THE GREAT MATCH BETWEEN THE FLYING DUTCHMAN ». VOLTIGEUR. Never since the memorable year 1804, when " Mrs. Thornton" appeared on the pigskin .as the jockey of Col. Thornton's Vinagarella, against Mr. Flint's brown Thornville, has York witnessed so extraordinary an assemblage of people as was congregated on Knavesmire on Tuesday last to witness the match between the Flying Dutchman and Voltigeur. We have heard the numbers variously stated at from 100,000 to 150,000, but most probably the former number is about the mark. There were twenty-one special trains into York, which might bring 30,000 people. York, with its surrounding neighbourhood, would probably contribute 50,000 more, which would leave 20,000, to be supplied by the ordinary trains and special conveyances from a distance. Most of the metropolitan and Manchester speculators arrived on Monday, and in the evening there was a somewhat numerous attendance at the subscription-rooms, St. Helens-s quare. The betting, however, was very languid, but enough " was said and done" to show that, although the betting nominally was even, Voltigeur bad the call, the prevailing opinion being that the ground was strongly in his favour. On the morning of the " great event" (Tuesday), both horses took their accustomed gallop on Knavesmire, and there was a goodly assemblage of " knowing ones" to witness the performance. We heard it stated, with what foundation in truth we know not, that parties were observed busily engaged in measuring the footprints, or indentations, on the turf, of the horses' feet, and that the Flying Dutchman was found to have penetrated at least half an inch more than Voltigeur, and hence it was inferred that his galloping was much heavier, and, from the thickness of the ground, his chances of success less. The result, however, has proved that these anticipations were groundless. As the morning advanced the "specials" began to arrive, and poured their teeming thousands into the town. The principal thoroughfares between the railway station and the subscription room in St. Helen's square (the great point of attraction), became almost impassable, and it was with difficulty that vehicles could move along. The first comers had leisure to survey the Minster and the antiquities of the city. The inns and eatinghouses were closely besieged, every "weary traveller" seeking to make himself comfortable before the commencement of the sport. It was only the passengers by the earlier trains, however, that made their way into the town ; those who arrived by the later trains went direct to the course, and some hours before the time of starting there were thousands congregated on the ground, anxiously taking up the best positions from which to see the race. Those in the city speedily followed, and although the races did not commence until half past two, long before that hour the great bulk of the spectators had assembled on the course. The race committee had raised the price of admission to the stand to one sovereign, and even at this price there were three times the number the stand was capable of accommodating, two-thirds of whom had to content themselves with a view from the enclosure. The special train from London by the Great Northern having arrived, the races (which bad been delayed for the accommodation of passengers by this train) commenced, and Lord Glasgow's Knight of the Garter quickly disposed of his competitors for the Champion Handicap. The Revival Stakes followed, for which four stated, and which was won gallantly by Charlton on Tom Holtby. All were now impatient for the great event. In the ring all was animation. Notwithstanding that the declaration of the friends of the Dutchman, that the ground was in favour of the "oldun," the betting still remained at even, with the call in favour of Voltigeur. Shortly the horses appeared within the enclosure, and became the observed of all observers. When the two animals were stripped, there appeared scarcely a pin to chose between them. Alike in colour, equally well bred, both unconquered, both of first-rate racing capabilities, they looked, with their small intelligent heads, the very beau ideal of English racehorses, and in every way worthy antagonists. The Dutchman appeared rather fretful, and came on the course preceded by a horse (said to be Belus) from the Eglinton stables, for companionship. "He's too slack in the loios to beat Volti," exclaimed a voice near the winning post. "And then he carries Bilbs more," added another depreciator. " Bah !" said a third, "did the Dutchman ever suffer himself to be ' tied ' by such a horse as Russborough ?" *' Oh," was the reply, "Volti was not awake in the first heat for the St. Leger ; in the second be beat the Irishman all to bits." " Hurrah for the 'flyer!'" shouted the crowd, as the redoubtable Dutchman was led elowly by. " Voltigeur, Voltigeur !" screamed another section of the spectators. " Look what loins he has," exclaimed the first speaker; there's compactness for you, there's strength, and there's lightness too. Why, he scarcely touches the turf; he's the flyer, my dear fellow." And becoming enthusiastic, the admirer of the white and red spots offered the odds to bis friend, and to use the vulgar phrase, was immediately " nailed." " I was in South America in '49 and '50," said a man with a bronzed com- ! plexion and immense whiskers, " and at Buenos Ayros and Rio the name of the Flying Dutchman was ctnlked on the walls, and was as familiar as John Smith is. We backed him too, there ; but Lor' bless you, we Dever heard of Voltigeur." " Ah !" said a burly fellow near,
with a knowing nod. "Thoul't hear of him now, depend upon it." The jockeys were the same as at Doncaster last year, and it was only fair that Marlow should have this opportunity of retrieving his lost honours. The operation of saddling at length completed, both jockeys mounted with an elastic bound, and the immense crowd at once set forth a cheer, which only such a mass of human beings could vociferate. The two jocks are of middle age, and their thin lips and pale faces showed that each felt intensely the excitement of the moment. What follows we leave a contemporary to describe : — The preliminary canter is taken, and now the Flyer encourages his friends by a sample of his quality. People remind each other as he goes by that at every bound he covers a Bpaceofnotless than twentyfour feet four inches, never varying that immense stride. The race being over the old course, the start does not take place before the grand-stand, but further down the field, and here the two competitors are conducted. Some I minutes elapse, and a feverish impatience is manifested by the thousands out of whose sight the horses now are. At length there is a hum ; some hundred voices proclaim "they're off," and give a running commentary upon the race. '• The cry is that Voltigeur has taken the lead, that he is improving it, that he is beating the Dutchman hollow. This continues for between two and three minutes, and the old one is voted to be outrun, completely done, to have nothing left in him, to have .no chance — his glory is declared to have departed from him — his sun is set. Then a very strong expression — much too strong for record here — escapes from a gentleman who is watching the race through a powerful glass : — No, no ; yes, by Jove ; the Dutchman is creeping up, his stride is telling, Volti tries to 6hake him off, but the other will not be denied. They round the corner Bravo, Nat ! The young horse is still a good length in front. But, oh, that stride — that flying stride ! Again the Dutchman makes insidious advances, he creeps up, he challenges. A thousand thunders ! Look ! Nat has dropped his whip within forty yards of the post : the final struggle has come, and Yolti does not answer the appeal of his rider by increased speed. A whip, a whip, a kingdom for a whip. They come, they come. Now for pluck — now for resolution. The Dutchman shoots by with " his ears laid back, bis nostrils distended, and his eye-balls glaring with spirit and fire," — and he wins by little more than a neck. The welkin rings again with shouts ; people, utter strangers, appear inclined to embrace each other; bats are thrown up into the air with a reckless indifference as to their fate on descending ; the crowds cheer as though the very existence of each one depended upon a proper manifestation, and the plaudits are reechoed from distant groups to be again repeated ; Marlow receives an ovation, he is almost torn from the saddle to be carried on the shoulders of the mob, and though already very scant of breath he is patted on the back by heavy hackers, pleated at the victory he has achieved, until the distinction becomes painful as well as flattering. As for poor Voltigeur, his laurels shorn from him, he was led into the ring amidst a general Bilence, and some ungenerous spirits, unmindful of " the pangs the conquered feel," even raised a slight groan. Flatman seemed much cast down by his defeat, but one could not help feeling rejoiced on Marlow's account for the victory achieved by the tartan and yellow sleeves. Lord Eglinton was the first to welcome him after leaving the weighing scale, and shaking him heartily by the hand, congratulated him on the victory he had achieved. His lordship appeared to be greatly excited by the event, and received the congratulations of his friends and the public with many gracious smiles. The Earl and Countess of Zetland remained for some time after the race in the stewards' stand, but evinced no signs of disappointment at the defeat of their favourite." Many parties think Lord'Eglinton's horse won cleverly, and we incline to this opinion, although the horse was pricked on both 6ides. Flatman lost bis whip within the distance. The pace was only moderate in the first mile. Run in 3 minutes 55 seconds. The ground was heavy on the Dringhouse side of the course, and up to Middlethorpe Corner.
New Proposal for Steam Communication. — A proposition has been brought before the British public, through the medium of the Geographical Society and the daily press, by a Mr. Asa Whitney, to connect the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by means of a railway running across the northern portion of the American continent. The line would have to be 2030 miles long. Mr. Whitney, who is an American, applied to the government of his own country to grant the necessary land, but private occupation seems to have rendered compliance with his request impossible. Mr. Whitney has consequently gone over to Britain, to endeavour to carry out his scheme through the Canadian territories. His terms are very moderate ; he a«kt notjfor capital, but only for the land through which his roads runs— (six miles broad, by two thousand and thirty long) — and for fifteen years of time in which to execute the work. The present scheme promises advantages far greater than are possessed by the other plans. The I line would be almost direct from Britian to Vancouver's Island, and from thence to India, China, and Auttralatia, the distance would be •yen shorter than from Panama. Ft is to be hoped that Mr. Whitney's proposal will meek with the encouragement and support it deserve*, for if consummated, it will act as an iron band to bind together th» various nations of mankind. „ „.
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SPORTING., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume X, Issue 504, 1 November 1851
SPORTING. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume X, Issue 504, 1 November 1851
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