Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
This article displays in one automatically-generated column. View the full page to see article in its original form.

THE RACE FOR THE DERBY.

(From the Saturday Review.) The foreigners who congregated on Epsom Downs '.ist Weilnessday h.ul an opportunity of learning that, although this i* an aristocratic country, the turf levels lor a time all distinctions ot birth and wealth. How many noblemen and gentlemen are at this moment envying- Mr. Snev.ing, the publican of Maiyleboue'•tieet, ihe fortunate owner of the winner of tbb sear's Derby. That prize which premiers and mil-lionaire-covet, has, by a strange caprice of fortune, t.illeu to a licensed victualler. If a tradesman sends his son to _ a public school, or h's horse to a racemeeting, he is certain of the same carri&re ouvcrle as if he weie a peer of ancient lineage, or a merchant of bouiulle-as wealth ; but oti some other fields of competition, social and pecuniary advantages count for a ;,'ood deal, ns, indeed, it is only right they should. The ownei of Caractacus is welcome to (he honor he has gained, though we dare say many persons cannot help wishing tli.it the great prize ot the turf couM have been aijudgedin the pi esence of the assembled world to some nobler candidate thnu Mr. cJnewin^. The very name winch this hwky speculator in horseil«sh be:u-s is sufEeicut to put to rout all preconceived ideas of the turf being an aristocratic sport. The many persona who did not know naturally inquired, .itter tlie race, who Mr. Snewing was. It was felt thai he <ui'j;lit not to be a country gentleman, and it was a relief to learn that he was not. The name of tiie hois.' is illustrious, but that of the owner is, to :-pej,k plainly, snobbish. However," if the bearer et a snobbish n:ime can breed the best horse of the year, by ail means let him win the Derby, it is curious to remark that the calculations which uuide the betting on these great r.»ces are almost always justified by the result to a very considerable i vteiit, but not entirely. After nil, if b' ts are to be made, the safest way to make thorn is to observe and <'<)inp re the pubiii running of the horses. But ufcitudr this nor any other m-.'tiiod can attain certainty ; there is always soim-thiiu turning: up wine hits not Ueun, and perhaps could nor be, foreseen, and thn-> the whole belting scheme gers disan aimed. Thu.«, in looking forward to this week's great i vent, it was calcinated with something like confidence that tlu* .Marquis could beat a^aiu the horses which he had beaten at Newmarket, nnd with loss confidence, although not unreasonably, that he could beat Buck.stone. Now tluse conclusions were justified to the very letter, but then it happened that there existed among the more obscure competitors tbr the prize a horse of undeveloped power called Caraotacua, who managed to beat th- horses that had been tiiuoretically or practically demonstrated to be able to beat all the rest. It was just the same last autumn in the St. Leger. It had been said before that race that Kettlcchuin could beat all hi 3 known competitors, and hu was backed accordingly. He did beat them all, but he met an unknown competitor whom hicould uot boat, and thus his backers lo3t their money? The wonder is, not that the calculations of the tur~ fail, but rather that they succeed. A neck or even a length seems a very small difference upon a race of a mile or two, and yet it suffices to mark n superiority in the winning over the losing horse, slight indeed, hut generally adequate as a guide to tho probibilities of future contests. Before the race begins, let us take our ease and make our observations iv the paddock, which, after all, is the most satisfactory place for those who go to Epsom to see horses. On entering this repertory of equine loveliness, the first horae that attracted our attention was Neptunus, who if beauty alone could win a race, would certainly not have lost tlie Derby. Nor was beauty his only ground of claim to public! confidence. Ilis two-yesr-old performances had been very good, and included a dead heat w ith the redoubtrd Marquis. Uis perfect | condition, glossy, dark brown coat, light springy tread, and beautifully set-on head and neck, made* him v perfect picture of a raw-horse, but unfortunately [ rather iv miniature. "Do you like him better than the Marquis 1 ?" a«k<d a bystander of a veteran racing man. •' Yes, for a park hack, but not to win the Derby,' was the reply. The next to come under our observation was Lord St imfor i's Ensign. This w.-w a tail handsome horse, but light and weedy. - Speed he no doubt has ; but the Derby course is too severe for one of his build. He was sound, however, and in excellent condition ; and it seemed the general opinion that ho would bi-at more than be;it him. A general rush to the other side of the paddock touk place on the entrance of John Scott's lot. There they weio— five beauties each surrounded by an admiring crowd. To look at th-m, it seemed likely that even if tlie Marquis should rot win, the chances of the Whitewall stable would not he bad. Ace of (Jluba, a strong chesnut with a white face, and a look of sedatrnecss and wisdom beyond his jeara, led tiie way. Then came the Marquis, accompanied by his particular henchman, James Perren, who openly expressed hi* confidence in the favorites success. The Marquis wore as at Nrwmarket, blinkers, a';d a sort of honu, and his condition was as pe-fect, and his temper as serene, n& when he carried olt'the I wo Thousand Uuiueas. There followed close behind him Welcome, Alalek, and Vanguard. Why none of these hones were uneasy or fractious, or had a supeifluous ounce of flesh upon them, or appeared too line drawn or overworked, is a secret of the Whitehall stable. Unwillingly turning our eyes away from, these five northern miracles, we looked at Sir Joseph Hawley's pair, Argonaut and St Alexis. It was impossible not to call to mind that the !nst Great Exhibition year when, on nearly the same spot, we saw Teddington and The Ban under the samp cherry colour and black, prepawd for the groat race-nnd-seeure of victory. This year, however, the cose was different, for neither of these horses seemed properly prepared. Argonaut, it must be owned, is a splendid horse, but ns Wells adjusted his saddle he kept up an undignified whinnying and prancing, as if he did not lightly appreciate the importance of the coming struggle. The ineffaceable marks of the firing-irons on his legs showed also that

his youth hnd not been altogether joyous. As Lord Uxbridge had withdrawn Laughing Stock from the race, St. Alexis had the advantage of being guided by Roarers. But no jockey can win a rare all by himself, although they frequently contrive to lose them. We thought, as we turned away from them, that tho Marquis had little to f.;ar in ihat q uirter, although it was reported that Sir Joseph Hawlcy, who always knows what he is about, had backed Argonaut for a large sum. Baron Kothsrhilri, being disapiwinted in Wingrav, who tailed utterly at Newmarket, now brought Norroy, not much by Hie change. The florae, however, made himself conspicuous by refusing to ranter, an slnwrna; an inclimtion to get into the Grand S'tmd and watch the race from thence. Buckstonc sepmeil to us to eserve nil the praise that had heen be«towe<l upon him, for lie looked a Derby horse ail over. He w.us preceded into the course by t if KnavCjWhomwethoughtinostappvopriately named, tie wauwe-nerked r L i'.>'nefl-!ookincriirtli; horse/hut with good substance and excellent quarters. As he was never intended to wiu the race, but only to make running for Buckstone. ifc may be supposed that he did all that was required of him, for he wou'd get off i wpII and quickly, where a large hoise like Buckstone might find considerable difficulty in making- a start among a numerous field of horses. We were not so discerning or so 1 rcky r»s to recognise the merits of Ganv'tißus in the paddock, although, afterwards, his canuriig struck our fancy, and caused us to note him as a horse to he looked after when the struggle camp. As his owner, tmiupr, and jockey were ail equally obscure, he received in the paddock much the same sort of treatment as undiscovered merit does elsewhere in the world. There were two other horsf-s which we did particularly observe, and we did so for the purpose of inquiring why such crippled brutes were started ior this great race. Neither Gemse nor Maharajah could walk, and they did not look as if th*y couli gallop. It is too bail, consirleriiift fin difficulty of s artin^ a large field, to eiicuinb r the ground with animals which would be mo em their places in a knacker's yard. Compared with noisy hill and babel-like Grand Stand, the paddock U n quief pleasant spot. Not that there is any hek of anxiety or excit-ment within that enclosure ; but the vunjoritv of those who enter it come on busi-n^-s, and ute their eyes rather than their mouths. In t c paddock, backers of horses make up their minds at the last moment whether ornotto hedge their money, and ownersand trainersuivetheir last secret orders to the jockeys. Some idlers and sight seers of course there are, and sometimes they do not carry away with them the most authentic information on the all-important topic of the day. There was, for example, an outside horse, called we believe ABhford, who, without any other claim to notice, excited great curiosity because lie wore blinkers. He was followed by a large crowd of people, under the inipres* sion that they were looking at the Marquis, whi.e the boy v.-ho led the horse took particular care not to undecei y e them. If the Marquis had won the race, his backri-3 ought to have rewarded that boy liberally. And now the horse.? have left the paddock, and are taking tlieir canters {past the stand. The Marquis goes beautifully, and looks the very perfection of a racehorse. Buckstone, too, is admirable, and Carac* tacus compels us to take notice to wliom the light blue jacket and white cap belong. Argonaut will not do at ail, although Wells sits him faultlessly. After the Marquis has gone np the course, there "is some delay in hw return, nnd we begin t& fear an outbreak of ha dreaiecl temper. But soon he comes swiftly and smoo hly over the turf, accompanied by the steady eoin£ Ace of Clubs, whose example may have a pacifying effect. The thirty-four horses enW once moro into l lie paddock, ;ie J soon emerge on tho other side and t ike their places for the first effort at a start. This effort has to be five times repeated before the horses cm be got oft, and even then two or hree are left behind. As soon as the hill is mounted, tho Marquis and Argonaut show well in front. Then tlie Marquis comes away with a clear lead. It is seen that eiiher he cannot be held, or else his jockey is piaying the dangerous gome of trying to cut down a large field. We asked ourselves whether even such & liorve as that could venture thus to expend the power wliicii would be needed by the final struggle, and experience forbad our hoping that he could Between liopp nnd fear, but much nearer to fear than hope, wo vate'i the horses round that dreadful corner. The Marquis is still aa full as he can be of running, but ifc i-t not yet fiat the pinch comes. However, the pace has had the desired effect, and the question almost is whether anything will live lohr enough to chall-nge Marquis 1 There i Buckstone just upon the same line in which Mr. Merry's horses ran last year and the year before, and there is that horse which maiie us look at him as lie cantered. Buckstone, however, is already beaten, although he still runs gamely. The obscure horse comes up on the MarqmV whip-hand, and now is the time to wish for a partiult* of that energy which was expended in cutting down the field. Ashmall calls upon bia horse, who is not of the sort to need calling on. He strug zles 'as hard as a horse can, but it will not do C'livt'-tacus beats him by a neck, while Buckstono ran* without opposition into the third place. The be-iutiful Keptunisnnd another horse came next, and .dl the rrst u-pre nowhere. Tho opinion geneially entertained by those w>o observed the Marquis's performance nt Newmarket was amply justified by h.s runnina for the Derby, although he had not tie luck to win the race. The horse is a thorough jzo'xl one, and, amid the uncertainties of the turf, there eculd be nothing nearer certainty than to stand to win upm the Marquis. This was our opinion befne the race; and if the race could have been run again next day, we should still have backed the Mari|trtf with the "-proviso, however, that lie should be ridden more judictous'y. If the Marquis could havf been spared a little in tlie early part ot the race, we do not think he could possibly have heen defeated. Ilis failure mast be attributed to undue eagerness either in the horse or jockey. No doubt he made awful hevoc of the field, for although Buckstone ran into the third place, he had no chance of being either first or second : and the remaining thirty -one horses might as well have been in their stables eating oats. The Marquis had so exhausted himself that, although he struggled unflinchingly to the )a3t, he was just beaten by a fre -her horse, nnd thus the honor of the Derby was snatched from him in the last few yards, l'ut those who w.itched his running, from start to finis I',1 ', know that, his owner has in' him one of the most valuab'e horses of the year. If the Marquis were to be sokl by auction at T? attersall's on Monday, ltwculd be seen how little hi* character as a racehorse has suffered by his defeat at Epsom. It is certa'n th,^ he in full of pluck ; and in this respect he <!ilTe> i from tUe Wizard, who, like him, won the Guineas, and afterwards ran second for the Derby, The Wizard has employed the intervening- two years in er-tabjishnig a repiita'ion for shutting-up whenpver a rival fairly collars him. BiU we do not think there is a soft spot about the Marquis.

Tn ■>. Vack andandah Murder.— The man arrested in Clultern on suspicion of being concerned in this crime, was acquitted yesterday. Several persona were engaged on Sunday in scouring the bush and dragging the creek. A coach has been nired by the authorities to biing necessaries, &c, to the men engaged in the s -nrc'i. Tn spite of the employment of blacks to trace tta murderers of the late Mr. Davis, no trace has as yet been discovered. Had the ground not been so wet, there might have been a better opportunity of success, but so much land being under water, tracking is out of the question. The only fresh discoveries made are the finding of some stick 3 with hair on them, and dog foot marks, but whether either of these circumstances is iv any way connected with the murder is somewhat doubtful. A larfie number of volunteers are actively employed in searching for the body, and it is their intention, if it ia not found iramtfUutely. to tur.i the en ek for about a mile.— Ovens Constitution, Aug. 12. M. Blondin at Liverpool.— Narrow Escape. — " The Hero of Niagara," gave a display of his remarkable feats at the Theatre Royal, Liverpool, lfi«t evening. " The excitement of the whole display," says the Mercury, " culminated in the last item ot the programme— the artiste carrying a man on hte tmck along the rope — and this excitement wa3 still further increased by the occurrence of an accident which was well nixh being attended with very Berious consequences. "To a dead certainty," as the saying goeth, M. Blondin will proceed with his ' unrivalled exhibition of skill and daring' until he brakes his neck, and perhaps that of some one else, and that i unfortunate climax was nearly being; arrived at last i night. Tho high rope was stretched from tho middle of the ffallcrv to the back of the stage. In frout of the gallery is an iron railing 1 and upon this the ropo re.-,te 1. AI. nlondin had carried his assistant on his back in slings from the stage to the gallery, and was about to return, when the moment they had passed the i opt} suddenly to fall nbnub two feet, and jerking the two men from it. They fell backwards, and might have boeuinjuredbythefall, butfortuuatdyalighWlin the nvnis of the people yclept the ' gods/ and thus escaped any harm. Had the voyagers been but o, yard or so further along the rope over the p«t they must inevitably have been dashed to the floor. Blondin displayed admirable presence of mint). As though noWn •; at all had happeue-l, he picked himself and hit burden up, and, notwithstanding the slnckening of the rope by the accident, conveyed him in safety to the opposite extremity, aniidsi the cheers of the audience » Which is the cheapest wav of building a" house t>r a pig ] Tie ins tail in a knot, and you hay a Pig (V) lye * I-'IGUT BfcTWEKN A SEAL AND A CODMSH.— Last week, . as the Carron Company's steamship Clyde was lying at the water mouth, a very extraordinary engagement, between a large codfish and a seal was observed from the deck, v/hen a boat was immediately lowered and chase given for the capture of one or both coraba'ants. On the approach of the boat, however, his sealship Bcuttered off, leaving his opponent a prize to the boat's crew; but so terribly mauled had his codship been as to be little worth, notwith* standing his great size (upwards of four feet in lengih). On examination he was found to be very much bitten, and a strip of skin torn off from tho baok of his head to his tail.— Falkirk Herald,

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OW18620830.2.54

Bibliographic details

THE RACE FOR THE DERBY., Otago Witness, Issue 561, 30 August 1862

Word Count
3,084

THE RACE FOR THE DERBY. Otago Witness, Issue 561, 30 August 1862

Working