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New Moon, 6 day, at 7 min. past noon.
r 8 925 RISES
Moon (High WATER D.D. OCCURRENCES.
rises and rises & London Bridge. sets.
morn. I aftern.
h. m. d. h. m. h. m. h. m. ils Circumcision.
Morning 2 S Sec. Sund. after Christmas. s 4 026 3 47 10 5211 25 3 M Daventry Eair.
r 8 827 4 4811 55 no tide 4 T Holt CASTLE COURSING MEET. s 4 228 5 47 0 23 0 45 5 W BALLYMACDONAFIN ST.-CHASE. r 8 8.29 6 43 1 8 1 3) 6T Epiphany. Twelfth-Day. s 4 4 N
1 50 2 10 F HAWICK COURSING MEETING. r 8 7 1 5 44 2 31 2 50 8 s St. Lucian.
s 4 7 2 6 55 3 9 3 30 9 $ First Sunday after Epiphany, r 8 6 3 8 9 3 49 4 10 10 M Plough Monday.
S 4 10 4 9 25 4 30 4 50 11 T Hilary Term begins.
r 8 5 510 40 5 10 5 35 12 W Shrewsbury Fair.
S 4 12 611 56 5 55 6 20 13 T St. Wilary. Cam. Term. begins r 8 4 7 6 43 10
Morning. 14 FOxford Term begins.
s 4 15 8 1 11 7 35 8 10 15 S
r 8 2 9 2 25 8 45 9 20 16 $ Second un. after Epiphany. s 4 1810 3 38 9 55 10 35 17 MABERYSTWITH St.-Ch. week. r 8 111! 4 4511 1511 55 18 T CARDINGTON COURSING MEET. s 4 21/12 5 44 no tide 0 25 19 W
r 7 59 13 6 37 0.53 1 20 20 T Brouah (CATTERICK) C. M.
1 47 2 10 21 F
r 7 57 15 6 6 2 33 2 55 22 S
s 4 28 16 7 13 3 15 3 35 23 $ Third Sun. after Epiphany. Ir 7 5417 8 19 3 50 4 10 24 M Melton Mowbray Fair.
s 4 32 18 9 22 4 30 4 45 25 T Royal LEAMINGTON ST.-CHASE. r 7 52 19 10 25 5 5 5 20 26 W Glossop COURSING MEETING. s 4 35 2011 28 5 40 5 55 27 T CLYDESDALE COURS. MEET.
r 7 4921 6 10 6 30 28 F
s 4 39 22 0 30 6 507 10 29 S
r 7 46 23 1 32 7 35 8 0 30 $ Fourth Sun. after Epiphany, s 4 42 24 2 33 8 30 9 10 31 M Ashdown Park Cours. MEET.Ir 7 4325 3 321 9 45 10 25
s 4 25 F. afternoon
COURSING MEETINGS IN JANUARY. Holt Castle (Worcestershire)
4 | Brough (Catterick) Deptford (Wilts).
5 6 7 Glossop. Hawick (Open)
7 8 | Clydesdale ...................... Winmarleigh (Open)
10 | Ashdown Park Union Club (Lytham)
13 14 Cardington (Chainpion) .......... 18 19 20 21
Biggar and Middleton not fixed.
The last month of the past year was remarkable for an epidemic of a very trying character. Some it affected in one way, and some in another. Our brethren of the pen appear not to have escaped the contagion, several exhibiting symptoms of its having attacked their bile. It set our excellent friend Actæon-as Byron describes Lumbro, “ the mildest-mannered man”—bestowing names savouring of discourtesythe last thing on earth he could do in a sanatory state of gall-inkthirsty" being his sobriquet of Nimrod. And “Scribble” too, the pleasantest of scribes, big or little, starts his paper thus :-“When Messrs. This, That, and the other are going to give a description of their whereabouts in the months of September or October, they seem to think that all the world is interested about their travelling." See what a foe the influenza must have been to the humours. For our own part we had a rather considerable touch of it, which will account for any splenetic feeling that may break out in the following few pages-as also hold the writer excused, on the ground of the authorities he has quoted in mitigation.
Should any object that it is always either preachee" or “floggce” with me, let them observe that others have written in the same vein. No true friend of the turf can contemplate its present policy or impolicy-without offering advice; albeit nobody may accept his proposal. A backbone stickler for the profession thus writes :
“Whatever may have been the drawbacks to the past racing season—and cer. tainly an overabundance of the needful is not likely to be classed as one of themthe legitimate quantum of sport has more than "held its own;' proving that, amidst all the storms and troubles with which most enterprizes have this eventful year been beset, the Turf' has not been injured. I do not include the ring' in the latter category; for the individuals comprised in that speculative circle are too nuinerous, and too varied in their habits and dispositions, to permit us to suppose that one and all are able to steer clear of that excess which, though it may make one man, is certain to mar a hundred. The bane of the betting ring is, that most of its members seek to gain a fortune at a single coup; hence the rotten condition in which the latter part of the season has witnessed it; and it will return to a healthy state only when less money shall be betted on great events, and individuals shall bear in mind the advice of Baillie Nicol Jarvie, 'never to put out your arm further than you can easily draw it back again.'
This is the writer's hope, I opine, rather than his conclusion : his
wish was father to the thought. What premises the season furnished for such a probability will be shown in the sequel...... It is not my design to catalogue the meetings of the past year upon the raisonné principle. I merely purpose giving a retrospect of the chief races, so that they may serve as a general commentary on the working of the turf ; and as matter for reference, in relation to any prospective events upon which they may bear.
There was a little two-year-old skirmishing previous to the Craven week at Newmarket ; but we will make that our starting-post. Alas ! for the once-palmy Riddlesworth! The winner was War Eagle, who subsequently showed there was good stuff in him ; but here he had only rubbish to kick out of his way. Red Hart by no means showed flatteringly for the Column ; but the way they potted him for the Derby! That must have been safe enough, of all conscience! The winter favourite was looked for somewhat anxiously, but did not reward the watchers ; he left them pretty much as they were. The great creature of 1846 was beaten for the Port-eight lengths! Sting has surely been an in-and-out style of runner. The Craven was a sporting tryst —but no more—what more would you have? Catterick Bridge and Bath ran opposition, whereby, of course, both were losers. The weather too was bad : bad days have their double superlatives, when tested by the top of Lonsdown. Catterick always abounds with “young uns.'
There Beverlac gave us a spice of his quality, and The Stinger showed well. The Spring racing on Epsom Downs was a worthy prologue to the great play—we won't call it tragedy or comedy, but leave everybody to decide as the catastrophe affected them. Mr. Dorling has made this vernal meeting, and he is every way worthy the success that will crown his energy. Mr. Dorling is the monarch of racing-clerks : he does all he puts his hand to en prince: he has my best wishes ; but—and I am glad to write it-he has no need of them. His speculation has succeeded, because he entered upon it with a spirit that is sure to be its own reward. The Great Metropolitan handicap is the feature of this occasion. The bonus was £500-the nominations amounted to £114. The winner was Clermont-a wonderfully profitable animal, all things considered. The day was a most fitting ono, casting its brightness before the coming Olympian glories. We now come to matter of account.
The First Spring Meeting at Newmarket is the most interesting of the seven anniversary to the head quarters of the turf. It was peculiarly interesting to me, inasmuch as when Conyngham was at 50 to 1 for the Derby, I was bold enough to speak of him as one of the best-to my liking-of his year. He won the Two Thousand as he pleased, and forthwith became first in the market for the Great Southern Race, and there he remained. Thus his backers at the long odds-being hedged—had won their money a month or so before the race, which, I take it, is quite as satisfactory as awaiting the result, either in reference to time or issue. The Newmarket Stakes-won by Cossack-was a very different affair. Half-a-dozen started, but the race was with two -the winner and War Eagle. The pace was uncommonly true, as, of course, the dilemma of the field indicates. The One Thousand Guineas Stakes was not thought much of. Clementina won in her usual form, which is good, but her field was rather indifferent. There was a
sporting match between Messrs. O'Brien and Greville for a thousand eacl—the odds on the honourable clerk of the Privy Council ; but the fortune on the honourable—that is, on Mr. O'B. For a sweepstakes of 100 sovs. each, h. ft., D.M., eight subscribers, Red Hart beat Epirote, with 3 to 1 on him, by a couple of lengths, which looked awkward for those against Richmond for the field of Bowstead. Moreover, there was a moral in this meeting. “Life,” say the philosophers of Greece, " is a condition of compensation. For this reason, or some other, or none at all, the Danebury stable carried all before it. Messrs. John Day, jun., and William of that ilk, had been disfranchised of their privileges as jockeys : they had been in weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, when lo! their joy breaketh like morning in the summer, to beam forth like noon at the tropics.
We will now suppose ourselves hard by “ Deva’s wizard stream,” or sauntering adown the Rows of Chester-capital places for the nonce, as it makes a point of raining in that ancient city the moment strangers begin to muster for the races. You know the quaint old town, with its first floors all turned into trottoirs ?.... The completest promenades in existence when the weather is wet or sultry—the latter in especial--for there is such flirting in their nooks and corners ; such lots of pretty girls ; such--sweet reader ! imagine the rest ; give rein and spur to your fancy_let it have "ample verge and space enough”--never fear overshooting the fact. The Cup is here the chief object (though,
and me, there is a little to spare for the hip too), and was put on the Roodee this year with infinite prodigality. There were 169 nominations, and 107 acceptances--a rollicking lot, and no mistake, for the professors of industry, or rather industrie. It brought out 29 on a course where about half-a-dozen can run abreast. These were formed by ballot into several ranks. Fancy a starter in the middle of the nineteenth century thus marshalling a field of race-horses.... “ Rear rank, take open order-march !” Well old St. Lawrence—the screw—the diable boiteaux—the repudiators even of—but we won't be coarse—the saint, as the sinners called him, won. And Mr. Drinkald had a monster hand—a mighty pull of money--and more in store, as will be seen-as well as
compensation.”... Need it be said there were eccentric passages in this race, it being the Chester Cup?
“ The Lamb thy folly made first favourite : pray,
Had'st thou its knowledge, would'st thou skip and play?" And Erin-go-bragh was another mystery.
“ Oh, Erin, false courser! in the darkness we found thee,
The cold chain of silence had hung o'er thee long,
And show'd us, too late, we were · All in the Wrong.' As I said in the commencement, I am determined to show there are others who had your racing merchants in no better odour than myself. Could there be a poke into their ribs and honesties more prepense than the subjoined passage, which I did not write, however reverently I may subscribe to its truth?—“One great attraction to the layers of odds on the Chester Cup is, that, compared with the Derby settlement, it is three to one in their favour ; most men will make an effort to pay on
this event, as they have still the chances of Epsom to exist upon ; but any defalcation upon the former matter puts them hors de combat at once ; hence a Chester Cup settlement is a very different affair to that for a Derby.
The race for the Dee Stakes went for little, as the filly that won was very moderate ; but it knocked over the provincial pretensions for Epsom, which was something. The Second Spring Meeting at Newmarket was full of sport, comparatively, but unimportant. The form of the three-year stock out was not regarded as over the ordinary average ; yet the running for the Newmarket Stakes was not a common result, the place and distance considered.
Passing a few places of small account, we stand on the threshold of the great Surrey tryst. I confine my notice of it to the races for the Derby and Oaks-with ouc slight exception, the Woodcote. This Flatcatcher cantered away with, as I never saw a two-year-old do in a field of fifteen, in three quarters of a mile. It was prodigious.
Was thie Derby a mistake? The public took 5 to 2 about Conyngham, and laid 5 to 1 against the winner. The party backel Cossack. Van Tromp had friends among his own people, and yet he was pronounced to have io
the hill as if he wanted to run through it." Were there no hills at Middleham in the spring of '47 ? I believe, and I am sure I hope, this event came off honestly. The Goodwood division spoke of the bowl dlesperately, and there were others who talked of poison as if it were used in and around Epsom as common stable provender. I say I trust things were all on the square ; but hear what a contemporary said “ Conyngham and Cossack each ran upon his merits, albeit very
unlike the usage of the stable in the majority of cases. Are there never earthquakes in the neighbourhood of Winchester? Is this a country of racing Christians, with a public establishment existing in it where horses are trained that very rarely run upon their merits?
The Derby day was as a gorgeous festival, one that the round world couldn't equal, were it “one entire and perfect chrysolite." I so babbled of it to one I met on the terrace, coming from the weighing house just after the inportant fact had been given. He answered me as if it was a fit of the colic that replied. How different are men's views of the same subject ! .... It was said Clementina ought to have won the Oaks; it seemed to me otherwise. Miami never showed so well before or since ; and it is
form” that wins, nine times out of ten, the tenth being the pull for luck.... Nothing could exceed the perfection with which this meeting was put on the scene. The Grand Stand was a little metropolis of luxury and comfort ; it combined everything that anybody could desire, "" with cash and sense.” The present lessee—Mr. Henry Dorling, of whom we have already written-is the very model for all who tread in his arduous path. Conceive a man with ten thousand people to please! This year the Derby and Oaks are to be run for over the new course, condition of soil permitting. The improvement will lay open the whole of the performance, from start to finish, to the audience in the stand.
Manchester had a new meeting and a new course, and, as some said, an unwise management. It fell in--and out—with Newton; but matters will be arranged better by-and-by, no doubt. Our affair is with Ascot, the royal races..... The weather was glorious, and the sport was every way worthy being " set before a Queen.” The gala days are the first