THE DERBY DAY.
The Derby Day, and all relating to it, is a tale which has been told more or less completely for the last 84 years, and, to dp }t justice, we may say it ia about the only tale that will bear telling so often. One fine Derby Day is, in a general way, as like another as two peas, yefc even the most constant frequenter of the race finds in its rush and wlnrl,jts fun, noise, toil, and hurried incident/ something ever new. The Epsom epidemic which seizes Londoners on this occasion is a very subtle disease, the influence of which is not felt in all the force till " the sun gives promise of a goodly day." Then it is that everybody yield to the mania, from the little children carrying large ones who Bit in the dust and shout at everything on wheels, up to those venturesome youths who are seized with suoh sudden indisposition the night before as to be " quite iucapable of attending to business, &c," and who now shew the rapid progress of their malady by appearing behind cigars, white hatted and little dolled, dashing aside their blue veils with graceful nonchalance, and making believe as if they did not want to wear them.
The road last Wednesday was much the same as heretofore—that is to say as indescribable aa ever. On it might be Been everything that would go upon wheels, and not a few which as it eventually turned out, would riot go at all. There was everything in the way of vehicle contrivance—grand, moderate, seedyi and used-up —from "-the very fast drag down to the humble coatermonger's cart, or the not much better postchaise which had been a pigeon roost any time these months past in the worst inn's worst yard. The quadrupeds, as a matter of course, were as numerous and not less varied,, comprising a liberal per centage of those that wouldn't go r and those that couldn't, and never should have been tried at all. It seems strange but it is no less true, that some how or other it is generally the very ambitious equipages which thus fall short. The costermonger, with his family of nine inside and a select circle of immediate relatives on the shafts, manages to jog on well enough. The hill up to the course is, however, the great touchstone of equine merit, and at this point it is astonishing the unanimity with whioh horses appear to entertain the idea that they hare done enough. The "gay" animals, that have been entering short protests on their bind legs all the way down, now came out in their true colors, and the result is a dead stop for some ten minutes, till the refractory brute is lashed into a field, when it is suddenly discovered that another animalr—of course in the narrowest part of the road—has become so reconciled to standing'still that it is difficult to persuade him to move on again. At last, however, mingling with the crowd of pedestrians from both the railways, the whole stream pours on to the course, aud settles down for tho time, if we may so term it, into a vast metropolis, in all save the houses. ....
On Wednesday last it was crowded as we have seldom seen it. The Hill, the Stand, the Corner were black with one dense mass of human beings of every grade, from peers to pickpockets ; and all numerous " AuntSallv's " were this time too many for their admirers, and their battered countenances were left unnoticed by the crowd who thronged in little groups all over the course to gaze upon the real battering of counteuances affoided by a glove repetition of the contest between Heenan and Sayers. There is no distinguishing the fabt "that.the" noble art of self-defence," as exemplified by the minor luminaries of the ring, all over the ground was the attraction of the day. -Even the light of science paled before the excitement of" stopping," "feinting,"-or "hitting with the left," and the men with voltaic batteries, hitherto so patronised, in vain besought the passers-by to take the most astounding shocks for " only one half-penny." Punch and Judy, performing monkeys, and precocious children j dogs wearied and foot-sore, but. still on their hind legs staggering through a weak performance in spite of tempting morsels thrown them by the mischier vous, were all disregarded when a ring was formed for fistic science. The crowd at once gathered round the scene of the mimio combat, ■where the usual formalities of the ring were observed with droll precision, and where> somewhat moved by applause/but "greatly animated by subscriptions, the men proceeded to hit each other with a skill and vigour that drew blood freely from both mouth and nose. Acrobats, organ-boys, gaily-dressed Italian peasants from Whitechapel, gipsies dispensing shilling fortunes (chequered, however, with large families and law-suits), nigger melodists and German bands, prick-the-garter and conjurors, painted clowns, performing birds, aud even the red-haired villain with the the three cards, who laughs at the police and always reaps such a rich harvest on these days, become as things of no account when "two big ones" set to. In some encounters there was a very fair amount of skill shewD, and, considering that the day ■was hot, the hitting hard, and that the sallow vagabonds had been at it all the day, the exhibition of endurance was not the least astonishing part of it.
After the first race, which is. much akin to the first dull piece on a Boxing-night, is over, the horses that are to run for the Derby canter up the conrse in twos and threes. Tiger looks almost the best of any, though Mainstone, Wizard, Thormanby, Umpire, and Largesse of course command the most attention. They scamper away up the course, and come back in groups, flying like the wind, and stretching their .longnecks as if all alive to the racing value of even frail" a head.; As" they go the starting point, a great hush comes upon the multitude, who seem feverish with/expectation, and the silence is only : broken by the gratuitous announcements of mouldy scamps outside the course, that they " bet>n this race to win or lose," whatever that may;, mean. At last there h a hoarse cry of " they're off!" and sure enough a group of horsemen, shewing, in their colored jackets, like a parterre of flowers, struggle up the hill, and -then stop. It is a false start, after all. But the delay is only for a moment—again they dash forth—the bell rings the warning peal,' and the race tor. the Derby has commenced. For a few seconds, ■which seem like hours, the group is hidden, but at last it emerges on the hill a little restless knot, which apparently a tablecloth might covfcr. The hum of expectation deepens into a roar of delight and wild excitement, and, as the, dull reverberation of the hoofs ia heard coming up the straight, there is a shout of" Hats,off 1"^ and; some 200,000 people stand bare-headed, with their white faces' all glancing in the sun, as they strain their gaze with painful eagerness down the course. Nearer and nearer comes the, ruck of horses.. Men shout, ■ they JlonV. know why, as the bright group, with some few horses leading, an.d all goaded to their maddest speed,
come flying up. Hats go into the air, handker* ohiefa are waved with' cries and cheers and clapping of hands as they thunder up and past. It's Wizard I—it's Thormanby!—it's Umpire ; shout the crowd, as they overwhelm the police, and follow madly after them. No one knows anything till pigeons are seen flying in all directions, and there is a great cheering at the chair as a black and white number goes up at the. post. It is Thormanby after all—and the Derby of 1860 is as much a thing of the past as the first race that was ever seen; at ; Epsom. The defeat of Umpire was a great discouragement to the American party, who had calculated with much confidence upon being enabled to carry the Champion's belt and the Blue Riband of the turf to America., Prior to .the raco the owner of Nutbourne lodged an objection against Umpire on the ground that the horse was not of the age described. Mr. Merry was warmly congratulated on the success of his horse, and it is said that he wins, in bets alone, upwards of £70,000. Nutbourne broke down when running very prominently. . The Derby Stakes of 50 soys. each, h. ft., for 3.yr-olds; colts, Bst. 71b.; fillies, Bst 3lb. The second to receive 100 sbvs. out of the stakes^ Last mile and a-half. 224 sub.
Mr. Merry's Thormanby, by Melbourne.or Wind- , hound—Alice Hawthorn, Bst. 71b. (Oustauce) 1 Mr. Mchol's The Wizard, by West Australian, dam bythe Cure—Elphin, Bst 7.1b.... (A. French) 2 Captain Christie's Horror, by Wild Dayrell—Sally, . Bst. 71b. . .. .. ... (Ohalloner) .3 Count F. De Xagrange's Dangu, by Fitz Gladiator, Bst.7lb. (carried Bat. 81b.) . . (J. Quinton) 4
The following also ran, but were not placed by the judges :—Mainstone, Cramond, Drone, Nutbourne, Sutton, Bentinck, Leprochaun, Sir William, Restes, Cape Flyaway, The Rap, Wallaoe, The Tiger, Man-at-arms, Buccaneer, Tom Bowline, Lanchester, Vesta, Umpire Brother to Rainbow, Loiterer, Largesse, Winton, The Rising Sun, Ebony, and. High Treason.
Betting :—5 to 2 agst. the Wizard (offered), 5 to 1 agst. Thormanby (taken freely), 5 to 1 agst. Umpire (offered), 7 to.l agst. Nutbourne (taken), 100 to 6 agst. Buocaneer (taken), .20 to 1 agst. Horror, 25 to 1 agst. High Treason, 30 to 1 agst. the Drone, 33 to 1 agsfc. Restes, 40 to 1 agst. Cramond, 40 to 1 agst. Mainstone, 50 to 1 agst. Wallace, 50 to 1 agst. Lanchester, and 66 to 1 agst. Sutton. The Race.—At exactly 25 minutes prior to the time of starting the numbers of the 30 competitors were displayed on the telegraph board. The horses assembled at the post with the utmost punctuality, and walked in a body towards the starter. Just before reaching him, however, Leprochaun, Brother to Rainbow, Tiger, Umpire, the .Rap, and two or three others, broke away, and the rank had to be reformed. This; proceeding wa3 soon accomplished, and the ringing of the "bell announced the start even before a large majority of the spectators were prepared for it, and the olamor in the grand stand enclosures suddenly ceased. The roar of excitement which was sent up as soon as . the horses quitted the post became hushed in an instant, and while every tongue was silent every eye was strained to discover the positions of the favorites, Bentinck was the first,to Bbew prominently ra the race, and he took a dear lead as the horses ascended the hill; following directly in his track were Man-at-Arms, Nutbourne, Rising Sun, and Restes. In the extreme rear was Sutton, Largesse; and Loiterer. Bentinck increased his lead half-a-dozen lengths on going up the hill, but before reaching the mile-post he disappeared from the front, and Restes; who had been heading the ruck, took up the running with Nutbourne, Horror, Rising Sun, Man-at-Arms, Buccaneer, Brother to' Rainbow, Thormanby, the Wizard, Dangu, and Umpire taking their places at the head of the ruck., On coming round Totten-ham-corner the front lot were in close company, Nutbourne next the rails having perhaps a slight lead, with Restes, the Wizard, Umpire, Buccaneer, Thormanby, Brother to Rainbow, and Horror well up in his stride. On crossing the road Nutbourne broke down and was pulled up, and soon after Restes was beaten. The Wizard then came to the front and running in the midd'e of the course took a clear lead, followed by Thormanby, Dangu, and Horror. At this distance Thormanby crossed the Wizard without an effort, and Horror took third place half way up. Fron the moment that Thormanby's colors were seen in advance, however, the issue of the race was not in doubt. He ran home an easy winner, by a length and a half, four lengths separated the second from the third, and four lengths the third from the fourth. The "running up" horses were Sir.William, Umpire, Buccaneer, Man-at-Arms, Cape Flyaway, and Restes, -who passed the post nearly in the order named; Loiterer and Wallace were,the last two. Thormanby was twice nearly knocked on bis head, and Wallace had a narrow escape of falling the instant the flag was dropped. ; The value of the stakes, deducting the money to be paid to the second horse, the judge, and towards expenses, is ,£6050. \
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THE DERBY DAY., Colonist, Volume III, Issue 297, 24 August 1860
THE DERBY DAY. Colonist, Volume III, Issue 297, 24 August 1860
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