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(By the Sportman's Special Commissioner.) It is 113 years since the first Derby was run, but from the first the race fairly caught hold on the publio imagination, nor if it ever should die out in popularity would any other event, no matter how richly endowed, be found to exactly replace it. Like the Jubilee Stakes at Eempton the Derby appears to have been a success from the outset, and as few of my readers will have seen the early record, it may interest them if I quote it from the 1780 Calendar. Here it is:— Debby Stakes, of 50gs each, h ftTby three-year-olds ; colts 8.0, fillies 7.11. The last mile of the course (36 subscribers). ,_,,.. Sir C. Bunbury's eh ctfKomed, by Florizel— Pastorella'a dam ... ... ... ••• ••• 1 Major O'Kelly's b c Budroo, brother to Vertunnus • •, ■;■ Mr Walker's c Spitfire, by Eclipse-Houghton s dam ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• • • * Sir F. Evelyn's br c by Vauxhall Snap— • Miranda :" , v ? Mr Panton's. jun., cby Herod— a Blank, mare 5 H.R. H. Duke of Cumberland's c by Eclipse— a M S |*m r ?Car-dinam lff -Eloisf- Z 7 Mr Dolmo's j;r cby Gimcrack— Wolsey s dam 8 Duke of Bolton's cby Matchem— Mr Cornforth's br Regulus mare » Betting : 6to 4 agst Diomed, 4to 1 Budroo, 7 to 1 Spitfire, and 10 to 1 Duke of Bolton's Mr Douglas's Tetotum, by Match 'Em, won the Oaks at the same meeting from 10 opponents—a good field considering that there were only 17 subscribers. The Oaks was then as now a mile and a-half race, thus differing from the Derby. .. Good old Diomed— or as he was then, young —had an eventful career, and he was doubtless the best horse of his day. As a three-year-old he never knew defeat, being successful on nine occasions, but at last, after three wins as a four-year-old, he was beaten for the Nottingham Stakes by Lord Grosvenor's Fortitude, which disaster was followed by anofcher at the Newmarket First Ootober Meeting, when Mr O'Eelly's Boudron beat him in a match for 300gs over the Beacon Course. He paid forfeit the next year in a sweepstakes at the same meeting, and so his raoing cateer ended. At the stud he began modestly thus : " To cover in 11785,1 1785, Diomed, at sgs a mare and 5s the servant, at Uppark, Sussex." Nothing muoh there to indicate the father of the American racehorse that was to be. Still less would one have anticipated anything of the sort on finding Diomed. still in England 10 years later. Here is his advertisement : "To cover in 1795— At Great Barten, near Bury St. Edmunds, Diomed, at lOgs a mare and 10s 6d the groom. He is the sire of Grey Diomed, Quetlavia, Anthony, Robin Grey, Foreigner, Monkey, &o." Later still and he had come down in the world, for he was standing with Whisky at the same stud at a fee of only 2gs for season 1798, when he would be 21 years old, and'yet, as we know, he was afterwards exported to America, stood the dangers and discomforts of a voyage in a sailing vessel— so different an experience from that of horses nowadays with improved cattle boats and every arrangement that the vigilance of Lloyd's can suggest for their safety. Nor did the old fellow fail to make his mark when he reached the States, for all the best American blood is liberally fortified by his, and from him descended in the direct line Lexington, the Stockwell of the American turf. It is indeed strange that the male line of Diomed' should not have been perpetuated in this country, but his daughter, Young Giantess, will always remain one of the leading lights of our stud book. I have often wondered that some English breeder has not the courage to import a direct descendant to Glencoe, which blood is wholly lost to us as was Diomed's until quite recently. Before leaving old records we may glance at the Derby of 100 years ago. In 1793 the Derby was won by the ever famous Waxy. It was then run over the one mile and a-half course, colts 8.3, fillies 8 0, and there were 50 subscribers and 13 starters. The result read as follows :— Sir F. Poole's b c Waxy, by PotSos— Maria ... 1 Lord Egremont's be, Brother to Precipitate ... 2 Lord Grosvenor's b c Triptolemus 3 Lord Grosvenor's eh c Druid .4 Mr Hull's eh c Xanthus ?5 Sir F. Standish'a gr c Darsham, by Crop ... 6' Lord Derby's b c by Potßos— Paulina, Lord Btrathmore's'ch c by Mercury— Cowslip, Lord Grosvenor's b c Lilliput, Lord Grosvenor's eh c by Potßos— Perdita, Mr Eaye's eh c by Phenomenon—Recovery, Sir F. Poole's b c Mealy, by Potßos— Macaria, and Mr Philips's b c brother to Eirig David, also started, but the judge placed no more than the first six. Isinglass iB literally chokeful of Waxy blood.

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CONCERNING THE DERBY., Otago Witness, Issue 2056, 20 July 1893

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CONCERNING THE DERBY. Otago Witness, Issue 2056, 20 July 1893