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never was the device of a gentleman. I am as sure, as that time works truth, that the day will come, and presently too, when public betting will pass as completely out of the pale of a gentleman's recreations as public boxing has disappeared.' Till then give my prediction the weight it deserves for that one moiety of it has already come to pass.
On TUESDAY the 16th ult. commenced the first Doncaster Meeting of four days, and on Friday the 19th it came to an end, after the most brilliant success that has yet attended the races at that renowned place of Olympics. As already said, the appliances and means were greatly improved, and the sport per se was capital ; the only thing that might have been better being the character of the stock as regarded three-year-olds and upwards. The three-year-olds of the present season I hold to be very far from their average quality. The tumbling down and about at Epsom was assigned as a reason for the Derby being a bad race; but the running of its best nominations subsequently turned out very mediocre. Sweetmeat is quoted as the best of his year; but old Alice, in the tithe of her olden form would have beaten him for the Cup if-however, this is going off at score : let us take a pull.
On SUNDAY—malgré the one day's grace offered up to the shrine of more sedate arrangement—the meeting for all bona fide (and other) purposes may be said to have commenced. The Subscription Rooms were opened to some three hundred pounds more than was before taken at the doors; and there was mounting and riding on the exercise.ground, just as is proper on every open week-day of the year. What was said and done on that occasion and its successor Monday, however, is now a foregone conclusion, so we will confine our notice strictly to the sport and strictures thereupon. The Fitzwilliam-the prologue here--like most prefaces, was a failure. The form, indeed, in which Little John ran, would have, under other circumstances, affected the position of the first favourite in the same stable with bim; but Miss Sarah belonged not to a betting cliqne. The match for 200 sovs. between Nottingham and Semiseria shewed the unwisdom of backing a mare (or for that matter, a horse) that will only run when it pleases, and the result of the Champagnes, the folly of backing anything that ever ran or flew against a good numerical field. Here Malcolin, with a cough to boot, was done at even against a dozen, many of them good runners; and he put his friends in the hole." The Shadow, once reported to have been put hors de combat, won the Queen’s Guineas in the most racing-like shape of any nag that now essays to get a distance; and Godfrey, the Cleveland Handicap in a better fashion than Tommy Lye often contrives to finish in difficulties. A Sweepstakes of 500 govs. each, h. ft., with three subscribers, was run a match, and won by Lord George Bentinck with Ennui, though certainly the noble winner did not watch the fate of its result with anything of the sort. The Town Plate in heats closed the proceedings of the afternoon.
WEDNESDAY—the Leger Day-dawned ominously for the dealers in signs and tokens. At the rooms, the preceding night had passed gloomily enough: there was no betting, for apparently nobody had faith in anybody; and as for facts, they were as scarce as confidence. Towards noon, however, the clouds above cleared away, and for those who take racing as an amusement, things looked couleur de rose. The Grand Stand was a bumper ; its receipts, during the four days, being £2,340-upwards of £500 more than ever was formerly received for admissions. The preponderance of the coarser over the gentler sex, indeed, took away from the poetry of the thing; but still it was refreshing to see even the masculine crowd gathered together. By this time the Leger field was pretty handsomely weeded of its "doubtfuls ;” and it was finally known that Old England was scratched, as also that not an individual of Forth’s lot would go. Here, only that it might be taken in dudgeon, one might pause to inquire whether these were market-horses, or the property of the fine old English gentleman division; and thence draw deductions from some antecedent premises. But the reader will, no doubt, do this for himself
, while we go on with the narrative. The sport was to have commenced with the Municipal Stakes, for which two were weighed and announced to the ring. But some time after Borghese was taken down, and Arkwright walked over. Then Valerian carried off the Selling Stakes from a sadly infra dig. field, and the industrious fell to making the most of their hour, before the great secret should be known. In the mean time we set down the betting as it last may be quoted. They took 5 to 2 about Miss Sarah (we wont quote the lots), 4 to 1 about Mentor, 6 to 1 about The Pacha, 10 to 1 about Pantasa, 10 to 1 about The Baron, 11 to 1 about Weatherbit, 12 to 1 about Annandale, and then nothing till you come to the 30 to 1 party, at the head of which was Midlothian. Three o'clock was the hour fixed for the race, and about that time the horses began to show, some in the enclosure, the later lot on the course. They galloped and cantered and paraded, according to the ordinances as laid down by authority, and then began to cluster at the post, where Lord George Bentinck, in capacity of master of the ceremonies, stood ready to receive them. They had—that is, the jockeys-previously drawn lots for their places, and, taking rank according to these, the noble lord, banner in hand, led them gallantly down the course, hard upon the distance; then back again, like what they call a cavalcade of knights and coursers at Astley's—quite as trim, and almost as trained ; and having once more gained the starting-post, down fell the signal for the onset, and away they flew.
The first on his legs was Chertsey—the last The Baron, who either shied at the flag or stumbled in his stroke. They had not run a hundred yards, however, when Twig went to the front, and forced the pace as much as he could--for the Baron, they said, which was very kind of him, if true; for what was the Baron, or, indeed, the whole kingdom of Ireland, to him or his master? They crossed the road with Twig some five or six lengths first, Chertsey, Pantasa, Miss Sarah, and Weatherbit handy, and the ruck of horses well up, except Clear-the-way, who did just the reverse of that which his name would imply-following respectfully where the whole field had long preceded him. The speed up the hill could not have been good, or Twig had not increased his lead as he did. Down the hill the front rank closed the fugleman; and as they rounded the Red House turn, Chertsey had taken the lead from him, followed by Pantasa, Miss Sarah, The Pacha, Mentor, the Baron, and Weatherbit. The pace was now very earnest, and before the distance was reached, the field was virtually reduced to five, of which Miss Sarah was the best --the Baron, Pantasa, The Pacha, and Mentor, the latter being the first disposed of. As they neared the stand the race was clearly between The Baron, Miss Sarah, and Pantasa; and in this form it finished after a most exciting struggle, the Baron winning by a length-pretty cleverly, and the mare beating Pantasa half-a-length for third. Though the judge did not officially place them, the Pacha was fourth, Weatherbit fifth, and, I think, Mentor sixth. Most of the others were stopped before they reached the enclosure: of course Robinson did not persevere with such a brute as Clear-the-waysave only to be in time to get out of the course in the event of there being another race to run. People said this and that, as usual, about what might have been first, had the running been differently made; but my conviction is, the best .horse in the field won. Sorry am I that it was thought advisable his mouth should—after the issue-be submitted to a jury of veterinary surgeons for their verdict on his owner's honour. The very objection in such cases is a grievous suspicion : in such cases, I say, because Mr. Watts bred the colt, and must have known, of his own knowledge, whether he was or was not three years old. Such he pledged his honour that he was, to all intents and purposes, by entering him for a three-year-old stake, and those who urged the examination raised a doubt as to the credit of his solemnly inferred assurance. What brought about the necessity for examination to test the ages of race-horses? The admission of persons to the turf who never could be supposed to have any legitimate right to support racing establishments. For this reason an honourable man has more than once been exposed to a very degrading insinuation; and out of this practice will yet come grave consequences. I know what course a high spirit is likely to adopt towards him who may, however cautiously, raise a possible doubt of his honour.... The Stakes, worth £2,500, were the whole of Mr. Watts's profit by the transaction: his son, they say, was a good winner. Thus have two consecutive Legers gone to Ireland, won by Irish-bred horses-a great triumph, and I doubt much whether the repeal of the legislative union would be hailed more enthusiastically than was the result of this victory by the Paddies assembled at Doncaster. There was no race after the St. Leger.
THURSDAY brought fair tidings of the settling--though some levy accounts were left to stand over—to Tattersali's; a place, like the floor of another place not to be mentioned, that may be said to be paved with good resolutions. However, no one, who saw the gusto with which the ring set to work the moment the enclosure was tenanted, would have supposed there was a doubtful penny on any antecedent engagement. The feature of the day was the Great Yorkshire Handicap, on which the industrious figured away as if it was the last Handicap that should ever come out of the wheel of fortune. The Scarborough Stakes were allowed to come off without
more notice tban if they had been on the tapis on the Scarborough sands, the “Great Yorkshire" finishing with 2 to 1 against My Mary, 3 to 1 about As-you-like-it (who kicked as if she didn't like it--the race), 5 to 1 Trueboy, 7 to 1 Stomacher, 6 to 1 Glossy, 6 to 1 Extempore, and Old England scratched. Eleven went; of which Glossy inade the running as far as she could, which was to the straight ground. Here My Mary went in front, stood the course stoutly-considering she carried between three and four stone less than the weight common to her year, no wonderful achievement—and won as she pleased. Had it been a weight-for-age race, the places could scarcely have been on worse terms. For a 200 sovs. Sweepstakes, worth £500, Chertsey beat Weatherbit; and so all the work of the day ended.
Friday—despite the morning rising unpromising, thongh the afternoon was fine-drew a very large holiday party to the town at an early hour. All the neighbouring gentry were present, and also a vast amount of the neighbouring yeomanry and peasantry-an attendance that well becomes an exhibition of national sports. The Cup was the nominal attraction-a tryst of good fellowship the actual object: and in this wise it turned out. A merrier or more hearty company could not have been got together; a more unsubstantial racing spectacle could not have been witnessed, than the Cup. The rest of the sport was good. There was a very fine contest for the Two-year-old Stakes, won by Sir Charles Monck's Filly by Velocipede out of Garland; and though Miss Sarah carried off the Parkhill in a canter, there was much curiosity to see whether she could conquer Hope—for the Leger she had disappointed it. The Cup with its one-and-twenty nominations brought four to the post, and as Sweetmeat was backed at even to win, we understand that the ring took little heed of it. The fields for the Ascot and Doncaster Cups should instigate Mr. Hume, or some other financial reformer, to call for the abolition of Queen's Plates. Of the race it remains to say that Miss Elis set off with a lead of several lengths, thus going nearly to the distance, where she threw up. Thereupon Sweetmcat went in front, with Pantasa next him, Alice Hawthorne coming with her vast stride at their heels. Having caught them, Bumby, who rode her, seemed uncertain how he should avoid running over them, so he pulled her first to one side and then he bauled her to the other; and while these manœuvres were in operation, Sweetmeat passed the chair first, by a length easy. I don't mean-let it be clearly understood—to impute anything to anybody in this race, sav.og most vile ermitation to the jockey of Alice Hawthorn ; and that
, I take it upon my conscience to declare, was the most flagitious I ever saw, no instance excepted. There were rumours, indeed, abroad; but I repudiate them : all I ask, in common charity to the backers of this mare, is, that should she ever run again, Mr. Salvin or Mr. Hesseline, or whoever the office rests with, will remember that the race of post-boys is not quite extinct, should he ever be in difficulties for an artist to ride her.... Here close we the narrative of a very brilliant meeting : it had its dark shades, of course, or how would the lights have been thrown into such dazzling relief? It