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DEATH OF VOLTIGEUR.

[Bell's Life m London, Feb. 28.] Very thorough was the enjoyment of the good folks assembled on Richmond racecourse on tho afternoon of October 31st, 1840. The day was fine, and the card a good one. The race for the Queen's Plate, held alternately by Richmond and York, had just been decided, and although " his lordship's " G'astanotte was last of three —to tho disappointment of the country people—there had been an interesting finish between Maid of Team Valley and old Ellordale. Then, later m the afternoon, Raby, with freshly-gathered Cambridgeshire laurels, was to meet the redoubtable Maid of Masham, and Ellen Middlcton and others, m the Cup, and the Wright. Stakes would afford tho first peep at a two year old called Voltigour, that had been backed at a long prico for the Derby during tho St Loger week. The eyes of some experienced critics were upon the dark brown, powerful-quartered, strong-necked youngster, as ho carried Bumby down to the Greysfcono. These critics were tolerably agreed m liking tho colt, and after he had taken the lead from Marie Tapley at the distance, and won his race cleverly by a length, they liked him still more. From that hour Yorkshire "fancied " Voltigeur, and had not ceased to love him when, on Saturday last, ho died within cannon shot of the moor on which ho first bore a racing jacket. Voltigeur was bred m 1847 by Mr R. Stephenson, of Hart. He was by Voltaire out of Martha Lynn, by Mulatto, her dam Loda, by Filho da Puta out of Treasure, by Camillus. Martha had previously had that very valuable brood-mare, Eulogy by Euclid,-Maid of Hart, by Tho Provost, and an own brother and sister to Voltigeur, m Barnton (a bad race-horse, but sire of Fandango and Ben Webster) and Volley. Voltigeur was sent to Doncastor for sale when a yearling, and did not find a buyer m that week when 300gs was the longest prico paid for any yearling, and his future rival, Pitsford, made 250 only. By the consent of Lord Zetland ho was sent m tho following spring to Aske, and placed under the charge of Robert Hill, who took a great liking to him, but tho colt did not become his lordship's property until tho autumn of 1849, when he was purchase for, we believe, £1,000, with contingencies. It may bo remarked here that he did not run his first race, tho Wright Stakes, alluded to above, m either the name or colors of Lord Zetland. He appeared on the card as Mr Williamson's, and Bnmby wore purple and scarlet sleeves, instead of tho white luith red sjiots that Voltigour was destined to make so well known and so popular. It happened rather oddly that Richmond was interested m two horses believed to posses gieat Derby chances m 1850. . One of these was Voltigeur, and tho other Mildew, the property of Mr R. M. Jaques, of Easby Abbey. A few miles away, too, on Middleham Moor, wore trained Italian, Knight of Avenel, and Mayors, so that the Norbh Riding was rich m candidates for Epsom honors. How sharp a thorn Mildew might have been m the side of his Aske rival but for his pipes bocoming affected it is useless to conjecture. As it was," Mr Jaques' colt started at 4 to 1 for the Derby, and Voltigeur at 13 to 1, tho first-named failing to get a place, whilst " Nolti" won easily by a length from Pitsford, and achieved a victory of almost unexampled popularity. All the world knows how he subsequently won tho St. Leger after a dead heat with tho Irish bred Russborough, and his defeat of the Flying Dutchman m tho Doncaster Cup (after running a couple of- severe races two days before) is one of the most memorable events m Yorkshire Turf annals. As a three year old Voltigeur was a race-horse nearly, if not quite, of tho first class, but he did not preserve this form. In tho great match run at York m the April of 1554 he succumbed to The Flying Dutchman m a way that convinced those who knew him best that he was no longer the Voltigeur of ISSO, and on the day after this, his first defeat, he was beaten very easily by tho threeyear old Nancy m the two nn'lo York and Ainsty Cup. Some return to his earlier prowess was shown, m his first race at five years old. This was The

Flying Dutchman's Handicap (two miles) at York Spring Meeting, that race then carrying the place since held by the Groat Northern Handicap. Carrying Bat 1311), ho beat Haricot, 5 yrs, Gat Blb, Lucio, 3 yrs, oat 71b (winner of the Ascot Stakes m the name year), and eight others, He was not placed for the Emperor's Plate at Ascot, won by Joe Miller. Under Sat 131 b he -failed to get into the first three for tho Great Ebor Handicap m same year, and on the following day was last of tho live runners for the Country Plato (T.Y.G.). The mere fact of his starting at all for tlii3 race created much surprise at the time, as his day was clearly quite gone, and the distance, moreover, was altogether nnsnited to him. [ncluding the Scarborough Stakes at Doncaster, for which lie walked over, Voltigeur started for eleven other races altogether. His stud career began brilliantly. In his first season he had Vedette and Skirmisher, tho first-named decidedly the most famous of his offspring, and maintained by those who well understood his merits to have been one of the best hwses m the last quarter of a century. Under great disadvantages, consequent on his chronic lameness, he showed m the Two Thousand Guineas, m the Ebor Handicap, and m two Doncistor Cups, of what metal ho was made. Voltigeur's stock showed to groat advantage over long courses, and m the great Cup races they were several times successful. In addition to the Doncaster Cup, won by Vedette, Skirmisher defeated nearly the whole of tho best three year old form of his year m the Ascot Cup, which important race also fell to another son of Voltigeuv, Buckstone ; and Sabreur carried off the Doncaster Cnp m 1800, beating Thormanby and others. Oddly enough, none of Voltigeur's progeny were credited with either Derby, Oaks, or St. Leger, but he will be remembered t as the sire of good horses m plenty. Amongst his ' successful sons and daughters were The Ilancrer (winner of the Grand Prix do Paris m 18(53), Hartington, and Dulcibella (each Cesarwitch winners), Cavendish, Hcpatioa, Harlequin, Qui Vive, Napoleon, Bivouac, Vanquisher, Buckcnham, Zetland, Blondin, Makeshift, Lanchester, Scamander, John Davis, Light Bob, Ge'ant des Batailles, Fortunio, Judge, Starter, Our Mary Ann, Watchfiro, Bumblekite, Falkland, Arlington, and Tibthorpe. Nearly all his stock were remarkable for beautiful action, and most of them stayed well, and had fair speed ; but with the exception of Vidette and Tibthorpe, none that we can remember possessed very exceptional pace. At the time our " Country Correspondent " paid a visit to tho old hero last year, ho wrote of him that "the scythe-bearer lias been dealing roughly with him ; his head is getting rather grey, and his quarters have fallen away, whilst dull old age is bespoken m his eye and expression." A gentleman who saw him a fortnight ago, and has known the horse since he was put into training, informs us that he was then looking fresher and better than lie had done for years past. Poor Voltigeur's death was the result of an accident. He received such a severe kick from a mare that was on a visit to him (Time Test, by Saunterer, out of Tested, the property of Mr A. Young of Richmond) that one of his thighs was broken. The extent of the injury was not immediately discovered, as he was able to walk away to his box ; but on tho arrival of Mr Hedley, the Eichmond veterinary surgeon, tho sorious result of the kick was at once discovered, and poor old Voltigour . was shot m his box. He has, wo believe, been buried m a plot of ground near Asko Hall. Mr Young owns, wo understand, three fine yearling colts, by Voltigeur, and the old horse had five more foals under his name m the last volume of the Racing Calendar bred respectively by Lord Charlemont, tho late Lord Zetland, Mr Saville, Mr Davenport, and Mr Taplin. Voltigeur's merits an a siro are shown m tho list of some of his winners given above. As a racehorse it is sufficient to say that he won the Derby and St. Leger, and was the only conqueror of The Flying Dutchman.

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

DEATH OF VOLTIGEUR., Timaru Herald, Volume XX, Issue 1050, 22 May 1874

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DEATH OF VOLTIGEUR. Timaru Herald, Volume XX, Issue 1050, 22 May 1874

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