Newmarket and Middleham jockeys, a Stockbroker who travelled in a saloon
carriage, with bed in it for himself and Secretary, Journalists, Milliners, Betting-
Men, and Priests, and the uproar they created was so great at the different
stations that for the future we resolved to delay our departure until after the
retreat of the million. As it was we broke our journey at Nancy, where we
were assured, on what we conceived to be first-rate authority, we should arrive in
time for a late dinner. But as it was after eleven when we got to the hotel,
and found that ten was the usual hour for the Nancys to go between the sheets,
for which we highly commend them, we were obliged to put up with some
bread and cheese and cognac and water, for our supper; and the next
morning, as may be imagined, we beat a rapid retreat for Paris, where, in a
twelve francked bedroom on the third floor of the Grand Hotel at Paris, we
•ought the aid of Nature's sweet restorer. Having obtained the required forty
winks, we started afresh by the earliest train, anticipating the subsequent
hurricanes by four-and-twenty hotfrs, arriving in England to read in one of the
Sporting Papers that Admiral Rous had spoiled the Warwick Meeting, by
remaining during the whole of the races on the Press Stand, with the view of
detecting the non-trying division, who usually make Warwick their head
centre. Doncaster can scarcely be said to have been up to the same pitch
of enthusiasm we have witnessed for some years, although the attendance was
enormous, including nearly, we should say, every Lancashire and Yorkshire
bookmaker and every Welsher in England. In fact, the people swarmed like
blackbeetles, literally covering the earth of the inclosure with their presence,
and completely destroying all the enjoyment of the inclosure. And it may be
said, that racing at the present time, except in a private box, is an amusement
that can only be enjoyed by those who are sound in wind and limb. For to press
through the crowds of drab-coloured men who congregated at Doncaster, re-
quired the shoulder-to-shoulder action which we read of as peculiar to the
Highland race, and which few Englishmen possess. To judge by the thou-
sands of persons present, we should say that Doncaster has benefited more
than any Meeting in our recollection by the prestige which has attached to it
from former recollections. And there is no race in the Calendar on which
Yorkshire men love to dwell as much as the St. Leger ; for they speak of the
first they ever witnessed with fond recollection, as a sort of landmark in their
memory, discuss the celebrated men of its day and with as much vivacity as they
do the Steels and NichoUs of the present age. In the same way the horses
which have run in the St. Leger when the Colonel, Tarrare, and Matilda
ran for it, are contrasted with the equine heroes of the age in which we
live, and serve for gossip by many a fireside. The programme for Doncaster
this year was certainly litde calculated to warrant such an attendance as it
•ecnred ; for the St. Leger had no flier engaged in it, and the field was
allowed to be one of the most moderate on record, and the race was thought

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220 ' OUR VAN.' [October,

to be but ao echo of the Derby. Therefore the gathering was somewhat
wonderful^ and all the stands, or which Doncaster has more than any other
Meeting in the kingdom, were crowded to repletion. The Doncaster people
are noble givers, and verily they have their reward, for the public like to sup-
port them ; and next year when a little more money has been added to the
Fitzwilliam Stakes, the List will be as near perfect as can be arrived at. The
number of races per diem may perhaps be objected to by a Southern
visitor ; but when we consider how passionately fond the Tykes are of sport,
and that they would remain and witness racing by lamplight, it does not do lo
be too particular with them. That clever mare of Mr. Merry's, Sunshine,
which was ridden by Fordham, in consequence of Daly being unable to get
down to the weight through the weather, won the Champagne in a canter.
Mantilla being second ; and it was palpable that Fordham did all in his power
not to expose his mare too much, or she would have left them standing still ;
and should she keep well till the next Derby Day, the man who has a better
animal in his stable, may deem himself one of Fortune's choicest favourites, for
she can both go fast and stay besides for a week. The Great Yorkshire Handi-
cap, strange to say, was won by G^ant des Battailes, and as it was some years
since the Yorkshiremen had seen < the spots ' triumphant in a great race on
Doncaster Moor, they cheered them, as they were wont to do in the days of
Vohigeur and Vidette, when Job Marson was in the zenith of his glory, and
Jackson but as yet in embryo as a betting-man. But still we are inclined to
think the G^ant owed his victory more to the inability of the boy who was on
Argyll to get him out, rather than to his own merits. Paul Jones, with whom
Mr. Hodgson meditated a grand coup^ hit a splint on one of his legs, and
pulled up lame. The rooms in the evening were crowded with a mob of the
most miscellaneous description, who took all sorts of liberties with the Drum-
mer, backed Pero Gomez, and Martyrdom, while about Pretender they pre-
served a kind of neutrality, because any kind of feeling tliey might have had
against him, was checked by Argyll's position in the Yorkshire Handicap in
the afternoon. Pero Gomez's Leger day opened with the tramp of carriages from
Sheffield, and other populous districts in the neighbourhood, and with showers
which gave promise of the Carnival of the North being celebrated in adverse
weather. The streets were impassable to persons on foot, and numbers there-
fore took refuge in the Sale Paddocks, where, at least, they were prevented
from being run over. No alteration occurred in the betting, but an under-
standing seemed to prevail that danger really was meaqt with Martyrdom, who
had been placed under the charge of the police from the time of his arrival in
Doncaster. He consequently advanced in price, but very little money could
be got on him. As for Wells, he vowed the race was already over for Pero
Gomez, and he burned for the opportunity of showing how he had been done
out of the Derby, through being knocked about like a skittle, and his place in
the race taken from him when he wanted it. Pero was trained to the hour,
and as he galloped down the course, he did so with a degree of confidence
that augured his success. Perhaps the best prepared horse in the race, and the
best looking, was George Osbaldeston, whom John Shepherd, of Malton,
might well have been proud of. Among the Yorkshiremen, there was a
universal feeling for him, but, strange to say, it was only for a place, or
rather in the latest racing slang, «a shop.' And while few bookmakers
laid out right against him, every place volume was full. Pretender came
out the middle of the throng of horses, and it required but half an eye to
tell us he was not the horse we had seen at Epsom, and that there was no

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869.] ' * OUR VAN.* 221

St. Leger in him. He had completely fallen away to nothiDg, and had no
middle pieces, or muscle about him. Hence it was evident Dawson had not
been able to train him, from his consutution being strained so much, that he
could not stand the work requisite for his being brought out in proper style.
Martyrdom was as fit as hands could make him, and had Nature bestowed upon
him a heart, in addition to her other gifts, she would have made him a race-
horse. The lot got off on capital terms in capital time, and we would have
described the race, but as the reporters' room resembled a great Commercial
Academy, we are spared the trouble of doing so. Suffice it to say, that
Pretender was never in the race at any point ; that George Osbaldeston made
his effort far too early from home ; and that, at the distance, it was plain there
were only two in the race, viz., Pero and Martyrdom. For a moment
Martyrdom headed Pero, and had he seconded his jockey's efforts, Fordham
would have won his first St. Leger, but although he nursed him with the most
consummate tact, it was of no avail, and Pero won very cleverly by a short
neck, although we think all was not out of his horse when Wells pulled him up.
George Osbaldeston was third, so the place money for which he had been
backed was secured. Sir Joseph Hawley, who never won a St. Leger before,
although he has booked four Derbys and an Oaks, was by no means so
sanguine as his trainer and jockey, won very little over the race, having only
put a thousand on him the night before, and the chief winners were Lord
Roseberry, Messrs. George Herring and T. Hughes, and also the Messrs.
Christy, two of the most respectable members of the Ring. Wells's luck in
great races is somewhat extraordinary, indeed his career from when old
John Day was wont with pride to designate him hh boyy has been almost one
universal run of luck. And when we read his name in a play-bill, and saw it
stated he had given his name to < a bespeak night,' at a Circus, at Kingsclere,
we called to mind his taste for gvmnastics manifested itself at a very early age.
For when he was *Tiny Wells' in reality he told us, in answer to our
inquiry, who was the greatest actor he ever saw in his life, that in his opinion,
* the Guttapercha-man of a Circus ' was the individual who found most favour in
his eyes. The great traits in Wells's character are honestv of purpose and truth-
fulness, and these combined with his racing ability, manircsted from the days of
Rataplan and Virago, have earned him troops of friends, who are little likely
to desert him while he wears a cap and jacket, or plain clothes. Having devoted
as much space as is in our power to the St. Leger, we must hurry over the other
events of the week, observing that Dawson proved himself as dangerous with
bis team as ever, although the ill luck they experienced with Lord Hawthorne
in the Cup, was heartrending. The debCkt of Stanley was far more satisfactory
than was anticinated, and Joseph Dawson introduced to us a most useful colt, in
Camel, who bids fair to become as well known, if he trains on, as his namesake.
On the whole, the Doncaster Meeting for this season may be termed the most
crowded and the most uncomfortable of the year ; but it had many interesting
points about it, as a reference to the Calendar will point out. To say anything
about the Doncaster officials from Mr. Hatfield and Mr. Johnson downwards is
uncalled for, as their civility to all who are brought in contact with them is
proverbial, and offers a strange contrast to that which is exhibited at some
places, we forbear to mention to those associated with sporting journalism or
literature. The lodging-housekeepers at Doncaster have ere now earned as
high a reputation for their charges as those of Ramsgate or Eastbourne ; but it
would seem there is one at Doncaster who can give them any amount of
weighty and who is to be found in the pleasant locale called Whittaker Street,

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222 * OUR VAN.* [October,

where the houses strongly resemble those occupied by railway kboaren.
Into one of these two members of the Sporting Press, one of whom occupied
the important post of Special Commissioner to a leading journal, the other was his
private secretary, and one of the oldest contributories to die Fourth Estate. The
talon a manger they occupied was about the size of a moderate chioa-cloKt, and,
when lighted up with two burners, the temperature resembled very strongly
that of Pandemonium. The bedrooms were to match, and in the house ercfy-
thing was to be found from an eight-day clock to an execution, although the
latter was not visible to the naked eye. Well, from the Monday before the
races until the Friday, for their board and lodging they were charged
exactly seventeen guineas, and a few shillings extra. Of course the Special
Commissioner, wlien the Bill was read a 6r8t time and laid on the tables
threatened it with a vigorous opposition, and in consequence thereof, a few
trivial amendments were made in it, and the Bill was passed ; after which it
was exhibited on the various Stands on the course, where it was received with
the strongest marks of disapprobation, and its publication in its native integrity was
so loudly called for that the victimised could not refuse, and it was accordingly
given to the world in the columns of the < Times.' And we cannot help
thinking how envious the Ramsgate and Eastbourne purveyors of public accoiD-
modation will be to find their Doncaster rival had two flats who would stand
twelve shillings for groceries for four days without wincing. Old John Scott
was at Doncaster all the week, as hearty as a buck, only he could not jump
so high. The seizure of the Royal Oak with bronchitis the Saturday before
the Sl Leger was a heavy blow and great discouragement to him, for fitm
what he had done at home with Viscount and The Spy, he felt satisfied he
would have been among the first three. Last week the Veteran paid his annual
visit to Streatham to inspect the mares and yearlings of his old master, Mr.
Bowes, who visited Whitewall the week before the St. Leger, * after long
* years,* when John was enabled to give him a very good account of his steward-
ship. Among the latest returns to Whitewall may be mentioned the name of
Mr. Nunn, for whom, in 1846, John Scott won the Cambridgeshire, mainly
through the fine riding of poor Alfred Day. Mr. Nunn won a good stake 00
the race, and made the trainer and jockey of the horse handsome presents.
He then gave up, but now he has returned to his horses, singing-*

< Mais nouB revenons toujoars,
A no8 premieres amoun.*

That careful and lucky jockey, Custance, has, we are given to uodentand,
purchased out of his savings a landed estate in Rutlandshire, where, from the
paucity of qualified persons on the roll, it is highly probable that in the course
of a few years he will be pricked for the Sheriff of the County. In this case,
his reception of Mr. Justice Blackburn, should he happen to go the Circuit, is
looked forward to with great amusement by his brethren of the pigskin. Our
valued contemporary the • Druid* has somewhat recovered his shattered
health, and has been delighting the readers of the * Daily News' with some
racing sketches of Yorkshire, which has quite caused a run on that newspaper
at all railway stations.

The Breeding Sales at Doncaster showed signs of weakness in the nooney
market, or rather the determination of purchasers not to give more than reason-
able prices for blood stock. But there will be always customers for good-look-
ing animals to be found. The number of breeders is so increased, there is not
room for their stock, and Captain Alexander and Mr. Mather have wisely

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1869.] *OUR van/ 223

taken time by the forelock and disposed of their brood mares and yearlingf,
thinking very wisely the first up to be the best. Lord Vivian's well-selected
lot of horses goes up in the middle of the month, and deserve the attention of
buyers, as they all have a bit of running about them. The cause of his lord-
ship's retirement is well known, but for certain reasons we forbear to men-
tion it.

Our Hunting Intelligence this month is singularly barren. In Buckingham-
shire Squire Lowndes has been rattling the cubs and his horses' legs. On
the morning of the 22nd he killed a cub at Mentmore, one of a litter of six
bred in Baron Rothschild's cover, making six brace of foxes in twelve days'
hunting, and all fairly killed, writes our correspondent. Does he recollect
"what Beckford says oiafair foxhunter ? But in Yorkshire, the great sensa-
tion of the month has been the patronage accorded to Sir George Wombwell,
the new Master of the York and Ainsty, by that veteran patron of the noble
science, Mr. Peter Wilkinson, who, on an inspection of the hounds on tht
flags, was so struck with the care and judgment widi which they had been
•elected, and their general appearance, that he marked his approval of them by
a few days after presenting Sir George with a handsome silver hunting horn,
with the simple but graphic inscription upon it • To Sir George Wombwell,
' from Peter.' The presentation, which was made, not at a public banquet
as was anticipated, but in the most unostentatious manner, completely took Sir
George by surprise, and he was for some time speechless with gratitude ; but at
length having recovered hiqpself^ he expressed his thanks in a becoming manner \
and as he has been selected for the honour in the first year of his Mastership,
and in preference to such men as Mr. Lane Fox, and Lord Middleton, we
congratulate Sir George heartily on the rapid distinction in the Hunting Field.
Lord Folkestone, they say, has formed a new country near Longford Castle,
Salisbury, but we have not heard what his prospects of success are. Cub-hunting
has been very general throughout the countiy, and the prospects of sport in
almost every district most encouraging.

We are glad to learn that the dispute in the Kilkenny country, upon which
we made some remarks in the last number of ' Our Van,' is likely to be
smoothed over, all parties being heartily tired of a paper war. Out of 108
subscribers to the Kilkenny Hunt, ninety-one have signed a requisition to
Mr. Meredyth to continue as master, offering him support in every way. Of
the seventeen subscribers who have not signed, nine do not wish their names
to appear, but continue their subscriptions. There cannot therefore probably
be much amiss as regards sport, or management, when so large a number of the
subscribers and hunting men give Mr. Meredyth their support.

Our obituary is rather a brief one, but it includes Mr. Charles Taylor, who
died suddenly last month at his scat in Surrey. Although Mr. Taylor
had retired for some years from the active world, the recollection of his
prowess will always be fresh in the memory of those who witnessed it. What
prettier sight, five and twenty, or thirty years ago, than to see Charley Taylor
play an innings at Lord's ? Every hit so clean and neat, every movement so
natural and graceful. Veterans looked on in admiration, and declared that it
was Lord Frederick Beauclerk over again. He was equally good at tennis,
and at billiards. Indeed Mr. Taylor was full of talent : he could act, he
could sing, he could do almost anything he turned his hand to. * Nihil quod
tetigit non ornavit ' should have been the epiuph inscribed on his tomb.

Sir Charles Rushout was one of the pleasantest sportsmen of the old school,
and his face reflected his mind, for one glance at it would reveal his character.

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224 •our van.* [October," 1869.

The aon of the late Sir Charles Cockerell, he raced as became him for amuae-
menty and a Dukedom would not have gratified him more than his winning the
City and Suburban with Ethelbert. He raced in what may be termed Isaac
Day's country, and his chief traiDera were Sam Darling, Stevens, and Walters.
Old Mr. Kent is also added to the list of departed Turf worthies whose loss
we have to record. However, as he had reached his eighty-seventh vear, he
may be said to have had a good innings. He was originaJly a lad in old Dick
Boyce's stable at Newmarket in John Scott's time, and the pair shared the
same apartment together. While at Boyce's he was a very handy lad, and
could turn his attention to anything, including painting, eammg a great deal
of credit for a portrait of Sir Harry — a noted horse in Boyce's stable. He
afterwards went to the Duke of Richmond, whose horses he had for soipe
time, and was in office when Lord George Bentinck had his stud there ; and
it is reported that he tried as many horses one morning as brought in
old John Day forty-five guineas for riding them. He was highly respectable,
but he had one peculiarity as a trainer, which was, that he fed his hones on
the homoeopathic principle, giving them a handful of corn half a dozen times a

The Brighton Coach, which, we are glad to hear, has had a very remuneratii^
season, discontinued running the beginning of the month. Next season it is
to be put on again, as the time it has kept has been so very ponctual, and
the journey between the metropolis and London-super-Mare so well done,
that quite a taste for the road has been cultivated, which the proprietors are
anxious to encourage.

The debiit of the < Man About Town * has been so far successful ; but
he has been < so out of sorts ' from following his vocation, that he as yet can
hardly be said to have got into harness. But when released from the sick-
list he will no doubt return to his old form.

Mr. Stephen Pearce has just completed his celebrated Ashdown picture, upon
which his efforts have been so long concentrated. Time at this moment only
permits us to say that the picture is one of almost national interest, that the portraits
introduced into it are living, breathing ones, and such as can be readily recog-
nised, while the grouping is most natural and effective, and such as greatly
enhances the appearance of the scene. The best portrait in the picture is,
perhaps, the Earl of Sefton, who is placed upon his horse, as a sportsman
should be, while the artist has charmingly hit off Lady Grey de Wilton's seat
and attitude. The other characters are so well preserved, we cannot imagine
a Courser's dining-room without a copy of the engraving, which will doubdess
be produced from it, being hung upon the walls.

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VOL. XVII. — NO. 117. X

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Prominent among the rising Masters of Hounds of the present
day is Lord Henry Paget, second son of Henry, late Marquis of
Anglesey, and Henrietta Maria, fourth daughter of the late Sir
Charles Bagot, and 'grandson of Henry William, first Marquis of
Anglesey, and who was born at 32 Bruton Street, Berkeley Square,
on Christmas-day, 1835. In early life his Lordship evinced a
strong predilection for field sports, and by the time he had attained
his majority had acquired a reputation for nerve and activity amongst
his brethren of the bat, the saddle, and the gun. He became in turn
a member of the I Zingari, the Marylebone, numerous provincial
cricket clubs, and President of the All England Eleven, and in the
dawn of his popularity worked hard and successfully in many
important matches.

While residing at the Grange, in Hampshire, with his brother,
the present Marquis, he exhibited his fondness of the Turf by riding
in several county races, principally on Abbotstone Down at the H. H.
races, where in 1865 and 1866 he won four matches consecutively out
of five with Tom Tit and The Heiress. He subsequently won other
matches at Lichfield and elsewhere, but at present his Lordship's
interest in the Turf is of a less activenature ; and as a shot both at
game and pigeons his Lordship has deservedly gained considerable

In 1854, on the death of his grandfather, that fine old sportsman
with whose portrait on his favourite shooting-pony we are all
familiar, his Lordship came to reside at Beau-Desert with his father,

VOL. XVII.— NO. 117. Digitized by google


and at once commenced hunting a pack of harriers, which is the
best school for learning the rudiments of the ' Noble Science.'

The South StafFor(ishire country, of which his Lordship is the
Master, lies between the Atherstone, the Albrighton, the North
Warwickshire, and the Hoar Cross, so many years hunted by the
late Mr. Mevnell Ingram. About forty-five years ago Mr. Osbal-
deston kept hounds within the limits of the present hunt ; and after
him it was hunted from 1826 to 1829 bv the late Mr. Hugo Chad-
wick, who was succeeded by the late Mr. Pole Shaw, who was

Online LibraryJohn BellBaily's Magazine of sports and pastimes, Volume 17 → online text (page 30 of 51)