THE DERBY DAY.—May 19.
Who can resist the infectious gaiety of a fino Derby dayP No true Londoner, certainly. Every one seems to have a handin it, from the little babies carrying large ones that sit in the dust at the Elephant and Castle and shout at everything on wheels, up to those reckless clerks who sprained their legs or were otherwise so violently ill the night before as to bo quite unable to attend to business. But there is no disguising the fact that the actual race has but little to in the matter. It is a good excuse for a day out —a change from the eternal talk of shares and book accounts to " odds," " dark horses," and turfite "shaves" in general. .It is the only one great holiday in the year to which all else irives place. All London seems uuder the influence of a great mania, and the Elephant and Castle is the seat of the disease. Here is the rendezvous tor all the youths with blue veils, which they dash aside with graceful nonchalance, and make believe as if they rather disregarded than otherwise, and didn't want them on. Here dubious-looking " spotting,' men assemble, and venture thousands in confidence with one another. But though the magnitude of these transactions might make them proud, these men are not so—not at all. On the contrary, addresses being given, they williugly take bets of £2 and upwards from several excited youths, who, having received undoubted information "from a sure hand," bet freely, and are only withheld from staking larger sums by a merciful anxiety not to let " tbose poor men in." Here are riotous young fellows who so anticipate matters that even thus early in the day they, require a friendly hand to keep them on the roof of the carriage, and here, too,-rendezvous vehicles of every conceivable kind and in every possible stage of wear and tear, from the drag that looks like its passengers, all collectod and complete, down to the most abject of conveyances on wheels. Here are equipages that whirl along amid a wake of faint cheers, with which the " bead-over" boys can't keep pace even for one somersault, and here are musty chariots which for the past six months or more have been doing duty as pigeon roosts in the worst inn's worst yard. Calculating spectators amuse themselves by ascertaining to a furlong the precise distance whioa these will go towards Epsom ere the final crash comas on. Talk of the belief ; in witchcraft, it is a joke to the fatuous confidence which some show in coaches and horses on a Derby day. Human credulity exhibits itself in its most aggravated form among parties .who evidently believe that they are going to Epsom, and that the' vehicles they, are in will outlast the distance. They have as much chance of driving back to town, in the Grand .Stand. .Nor arb the hovape less varied-thaii the'■ carriages. 'Some are only "gay," but thefeiirnblack' of '"roarers," with vicious brutes to whose' 1 bloodthirsty disposition' Cruiser's was npthing.'tipdiai the very aspect of whose - concentrated Bpito ; , ovaßMr. Rai'ey himself would stand aghast, ,; ' J: ' It is useless attempting to describe the Course for those of ovu readers who havo eeon. \t, and still more hopcloas to attempt to portray it to those who hare 'not. Tho Downs on a Derby day stauds alone as a spectacle, and thoYe is
nothing else, oh earth with which one can compare them; ■ All wus muoh as usual, on the presont occasion. The Grand Stand, with the subordinate galleries at either side, looked like a monstrous ridge of people—a very mountain of human beings—while every, part of the course and hill swarmed with a restless crowd "of thousands upon thousands. The lumimries of the prize ring had their booths up in great state mustcriui* around them the sallow, buttered ornaments of the fistic world, up to tho modem Policies—the champion himself. There were Algev's, Nicholson's, and all the well-known names, with erections more or less extensive and surrounded by a host of shanties, destined for every use, and constructed in every conceivable shapu, material, nud colour. There were the some dense rows of carriages with the bright eyed daughters of Egypt busy at all and their ligh-lingered brethren busy at many.' There were card sharpers, organ grinders, nigger 'melodists—-genuine and counterfeit—dancers upon stilts, acrobats, German bands, gentlemen ladiesythieves, and policemen, all mixed into that indescribable crowd that goes to form a Derby race-course. Here is a company of performing dogs, dusty and footsore, yet still sitting up on their hind legs, arid wrestling with the spirit that tempts them iv pursuit of biscuits' flung down by the mischevous; and here are tender infants scarce able '. to'-stand upon their feet, yet quite at home upou their hands, and turning somersaults upon the parental bosom. Banjo men and tambourinists are numerous and such is the progress of science that met eren go about with coil, machines, and batteries and for the small Sum, of, one penny distribute' electric shocks amongst' the crowd, and inflict an amount of pain which, if it came upon the recipients' in the ordinary' course of life, they ■would-think a grevious evil. ' '': ■■■>■ Who minds tho race before the Derby, any more than "Jane , Shore" is listened to before a .pantomime ? The course is cleared and tho first race run ere-people think of it, and then the; excitement really commences; The last belated comers lash their horses desperately up the hill ,as the starters make their appearance on the course.' What a hoarse roar of murmers breaks forth, followed by an incessant clatter of tongues and bets, as Physician rushes by; and in a minute after Ditto, Hadji, FiUrlloland, Beadman, and- the rest fly past" to'warde the "corner."- There is a general shout as the favourite canters by—not fast, but with such ease and strength; moving brer the ground like a shadow. All the vast, concourse strive for good places as the horses return to the post, and there is a lull of feverish expectation broken by theory of" They're off! they're off!"'and in a little cluster of variegated colours, •' all well together, the mass of horses disappear like a flash of light behind the hill. Another few seconds; and they are out on the hill-top, one leading—one far astern—the rest in a group which a tablecloth might cover. They come down the hill and places change. A shout goes round of " hats off," and with one movement the movement the immense multitude uncover, and a sea of faces white and eager in the sun are turned towards the " corner." With a rush like a whirlwind the horses appear amid tremendous shouts, as each descries his favourite. Many are out of the race, but many hold neek-and-neck together in the front, and places change, and horses stretch to the utmost, and none eaa say how it has gone as they pa3S the " chair." Then the whole mass of people rush up the course for a minute—a cloud of carrier pigeons rise from near the stand, a number goes up at the post, and faces fall as the single word " Beadsman" is passed from mouth to mouth like lightaing far and wide—and the Deiby is over.
The Derby Stakes of 50 soys. each, h ft., for 3
yc-oldg ; colts, Bst. 71b., filles, Bst. 21b. The second to receive 100 sovg. out of the stakes. One mile and a half. 200' subs. Sir Joseph Hawley's Beadsman, by Weatherbit, Bst. 71b .....(Wells) 1 Lord Derby's Toxophilite, by Longbow, Bst. 71b ;..(Flatman) 2 Mr. Harrison's The Hadji, by Faugh-a» Ballagb, Bst. 7lb (Aldoroft) 3 Mr. Howard's Eclipse, by Orlando, Bst. 71b (Fordham) 4 The following also ran:—The Happy Land, Sedbury, Oarmel, Fitzßoland.'East Larigton, Pelissier, Dumfries, Jordon, Physician, Longrauge, Ditto, Harry Stanley, King of Sardinia, Colt by Bay Middleton, Deceiver, Ethiopian, Kelpie, The Ancient Briton, and Brother to Bird on the Wing. ■ TnE Rack.—Ditto and Physician were the first to make their appearance on the course, and they walked up as the other competitors approached the grand stand from the paddock. The preliminary canters were quickly over, and the horses proceeded to the post in a body, and had no sooner quitted the paddock thau the spectators were startled with a shout of " they're off," so sudden and unexpected was the start The lot got away in a cluster, and a hum of satisfaction was occasioned by the tact with which Mr. Hibburd had dropped his flag, and relieved the spectators from all suspense. Eclipse was the first to show in advance, but immediately the-horses had "got on their legs," Physician rushed to the front, Eclipse keeping close company with him. for a short distance, when he dropped back, and Fitzßoland went on second, with Ditto, Eclipse, Beadsman, Jordon, Harry Stanley, and the. Cymba colt in a. cluster nextj.and as nearly as we could make out in the order named, East Langton and Pelissier showing in the middle of the ruck, Carmel toiling on several lengths in the rear. At the/top of the hill Eclipse ran into the second place, Jordon, Ancient Briton and Toxophilite lying well up behind him, and King of Sardinia joining Oarmel at the cud of " the tail." At the mile-post Fitzßoland repassed Eclipse, who went on third ; Ditto and Beadsman showing well up in their wake, with Toxophilite just behind them. On descending the hill at Tottenham corner Fiußoland headed Physician, who soon afterwards gave way, Toxophilite taking sec.oud place, with Eclipsf, Ditto, Happy Land, Beads-nan, The Hadji, Kelpie, East Langton, Longrange, and Ethiopian, next in pursuit; Just before reaching the road Ditto disappeared, from the front, and Beadsman took his place. They ran thus to the distance, where; Fitzßoland was beaten, Eclipse being loft with a slight lead, Toxophilite lying second, Beadsman third, and'-The Hadji nest. About half-way up Eclipse deI cliucd, and Bendsmau took close order with Toxophilite, quitted him opposite the Grand Stand and won easily by a length, Lord Derby's colt beating The Hadji by two lengths forsecond place. Four lengths off, Eclipse was fourth,;... East: Larigton was a bad fifth, aud Fitzßoland sixth; Tho-next lot comprised Ethiopian, Dumfries,'D.itto .and Longrangc, The lastifour boaten' off wero : Jordon, Happy Land,' Deceiver, and Brother to Bird on the Wing.,: Lord Glasgow's colt was absolutely las ■.■Qμ returning to scale, a little sensation wa* 6reato4 by tho inability of Wells to draw hji weight, and it was not until after Beadsman's bridle was brought in that he was declared " all ..right.". Timo.—2 minutes and H seconds. Value of the stakes, £5,400.
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THE DERBY DAY.—May 19., Wellington Independent, Volume X, Issue 1314, 29 September 1858, Supplement
THE DERBY DAY.—May 19. Wellington Independent, Volume X, Issue 1314, 29 September 1858, Supplement
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