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DEATH OF MR SNEWING., Auckland Star, Volume XVIII, Issue 60, 12 March 1887
DEATH OF MR SNEWING.
THE SENSATIONAL DERBY TIUDMPH WITH CAKACTACUS.-KEMINIS-CENCES OF AN EVENTFUL YEAR.
(From Ouk London Correspondent.)
Precis. Heath ov Mv Shewing—Toe Debhy ok 1862—its sl'kcial intkkkst to australians -The M»hQOis- His Stud Career in Victouia - Tiik Bookmaker's Oath — Tnn Statue of Oab»ctacus -Laying Down a ' Dkkhy Bix ok SnEiiity—Caractacus Venit —Backed foh the Derby—a. skkiks ov t'ekbats-tcxcitement over the IjerilyHohsks Backed to Win Fortunes -The . start-Tiik Kacb-ViutoKY-Tiib Jockey Fails to Draw Weight—An Objection— admiral jkol's to tub kkscue — hext ' Morning—Winnings. j
London, January 14.
The death! of Mr Shewing, owner of the famous Caractacus, recalls memories of one of the most eventful and sensational Derbys ever run over Epaom Downs. To Australians the story of this race must always be of special interest, for it was ono of the few occasions that Tho Marquis, who died recently in Victoria after a long and useful careor at the stud, suffered defeat on the turf. John Scott, indeed, always maintained that had the coit's jeekey made losb use of him during the early part of the Btruggls, Caractacus would never have been returned winner of tho Blue Hiband. The nwnor of a second ie, howevor, generally of thoopinion that but for something or otheritahould have won. Mat Dawson, I know, declares Buckntonu would have boon returned the winner had he run up to his trial, and Jackson, tho leviathan bookmaker, could nover undorstand why Noptunus, who had won a most extraordinary trial; with Tim WhifHer another subsequent emigre to tho colonies—got no nearer than fourth. Mr Snewing wai a bookmaker, not o " membor of the ring " in an ordinary accoptation of tho tonn, but ono of the " list" men who, till Andoreon's act was passed, kont shops in ona of tho small Efcroots at Iho back of Drury Lanes. Ho had a email stud, which he trainod privately in a somewhat happy-go-lucky manner. At tho Exhibition of 1851, whon quite a young man, he saw a magnificent pieco of etatuary repreßonting Caractacus in chains being led captive to Rome. Tho beauty of the work and the euphony of tho namo caught his fancy, and turning to thn companion of tho momont, he naid, "If over" I try a horso good enough I'll call him Caructacus, and win the Derby with him." To win the Derby was Snowing'B (liko ninny other people's) great ambition, and so certain waa he that the " good thing " would some day como off that he laid down a bin of sherry with the determination that tho first class should be consumed in honour of the great occasion. Just ten years later, and on the ovo of the opening of the second Great Exhibition (that of 1862), Mr Snewing found himself with a colt of unusual excellence, by Kingatone, out of Defenceless, to which he felt justified in giving the name of Caractacus. The youngster was bought as a yearling for 270 guineas at Mr Blenkiron'B palo in IS6O, and did not distinguish itself as a two-year-old. Early, however, in 1562, Caractacuß was on everybody's lips as a likely outsider for the coming Derby. This was after the Groat Metropolitan at Epsom Spring Mooting, in which Mr Snewing's colt ran a great race with the then famous Astoroid. Hardly, however, had the bookmaker and his friends heavily supported Caractacus> for the blue ribbon than ho disgraced himaelf inexplicably in tho Btennial^at Newmirket, and this defeat was huccerded by others in the Chester Cup and Great Northern Handicap at York, which seemed to entirely dispose of the colt's Derby chance and drove him to 100 to 1 (0) in the betting. Snowing's trainer then arrived at the conclusion that the colt was ovor-done and changed his- system of exorcise, with sucli success that Caractacus was soon himself again, and ten days before tho Derby won tho Somersetshire Stakes at Bath after walking ten miles to the course from a dißtant farm-house where he waa stabled. Tho Derby fever nover raged with greater fierceness than during tho week prior to tho Epsoro carnival of 1862. All the world and his wife, including princes and potentates innumerable, were in London celebrating tho opening of tho greatest Exhibitions, and every man (worth hi? salt) meant to be at Epsom on the oosuing Wednesday. The Marquis, the colt that subsequently made such a name at the stud in Australia, was first favourite of the 34 starlors. Ho hailed from the invincible etablo of John Scott, and had won the Two Thousand to boot, facts which made him the idol of tho populace and terror of the ring. Then there was Buckstone, thshopo of thp°followors of riirowd Mr Merry and tho " boy in yellow ;"St. Joseph Hawley's pair, Argonaut and St. Alexis; Lord Glasgow's highly tried Brown Bes>s colt and Lord St Vincent's Schonallon. All these wore backed with a steady confidence to win largo fortunes, but tho horee that would certainly have broken the ring, had he won, was Noptunus, the property of Jackeon. the l-wittfaan bookmakor, who had been tried " a dead cerraintv" with tho Choster Cup winner, Tim WbifUer- another ovontual emigre to Australia. Lord Stamford (thogreatplungerofthoanto-Hastings period) bad also a horse callod Eneign engaged, who was heavily supported, and an outsider named Ace of Hoarts likowiee found numorous friends.
An Objection to tho Winner.
For the description of the race and the romarkablo scene that followed 1 shall nuote from Mr Corlett, of tho " Sporting Times," who hae been looking up files of " Bell's Lifo" to refresh his recollections of these stirring old times. The Derby day proved hot and sultry, and tho assemblage on the Downs phenomenal. The Marquis remained a firm first favourite up to tho start, though close pressed by Bucketono. Caractncus's price was 50 to 1, one of the last wagers Jaid being 5,000 to 100 to a gentleman who liked tho colt's notion in tho preliminary cantor. James (Joater. Snewing's chief jockey, had been offered rhe mount on Caracracus, but refused it in favour of a brute of bis brother's, that finished last. Parsons, a stable boy, was consequently put-up. Jim Goater's rofupal was specially unlucky, as it cost him tho annuity of £100 a year for life, which Snewing had promised to settle on his jockey if ever ho won the Derby for him. The start was a very bad one, Ensign and three others being several yards behind when the flag dropped. The Marquis, however, got off well, to the delight of John Scott, who was not, however, so well pleased a little later when he saw the colt making the running throughtho furzes, as Aehmalt's orders were to wait. Coming down the hill Ashmalt Btoadiedhis horse and allowed Brighton, who had run third for tho Chester Cup, and Nottingham, to|ride whom the Duke of Beaufort had given up Alfred Day, to pase him Close up with these came Caractacus and Buckstone, side by Bide, and Neptunus and Argonaut. Croseing the road, Caractacua took the lead, buc though he was in front, his inexperienced jockey did not force him in tho least, but rode with all the coolness of a veteran keeping his horse well in hond. The first to cry ago was Nottingham, who bad run fast in the Two Thousand, and, stumbling, ha came nearly on to his nose and kness. Jack son's " blue and white" on the dreaded Neptunua was tbe next to disappear, and the " Merry" men began to have fears for Buckstone, who had got his head down and was pitching terribly. This was near the bell Here the cherry jacket of Sir Joseph Hawley was seen well in the van, and loud shouts of " Sir Joseph wins I" " Argonaut wina !'' were raised, but the horao, coming into collision with Buckstone, dtopped away again. The light blue jacket and white cap of Caraetacuß were still in front, with the ecarlet jacket and white cip of The Marquis on the lower cround sticking to him like a leech, with Buckstnne improving hia position again immediately it came to climbing tho bill. Caractacus, however, held him to the finish and won by a nock, John Scott's party most unjustly blaming Ashmaltfor throwing away the race by being in front so soon after starting. A length and a half away came Buckßtone, who did not show to advantage in descending the hill, and when Mat Daweon Baw that his trial horse, The Knave, who ought to have been a hundred yards behind, waa close up fifth, he ridiculed the idea of the runniug being correct, so far aa Buckscone was concerned. Neptunus, who was beaten by tbe hill, was fourth, a head only in front of Euckstona's stable companion. The winning cumbers hoisted on tha telegraph were — 17 14 6 but Mr Snewing'e money was not yet won. Full of excitement and enthusiasm he presented himself to see Parsons weigh in. To bia horror the jockey failed to draw the
weight, The bridlo was cent for, and "Oh, the agony I felt at that moment, I ; would riot tfndorgo it again for a thousand : pounds," Mr Snewing remarkei to us some years afterward^,- wfcen speakiDtf of this cirenmstanco. Tftff bridle sat matters right,- and' thtf Kfeara Just turned, but with nothing to spare. It was not, however, all over yet. A short tiara afterwards, Lord Stamford objected to the itart on the ground that, with the exception of his own horee and three others, not one had gone the course. On this, the excitement became tremendous. Would the race have to bo run over again, or would it bo void? Admiral Hous was, fortunately, at the head of uSiSre, and he was almost the only man en the coursa wjio did not luse hia head. On Lord Stamford making his protest, Admiral Kous took his watch out of his pocket, and, = noting the timo, said, "Twenty minutes ! Tfee objection, to hold good, should have beefl made within a quarter of an hour," this being Shu then GGcn Rule of Racing. The Admiral farther stated that, had the objection bfeen msde withm the quarter of an hour allowed, the stewards would' have had no alternatrve' but to declare the race void, and all bets and forfeits would haVe been cancelled. They could not have ordered the race to be run over again, as four horses had gone the right course, anJ, if any onb of those four had been placed, say, fourtb, by the judge, Caraotacus, The Marquis, and Buckatone would have been disqualified, and the raoe awarded to the horse so placed. What a dilemma was &ere escaped. Oh, wha*.a surpriso ! Horees not placed by the judge aro technically distanced, om'J. the same is the case with those that have gone the wrong course. If, therefore, Ensign had been placed fourtli by the Judge, and the claim to tha stakes had been made within a qnafter of an hour, ho would have been proclaimed whrtttf oi the Derby, and there would have been no second or third horse. Those events" wefe no startling that no wondor, when Mr Showing awoke, in his house in Euston Square tho following morning, all that had taken' pla'co eeomod to him liko a dream. li Is it truo, is it true, have I won the Derby, or have I dreamt it?" ho called out to his niece. "Make haste down, uncle, and come and look; the drawinp room hang with blue libbons," she replied. Even that did not satiefy him, and after seoing tho ribbons, ho said, " Sond out for a nowapapcr and lot mo coo it in print." Tho " Times " was brought him, and on ereing "Mr Snewing'a b c Caractacuo. by Kingston, out of Ueloncless, Sat 101b, ■!. Pardons, 1," bo replied, " Now lam calisfied. I know that I havo won the Dei-bv." Ho won over the race about £25,000, a "noble lord" won £12,000, Baron Nivioro £10,000. Mr Bignold £3,000, Prince Batthyany £4,000, and Mr Edmonds, Mr Wakes, Mr Coward, and Mr Mundy aleo threw in for good stakes.
DEATH OF MR SNEWING., Auckland Star, Volume XVIII, Issue 60, 12 March 1887
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