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If yon enter Into conversation with a casual stranger, aay, In a train m London, It does not matter whether 6 rat, aecond or thltd class, you are always safe If yout»lk abont racehorses, This habit of mind la growing almost to a mania, and many per pie who do not really care about the sohj<>ot, and are not Ramblers at all, protend a kind of propitiatory conversational interest m It, partly proceeding from en obaoore vanity andadeaire tobe considered knowing. The mania la having an effeot even on the language. What is commoner than to hoar a parson spoken of as nn •' outsider" — a vague term of abuse, which on the turf has a definite meaning. Women seem to hava caught up all the cant of the thing aa woll as men, and, if you merely remark that it ia a fine day, will probab y reply that it is good feather for KemptdD or Sandown. I fancy the actual gambling, however, Is what attracts women. A man may talk raoing, and know the names of horses, and the odds, •imply to be thought "In the know,', and venture • languid " ten bob" with a friend who Is as big a fool aa himself ; but a woman wants to get something, and does not care so much about making a theetrloal effect of being a sporting oharaoter. It is not the kind of thing wbloh appeals to her vanity. But she can mako a hero of a successful j ickey, for he gets her something. The upper olases have always patronised the turf, and, therefore, do not ODme within my present purview. The remarkable thing la that apparently the only solitary and unique result of oompuleory elementa*? schooling is that ev«ry lad In a long ovorooat, with the oollar up, and a shallow h%rd felt hat, too large for his brainless noodle, reads "odds'' m newspapers wbloh oonoern themselves with auoh studies. He may ocoistonally read orimlnal literature, but he always gets up '• odds," Hit favorite opportunities are Sunday morning, before the "homes" open, and while his boots are bßing blaoked; and any evening In one of the " bouses," where a ragged and filthy n wspaper devoted entirely to gambling may be seen gratis. Every oabman, every omnibus driver, even porters at stations, and, of oourse, all publicans and potboys, get up "odds." It is the one thing they are m earnejf abont, besides making money. It Is a religion,— ''The Gentleman,"

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Bibliographic details

THE MODERN MANIA FOR HORSERACING, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2068, 20 February 1889

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THE MODERN MANIA FOR HORSERACING Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2068, 20 February 1889