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THE EPSOM DERBY.

Our London correspondent writes by the mail:—Just seventy years ago, when the then Duke of Portland won the Derby with Tiresias, sporting writers appear to have held forth on the alarming decadence of the turf, a"hd the impending collapse of Epsom race,s much as they do nowadays. In the " Sporting Times " of Saturday Mr Corlett quotes a doleful article from the " Sporting Magazine," of 1819, anent the thieving and ramping which went on then at Epsom on Derby Day, and recommends prattlers about "the faded glories of the turf" in 1889 to peruse the same in full. As a matter of fact, though speculation on the great race of the year has from various causes shrunk-up, it is as big a carnival (or saturnalia) as ever. On Monday evening there was not a bed to be had at any of the West End Hotels for love or money, and hundreds of belated travellersfound themselves foiced to spend the night in four-wheeled cabs. The winter favourites for the Derby were Donovan, Laureate, and El Dorado. Of these, Donovan was beaten for the Two Thousand with odds of 4 to 1 laid on him, Laureate was beaten in the Hastings Plato with 3 to 1 laid on him, and finally El Dorado was beaten in the Payne Stakes with sto 2 laid on him. After three such tragedies it is scarcely surprising that backers generally shied at laying odds on Donovan for the Derby. On paper the race looked as good a thing for the lucky Duke's colt as it did for Ormonde in 1386, but somehow very few of the general public cared to put their money down. At Tattersall's on " Comparing day " the favourite was certainly very iirm, the redoubtable " Jummy's " commissioner laying 100 to 60 on several times,

The weather on Wednesday proved simply perfect, save for the dust, which made those who came down by road look like millers. Donovan (guarded night and day at Epsom by a veterinary surgeon, two detectives and a posse of constables) was not on view in the paddock, but dense crowds flocked round E! Dorado, Enthusiast, and the French " crack " Clover, who looked extremely well. The feature of the morning in the ring was the opposition to the favourite, which broke out on the arrival of the notorious " Chippy- Norton." This worthy's pencil usually signifies "dead meat" when it begins to work, bo that you can imagine the sensation which his raucous f-hout "Come, I'll take short odds tho favourite don't even get a placo " created. Very soon Donovan was what is called "going badly "in tho betting. From 2to lon he retreated to 7 to 4, 6 to 4, 11 to 8, and finally sto 4 on. Ab tho last-named price, however, a big commission steadied the Duke's colt, and finally a friend of the noble owner laid 11,000 to 8,000 on the favourite winning, and 3,000 to 1,000 on his getting a place. What Chippy Norton and Co. knew, or thought they knew, it is impossible to guess. They betted wildly, and must have dropped many thousand pounds. Of the other runners^ El Dorado was fancied at 100 to 0, Pioneer boating a re treat to 100 to 6, at which price Laureate was also on oiler, and Clover found plenty of friends at 20's. Tho s.p.'s of tho remainder were 22 to 1 Morglay, 2j to 1 Miguel, 33 to 1 Enthusiast, 1,000 to 3"> Folengo, 40 to 1 Gulliver, 50 to 1 Turcophone" 66 to 1 Gay Hampton, and 2GO to 1 Royal Stakes.

The story of tho race is exactly that of the Newmarket Stakes. The Turcophone made the running to the distance, where Donovan took his place, and cantered comfortably homo in front of Miguel, who never threatened the least danger. The verdict, "won by a length and a half," might have been easily doubled had little Loafces cared about ifc. Six lengths separated Miguel from El Dorado, who just beat Pioneer for third place by a head. Then came Gay Hampton fifth, Morglay sixth, and Laureate seventh. Value of stakes, £4,050. With Donovan out of the way, Miguel would have won easily, and this colt will yet do " yeoman's service " for Mr Gretton. ' El Dorado ran badly for the first half of the journey, but came with a rush at the finish, and clean outstayed i'ioncor. Laureate greatly disappointed all concerned, and Clover broke down. Donovan's winnings now amount to the abnormal sum of £37,637.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS18890727.2.60.7

Bibliographic details

THE EPSOM DERBY., Auckland Star, Volume XX, Issue 177, 27 July 1889, Supplement

Word Count
753

THE EPSOM DERBY. Auckland Star, Volume XX, Issue 177, 27 July 1889, Supplement

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