THE LAST TWO DAYS AT DONCASTER.
(FROM THE SATURDAY REVIJEW.) Whether we look at the sport or at the attendance,
the meeting of this year must be regarded as tho greatest ever held at Doneaster. The opinion universally expressed was, that the race for the St. Leger was unsurpassed by any spectacle of the kind. For half a century to come the story of that contest will be told, and tho^e who witnessed it will, as long as they live, remember the grandeur of the final struggle, and the violence of the excitement which it caused. It must be owned that the interest of the two following days was slightly diminished by_ the overpowering prowess of that remarkable horse Tim Wiffler. A new race had been established this year for a plate given by members of the Private Stand, and the entry for it included about a dozen of the most prominent performers on the turf. But when the time came for the start on Thursday some of these horses werethought l>y their owners to have no chauce at all ; and others, who might have had a chance, were reserved for fear of spoiling their chance far the greater honor of the Doncaster Cup, which was to be run for on the following day. Tim Wiffler, however, was ready to run to-day, and would be ready to run again to-merrow. Indeed, that spare wiry horse, made of nothing but bone and muscle, looks as if no jiuantity of work could make any difference in him He found only two opponents, one of whom was Asteroid, the winner of the Ascot (Jup. When Sir Joseph Hawley bought Asteroid he displayed his usual correct judgment, for the horse is nearly, if not quite the best four-year-old now running, aud m a trial horse his services to his owner's stable must be invaluable. Whether we go by looks, or by style* of moving, or by performances, we must pronounce Asteroid a horse of the very highest quality. As Sir Joseph. Hawley started the horse and backed him, he no doubt expected him to win ,* but Tim Wiffler beat him in a race at Ascot, and he beat easily at Goodwood Zetland, who ran Asteroid very hard for the Ascot Cup. In fact, after Tim "Wiffler won the Goodwood Cup as he did, it was difficult to_ tell where to find a horse fit to make a race with him. However, if there were no differences of opinion, racing, as well as other methods of competition, would lav puish. It was fair enough to match the winner of the Ascot against the winner of the Goodwood Cup at one stone one pound difference of weight for a year's difference in age. The only other starter for the Private Stand Plate was Silkstone, a three-year-old filly, who could not be supposed to have any chance at all. The course was about two miles in length. For the first mile and a half Asteroid was indulged with the lead, an arrangement which it is understood he prefers. To Tim Wiffler all places, as well as all paces, seem alike. He was going as free and jolly as could be. If Asteroid went faster, he went faster, and if Asteroid checked his pace, so did he. After the first mile and a half it was time to set more decisively to work, so Tim Wiftier now closed with Asteroid, and raced with him neck and neck to the distance post, where Asteroid had had enough of it. Tim Wiffler then drew away from him and won the race easily. Wells urged Asteroid to the utmost, until he saw it was of no use ; while Bullock had merely to let Tim Wiffler go, and the inexhaustible strength and transcendant speed of the horse sufficed to do the rest. A more easy and complete victory was never seen. So far as can be judged, Tim Wiffler is not only the best horse of the year, but the best that has beeu seen for several years. If he goes on as he is now doing, there will be nothing left on the turf to try against him. If The Marquis had run for the Doncaster Cup, he would hare had to carry a penalty of 7 lbs for winning the St Leger. As Tim Wiffler incurred the same penalty by winning the Goodwood Cup, the horae3 would have been upon equal terms. But it was determined by the owner of tke Marquis to remain content with Wednesday's triumph, and the horse was sent home before the meeting finished. If any horse oan tackle Tim Wiffler, it must be The Marquis, and it is to be hoped that an opportunity may be found for them to meet on even terms. This great meeting at Doncaster would have been greater still if this exeiteing incident had found pla"6 in it. However, Mr. Merry resolved to start Buekstone, who, as second intheSt Leger, incurred a penalty of only 3 lbs, so that Tim Wiffler would carry i lbs more than Buckstone. It was said that Mr Merry backed his horse freely; but the reputation of Tim Wimer stood so high that odds were laid on him. Among the other starters were Wallace, who distinguished himself in the Goodwood Cup 'ast year by running hard to make a pace for Starke, the winner ; Zetland, wh was saeondthis year for both the Ascot and the Goodwood Cups ; and Carisbrook, who received fall notice in our account of the St Leger. It is superfluous to mention the other starters, for really the only question was whether Buekstone could do anything with Tim Wiffler. As Fordham was to ride Wallace, the con- ] duct of this experiment was given to Edwards, and of course Bullock, ns usual, rode Tim Wiffler. The career of victory which thi3 lucky mount has opened to Bullock can have few parallels in the history of the turf. It pleased Tim Wiffler or his rider, on this occasion, to make running all the way. His look as he went past the Stand, with Ms ears' cocked as if he enjoyed the fun, must have been anything but comforting to those who had been able to persuade themselves to back Buekstone. In the St Leger. Carisbrook had taken a strong lead, either to serve himself or to serve a friend ; but he did not try the same game here. After running about two miles, Bullock eased his horse, and allowed his pursuers to come up with him. It waa just following Bill Scott's notion of how to wiu upon this course :— " I like to get a pull at my horse, and then go on again. Whera'3 the use of quality if you can't make use of it?" When Tim Wiffler went in again, only three competitors remained ' with him. O£ these Wallace was the first beatea. Zetland ran, as he always runs, well. That is a horse which is sure not to disappoint his backers for anything within his compass. Buekstone rushed past Zetland, and for the second time at Doncaster was called upon by all the incentives known to jockeys to put forth his utmost powers. Nor did the horse refuse to justify his owner's confidence in his gameness. He made another effort, almost equal to that which did him bo much honor in the St Leger. But this time the effort was quitß in vain ; he could never r«ach Tim Wiffler, who won quite easily by a length, carrying aa we will once more mention, 4lb 3 more than .Buckstone. The astonishing ease with which Tim Wiffler gained these victories on successive days doe 3 not leave much' room for doubt what would have been the result of the Derby and Leger races if he. had been entered for them. He can give Buckstone 4lb and beat him, whereas it ia doubtful whether The Marquis can. Still, although the St Leger was only won: by a head,
it is probable that if the winning-post had been ten yards further distant it would have been won by more for The Marquis appeared rather less used-up than Buckstone. It was thought, too, in some quarters, that Ghalloner was ratber tto thrifty of his horse's power, and that he erred a little in the opposite direction to Ashmall, who, on the Derby was too prodigal. In both these race 3 the prudent course, no doubt, would be, if possible, to keep a little in hand, and not to expend the horse's power utterly in riding against any one opponent. But it The Marquis and Tim Wiffier were to start for any race, they need not be anxious about any more than one opponent each ; and in a match between the two hors&J The Marquis would have nothing to do except to keep alongside of Tim, if he could. No doubt The Marquis's owner exercised a wise discretion in withdrawing him from the Cup ra^e, considering that he had been in the mill all tlie year preparing for his successive efforts at Newmarker, Epsom, and Doncaster. We must, however, express our earnest hope that the question as to the relative merit of these two horses may. at some convenient time, be brought to a decisive test. A match between them would almo§t excite equal interest with that famous match between The rlying Dutchman and Voltigeur, which many witnesses now remember as viv.dly as they do last week's St Leger. If The Marquis cannot make a good race with Tim Wiffler, the only other name that can be mentioned is Caller Ou, who at her best is capable of a great deal. But then Caller Ou is a fickle jade, who seems to delight in disappointing those who trust her. On the whole Tim Wiffler 13 not unlikely to remain peerless. Lord William Powlett, who bought him at Ascot of Mr Jackson, deserved a turn of luck at Doncaster, and lie has had it. We say he deserved a turn of luck, because it was he who bought on very high terms Promised Land, who was made favorite for the St Leger ia 1859, aud cut up so inglorious!y when John Scott scored his fifteenth victory with Gamester. A part of the price paid on that occasion by Lord William Pov - lett was to throw in, as not being of much accounr, DulciUella, wlicee name has since become tolerably well known. Dulcibella is now the property of Lord Stamford, and was expectid to run for the Great Yorkshire Stakes at Doncaster. It was reported that she had been tried very favorably with Wallace, and upon this information a rush was made into the market by speculators, who backed the mare to such fin extent that when Lord Stamford himself attempted to back her, he coaldget nothing like a fair prici. A3 his stable secrets had been thus made public property, he determined to remind the public that his horses at any rate were Iris own, so he refused to let Dulcibella start, leaving the disappointed speculators to regret that for once they had got up a little too early in the morning. The interest of a visit to Doncaster is by no means confined to the races. The sales of blood stock by Mr Tattersall, andotherauctioneers,inthe Horse-market, would be worth a journey thither in themselves. The circle of bidders and speculators comprise all that is distinguished in the sporting world, and many who are great elsewhere. We may be sure that auvue: the yearling horses which form successively the centre of that; circle are some whose names the contest 5 ! of 1864 will make familiar to the mouth 3of everybody. If Jack Frost should fulfil the expectations which his price indicates, the future favorite for the Derby has certainly the advantage of bearing a handy and homely name. He came from the hands of the same breeder who sent both Dundee and Kettledrum to market in the same year. Knight of Snowden went for even a higher price than Jack Frost, and Forager for rather less, the price of the last-named colt being 800 guineas. Forager was bought by Lord St "Vincent, who also owns Lord Clifden, whose running at Doncaster and elsewhere indicates that he can hardly miss next year's Derby if he keep 3 well. Forager, and three other yearlings, " the property of a nobleman," sold better than any other lot, for they fetched an average price of 565 guineas. The '■ ' nobleman " whose breed ing speculation has been thus successful wa3 no other than the eloquent chief of the Conservative party, who if he cannot win the great race which bears his name, has at any rate done something to promote the win' ning of it by others. The Horse-market at Doncaster is a subject well worthy of some artist who excels at once in painting horses and those who deal in them. A conspicuous place in such a picture should be given to the Venerable Sir Tatton Sykes, who, being upwards of ninety years of age, still retains a large part of that physical vigor which displayed itself in his younger years in so many remarkable exploits. It will be a great change at Doncaster when the familiar figure of Sir Tatton Sykes is no longer seen in th« Horse-market and the ring. In the Park Hill Stakes for three-year-old fillies, John Scott's representative, Hurricane, had the same difference of a head against her as The Marquis had in his favor in the St Leger. Here again the truth of public running as a test of merit was shown by the victory of Imperatrice, who beat Hurricane for the Oaks, and beat her again here. It is curious that Lord Glasgow's stable should have taken third honors both for the St Leger and Park Hill Stakes. This last-named race ended iv a splendid struggle between the three placed fillies, and it might well have deserved longer notice, if the memory of its incidents had not been partially effaced by the all-absorbing in^ terest of the question which stood for decision directly afterwards between Buckstone and Tim Wiffler. During the four days of this meeting, race followed race with such rapidity that there was no time to dwell on the particulars of many contests good enough to have made, taken each by itself, the reputation of a smaller meeting. There was Lord Clifden winning the race which The Marquis won last year. To " take stock " accurately ot Lord Clifden and his principal competitors, would be a fortune to any speculator whose judgement should not deceive him. Then there were the great autumn handicaps at Newmarket, from which a "line" might reasonably be expected from the running at Doncaster, either of probable competitors, or of horses trained in the same stables. The highly creditable manner in which. Silkstone managed to live with Asteroid and Tim Wiffler on Thursday, promoted her immediately into the place of first favorite for the Cesarewitch. The mind of the visitor to Doacaster must b» strongly impressed both with the magnitude of the transactions of the turf, and with the complexity and delicacy of the considerations which are adverted to in regulating them. The management of the raoes, which is really very near perfection, is doubtless the result of long experience, and of steady devotion of all the faculties to a single subject ; for we venture to conjecture that the municipal authorities of Donoaster nave not much else to occupy their time. So fai> as we could observe, the opposition which used to be organized against the raoes has been abandoned lately as a hopeless task. There was, a few years ago, a highly respected inhabitant of Doncaster, who, nfter a most successful career as a solicitor in London, had sought in his native place an agreeable retirement, and a suitable field for the propoa;ation of strong Evangelical opinions. It will give a great idea of this gentleman's spirit of enterprise when we mention that he undertook the abolition of Doncaster races as not being absolutely beyond the power of his influence to accomplish. Obviously such a proposal was nearly equivalent to one for abolishing Doncaster itself. The Town Council professed the most profound re=pecfc for their able and distinguished townsman; but really they could hardly go to the lenetfh of rubbing themselves out even in deference to his opinion. A sort of compromise appears to have been arrived at— that he should say what he pleased, and they would do what they pie isecl. The most ample facilities were afforded for preaching and placarding against the races, and the races were managed more energetically and prosperously than ever. We believe that now the opposition is extinct, or that it is maintained only by a portion of the residents, who go away and let their houses during the races, doubtless charging a high rent for them, and perhaps dropping casually in coruers a few tracts bearing awakening; titles. To attempt to stop Doncaster ra n es would be a good deal like mopping up the sea. It is not alone the number of persons collected upon the Town Moor, but their deep and intelligent interest m the pro< ceedings which gives to this meeting its distinctive character. Almost way rough countryman you may pick out will give you, if you can understand him, a valuable opinion .upon the merits of the horses which canter past. The crowd which assembles on ths To mi Moor on the early morning is probably the best available tribunal for deciding the claims of rival favorites. Neither great names nor wealth bias these outspoken judgments, which aye given upon the horses as they appear and move. It is not, however, all judgments that are outspoken,for many akeeu-s'ghted observer is treasuring up Ms thoughts for his own use, No doubt the company at Newmarket is equally critical : but there it is very much smaller. We misa there the farmer from the Wolds, who rode as soou as ho could walk, and has seen and remembers every St Leger day for forty years. Suoh a man cau tell you how a race was lost and won, as well as the most practised observer among those who never miss an important meeting. The breaking up of such an assemblage as that of Doncaster is almost worth staying there to witness. The shopkeepers, whose entire faculties have been concentrated on the preparing and vending of eatables, drinkables, and— if we may coin a word— smokeables, count their gains and measure their unsold stock, and look forward over the blank waste of uneventual days which separates them from the Spring Meeting. The nocturnal artificers of plumbread and pie 3, go to bed, we should hope, at least for a week. Therond to the railway station and the open ground in front of it is thronged with race-horses awaiting transport to their various training quarters. Here is a van drawn by horses containing the expected winner of next year's Derby, whose precious limbs must not be exposed even to the slight risk of harm in a walk through the town. There is a string of Sir Joseph Hawley's horses— Cowley, who won the Great Yorkshire Stakes, Argonaut, who was backed for the St Lsger, Moor-hen, who is .backed for the Cesarewitch, and one or two younger things wbiolr wereno doubt were purchased 'in the Horsc*market." "". *':.,' ' ,i-\?**^*<\ With a last look at these and. other graceful shapes), visitors take their places in the train, 'discussing the past and striving .to ' penetrate, into the' future, applauding Tim -Wiffler's performances, a.little, and studying a great deal that printed list of acceptances' which may possibly suggest to them " a good thing for the Cesarewitch."
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THE LAST TWO DAYS AT DONCASTER., Otago Witness, Issue 581, 16 January 1863
THE LAST TWO DAYS AT DONCASTER. Otago Witness, Issue 581, 16 January 1863
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