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AT THE MELBOURNE DERBY

♦ (fbom our own oobresfondest ) Last Saturday «aw tbo Derby lost and woe — the three-year-old Bine Riband of the Austtalian tnrf. The meeting was a wonderful one In many respectH—wonderfol for its orowd, ita heat, Its sunshine, *nd it* results, One saw everyone of note on the lawn and grand stand. Venerable judges elbowed bandylegged jocks; squatting 0 cemses iat next to sporting bank clerks; honorable members of our august Houses of Legislature crowded oheek'byjowl with strident-volcad bookmakers ; mashers and dudes exchanged turf confidences with out of elbows nondescripts and tonts ; sedate lawyers and mediooa threw off professional reserve, «nd wore to be seen darting to and fro among the betting men, intent on that dangerous pastime of " backing their fancy." And the Udles I Ye Graes three and Muses nine 1 what a orowd oi them there were. And all looking dainty and pretty m their new summer coatumee and piquant mizy dresa makers' chefs d' izuvre. From Lady In oh, looking deliclous m pure white, to Madame Follet on t, the Parisian costumtire, present on the course to triumph m the eight of her handiwork ; from Mrs Mondaine, the leader cf fashion, to Mlbb Brown, the shopgirl, whose young man always ccmea out generously at Obp time, and givec his BwecthsßTt her oq& great treat cf ibe year. --A»l— tfiein'onme and bin wlfa wore there, dressed m their best, betting, promenading, cbattfDg, perspiring, and thinking mere cf themselves and their appearanoe than of the racing. Truly, all of it,. • great sight fer fifty year old Melbourne, but one that makes me it fleot rather philosophically on the ranlty and foolishness of it all. I Buppoae tens of thousands of pounds are spent by tbe pnblfo m this great Saturnalia, and what is tbe reaalt obtained 1 Absolutely nothing bave a few days' rabid excitement, whilst the harm it does the country districts generally ia very great, impoverishing them for the time and making times bed. But people won't learn sense, and so the merry geme goes on, to the profit of bookmakers, hotelkeepers, and the metropolitan tradesmen generally. Fancy, on Friday eight trait a, ail crammed and jammed, hti Sydney. At the same timo tbe country trains are bringing living loads a* rapidly as steam on do ic. The steamers come packed, and the result is board and lodging can hardly be obtained m Melbonrne even at famine prices. It Is racing m excelsia, and I think representatives of every kingdom, state, and community under tbe sun arc assisting at the juggernaut. It Is a case of plua on eat de fous, plua on rit— the more fools the more tun, .And tbe first being plentiful, tbe latter Is fast and furious. * But about the race meeting on Saturday. As I said, it was a hugely-attended function, and even the frying beat did not affeot Its success m any way. "The biggest Derby we have had yet," said the ■ecretary of the V.8.0. to me triumphantly, "What a Cup we shall have 3" The raoa was really a very good one, and the finish superb. Tbe one and-a-half-mile is jast enough to - te3t the mettle of the three-year-olds, and makes to my mind the best kind of a race, The horaes, seven of them, osmein pretty Well together despite the long distance; then jast at the podt Ensign, the winner, made • dash, rsced neck-and-neck for a dczen yard* with the roie-and-black stripes of Oat bine and the heavy- bacfred Melos, and won on the post by a head, the rest cf the field hardly half a length behind. A grand finish, and one worthy of the day and tbe huge ooDcourße aißembled to witness it. Then'oame the little ceremony of crowning tbe victor. The panting Ensign, flecked with foam and dripping with perspiration, was led wonderingly to the goDemational box m the prand stand, and there had the historic blue riband fastened round bis ueok by the fair hands of Lady Loch— -a oeremony which elicited loud oheera from emulous ■hoddocracy round about. The winner belongs to the Hod. James, White, than Whom no truer sportsman treads the turf and the win itself was a popular odo. I hope It may be tl c herald of another Derby Victory, for, as everybody know?, the Hon. Janus has tfcree colts m training for the ' English Derby, and for the greater credit of Australia I trust most sincerely he will win H »b he> ban dono curs.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18881120.2.23

Bibliographic details

AT THE MELBOURNE DERBY, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1992, 20 November 1888

Word Count
750

AT THE MELBOURNE DERBY Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1992, 20 November 1888

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